Sacred Conversations about Life
Hosted by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
on Sundays, 9:30-10:20 a.m.
at The Grand, next door to the Church
September 15, 2019 Top Ten Church Buildings in the World
Join Mark Stanley for a slide show of the greatest houses of worship from around the globe. From Canterbury Cathedral in England to Sagrada Familia in Spain, these structures can inspire our faith.
September 22, 2019 Seven American Idols (or Cults)
While it is misleading to claim that America is a Christian nation, it is arguable that a majority of American citizens and residents are Christian. Where Christianity calls us to worship only God, we Americans often turn our adoration towards other objects, creating, in effect, cults for those objects. This forum will discuss critically seven of those objects: quantification, efficiency, science, literalism, democracy, individualism, and black & white thinking (jumping from one extreme to the other). Led by The Rev. Dr. Chris Dreisbach.
September 29, 2019 Either the Church Evolves or Becomes Extinct: imagining our future
Statistics show that almost all religious organizations are shrinking at an alarming rate. So what are we to do about it? In the Episcopal Church, we love our cherished traditions while also valuing reformation and new life. Let’s brainstorm about what from the tradition we want to take with us, what we are willing to leave behind, and what we are hoping for in years to come. Join The Rev. Mary Luck Stanley for a conversation about imagining God’s dream for the future of the Episcopal Church.
October 6, 2019 What Excites You About Old St. Paul’s?
At Old St. Paul’s, we ask “what makes your heart sing?,” but what does that really mean in the context of our Christian community? Please join vestry members Terrence Buckley and Tilly Gurman to brainstorm about God’s dream for the life of our church and the importance of our roles in that community. We encourage you to come (and bring a friend) to join us for this lively discussion!
October 13, 2019 Fact or Fiction at Old St. Paul’s
Did Edgar Allan Poe serve on the Old St. Paul’s vestry? Was the Desiderata “discovered” in 1692 in our church? Did a rector of Old Saint Paul’s lose an election to be a bishop because a bat flew in his face? Join The Rev. Mark Stanley to sort out some true and some false history in the life of our parish.
October 20 Christian Cliches that Do Not Hold Up Under Scrutiny
How many times have you heard a wellmeaning person say things like, “God helps those who help themselves,” “When God closes a door, he opens a window,” or “God will never give you more than you can handle?” Join The Rev. Mary Luck Stanley to examine the meanings behind the most common Christian cliches. And join in a conversation about whether or not these sayings hold up when compared with solid Christian theology.
October 27, 2019 Creeds: Meanings and Alternatives
The Nicene Creed has been a standard of faith since 325 AD. Yet its original historical context and ancient Greek vocabulary can make parts of this creed seem not as relevant for Christians today. Some Episcopal churches are experimenting with different creeds – some ancient and some modern. Join Mark Stanley to explore the concept of creeds as our congregation prepares to try some other creeds for a trial period.
November 3, 2019 Belief Check: what in the Christian narrative, if false, would be a deal breaker for you?
Much of Christian teaching rests on claims that we are asked to accept on faith; The Fall in the Garden of Eden, The Great Flood, Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, Jesus’s virgin birth in a manger, Jesus’s miracles, Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection, the Second Comong. If any of these turned out to be false, what would that do to your faith. Join The Rev. Dr. Chris Dreisbach to compare notes, asking which of these claims (and others) matters most to our faith, and which don’t matter at all. Then let’s ask what difference such a conversation makes to our faith journey as a community.