Theology Update for the Week of February 28

Dear friends in Christ,

Sunday at the 10 o’clock theology class, Mother Miriam, the superior of the Community of Saint Mary, will offer “Benedictine Spirituality 201.” She will explain a Benedictine approach to personal prayer (lectio, meditatio, contemplatio) as well as introduce the life of her Community, the oldest monastic community connected with the Episcopal Church. This class will be especially interesting for anyone who heard Nashotah Dean Stephen Peay a few weeks ago. Visitors welcome every week: on the 5th floor.

There will be no Monday class on February 29. Next Sunday, March 6, Father Daniels will resume the class on the collects of the Book of Common Prayer with a look at Ascension and Pentecost. That class will be repeated on Monday, March 7, at 12:40pm.

Tuesday, March 1, the Rector’s Christian Doctrine Class will be An introduction to the seven Sacraments of the Church: Baptism – being “clothed with Christ.” Although designed especially for people who would like to be confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church, the class is open to anyone interested in the topic of the day. It meets in Andrew Hall from 6:30 to 7:30pm.

Wednesday, March 2, in the final session of the class on the Good Samaritan, Professor Jeremy Waldron will speak on questions of cosmopolitanism: legal and political implications of the story of the Good Samaritan. He may make reference to Charles Dickens’s unforgettable character, Mrs. Jellyby. (See Bleak House, chapter 4.) But he may also disagree with some of Dickens’s satire! Visitors welcome: Andrew Hall, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On Friday at 12:45pm Father Spurlock will continue his Bible study on the 2nd floor of the parish house. The group is working through the Gospel according to Saint Luke.

Looking ahead: On Monday, April 4, the Good Books & Good Talk seminar will discuss The Warden by Anthony Trollope. If you haven’t read The Warden for awhile, it’s worth a return; Trollope remains witty and skeptical and charming and, above all, deeply satisfying.

Then on Wednesday, April 13, the Spring Theology Lecture will be given by Dr. Neil Arner of Notre Dame and, this term, the Center of Theological Inquiry. His topic: Biological and Theological Explanations of Morality. Some people claim that morality is rooted in our biology (genetics, natural selection, etc.); some claim further that this claimed reality makes religious ethics unnecessary. The lecture will be at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. I am particularly excited to get Professor Arner to come to Saint Thomas, and hope you will be able to meet him also. (The lecture will be followed by a reception.)

In the Area

Recently I met a priest who has retired and become a “Volunteer in Mission” of the Episcopal Church. (He too is a St. John’s College graduate.) His mission work is in Haiti, where his wife, a therapist, is working in a training program for occupational and physical therapists. The Episcopal Church has a long tradition of ministry in Haiti–our own Sunday assistant, Fr David McNeeley, is a part of that tradition. So I thought you might like to know about the work. You can click here to learn more. (On the website you will see they have an event here in NYC on Saturday, March 12, at the “cave” of Calvary/St. George.)

Peace,
Father Austin