M and I really haven’t been thrilled with the Lenten midweek programs in our area (see below on the “Celtic” thing…). Admittedly, we qualify as a Tough Crowd. We’re aware of that; we have high standards when it comes to Christian formation.
I tried another area mid-week program last night at the Church of the Advent—this one turned out to be “how to do a close reading of the Gospels.” I loved it! The evening started with Stations of the Cross and Solemn Benediction, then a great dinner (where I had the opportunity to chat with John) and a solid non-fluffy presentation on attending to the text of the New Testament. It was such a delight to see clergy so familiar with and passionate about the Gospels. Too, their whole line-up of sessions is a back-to-basics set of topics that look closely at the bedrock of Anglican spiritual practice: the Daily Office, Confession, the catechism, etc. Take note, local clergy, this is what a Lenten program ought to look like!
I’ll definitely be back for more…
A fellow parishioner and I have been leading a six week series based on our doctoral work (hers is in sacramental ethics). I just finished Part 4 this week. We’ve mixed up formats. One-time sharing, two times small groups and reporting back, this latest more lecture-conversation. This last Wed. we heard snippets from St. Ignatius, Polycarp’s Martyrdom, Didache, St. Augustine, St. Chrysostom, St. Benedict’s Rule, Cranmer, Andrewes, Skinner, and Shepherd. It was a drive-by but folks loved it and are hungry to talk about this and learn about why we are who we are because of who we have been.
We need more catechesis and good adult education. Here is the series which always begins with a service of Holy Communion (Spanish/English mix as many of our Spanish-speaking folk can’t make Sundays) and potluck dinner:
Christ, Commonweal, and Communion
1) Introductions: What does Eucharist mean for us?
2) “All things build up”: Eucharist in the 1st Century CE: A close look at 1 Corinthians 10-11;
3) “You are the body of Christ”: Eucharist and spiritual gifts: Thinking about 1 Corinthians 12
4) “Always and everywhere”: Historical developments of Eucharistic practice: 2nd century, 4th century, 6th century, 11th-12th century, Reformation and Elizabethan eras, the Caroline period, early United States
5) “No longer for ourselves”: Bread, wine, and words: a look at the parts of the Eucharist. What is the shape of this practice? How does its shape shape us?
6) “And now…send us out…” How the prayers surrounding the Eucharist bring it all together.
Your program looks great! I wish you were part of my parish:-)