A Conversation on the Back Porch

St. John’s has been learning a lot lately – most especially in our recent “Episcopal 101” classes.  Three Wednesday nights this Spring we gathered and listened and learned about the history and liturgy and theology of the Episcopal Church, led by The Reverend Neil Elliott. The classes were insightful and long-time parishioners (and clergy) as well as new parishioners (and clergy) learned something new.  And, we learned we don’t collectively know as much about “what we do”, or, more importantly, “why we do what we do” as many of us had previously assumed.
Which prompted those of us charged with teaching theology, worship, and church tradition to begin thinking of ways we could deepen our collective understanding of these things, and grow together in our knowledge and love of the Lord. In the fall we hope to introduce Episcopal 102, a series of 3 classes focusing on Episcopal worship and the theology that undergirds the liturgy of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.
Ultimately we’d like to use this exploration of our liturgy, as a whole congregation, to begin making   concrete choices in how we change and shape our liturgy at St. John’s for the future. We hope you want to be a part of that process.  In preparation for Episcopal 102, we’ve schedule some more casual gatherings this summer on the back porches of Jered’s and Barbara’s houses.
The series of three casual gatherings is called:
“SO, WHY DO WE DO THAT? Questions and Discussion about the Way We Worship”
When: 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Where: Jefferson Avenue (1765 – Jered and 1666 – Barbara).
June 12 –  Jered’s / June 19 – Jered’s / June 26 – Barbara’s
What: Exploring  your questions and topics about the Eucharist, Prayers, Creeds, Hymns, the Episcopal Church
Such as:  “Does Communion wine have to be red (for blood)?”
“My best friend is Jewish.  When I say a prayer around her, do I have to end it ‘In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord’”?
“What if I cross my fingers while saying the Nicene Creed because I don’t believe some of the words?”
“Some of the words in the services don’t sound like they’re from the Bible.  Why is that?”
“We’d like to have our baby baptized at home in our pool by one of the clergy.  How do I schedule this?” 
“Why do the clergy wear white dresses?”
Of course, you can come up with better questions than these, so bring them.

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