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St. James
Episcopal Church

Adult Formation

Discipleship

October 1, 2017

Greetings friends! We are on the precipice of another exciting year of discernment and growth in our continuing call to be formed as disciples of Jesus Christ. All are called to try to find a balance in our individual and collective lives to pray, study, and grow in our continuing journey toward God in Jesus. Our focus this year is going to be on discipleship, learning more about, and following more closely, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are going to be using two primary resources in our conversations, both products of Forward  This fall  we are exploing Faithful Questions, written by Forward Movement Executive Director, The Rev. Scott Gunn, and Melody Wilson Shobe. The little book works on the premise that we are continuing to be formed and part of our spiritual growth is connected to questions we have about God, our Baptism, why come to church, the Bible, heaven, Jesus’ crucifixion, etc. We will engage, with the text, in community, some of the bigger questions we all might be asking … and some we, perhaps, have not yet thought of. Faithful Questions will carry us into Advent in December.

Second, beginning with the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, on February 11th, we will begin something called The Good Book Club. When we were children, it was not uncommon for adults to refer to the Bible as the Good Book and, in the spirit of continuing to connect with what is in “the Good Book”, we will spend some time with Luke and Acts during Lent and the Great 50 Days of Easter. Forward Movement has developed the Good Book Club by systematically dividing Luke and Acts into small segments for daily reading.  Each day, from Sunday, February. 11th until Pentecost on May 20th, you are invited to read through Luke (Lent) and then Acts (through the Great 50 Days). Luke–Acts is used because it is believed to have been written by the same author, and because Acts is a continuation of the Gospel story, revealing what ongoing discipleship has done in the Christian movement and what it may do in the future.

We will gather each Sunday between the services to discuss what you have read. Your rector is open to having a gathering on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. to discuss as well, if there is interest for folks for whom 9 o’clock on Sunday mornings does not work.

We will also have special programs from time to time during the year.

  • On Sunday, September 24, The Rev. Donald Richey, deacon in the Episcopal Church, a founder of Church by the Pond and Mass on the Grass (at the Friendship Service Center in New Britain), will come to preach and speak with us between the services about the homeless, ministry, and Ecclesia, the national organization that focuses on street ministry.
  • On Saturday, December 2, from 10:00 a.m.–noon, The Very Rev. Laura Ahrens, our Suffragan Bishop, will be with us to talk about discipleship, one of our themes of this year. Please join us as Bishop Laura leads us through conversation on following and learning more about Jesus.