Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Introduction: Notes from first class

Purpose of this course is to:

1- Form a small group community at St. Paul’s
2- Open-ended exploration of personal faith questions
3- Impart basics of Anglican way of Christianity
4- You can be confirmed, received, or reaffirm your faith on Feb. 8 with Bishop Jones.

Class method:

Sometimes in class all we do is communicate facts, content, history, dates, events
In this course, there will be all of that – but we will try to give you a place to explore it in a community; that is, to live out what it means to live in a community of faith explorers – which is why we call this course “Journey.”

We will journey together. This is not a conventional class where you are competition.
You will hear me talk a lot – but this will be more than talks from me – but experiential – as groups, you will experience what it means to take a journey of faith together, to struggle, to discover together.

You are welcome to take notes, but this is not a conventional class with papers and books and grades. Rather, you are invited to share together, to be in fellowship with each other.
We will also have the ability to continue our conversation with this blog.

All I ask is you put your name on your comments. Anonymous comments violate our norms.
There is a confirmation class in Sacramento that may be joining this conversation.


Intentionally done with Anglican structure: Scripture, Reason, Tradition.

* Theology is a structured conversation about God. We create the conversation together. We are all theologians.

To ask together what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century. Our questions include:

* How do we work with our tradition, which begins with the Bible? How do we read the Scripture as modern people? How does our worship tradition fit into our life of faith? How do we live our lives within the context of our baptismal covenant? Where does reason fit? How do we reconcile faith with science?

* Learn something of what it means to be in this branch – Episcopal Church – of the Christian Church.

* Place to explore faith questions with a group of people; what it means to be “Church.”

* Being together is in this setting means that we understand the church as a living organism – that church is more than just attending church.

Class structure:

Each class will begin and end with prayer
Presentation of 30-40 minutes; Break
Group discussion
end in prayer


There are no reading assignments; no papers.

But there are expectations:
To have a healthy discussion, we need to have an agreement with each other about the healthy boundaries of our discussion, or “norms” – that is, a set of guidelines for how you will conduct your conversations.

No one needs to reveal more about themselves than they feel comfortable revealing; no one should press anyone to say more than they wish. It is OK to say nothing at all in a group. See covenant below.

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