Our seminar-based program will run 3 weeks during Discovery Hour on January 22 & 29, and February 12. (Classes will break on February 5th for the All Parish Breakfast) Please register for 1 course and plan to attend all 3 weeks on that topic. You may register online below, or fill out and registration form in the Narthex and deliver it to the Spiritual Formation mailbox in the Church Office.
Theology: The Basics of our Faith or Christianity 101
Meeting Location: Beck Room
What is theology and why does it matter? What are the basic beliefs that Christians hold to be true? We will explore key Christian beliefs, where they are rooted in the Bible and what they mean for us today. The Rev. Marek Zabriskie will help participants will learn the vocabulary of faith, especially technical theological terms, explore the great theological debates, learn about leading thinkers and how their theological ideas were developed and justified over time.
Some of the subjects that we will explore include: The Apostles Creed, how Episcopalians read the Bible, the use of reason, the nature of God, how Christians view creation, the significance of Jesus, sin, salvation, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, the Church, the sacraments and heaven.
The Rev. Marek Zabriskie has served as Rector of St. Thomas’ Church for nearly 20 years. He has authored and edited several books and founded The Center for Biblical Studies and initiated The Bible Challenge, which has spread to over 2,500 churches internationally.
Sing with the Spirit, and with the Understanding Also
Meeting Location: Groton House
The Bible is full of encouragement to sing to the Lord! Join Derrick Goff, our Minister of Music, for a no-pressure time of learning about how we can use our voices more effectively in worship. We’ll look at healthy singing technique, how to find our way around the hymnal, and how to chant the psalms. No prior musical experience is expected, although ability to match pitch is helpful. Participants are invited to sing with the choir on the Sunday following 4x4x1.
Derrick Goff is our Minister of Music. He earned a B.M. in Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College, where he is completing studies for the M.M. in Voice Pedagogy and Performance. He directs the adult and childrens’ choirs and plays the organ for services at St. Thomas’.
Popcorn Theology – Led by the Rev. Daniel Stroud
Meeting Location: MacColl Auditorium
Join the Rev. Daniel Stroud as he helps us take a look at the way God is presented in the media of film. We’ll discuss various movies and watch clips as we think about the way movies talk about and shape our understanding of God. Participants will not only what is said, but how it’s said and how filmmakers use particular techniques to help us get the point. Join us and learn how you can bring a bit of theological reflection to a night at the movies!
The Rev. Daniel Stroud is Assistant to the Rector for Family Ministries. He earned a Masters of Divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary.
Making Sense of Paul’s Letter to the Romans
Meeting Location: Resource Room above the lobby of MacColl
Some have called Paul’s letter to the Romans “the fifth gospel.” Reading the epistle caused St. Augustine to become a Christian. It’s effect on Martin Luther inspired the Reformation. It also inspired the ministry of John Wesley. Truly these few pages have changed the world.
In these four sessions, parishioner and former EfM mentor Ken Oliver will help participants explore this lengthy and controversial epistle. Who was Paul? Why was he writing to people he did not know? What did he tell the Jews about covenant? Why does Paul think God is “righteous”? What is God’s free gift to all? No previous background required. No homework assigned. There will be supplemental materials for those who wish to go deeper into the subject.
Ken Oliver came to St Thomas form St. David’s (Radnor) in 1999. Ken is the long time mentor of Education for Ministry (EFM) at St. Thomas. He has served on the Adult Spiritual Formation Committee and the Hospitality committee for many years. He has also facilitated numerous study groups including “The Jesus We Never Knew”, “The Top Ten List for Christians”, “Sunday with Scripture” and last Spring’s “Essential Jewish Scriptures .” Ken is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia Law School and holds a certificate from the Theological Seminary of the University of the South.