Surprised by Lewis:
Why C. S. Lewis is Relevant Today
- Upcoming C. S. Lewis Sunday Faith Forum Presentations
- Upcoming C. S. Lewis Festival – Friday, March 22 – Saturday, March 23
- Other Upcoming C. S. Lewis Events
- Videos of Past C.S. Lewis Presentations
C. S. Lewis Festival Registration!
Lewis festival registration PDF to view and print
Thanks to a generous gift from a family foundation, St. Thomas’, Whitemarsh Episcopal Church is bringing scholars and teachers to our church campus in 2018 and 2019 to help us learn more about C. S. Lewis’s life and writings and his impact on Christianity today. We are offering ten Sunday Faith Forum presentations, book discussion groups for six of Lewis’s books, an exciting festival weekend on March 22-24, 2019 and other events.
Few writers are better to read than C. S. Lewis – the greatest Christian apologist of the 20th century. (An “apologist” is a person who defends and explains the basic tenets of Christianity.)
Again and again, C. S. Lewis brought reason to bear upon faith as he explored Christianity with remarkable creativity and a clear writing style. We believe that the rich array of opportunities we are offering will help you get to know Lewis better and will help have his faith inspire your faith. You will also learn that many of his teachings are very relevant in today’s world.
Upcoming C. S. Lewis Sunday Faith Forum Presentations
Sunday Faith Forums take place in MacColl Auditorium starting at 11:15 a.m. on Sundays.
January 27, 2019 – Dr. Brian Burke – Till We Have Faces
Fascinated by the myth of Cupid and Psyche throughout his life, C. S. Lewis wrote this, his last novel, to retell their story from the perspective of Psyche’s sister, Orual.
February 24, 2019 – Dr. Steven Boyer – Cosmic Order in the Fiction (if it really IS fiction) of C. S. Lewis
This presentation will explore the cosmic structure of Lewis’s many fictional worlds, in order to inquire into the cosmic structure of our own world.
March 3, 2019 – – Dr. Stewart Goetz – C. S. Lewis on Reason and Faith
C. S. Lewis maintained that none of us can avoid the truth that we reason, and he believed this truth implies that we are supernatural beings/souls. Lewis believed the fact that we are souls provides grounds for believing that God exists. Dr. Goetz will summarize Lewis’ treatment of reason, the soul, and belief in God. This presentation will draw heavily from Lewis’ book Miracles.
March 24, 2019 – Dr. Michael Ward – What is a Christian to Make of Pain, Suffering, and Grief?
C. S. Lewis wrote two very different books about suffering: The Problem of Pain is intellectual and philosophical; A Grief Observed is personal and emotional. Together they provide a helpful way to consider this most intractable of issues. Michael Ward presents Lewis’s hard-won wisdom about how to cope with difficulty and darkness.
Upcoming C. S. Lewis Festival – Friday, March 22 – Saturday, March 23
Registration and tickets are required for the C.S. Lewis Festival. Tickets can be purchased as follows:
- Friday, March 22 only – $15.00
- Saturday, March 23 only – $30.00
- Both days – $40.00
Tickets can be purchased on-line or at the Church office.
Some scholarships are available for people unable to pay the full registration amount. Contact Anita Burke at 215-233-3970 x121 to request a scholarship.
Friday, March 22, 2019
7:00 p.m. Dessert with The Downings
Enjoy a selection of delicious British desserts and meet many of our distinguished guests and gather for delicious British desserts prior to a live presentation of a two-person play The Sound and Savor of Words: Letters by and Between C. S. Lewis and Dorothy Sayers.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
9:00 a.m. British tea, scones, and coffee in MacColl Auditorium
9:45 a.m. Dr. David Theroux – C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism
11:00 a.m. Casual Breakout Conversations with Our Guests and Box Lunch. Attendees can choose between the following discussion groups:
- Steve Boyer – Hierarchy in Lewis
- Brian Burke – Friendship
- Jim Como – The Geniuses of C. S. Lewis
- Tricia Lyons – The Narnia Series
- David & Crystal Downing – Practicing the Presence of God
- Dr. Stewart Goetz – The Meaning of Life and Death to Self
- Lex McMillan – The Man Behind Shadowlands
- David Theroux – Why Should C. S. Lewis Live On?
1:00 p.m. Keynote Address – Dr. Michael Ward – The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God: C. S. Lewis, Narnia, and the Planets
2:45 p.m. Panel Discussion – Moderated by Dr. Michael Ward – What does Lewis have to offer the church and the world today?
5:00 p.m. Choral Evensong in the Oxford Tradition – Church
6:00 p.m. Sherry Reception – MacColl Auditorium
Sunday, March 24, 2019
10am Worship in the church
11:15am Sunday Faith Forum in MacColl Auditorium with Dr. Michael Ward “What is a Christian to Make of Pain, Suffering and Grief?”
Other Upcoming C. S. Lewis Events
C. S. Lewis and Our Lenten Journey – Preparing for Easter
St.Thomas’ will provide this book at no charge to its members prior to the beginning of the Lenten season. This special volume is a concise, handy companion for the faithful of all Christian traditions and the curious to help them deepen their knowledge and consideration of this holy season – a time of reflection as we consider Jesus’s sacrifice and his joyous rise from the dead. Carefully curated, each selection in Preparing for Easter draws on a major theme in Lewis’s writings on the Christian life, as well as others that consider why we can have confident faith in what happened on the cross.
Book Discussion Group – Surprised by Joy – Led by David Thayer – February 20, 27, March 13, 2019, 7:00-8:30 p.m. – Rittenhouse Room, Church Hill Hall – Led by David Thayer.
Come for one, two or all three of these meetings to discuss this book.
Lenten Celebratory Parish Dinner – Wednesday, April 10, 2019 – 7:00-9:00 p.m. – MacColl Auditorium
As we conclude our Lenten studies, we will have a wonderful dinner together. We have invited Dr. Lex McMillan to join us and lead a discussion of our literary journey. Cost: TBD
St. Thomas’ Men’s Retreat – May 17-19, 2019
The men of St. Thomas will hold a two-day retreat at Cape May Point to focus on fellowship, worship, and an opportunity to discuss Lewis’s Miracles: A Preliminary Study, which is a careful presentation of how one can believe in miracles without abandoning belief in science or reason. Lewis authority Dr. Lex McMillan will facilitate the discussion. For more information or to register, contact Tim Russell or Frank Serra. Attendance is limited to 25 men.
Videos of Past C.S. Lewis Sunday Faith Forum Presentations
Shown below are the links to streaming video of prior C.S. Lewis forum presentations.
September 16, 2018 – Dr. Lex McMillan –Meet C. S. Lewis – LINK TO VIDEO
September 23, 2018 – Dr. Lex McMillan – Broadcast Talks – LINK TO VIDEO
October 14, 2018 – Rev. Dr. Patricia Lyons – Unpacking C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – LINK TO VIDEO
October 21, 2018 – Rev. Dr. Patricia Lyons – How C. S. Lewis Is Relevant in Today’s World – LINK TO VIDEO
November 11, 2018 – Dr. James Como – C. S. Lewis and the Centrality of Hope – LINK TO VIDEO
December 2, 2018 – Dr. Stewart Goetz – C. S. Lewis on Happiness and the Meaning of Life – LINK TO VIDEO