Formation

September-October 2019

Adult Formation and Christian Education for Children and Youth at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Sundays at 9:30 AM in the Community Life Center.

Pray. Learn. Grow.

September-October 2019

From the Rector

“No One Rises to Low Expectations”

Reflections for an exciting fall!

I first heard these words several years ago from longtime motivational speaker, Les Brown and they have stuck with me. Whether in organizations, classrooms or even family settings, low expectations most often equate to low performance. People don’t engage. They don’t excel. And they don’t grow. As it relates to our lives in the faith community, it is generally understood that a thriving church is built on her members’ regular participation in worship, faithful financial stewardship and commitment to spiritual formation and the wider life of the community. With this in mind, I want to encourage all of you to step deeper into the life of St. Mark’s; to renew your involvement in worship and service as well as study and spiritual growth. As we begin a new program year, you will find many opportunities to pray, learn and grow and to find community and connection. Get involved. Get engaged. Share the Lord. Together, let us behold God’s salvation.

Children and Youth Christian Education

Community Life Center Rooms 5-8

Discover Soul Space

Young people are invited to grow and explore their spiritual paths through various avenues. In addition to our Sunday morning classes there will be information for parents to continue with the topics with their children during the week.

Story Space is for our very young friends who will be invited to hear and explore a Bible story each week using the Godly Play Montessori principles to help them develop their own religious concepts and language.  This is a space for lively questions and free play.

Deeper Space will invite young people in middle grades to explore faith and service through prompted journaling (Cross Words Journal), prayer (Praying in Color), and frequent opportunities for expeditions into service both in church and the world.

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Adult Formation

Community Life Center Room 1

9.15

Toward a Theology of Immigration: Part 1

Current issues surrounding our country’s stance on immigration require a more complex theological response than simply cherry-picking scriptures with which to clobber the other side. Doing so does a disservice to scripture and potentially sets us up for failure as those individual verses are twisted against us. In Week 1, we will look at those passages from scripture that are most commonly used to argue for a compassionate response to migrants and the problems surrounding their usage. We will also begin looking at one attempt to formulate a more robust theology of hospitality.

9.22

Toward a Theology of Immigration: Part 2

In Week 2, we will examine some of the shortcomings of the solution first presented in Week 1. We will then turn to other places in scripture that, while not as obviously about the issue, still speak to the issue and offer the possibility of a truly radical hospitality.

9.29

Opening the Prayer Book

The Book of Common Prayer can be used to breathe life into daily devotions. Whether you’re taking your first steps into a daily prayer habit or you’ve been a faithful prayer warrior for a half-century, the Daily Offices can take you deeper into the heart of God and the prayer life of the Church.  We will look briefly at the history of the offices, how the church has come to use them and the current options for praying these ancient hours.

The Book Club

The Book Club resumes on Sunday Sept. 29 with a film!  See a half-hour episode from CBS’s sit-com “The Neighborhood,” first aired last April 22.  There’s plenty to discuss about the characters’ different responses in a racially charged situation.

10.6, 10.13, 10.27

Organizing People:

Wake County Sponsors: A Series of Listening Sessions on Social Justice and Racial Reconciliation

Wake County Sponsors want to listen. Listen to who? YOU! WCS was formed by a team of institutional and community leaders in December 2017 to work with the Industrial Areas Foundation to organize a locally controlled power organization capable of taking effective public action to resolve the top pressures families across Wake County. As the initial phases of a steadily organizing county-wide justice initiative, we’d like to hear your views on what issues are the most important for our community right now.  All parishioners of St. Mark’s should plan to attend at least 1 of 3 listening sessions.  Over appointed Sundays in October, you are requested to attend adult formation on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. as well as an after-session following the 10:30 service for more discussion and QA. Come, find out, and be a part of what’s going on! 

10.20

The Way of Love

In his new book, The Way of Love, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry discusses seven Christian practices that can help us live a vibrant, Jesus-centered life. These will be the focus of two adult formation classes, October 20th and November 17th. Turn, Learn and Pray, the first three practices, will be the foci of this session. Through selections from Bishop Curry’s book, insights from Christian tradition, and discussion between participants, the goal of the session is to enable participants to gain new insights into these core practices and apply them to their spiritual lives.

Tuesday Bible-Study 11:30-12:30 in Community Life Center

These provocative sessions utilize the Great Courses series for study and discussion. Beginning September 17: How Jesus Became God. This is a lunch ‘n learn session so bring a brag brown lunch if you’d like.