Theology Update for the Week of February 22

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Dear friends in Christ,

In the coming week we have lots of classes, including a long-awaited seminar and the first of Jeremy Waldron’s long-anticipated lectures.

Today (Sunday, February 22, Washington’s actual birthday) the 10 o’clock theology class continues Abraham: Return to Genesis, picking up in the middle of chapter 18 and going on to chapter 19. Here Abraham has to learn something about being the leader of a great people. God continues his education of Abraham, whom he has called to inaugurate the New Way. Visitors are welcome every week. We meet on the 5th floor, with coffee and tea in the room.

Monday (February 23), the Sunday class on Abraham will be repeated at 12:40pm on the 2nd floor. The class lasts 40 minutes, and (as always) visitors are welcome.

Monday from 6:15 to 7:45pm we will have—we hope to have—the “Good Books & Good Talk” seminar on Christopher Beha’s novel, What Happened to Sophie Wilder. If you’ve read the book, you’re welcome to the conversation. I have been enjoying this extra month, since the seminar was postponed on account of a snowstorm at the end of January; and I am very much looking forward to discussing this book with many of you. We meet in Andrew Hall.

A couple of weeks ago I said that this seminar would happen if there wasn’t another snowstorm or hurricane or some other sort of thing that, I said, is “erroneously” called “an act of God.” This, of course, is not literally true. Hurricanes and blizzards are acts of God. But so are nice sunny days. That is to say, God is somehow the cause of everything that is. (Just in case you were wondering!)

Tuesday, February 24, from 6:30 to 7:30pm the Rector’s Christian Doctrine class is “An Introduction to the Seven Sacraments of the Church: Baptism – Being ‘Clothed with Christ.’” While this class is particularly for those who wish to be confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church, anyone interested in the topic is welcome. We have coffee and tea in the room (Andrew Hall).

Then on Wednesday, February 25, our parishioner who is professor of law at NYU, Jeremy Waldron, will offer the first of three talks in the series, “One Another’s Equals: The Basis of Human Equality.” These talks, a gift to our parish, are based on his recent Gifford Lectures, a prestigious lectureship going back a century at the University of Edinburgh. This week’s topic is “What Makes Us One Another’s Equal?” Jeremy plans to talk for only part of the hour, leaving time for our questions and discussion. If you want to “go deeper” into a fundamental Christian claim—that every human being is somehow equal to every other human being, which we express, for instance, in our baptismal promise to respect the “dignity” of every human being—these lectures are for you. They will be offered in Andrew Hall, from 6:30 to 7:30pm., on three successive Wednesdays.

Looking ahead: the “Good Books & Good Talk” seminar will discuss Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey on Monday, March 23.

Father Austin