Theology update for the week of November 13

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Dear friends in Christ,

The Fall Theology Lecture is this Tuesday, November 15 at 6:30pm. The End of Sacrifice: Violence, Ritual and Redemption will be delivered by the Rev. Dr. Andrew McGowan, Dean and President of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University. He offers reflections on the relationship between sacrifice, Eucharist, and gift-giving, based on his study of the early Church. The lecture is in Andrew Hall, and a light reception follows.

Who are the 144,000 people whom John sees in the seventh chapter of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine? To put it in perspective, Manhattan has about 72,000 people per square mile, so John sees a number approximately equal to everyone living between Saint Thomas Church and the Flatiron Building. But even 144,000 is, importantly, fewer than “a great multitude, which no man could number.” A somewhat smaller group is expected on Sunday, November 13, at 10am, on the fifth floor of the parish house.

On Wednesday, November 16, the class Creation and Covenant: Our Stewardship of the Created Worldcontinues. On November 9, Professor Jeremy Waldron discussed God’s love for creation, expressed in the covenant with Noah, as well as the potential distinction between covenant and commandment. On November 16, the class considers the human responsibility for the care of the earth, commonly expressed in the language of stewardship. The class takes up the issue of what stewardship implies, as well as alternatives to the language of stewardship, such as dominion or priesthood. All are welcome; previous attendance is not required.

The Friday Bible Study led by Father Spurlock resumes on November 18. This month the group celebrates its first birthday, having begun its study of the gospel of Luke this time last year.

The Christian Doctrine II class meets again in December.

Some of you have asked me about Father Austin’s activities now that he has relocated to the windswept plains of Texas. Good news: you can keep up with him by receiving his weekly reflections by email, which you can sign up for here.

Yours in Christ, Joel