Dear friends in Christ,
No Abiding City: The Surprising Realities of Christian Presence in the Middle East. The Christian communities in the Middle East are some of the most ancient in the world. Their diversity of gifts makes for vibrant churches in a region riven by political and religious strife. The Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis has episcopal oversight for many of these Anglican communities as Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf in the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. He speaks to Saint Thomas about Christian life there at a special lecture on Sunday, December 11 at 10 a.m.
Daughter Zion, clothed with the sun. The study of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine begins a new section of the book on December 18. The twelfth chapter of Revelation introduces the reader to a woman “clothed with the sun” and her child, the dragon who intends her ill, and Michael the archangel, who defends the former by fighting the latter. (Dürer imagines her as only mildly concerned.) This class is held on the fifth floor of the parish house.
Benedictine spirituality in January. The Very Rev. Dr. Steven Peay, Dean and President of Nashotah House Theological Seminary, returns to Saint Thomas on January 8, 2017. Following up on a lecture he gave to the parish last year, Dean Peay offers reflections on the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia (480-550), as well as the Rule of Saint Benedict, which the abbot penned for the monks in his charge. Dean Peay is uniquely qualified to offer such reflections, having himself lived as a Benedictine monastic for 18 years.
December 25 and January 1. Note that the Sunday class is not held on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. There is one worship service at 11 a.m. on each of those days: the Solemn Eucharist of the Nativity on December 25 and a Festal Eucharist for the Feast of the Holy Name on January 1.
Looking to 2017. The calendar is coming together for the spring 2017 theology program. The Rector’s Christian Doctrine class begins on January 17 at 6:30 p.m. February should see us coming to the end of the book of Revelation, with its promises of the New Jerusalem. Plans are underway for the Spring Theology Lecture and a visit from another guest lecturer, as well as preparation for Rowan Williams’ visit during Holy Week and a theological study of the Old Testament. So stay tuned for much more to come.
Yours in Christ, Joel