Theology Update for the Week of March 18

Christian Doctrine and the Old Testament

On March 18 at 10 a.m., the Sunday class continues its series on Christian doctrine and the Old Testament. Specifically, we look at the construction of the Temple and its figural relationship to the divine presence in Christ. Next week we conclude our series, with another study of the Temple, this time in relationship to Mary. Note that there is no class on Easter Day.

Easter Joy

On April 8, at 10 a.m., Dr. Robert Duvall undertakes a study of joy as a theme in the work of contemporary poet and essayist Christopher Wiman. What is this thing called joy? Where can it be found? Wiman offers compelling answers to these questions in both prose and poetry, authored by himself and others. No prior reading necessary; relevant text are distributed in class.

Book(s) of Common Prayer

On Sunday, April 15, at 10 a.m., the Rev. Dr. Kevin Moroney, Professor of Liturgics at the General Theological Seminary, discusses the American Prayer Book tradition. The close relationship between the American Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church dates back to the founding of this country and the initial organization of our Church. Each Book of Common Prayer in the United States has thus displayed characteristics that are distinct from the Church of England, yet also differing in some important ways from Scottish versions. The result is a unique Prayer Book tradition that has been forged, like America itself, from a diversity of sources.

The Rector’s Christian Doctrine class: When things go wrong: Confession and healing

This class continues on Tuesday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m. in Andrew Hall. Primarily intended for those who wish to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church, the class is also open to any who are interested in the topic of the day. See complete details on the website, or contact David Daniel at welcome@SaintThomasChurch.org with any questions about this class or about membership at Saint Thomas.

“Heirs through hope”

On Wednesday, March 21, we observe the feast day of Thomas Cranmer, the archbishop of Canterbury who compiled the 1549 Book of Common Prayer. I recently saw a post that noted the echoes of the language of Thomas Aquinas in the post-communion prayer found in the 1549 and 1662 prayer books (“we most heartily thank thee for that thou dost feed us, in these holy mysteries”). This is not altogether predictable: Aquinas is the (Roman) catholic doctor extraordinaire, while the 1549 and 1662 prayer books were very much products of the Reformation. Nonetheless, as the author notes, what they have in common is an Augustinian ethos about what it means to live as a Christian, participating in Christ’s life through the sacraments. May the Lord continue to assist us with his grace so that we may continue in this holy fellowship.

Yours in Christ,
Joel