Theology Update for the Week of October 27

Theology Class:”Religious Orders in the Anglican Communion: The Society of Saint Margaret”

Dear Friends in Christ,

Sister Marie Promise Atelon SSM

Did you know that there are religious orders in the Anglican Communion?  This Sunday, October 27th, at 10:00 am, our seminarian, Sister Marie Promise Atelon SSM, will give a talk about “Religious Orders in the Anglican Communion: The Society of Saint Margaret.”  Among other things, Sr. Promise will discuss the mission and history of her order, the Society of Saint Margaret.

Founded in 1855 in England as a nursing order to care for the sick and the poor, the Society of Saint Margaret has houses today in Massachusetts, New York, and Haiti.  Sr. Promise has been a member of this order for 26 years.  Currently a third-year seminarian at General Theological Seminary, Sr. Promise has worked at Trinity Church Wall Street for the past decade in its pastoral care and education departments.

I hope that many of you will attend the class on Sunday morning.  We will meet on the fifth floor of the parish house.  As always, if you have any questions about our theology program, please feel free to contact me at

Fr. Cheng
Theologian in Residence

Fall Theology Lecture: “Church Growth: A Scriptural, Theological, and Practical Imperative”

The Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle

The 2019 Fall Theology Lecture, “Church Growth: A Scriptural, Theological, and Practical Imperative,” will be delivered by The Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle, the Dean and President of the General Theological Seminary.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday, November 5th, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in Andrew Hall.  It will be followed by a reception from 7:30 to 8:00 pm.  Dean Dunkle will explore the importance of church growth to God and to communities of faith, as well as strategies for making it happen.

Prior to arriving at GTS, Dean Dunkle served as the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Orange Park, Florida, a parish that experienced significant growth under his leadership.  He also served as the Canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Florida.  Before being ordained a priest, Dean Dunkle was a partner at Rogers Towers, the largest law firm in Jacksonville, Florida.

Please mark your calendars for this special event!

Classics of Christian Spirituality: “The Desert Fathers and Mothers”

Saint Anthony the Great

Next Sunday, November 3rd, at 10:00 am, our Classics of Christian Spirituality series will continue with “The Desert Fathers and Mothers,” a class on the early Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived in the Egyptian desert during the third century C.E.

The class will examine the writings of the desert fathers and mothers, exploring themes such as contemplation, simplicity of life, silence, and much more.  We will seek to bridge their teachings and way of life with our own lives of faith today.  This class will be taught by Fr. Ryan Bennett and Fr. Mark Brown.

Pilgrims’ Course II

Medieval pilgrims

During the five Tuesdays of October from 6:30-8:00 pm, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue will be offering the Pilgrims’ Course II series.

This course is designed for parishioners who were recently confirmed or received.  In particular, it will help such individuals to strengthen and deepen their relationship with God, the Episcopal Church, and our parish.

This coming Tuesday, October 29th at 6:30 pm, will be the final class in the series.  During the class, we will discuss the topic of finding spiritual practices.  The instructors will be Fr. Cheng and Fr. Spencer.

The course is open to all those who have completed the Pilgrims’ Course I series or the Rector’s Doctrine Class since 2015.  We will be using Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs and Practices by Scott Gunn and Melody Wilson Shobe as our text.  The book is available for purchase in the parish bookstore.  For more information about this book, follow this link.

To sign up for this program, please contact Fr. Cheng at

Friday Bible Study

All are welcome to join the parish’s ongoing Friday Bible Study.  The class runs for an hour in the parish house living room following the 12:10 pm Mass.

Under Fr. Ryan Bennett’s guidance, the class is studying the Gospel According to John, including an in-depth exploration of the text as a group.  For more information about the Friday Bible Study, please contact Fr. Bennett at