As we close out another school year, St. John’s prepares for new things in the fall.

On Sunday, September 9 at 9:15am in the Guild Room, I will moderate the Alpha Course, which was developed at Holy Trinity Brompton, England. Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, typically run over eleven weeks. The St. John’s Alpha will continue through November 18. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Topics include: Is there more to life than this? Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus die? How can I have faith? Why and how do I pray?

Also in the fall of 2018, St. John’s will take part in Renewal Works, a program developed by Forward Movement (the same people who produce Forward Day by Day). Here’s how this program is described on the Renewal Works website:

“A ministry of Forward Movement, Renewal Works encourages churches to chart a course marked by deeper spiritual growth, experienced through a growing love of God and neighbor. When Jesus was asked what must be done to inherit eternal life, his answer was simple, even if it wasn’t always easy. He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

“Since he gave that answer, the key to vitality in the spiritual life has not changed. It holds the key to changing our own lives, our churches, and our world. It’s an exciting time to be the church. For sure congregations face challenges, with shifts in affiliation and observance in our congregations. But we are provided an opportunity to get clearer about the mission of the church, to reinvigorate the church (and our own spiritual lives) with a renewed focus on discipleship.

“We’ve given the chance to ask, and begin to answer, these questions:

  • How can we move forward in changing times?
  • What are we called to do, and be?

“Renewal Works offers a way for congregations to address these questions by remembering Jesus’ basic teaching, reconnecting with a call to discipleship, focusing on growing hearts, and transforming the church, one person at a time.”

While Alpha is more straightforward in terms of how one participates (on Sunday mornings), Renewal Works will be presented more in the form of surveys and occasional forums. Stay tuned for more information.

In any event, I find this to be a very exciting time in the life of St. John’s. I feel privileged to be your rector at this point in history. I look forward to seeing how God’s call on the life of the community, as well as the individuals within it, is revealed over time.

Peace in Christ,