Read about our autumn offerings below or download a full schedule.
“Trending on Tuesdays,” October 10, 17, and 24 at 7 p.m., Saint Paul’s in Africa
On three consecutive Tuesday evenings in October Saint Paul’s will explore its connection to Africa. The series begins on October 10 with parishioner Maria Johnson telling of her travel to Ghana last March to volunteer in a school and library, her response to God’s call. Hear her story. The history of Ghana is closely tied to slavery in our country. It is also the birthplace of our Assistant Emmanuel. Our ministry “Room at the Inn” is settling a family who fled the Congo. What are the country’s history, culture, and politics? Why do refugees flee? Don’t miss finding out more of our overseas connection to Africa
Write your own Icon!
Wednesday evenings beginning September 20
By Christmas we will have created our own Byzantine Icon to take home. No artistic experience is necessary. The course called “Advent: Angels and Wilderness” will be taught by accomplished iconographer Susan Kelly vonMedicus from the Prosopon School of Iconology. We will learn the ancient methods of icon painting (or writing) handed down through the ages that incorporate the application of gold leaf, and the float and highlight technique using egg tempera. This will be prayerful time for the student to grow spiritually and meditate on every step along the way. The cost of the course is $425 with a materials fee of $150. A non refundable deposit of $250 is required at registration. Please contact parishioner Jonathan Nidock for more information and registration at Jonathan2n@aol.com. The thirteen sessions run from 6 to 9 p.m. in the parish hall on Sept. 20, 27, Oct. 4, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and Dec. 6, 13, 20. The class size is generally eight to twelve participants.
The Book of Revelation—Wednesday Morning Bible Study in the Dixon House Library
Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. our Assistant Emmanuel leads a study of Scripture. Beginning in September, we will examine the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. Filled with dramatic and often terrifying symbolism, not unlike Hebrew apocalyptic literature of the time, this vision to John of Patmos beckons interpretation for the modern reader. We plan to read it verse by verse alongside both traditional and modern commentaries. Revelation provides a foretaste of the heavenly banquet and the New Jerusalem even as we endure trials in this life. While it might be viewed as a ‘liberation theology’ for those under the yoke of Roman oppression during its writing, it also transcends time and space as it peers into a future where redemption and compassion will one day prevail, either in this life or the next. Everyone is welcome.
Education for Ministry, Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Dixon House Library
Education for Ministry (EfM) provides participants with the education to carry out every Christian’s ministry. Mentored by multiple-certified parishioner Doug Anderson, this course helps with the often subtle task of interpreting the richness of the church’s faith in a complex and confusing world. A group consists of six to twelve participants and their mentor who meet weekly for nine months a year. Through study, prayer, and reflection, EfM groups move toward a new understanding of the fullness of God’s kingdom. You will dig deeper into the Christian faith with this in-depth, seminary generated course covering the Old and New Testaments, Church History and Theology. Discussion is interactive, devoting much of each session to reflection on the readings, one’s faith and life experiences. Tuition assistance may be available. To learn more, contact Doug Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sunday Faith Forum 9:15 a.m.
The First Christianity and Empires
September 17 – October 1
We begin our Faith Forums with a DVD series replete with glorious photography spanning the birth and development of the church as told by Oxford historian Diarmaid MacCulloch and based upon his book Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, a foundational text for Education for Ministry (see below). MacCulloch loves turning points in history where the church is a dynamic community changing history and being changed by it.
September 17, the First Christianity
Professor MacCulloch goes in search of Christianity’s forgotten origins. He overturns the familiar story that it all began when the apostle Paul took Christianity from Jerusalem to Rome. Instead, he shows that the true origins of Christianity lie further east, and that at one point it was poised to triumph in Asia, maybe even in China.
September 24, Catholicism:
The Unpredictable Rise of Rome
How did a small Jewish sect from the backwoods of 1st-century Palestine, which preached humility and the virtue of poverty, become the established religion of Western Europe— wealthy, powerful, and expecting unfailing obedience from the faithful? Among the surprising revelations, MacCulloch tells how confession was invented by monks on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, and how the Crusades gave Britain the university system.
October 1, Orthodoxy: From Empire to Empire
After its glory days in the eastern Roman Empire, the Orthodox Church stood right in the path of Muslim expansion, suffered betrayal by crusading Catholics, was seized by the Russian tsars, and faced near-extinction under Soviet communism. MacCulloch visits the greatest collection of early icons in the Sinai desert, the surviving relics of the iconoclastic crisis in Istanbul and Ivan the Terrible’s cathedral in Moscow, to discover the secret of Orthodoxy’s endurance.
October 8, Canterbury Tales with Saint Paul’s:
A Modern Version of an Ancient Pilgrimage
The story of Saint Paul’s summer pilgrimage accompanying our choir’s residency at St. Paul’s Cathedral begins at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, and ends at Canterbury, where Thomas Becket was murdered in the cathedral and where a young Episcopal Church seminarian, martyred in our Civil Rights movement, is honored in the Cathedral’s Memorial Book of Heroes and Martyrs. In between, parishioners experienced first-hand various places of the English Reformation and Church renewal.
October 15, Iconographer Susan Kelly vonMedicus
Following up on MacCulloch’s earlier DVD of the greatest collection of early icons in the Sinai desert, we have with us Susan Kelly vonMedicus, an adjunct faculty member at Villanova University teaching icon writing and author of a book of illuminations entitled Letters from Heaven (2000). She will speak on the art, writing and spirituality of iconography. See also her offering Byzantine Icon Writing Workshop by the Prosopon School of Iconology beginning September 20.
October 22, Protestantism—the Evangelical Explosion
Diarmaid MacCulloch is back with a DVD on Evangelicals. Today, evangelicalism is associated with conservative politics, but the whole story goes back to the perhaps forgotten evangelical explosion that was driven by a concern for social justice and the claim that one could stand in a direct emotional relationship with God. In Africa, it converted much of the continent by adapting to local traditions. See “Trending on Tuesdays” Saint Paul’s in Africa – Ghana and the Congo.
October 29 and November 5
Facing Into Holy Mystery: A God Beyond God
Dr. Phillip Bennett, Episcopal priest and practicing clinical psychologist, joins us to talk about God and mystery. He says, “We can never fully know or describe God because ‘God’ is a mystery greater than our comprehension…. Mysticism is grounded in the experience of the sacred, not simply an intellectual proposition. It is a willingness to be open to the Great Mystery of life without seeking to reduce it to easy answers and fixed categories.”
November 12, Why God Desires Our Trust
More than Our ‘Correct’ Beliefs
Dr. Peter Enns, Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern U., joins us to talk about his book The Sin of Certainty (2016) that combines reflections on his own spiritual journey with an examination of Scripture. The Sin of Certainty models an acceptance of mystery and paradox and argues that this path is the only way all believers can become mature disciples who truly trust and follow God.
November 19 and 26, Shakespeare and the Bible
Parishioner Dr. Kristin Poole, Professor of English at the U. of Delaware, will lead two sessions on Shakespeare and the Bible. Shakespeare quoted more from the Psalter than from any other book of the Bible and took his quotes largely from the Book of Common Prayer. In his play Love’s Labours Lost, the character Berowne was quoting from the Prayer Book Catechism when he said, “Not by might master’d, but by special grace.”
December 3, 10, and 17
Martin Luther’s Christmas Sermons
Phillip Cary, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy and Religion, and Scholar-in-Residence at the Templeton Honors College of Eastern University. In this 500th anniversary year of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and as we begin our Advent preparation for Christmas, Professor Cary will discuss Martin Luther’s Christmas sermons. On October 31, 1517, Luther wrote a letter to his church superiors that included his 95 theses,targeting the abuse of indulgences.
A special Welcome Sunday will be held on September 17, and everyone is encouraged to bring a friend. This will be the first Sunday of the fall with choir at 10:30 a.m. The 9 a.m. worship will be followed by the first day of Church School. There will be a picnic, and it will be a terrific time to introduce a friend to Saint Paul’s. Jesus welcomes everyone — you and your friends — to this fresh start. The answer to his call is: “Here comes everybody!” You are welcomed, wanted, and loved in God’s house.
- Saturday, September 30 @ 4 – 6:30 p.m.
- Saint Paul’s Parish Hall
- $10 for Adults – $5 for Children (8 & under)
- 100% proceeds to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Homeless Health Initiative
- Sponsored by Saint Paul’s Outreach and Parent’s Exchange
- Date: Sunday, September 10
- Time: after the 9 a.m. worship
The Church School will embark on its annual hike in the Wissahickon on Sunday, September 10 after the 9 a.m. worship. There will be no classes on that day. At the park, the children will meet with a Trail Ambassador who will educate them about the park’s history and geology. The Wissahickon Valley has been carved out by the creek of the same name over the past 125 million years. Because of a fault line that runs nearby, the area has shifted significantly over the millennia. The rock we see today was once more than 10 miles below the surface! The tectonic plates lifted and convoluted the strata of rock with pressure and heat so great that the nature of the rock changed from a granite bedrock formation into a waving and blistered schist. It can be seen everywhere along the creek.
The children will hike to the 15-foot statue of an Indian on the east side of the Wissahickon Valley, high above the creek. He was placed there in 1900 to memorialize the Lenni-Lenape tribe, who were the first people to walk the steep trails of the Wissahickon. Our friends from the Standing Rock Reservation smile because the Lenni-Lenape chief is incongruously dressed like a Plains Indian. Children and families won’t want to miss this informative and fun hike.
Church School Registration
Registration for Godly Play and church school takes place after children return from their Wissahickon hike in the meeting room of the church school wing. After registering, children will go to their classrooms for a lesson.
You can also register children for church school online.
Rummage workers are excited to be receiving all of your “treasures” this summer and getting them ready for the Annual Rummage Sale on Friday, September 8 (pre-sale) and Saturday, September 9.
You can drop them off during the following times:
- Sundays: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Wednesdays: 9 a.m. to noon and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Joyce Klinefelter is heading up the Rummage sale this year with lots of assistance. If you would like to pitch in and help, contact Weezie Lauher at email@example.com. Join our helpers who are all having fun and serving for such a good cause!