Saint Paul’s is blessed to be hosting Episcopal Bishop Steven Charleston who was our rector Cliff’s school mate and is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Bishop Charleston will speak on his recently published book, The Four Vision Quests of Jesus, at Saint Paul’s on Saturday, October 24th at 3 pm. The presentation is sponsored by the Philadelphia Theological Institute. A book signing and reception will follow his talk. Saint Paul’s Rector Cliff Cutler says, “His book has the poetry and much of the poignancy of the classic Black Elk Speaks.”
He is a descendant of those who walked the Trail of Tears. President Andrew Jackson, ignoring the Supreme Court, ordered the Choctaw Nation to be first on the forced march from their homeland in Mississippi and parts of Alabama and Louisiana to a place the Choctaw called Oklahoma, a word meaning “red people.”
Bishop Charleston was ordained an Episcopal priest on the Standing Rock Reservation (where our high school youth go each summer), and later elected Bishop of Alaska. Currently, he teaches at the Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University.
Confirmation Class Meets with Bishop – Oct. 25th
After preaching at worship in the morning, he will be with our Confirmation class in the afternoon to share thoughts about his life and especially his most recent book-The Four Vision Quests of Jesus. Parents are encouraged to join usfor this seminar.
At the Adult Forum on the next two Sundays, October 11th and 18th, from 9:15-10:15 a.m. in Dixon House, Dr. Erik Heen, Chair of John H. P. Reumann in Biblical Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, will engage us in an exploration of the letters of Paul and the Gospel of John – the earliest of the canonical texts and the latest of the Gospels, respectively, to be included in the Bible. How did they perceive Jesus? What are the continuities and the discontinuities with each other and with the Synoptics? How do they shape our perception of our Lord?
Each year on Saint Francis Day, Saint Paul’s gathers creatures together for a blessing. Saint Francis wrote in our hymnal “Let creatures all give thanks to thee, and serve in great humility.”They can be dogs or cats, birds, or a bowl of fish.
The blessing will take place at the labyrinth at the back of the church at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 4th. We will have a special Mindful Worship that afternoon. What does it mean to feel in our hearts the closeness of a pet? Someone prayed, “God, make me more the person my dog thinks I am.” In so many ways the service will be a blessing.