Sunday, January 13, 2013

Winter Tuesday Evening Forum: The Anglican Way

On Tuesday evenings, starting January 15, we will be exploring the basis of our faith, worship and practice as Anglican Christians. This is for adults seeking to be confirmed or received into the Anglican Church of Canada when the Bishop visits in April, or just looking to deepen their understanding of the Christian faith and how it is lived out in the Anglican Church.

While Fr. Pratt will lead off each session with a brief presentation, the format will be mostly discussion. Participants are encouraged to bring questions, doubts and challenges. Each session will run from 8 pm to 9 pm; participants may come at 7:30 for the regular Tuesday Eucharist, or may come just for the workshop. Participants can also come for the whole series, or only for topics of particular interest.

The Creeds (Tuesday, January 15)

We will examine the three historic creeds of the Church: the Apostles' Creed (the baptismal statement of faith), the Nicene Creed (the full statement of the faith developed by the councils of the early Church), and the Quicunque Vult or Athanasian Creed (a western statement of the doctrine of the Trinity). We'll talk about their historic context, and their relevance for today (differing opinions of the Virgin Birth and bodily resurrection).

The Bible I: The Hebrew Bible (Tuesday, January 22)

We will explore the Old Testament, including the apochryphal or deuterocanonical books, the different forms of literature in the Bible, different ways of critically reading the Bible, and the Old Testament's relevance today.

The Bible II: The New Testament (Tuesday, January 29)

We will continue our examination of the Bible with a look at the New Testament or Christian scriptures, paying attention to their historical and theological context. We'll also spend some time talking about why these books were included and other gospels and epistles were excluded.

Depending on the interests of the group and how long we spend on particular discussions, the rest of the schedule is subject to change. Topics to be included are:

A Brief History of Christianity I - From the Apostolic Age to the Renaissance: We cannot understand where we are now without knowing where we have come from; the events of history have shaped the beliefs (theology) and practices (ecclesiology, liturgy) of the church.

A Brief History of Christianity II - The Reformation: There's more to Anglicanism than Henry VIII wanting a divorce. We'll look at the various currents, political, social and theological, that converged in the 16th century and shaped Anglicanism as a distinct branch of the Christian Church, and their impact today.

Anglicanism from the Elizabethan Era to the Present Day: From the national church of England, Anglicanism has evolved into a global family of churches. We'll look at the development of the Anglican Communion, the current issues that are causing tension in the Communion, and relations with other churches.

Anglican Liturgy and Worship I: Thomas Cranmer and The Book of Common Prayer "Praying shapes believing". Since the Reformation, Anglican theology has been very visibly expressed in the way we worship. We'll look at the development of the Book of Common Prayer and its impact through subsequent generations.

Anglican Liturgy and Worship II: The Oxford Movement, the Liturgical Movement and the Emerging Church Various streams of influence since the 19th century have had significant impacts on Anglican worship and theology. An Anglican of the 18th century might not recognize St. Philip's as Anglican. We'll talk about these changes, and how each of us experiences the liturgy.

Living our Faith - The Baptismal Covenant: Baptism is our initiation into the church, and as part of the rite of baptism, we promise to live out the faith that we profess. We'll talk about how we live these promises in our daily lives.

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