Following our Diocesan Parish Leadership Day’s emphasis on spiritual growth, we met to reflect on the spiritual growth opportunities being offered at SsJA, and to consider what other opportunities parishioners might be seeking. We created and distributed a brief survey that was made available in the Newsletter, placed on pews, and in the church office for a month. Approximately 4% of the congregation participated in the survey. The two themes that emerged was there is an interest in learning more about what it means to be an Episcopalian and in a regular bible study.
We will be offering a program called Your Faith, Your Life this fall to learn more about the Episcopal Church, as well as a new bible study led by Steve Houghton, leader of Emmaus Companions. The bible study will bring parishioners and community members that live on the margins together to study God’s word. We believe this will be a mix of spiritual growth and mission to our local community and will bring a new depth and perspective to scripture study.
Here is more information about spiritual growth opportunities at SsJA:
Your Faith, Your Life: Read assigned portions of Your Faith, Your Life: An Invitation to the Episcopal Church, then meet and discuss with Rev. Heather and others on Mondays 9/11, 10/2, and 10/30 from 7-8:30 p.m. to discuss as a group. The book is described as: “An everything-you-need-to-know guide for newcomers to engage deeply in the Christian life in the tradition of the Episcopal Church, written in an accessible, conversational style.” The book costs $12.10 (scholarship available). If you are interested, please contact Rev. Heather by September 8th. If you are interested in being confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church for the Bishop’s Visitation on 11/19, this class is required.
Monday Night Bible Study: Parishioners and community members interested are invited to gather in All Saints Chapel on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. to study scripture together, beginning immediately.
Monthly Labyrinth Walks in the parish hall from 4-5 on the fourth Sunday of the month.
Advent and Lenten Book Group meets on the Sundays in Advent and Lent at 9am to discuss a book chosen to guide the group through the season.
September, Advent, and Lent Wednesday Eucharists: explore saints and other reflections in lieu of a traditional sermon at 9 a.m., followed by coffee and conservation in the office.
Unplug & Reconnect with God on a spiritual retreat with fellow SsJA parishioners at the Sisters of the Society of St. Margaret in Duxbury (SSM) May 3-5 (Thur-Sat). There will be opportunity for silence, quiet, and reflection; shared worship, midday and evening meals with the sisters, as well as community building time at our morning meals. The retreat center is on the ocean, and we are invited to take advantage of the beautiful outdoors.
Other Future Possibilities: Rev. Molly has offered to teach a class in the coming year on the book of Job and the problem of suffering. Another possibility is for those unable to meet in the evening or a weekly commitment, but are interested in studying scripture, could agree to read a book of the Bible and gather to discuss it quarterly during the day.
If you are interested in learning more about any of these opportunities or if you have a different idea for a program of this sort, please do not hesitate to be in touch with us.
Rev. Heather Blais, Jason Burns, Rev. Molly Scherm, and Maggie Sweeney.