Church offers series of educational forums during Lent

2014-03-06T00:00:00Z Church offers series of educational forums during LentSubmitted by Sue Agnew St. Philip’s Communications Director Arizona Daily Star

St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church offers several forum series on Sundays and Wednesdays during Lent.

On Sunday mornings beginning Sunday and continuing through April 6, in La Paz Room, Brad Stroup leads a discussion of people searching beyond themselves. Lent is a time for prayer, penance, repentance, alms giving and self-denial.

Over five Sundays during Lent, the group will discuss these hunters as they explore themselves and everything else: Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone (1181-1226), aka Francis of Assisi, a wealthy Italian playboy turned beggar turned friar turned revolution leader turned failed peacemaker (Sunday); Marguerite Porete (1250-1310), a French beguine, writer and mystic who was burned at the stake for heresy (March 16); Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922), a bored Irish kid who went to sea, became a sea captain and led the expedition that failed to be the first to cross the Antarctic continent (March 23); Joe Simpson (born 1960), British army brat, amateur mountain climber who reached the top of an unclimbed peak in the Andes with a friend when their rope snapped at 20,000 feet (March 30); and Thomas Merton (1915-1968), son of a painter and a Quaker, born in France, a jazz freak, then agnostic, then Anglican, then unorthodox Catholic monk in the Trappist order, who went from recluse to mystic and was electrocuted by an electric fan in Bangkok (April 6).

The Rev. Greg Foraker will lead a five-session series, “Making Meaning in Lent,” on Wednesday afternoons at 1 p.m. (following the 12:15 p.m. service), beginning March 12 in La Paz Room.

He will explore concepts such as why does belief matter? How is the Bible story reflected in our daily lives? In what ways is faith set within the physical space of home, church, land and people?

Each session will include a video segment featuring best-selling author Kathleen Norris, time for sharing and personal exploration.

Three evening forum series will be offered at 7 p.m. beginning March 12. They will be preceded at 6 p.m. by a Lenten soup and salad supper, served by St. Philip’s J2A youth group ($7 person/$20 family).

In the West Gallery, join Richard Kuns for a discussion of “The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness,” using Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s book of that title.

Shapiro’s book is designed to help readers explore Judaism’s Thirteen Attributes of lovingkindness as the framework for cultivating a life of goodness. The author translates these attributes into practices. Attendees are encouraged to buy a copy of the book, because discussions will be based on readings from it.

At 7 p.m. in La Paz, Eric Rau and the Rev. Brigid Waszczak will lead “Abbas and Ammas.” They will discuss the wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, forerunners of the monastic movement. These intriguing mystics left a treasure trove of wisdom for spiritual pilgrims of every generation. Interactive sessions will reflect on the words, anecdotes and teachings of several Abbas and Ammas.

Finally, a discussion series targeted specifically for those in their 20s, 30s and 40s, “Expressing Our Faith,” will meet in the Renouf/Nelson Library. The group will discuss evangelism, outreach, community and fellowship, rituals at home and the intersection of all these facets.

The public is invited to attend any or all sessions, which are free.

St. Philip’s is at 4440 N. Campbell Ave. at East River Road. Parking is available in the north parking lot or under the solar covered parking structure on the east side. The office phone is 299-6421.

To submit a story go to azstarnet.com/foothills online.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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