Spiritual Formation

St. Mary’s offers numerous opportunities for adults to learn and grow. Spiritual Formation includes programs that challenge you to think differently, help you to expand your knowledge base, deepen your prayer life, and engage you with the breadth and depth of Anglican history and contemporary expressions of the faith.

Lenten series: Disciplines for deepening the spiritual life – beginning Sunday, February 18

Mondays during Lent: Feb. 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, and 26 in the Great Room.
Soup supper 6:00-6:30 p.m.; program follows 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Introduction to each weekly topic on Sunday mornings in the Great Room from 10:20-10:50 a.m.

The Lenten series examines classic and contemporary spiritual disciplines enriching Christian spiritual life. Each week a
panel of St. Mary’s parishioners will share their experiences with various disciplines, followed by small group discussions on
the spiritual life, different disciplines, and paths of spiritual practice to deepen spiritual direction that leads in Holy Week and

Weekly topics will be introduced on Sunday mornings (10:20-10:50 am), followed by Monday evening soup supper, presentation, and small group discussion (6:00-6:30 pm soup supper, 6:30-7:30 pm program).

Week 1 (Lent 1) February 18 & 19: “Celebrating disciplines in the spiritual life” with The Rev. David Erickson
The Lenten series on spiritual disciplines will be introduced. This session will discuss what is a spiritual discipline, why we need disciplines to help us grow and deepen the spiritual life, and when does a discipline help or hinder spiritual growth.
The Rev. David Erickson, rector

Week 2 (Lent 2) February 25 & 26: “Classic disciplines of the inner life” with The Very Rev. Hollinshead (Lin) Knight
Several classic spiritual disciplines and how we can apply them in contemporary life will be explored. This session will focus on questions such as what is Christian meditation? How can prayer help us become closer to God? How can studying enrich the spiritual life?

Week 3 (Lent 3) March 4 & 5: “Spiritual disciplines engaging the world” with The Rev. Deacon Tim Smith
One of the challenges of the spiritual life is to engage the world while being spiritual centered. This week the session will explore ways in which our activities of serving God and one another can deepen our sense of spiritual presence and relationship.

Week 4 (Lent 4) March 11 & 12: “Disciplines for life in spiritual community” with Natalie A. Hala, FVGEC
Spiritual life is communal. Worship, ritual and celebration help us feel part of the living body of Christ in the world. In community we offer care and guidance to one another, and are spiritually enriched in return. How can we enliven our communal worship?

Week 5 (Lent 5) March 18 & 19: “Other disciplines to deepen the spiritual life” with The Rev. Dr. Paula Nesbitt
Passions can become disciplines that deepen our spiritual lives. How do aspects of our lives that give us meaning, such as music and the
creative arts, the environment, or cross-cultural encounter become a spiritual discipline? How do they bring us closer to God?

Week 6 (Holy Week) March 25 & 26: “Putting spiritual disciplines into practice: Holy Week and beyond” with The Rev. David Erickson
As we move into Holy Week and beyond, how will we deepen or practice some of the disciplines explored over the Lenten series? What are our spiritual hopes for the difficult and glorious journey ahead?

Making All Things New, An Invitation to the Spiritual Life – By Henri Nouwen

Making all Things New

Recommended reading –  If you would like to read this book, copies may be found on Amazon (CLICK HERE), bookstores, libraries or by electronic means. A few printed copies will be available in the church library.

The Rev. David Erickson


Summer in the City 2017 “Who Are We?”

We who attend St. Mary’s parish are many things. We are individuals with fascinating stories that enrich our community. We are members of a parish that tries to live its faith in its community and the world. We are part of the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of California, and the worldwide Anglican Communion. But, Who are We?

We will learn more about our church, our communities, our parish, and ourselves in this year’s Summer in the City Series, Who are We? Join us between the 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. services, beginning Sunday, July 2 and running through Sunday, August 27, to learn more about how we are living our faith in our parish, our community, and the world. Each program will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. in the Great Room and end by 9:45 a.m. Child care will be provided.

Sunday, July 2 – 9:00 a.m. Who Are We…As Christians? – with David Crosson, former Director of the California Historical Society, and St. Mary’s parishioner.

American Jesus: How the son of God became an American icon

America may or may not be a Christian nation, but it most certainly is a Jesus nation. Although His message is continuously debated, the name of Jesus has been invoked to justify wars, social reform movements, corporate business practices, and anti-abortion campaigns. How did Jesus become one of the predominant images and values of a nation that was founded largely by Enlightenment rationalists? David Crosson will explore the evolution of the Jesus nation from Thomas Jefferson through Jesus Freaks, praise choirs, old- and new-age spiritualists, and more.

Listen to David's Talk     

Sunday, July 9:
Anglican Communication At The Crossroads
The Rev. Paula Nesbitt,
Assisting Priest at St. Mary’s, International Anglican Women’s Networking Steering Group

What is the Anglican Communion? What challenges does it face in 2017 and beyond? How can St. Mary’s parishioners be involved Communion-wide? These questions will frame an interactive presentation that describes the 85 million member Anglican Communion, how it facilitates cross-cultural mission and relationships, and some of the global challenges it faces. Paula Nesbitt draws on more than 25 years of research, including her recent book Indaba! A Way of Listening, Engaging, and Understanding across the Anglican Communion.

Listen to Paula's Talk     

Sunday, July 16:
Faithful, Joyful, and Grateful Giving: Generous Individuals throughout St. Mary’s History
Sandy Stadtfeld, St. Mary’s Parishioner

Throughout its history, St. Mary’s has been blessed by the gifts of committed parishioners. Their bequests and donations are reflected in much of the existing fabric of the church, and in our enduring values and traditions. To look into this facet of who we are, parishioner Sandy Stadtfeld will discuss historic individual acts of generosity and foresight that have helped shape the faith community we cherish today.

Listen to Sandy's Talk     

View Sandy’s talk on youtube.

Sunday, July 23: Who are we….as The Episcopal Church?

Charting the future of The Episcopal Church: A look at the path ahead
Panelists Sarah Lawton and The Rev. Eric Metoyer, California delegates to the 2018 General Convention and The Rev. Dr. Paula Nesbitt, St. Mary’s assisting priest and Episcopal research consultant. The Very Rev. Dr. Don Brown, Interim Rector, moderator.

Statistics show a steady rise in those who claim to have no religion and declining membership in the Protestant mainline denominations, including The Episcopal Church. What does this mean for the future of our Church? How is it addressing the challenges and potential changes that may lie ahead? Panelists will present data on Episcopal congregations and membership, and discuss various ways the church is responding, now and at next year’s General Convention. Time permitting, there will be an open discussion of possible next steps.

Listen to the Panel and discussion     

Sunday, July 30: Who are we… as an an Episcopal Church in the world?

Hope and Sustainability in Haiti
The Rev. Davidson Bidwell-Waite, Diocesan Minister to Haiti

From a first visit in 2013 accompanying the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Marc to a Commemoration Service for the 250,000 victims of the of the Great Quake of 2010, Davidson and his partner Edwin Waite have helped build a relationship between the Diocese of Haiti, the Diocese of California and the National Church. He will discuss the causes of on-going poverty, as well as exciting new projects building sustainability from a grass-roots level. Davidson will share a clip from a forthcoming documentary about last years’ Youth Pilgrimage to Haiti with Bishop Marc.

Sunday, August 6: – Who Are We…as Protectors of all God’s Creation?

Too “Bee or Not to “BEE”: – Pollinator-Friendly Environments and Renewable Energy
The Very Rev. Lin Knight, St. Mary’s assisting priest, with Rob Davis, Director of Communications and
Innovation, Fresh Energy

You may have read about it in National Geographic or on Martha Stewart’s log. Join our assisting priest Lin Knight to learn more about a model initiative promoting the establishment of pollinator-friendly garden solar sites. This initiative is one of the many works of Fresh Energy, a Minnesota-based non-profit that is dedicated to accelerating the transition to a clean energy environment and is a leader in environmental advocacy, innovation and solutions to make our world a better place to live. As part of the program, Fresh Energy’s Rob Davis will join Lin for a group participatory Q & A segment on garden solar sites and other environmental topics, including what we as community and individuals can do to advance the renewable energy cause.

August 13, 2017: – Who Are We..Caring, Supporting, and Being Present With our Elderly Friends and Family Members?

It’s Inevitable: Ministering with the Elderly Dr. Patrick Arbore, Ed.D

Dr. Arbore is a nationally recognized expert in the field of elderly suicide prevention and grief services who has devoted his life to creating in the community an awareness of isolation, loneliness, and depression among older adults. Most of us have (or will be) called at some time to live out our faiths by ministering with family members, parishioners, and other friends who are suffering from the challenges of aging including loneliness, depression, stress, and isolation. Dr. Abore’s interactive discussion will identify ways in which we can support, listen to, and be present with each other as we encounter aging-related issues for others and ourselves.

Listen to Patrick's Talk     

August 20, 2017: Who ae We..Supporting and Assisting Refugees to Live in the Bay Area?

The Interfaith Welcome Initiative, Bill Campbell of Old First Presbyterian and Nancy Levine of Congregation Emanu-el, co-founders and co-leaders of San Francisco-based Interfaith Welcome

Interfaith Welcome is a multi-faith ministry whose purpose is to help settle and orient refugees recently allowed by the U.S. government to live in the Bay Area. Several St. Mary’s parishioners have become active members  of this ministry. Interfaith Welcome provides an array of advocate and special services for recently-arrived refugees including finding housing and jobs, preparing welcome kits of household goods and clothes, and cooking for and periodically visiting refugee families. It also contributed a large number of teddy bears to refugee children in displacement camps in Jordan and has made donations to refugee resettlement organizations. Our presenters will interactively share stories helping us as parishioners to discern how we as a faith community are being called to minister with refugees who have settled here in the Bay Area.

Listen to the Interfaith discussion     

August 27, 2017: Who Are We…In Social Action?

Faith IS Action! St. Mary’s parishioner Margaret Stafford, and a panel that includes representatives from St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church and St. James Episcopal Church, San Francisco

A panel of clergy and lay members from local Episcopal churches will talk about their parishes’ work in the community with the support of the interfaith organizing group, Faith in Action (FIA) Bay Area. FIA is “committed to ensuring that the dignity of all members of our community is upheld” and helps congregations of many faiths discern what area of community engagement they feel called to, then makes connections with community partners and other congregations. St. Mary’s is in the process of going through our own listening and discernment process, and we are looking  forward to learning from our fellow Episcopalians who are further down this  road in hearing God’s call to action.

Listen to Faith in Action Discussion     


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