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.
Becoming the Beloved Community:
Sacred Ground is a race dialogue series offered by the Episcopal Church to all congregations. The curriculum is built around powerful documentary films and readings to serve as the jumping-off point for non-judgmental dialogue about race and systemic racism. While the current registration is full, you can learn more about this program by clicking links below.
The Way: Steps Towards an Engaged Life is a series of four classes in 2020-21 to help us deepen connections to God, to one another, and to the world around us. The first six-week class – aptly named “Start Here” – has been offered at both 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. In the final class of “Start Here” on Oct. 21st Molly Irwin, and the Rev. David Erickson reflected on sharing the good news: talking about how our lives have changed, and how we invite others into community – especially at St. Mary’s.
The Book of Common Prayer
Discussion and Praying with the Book of Common Prayer – Enjoy a short class feasting on the treasures in our Book of Common Prayer! These 45 minute discussions are taught by Rev. David Erickson or Rev. Marguerite Judson and explore the Daily Office, Praying the Psalms, Finding a Prayer for Anything, and more! If you don’t have your own Book of Common Prayer, you can order one on Amazon or HERE.
You can watch the classes HERE. Topics are:
- Introduction and history of the Book of Common Prayer – Session One
- The Book of Psalms – Session Three
- A Prayer for Anything – Session Four
- Prayerful Study (aka The Catechism) – Session Five
- Silence May be Kept – Session Six
Creating a Sacred Space
Your sacred space or altar can be a “pop-up” and doesn’t have to be permanent, especially if you are using furnishings, such as a small table, that serve other household purposes.
Creating a sacred space or altar is quite simple and most likely can be done with objects that you already have on hand. Selecting your space and the items that adorn it is a great family activity.
- Step 1: Location Pick a special area of your home where you can set up your altar or sacred space. This can be a corner of a room. You might use a table or a nightstand as an altar. There is really no one “perfect” place for your sacred space or altar. The point is to find just enough space where you can put your items (see step 2) and be able to sit near them. Ideally, your space is not in a hallway or spot you have to walk through or walk over.
- Step 2: The Elements of the Space
CLOTH: Drape your table or other type of altar with a cloth. Because God is accessible at all times, set the table for God to come and be with you.
CANDLE & WATER: Add a candle to be the light of Christ guiding us and put it in your sacred space. Flameless/Electric candles are fine too. Finally find a bowl or pitcher for water, to remind us of God’s cleansing power.
CROSS or other symbol of Good Friday: If you don’t have a cross, you could always make one out of paper, two sticks tied together with twine, or even popsicle sticks. A nail is an appropriate symbol of Good Friday that can adorn your space as well.
- Step 3: Personalize with other objects Remember not to over decorate or clutter your space or altar. Simplicity is best. There are no “right” or “wrong” items for your altar, so just trust your intuition and allow yourself to be led to the ones that resonate with you the most. Perhaps an icon (or have your family draw them), objects from nature that remind you that God’s creation is all around us or a Bible or Book of Common Prayer are all appropriate additions. Flowers, another reminder of God’s creation and abundance, are also lovely.
- Step 4: Bless your space When you feel that your altar is complete, set aside a few minutes to bless the space. Of course, Bishops are the only ones who can formally bless altars in church, but you certainly can say a prayer over the space you have created.
- Step 5: Incorporate it into your life It’s important to actually use the space. Don’t’ just make it look pretty and admire it as a decoration in your house. We hope this altar will be a reminder for you to stop and pray, not just in holy week but, every day. In the morning say a brief prayer for God to be in your head, heart, and mouth. This is a wonderful way to get your whole family started as we practice social distancing in our daily lives but stay in close contact with God, resting in the warm embrace of love.
St. Mary’s Stories: Pillars
You can listen to some of the pillars of St. Mary’s tell their stories.
Rod Dugliss shared his spiritual story starting with Wednesday morning services to Dean of the Episcopal School of Deacons.
David and Betty Hood Gibson let us know the many ways they have shared their talents at St. Mary’s.
Nancy Clark shared her story of how she became the Sunday school Director and her journey to St. Mary’s.
Guy Kornblum shared his history at St. Mary’s dating back to 1962 when he was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco.
Georgene Keeler shared her story of how St. Mary’s helped her through a difficult time and led her participation in the wider church.
Jan Bolles shared her story of how St. Mary’s influenced and continues to influence her life.