Education For Christian Living

Education Programs

The congregation of St. Stephen's shares a common understanding of the Christian faith that informs but does not determine what ought to be done in living the Christian life.  The education program at St. Stephen's takes into accountJames diverse understandings of issues within and without the church.  Ambiguity and difference are not only tolerated but accepted, as long as issues and questions are probed and insights are gained.

The content of our education program for both the youth and the adults is not a matter of setting down right belief.  Rather, the aim of our teaching is to present the understandings of the inherited tradition and the questions, challenges, and understandings that arise in the contemporary church and world.  In other words, our teaching attempts to present the questions, challenges, and understandings of the present without demanding a narrow orthodoxy.

Whatever the issue, teaching seeks not conformity but understanding of what the witnesses have claimed in the past and what makes sense now.  In most areas there is some consensus on fundamental convictions.  As grounded in Christian identity, we claim that Christ has transformed us, changed us in relationship to creation itself, given us new life.  But transformation and new life do not mean uniformity of belief.

How people are reconciled with God and what this means for our understanding of the world and for what we should do -- such questioning stands at the heart of a serious engagement with the faith that has been given us.  This is the heart of Education for Christian Living

Adult Education

Sunday Morning Adult Education:Christianity & World Religions

There are more than 6,000 religions in the world, most of which are very different from the literate Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) that many people think of when they hear the word religion. In order to make statements or generalizations about religion—the concept of religion, rather than a specific religion or group of religions—we need to engage in a comparative study of religion. The study of religion as a general human phenomenon involves a comparison of all religions in an attempt to discern commonalities, general patterns, and associations with cultural and ecological features. This course is intended to help you better understand your neighbors AND to strengthen your own faith through viewing well-produced videos and participating in constructive conversation. 

Classes are held on Sunday Mornings from 9-10 in the Conference Room.

Wednesday Evening Bible Study: 
Intro. to the Old Testament: The Saga of the Israelites

This course is an introduction to the Old Testament and tells the epic story of the Jews and the creation of the world's first and most profoundly influential monotheistic religion. The stories of the patriarch Abraham, the liberator Moses, the poet-king David and his son Solomon all come to life in the dramatic tale of loss and triumph that shaped humanity's basic moral struggle for more than three millennia.  This an eight-week course beginning Sept. 20th. 

If you would like to attend these classes, please email Fr. James

Classes are held on Wednesday Evenings – 7:30-8:30 in the Conference Room.

Tuesday Morning Seminar:

Comparative Religions
systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world's religions.

This year-long seminar will attempt a systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world's religions. Religious belief has been innate to humans everywhere and in every age, from the time of the Neanderthals to the 21st century. It's also one of the strongest motivators of human behavior and has a profound impact on all aspects of our culture—our spiritual beliefs, our rituals, our politics, and the very foundations of our democracy.  Classes are held on Tuesday Mornings from 10:30 to noon in the Conference room.  If you would like to attend these classes, please email Fr. James

Becoming A Member of Saint Stephen’s

Inquirers’ classes are a basic four-week course which is held in an informal atmosphere and taught by the rector.  For those who are new to the Episcopal Church, or looking for a new spiritual home, this course will provide an introduction to the Church ‑‑ its history, beliefs, worship, and work in the world.

Or, if you were confirmed earlier in life, and wish to renew your commitment at an adult level, consider this course as a part of your continuing Christian education.  The course is required for all who wish to be confirmed or received into the church.

These classes will be held on Sunday afternoons at noon in the rector’s office beginning October 8th.  
If you would like to attend these classes, please email Fr. James