Reclaiming the Evil E-Word, Evangelism: Sharing our Stories of Good News
Good news! (no pun intended) we’re rolling out a new class this fall! It’s on reclaiming a fantastically misused term: Evangelism. Now, we’ve mostly come to think of this as standing on a street corner and trying to convert people to our religion with tracts and canned scripts.
That’s why we need this class so much. That isn’t what the word means; the proper term to fit that definition is Proselytizing. Evangelism means sharing your story of good news and inviting people to be part of what gives you life. When was the last time you told someone to see a great movie, or eat at a great restaurant? Told someone about the amazing vacation you took? Well, you are evangelizing. That’s what it looks like.
Now, when was the last time you told someone in the outside world about what St. Anne’s means to you? Invited someone to come and see for themselves? Would you know what to say if someone asked you about church? We’ll be discussing these things. Just as we’ve been sharing stories in the Compassionate Communication class, so we’ll be doing more of that in this class.
We will meet Sundays at 11:30 a.m. after church from Sept 15th to Oct. 13th. We’ll consult the book Transforming Evangelism by David Gortner. We invite you to come check it out!
Cursillo is a Spanish word that means “a short course”. It’s an experience shared within a small, closely-knit group representing a wide variety of expressions within a unique Christian community. It takes place in an informal atmosphere in which spiritual growth is possible and attainable through both fellowship and trust. It’s a way of spiritual renewal through a new approach to teachings, Sacraments, devotions, and ministry. And it’s an opportunity to renew and expand a base in the faith, from which action in the individual’s church and everyday life is encouraged. Cursillo provides a continuing support system to nurture one another as we work to renew all things through Christ.
St. Anne’s has a small but growing Cursillo Community. Several of our past Rectors have attended and been active in Cursillo. We frequently offer our facilities to be used by Cursillo Teams to host their team meetings. And our involvement in Cursillo is expanding to Kairos too, a unique prison ministry which takes place inside the prison community.
Book Series, Advent & Lenten Programs
To enhance our Adult Education program at St. Anne’s we frequently have a study group who collectively read and discuss a book for various seasons of the year such as Advent or Lent. A few of the books we have enjoyed include:
- “Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Mark”, by Marcus Borg
- “Letters from the Farm: A Simple Path for a Deeper Spiritual Life”, written by the Rev. Becca Stevens
- “Preparing for Christmas” by Richard Rohrs
- “People of the Way, Renewing Episcopal Identity,” by Dwight J. Zscheile
Annual Women’s Retreat
In the tranquil setting of The Bishop’s Ranch in Sonoma County, the women of St. Anne’s explore our personal and communal ways of connecting with our inner personalities and those who have influenced us. Sharing of story, prayer, meditation, discussion, artistic exploration, and other activities are used to stimulate our imaginations in a prayerful atmosphere.
Currently we are not conducting an annual Men’s Retreat, but our new Rector is planning to lead the effort to establish one.