Adults gather from 9:30-10:15 a.m. during the program year for Christian Formation. Our rector leads the adult group. You can join the group at any time.
The Christian Parenting Praxis (first 4-week unit)
Faciliated by Todd Brantley and Beth Saylors
“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”— Socrates, 469–399 B.C.
“Parenting is tough.”— Kate Middelton, 2017
Throughout history, parents have struggled to find the best way to nurture their children, to guide them from birth into adulthood as healthy, caring, and morally grounded individuals. Today, the task feels especially difficult and treacherous for parents living in a culture that is exhaustingly (and overly) connected and less and less religiously and spiritually centered. So what is the role of faith in the life of a modern-day parent? How does our identity as Christian’s inform our practice as loving and present caregivers to our children? Join us for a four-week discussion on the challenges and opportunities of the Christian parent (and grandparent!).
Basic Judaism (second 4-week unit)
Ray Hanna, Rector
Be a mensch. Come explore the roots of our faith in a four week session on Judaism. Through discussions, study of the Hebrew Bible, and hands on experience with the Jewish high holy days, foods, customs and games, we will gain an appreciation for Judaism and the many ways it has influenced Christian faith and practice.
LIVING FAITH: Modeling Christ in our day-to-day lives (third 4-week unit)
“The world is too much with us.”—William Wordsworth
Faciliated by Todd Brantley and Beth Saylors
The early church father St. Augustine is probably best known for the timeless Confessions, his poetic and moving reflection chronicling his own conversion to Christianity. It’s easy to romanticize Augustine as the prolific writer and great champion of Christianity, but in his day-to-day role as Bishop of Hippo, he frequently spent more of his day settling property rights disputes and settling inheritances than reflecting on the cosmic mystery of the Holy Trinity.
Augustine hated it, but he knew that as a Christian engagement with the world—not retreat from it—was part of his mission … and that meant for one of Christianity’s greatest thinkers, living his faith in the nitty gritty, often unglamorous aspects of daily life.
Living faith will explore how we practice Christian values in our day-to-day lives, whether in the home or the workplace, with life-long friends or strangers in the grocery store. What does it mean to live a Christ-centered life when facing a crisis in the workplace? What does it mean to walk in love when the mortgage is due or the dishwasher breaks? How do we navigate life outside the doors of the sanctuary as Christians living and working in a fallen world?
Men’s Bible Study – For a discussion centered on the Bible, join the men at 7 a.m. each Tuesday morning (year-round). The small group setting offers spiritual growth and fellowship among the men of St. Stephen’s. Following the Bible study, the men go to the Lantern Inn for breakfast together.
Women’s Bible Study – All women are invited to the Thursday noon Bible study. This group meets in the Office and is lead by our Rector. This fall we will be discussing the writings and adventures of the apostle Paul. All are welcome.
Pub Theology – This is an opportunity to gather at a local pub (subject to change) for honest conversation about life, faith, and God. It is casual, informal and fun. We meet from 7–8 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month. The group is primarily a men’s group, but all are welcome. Please join us and invite a friend.
Seasonal Opportunities –
Lent & Easter Activities
Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019 is a time for forgiveness, healing and renewal. It is a season of the church year that reminds us that, through confession, repentance and amendment of life, God forgives us and empowers us to forgive others.
Lenten Suppers & Programs
Each Wednesday during Lent, Holy Communion is offered at 5:30 p.m. followed by a Pot Luck Supper and Program beginning at 6 p.m. Recent years have included talks on outreach ministries in Goldsboro, and a series on sin, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Wednesday nights, March 13 – April 10, 2019.
Confirmation – If you desire to be confirmed, received into the church, or reaffirm your Baptismal Vows, please see the Rector, Ray Hanna.
For a copy of our 2018–19 Christian Formation Brochure, click here.