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Be Ye Doers of the Word and Not Hearers Only

Reconciliation is Lenten Theme

Reconciliation is our theme for our adult formation classes this season of Lent.

Sundays, March 5 and 12
“Reconciliation in the Bible, in our Worship, and in our Lives” with the Rev. Dr. Bob Friend and the Rev. Dr. Mark Cooper
This two-part short course will look at the biblical basis for reconciliation in our faith, the liturgical rites for reconciliation in our Book of Common Prayer, and ways we can consider anew the process of reconciliation with God, our neighbor, and ourselves.

Wednesdays, March 8 and 15
“There and Back Again: W.H. Auden and Reconciliation in Faith” with the Rev. Dr. John Kerr
W.H. Auden’s memorial in Westminster Abbey quotes these lines of his: “In the prison of his days/ Teach the free man how to praise.” As a boy, Auden was devoutly Anglican. At Oxford he lost his faith and his very celebrated poetry in the 1930s made his name the symbol for the age. “The Auden Generation” hoped that radical political change could bring about a better world. In 1939, in the USA, he returned to a mature form of Episcopalian faith and wrote some of the most profoundly Christian poetry of the twentieth century. We will look at some of Auden’s poems and listen to some set to music by Benjamin Britten.

Saturday, March 11, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Lenten Retreat on Reconciliation & Forgiveness with the Rev. Caroline Parkinson
Come for a day of meditations, reflection, and worship helping us focus on quieting our hearts, souls, and minds so we can “let faults be forgiven, let bonds be loosened, let offences be wiped clean, let plans for vengeance fall through, that through the divine and human grace of Christ, the holy festival of Easter may find us all happy and innocent,” (from a sermon of Leo the Great, d. 461). Register online at

Mondays, starting March 13 through April 3, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The News and the Good New with the Rev. Dr. Mark Cooper
We are in a time of increasingly difficult conversations, and it is critical for us to learn how to talk to each other about important issues. The Reverend Dr. Mark Cooper will lead a conversation centering on the Gospel for the Sunday prior and the headlines in the New York Times or the Richmond Times-Dispatch. We will look at the issues of the day and the theological concerns that are raised by those headlines. We are not so much looking for answers as for thoughts about our responsibility to make personal decisions based on our faith and our lives in community. Michaux House, Room 205.

Sunday, March 19
Parenting Forum: “Coping Skills for Busy Families” with Ashley Soukup of Health and Family Psychologists of Virginia
Parenting is such a gift, but can be a huge challenge when navigating the daily stresses and expectations of life. Please join Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Ashley Morgan Soukup, MA, LMFT to explore interventions and strategies to assist with managing these daily stresses and focusing on the present moment.

Wednesday, March 22
“REAL: Preventing Recidivism in Richmond” with Sarah Scarbrough, executive director of REAL
One of the challenges facing cities and justice systems across the U.S. is how to reduce rates of recidivism for the well-being of former inmates and our communities. REAL is a local innovative organization that has successfully tackled this issue by equipping inmates with the skills and resources they need to succeed after years in prison.

Sunday, March 26
“Seeking Justice: Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty” with VADP executive director Michael Stone and Linell Patterson
VADP is a statewide citizens’ organization dedicated to educating the public about alternatives to the death penalty. Michael Stone brings a wealth of knowledge regarding Virginia’s execution history and all the many variables involved in current policy and process of implementing the death penalty, along with a focus on its alternatives. Please come to our informative and important presentation and discussion.

Wednesday, March 29
“Medical Science Meets Faith: Serving Richmond’s Victims of Domestic Violence” with Bon Secours’ Forensic Nurses Bonnie Price and Sara Jennings.
Domestic violence is an urgent issue that affects as many as one in four women and one in seven men, causing ripple effects in families and our communities. Come to learn more about this prevalent issue and how the Forensic Nurse Program at St. Mary’s Bon Secours is addressing it in our community. (Please note that some may find this conversation difficult.)

Sunday, April 2
“Sing to the Lord!: Music in Worship” with the Rev. Hilary Streever, Dr. Mark Whitmire and Virginia Whitmire
To paraphrase church composer John Bell, we never leave the worship service humming the tune of the sermon. Join the Whitmires and the Rev. Hilary for a discussion on why music is so important to our worship together – and maybe sing a few hymns too!

Wednesday, April 5
“Welcoming Stranger and Neighbor with Cultural Linguistic Competence” with Katherine W. Lawson, MPA, President of Families at Work, Inc.
St. Jamesers are doers out in our community, interacting with diverse people all the time. This session will assist our parishioners’ communication with and understanding of the diverse populations in our community. Whether seeking to better understand new immigrant populations, serving individuals who are impoverished, aging or with disabilities, or understanding changes in public policy which guide person-centered practices, we communicate more compassionately when we recognize the capacity of all people to contribute positively to our lives.

Saturday, April 8
The Community of Deacons is sponsoring a 12-Hour Virtual Prayer Vigil for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation, from 8am to 8pm, on Sat, April 8th. This is the Saturday before Holy week, the most solemn week of the Church Year.  We hope that this vigil will ground us, and the Diocese, as we prepare to enter into Holy Week. Participants may sign up for one or more 30 minute prayer times at

Saturday, April 15
The third annual St. James’s Stations of the Cross Hike will occur at Belle Isle on Saturday, April 15 at 11:00am. The Stations (or The Way) of the Cross is a traditional devotion commemorating the last day of Jesus’ life. Meet at 11:00 a.m. at the entrance to the Belle Isle pedestrian bridge (near 300 Tredegar St.) We’ll gather rain or shine at the entrance to the suspension bridge near the parking lot on Tredegar Street.  Stay afterwards for a BYO-picnic on the grass by the parking lot.  The terrain is smooth and level, so strollers, walkers of all ages, and four-legged friends are all welcome! Questions? Contact Clare Trow at


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