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Adult Faith Exploration

Adult Faith Exploration

Make me know your ways, O Lord.  Teach me your paths.  (Psalm 25:4)

Faith exploration is a life-long experience, attained by the grace of God and in the company of others.  At All Saints Parish we realize that adults learn in a variety of ways and from a variety of sources.  For that reason, we try to offer an array of options designed to nurture spiritual growth. Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at All Saints Parish.



Fifty years ago (1968), a group at All Saints started a conversation in Brookline about racism. Stirred by the deadly race riots happening in cities around the country, this group came up with a proposal for a public advertising campaign inviting people to contact them about their concerns regarding racism. The result can be seen in the posters currently on display in the Guild Room, thanks to Harold Petersen’s collection of the originals. On Sunday March 4th, Harold and others involved in this project will describe their experience at a luncheon after the service and facilitate a discussion on where we are currently. Recommended reading for this session: The Boston Globe’s Spotlight series on racism in Boston. Lunch and childcare will be provided.


The Men’s Book Group meets on alternate Saturdays at 8am in the Guild Room. During the 2017-2018 Fall and Winter Season we’ve been looking at issues relating to race and racism in our history, our culture and ourselves.  Books we’ve discussed include:

  • The Fire Next Time!, James Baldwin’s 1963 book that gave a passionate literary voice to the struggle for civil rights in the United States.
  • Between the World and Meby Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates takes readers along on his journey through America’s history of race and its contemporary resonances.
  • The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.  Frederick Douglass’s third and final autobiography, it’s a portrait of a man who both suffered under slavery and served in the struggle to abolish it.

Join us!  Email Bruce Keary or Alan McLellan for more information.


A group of women meet to discuss mutually selected books, usually on topics related to spiritual growth. We have often tackled provocative authors. We meet monthly on Saturdays from 2:30-4pm in the church library. These are our upcoming discussions:

January 13 – A Gift of Love: Sermons from Strength to Love and Other Preachings – the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
February 10 – Born a Crime – Trevor Noah
March 10 – Atonement – Ian McEwan
April 14 – What the Qur’an Meant and Why It Matters – Gary Willis
May 12 – A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories – Flannery O’Connor
June 9 – Son of Hamas – Mosab Hassan Yousef
July 14 – Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America – Michael Eric Dyson
August 11 – The Stories We Tell: Classic True Tales by America’s Greatest Women Journalists – edited by Patsy Sims

If you are interested, please join us!

Please email Katherine Kominis for further information.


Get acquainted (or reacquainted) with the Christian tradition, and make meaningful connections with a group of fellow seekers at All Saints. All are welcome. This class is held during Lent, and those considering baptism for themselves or their children are encouraged to participate. We explore: Christian traditions and beliefs, the sacraments; interpretation of Scripture, and spiritual practices. We use the book, The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg as a grounding text. Please preregister here;  a minimum of six (6) participants is required for the class to begin. Deadline for registration is 25 February. For information, email the office.

Thursday, March 1, 2018 6:00 -7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 8, 2018 6:00 -7:30 p.m.
Thursday March 15, 2018, 6:00 -7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 22, 2018 6:00-7:30 p.m.


The Good Book Club is an invitation to all Episcopalians to join in reading the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts during Lent-Easter 2018. Episcopalians will start reading Luke on Sunday, February 11 and read a section of Luke’s Gospel every day through the season of Lent. The entire season of Easter will be devoted to daily readings from the Book of Acts. Already, individuals, congregations, and organizations are committed to being a part of the Good Book Club, and we hope you’ll join the journey too!

The Good Book Club website ( lists the daily readings, as well as available resources to support people as they read the scriptures.

GEOGRAPHY of GRACE—a multiple session, small group program of spiritual formation

Using a process created by Dr. Parker J. Palmer, this course is designed to create a safe, confidential, and sacred space where participants support one another in accessing the voice of their souls and lives. Here we learn how to listen deeply to one another and how to create spaces that are safe for honest sharing and self-discovery. Geography of Grace uses themes from geography and nature, offering metaphors that speak of the inner life. We use poetry, story, and art to explore these topics. We share in pairs, small groups, and large group settings. All are welcome. The 2017-2018 session is currently running.

For more information, email the office or contact Mary Urban Keary


Jonas Barciauskas of our Adult Education Committee has curated a list of upcoming events (below) that might be of interest to the All Saints Community. The Adult Education Committee is considering offering a curated list such as this as a resource to us on a periodic basis. We’d appreciate any feedback you have on this experiment.

If you take part in any of these offerings, please let someone on the Adult Ed. Committee know (Mary Urban-Keary, chair; Jonas Barciauskas, Yvonne Schlaeppi, Harold Petersen, Laura Vennard, or Henry Kettell). If you have suggestions for courses or lectures that might be included, please contact Jonas.


The Church as a Reconciling Presence in a World of Conflict: The Role of Religion in International Conflict Transformation
Wednesday, January 24, 6 – 8:30pm
Harvard Divinity School
Sperry Room, Andover Hall, 45 Francis Ave., Cambridge, MA
Space is limited. RSVP is required.

Is religion a cause of violent conflict or a catalyst for its transformation? Do faith leaders have a role at the international peacebuilding tables? Current international affairs highlight the power of religious ideologies—and their misappropriation—as a catalyst for social action. They have also prompted unprecedented interest in the role of religious leaders and ideologies to transform conflict and violence.

The keynote session of the fourth annual RPP Colloquium dinner series will feature Canon Sarah Snyder, PhD, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director of Reconciliation, joined by her colleague in the field, Bishop Anthony Poggo, PhD. They will share their experiences of working in conflict zones and reflect on vital lessons for the contemporary world. More information about the speakers is available.


Claiming God’s Peace When Whiteness Stands Its Ground
Wednesday, February 7, 5:30 – 7pm
Common Room, Center for the Study of World Religions, 42 Francis Ave., Cambridge, MA

Please join us for the Annual Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice, delivered by Kelly Brown Douglas.

Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary. Ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1983, Douglas holds a master’s degree in theology and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Union. She is the author of many articles and five books, including Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God which was written in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Prof. Douglas’ academic work focuses on womanist theology, sexuality and the black church. She was formerly the Susan D. Morgan Professorship of Religion at Goucher College.


Willie Jennings: To Hear the World Again: Giving Christians an Actual Doctrine of Creation
Thursday, February 8, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Boston College
Devlin Hall, Room 101

Willie Jennings is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale Divinity School. His book The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (2010) won the American Academy of Religion Award of Excellence in the Study of Religion and the Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Englewood Review of Books called the work a “theological masterpiece.” Writing in the areas of liberation theologies, cultural identities, and anthropology, Jennings has authored more than 40 scholarly essays and nearly two-dozen reviews, as well as essays on academic administration and blog posts for Religion Dispatches. Jennings recently completed Acts: A Commentary and is at work on a new project on the doctrine of creation, tentatively titled Reframing the World. Jennings is an ordained Baptist minister and has served as interim pastor for several North Carolina churches. Open to the public.  Directions to Boston College and a campus map are available.


Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Works: Highlighting the Power of Spiritually-Engaged Communities in Movements for Sustainable Peace
Thursday, February 8, 6 – 8:30pm
Sperry Room, Andover Hall, 45 Francis Ave., Cambridge, MA
Space is limited. RSVP is required.

This colloquium explores some of the key challenges that nonviolent resistance movements face, including obstacles to building and maintaining movement cohesion, ensuring effective communication, and gaining political leverage; how advocates of principled nonviolence (who promote nonviolence on a moral basis) often clash with advocates of civil resistance (who promote nonviolent action on a strategic or utilitarian basis); the ongoing debate on diversity of tactics; and the ways in which power and privilege undermine solidarity. The colloquium highlights the power of women in these movements and addresses ways in which spiritually-engaged communities are well-positioned to address many of these key movement challenges.


  • Erica Chenoweth, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver; and Fellow, One Earth Future Foundation

Moderator and Respondent

  • Jocelyne Cesari, PhD, Professor and Chair of Religion and Politics at the University of Birmingham, UK; Senior Research Fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center on Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; Professorial Fellow at the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Society at the Australian Catholic University; and Visiting Professor of Religion and Politics at Harvard Divinity School


Max M. Shapiro Lecture: Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy
Monday, February 12, 12:45 – 2:0 pm
Boston University
George Sherman Union Ballroom
Open to the public.

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and the author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, which was named one of Time Magazine‘s 10 Best Books of nonfiction for 2014. . Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Mr. Stevenson has successfully argued several cases in the United States Supreme Court and recently won an historic ruling that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Mr. Stevenson and his staff have won reversals, relief or release for over 115 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row. Mr. Stevenson has initiated major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge the legacy of racial inequality in America, including major projects to educate communities about slavery, lynching and racial segregation. Mr. Stevenson is also a Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law. More information about the lecture is available.


Theological Virtues and Psychological Wellness: Cultivating Practices of Well-Being
Thursday, February 22, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Presenters: Boston College School of Theology and Ministry faculty members Dominic F. Doyle and William D. Roozeboom
Corcoran Commons, Heights Room, Chestnut Hill Campus
Free of Charge

What does it mean to call the Church a community of faith, hope, and love?  How can recent insights into psychological and neurobiological wellness lead to new understandings of theological virtue? How can practices of virtue transform our selves and our churches?  This joint presentation explores these questions and offers responses for appropriation by individuals and communities of faith. See this page for Registering; Maps and directions; Parking


Anna Deavere Smith: Notes from the Field
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Boston College
Robsham Theater

Playwright, actor, and professor Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to highlight issues of community, character, and diversity in America. Best known for crafting one-woman shows based on conversations with real people from all walks of life, Smith turns her interviews into scripts, transforming herself into an astonishing number of characters. Smith has been awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the largest and most prestigious awards in the arts, as well as the National Humanities Medal. In 2016, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for theatre arts. Smith’s plays include Fires in the Mirror, the Tony-nominated Twilight: Los Angeles, and Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, which explores the cycle of suspension from school to incarceration prevalent in low-income communities. Smith’s television credits include The West Wing, Black-ish, and Madame Secretary. A University Professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and an affiliate with the NYU School of Law, Smith delivered the 2015 NEH Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities. Open to the public.  Directions to Boston College and a campus map are available.



All Saints Parish annually presents the Spirituality and Justice Award to persons whose notable commitment to justice for all of God’s people is grounded in a deep spiritual life. The presentation of the award is a special time each year as All Saints Parish lifts up an outstanding person for recognition by the community. As we honor these distinguished persons we draw strength from their example. They inspire us to renew our commitment to justice as an essential expression of our spirituality and faith. A cash gift is given to the organization designated by the recipient.

Recipients of the Spirituality and Justice Award:

1998—Bishop Barbara C. Harris
1999—Bishop Simon E. Chiwanga
2000—Bishop M. Thomas Shaw
2001—Bishop Steven Charleston
2002—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
2003—Dr. Yang Jianli and Christina Fu
2004—The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullit-Jonas
2005—Bishop V. Gene Robinson
2006—Byron Rushing
2007—Dr. Peter Stringham
2008—Dr. Paul Farmer
2009—Mrs. Marian Wright Edelman
2010—The Rev. Deborah Little Wyman
2011—Mr. James Carroll
2012—Bishop Roy “Bud” Cederholm
2013—Catherine D’Amato
2014—Dr. David Adams
2015—Dr. Colin Johnstone
2016—The Rev. Laura Everett
2017—The MANNA Community

Persons may be nominated from all faith traditions. Nominees should be persons whose own deep spirituality have led them to significantly contribute to the furtherance of justice. Nominations are accepted at any time, to nominate someone please use this form.