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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.



Sundays on July 8, 15, 22, 29 at 9:15 in the Guild Room

A remarkable resource for exploring our faith, Mark’s Gospel will be the source of Sunday’s Gospel reading from now until November. Full of challenging teachings and memorable stories, it is best appreciated when we can follow its various narrative threads at greater length than a single Sunday’s reading. According to one commentator, “The author has cleverly sewn together stories of Jesus in a way that builds characters and themes, comedies and tragedies into his book.” Join members of the Adult Formation Committee in a discussion of how all these come together in this briefest of Gospel texts. Here are the dates and sections to be discussed:

July 8: Popularity Breeds Contempt, Chapters 1:1 – 3:6
July 15: What Kinds of Kingdom?, Chapters 3:7 – 4:41
July 22: Jesus, Thou Art All Compassion, Chapters 4:35 – 6:29
July 29: Dense Disciples?, Chapters 6:30 – 8:26

Thanks to the Yale Divinity Bible Studies series, a brief commentary on each section paired with a video discussion is available for download or viewing online: For further information, contact Jonas Barciauskas:


In each of the last several years, the Adult Education Committee has recommended a book for our summer reading. Following that tradition and responding to ongoing interest in continuing our dialogue on race and racism, the committee has chosen Waking Up White as this summer’s read. Written by Debbie Irving (a Winchester native), the author writes of her exploration of race and personal identity. Much as Irving’s family sought to shield her from the contours of the nation’s racial drama, so too do far too many of us. Parishioners who have read the book describe it as challenging and rewarding. Copies of the book are now available on the literature table in the back of the church and in the Guild Room. Place your payment in the envelope inserted in each book. You can also find Waking Up White in the public library, local bookstores, and online. All Saints members will have an opportunity to discuss the book after the Sunday service on September 23, 2018.



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 2018 books:

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
May 12 – What the Qur’an Meant and Why It Matters – Gary Wills
June 9 – A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories – Flannery O’Connor
July 14 – Son of Hamas – Mosab Hassan Yousef
August 11 – Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America – Michael Eric Dyson
September 8 – The Stories We Tell: Classic True Tales by America’s Greatest Women Journalists – edited by Patsy Sims
October 13 – The Bible: A Biography – Karen Armstrong
November 10 – A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity – Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
December 8 – Notes of a Native Son – James Baldwin

If you are interested, please join us!

Please email Katherine Kominis for further information.

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.

Online: Wisdom for Living: The Parables of Jesus
By Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach
Available On-Demand: choose your own start date and frequency
Registration fee: $49.95

“When rightly understood, the parables help us to see how extraordinary a wisdom teacher Jesus really was, and how revolutionary, in the best sense of the word, was the content of what he taught and to which he bore witness by his life and death.

“These insights cohere particularly well with the actual experience of people on the spiritual journey. When contemplative prayer is seriously embraced, we come upon [a] lived reality … the reversal of expectations, the gradual and often painful liberation from emotional programs for happiness, and the increasing discovery of the kingdom of God in the ordinary and everyday.”
— Thomas Keating in the preface to Meditations on the Parables of Jesus

More information is available.


Free Lecture Videos

The Boston College School of Theology and Ministry video-records lectures given at the School and makes them freely available for online viewing. Here are four lectures from the past year:


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.