Sunday Forum

You don't have to check your brains at the door - Robin Williams (1951-2014), an Episcopalian and a comedian

The ability to reflect on the faith, the integration of human reason with mystical experience, and the willingness to engage with any social and contemporary issue, are characteristic of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition. As comedian Robin Williams used to say about the Episcopal Church, of which he was a member: "You don't have to check your brains at the door".

Every Sunday 9:00am -10:00am parishioners and friends of the parish are invited to engage in a lively discussion of theological and other contemporary topics. The wealth of intellectual resources within the parish, the engagement of many parishioners in service to humanity, and the net of friendships that the parish has developed over the years allow for very informative talks and some deep discussions, in spite of the short time allotted.

Come to our library every Sunday at 9:00am and be surprised (or check the calendar below!)



9:00 am to 10:00am

“Theological knots”


For some of us, the following are issues of curiosity, for some of real concern. For some others, these are non-issues or they were issues.

The point of this summer program is to LEARN about the history and the theology behind these doctrines, LISTEN to others’ points of view about them (i.e. how they affect their faith), and come out with more QUESTIONS than answers. The following questions are for guiding the discussion.

June 23 and June 30: The death of Christ and its effects

Did the death of Christ achieve the reconciliation of humanity with God? If so, how?

Is the doctrine of atonement biblical? Is it a necessary part of the faith?

Does it portray God as a bloodthirsty monster? What are the origins of this doctrine, and what are the alternatives to it?

July 7 and July 14: Salvation and original sin

Are all going to be saved or only some? Do Buddhists go to "heaven"?

What does salvation mean in fact? Is it the center of the faith? How does it related to the doctrines of creation and sanctification? What is exactly "original sin"? Why it is not present in Judaism at all and it is not very relevant in the Eastern Church?

What problems were caused by this doctrine? Should the Church toss it or rework it? Are heaven and hell physical places? If not, what are they? Is Purgatory still an option? What about reincarnation?

July 21 and July 28: Historic, symbolic and metaphorical

Why did the Church emphasize the virginity of Mary? Does it matter today?

Do we agree on a literal or a symbolic understanding of "virginity"? What does "bodily resurrection" mean? What is a "spiritual body” (Paul)? If the resurrection of Jesus happened historically, does it mean that it happened literally? How can we say that we are “the body of Christ” and what does it mean to say that the consecrated bread is the “body of Christ” as well?

August 4: General discussion of the issues that have emerged. Did you change your mind on something? Is anything troubling you?

August 11 and August 18: Creation and the sacraments

What does it mean that we are creatures? What are the implication of this doctrine for the other doctrines and for the Church today? What is a sacrament? What does it mean that our tradition is sacramental? Are the sacraments two or seven? Or many? What is the relation among them? What does it mean to live a sacramental life?

August 25 and September 1: God and evil

If God is good, where does evil come from? Is God "omnipotent" and allows the suffering? Is it possible to think that God is not "omnipotent", therefore exonerating God from being the cause of evil? How is evil defined? What is the place of morality (our efforts at doing good) in the Christian life?

On September 9 and September 15 we will hear from Dr. James Sanders



What did Paul mean when he asked his readers to “have the mind of Christ, who had the mind of God”? What changes does it make to look at the whole system of Christian doctrines once we understand this point?


September 22 TBA

September 29: Reclaiming the Past: Memories of a Hidden Child in France during WWII with Monique Saigal-Escudero

October 6: The Polity of the Episcopal Church with Jim White

October 13: Seeds of Hope: How a Garden Can Create Community with Tim Alderson

October 20 On Raimon Pannikar with Ernie Tamminga

October 27: Africa, the Bible and Women's Empowerment with Karen J. Torjesen

November 3 Monastic Life in the 21st Century with Br. Adam McCoy, OHC

November 10 TBA

November 16: Images of Motherhood in the Book of Job with Mary Toroeiy

Sunday Forum October 28, 2018