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!)


TALKS 2019

SUNDAY 9:00 am to 10:00am

September 29: Reclaiming the Past: French Heroines and a Hidden Child in World War II with Monique Saigal-Escudero

Her story is that of as a hidden Jewish child thrown in a train by her grandmother to save her. By chance, a Catholic family found her and raised her as a Catholic. Many years later, she writes a book in which she reconnects to her past and presents her interviews to French women who chose the path of the Resistance against the Nazi during occupation.

Dr. Monique Saigal is a retired professor from Pomona College. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Dr. Philip Weiss Inaugural Award for Storytelling for Peace and Human Rights from the University of Manitoba.

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

The Episcopal Church is an historical offshoot of the Church of England, but in our American context it has assumed unique characteristics. This church seeks to embody and balance the ideal of democracy in a Christian context without altering the traditional sacramental authority of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. The result is an interesting hybrid whose complex inner-workings will be sketched in this presentation.

Jim White is lay leader in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

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

Gardens have symbolic, aesthetic, and ecological meaning. Today, they are also connected to issues of health and justice. Come hear how these dimensions intertwine from a man who has helped establish many community gardens in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Tim Alderson is director of Seed of Hope, a food justice ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

October 20 Hospital chaplaincy as a vocation with Jonathan Stoner

The work of a chaplain is to consult with precious and vulnerable human beings in need of compassionate, comprehensive spiritual, emotional, and mental health care. Jonathan will be leading us through an interactive experience to get a taste of the incredible honesty, vulnerability, and healing that takes place in the support groups he facilitates in the healthcare settings where he serves.

Jonathan Stoner works as a certified chaplain at Glendale Memorial Hospital

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

A transformative project sponsored by the World Council of Churches is using the Bible as a tool for African women's empowerment. This project will be presented by a principal actor in its creation, implementation, and evaluation.

Karen J. Torjesen, Ph.,D, is a feminist theologian and former Dean of the School of Religion at CGU

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

Why become a monk in the 21st Century? What is the meaning of Christian monasticism, and what future can be envisioned for it? What transformations are required and which values must remain? We will pose these and other questions to a man who has been deeply involved in both parish and monastic life.

Br. Adam McCoy, OHC is prior of Mount Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara

November 10 The Indigenous Jesus: Native American Perspectives with Simon Joseph

A professor of the New Testament, who is a "secular" Jew, talks about his research on how the figure of Jesus is interpreted in Native American communities. One of the most fascinating presentations of this season!

Simon Joseph, Ph.D. teaches at California Lutheran University and UCLA

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

An alternative reading of the Book of Job that focuses on birth imagery. The dual meaning of the message of Job's book is that the cycle of life brings both joy and sadness. Rather than question these realities, we can learn how to better navigate them.

Mary Toroeiy, Ph.D. is a Kenyan Anglican priest and theologian

All Sundays in December 2019: God and Desire with Gianluigi Gugliermetto

What has human desire to do with God? Is God simply a projection of human wishes? Has sexual desire anything to do with spirituality? Why mystics say that God desires us? These and other deep questions will be entertained during Advent 2019.

Gianluigi Gugliermetto, Ph.D. is priest-in-charge at Christ Church, Ontario and leader of the Center for Spirituality

In 2020, date to be announced:

Interspiritual Transformation: The Dialogical Vision of Raimon Pannikar with Ernie Tamminga

Raimon Pannikar was a Roman-Catholic priest, a world-renown theologian, and a mystic whose life-work consisted in bridging Christianity with the religions of the "East". Come hear about him and his work from a former student of his!

Ernie Tanmminga, Ph.D. is a scholar of religion and a student of Raimon Pannikar

Sunday Forum October 28, 2018

On top of page: Tingari by George Ward Tjungurrayi (Aborigenal Australian art)