Adult Forum 2013-2014

"Homeward Bound"

by Fr. Chris Hardman

Our forum hour this year will follow the Four Keys of Vibrant Faith Ministries: caring conversations, rituals and traditions, service, and prayer. We will use one or more of these keys each week to "unlock" our Homeward Bound Journey.

Our first two sessions on September 8th and 15th will focus on our individual faith journeys. We will start by listening to the faith journey of a pre-selected person in the parish and then discuss various questions that arise from their presentation. Then, on September 22, Rev. Dr. David Anderson of Vibrant Faith Ministries will be our guest speaker and will lead us in a communal activity that you will not want to miss.

The rest of the year we will continue to focus on the Four Keys in a number of exciting ways. The Rev. Dr. Sam Portaro will help us look at our own Episcopal rituals and traditions as well as our ways of prayer on October 27th. Sam was one of the faculty members of the Credo Retreat I participated in last year. He is also a priest in our own diocese who has written a number of books on the saints, prayer, and vocation. In addition to looking at our own rituals, traditions, and prayer, we will look at those of other Faith traditions as well. We will have guest speakers representing Native Americans, Baha'i, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and more.

Since mental health issues have been front and center on the nightly news lately, we have invited representatives of the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help us better understand people who are struggling with various mental health issues. This is a topic of great importance and one that we hope to continue to address throughout the year.

In the area of service we have a number of familiar groups that will come and update us on what they are doing. We will also invite some new groups, including Bread for the World which deals with justice issues in times of catastrophe.

It is going to be a wonderful year where we will find the keys that will open our journey toward the home God has in mind for all of us-a home that is more inclusive, more inviting, and more mutually affirming than we have ever known.