As I’ve mentioned in recent months, we are looking forward to several book/pastoral letter studies that will be held on Thursday evenings in Mercy Hall during the Lent and Easter Seons. Our plan is to get things set to begin with one of the studies the last week of February. The others will follow on subsequent Thursdays (Sign up to get updates on the schedule.)
The four studies that we will get started with will cover the following four books/pastoral letter:
Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, by Rod Dreher
(Study Guide for Live Not By Lies)
Loved As I Am by Sr. Miriam James Heidland (for women only)
The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family by Patrick Lencioni
*Please note that we will be delaying the study group for Ralph Martin's book for the time being, so we could include some other titles that we believed might be of interest to more parishioners and members of the community.
Our hope is that those who plan to be part of these conversations about the books/pastoral letter will have read the entire book or pastoral letter prior to the first session. The reason for this is that we don't plan to go sequentially through the books, chapter by chapter, but will take time each of three weeks to discuss major themes together as a large group. The facilitators for the discussion will send out anticipated discussion questions prior to the meetings, which will help frame the discussion.
Interested in running a study on your own?
Of course, some of you may wish to go chapter by chapter through the book(s) and/or pastoral letter, and I can understand the appeal of that approach. Feel free to establish studies on your own. Just one recommendation: If you plan to to lead a study of these or other books, please be wise about how you do so, and get the game plan for discussion set at the start, because, as you know, these conversations can be quite challenging. Whether in the large group studies or in small group studies, let's be sure to reflect Christian virtues, including humility and charity, as we conduct these conversations. One more note: small group "leaders" should be quite familiar with the books, and be intentional about not playing the role of the "expert" but rather serve the group as a facilitator for honest engagement with the ideas conveyed in the book/letter.
Sign-up Form for Large Group Studies Available Now
For those interested in signing up for one of the four book/pastoral letter studies that we have planned for Lent and Easter, we invite you to complete the sign-up/interest form today. We will be in touch later to remind you of the planned topics for each of the three evenings.