Christianity 101

Topic 6: Baptism

Baptism is the full initiation into the Christian community, the adopted children of God. It is practiced by Christians of all denominations. We use the most common element in the world and in our bodies, water, as the sign of the abundance of God’s grace and love to forgive us our sins and empower us to follow Jesus in our lives.

Discussion Questions

  • How is God present in Baptism?
  • What does it mean to be received into the household of God?
  • What is required of us in Baptism?
  • How do we live our lives, marked as Christ’s own forever?

If you want to continue this discussion in a group setting or in a one-on-one conversation, please contact Ken at kmccaslin@stdavidschurch.org.

Topic 5: The Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer is the keeper of our common wealth—our shared understanding of both how important community is (we pray together) and the value of the individual’s experience of God (we bring to worship—and take from worship—our own experience and sense of God). Grab a prayer book, open it up and find a prayer service!

Discussion Questions

  • On what page can you find Daily morning Prayer?
  • On what page can you find Prayers (collects) for various occasions?

If you want to continue this discussion in a group setting or in a one-on-one conversation, please contact Maurice at mdyer@stdavidschurch.org.

Topic 4: Life of Prayer

Almost everyone has a different idea about what prayer is and many are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Join The Rev. Ed Shiley as he explores how easy it is to pray and how the habit of praying can lead to a life of intimate communion with God.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you see and practice prayer as dialogue or monologue?
  • How do you understand prayer to be the act of God happening in us?
  • How do you see prayer as the activity of God the Spirit freeing us from the grasping, frightened, self-important bundles of instincts we have been taught to think of as our true selves, and with what does God replace those instincts?

If you want to continue this discussion in a group setting or in a one-on-one conversation, please contact Ed at eshiley@stdavidschurch.org.

Topic 3: Studying the Bible at Home

The Bible is the best-selling book in history, but what does it mean to you and your personal faith journey? Join the Rev. Emily Zimbrick-Rogers and special guests to discover how to study the Bible for yourself and how you can find God speaking to you in its pages.

Discussion Questions

  • What has your experience of the Bible been in the past? What is your experience now?
  • Where do you hear God speaking in the Bible?
  • How might you begin, renew, or deepen your engagement with the Bible?
  • Of the multiple ways mentioned to study the Bible, what was most intriguing to you or one method you’d like to try?

Mentioned Resources
The HarperCollins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version for those who want study notes and book introductions.

Common English Bible for those who prefer not as much paragraph heading and study notes, a very readable version.
A few good one-volume commentaries include The Women’s Bible Commentary, edited by Carol Newsom, Sharon Ringe and Jacqueline Lapsley (Westminster John Knox, 2012); The New Interpreter’s Bible One-Volume Commentary, edited by Beverly Gaventa and David Petersen (Abingdon, 2010); The International Bible Commentary (Liturgical Press, 1998).

Websites: www.biblegateway.com and www.blueletterbible.org

If you want to continue this discussion in a group setting or in a one-on-one conversation, please contact Emily at ezimbrick-rogers@stdavidschurch.org.

Topic 2: The Bible

What’s in it? Who wrote it? Does it have real relevance for us today? Take a very fast tour through the history of the Bible, as well as its contents, with The Rev. Elizabeth Colton.

Discussion Questions/Tasks

  • Did you know that almost every Bible has a Table of Contents? No need to be embarrassed if you don’t know where to find a particular book. You can look it up! Try finding a few of your favorites.
  • Now that you know a little bit more about the Bible and its origins, did you find that any long-held beliefs were challenged?
  • In the twentieth century, lots of new texts were discovered by archaeologists. How would you decide if some of these should be included in a future publication of the Bible?
  • If you are interested in more nuts and bolts about finding your way around our sacred book in a group setting or in a one-on-one conversation please contact Liz at lcolton@stdavidschurch.org.

Topic 1: Gifts for the Spiritual Life

God has given us spiritual gifts by the grace and presence of the Holy Spirit that are given to us so that we may enjoy the life God has given us. God calls us to use our gifts to build up the Church and make Christ’s love and vision known to others. In this short video with The Rev. Frank Allen, you will learn about the Holy Spirit that has been at work from the very beginning of creation and how the Holy Spirit is at work in all of our lives.

Discussion Questions

  • How have you experienced God’s Holy Spirit in your life?
  • What gifts do you sense God has given you?
  • How is God calling you to exercise your gifts for the Body of Christ and for the life of the world?

Resources
You can find the Spiritual Gifts Inventory and full resource of Knowing and Living into Our Spiritual Gifts: God’s Gifts for you and the Church here and you’re encouraged to take the Inventory to discover some of the gifts you have been given:
https://stdavidschurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Knowing-and-Living-into-our-Spiritual-GIfts-10.2017-REVISED.pdf

If you want to continue this discussion in a group setting or in a one-on-one conversation, please contact Frank at fallen@stdavidschurch.org.

Introduction

Our new educational video series, Christianity 101: Being a Christian at Home and in the World, is designed for in-home learning, study and discussion. The 7-10 minute segments will guide viewers in an exploration of 10 key topics of Christianity including the history and study of the Bible, Baptism, Holy Communion, understanding the Christian calendar and what being a Christian means in our current times.

“In this time of being at home amidst pandemic and social unrest, many Christians are finding new energy to renew their faith and spiritual practices, going deeper into learning about Christianity and finding new ways to explore what it means to be a Christian,” observes the Reverend Frank Allen, Rector of St. David’s. “We invite our local community to take advantage of the on-line resources we’ve made available as together we navigate the new normal of our Christian lives.” – The Rev. Frank Allen

We are a church on a mission to know God in Jesus Christ and make Christ known to others.