Classes are in the CSF Atrium on the third floor of the Ministries Center (across Fourth St. from the church), beginning by 10:10 a.m. (except "Sacred Images," see below.) The Atrium is handicapped accessible via elevators in south lobby and north hallway. Coffee and refreshments available.
Sept. 8, 15, 22, and October 6
SACRED IMAGES IN SACRED SPACES: A Pilgrimage through St. James Church
This four-week class will explore the sacred images and imagery of St. James Church, featuring the architecture (Lynn Schlossberger), stained glass (Pat Bacot), wood carvings (Warren Green), and needlepoint kneelers (Joan McCaskill and Lubna Culbert). Classes will meet in the church nave following the nine o’clock service.
H. Parrott Bacot, Professor Emeritus, Louisiana State University, College of Art and Design, and for thirty-three years Director and Curator, LSU Museum of Art, holds a BA from Baylor University, Waco, Texas. His area of expertise is American and British Fine and Decorative Arts, with a specialization in furniture and a particular focus on the metalware arts and crafts of the Lower Mississippi River Valley. He has been the furnishings consultant for a number of public and private restorations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has helped form the collections of Creole and other American furniture for Magnolia Mound Plantation, Baton Rouge; Kent House, Alexandria; and the Kuntz Period Room at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Lubna A. Culbert was born and raised a Christian Palestinian. Her family was active in the Anglican Church in Nazareth and in BirZeit, a university town north of Jerusalem. She earned a BA in History/ Politics from the Beirut College for Women, Beirut, Lebanon and a Master’s Degree in Education from Kent State University. She has been involved with several ministries at St. James, including Associate Vestry, Choir, Joan of Arc, Gumbo, Needlepoint Committee, Preservation Committee and Altar Guild. Lubna learned to embroider as a child, as needlework is a folk art for the Palestinian people. She was honored to be asked to work on the needlework project for the church and still does her own needlework. She enjoys seeing the beautiful needlework at St. James every Sunday.
Warren Green was born and raised in Omaha Nebraska, where he worked as a carpenter, cabinet maker, watercolor painter and woodcarver. He graduated from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He began work with Ethyl Corporation in Baton Rouge in June, 1951. During the Christmas holidays he met Blanche” Boots” Wilkinson whom he married at St. James Episcopal Church in August, 1952. He has been a member of St. James since then, serving on the Associate Vestry, the Vestry, and two years as the Senior Warden, reestablishing the Long Range Planning Committee and the Outreach Program and working on maintenance and building programs. He repaired the carvings in the church, primarily those in the nave completed by the Reverend Tuckers. When Father Mark requested new carvings in the remaining chancel area, Warren was called upon to head the program.
Joan McCaskill is a spiritual director trained at Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Bethesda, Maryland, and a member of the New Orleans Jung Seminar. She leads a dream group at The Red Shoes and has taught a number of other classes there. She has taught classes in needlework at a local shop that has since closed. That is where she met Lauren Cunningham Tucker, a Baton Rouge native nationally known for her needlepoint designs, who designed the kneelers for St. James. Joan has an MA in French Literature.
Lynn Schlossberger has master’s degrees in Mental Health Counseling from LSU and Architecture from the University of Washington in Seattle. She was a licensed architect working in campus planning at LSU for 13 years, when a series of epiphanies led to career change as a licensed therapist, recently with Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge. Through her experiences with the St. James Center for Spiritual Formation, Lynn was led to become a spiritual director in the contemplative tradition, trained at Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to individual and group spiritual direction, Lynn has led retreats and taught classes in contemplative spirituality at St. James. Her work within the CSF and elsewhere, led her to a career change into mental health counseling. Spirituality and mental health are intertwined. Her interdisciplinary point of view: The experience of sacred space is a form of prayer.
October 13 and November 24
CRACKING OPEN THE PRAYER BOOK
“I didn’t know that’s where that came from!” or, “Where do I find that in there?” These exclamations and questions surround our church’s Book of Common Prayer, a beautiful compilation that defines us as Episcopalians. Yet so many of us don’t realize that so much of what we say and do in worship comes from this book. Or that when we need a perfect prayer, or the perfect devotional, or the perfect study tool, all those can be found there, as well. On the first Sunday of this two-part class, we will begin with a general overview of the entirety of this wonderful book, giving time to answer inquiries as well as reveal some trivia. We will show where most of our common worship liturgies come from. We will also look at several of the multiple resources in the BCP for private prayers and devotions, as well as several for groups. In the second part, we will share experiences from our devotional usages of the book since the initial gathering. We will also delve more deeply into other resources of this magnificent book, concluding with a group devotional liturgy. Fr. John Miller leads this series.
CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES: Spiritual Direction
We will gather to explore together Spiritual Direction through the eyes of Mother Margaret Guenther, Episcopal priest and retired Professor of Ascetical Theology, and Director of the Center for Christian Spirituality at the General Theological Seminary in New York, through her book, Holy Listening — The Art of Spiritual Direction. Mtr. Guenther writes, “Spiritual Direction is holy listening with another to the Holy Spirit who is the true director. The art of Spiritual Direction lies in our uncovering the obvious in our lives and in realizing that everyday events are the means by which God tries to reach us.” We will open ourselves to give the Holy Spirit opportunity to plant the seed, if we are being called to journey in a Spiritual Direction relationship with another and the Spirit.
Date Change: October 27
CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES: Praying in Color
“When you can’t find the words, when you want to spend time with God, when your mind wanders,” try praying in color. Mtr. Mary Ann Garrett will guide us with a hands-on introduction to Sybil MacBeth’s practice of communicating with God through drawing and coloring. It’s a new way of speaking with God using an old method of something that can be termed introspection. No artistic ability is needed, just a desire to doodle and color, and to link someone you are concerned for to God.
Date Change: November 3, November 10 & November 17
Christian theology is, at its root, a matter of faith seeking understanding. To be Christian at all is to be a theologian. There are no exceptions. Theology is a seeking after understanding — a process of thinking about life in the light of the faith that Christians engage in because of their calling. (Stone & Duke, How to Think Theologically, 2006.) Fr. Mark Holland will lead this three-class series.
December 8, 15, and 22
An opportunity to pause during the hectic holiday season for study, prayer, and reflection to prepare us for the coming of the Christ child.
January 5 & 12
NUTRITION, SPIRITUALITY, and WELL-BEING
Resolution Time! Exploring scripture, discussing health, wellness, nutrition, and their relevance to spirituality, Fr. John Miller, Kelly Williams, and Tamara Santiago Redhead collaborate to integrate these topics. Applicable to today’s families, and important across all generations, discussions will be interactive and fun.
January 19 & 26; and, April 6 & 27
THINKING ABOUT FAITH
You will be enriched by journeying along with Ed Henderson, retired professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at LSU, as he composes letters to his children — who never took his classes — that might share some “big picture” thoughts and how one’s faith is lived; the meaning-in-action of beliefs about God. Ed is a wonderful teacher and discussion leader. As one former student writes, “He could talk about the biggest things in life in the most straightforward way. When you took a class from him, you never felt like he was pulling the wool over your eyes.” Topics are fluid, and the class may be extended in subject and dates depending on interest.
February 2, 9, and 16
MEETING OTHER FAITH TRADITIONS
Speakers from other communities in the area are being scheduled for Sunday morning introductions to other faith traditions. If you have a particular interest or contact (that lends itself to a learned speaker visiting St. James on a Sunday morning), please contact Margaret Culbertson at email@example.com.
CHRISTIANITY AFTER RELIGION: The End of the Church and The Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening
“Where is Christianity heading in the days ahead? Will the church survive the 21st Century?” asks Diana Butler-Bass, an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. This class is a review of her findings on the current state of religious practice in the United States: what we do, as opposed to what we say we do, in our worship practices, and what this suggests for the future. Marsha Wade leads the review and discussion.
March 2, 9, 16, and 23
SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
Bishop Charles Jenkins returns with more from his well-received series on The Sacraments. What are these “outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace?” How do we recognize them? How did they come to be recognized as such in the church? Two or seven? Meet in the CSF Atrium on the third floor of the Ministries Center with a Book of Common Prayer (several copies available in the Atrium).
CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES: Yoga
In our western culture, people think of yoga primarily as a physical practice, as exercise. While it does provide many wonderful physical benefits, including increased flexibility and stress reduction, yoga actually is for the mind. The ancient yogis used pranayama (breathing) and asanas (poses) as a means of quieting their minds in preparation for meditation. The purpose of yoga is to know God, so come and learn some of the philosophy of yoga and how to be still and know God. Margaret Culbertson, the presenter, also leads meditative yoga sessions on the second and fourth Mondays of each month from 11:00-12:30 p.m. in the CSF Atrium.