Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Quick Notes

November 1, 2017

Rev. Fran on Vacation!

From October 25 to November 13, David and I will be traveling in Europe on a Viking River cruise. We are looking forward to this trip, as it is one we have long dreamed about! Our tour takes us from the city of Budapest in Hungary, along the Danube to Vienna and Salzburg in Austria. In Germany, we’ll visit a number of cities including Regensburg, Nuremburg (David is looking forward to seeing the WWII-related sites there) and Cologne. We leave the Danube for the Main river and then the Rhine. We cross into the Netherlands and end in Amsterdam. We’ll spend a few days in Amsterdam on our own before flying home.

 I plan to send an Evangeline update (if the internet is reliable) from somewhere in Europe!

 In my absence, I have arranged pastoral coverage with The Rev. Susan McDonald at St. Paul’s on the Hill in Winchester and The Rev. Matt Rhodes (who lives in Berryville) at Christ Church in Millwood. Should you need pastoral support, please reach out to Robin McFillen (parish administrator) or one of the senior wardens (Jess Bacon and Kevin Talley). They will arrange for either Rev. Susan or Rev. Matt to be in touch.

 Blessings, Rev. Fran


November 1, 2017

An Update from the Wednesday Morning Bible Study Group:

 While Rev. Fran is on vacation, the Wednesday morning Bible Study decided to continue weekly meetings. For the next six weeks, they will take a break from the book of Samuel, and instead engage with a video class from the group THE GREAT COURSES called “How Jesus Became God” by Professor Bart Ehrman at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

 The class will meet in the Gracement (the door from the back parking lot will be unlocked) from 10-11:30 on Wednesday mornings. Please join us.

 Here’s a summary of the course, from the course description:

The early Christian claim that Jesus of Nazareth was God completely changed the course of Western civilization. In fact, without the Christian declaration of Jesus as God, Western history as we know it would have never happened. If Jesus had not been declared God, his followers would have remained a sect within Judaism, and the massive conversion of Gentiles, the Roman adoption of Christianity, and the subsequent unfolding of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, and modernity would never have taken place. For that reason, the question of how Jesus became God is one of the most significant historical questions of Western civilization.

 A short time after his death, this crucified “enemy of Rome” was named the Son of God and the savior of humanity, and within four centuries he was believed by millions to be coequal and coeternal with God the Father. How could something this unforeseeable, this improbable, have occurred at all—much less with a momentum that would shape Western history? What exactly happened, such that Jesus came to be considered God?

 To ask this question is to delve into a fascinating, multilayered historical puzzle—one that offers a richly illuminating look into the origins of the Western worldview and the theological underpinnings of our civilization. This fundamental historical question and its complex answer speak penetratingly to the spiritual impulses, concerns, and beliefs that have played a seminal role in our world, even as they reveal the foundation of history’s most global religious movement, and fresh insights into the Western world’s single most influential human being.