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Contemplating Christ: How to Become a Mystic without Really Trying!

A lot of us are wondering about what the church of the future will look like.

The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner famously said, “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.” Rahner was convinced that the secularization of life that began after the end of the Second World War would pull people away from the church. He feared that, if people did not have a deep experience of God, they would not commit themselves to a sustained life of faith.

This term, we will look at what it means to be a mystic (it’s not as extraordinary as you might think!) and how the recovery of the contemplative tradition in the church might change how we go about being church. What, for example, did St. Paul mean when he said in Philippians 2:5: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus?”

Canon George Maxwell leads this class. As always, you will find those things that we think matter most: a light heart, a broad welcome, and good coffee. We look forward to seeing you there. 

 

September 1: Awakening Your Heart  handout
Canon Maxwell talks about what it means to be a mystic generally and how we might discover in our own selves the capacity to be more open to life.

September 8: Becoming a Person  slides
Canon Maxwell talks about the theology of Deification by exploring the relationship between the Scriptures and Christian mysticism. Deification is an ancient Christian doctrine that affirms the belief that through the incarnation, through which God took on human nature, so too humanity has been made “partakers of the divine nature”
(2 Peter 1:4).

September 15: the Incarnation  slides
Canon Maxwell talks about about how our belief in the Incarnation has made mystics of us all.

 

September 22: the Garden of Eden slides
Canon Maxwell looks at the dramatic story in Genesis 2 and 3 of Adam and Eve and their exile from the Garden of Eden.

 

September 29: the Garden of Eden, part 2 slides
Canon Maxwell looks at the dramatic story in Genesis 2 and 3 of Adam and Eve and their exile from the Garden of Eden.

 

October 13: The Birth of God Within slides
Canon Maxwell looks at the dramatic story in Genesis 2 and 3 of Adam and Eve and their exile from the Garden of Eden.

 

October 20: The Birth of God Within, part 2 slides
Canon Maxwell looks at the dramatic story in Genesis 2 and 3 of Adam and Eve and their exile from the Garden of Eden.

 

October 27: Guest Speaker: Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown

 

November 3: Welcoming, part 1 slides
Canon Maxwell talks about “Welcoming” and explain the contemplative practice known as the “Welcoming Prayer.” It’s a way of acknowledging God’s presence in the midst of a stressful physical or emotional situation

 

November 10: Experiencing God through Longing and Gratitude (The Rev. Julia Mitchener)

 

November 17: Welcoming, part 2 slides
Canon Maxwell continues the discussion about “Welcoming” and explain the contemplative practice known as the “Welcoming Prayer.” It’s a way of acknowledging God’s presence in the midst of a stressful physical or emotional situation

 

November 24: Storytelling as a Spiritual Practice (Mary Hunter Maxwell) slides

 

December 1: How the Christian West Lost Its Wisdom slides

 



Make a donation to the coffee fund

OFSS continues to enjoy great Starbucks coffee, a selection of teas, hot chocolate and water which accompany our spirited educational topics and fun loving community. We made a few changes over the years so now our members are no longer responsible for the delivery and drop-off of the large dispenser and traveler boxes. 

Our costs are running approximately $60 per week; therefore if you wish to donate to the fund, please see me during class or send me a check (Mack Leath; 3818 N Stratford Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30342, 770-318-2907). You can also make a simple donation in our basket. We would like to thank everyone that has donated over the past 10 years. It has worked out very well so far but we are open to suggestions on how we could improve any and all aspects of your class.