The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

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Summer 2020

The Universal Christ

August 30: Third Conversation / video


August 23: Second Conversation / video


August 16: First Conversation / video



Summer Series

Harrison Lance: The Greatest Manhunt Story Rarely Told

August 9: video


Jennifer Priestley: Angels Among Us

August 2: video


Dianne Otwell: Why A Lifelong Baptist Became An Episcopalian

July 26: video


The Rev. Dr. Thee Smith: The Future of Spirituality: Afrofuturist and Christian Perspectives

July 19: video


The Rev. Julia Mitchener: Freedom for What? Biblical and Cultural Perspectives on Liberty (part 2)

July 12: video


The Rev. Julia Mitchener: Freedom for What? Biblical and Cultural Perspectives on Liberty (part 1)

July 5: video


Dr. Dale Adelmann: Praying the Psalms: A Spiritual Practice

June 28: video


The Atlanta Protests: Where Do We Go From Here?

June 21: Third Conversation video


June 14: Second Conversation slides / video


June 7: First Conversation class video / Morehouse College Glee Club celebrates 109 years, feat. the ASO


Winter/Spring 2020

Experiencing the Presence of God

This term, we will continue our study of the Bible and Christian contemplative spirituality. The course is built on the foundation laid by the Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, Episcopal priest and college professor, in his book titled Contemplating Christ: The Gospels and the Interior Life (Liturgical Press, 2018), which is, of course, available in the Cathedral Book Store. We will also explore a number of related themes that emerge from what is sometimes called the wisdom tradition.

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.


January 19: The Path of Self-Emptying Love  slides

January 26: Guest Speaker: Dr. Rob Radtke, President and CEO of Episcopal Relief & Development

February 2: Be Still and Know That I am God slides 

February 9: Be Still and Know That I am God, part 2 (Mary Hunter Maxwell)

February 16: Thomas Merton and His Experience of God

February 23: Invitation to a Holy Lent

March 1: Death on a Friday Afternoon - Reflections on Lent in the 21st Century (Dr. Jennifer Priestley)

March 8

March 22: Finding Ourselves in the Crucifixion slides 

March 29: Mary Madelene: the First Witness to the Resurrection slidesvideo 

April 5: What Do You Need to be Able to See Jesus? slides / video 

April 19: What is the Kingdom of Heaven? slides / video

April 26: What is the Kingdom of Heaven? (part 2) slides / video

May 3: What is the Kingdom of Heaven? (part 2) slides / video

May 10: What is the Kingdom of Heaven? (part 3) slides / video 1 video 2

May 17: City of Refuge, Beneficiary of the 2021 Cathedral Antiques Show video 

May 24: The Feast of the Ascension slides / video


May 31: The Feast of Pentecost slides / video


Fall 2019

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


December 22: Contemplating Christ: The Glorious Impossible slides 


January 5: Moving in the Spirit, 2020 Cathedral Antiques Show beneficiary




Summer 2019

June 9: Introduction to the Life and Thought of Howard Thurman (Barbara Pendergrast) 

June 16: Coming Out Christian (The Rev. Kim Jackson and the Rev. Canon Lauren Holder) 

June 30: Treating Sacred Violence: Interfaith and Humanist Resources For Peaceable Religions, Week 2 (The Rev. Dr. Thee Smith)

July 7: Treating Sacred Violence: Interfaith and Humanist Resources For Peaceable Religions, Week 3 (The Rev. Dr. Thee Smith)

July 14: Living Life as Offering, Week 1 (Nicole Lambelet)

July 21: Living Life as Offering, Week 2 (Nicole Lambelet)

July 28: Lonely in America (The Rev. Dr. Bill Harkins) slides 

August 11: Bel and the Dragon (Dr. Jennifer Priestley)

August 25: Our Shared Legacy of Resilience (Dr. Catherine Meeks)



The Apostle Paul: A Biography

This year the topics for discussion will include several short series of classes led by Canon George Maxwell that will focus on what Paul, the apostle, was actually doing and why; several classes led by Dean Sam Candler offering new ways to understand some old theological ideas; and several classes led by Canon Cathy Zappa, Canon Lauren Holder, and special invited guests on a variety of other topics.

September 9: A Introduction  slides

September 16: From Tarsus to Jerusalem slides 

September 23:
 From Jerusalem to Damascus slides 

September 30: 
Return to Tarsus slides 

October 14:
 Antioch slides

October 21:
 To and From Galatia slides

October 28:
 From Antioch to Jerusalem slides 

November 4:
From Antioch to Athens slides 

November 11: Guest Speaker: Major General James E. Livingston

November 18: Putting the Christ Back in Thanksgiving slides 

December 2: Guest Speaker: The Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler

December 9: The Annual Parish Meeting

January 13: The Areopagus Address slides

January 20: Paul’s first visit to Corinth in Greece (Jennifer Priestley)

January 27: Ephesus, Part 1 slides

February 3: Power and Unity: The Prison Letters slides

February 10: Back to Corinth slides

February 24:

March 10: Lent slides 

March 17: Lenten Series with Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson
Subsequent presentations will be Wednesday nights through April 10

March 31: Worship and Music (Dr. Dale Adelmann)

April 7: Dementia from the Inside Out (The Very Rev. Tracey Lind)

April 28: Episcopal Preaching Foundation (Gary Shilling)

May 5: Moving in the Spirit, 2020 Cathedral Antiques Show beneficiary

May 12: Emmaus House (Greg Cole)

May 19: The Book of Tobit (Jennifer Priestley) 



The Christian Vision of C.S. Lewis

To accommodate the growing interest in the class, Old Fashioned Sunday School will meet in Child Hall this year. Canon George Maxwell will lead a series of discussions during the fall term about the Christian Vision of C. S. Lewis. The important things—like the promise of a warm welcome and good coffee—will remain the same!

After a brief introduction to Lewis, we’ll talk about his Christian vision: the truth of life that is proclaimed and celebrated in Christian scriptures and worship; and then we will look at how his vision plays out in his fictional work. It will be fun to see how he brings his abstract arguments to life in his storytelling. And, it will be fun to see where we find Lewis’ insights at work in our own lives.

September 10: Surprised by God  slides 

September 17: Learning to See slides 

September 24: Choosing the Way, Part I

October 1: No Class. We will celebrate Francis of Assisi with a blessing of animals.

October 8: Dean Sam Candler presents on the history of Prayer Book revisions in the Episcopal Church

October 15: The Right Reverend Doctor Victor Reginald Atta-Baffoe presents on Reconciliation and Community.

October 22: Canon Cathy Zappa, Maggie Paul, and Cathedral youth present on their mission-pilgrimage to Haiti this past summer.

October 29: Guest Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor

November 5: The Screwtape Letters slides 

November 12:The Screwtape Letters and The Letters to Malcolm slides 

November 19: Friendship slides

November 26: No Class. (Thanksgiving)

December 3: Discussion of the Christmas Pageant slides  annotated script 

December 10: No Class (Parish Meeting)

December 17: Living Nativity / Christmas Carols

January 14: Walking Through the Wardrobe, Part 1 slides

January 21: Walking Through the Wardrobe, Part 2 slides

January 28: Walking Through the Wardrobe, Part 3 slides

February 4: Walking Through the Wardrobe, Part 4 slides

February 11: Canon Lauren Holder's Credo

February 18: The Examen Prayer slides

February 25: On Discernment and the Screwtape Letters slides 

March 4: The Screwtape Letters slides

March 11: Jesus and the Devil: A Friend of the Devil is a Friend of Mine (Dean Sam Candler)

March 18: The Screwtape Letters slides

April 8: The Episcopal Church: Where We Came From and Who We Are (Dean Sam Candler)

April 15: The Episcopal Church: Where We Came From and Who We Are, Part 2 (Dean Sam Candler)

April 22: The Four Loves, Part 1

May 6: The Four Loves, Part 2

May 13: The Four Loves, Part 3: Friendship



Summer 2017

A Little History of Religion

This summer series will consider where religious belief comes from and the search for meaning through history. Canon George Maxwell will explore not only the major world religions like Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, but also more recent beliefs like Scientology and Creationism. The series is based in large part on Richard Holloway’s book, A Little History of Religion.

June 4: Introduction / The Questions Behind Religion slides 

June 11: Hinduism, Budhism, Jainism slides 

June 18: Abraham, the Wanderer slides 

June 25: Judism and Zoroastrianism slides 

July 2: Confucianism, Taoism, and Zen Buddhism slides 

July 9: Islam slides 

July 16: Sikhism, Scientology, and Secular Humanism slides 

August 6: Mormonism (Jennifer Priestley) 





“Who do you say that I am?”: Imagining Jesus Through the Centuries 

This year, we join Christians across time and around the world in exploring the question that Jesus posed to his disciples: “But who do you say that I am?” In particular, we are examining images of Jesus from various historical and social contexts, together with the implications of these images for faith, then and now. This will be both a historical survey and an invitation to reflect on our own theology of Christ (“Christology”). Jaroslav Pelikan’s book, Jesus Through the Centuries, will be our companion along the way.

In the fall, we traced conceptualizations of Christ from the New Testament into the Middle Ages. In the spring, we’ll start with the Renaissance and make our way into the 21st century.

The class is organized by Mack Leath, and the discussions will be led by Canons Cathy Zappa and George Maxwell, with an occasional guest teacher. 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. 

From Rabbi to King: Jesus in His Own Context
We start at the beginning, with Jesus in the New Testament and in the cultural and religious milieu of the first centuries. How did the people of this time make sense of Christ?

September 11:  Introduction to our conversation this year on Christology; Jesus the Rabbi (Canon George Maxwell)

September 18: Lord of History: Jesus as the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy and scripture (Canon George Maxwell)

September 25: Cosmic Christ: Jesus as Lord of the World (Canon Cathy Zappa)

October 2: No class. St. Francis Day—bring your pets to church to be blessed!

October 9: Christus Victor: Jesus as the King of Kings (Canon Cathy Zappa)

From kerygma to doctrine: Right and wrong believing
Throughout Christian history, Christians have sought to make sense theologically of Jesus Christ and to discern which understandings were—and weren’t—true to their experience of him in the past and in the present. To this end, they hammered out the broad boundaries of their faith, in reaction to heresies, misunderstandings, and corruption. We will be listening in on their conversations and joining them in their deliberations.

October 16: The Incarnate Christ?: Jesus and Gnosticism (Canon George Maxwell)

October 23: Jesus of the Councils and Creeds (Canon Cathy Zappa)

October 30: Spirituality Conference speaker, J. Philip Newell, in Child Hall

November 6: The Son of Man: Humanity and the Trinity (Canon George Maxwell)

November 13: Image of Christ: Icons and Idolatry (Canon Cathy Zappa)

November 20: Christ Crucified: Atonement (Canon Cathy Zappa)

November 27: No class. Post-Thanksgiving and Advent 1

December 4: Jesus the Monk: Model for Monasticism (Canon George Maxwell)

December 11: No class. Parish meeting, in Child Hall

December 18:No class. Annual Christmas Carol Sing-Along, in Child Hall


January 8: Special Presentation on Thomas Merton (Jennifer Priestley)

January 15: Mysticism: Jesus as the Bridegroom of the Soul (Canon Cathy Zappa)

January 22: Jesus the Renaissance Man (Canon George Maxwell)

January 29: Jesus through the Protestant Reformation (Canon Cathy Zappa)

February 5: Cathedral Antiques Show and First Step Staffing—Child Hall

February 12: The Prince of Peace (Canon George Maxwell)

February 19: The Reasonable Christ: Jesus and the Enlightenment (Canon Cathy Zappa)

February 26: Jesus, the Romantic (Canon George Maxwell) slides

March 5: The Birthright of the Baptized: Growing in Faith From the Cradle to the Grave (Bishop Neil Alexander) – Child Hall

March 12: The Color of Jesus (Canon George Maxwell) slides

March 19: Praying with the Icons of the Virgin (Canon George Maxwell) slides

March 26: Images of Mary (Canon Cathy Zappa)

April 2: Holy Week (Canon George Maxwell)

April 9: No class. Palm Sunday.

April 16: No class. Easter.

April 23: The Executed God (Canon Cathy Zappa)

April 30: Putting on the Mind of Christ (Canon George Maxwell) slides

May 7: Putting on the Mind of Christ, Part 2 (Canon George Maxwell)

May 14: The Body of Christ: Church and Community (Canon Cathy Zappa)

May 21: Conclusion: So who do you say that I am? (Canon George Maxwell)



Summer 2016


Sundays, June 5–August 7 
Child Hall
In this summer series, open to all, some of the lights of our Cathedral community teach about saints, historical and contemporary, who have inspired them by the way they lived out the Beatitudes and their faith.

June 5: Canon Wallace Marsh – John of the Cross podcast 
June 12: Ray Hill – Abraham Lincoln and Charles Carpenter podcast
June 19: Gordon Mathis – Francis of Assisi podcast
June 26: Ward Bondurant – Atticus Finch podcast
July 3: No class
July 10: David Burge – William Wilberforce podcast
July 17: Randy Rizor – Mother Teresa podcast 
July 24: Greg Cole – 
Thich Nhat Hanh podcast 
July 31: Jennifer Priestley – Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton podcast
August 7: Mary Caroline Cravens – Julian of Norwich and Marjory Kempe podcast




Winter/Spring 2016

Religious extremism and violence are back in the news. Everyone seems to agree that religion and violence are related, but not everyone agrees on how or what to do about it. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks recently published a book titled, Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence, in which he argued that only religion can solve the problem of religiously inspired violence. This term, we look at Rabbi Sacks’ argument in general, and his reading of the Book of Genesis in particular, and use it to talk about the nature of fear, violence, and religion, and how we, as Christians, should be responding to the threats we face.

January 3: Introduction
January 10: Video presentation 
January 17: podcast 
January 24: podcast 
January 31: podcast 
February 7: podcast (Guest speaker: Dr. Abbas Barzegar) 
February 14: podcast 
February 21: podcast
February 28: podcast
March 6: podcast 
March 13: podcast 
April 3: podcast 
April 10: podcast 
April 17: podcast 
April 24: podcast 
May 1: podcast 
May 8: podcast 
May 15: podcast 
May 22: podcast




Fall 2015

Being Church: A Conversation with Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Most of us know Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a Christian pacifist who was hanged for participating in a plot to kill Adolf Hitler near the end of the Second World War. But, he is much more than that. Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a German Lutheran pastor who struggled to be a Christian during the years of church controversy that accompanied the rise of Hitler’s Third Reich. His writings and his life story anticipate many of the questions of faith that we are wrestling with today. This term, we will enter into a conversation with Bonhoeffer about what it means to follow Christ and, in particular, what it means to be church in an increasingly nonreligious world.

The class is organized by Mack Leath, and the discussions will be led by Canons Cathy Zappa and George Maxwell. 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.

August 30: An Introduction. (Canon George Maxwell) podcast

About the Mission of the Church
The church has been described as Christ’s presence on earth. This section of the course will look at what it means to say that the Church is, in a real sense, a person and not just another institution.
September 13: What is the mission of the church? (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
September 20: What does Bonhoeffer have to say about the role of the church in modern society? (Canon Cathy Zappa) podcast
September 27: Why is the ministry of listening necessary to sustain the church? (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
October 4: No Class (St. Francis Day)

About Living in a Christian Community
Christianity has as much to do with how we live, as it does with what we say we believe. This section of the course will look at the spiritual disciplines that we follow to shape who we are becoming, and the role of the church in the larger society.
October 11: Why was the Sermon on the Mount important to Bonhoeffer? (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
October 18: What spiritual disciplines are necessary for a Christian community to thrive? Part 1 (Canon Cathy Zappa) podcast
October 25: What spiritual disciplines are necessary for a Christian community to thrive? Part 2 (Canon Cathy Zappa) podcast

About Discipleship
To be a disciple of Christ is to discern and follow the will of God. This section of the course will look at how we should go about doing those two things, and how the church might look different if we did them on a consistent basis, as opposed, for example, to worrying just about sin.
November 1: What is discipleship, exactly? (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
November 8: What does Christian responsibility have to do with it? (Canon Cathy Zappa) podcast
November 15: What does the ministry of bearing have to do with it? (Canon George Maxwell) podcast

About Suffering and Death
Suffering has been described as being trapped by difficult circumstances that we are powerless to change. But, we always have the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. This section of the course will look at how we go about choosing our response to suffering and death.
November 22: What does it mean to say that the way of the cross is the way of life? (Canon Cathy Zappa) podcast
November 29: No Class (Post-Thanksgiving Day Weekend)
December 6: No Class (Annual Parish Meeting) podcast
December 13: What is the ministry of proclaiming? (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
December 20: Annual Christmas Carol Sing-Along (Child Hall)


Summer 2015

“Faith and ... ,” 

A series for all, meets at 10:10 a.m. Sundays in Child Hall. Each week, a different speaker talks about how their faith guides them in their vocation, or in their understanding of a particular topic. Our hope is to grow in our faith by learning about how other people are putting their faith to work in the world.

May 31: Faith and the Public Square (Canon Cathy Zappa)
June 7: Faith and Politics (David Burge) podcast
June 14: Faith and Economics (Ray Hill) podcast
June 21: Faith and Poverty (Joseph Mole) podcast
June 28: Faith and Justice (Timothy Floyd) podcast
July 5: Faith and Healthcare (Deacon Juan Sandoval) podcast
July 12: Faith and Justice (Doug Ammar) podcast
July 19: Faith and Retirement (The Very Rev. Harry Pritchett) podcast
July 26: Faith and Motherhood (Mary Caroline Cravens) podcast
August 2: Faith and Big Data (Jennifer Priestley) podcast
August 9: Faith and Community (Canon George Maxwell) podcast 



Winter/Spring 2015

What Will Our Children Believe?

Most of us have always believed.  Our faith changed over time, of course.  Some of those changes were so dramatic that we thought we had lost our faith.  But, looking back, we realize that we always assumed the essence of it – the existence of God and the need to work out our relationship with God in order to experience the fullness of life.  Most of our friends seemed to have had a similar experience.

It’s different for our children, though.  They are growing up in an increasingly secular world that no longer assumes the existence of God or the need to be in relationship with anything that we might call divine.  And, to make things even more interesting, they are becoming friends with people who don’t believe in anything outside of a natural (rather than supernatural) order – and yet live lives that can’t be dismissed as immoral or unworthy. 

People believe in a lot of different things today, and they put those beliefs into practice in a lot of different ways.  Having faith in God has become just one alternative among many – and, depending on where you are, it’s not always the most convenient one to choose.

It’s no surprise, then, that many of us are wondering, how will our children believe? What will they think about God and how will they put that into practice in their lives?

Throughout winter and spring, 2015, we’ll talk about how and why things might be different for our children than they were for us.  In particular, we’ll let Charles Taylor, whose most recent book, A Secular Age, addresses this topic directly, be our guide to a conversation about what it means to be faithful and how that has changed over time.  

Our hope is that this conversation will help us to see more clearly how God is working in the world, and to reconvert us to the sense of things that has sustained our faith all along.  The group is organized by Mack Leath, and this course will be led by Canon George Maxwell.  

We look forward to seeing you there. 

January 4: The Pretest notes
January 11: Cathedral Antiques Show / Covenant House Georgia special presentation
January 18: An Unanticipated Wake-Up Call podcast
January 25:
 Heaven Can Wait (Jennifer Priesley) podcast
February 1:
I'll Show You Out of Order! podcast
February 8: 
The Law of Unintended Consequences podcast
February 15: Our Cross-Pressured Present podcast
February 22: The Devil Wears Prada (Mary Caroline Cravens) podcast 
March 1: Where's the Beef? (Mary Caroline Cravens) podcast 
March 8: A Christ Haunted South podcast 
March 15: God is Bigger than Elvis (Jennifer Priestley) podcast 
March 22: Guest Speaker – The Rev. Mike Cassell podcast 
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 5: Easter
April 12: Eat, Pray, Love podcast 
April 19: Inherit the Wind podcast 
April 26: Better Angels of Our Nature (Mary Caroline Cravens) podcast 
May 3: Fake It 'Til You Make It (Jennifer Priestley) podcast 
May 10: Struck by Love (Barbara Pendergrast) podcast notes 
May 17: I Did It My Way podcast 



Fall 2014

A friend once told me that during a particularly difficult time in her life she finally had to modify the Lord’s Prayer that she said in church every Sunday.  “And forgive us our trespasses,” she had prayed, “as we try to forgive those who trespass against us.”  That’s what it means to live into a prayer and make it your own, I thought. 

This term we’ll look at the Lord’s Prayer from this perspective.  What would it mean to really live into it and make it our own.

We’ll look at what the prayer says -- the history, psychology, and theology of the words.  There’s a lot to learn here.  The New Testament doesn’t actually say “trespasses” in the prayer, for example.  So, we’ll look at the difference between the reference in Luke to forgiving us our “sins” and the reference in Matthew to forgiving us our “debts.”

But, we won’t stop there.  We’ll look at why the prayer seems to speak so directly to us.  What are we really asking God to do?  And, what would we do if it actually happened?

Join us.  You’ll learn about the Lord’s Prayer, of course, but we hope that you will also deepen your own faith in the process.  You’ll find a light heart and a broad welcome.  The class has been organized by Mack Leath.  The sessions will be led by Canon George Maxwell, Canon Wallace Marsh, Mary Caroline Cravens, Barbara Pendergrast, and Jennifer Priestley. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

September 7: Introduction (Canon Wallace Marsh)  podcast
September 14: “Our Father, who art in heaven” (Jennifer Priestley)  podcast
September 21: “hallowed be they Name” (Canon Marsh)  podcast
September 28: “thy kingdom come” (Mary Caroline Cravens)  podcast  slides
October 5: No Class (St. Francis Day)
October 12: “thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Canon George Maxwell)  podcast
October 19: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Barbara Pendergrast)  podcast
October 26: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Canon George Maxwell)  podcast
November 2: “And lead us not into temptation” (Mary Caroline Cravens)  podcast
November 9: “but deliver us from evil” (Canon George Maxwell)  podcast
November 16: The Doxology – “For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.”  (Jennifer Priestley) podcast
November 23: “Amen.” (Barbara Pendergrast) podcast
November 30: No Class (Thanksgiving Day Weekend)
December 7: No Class (Annual Parish Meeting)
December 14: The Christmas Pageant – Annotated (Canon George Maxwell) 
December 21: Christmas Carol Sing-Along





So you want to be perfect? Well, in the fall term we are going to teach you all that you need to know to be perfect! Paul, believe it or not, figured it out a long time ago. It’s all about faith. We’ll clear up the confusion that has been getting in your way. We’ll explain all of those old ideas like creation, revelation, idolatry, grace, and sin. That will get you back on track. Then we’ll tell you how to handle those things that have been holding you back. That will let you pick up the pace. That’s it. That’s all you need. That’s all that stands between you and perfection.

9/8/2013   The Life of Faith: Is Christianity Something We Think or Something We Live? (Canon Beth Knowlton and Canon George Maxwell) podcast  slides

Part I: A Path Toward Christian Maturity
9/15/2013   The Reality of God: Do We Even Know What We Are Talking About? podcast  slides
9/22/2013   The Human Project: How Do We Go About the Process of Becoming a Person? podcast
9/29/2013   Revelation: How Do We Encounter God When We Engage the World? podcast  slides
10/6/2013   No Class (St. Francis' Day)
10/13/2013   The Basic Drama: How Do We Experience Idolatry, Sin, Grace, and Faith? (Part I) podcast
10/20/2013   The Basic Drama: How Do We Experience Idolatry, Sin, Grace, and Faith? (Part II) podcast  slides
10/27/2013   The Life of Faith: What Does It Mean, Exactly, to be Obedient to God?

Part II: Some Practical Implications
11/3/2013   Prayer: What is the Function of Prayer in the Life of Faith? podcast
11/10/2013   Possessions and Power: If We Aren’t Going to Give Them Up, Then What Should We Do With Them? podcast
  Anger and Sexuality: How Do We Make Sense of These Things in Light of the Commandment to Love Our Neighbor?
11/24/2013   Evil and Suffering: How Do We Hold Onto Faith When the World So Clearly Isn’t As It Should Be? podcast
  No Class (Thanksgiving Weekend)
12/8/2013   No Class (Annual Parish Meeting)
12/15/2013   Freedom: What Does It Mean to be Free?
12/22/2013   Christmas Carol Sing-along

Do you wonder sometimes what Christians are supposed to believe? This term in the Old Fashioned Sunday School we will explore what the Apostles' Creed has to say about the central beliefs of the Christian faith. But, we'll do it in a slightly different way than you may have experienced in the past. Each Sunday, we’ll take one of the statements made in the ancient creed and reflect on it through the lens of a more contemporary work. Using David Cunningham’s book, Reading is Believing, we’ll draw on novels, plays, and films by authors like Dickens, Shakespeare, P. D. James, and Graham Greene to show how the Creed can create and sustain meaning in our lives. Join us. You'll learn about the creed, of course, but we also hope that you'll deepen your own faith in the process.

1/12/2014   Religion and the Common Good (Tom Creely) podcast  Rabbi Sacks' article  Rabbi Sacks' video
1/26/2014   God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth (Canon George Maxwell) podcast  slides
2/2/2014   Jesus Christ, God’s Only Son, Our Lord (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast  slides
2/9/2014   Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
2/16/2014   Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was Crucified, Died, and Buried (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast  slides
2/23/2014   Descended into Hell, On the Third Day Rose Again (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast  slides
3/2/2014   Ascended into Heaven, Sits at the Right Hand of God (Canon George Maxwell) podcast  slides 

Lenten Series: Possessions
  He Will Come to Judge the Living and the Dead (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast  slides 
  Taking the Bible Seriously podcast 
  Using Jesus as a Model podcast slides 
  Responding to the Needs of Others podcast 
  Looking to the Community podcast

4/27/2014   I Believe in the Holy Spirit (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  The Holy Catholic Church, The Communion of Saints (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  The Apostles' Creed and the Whale Rider podcast


Summer 2014

Essential Bible Stories

6/1/2014   The Transformative Power of the Wilderness (Exodus) (Barbara Pendergrast) podcast
  Understanding the Bible: What’s Up With All the Sheep? (Psalm 23: 1-6 and John 10: 1-12) (Scott Russell) podcast  slides
  Standing Barefoot on Holy Ground (Exodus 3) (Diane Otwell) podcast  pdf
  Your Vocation and Calling (Romans 12: 6-8, Ephesians 4: 7-13) (Dan Van Horn) podcast
  God’s Judgment: "punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me." (Exodus 20:5 and elsewhere) (Ray Hill) podcast
  Reception for Canon Beth Knowlton
  The Power of Remembrance (Luke 22:14-20) (Joe Iarocci) podcast
  Best Drama in the Apocrypha: The Book of Tobit (Jennifer Priestley) podcast
  Trying to Answer Questions: Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well (Matthew 11:25) (Mary Caroline Cravens) podcast  pdf
  Exceeding One’s Grasp (Exodus 16 and Matthew 6) (Tom Creely) podcast
  Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) (Gordon Mathis) podcast




Searching for the Sacred—and finding it in the Beloved Community

This year, we will explore the relationship between religion, the spiritual life, and community.

We'll start by looking at why it is so hard to talk about politics and religion. We'll explore a psychological model that attempts to explain how we think and feel about political and religious issues. Then, we'll apply this model to some of the conversations that we are having, or unable to have, in connection with the November elections.

After the elections, we'll look at different models of the spiritual life.

We'll start by talking about several of the ancient Christological heresies and ask ourselves whether we see evidence of them in any of the more contemporary approaches to the spiritual life. For example, we'll talk about whether we see any of the "gnostic impulse" in the teachings of Joel Osteen (the Pastor of Lakewood Church in Texas, which reportedly draws about 38,000 people on an average Sunday), or Elizabeth Gilbert (author of the best-selling memoir "Eat. Pray. Love."), or Dr. Bruce Wilkerson (author of "The Prayer of Jabez").

We'll continue by talking about some more orthodox examples. For example, we'll talk about C. S. Lewis and his approach to preparing for the spiritual life; Thomas Merton and Henri J. M. Nouwen and their ideas of the prayer-filled life; Thomas a Kempis and William Law and their ideas of the virtuous life; George Fox and Catherine of Genoa and their ideas of a spirit-empowered life; William Temple, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Elizabeth O'Connor and their ideas of the compassionate life; and Madame Guyton and her idea of the word centered life.

In all of our conversations, we'll focus on how these approaches to the spiritual life relate to our ideas of community, and on the connection between individual and community transformation.

9/16/2012   Introducing the Elephant and the Rider (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  Elephants Rule (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  The Role of the Rider (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  How Do We Make Moral Decisions? (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  Morality is More Than Fairness (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  How Does Religion Fit Into Our Moral Decision Making? (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  Religion as a Team Sport (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  The Cross: An Image of Hearts Broken Open (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  Aging and Caring (Canon Carolynne Williams) podcast
  Finding the courage to be vulnerable (Canon George Maxwell) podcast

We'll be talking about God this term. Specifically, we'll be talking about how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can all be part of the same God. It's called the Doctrine of the Trinity. And, it can be confusing. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once told Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" that he became a Muslim because he couldn't understand the Trinity. In Islam, there is only one God, he said. But, we won't be talking a lot about abstract theology. We'll be talking mostly about how we experience God. We'll be exploring what's known as the practice of trinitarian theology. In other words, we'll be asking questions like -- What does it mean to be in relationship with a triune God? How does that relationship shape how we go about living our lives? Join us. We promise a light heart and a broad welcome. The conversation will be lively and we'll enjoy good coffee.

1/13/2013   A further reflection on the Connecticut school shootings: Is God necessary for effective pastoral care in the face of suffering? (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  The Doctrine of the Trinity: An experiential approach (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  Trinitarian virtues and practices: an introduction (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  Holy Trinity as Depicted Through Art (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast   slideshow
  Secular Liturgies: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places (Part 1) (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  Secular Liturgies: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places (Part 2) (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  Friendship, Spiritual Practices in Lent, and The Holy Trinity (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  Polyphony: How Our Experience of God is Like Listening to Music (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  The Trinity as Fellowship and Communion (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  Having It All: Learning To Be a Particular Person In the Context of Community (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  The church—where we learn to practice resurrection (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  The Poison Tree: When Anger and Fear Ripen into Hatred (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  Holiness, the Holy Spirit, and learning to love (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
   Effectively witness to our faith (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast


Summer 2013

Essential Bible Stories

6/2/2013   Wrestling with the Divine: Naming Ourselves in the Presence of God (Genesis 32:22-31) (Barbara Pendergrast) podcast
  Jonah—More Than a Story About a Whale (Beth Knowlton) podcast  images (pdf)
  The Call of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-10) (Gordon Mathis) podcast
  The Spirit (Isaiah 11:2) (Dan Van Horn) podcast
  The Prodigal Son (Ray Hill)
7/7/2013   Crucible: A Test of One's Mettle (Tom Creely) podcast  transcript
  The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) (Jennifer Priestley) podcast
  Ruth (Mary Caroline Cravens) podcast
  "And Your New American Idol Is ... " (Exodus 32) (Joe Iarocci) podcast
  Jacob, Son of Laughter (Doug Ammar) podcast
  Famous Last Words (Randy Rizor) podcast




Livin' the Dream: The Life of the Baptized

In 2011–2012 we will explore what sustains and nurtures our ongoing Christian life. Using the promises we made, or were made on our behalf at our baptism, we will explore the history, theology, practices, and habits that help us to live a life that embodies an "inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, and a spirit to know and love God, and receive the gift of joy and wonder in all God's works (adapted from the service of Holy Baptism, BCP 308)."


For those of you who might like some reading material in support of the class, we suggest:

  • Your Faith, Your Life: An Invitation to the Episcopal Church, by Jennifer Gamber and Bill Lewellis
  • Praying Shapes Believing: A Theological Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer, by Leonel L. Mitchell
  • St. Benedict's Toolbox: The Nuts and Bolts of Everyday Benedictine Living, by Jane Tomaine

9/11/2011   Introduction: What is the Baptismal Covenant? Why renew it several times a year? How is it meant to inform our lives? podcast

Part I: How do we continue in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?
9/18/2011   The Apostles Teaching (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  The Apostles Fellowship (led by George Maxwell) podcast
  No Class (St. Francis' Day)
10/9/2011   The Dean's Forum Guest Speaker – Bishop Alexander podcast
  The Breaking of the Bread podcast
  The Prayers podcast

Part II: How do we persevere in resisting evil, and whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

10/20/2011   What is Evil? (Part I) podcast
  What is Evil? (Part II) podcast
  How do we resist Evil? podcast
  What about when I sin? podcast
  No Class (Thanksgiving Weekend)
12/4/2011   What does it mean to repent and return to the Lord? podcast
  No Class (Annual Parish Meeting)
12/18/2011   Christmas Carol Sing-along
12/25/2011   No Class (Christmas Day)
1/1/2012   No Class (New Year's Day)

Part III: How do we proclaim by word and example the Good News?
1/8/2012   How do we proclaim by our words? (Ross Mason) podcast 
1/15/2012   How do we proclaim by example? podcast

Part IV: How do we seek Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves?

1/22/2012   What do we mean by Christian Love? podcast
  How do we love ourselves? podcast
  Who is my neighbor? podcast
  How do I encounter neighbors in my daily life and communities? podcast
  How do I engage with neighbors that are far away? podcast

Part V: How do we strive for justice and peace?

2/26/2012   What is a Christian understanding of Justice? podcast
  What is a Christian understanding of Peace? podcast
  How are Justice and Peace related? podcast
  How are Justice and Peace embodied in my daily life? podcast
  How do we strive for Justice and Peace in the world? podcast
  No Class (Palm Sunday)
4/8/2012   No Class (Easter)
4/15/2012   How do the promises of the baptismal covenant shape my belief? podcast
  "I believe in God the Father" podcast
  "I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God" podcast
  The Dean's Forum: On the Election of a Bishop podcast
  How do I integrate my beliefs and practices that support my belief? podcast
  End of Year Celebration


Summer 2012

Essential Bible Stories

6/10/2012   Micah 6:8 (Gordon Mathis) slides
   The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness: what I learned while teaching Sunday School (Ray Hill) podcast
   John 21 (Canon Wallace Marsh) podcast
   Moses (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
   "They Might Be Giants, But You Have Game"—David vs. Goliath (Tom Creely) podcast
   Jonah (The Rev. Dr. Bill Harkins) podcast
   "The Lord is my Shepherd" ... "Jesus said, 'I am the good shepherd.'" (The Very Rev. Harry Pritchett) podcast
   "Servant Leadership and the Dispute over Greatness" (Joe Iarocci) podcast
   Gideon (Randy Rizor)
8/12/2012   "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (Canon Todd Smelser) podcast




Church: What the Good Life Looks Like!

We often think about how we should lead our lives in terms of rules—rules that distinguish between good and evil. But, Jesus doesn't talk as much about rules as he does about the development of character.  Christians believe that character is developed by listening to the biblical stories, engaging in spiritual practices and participating in faith communities.  This is why our liturgy is structured the way that it is.

So, if you want to see what the good life looks like, you should "Come to Church!"

This year, we will use the structure of our liturgy to explore how Christians should act and will suggest that, in fact, the good life looks like the Church at work as the Body of Christ. 

Some Reading, if You Want It

Although no reading or other preparation is required for this course, you never know—you might want to do some reading during the year. Good literature is, of course, essentially about character development.  We will be using the characters of several books as examples as we work our way through the syllabus. Here they are:

  • Watership Down, by Richard Adams
  • The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy
  • The Violent Bear It Away, by Flannery O'Connor
  • The Beloved Community, by Charles Marsh
  • We Belong to the Land, by Elias Chacour and Mary Jensen
  • The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene

The structure of the course and the presentations themselves draw heavily on two books: Christian Ethics: The End of the Law (London: Routledge, 2008), by David S. Cunningham; and The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics (Oxford and Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 2004), edited by Stanley Hauerwas and Samuel Wells.  Each of these books has been written for folks like us—in other words, they don't assume that you have already read everything else written on the topic!

8/22/2010   The End of the Law
8/29/2010   The Beginning of Character (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast slideshow
9/5/2010   No Class (Labor Day Weekend)
9/12/2010   A Second Look at Character (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
9/19/2010   What's Church Got to Do with It? (Canon George Maxwell)
9/26/2010   Church:  A Story-Formed Community (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
10/3/2010   No Class (St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals)
10/10/2010   Identifying the Stories (Canon George Maxwell)
10/17/2010   Interpreting the Stories (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  The Dean's Forum Guest Speaker – Kathleen Norris  –  "Got Acedia?  Who Cares:  Why a Word No One Knows is so Important." podcast
  A Second Look at the Stories (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
11/7/2010   The Dean's Forum: Money, Pledges, and Stewardship at the Cathedral
11/14/2010   Practicing the Stories: Professing, Praying, and Repenting (Canon Beth Knowlton)
11/21/2010   Practicing the Stories: Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Nonviolence (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  No Class (Thanksgiving Day Break)
12/5/2010   Understanding the Character of God (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  No Class (Annual Parish Meeting)
12/19/2010   Christmas Carols
12/26/2010   No Class (Christmas Break)
1/2/2011   No Class (New Year's Day Break)
1/9/2011   Practicing the Stories:  Participating in the Eucharist (the Very Rev. Harry Pritchett)
1/16/2011   Practicing the Stories:  The End of the Service (Canon Beth Knowlton)
1/23/2011   A Second Look at Christian Virtues (Canon George Maxwell)
1/30/2011   Living the Stories:  Ethics in the Workplace (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
   Living the Stories:  Ethics in the Voting Booth (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
   Living the Stories: Ethics at the Hospital (Part 1) (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast article
   Living the Stories:  Ethics at the Hospital (Part 2) (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
   Living the Stories:  Ethics in the Bedroom (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
   A Third Look at Christian Virtues (Canon George Maxwell) podcast handout
   Ash Wednesday and the Practices of Lent (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
   Palm Sunday (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
   Maundy Thursday (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
   Good Friday (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
   Easter Vigil (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
   No Class (Palm Sunday)
4/24/2011   No Class (Easter Sunday)
5/1/2011   Easter: "God is a Surprise—Only for Children?" (the Very Rev. Harry Pritchett) podcast
   Rival Stories: The Gnostic Heresy (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
   Rival Stories: The Arian Heresy (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
   The Dean's Forum Guest Speaker – Titus Presler – "Christian Mission and the Encounter with Islam: A View from Peshawar in Pakistan Today." (Rival Stories: The Pelagian Heresy)


Summer 2011

Essential Bible Stories

6/5/2011   The Story of Joseph (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
  The Story of Ruth (Gordon Mathis) podcast pdf
  Job, Jung and the Question of Theodicy (The Rev. Dr. Bill Harkins) podcast pdf
  Ecclesiastes (Joe Iarocci) podcast
  John 21: 1-11 (Canon Carolynne Williams) podcast
  Mary and Martha (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
  Creation (Mary Hunter Strange) podcast
  Jacob (Doug Ammar)  podcast
  Matthew 20:1-16: The Laborers in the Vineyard (Ray Hill) podcast
  Luke 2:52: The Compass for My Life (Kimberly McOmber)
8/28/2011   Gideon (Randy Rizor)




The Anglican Spirit: What Have We Received and What Will We Pass On?

9/6/2009   No Class (Labor Day weekend)
9/13/2009   The Anglican Spirit
9/20/2009   The Anglican Spirit: Comprehensive, Incarnational and Poetic (the Very Rev. Harry Pritchett)
9/27/2009   Richard Hooker (1554-1600): Authority in the Church (Canon George Maxwell) podcast handout
10/4/2009   No Class (St. Francis Day)
10/11/2009   Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556): The Liturgy (the Very Rev. Harry Pritchett) podcast
10/18/2009   What's reality got to do with it? A look at the philosophical world views underlining Anglican thoughts (Canon George Maxwell) podcast handout
10/25/2009   William White (1748-1836): The Episcopal Church (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
11/1/2009   William Porcher DeBose (1836-1913): Incarnation (Dean Sam Candler/Canon George Maxwell) podcast
11/8/2009   The Oxford Movement: Church and Sacraments (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast  slide show
11/15/2009   John Henry Hobart (1775-1830): The Episcopacy (Canon George Maxwell) podcast  handout
11/22/2009   George Herbert (1593-1633): Pastoral Care (Canon Beth Knowlton)
11/29/2009   No Class (Thanksgiving Weekend)
12/6/2009   The Revival of Gothic Architecture and Choral Worship after The Oxford Movement (Canon Dale Adelmann) podcast
12/13/2009   No Class (Annual Meeting)
12/20/2009   William Temple (1881-1944): Social Theology (Canon George Maxwell)
12/27/2009   No Class (Christmas)
1/3/2010   No Class (New Year's)
1/10/2010   William Wilberforce (1759-1833): Social Justice (the Very Rev. Harry Pritchett)
1/17/2010   F. D. Maurice (1805-1872): Christian Socialism (Canon George Maxwell)
1/24/2010   Evelyn Underhill (1875-1041): Spirituality (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
2/7/2010   Why are you an Episcopalian? podcast
2/14/2010   The Rev. Buddy Crawford podcast
2/28/2010   Canon Beth Knowlton and Randy Rizor podcast
3/7/2010   CARE International Relief Efforts in Haiti podcast
4/11/2010   How Should Followers of Jesus Relate to People of Other Religions? (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
4/18/2010   The question of God (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
4/25/2010   A Discussion about Jesus (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
5/2/2010   A Discussion about the Holy Spirit (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
5/9/2010   God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
5/16/2010   The purpose of a Christian life (Canon George Maxwell) podcast


Summer 2010

Old Testament Bible Stories

6/6/2010   The Story of Joseph: A Model of Faith and Development (Canon George Maxwell) handout
6/13/2010   The Story of Abraham and Sarah (Canon Beth Knowlton)  podcast
6/20/2010   Jacob, Leah and Rachel (Canon George Maxwell)
6/27/2010   Moses (Canon George Maxwell)
7/4/2010   No Class (Peachtree Road Race)
7/11/2010   The Book of Jonah (The Very Rev. Harry Pritchett) podcast
7/18/2010   Ruth (Canon Beth Knowlton) podcast
7/25/2010   Samuel (Canon Carolynne Williams) podcast
8/1/2010   David (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
8/8/2010   Solomon (Canon George Maxwell) podcast
8/15/2010   No Class (Homecoming)