Thursday evenings online
St. Stephen's Church is known for outstanding speakers and educational offerings for adults. At the time we are not able to gather in person, but that won't prevent our bringing outstanding speakers to you. Beginning in September 2020, St. Stephen's will offer a weekly webinar over Zoom on Thursday evenings. Most will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. These webinars will be recorded and posted on this page as soon as possible after the live webinar, so that if you are not able to participate live, you will be able to view the presentations as your schedule permits.
The Rev. Gary Jones will moderate these webinars and receive questions to be posed to our speakers.
These excellent speakers' presentations are free and open to all. Registration is required and will be available on this page with each speaker's description.
Ordinarily, we would offer books by our speakers through our bookshop. During the pandemic, while our buildings are closed, we encourage you to support other independent, local booksellers through Indie Bound, or by calling the bookseller directly; those who do not carry the book will order it for you, and many offer curbside pickup at this time.
Dr. James Hollis: The Summons of the Soul | Watch Gary Jones' video invitation to this webinar
September 10-October 8, 2020 | 7-8 p.m.
A consequence of the necessary adaptations we make to the demands of family, the world around us, and the embedded messages we all carry, causes each of us to get separated from our own truth, our personal authority. Initially accountable to the world around us, we adapt, repress, leave behind some of our best parts. Living a mature life is an on-going summons of accountability to the soul, and the potential we are asked to bring into this world. In this five-part series led by James Hollis, Ph.D., and moderated by the rector, Dr. Hollis will identify some of the issues, and the tasks they raise for us, in living a mature, examined life.Dr. Hollis is a Jungian analyst in Washington, DC, and author of 16 books, the latest being Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey and Living Between Worlds: Finding Personal Resilience in Changing Times.
September 10: Growing Up: the Recovery of Personal Authority | video of webinar session 1
September 17: Stepping Out from Under the Parental Shade | video of webinar session 2
September 24: Encountering Our Shadows | video of webinar session 3
October 1: Freeing Your Children (from you) | (not available)
October 8: Mature Spirituality: Meaning vs. Happiness | video of webinar session 5
James Hollis is the most lucid thinker I know about the complexities and complexes that interfere with living a full life. His broad background in literature, philosophy, and Jungian psychology is everywhere present in this important book, which, as it strips away illusions, posits the soul-work that’s necessary for the difficult task of making our lives meaningful. He’s one of our great teachers and healers.
Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
Dr. Kayleen Asbo: The Way of the Hermit: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Our Times
Thursdays, October 15, 22, and 29 | 7-8 p.m.
Dr. Asbo led an engaging Lenten retreat on The Divine Comedy here in 2019.She explains that throughout human history during times of upheaval and social collapse, a surge of contemplatives have been drawn to following a path of the heart where they discovered a life of inner awakening, beauty and balance despite outer confinement and austerity. Dr. Asbo will illuminate the commonalities of the “hermetic path” of wisdom traditions across the centuries that can help inspire and empower us in the days and months--a pattern that can transform the experience of “lockdown” to “breakthrough.”
Pico Iyer: The Seasons of Our Lives
Thursdays, November 5 and 12 | 7-8 p.m.
Our lives, our worlds, are shaped by seasons, whose cyclical progress is an hourly teaching in changelessness and change. The leaves teach us every year how to let go of things and remind us that we’re not here forever; but that very impermanence often moves us to cherish the beauty of the moment and to relish the bright, sharp days of fall, which lead not just to winter but towards spring. And as we go through, or towards, the autumn of our lives, we come to see all the blessings we could never have guessed at in spring, and how life never moves in a straight line, but offers us gains and graces for everything we lose.
Drawing on his book Autumn Light, Pico Iyer will return (virtually) to St. Stephen's to present this two-part series.
Gardner Campbell: John Milton's Nativity Ode
Thursdays, December 3, 10 and 17 | 7-8 p.m. | REGISTRATION
Our own Dr. Gardner Campbell, associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, a parishioner, and a favorite in the Sunday Forum and our annual film series, will offer a three-part Advent series exploring John Milton’s great Nativity Ode in all its splendor, drawing on the questions, conflicts, and assurances the Ode encompasses. He'll help us think about art, theology, cosmology, and the shape of time itself. Our pandemic days bring with them uncertainty, fear, and doubt. Growing up in a large city periodically ravaged by plague, the young John Milton knew these sorrows too. Yet he kept the faith, and in this poem, shares that faith with all of so that we, too, can lift up our eyes to the promise of deliverance—a promise fulfilled in a humble birth in a stable.
REGISTER FOR THIS WEBINAR HERE. (If you do not plan to view sessions live, but you'd like to watch them later on demand, you may register so that you're notified when videos are posted.)
December 3 | The Time of Advent: John Milton’s Birthday Present for the Christ Child | VIDEO
“On The Morning Of Christ’s Nativity” announces itself as a Christmas poem—yet this is Advent. Have we misread the liturgical calendar? Not according to John Milton, whose “Nativity Ode” (as it is usually called) turns time into both a “now” and a “yet to come.”
December 10 | The Sound of Music: Shepherds Hear the Gloria | VIDEO
Even on the day of Christ’s birth, there is waiting … even for those who, like the shepherds, do not know they are waiting. Milton portrays both expectancy and explosive revelation in his “Nativity Ode,” as prophecies are both fulfilled and set in motion, and creation itself is remade in glorious music.
December 17 | Order Serviceable: Paradise Regained | VIDEO
As Milton concludes his “Nativity Ode,” the new day dawns, the first sunrise Jesus will see. This day begins a new Advent, a new time of waiting, as clock-time (“Chronos”) and God-time (“Kairos”) work together to empower God’s good creation to re-discover its once and future perfection.