Class begins January 27

On the Feast of Epiphany (January 6), we celebrate the revelation of Jesus to the whole world. Our word epiphany comes from the Greek epiphainō, which means “to appear or make known.” During Epiphanytide, we remember how Jesus was made known to the nations as a baby (Matthew 2:1-12) when the magi come from the East to worship him. We remember how the light of Christ shone in each of our lives. We remind ourselves of the great call to shine as Christ’s light in the world.

As we embark on a new year together, Ascension is offering a spiritual formation opportunity called Foundations. The goal of Foundations is to help us better know and love and live the light of Christ. I want to share more about it and why you should consider joining us.

In his book The Rise of Christianity, the historian Rodney Stark describes how the church progressed from an obscure and marginal movement making up just .002% of the population of the Roman Empire in 47AD to over 55% by the year 350AD. Over the course of three centuries, there was an explosion of church growth. People were converting and getting baptized. Their religious allegiances were shifting from the Judaism of the Old Covenant or the Roman pantheon to Jesus and the New Covenant. But, as they say: “you can take the pagan out of pantheon but it’s hard to take the pantheon out of the Christian.”

Although their beliefs had changed, their desires, imaginations, and fundamental assumptions about the world were still in need of conversion. Our aim is that how we think, live, and love would be shaped more by the transformative story of the gospel than deformative stories of our culture. Of course, this process is a lifelong journey, but it doesn’t happen by accident.

To facilitate this kind of holistic formation, the church developed a process of catechesis. Catechesis derives from the Greek word katecheō, which means “to teach or instruct.” Catechesis, then, is the foundational instruction in Christian belief and practice. This is one of the many resources or methods we have available to help us grow as disciples of Jesus.

Foundations adopts the classic catechesis model. That means it covers the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the sacraments as well as Anglican history. The course will include 12 sessions and will be led by Father Kevin and Josh Bennett with the hope of other clergy teaching as they are able.

Perhaps the best way to think of Foundations is as a discipleship cohort or a Community Group with a semester long commitment. In addition to covering the foundational content of the Christian faith, participants will be expected to meet a few times throughout the semester with 2-3 fellow members to share and pray for one another.

Foundations is open to everyone, but space will be limited, and we ask folks to join who can commit to missing no more than 2 sessions. We will meet on Thursday evenings from 7-9pm at Ascension starting in mid to late January. Please use this link to sign up or use the button at the bottom of the page.

Whether you are brand new to Ascension or you’ve been around for 50 years and want a refresher, this course is for you and we hope you will consider joining us! If you can’t make it this spring, we’ll be offering it again in the fall.