Episcopal church in Ogden offers series on beliefs

Sep 30 2011 - 12:15pm

OGDEN -- The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd is offering a six-week event that will address issues and beliefs within the church.

Via Media, which begins at 6 p.m. Monday at the church, 2374 Grant Ave., will include a meal, 20-minute DVD presentation and discussion, said Mark Letourneau, chairman of the adult education program at the church. The program is free of charge and open to anyone in the community.

"Via Media is a way for us to say this is a place to ask 21st-century questions," Letourneau said. "What is our church about, what do we believe? We want people to know about us and we want them to know that we are a broad church that accommodates a lot of different viewpoints."

The series will include discussions on God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, sin and Christian hope, Letourneau said.

"Both lay and ordained clergy members will talk about each issue and then we will break into small discussion groups to discuss the topics further," he said.

"During the discussions there will be a discussion leader available to facilitate and help."

Via Media was designed in response to the 2003 appointment of Gene Robinson, who was elected by the New Hampshire diocese to run St. Paul's Church in Concord. Robinson was the first openly gay, non-celibate priest ordained in a major Christian denomination. His appointment was met by both support and controversy.

"The Gene Robinson issue is not the content of the discussions, but rather the context," Letourneau said. "We want people to know that at this moment, this is how we want to present ourselves as a church to people who might be inquiring."

Letourneau said the Church of the Good Shepherd is a place where anyone is welcome, no matter where they are in their spiritual journey.

The six-week series begins Monday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and runs through Nov. 21. No reservation is necessary. Child care will be provided.

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