Wednesday Evening Lenten Program

Join us during the 2021 Lenten season for a special series of programs on Wednesday evenings (6:30pm, from February 24 to March 24), exploring the Book of Hebrews. The programs will be held online via Zoom; links to the program will be sent to our email list each week. If you are not currently receiving our emails, please contact us and ask to be added to the list.

Our distinguished guest speaker will be Fr. Tony Lewis, professor emeritus of the Virginia Theological Seminary. All you need to participate is a computer (or smartphone), the Zoom link we will send by email, and a Bible. The program each week will consist of the presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, and then you may remain online with us for a service of Compline (end-of-day prayer).

Walking the Walk While Talking the Talk:
A Lenten Pilgrimage with the Letter to the Hebrews

The Rev. Tony Lewis, Virginia Theological Seminary

One of the most fascinating writings in all the New Testament is the Letter to the Hebrews. The words of Hebrews are deeply embedded in the Christian tradition. You’re probably familiar with phrases from the letter such as:

The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword…(Hebrews 4:12)

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen … (Hebrews 11:1)

Our God is a consuming fire… (Hebrews 12:29)

Yet, the Letter to the Hebrews is cloaked in mystery. It has been described as “the non-epistle of non-Paul to the non-Hebrews.” Its form, its authorship, and its audience are all elusive.

Nonetheless, this writing presents a startling portrait of Jesus and his mission. He is not presented as a prophet (as in Luke-Acts), nor as the king (as in Matthew), nor as the suffering servant (as in Mark), but instead as our One Great High Priest. Nowhere else in the New Testament is this designation used for the Son of God.

These powerful theological images are also purposeful. They are used to provide encouragement from the writer-preacher to an early Christian congregation which had lost sight of its direction and looked for purpose in pressing forward along the Christian way.

In these Lenten presentations, we will listen to what the author of Hebrews teaches us about Jesus, and learn how these words can encourage us in our own life of faith.

February 24, 2021: “On Homeless Shelters and Alien Residence: Moving Out on the Word of God”

  • Focus: Hebrews 11-13

March 3, 2021: “Nothing But the Best: On the Superiority of Jesus”

  • Focus: Hebrews 1:1-3:6

March 10, 2021: “Rebellion and Religion: Apostasy and Holy Rest”

  • Focus: Hebrews 3:7-6:20

March 17, 2021: “Now This Melchizedek … A New Priesthood for a New Day” 

  • Focus: Hebrews 7:1-8:13

March 24, 2021 (Eve of the Annunciation): “Once For All: Jesus and Eternal Atonement”

  • Focus: Hebrews 9-10

Our Speaker

Fr. Tony Lewis

Lloyd Alexander (“Tony”) Lewis, Jr. was born in Washington, DC, and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. He was the first African American to attend and graduate from St. Stephen’s School for Boys in Alexandria. After graduating from Trinity College with an AB in classics, he entered Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) and was ordained a deacon and priest in 1972. He has served in parishes in New York, Connecticut, and Washington, DC.

In 1978 he was elected to the faculty of VTS, and in 1985 Yale University conferred on him a PhD in New Testament Studies. From 1991 through 2000 he was the Dean of George Mercer Memorial School of Theology, and Bishop’s Deputy for Education in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. He is a Canon Theologian to the Bishops of Long Island. Upon his return to the VTS faculty in 2000, he was named Molly Laird Downs Professor of New Testament Studies, a position he held until his retirement in December 2012.

He has represented The Episcopal Church as a member of the Programme for Theological Education of the World Council of Churches in Prague, and has served as a member of the General Board of Examining Chaplains of The Episcopal Church, which creates and evaluates the national General Ordination Examination. He has been honored by VTS, who awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and has conferred on him emeritus status. He has also been elected to the African American Hall of Fame in the city of Alexandria. He is a parishioner at Saint Paul’s Parish in Washington, DC, where he serves as an Honorary Assistant Priest.