Join us during the 2020 Lenten season for a special series of programs on Wednesday evenings exploring the Book of Hebrews. Our distinguished guest speaker will be Fr. Tony Lewis, professor emeritus of the Virginia Theological Seminary. Please join us for a light dinner and fascinating program that will deepen your faith in preparation for Holy Week.
Walking the Walk While Talking the Talk:
A Lenten Pilgrimage with the Letter to the Hebrews
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.
The programs will be held on five consecutive Wednesdays in the Parish Hall, starting March 4, and the program will be as follows:
- 6:00pm: Stations of the Cross (see below)
- 6:30pm: Soup & Salad Dinner
- 7:00pm: Program Presentation
March 4, 2020: “On Homeless Shelters and Alien Residence: Moving Out on the Word of God”
- Focus: Hebrews 11-13
March 11, 2020: “Nothing But the Best: On the Superiority of Jesus”
- Focus: Hebrews 1:1-3:6
March 18, 2020: “Rebellion and Religion: Apostasy and Holy Rest”
- Focus: Hebrews 3:7-6:20
March 25, 2020 (The Annunciation): “Now This Melchizedek … A New Priesthood for a New Day”
- Focus: Hebrews 7:1-8:13
April 1, 2020: “Once For All: Jesus and Eternal Atonement”
- Focus: Hebrews 9-10
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 one of two Canons 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.
The Stations of the Cross are a devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day. The 14 devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of his last day, beginning with his condemnation.
The stations are commonly used as a mini pilgrimage as the individual moves from station to station. At each station, the individual recalls and meditates on a specific event from Christ’s last day. Specific prayers are recited, then the individual moves to the next station until all 14 are complete.
Join us prior to each Wednesday evening Lenten program at 6pm in the Nave for the Stations of the Cross.
Note: We will also be offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation (aka Confession) at 5pm in the chapel on these Wednesday evenings (or another day/time by appointment).