Reading Genesis In Babylon, Thursday evenings, starting Jan. 16: Genesis 1-11 is the prelude for the Bible’s story, and in regular dialogue with the stories of Babylon. Abraham is said to have come from that region; Jews spent a generation in exile there. So, after Epiphany youth & adults are invited to a six-week study, reading three Babylonian stories (Atrahasis, Enuma Elish, Gilgamesh) and wondering about how Genesis 1-11 interacts with them. Thursday evenings 7-8:30 at St Dunstan’s, Jan 16 – Feb 20, Fr. Tom facilitating. Texts: Gen 1-11, Myths from Mesopotamia translated by Stephanie Dalley, revised edition (Oxford University Press, 2000) – available cheaply online; we’ll also have several copies available to borrow.
Reading Ahead: For the 16th, if possible, read the legend of Atrahasis (pp.1-38 in the book or the photocopied packet available at church). For Jan. 23, we’ll stay with Atrahasis (pp.1-38) in Dalley’s book (or the photocopied packet), and give more attention to how its themes are reflected in Genesis 1-11.
Book Club, Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 10 am: Out selections for January will be: Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell and Confident Pluralism by John D. Inazu. We chose both books as two takes on a common issue. Since it’ll be 2 months before the next meeting due to the holidays, at least some of the group were confident they’d have enough time to read both. The public library does not have these books available, but two copies of each will soon be available in our church library. Talking to Strangers is all about what happens when we encounter people we don’t know, why it often goes awry, and what it says about us. Confident Pluralism addresses the question: With such seemingly irresolvable differences in beliefs, values, and identities across the country, how can the people of this nation ever live in peace together?
Annual Parish Meeting, Sunday, January 19, 9am: Come to hear parish updates, including the 2020 budget, and help elect our parish leaders. All are welcome to attend!
Sunday School in January: Our Sunday school classes for kids meet during 10am worship on the second and third Sundays of most months. We have three Sunday school classes: for kids age 3 through kindergarten, for grades 1 – 3, and grades 4 – 6. Kids are welcome to try it out at any time, and parents may come along too! This month, on January 12, elementary classes will learn about Baptism of Jesus, while our younger kids will hear the story of the Magi. On January 19, On January 19, the younger classes will learn about baptism, while the elementary classes will talk about Jesus calling the first disciples.
THE WEEKS AHEAD…
Ladies Night Out, January 24, 6pm: Amber Indian Cuisine at 6913 University Avenue (in the Willy’s Cooperative plaza). Come join in for relaxed conversation and delicious food. RSVP to Marian Barnes.
All-Ages Worship with Epiphany Pageant, Sunday, January 26, 10am: The children and youth of St. Dunstan’s will present a pageant telling the story of the Magi and their journey seeking Jesus, and King Herod’s fearful rule. Our 8am worship will follow our usual pattern of worship, with a dramatic reading of the pageant script in place of a sermon.
Candlemas, Sunday, February 2: We will celebrate Candlemas (also known as the Feast of the Presentation) with a brief story and candle-lighting prayers at the end of our 10am liturgy. Bring your flashlights and emergency candles from home to be blessed!
Deep Listening Training, 5 – 7PM, Sunday, Feb. 9: This training is for people who wish to learn how to deepen their presence with friends, family, clients, students, etc. The training is experiential, interactive, and practical. It draws on evidence-based approaches (especially Motivational Interviewing) to invite people into new ways of relating to one another. This training is especially good for folx in helping professions (ministry, health care, teaching, social work, advising), folx who offer emotional support to people in their lives, and folx who are drawn to ministry of presence generally. We’ll meet in the Meeting Room at St. Dunstan’s. Free & open to all members & friends of St. Dunstan’s.
Inviting Prayers for Diocesan Search Committee: Back in August, Bishop Miller announced his planned retirement in November 2020. Our Diocesan Standing Committee has now appointed a Search Committee, to begin discerning the needs and gifts of our diocese in preparation for seeking our next bishop. Debra Martinez, of our parish, will serve as one of the members. Please keep the Search Committee in your prayers as they begin their important and demanding work in the months ahead. If you don’t receive email news from the Diocese of Milwaukee, you can join the mailing list by emailing your request to .
Folks with Sewing & Prototyping Skills Needed! In the new year, we hope to make some kneelers/hassocks, and new cushions for the benches at the front of the church, in the same green wool fabric as our pew cushions. We need one or two folks skilled enough to use an old pillow cover as a template to make a new one (OK to destroy the old one). Rev. Miranda could use a couple of people to help develop kneeler prototypes, so we can move that project forward as well. Talk to Rev. Miranda or email her if you’d like to help out!
Madison-Area Julian Gathering Wednesday, February 12, 1:00 – 2:45 PM: We welcome everyone who is interested in learning more about contemplative spirituality in the Christian tradition. We meet the second Wednesday of the month for a period of contemplative prayer, after which we discuss a reading from Julian of Norwich, a 14th Century English mystic who has been called “a theologian for our time.” We would love to have you join us. If you have questions, contact Susan Fiore, ObJN.
Witnessing Whiteness workshop series to be offered Spring 2020: Are you looking for an opportunity to begin, support, and deepen racial justice work? Would you like to take part in building a community with a shared understanding of privilege, whiteness, and racism? There will be a workshop series based on the book Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It by Shelly Tochluk on Wednesday evenings from 5:45-8pm March 4-May 13 in the Parish Center. This is a free, open to the public, 10-week, sequential series designed for white people to begin and/or continue anti-racism work, facilitated by Nichole Fromm, Julia Cremin & Thomas Williams. One past participant summed up the experience: “I honestly believe that every white person in Madison needs to take this class before attempting to step up and interrupt racism in our community. I cannot recommend the class highly enough!” For information or to register, email as soon as possible – space is filling fast! For more information about the book, visit http://witnessingwhiteness.com.