Sunday Adult Forum

A Sacramental Life

Sundays, September 17 - May 20, 2017-2018
10:05 - 11:00 a.m. (Keith Hall)

The 2017-2018 Sunday Adult Forum series focuses on what it means for Christians, particularly Anglicans, to live in a world viewed as sacramentally infused with deeper meanings. What exactly are we professing, and being reminded of, as we continue practicing ancient Christian sacraments and rituals? Over the course of the series, we will examine the seven specific sacraments and sacramental rites - Holy Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Unction/Anointing of the Sick, Reconciliation of a Penitent, Confirmation, and Holy Matrimony - in the context of Episcopal worship and contemporary daily life. Participants will explore the history and theological principles behind Episcopal sacramental liturgy, and consider how The Book of Common Prayer shapes our understanding of God working in the world, the Church, the Sacraments, and our everyday lives. In addition, two important anniversaries will be considered - the 200th year of Christ Church and the 500th year of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The series is designed to enrich and enliven our common understanding of the rituals we call sacraments and our ability to see how language and daily activities can point beyond to a richer and more complex Christian reality.  

Continuity is provided in the 2017-2018 series by the return of four popular speakers, each of whom brings a unique perspective and understanding of the Christian Sacraments: Dr. Barry Seltser, Dr. Kathleen H. Staudt, the Reverend Dr. James Farwell, and the Reverend Dr. Francis H. Wade. Biographies are below.

Click here for the 2017-2018 Adult Forum brochure.


The Program

Click any linked lecture title to watch its video recording.

September 17: Meanings of a Sacramental Life – Barry Seltser (video not available)
September 24: Our Sacraments and Sacramental Rites – Barry Seltser
October 1: The Art of Sacramental Living – Kathy Staudt​

Holy Baptism
October 8: Historical and Theological Overview – Barry Seltser
October 15: Baptismal Life and Ministry – Kathy Staudt (video not available)
October 22: The (Always) Unfinished Business of Baptism – James Farwell

Holy Eucharist
October 29: Historical and Theological Overview – Barry Seltser
November 5: Remembering the Company: The Eucharist and Sacramental Life – Kathy Staudt (video not available)
November 12: Bicentennial Celebration (no session)
November 19: "This is my Body …” – Barry Seltser
November 26: Thanksgiving Weekend (no session)
December 3: A Life in the Shape of a Prayer – James Farwell

Holy Orders
December 10: Historical and Theological Overview – Barry Seltser
December 17: The Role of Clergy in the 21st Century – Frank Wade (video not available)
December 24: The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ: Christmas Eve (no session)
December 31: New Year’s Eve (no session)


Unction/Anointing of the Sick
January 7: Historical and Theological Overview – Barry Seltser (video not available)
January 14: The Experience of Healing Prayer – Kathy Staudt (video not available)
January 21: Healing Rites and the Mission of God – James Farwell
January 28: Bicentennial Presentation (special session)
February 4: Annual Parish Meeting (no session)


Reconciliation of a Penitent
February 11: Historical and Theological Overview – Barry Seltser
February 18: Reconciliation: The Penitent’s Experience – Kathy Staudt
February 24: The Role of a Congregation in Reconciliation – Frank Wade
March 4: Martin Luther and the Struggle with Penance – Barry Seltser

March 11: Confirmation and Discipleship – Kathy Staudt
March 18: The Once and Future Confirmation – James Farwell (video not available)
March 25: The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday (no session)
April 1: The Sunday of the Resurrection: Easter Day (no session)


Holy Matrimony
April 8: The Fine Print: What We Say in the Marriage Rite – Frank Wade
April 15: Changing Understandings of Christian Marriage – Frank Wade
April 22: Bicentennial Presentation: The State of the Episcopal Church – Ian Markham
April 29: Parish Art Show (no session)
May 6: Marriage and Sacramental Living – Kathy Staudt (video not available)
May 13: Bicentennial Celebration (no session)

Summary Session
May 20: A Sacramental Life – Barry Seltser and Kathy Staudt


Dr. Barry Seltser (B.A., Ph.D. Yale) has taught religious studies at two universities and offered adult education courses at churches for over 25 years.

Dr. Kathleen H. Staudt (A.B. Smith, Ph.D. Yale) teaches theology, spirituality, and literature at Virginia Theological Seminary and Wesley Theological Seminary. She is a leader of retreats and education programs, and is the author of three books of poetry, as well as a scholarly study of poet and artist David Jones.

The Reverend Dr. James Farwell (B.A. Catholic University, M.Div. General Theological Seminary, Ph.D. Emory University) is Professor of Theology and Liturgy at Virginia Theological Seminary. Farwell has taught at General Seminary and Bethany College. He served for 20 years as a parish priest and is the author of two books on liturgy.

The Reverend Dr. Francis H. Wade (graduate The Citadel, M. Div. Virginia Theological Seminary) was ordained in 1966 and served as Rector of St. Alban’s Parish, Washington, DC, and Interim Dean of Washington National Cathedral. His sermons have been widely published. Meditations from his tenure as Chaplain to the House of Deputies at the 2000 General Convention of the Episcopal Church were distributed by Forward Movement Press and recorded by The Episcopal Media Center under the title Jubilee People, Jubilee Lives. Currently an adjunct professor at Virginia Theological Seminary, he is the author of The Art of Being Together: Common Sense About Life Long Relationships.  

Click here for a biography of the Reverend Dr. Ian Markham, Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary. 


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