Adult Christian Formation

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Crail C Lecture Series Attendees

St. David’s is a big church with lots to offer. We want to make a place for you in the parish by welcoming you into smaller groups for spiritual development and community building. We also encourage you to take part in retreats and special events which are offered throughout the year. Once you find a place to plant your roots, your spiritual life, formation, and relationships will begin to flourish!

About The Abbey at St. David’s

For people seeking a place to grow spiritually through Christian and other practices, The Abbey at St. David’s is a community in the heart of Austin and online. This is a natural extension of St. David’s role in our city since 1848: building connections in love, hope, joy, and vitality as we serve others. The Abbey is also an online hub for inspiring educational resources that people can access from anywhere. Find an online class, special event, or group to join and stay connected during physical-distancing!

Ongoing Sunday Morning Groups for Adults

Fall 2020 Groups for Adults


Upcoming Adult Formation Events

  • I Made a Guitar with Father Chuck



    LISTEN TO LECTURE
    Tuesday, Oct. 12
    One of Father Chuck’s goals for his sabbatical this past summer was to make a guitar. Learn more about his experience of this creative process. Even if you can’t play the guitar, this was a fun time to learn about the patience and love behind making a wooden musical instrument.

  • 2021 Fall Adult Christian Education

    Sunday Morning Lecture

    Speakers are live in Crail C and livestreamed on Zoom
    Click the date to learn more about each topic/speaker


    Aug. 15  | Welcome Home Sunday (no lecture)

    All are invited to the surface parking lot with live music and a free grab ‘n go breakfast sandwich along with a newly created sweet treat to take home, Heavenly Bacon from Café Divine.

    We will welcome Father Chuck back home from his sabbatical, and hear about the exciting news and events planned for St. David’s in the coming months. There will also be an online event for those attending virtually Learn more and register for links.


    Aug. 22 | St. David’s During the Civil War

    Presented by Dr. Laura Hernandez-Ehrisman. This lecture will discuss what happened after the Rev. Edward Fontaine resigned, and the Rev. Charles Gillette took over as the second rector of what was now called St. David’s Episcopal Church. Gillette was rector during most of the Civil War, and came into conflict with Bishop Alexander Gregg frequently during his time at St. David’s. This is a follow-up the material discussed in the “Two Reverend Fontaines lecture from July, and discusses how St. David’s played an important part in the broader conflict of the national Episcopal Church during the Civil War.   


    The Season of Creation and St. Francis Day Lecture Series

    The Season of Creation, Sept. 1-Oct. 4, is celebrated by Christians around the world as a time for renewing, repairing and restoring our relationship to God, one another, and all of creation. The Episcopal Church joins this international effort for prayer and action for climate justice and an end to environmental racism and ecological destruction. In celebrating the Season, we are invited to consider anew our ecological, economic, and political ways of living. 

    Aug. 29 | Creation Through the Eyes of the Poet: The Psalms and Creation 

    Presented by Dr. Steven Bishop, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Seminary of the Southwest

    When it comes to speaking about the origins of our world we often think of Genesis and its creation stories. But, like in many cultures, the poets of ancient Israel marveled at creation and explored its meaning and variety through image and myth. Through their words the sun races like an athlete across the sky and the stars utter soundless words which only the poet can understand. This study will delve into the world of the poets of Israel as they paint new vistas of creation wonder for us to explore and sing. 

    Sept. 5 | No Lecture

    Sept. 12 | Plant with purpose

    Presented by by Will Scheel, Texas Regional Representative of Plant With Purpose 

    Plant With Purpose’s programs equip farming families around the world to increase farm yields, heal damaged ecosystems, improve nutrition, and increase household savings and opportunities. This integrated approach solves two major issues facing the world today: environmental degradation and rural poverty. 

    Sept. 19  | Animals and the Kingdom of Heaven

    Presented by Dr. Tony Baker, Clinton S. Quin Professor of Systematic Theology, Seminary of the Southwest. Dr. Baker joined the Seminary of the Southwest faculty in 2004. He teaches courses in constructive theology, ecotheology, Patristics, and theological research. His latest books are Shakespeare, Theology, and the Unstaged God (Routledge, 2020), and Leaving Emmaus: A New Departure in Christian Theology (Baylor University Press, 2021). He is currently exploring the intersection of classical accounts of theosis with current issues in ecology. Professor Baker works with other members of the community on green initiatives around campus, and he is the theologian in residence at Saint Julian of Norwich Episcopal Church in north Austin where he and his family worship. 

    Sept. 26  | The Life and Teaching of St. Francis

    Presented by Sr. Marie Angele Sanchez, Franciscan Sisters of our Lady of Perpetual Help. Paul proclaimed to the Colossians: (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, ….all things were created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Col 1: 15-17 

    Francis of Assisi absorbed that revelation and his life was upended!  This vision of creation and our origins in Christ shaped his theology, his understanding of who God is, and revealed to Francis how we are called to live in the midst of created reality.  Francis challenges us to take our appropriate role of ‘dominion’ over a sacred creation.  Sister Marie Angele will share his story, his continuing impact, and his challenge to us all.   


    Oct. 3 | Creation Care Fair, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Surface Lot

    A surprise guest visited St. David’s Earth Day Fair 2018 – Presiding Bishop Michael Curry!

    The Environmental Guild invites everyone to celebrate our stewardship of God’s creation, with Master Gardeners to answer your questions, sustainability information, a visit from Barking Dog Ranch, news about our bees and a silent auction – bid on gift certificates from local eco-friendly businesses, artwork, other items and – new this year! – a 3-night stay at a 3-bedroom Port Aransas condo (retail value $1,000)! 


    Biblical Hermeneutics Lecture Series

    Biblical hermeneutics is a study in the interpretation of the Bible. Significant research has been done in this area by groups of people who have been historically marginalized as empowered interpreters of Bible. We will hear from scholars of feminist, Latinix, queer, post-colonial, and womanist biblical hermeneutics and how their communities have developed reading strategies to encounter the biblical text. 

    Oct. 10  | Feminist biblical hermeneutics

    Presented by Dr. Amy Moehnke, Director of Newcomers, St. David’s Episcopal Church. Dr. Moehnke is earned her Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in May 2019 and is St. David’s Director of Newcomer and Young Adult Ministries.  

    Oct. 17  | Latinx biblical hermeneutics

    Presented by Dr. Gregory Cuellar, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The Rev. Dr. Gregory L. Cuéllar is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Currently, he is a Visiting Academic at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford. As an international biblical scholar, Dr. Cuéllar is interested in counterintuitive ways of reading biblical texts, in particular those that are rooted in a decolonizing discourse of liberation. He has written on topics related to the U.S./Mexico borderlands, Latinx immigration, race, Bible museums, and empire. His current research focuses on the carceral geographies of immigration detention facilities at the intersections of religion, migratory aesthetics, borderlands, and postcolonial trauma.

    Oct. 24 | Speaking from the Heart: The Revs. Chuck Treadwell & Jim Bethell 

    Our current rector, Chuck Treadwell, and our retired rector, Jim Bethell, present stories of transformation, hope, and resiliency. Join these two priests as they tell how they have been inspired by the Holy Spirit in their time at St. David’s. 

    The Rev. Dr. Chuck Treadwell, rector and the Rev. Jim Bethell

    Oct. 31 | Queer biblical hermeneutics

    Presented by Dr. Mona West, Director of Adult Christian Formation, St. David’s Episcopal Church. Dr. Mona West served on the international staff of Metropolitan Community Churches for 11 years as the director of formation and leadership development. In that role she created programs for clergy and laity to deepen their spiritual lives and discern their call to ministry. Prior to that she was on the staff of Cathedral of Hope for seven years as the pastor of spiritual life where she developed a comprehensive adult Christian formation program for the large corporate-size church in Dallas. She is retired clergy in Metropolitan Community Churches. Mona earned a doctorate in Hebrew Bible from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY, and completed a Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, which included study at the International Center for St. Teresa and John of the Cross in Avila, Spain.

    Nov. 7 | Post-colonial biblical hermeneutics

    Presented by Dr. Jee Hei Park, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Seminary of the Southwest. Dr. Jee Hei Park joined the faculty of Seminary of the Southwest in July 2021 as assistant professor of New Testament. Prior to coming to Southwest, she taught at General Theological Seminary in New York City. She holds a Master of Divinity (concentration in New Testament and Early Christianity) from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in Christianity in Antiquity from Fordham University. Park has taught courses at various levels and led a trip to the archaeological sites in Turkey and Greece. Park’s work has been recognized with several awards and fellowships including the Forum for Theological Exploration dissertation fellowship and the Louisville Institute postdoctoral fellowship. Her first book All Citizens of Christ: A Cosmopolitan Reading of Unity and Diversity in Paul’s Letters will be published by Brill. 

    Nov. 14 | Harvest Sunday (no lecture)

    Join us for this annual all parish event with morning worship at 10:30 a.m. in Historic Church followed by a BBQ picnic on the surface lot.

    Nov. 21 | Womanist biblical hermeneutics

    Presented by the Rev. Yolanda Norton, Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholars Group Scholar-in-Residence, Seminary of the Southwest.

    Nov. 28 | No lecture


    Wednesday Night Bible Study  

    Aug. 18-Sept. 29 Sadie Koppelberger, St. David’s Seminarian, will teach on power and autonomy in Philippians and Colossians, via Zoom. 

    Oct. 6-Nov. 17 The Rev. Santi Rodriquez and The Rev. Angela Cortiñas will teach on the new creation in the Book of Revelation, In-person, Vestry room. 

    Book Groups

    The Medieval Book Group

    Thursdays, Sept. 9-30, 10:30-12:30 a.m.
    We will be reading The Paston Letters, a selection from a huge trove of letters written by members of a landed English family while the events known as the War of the Roses swirled around them. The editor says “The particular value of the Paston Letters lies in the unsurpassed picture they present of so many features of life in fifteenth-century England – private ambitions, anxieties, hopes, and loves in the midst of political uncertainties and war.” This book group will meet on Zoom.

    Addiction and Grace Book Study

    Sept. 12-Oct. 3, 4-5:30 p.m.
    A book study on Addiction and Grace, 
    by Gerald May, Sunday afternoons. Registration is not required to attend this group’s book study meetings on Sundays in the Library. This group will be led by Kenneth Spivey.

    New Journey Group

    Church Musicians and Composers of the African Diaspora

    Thursdays, in October, 6-7 p.m., via Zoom. Church Musicians and Composers of the African Diaspora will be led by Chaz Nailor, Graduate Program Administrator, Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin. 


    Fall Quiet Day 

    Oct. 23, Led by Dr. Mona West from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. In-person, Room #210.