The Rector's Forum

 Sunday mornings, 10:10 am to 11:00 am in the Undercroft (September through May)

The Rector’s Forum is offered as an opportunity to explore faith and live into our commitment to lifelong Christian Formation.  All are welcome and encouraged to attend so that we might deepen our relationship with God and one another.

2019-20 Schedule


15    Rector & Associate Town Hall: Looking ahead to new Program Year – Join Fr. Drew and Fr. Walter to hear about all of our upcoming ministry opportunities for the coming year.  From new programs for adults to our foundational programs for children and youth, we’ll gather to hear about the coming year, answer questions about our programs, and invite your participation in our ministry and life together.

22    Reaching Out:  A New Vision for Outreach Ministry — Rebuilding Together – Join Fr. Drew, Lynette Iannace, and Blair Osborn to learn about the new direction we are taking in our ministry beyond 61 Grosse Pointe Blvd . . . and the new opportunities for service ahead.  Of particular note will be our new service opportunity with Rebuilding Together.

29    Reaching Out:  A New Vision for Outreach Ministry — Carstens Literacy Initiative – We continue our discussion of the direction and opportunities in missional service beyond Christ Church.  Today we will focus on the Carstens Literacy Initiative in which are founding partners with Hope Covenant Church, Hope House, and SOAR Detroit.  Join us to learn about the SOAR Detroit Literacy Program which brings people together to help equip children so they can thrive. The Carstens Literacy Initiative will bring together over 50 volunteer mentors to help second graders at Carstens Elementary make significant literacy gains before they reach third grade.  


6    Blessing of the Animals – Bring Your Pets to Church!  In the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi, who believed that God’s love encompasses all creation, we invite “all creatures great and small” to this beloved family service. Bring your dog, cat, rabbit, bird, turtle – all your family pets – to be blessed by the clergy. The Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society will also be present with dogs seeking adoptive or foster homes. We will bless them in their search for a good home. After the service we will have treats and refreshments for people and pets, pony rides, petting zoo and time to learn more about the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society.  All are welcome to this fun family service!  

First Series: The Little Books of Guidance

13    How Can Anyone Read the Bible? –  The Rev. Dr. William (Bill) Countryman is a preeminent Biblical scholar and prominent retired Episcopalian seminary professor. He provides a basic introduction for those with little knowledge about the Bible that aims to provide an easy point of entry into engagement with Scripture.

20    Why Go to Church? – The Rev. Dr. Chuck Robertson knows the church from the inside and out In an age where people increasingly spend their weekends anywhere but in a place of worship, it is important to ask why anyone should go to church. In Why Go to Church? Robertson addresses the top reasons for not attending and goes further to explore how church participation can enhance one’s life on so many levels.

Series 2: The study of the bible by using Anglican biblical theology to explore the Gospel of Matthew.

This coming Advent, we will return to Year A, which return to Matthew as the Gospel for the coming year. Matthew was perhaps the favorite Gospel of the early church and offers a careful account of Jesus’ birth, mission, and passion.Over the coming weeks we will seek to gain a greater understanding of Matthew’s Gospel by exploring the theological themes and motifs that Matthew shares with his audience almost 2,000 years ago. For those who wish to do supplemental or preparatory reading, we will use Conversations with Scripture – The Gospel of Matthew by the Rev’d Dr. John Yieh, Professor of  New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary.

27    The Gospel of Matthew:  A Conversations with Scripture – Join us for this first, introductory session in our coming series exploring the Gospel of Saint Matthew.  [Optional Reading assignment:  Galatians 2:11–14; Acts 13:1–3; Conversations with Scripture, Introduction and Chapter 1]


3    All Saints’ Sunday and Parish Reception – On All Saints’ Sunday, Christians around the world celebrate the lives of loved ones and friends in faith who have entered into God’s eternal embrace, and to welcome new members of the Christian Community into the Body of Christ through the Rite of Holy Baptism.  Join us in this ancient and global celebration as we welcome into our community new members of Christ’s Body.  Following the service, all are invited to join us for a Parish Breakfast in the Undercroft to greet the newly baptized and their families.

10    The Gospel of Matthew:  Jesus Christ, the Son of God – In our ongoing series exploring the Gospel of Matthew we turn our attention to the identity of Jesus — the Christ, the Son of God. [Optional reading assignment:  Matthew 11:1–1–15; 16:13–20; 21:1–11, 23–27; 27:32–37; Exodus 1:1–2:25 and 19:1–20:21; Conversations with Scripture Chapter 2]

17    The Gospel of Matthew: The Teachings of Jesus – This week we focus on specific teachings of Jesus, whose main point is to proclaim the Kingdom (Reign) of God, and to present a path to the Kingdom. The foundational tenet is righteousness, its’ meaning and application. [Optional reading assignment:  Matthew 5–7, 10, 13, 24–25; Acts 15, Conversations with Scripture Chapter 3]

24    The Gospel of Matthew: Jesus’ Opponents – This week will focus on the variety of persons and groups who might be perceived as enemies or opponents to Jesus, including the established religious leaders of the day. [Optional reading assignment:  Matthew 2:1–18; 9:9–13; 14:1–2; 15:1–20; 16:1–12; 21:23–46; 23:1–36; Genesis 3:1–7; Isaiah 5:1–7; Luke 26:6–15; and Conversations with Scripture Chapter 4]


1    Advent Wreath Workshop –  Advent is nearly here, which means it’s time to make Advent wreaths and to begin our preparation for the in-breaking of God’s love!  We supply the greens, candles, punch, cookies, and music while you and your family create a centerpiece to take home in preparation for the Christmas Season.

8    The Gospel of Matthew: Jesus’ Followers and Disciples – In this week’s forum we will discuss the first disciples such as Peter, Thomas, and Judas Iscariot, and explore the importance of the Great Commission. [Optional reading:  Matthew 4:18–20; 14:22–17:27; 19: 13–30; 26:30–75; 26:1–27:9; 28:16–20; Conversation with Scripture Chapter 5]

15    The Gospel of Matthew: Jesus’ Church – We continue this multi-part series with a look at the community to which Matthew wrote.  Matthew’s first readers were members of a particular faith community in Antioch in the late first century. This final chapter explores elements of this early church as they learned the story of Jesus and what does it teach us today.   [Optional reading:  Matthew 16:13–20; 18:1–35; 22:34–40; 25:31–46; 28:1–20. Conversation with Scripture Chapter 6.]

22    The Forum resumes on January 5th.

29    The Forum resumes on January 5th.


5    Discernment: The Ministry of the Vestry Nominating Committee – Each year, at the Annual Meeting of the Parish, active members of Christ Church elect a new class of members to the Vestry, a process led by our discernment team, that is, the Vestry Nominating Committee.  Join us this morning as members of the Vestry Nominating Committee Team share and reflect on the process we undertook and present the fruits of their discernment work.

12    Baptism Sunday and Parish Breakfast – We celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord with baptisms of our own as we welcome as new members of Christ’s Body here at Christ Church.  Following the service, all are invited to join us for a Parish Breakfast in the Undercroft.

19    MLK Sunday – Check back for a special program to deepen our understanding of and commitment to the teaching and vision of The Rev’d Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

26    Annual Parish Meeting – The Annual Parish Meeting will be held for the election of Vestry Members, consideration of a temporary amendment to the bylaws, the presentation of the Parish Annual Report, financial statements, and additional church business. Please enjoy a lunch following the meeting in the Undercroft.  


2    First Things:  Gratitude and Generosity – So often, when thinking of our “pledge,” our annual financial commitment to the Church, we think of the mundane responsibilities of any institution:  repairs and salaries and everyday bills.  And yet, such things are neither the foundation nor the purpose of Christian giving.  Instead, we are invited in Christ to give first as reflection of our personal gratitude to God with the sole hope that our life – our doing and giving – will come to reflect the very generosity of God to us.  Join Fr. Drew, the Wardens, and other members of Christ Church for this conversation and exploration of Gratitude and Generosity as the foundation of our Christian life and annual pledge.

Series 3: What is Anglicanism? An Intrinsic and Comparative Approach
As our Presiding Bishop has said, we are “the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement.” This is to remind us that our primary focus should be to become disciples of Jesus. Yet, the Episcopal branch element of his statement is not insignificant. This series is intended to remind or introduce us to what it means to be an Episcopalian and (globally) an Anglican. In twelve sessions, we will discuss various aspects of Christian belief and practice, and explore how Anglicans approach Christianity. For supplemental reading, participants are invited to read What is Anglicanism? by the late Very Rev. Urban T. Holmes, PhD.

9    What is Anglicanism? – The Anglican Consciousness – Today we explore the foundations of the Anglican Consciousness.  [Optional reading:  What is Anglicanism? Chapter 1]

16    What is Anglicanism? – Authority in the Church – Who are we called to be?  What are we to teach as a Christian community?  What is the mind of Christ for our community or our world today?  These and many more, are profound questions for any Christian community.  Yet, behind them all stands another fundamental question:  who has what authority in the Church?  We continue our multi-part series on Anglicanism, exploring today the various structures of authority in the Church. [Optional reading:  What is Anglicanism? Chapter 2]

23    What is Anglicanism? – The Bible – From the “plain language of the text” to progressive interpretations of scripture today, studying the bible today can be a confusing task. So, how do Anglicans use and study the Bible?  Join us to continue our exploration of Anglicanism. [Optional reading: What is Anglicanism? Chapter 3]

1    First Things:  Gratitude and Generosity – For what are you grateful?  How have gratitude and generosity shaped (or re-shaped) your life?  Join fellow members of Christ Church to explore the impact of gratitude and generosity on your lives.

8    What is Anglicanism? – The Incarnation – Alongside the Cross and the empty tomb, the Incarnation is the single most significant elements of the human-divine story.  So, what is the incarnation and why is it so important to our faith?  [Optional reading:  What is Anglicanism? Chapter 4]

15    What is Anglicanism? – Church and Sacraments – At the center of our common life lie the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist.  In today’s continuation of our series “What is Anglicanis?” we explore our common life in the Church, the Sacraments we share, and the nature of the sacramental life we live.   [Optional reading:  What is Anglicanism? Chapter 5]

22    What is Anglicanism? – The Liturgy – Why do we do what we do when we do it in worship?  In other words, how do Anglicans understand Liturgy, what does it mean, and why is it so important to our church?  Join us today for our discussion of Anglican Liturgy. [Optional reading: What is Anglicanism? Chapter 6]

29    What is Anglicanism? – The Episcopacy –  Mitres, croziers, and other odd things – what does the Episcopacy mean and represent for the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion?  Join us for our ongoing conversation and discussion of What is Anglicanism?  [Optional reading:  What is Anglicanism? Chapter 7]


5    Palm Cross Workshop – All ages are invited to join us for an intergenerational morning of fellowship as we learn to make Palm Crosses from our Palm Sunday palms fronds.  Join us for this fun start Holy Week!

12    Easter Day:  The Sunday of the Resurrection – It’s Easter and that means that it’s time to celebrate!  Join us on the East Lawn following the 9:00 a.m. service (or before the 11:15 am service!) for the annual Easter Egg Hunt and other fun and games for our kids, and refreshments for all adults

19    What is Anglicanism? – Pastoral Care & Spirituality – Join us today as we continue our multi-part series on Anglicanism.  Today we will discuss the importance of pastoral care within our tradition and the practical spirituality of Anglicans through the ages. [Optional reading: What is Anglicanism? Chapter 8 and 9]

26    What is Anglicanism? – Mission & Church & State – What is our purpose?  We speak of this often as individual, and even as a local community.  What is the mission of the Church and how do we relate the broad society, the State, in which we live?  Join us to continue to explore the question:  “What is Anglicanism?”  [Optional reading:  What is Anglicanism? Chapter 10 and 11]


3    What is Anglicanism? – Prophetic Witness – The separation of Church and State is ingrained in our American psyche.  And yet, the Church is call, it would seem, to speak to, to bless and the challenge, our modern society.  Join us for this final part to our series What is Anglicanism? to explore and discuss the “Prophetic Witness” as it is understood within the Anglican tradition.  [Optional reading:  What is Anglicanism? Chapter 12]

10    Conversations with the Rector – As summer approaches join Fr. Drew for this informal conversation about Christ Church.

17    Recognition Sunday and Parish Breakfast – Join us this special Sunday as recognize the completion of our formation programs for all ages.  Members from the Catechumenate and adult formation programs will preach.  Following the service we will offer a Parish Breakfast as we turn our attention to summer.