Christianity for the Rest of Us:
How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith
by Diana Butler Bass
"Consider this an invitation. I invite you on my pilgrimage to some very different kinds of churches, old Protestant churches that have found new life in the face of change. They reminded me that Christianity is a sacred pathway to someplace better, a journey of transforming our selves, our faith communities, and our world." ... from the Introduction.
Links to purchase this book:, in the USA and, or in Canada.
Holy Manners The background on the phrase and why we have adopted it. The guidelines for our studies.
Click to visit the St. David's Adult Ed Forum  Internet Discussion Group at Yahoo - the St. David's Forum. The archive is public and readable. Participation is by invitation. Click HERE if you would like to join. You will then be able to post your own responses to the list and will be emailed the notices and contributions of the others. Click left to visit the archives of the site (read only). There are presently 88 persons.
Outline of the Purposes, Goals and Overview of this study.
  Course Outline and Links to the 10 Session Pages 
Part One: What Happened to the Neighborhood Church?
1 Sep 17 Introductory Session. A night of introductions and introducing the author's themes of "mainline church" renewal.
Ch 1. The Vanished Village
Ch 2. Remembering Christianity
2 Sep 24 "The Rest of Us" - Deb Charnuski
Ch 3. The New Village Church
Ch 4. Finding Home

Questions, Discussion Summary and Close
Part Two: Ten Signposts of Renewal
3 Oct 1 Summary Notes
Ch 5. Hospitality  - Joanne Weins
Ch 6. Discernment - Marjorie Gibson
Oct 8 Thanksgiving
4 Oct 15 Summary Notes
Ch 7. Healing
5 Oct 22 Summary Notes
Ch 9. Testimony - John Whidden
5a x Ch 10. Diversity - Notes on line
6 Oct 29 Summary Notes
Ch 8. Contemplation  - Jan Hornford
7 Nov 5 Healing Touch - Revisit Ch 7. Betty Petersen
8 Nov 12 Summary Notes
Ch 12. Worship, Ch 13. Reflection - Worship at St. Davids - Mike Trew
8a x Ch. 14. Beauty - Notes on line - Commentary Wayne Holst
Part Three: From Tourists to Pilgrims
9 Nov 19 Summary Notes
Ch 11. Justice - Five things about MY experience with justice and peace at St D's - Sally Hodges
10 Nov 26 Summary Notes
Ch 15, 16, 17. Transforming Lives, Congregations, the World - A Vision for St. Davids - George LeDrew
Scanned Article - Caring Community - referenced in talk.
(For those who might enjoy reading George's talk and discussion above, but have not read all the above preceeding session notes, this short overview by Wayne will give you the flavour of the book.
Group Facilitator. Wayne Holst

I spent most of my life thinking like a church professional, rather than as a regular congregational member. My training as a pastor always had me asking myself 'how can I apply this discovery, insight, new information to a regular church setting?'

Often, clergy have been hesitant to share the discoveries they have made through a 'critical' approach to the Bible with their parishoners because they wonder how laypeople might accept it. I have found that many thinking laity are professionals in their own fields of endeavour and understand a critical approach very readily. What they seek are ways of relating faith to daily living.

I am grateful for the journey I have been taking through ordained ministry to teaching at the university and serving as a fellow layperson at St.David's United Church. Here we find that questioning and honest expression of our faith and doubt is readily accepted and supported.

Group Facilitator. Jock McTavish

I am a student and a poet, a democrat and a techocrat, an eclectic eccentric. I grew up in a loving Baptist community, so in my heart I'm still a Bible loving evangelical. As I grew in learning I found a new home in the United Church whose tolerance embraces the broadest range of Christian understanding. I most enjoy the illumination of our ancient traditions by modern scholarship. For they show in clear novel ways that the perspectives of the Special Ones were seldom the understandings of those that followed. They show all knowledge to be in relationship .

There seems a lack of understanding in our secular world for religious practices. The reasons why I still gladly - even necessarily - attend church are difficult to voice to those unfamiliar with church, or those injured by church. Elliott got it right. We find our way back to the place we started from. But with new understanding.


Sep 2007