Adult Forums

From fall to spring, on Sunday mornings we offer the Adult Forum at 9:15am, a chance for formation before or after worship . We often highlight social justice issues and opportunities for spiritual growth.

Winter Schedule

(more dates will be added as speakers are confirmed)


March 2018

  • March 11: The Practice of Pilgrimage with the Rector

When we travel, how can we encounter the Holy? How can we intentionally spend time “away” not just for rest, but for reflection. This adult forum will be led by the Rev. Mike Angell will take a look at pilgrimage as a spiritual discipline. We’ll have a preview of this summer’s trip to the Holy Land, we’ll talk about last year’s trip to El Salvador, and we’ll talk about how we might transform time away into more intentional time with God.

  • March 18″Psychological First Aid in Times of Crisis.” with The Rev. Dr. Barry Hong

Barry Hong, Ph.D. will lead the Adult Forum discussion of “Psychological First Aid in Times of Crisis.”  Dr. Hong is Professor and Vice Chair of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, Psychologist-in-Chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and an ordained Lutheran minister.

Past Forums:

March 2018

  • March 4 Deaconess Anne House Update:

Jillian Smith and the Corps Members will give us an update on Deaconess Anne House in north St. Louis. The Deaconess Anne House is a member of The Episcopal Service Corps, a federation of young adult service corps, dedicated to intentional community, spiritual formation, and service to the community.

February 2018

  • February 4  The St. Louis Slave Trade & the Church’s Complicity

To begin our commemoration of Black History Month next Sunday, Ken Winn, Ph.D. will lead Adult Forum in a discussion of “The St. Louis Slave Trade & the Church’s Complicity.”  A doctoral graduate in history from Washington University, Ken is the former Archivist of the State of Missouri and the author and editor of a number of books and articles.

  • February 11 Dismantling Racism

The Rev. Chester Hines will lead a discussion of the continuing work of the Diocesan Commission on Dismantling Racism and its newly revised 14-hour training program. Specific attention will be given to the structure of racism and specific strategies to confront it.

  • February 18 The Social Construction of Race

Kenneth Pruitt, director of diversity training for the Diversity Awareness Partnership at Webster University, will lead a discussion about the social construction of race. We will take a look at how race has been constructed over history, and how that social construction continues today. Kenneth was recently featured on St. Louis Public Radio’s “We Live Here” podcast speaking about the “woke spectrum” and the work the white community has to do in the dismantling of racism. How do we talk about questions of privilege and discrimination, and how do we “deconstruct” race?

You can listen to the episode of “We Live Here” featuring Kenneth Pruitt by clicking here.

  • February 25 Bach as “The Fifth Evangelist”

Join us to explore the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, a composer known for his deep engagement with religion and spirituality. We’ll talk about how music and performance convey spiritual meaning, and how history and culture can transform this meaning.

January 2018

  • January 7 Intergenerational Activity for Epiphany

Come and hear a Godly Play story about the Epiphany and then make crowns and stars!

  • January 14 “What is an Annual Meeting” 

The Rector and Vestry Members talk about our pattern of self-governance, and take a look at the annual meeting coming up in two weeks.

  • January 21 “Growing Leadership for the Jesus Movement” The Rev. Emily Wachner

The Rev. Emily Wachner is a professor at General Seminary and director of integrative programs. She will lead a discussion about what it means to form Christian disciples today. What does it mean to be the “Jesus Movement?” Do we see Christianity as a set of teachings to be learned or a way of life? How do we form leaders?

  • January 28 ANNUAL MEETING

Formation for Adults is in recess as we host the annual meeting of the parish. Read more about the Annual Meeting.


December 2017

  • December 3 Dr. Adam Ployd on the History of Advent and Christmas
  • December 10 What is a Deacon? with the Ven. Mark Sluss, Archdeacon of the Diocese of Missouri.
  • December 17 The Rector talks about the history of Lessons and Carols
  • The Adult Forum will be in recess for December 24 and 31

November 2017

October 2017

  • Oct.  1 St. Francis Day Animal Blessing (No Forum)

On St. Francis day we won’t host a breakfast or forum because so many of us will be busy getting our animals ready for the St. Francis Day blessing. Join us after church for blessings, and a fiesta!

  • Oct. 8 One Book, One Parish: The Third Reconstruction 

Join in our discussion of William Barber’s “The Third Reconstruction.”

  • Oct. 15 Stewardship Kickoff – The Stewardship Committee
  • Oct. 22 African-American Music – Dawn Padmore

Our special guest musician join us to talk about the music of Africa and African American culture just before our Music Festival featuring her voice.

  • Oct. 29 Origin & History of Church Music – Conn0r Scott

Our organist leads a discussion about Church music.

September 2017

  • Sept. 24 Faithful Action Forum: The State of our Relationships with Rep Joe Adams, The Rev. Marc Smith, and the Rector

After a week and a few days of protests following the Stockley verdict, we pause to reflect on our collective voice in the face of racism and strife. How are we responding to the actions in our streets? How can we continue to build a movement for justice? What hopeful steps are possible? Come with your questions, frustrations, doubts, and hopes for our community.

May 2017

May 7: (Un)Learning Violence, (Re)Learning Hope” with Dr. Mai-Anh Tran.

Mai-Anh Tran, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Christian Education at Eden Seminary, will lead this morning’s Adult Forum discussion, “(Un)Learning Violence, (Re)Learning Hope.”  Dr. Tran, a deacon in the United Methodist Church, is widely recognized for her work on strategies for Christian formation.

May 14: Women’s Voices Raised for Justice with Lise Bernstein

Lise Bernstein, President of Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice, will discuss the organization’s mission and recent “Lock It for Love” partnership with the diocese at our May 14 Adult Forum.  Ms. Bernstein was recognized as a St. Louis Woman of Achievement by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for her her social justice advocacy and is an active member of Central Reformed Congregation.

May 21: Victims’ Advocacy

Kate Alexander, a Victim Advocate at Crime Victim Advocacy Center (CVAC), will lead the Adult Forum discussion of the social and psychological consequences of violence and public policy options in response to them.


April 2: Handel’s Messiah in Lent

The Rev. Marc Smith presents the final chapter of the discussion he started in Advent about the influences of Handel’s master choral work, the church history and politics of the time, and what Handel has to say to Christians today.

April 9: Presenting Holy Week

The clergy lead an inter-generational conversation about Holy week, giving us a preview of the week ahead.

April 16: Easter Sunday, there was no adult forum.

April 23: Update on the Gannon House

Kara Cummins from the building committee gave us an update on the Gannon House. You can see her powerpoint presentation online here.

April 3o: Housing the Lost Boys

Continuing our March Conversation, “Making a House a Home for Justice,” our junior warden Susan Norris led a discussion about the work of her former church in the Boston area that houses a group of the Lost Boys of the Sudan.


March 2017 Series: “Making a House a Home for Justice”

In March, we’re used the adult forum as a vehicle for conversation as we discern how we will use our house. Holy Communion is renovating a house we own on Gannon Street, immediately behind the church. We’ll be hearing from leaders involved in various “housing based” ministries.

March 5: “For I was a Stranger,” 

Debbie Morris Smith, volunteer coordinator for the International Institute of St. Louis (and wife of Bishop Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri) lead us in a discussion about how faith communities can welcome refugees (and sometimes even house them).

March 19: Magdalene House

The Rev. Hope Jernagen, Executive Director of Magdalene House will be with us to talk about this new program, founded through the Episcopal church. Magdalene St. Louis is a residential community for women who have survived lives of sexual exploitation, violence and addiction. Women receive up to two years of housing, healthcare, and a compassionate community of sisterhood and support.

March 26: Talking about Sanctuary

Annie Rice, a local immigration attorney, will be with us to talk about the Sanctuary movement. This session is not legal advice, but a discussion about how various religious organizations are responding to the needs of undocumented immigrants under threat of deportation. For background on sanctuary, and some great articles and podcasts, check out our resources from this month’s theology on tap.

Also in March:

March 12: Handel’s Messiah in Lent

The Rev. Marc Smith continues the discussion he started in Advent about the influences of Handel’s master choral work, the church history and politics of the time, and what Handel has to say to Christians today.

February 2017

February 5: Why I Marched, a Holy Communion discussion about Activism, moderated by The Rev. Marc Smith and including stories from Mary Haggerty, Susan Norris, and Karen Payne

February 12: Toward a Diversity Statement: The rector and members of our Diversity task force talk with the congregation about naming diversity

February 19: Imaging the church: Deborah Nelson Linck, of Hands On Black History, kicks off a collaborative art project with the parish.

February 26: The State of Anti-Racism with The Rev. Chester Hines, chair of the Dismantling Racism Commission is our guest presenter (and preacher) as we look at the legacy of anti-racist work in the Diocese, the future, and we unveil a portrait of The Rev. Emery Washington, our longtime priest associate.

January 2017

January 8: Intergenerational Sunday School on the Epiphany

January 15 and 22nd: The Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause, Dean of Eden Seminary 

Dr. Krause will be our guest presenter for a two-part series focusing on Matthew’s Gospel. Dr. Krause is Eden Seminary’s Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament. An ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Deborah serves the church through social justice advocacy work, teaching, preaching and scholarship. Mark your calendar and plan to attend!

Hear Dr. Krause’s presentations:

Part 1:

Part 2:

January 29: Annual Meeting the annual meeting of The Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion will be held between the services on Sunday January 29.