Professor Susan Stabile has announced the dates for two Mid-Day Reflections in February. The reflections will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 1, and Monday, Feb. 28. Both events will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the School of Law in Room 242. Lunch will be served at both retreats. R.S.V.P.’s are requested to moel1755@stthomas.edu.

The first is titled “Spirituality Across Faith Traditions.” This Mid-Day Reflection, led by Stabile, will explore some universal dynamics that operate across different faith traditions, helping us to uncover kernels of shared truths that will allow us to more effectively understand and minister to those outside of our own tradition. It also will  introduce experiences of prayer and contemplation from several different faith traditions, affording some time for individual prayer and sharing of the fruits of that prayer experience.

The second retreat, co-lead by Professor Mark Osler, is titled “I Believe in God: Assessing the Value of Creeds.” This Mid-Day Reflection, led with Stabile, will explore the question whether there is value (individually and/or communally) to an embrace of a creed and, if so, how one expresses and understands the essential elements of one’s creed. Catholics and many Protestant denominations profess a creed and both the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed are broadly accepted in Christianity. Other Christians, such as Quakers, many Evangelicals and Baptists, reject the authority of, and need for, a creed. (Non-creedalism largely is found in sects with Anabaptist roots, such as Baptists, Quakers and Mennonites.) 

Bishop John Shelby Spong, retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, has suggested that creeds were merely “a stage in our development … [and] part of our religious childhood.” Osler, who proceeds from a non-creedal tradition, and Stabile from a creedal one, will each share some thoughts on these questions. There also will be time for individual reflection and group sharing.