Yes, “Paul All Fall” does sound like the title of a Dr. Seuss book. In addition, St. Paul kind of reminds me of the Lorax: an omnipresent little guy with some annoying habits, who’s right much of the time and knows it. (See, here’s the thing about Episcopalians: we often find ourselves able to poke fun at some of the aspects of our faith that we hold most sacred. Paul is the patron saint of our congregation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at him … er, with him.)
Throughout this fall quarter, EPIC will read the Letters of Paul and discuss them. We will read all thirteen of the letters attributed to him, though scholars can only agree on seven that are definitely Paul’s own. Other letters may have been written much later and attributed to Paul, which doesn’t necessarily lessen their importance to us.
By the end of the quarter, you’ll have read all of Paul’s surviving writings and then some, and you can expect to have a favorite or two, plus a deeper perspective on the most influential Christian of the first century. And if nothing else, you may get a hit of dopamine at the prospect of reading someone else’s mail.
EPIC meets in Viking Union, room 462A, most Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Here’s the full fall schedule, including Paul All Fall weeks and exceptions.
First meeting of the quarter: Get to know newcomers, decide on group norms.
1 Corinthians: the one where Paul schools the church on the definition of love
2 Corinthians: the one where Paul says we’re all kinda turning into Jesus over time
Galatians: the one where Paul calls them all a bunch of idiots
Ephesians: the one that women love to hate, for good reasons
Philippians: the one where Paul has apparently taken a happy pill
October 23: Taizé Prayer and dinner at the Hoslers’
October 30: Special discussion: “Spiritual But Not Religious?”
Philemon: the one that’s either pro-slavery or anti-slavery, depending on your personal level of racism
Colossians: the other one that women love to hate (Paul may not have written either one, by the way)
1 Thessalonians: the one that’s the earliest Christian writing we have
2 Thessalonians: the one that’s frighteningly vengeful and, as it turns out, also probably written by someone else
November 11-13 (our retreat weekend)
Romans: the one that sums up everything Paul believes, and that you could spend a lifetime studying
1 Timothy: the one where the writer imagines Paul slapping up false teachers and moralizing all over the place
2 Timothy: the one where the writer imagines Paul in prison without a coat
Titus: the one where the writer imagines Paul asserting that, yes, all people from Crete are lying, vicious, brutish, lazy gluttons
November 27: No EPIC (Thanksgiving weekend)
December 4: End-of-the-Quarter Party