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Want to know more about the history of your faith? Want to dig deeper into what it means to be a follower of Christ? This fall's FOCUS series might be just what you are looking for.

FOCUS courses are designed to intellectually challenge lay (not ordained) theologians (those seeking to understand the nature of God) in a rich, non-threatening format.


The Gospels: Doors into the Life of Christ

Overview: The canonical Gospels offer us unique (but overlapping) perspectives on the life of Jesus, each Gospel having its own sources, flavour, and intention. The background to and the layers within the Gospel narratives have offered wide scope for study, devotion, critique, challenge, and inspiration for generations of Christ followers, academics, and spiritual seekers.

This short course provides an introduction to and overview of the study of the individual Gospels within the Christian canon, along with a 'big picture' session on the composition and sourcing of the various Gospels. Join us for an informative, challenging series offering opportunity for learning, discussion, questions, and conversation.

Textbook: Class handouts will be provided. Please bring a Bible to the class sessions.

Instructors: Rev. Canon Bruce Bryant-Scott, Fr. William Hann, Dr. Les McKeown, Ven. Alastair McCollum, Rev. Canon Philip Wadham,

Location: St. John the Divine, 1611 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC. Parking available at the rear of the church and on the street.

Time: Five Thursdays, 7pm-9pm, beginning October 5, 2017

Description of sessions:

Thursday, October 5, 2017, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. “Why Four?” A look at the historical context of the Christian Gospels and the issues raised when they are compared to one another. Instructor: Archdeacon Alastair McCollum

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. “Mark: The First Witness.” Many scholars believe that the Mark is the earliest of the four gospels and the widest door into the life of Jesus. Instructor: Rev. Canon Philip Wadham

Thursday, October 19, 2017, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. “Matthew: Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Torah and the Prophets.” The Gospel of Matthew rewrites Mark and other sources to present a vision of God's justice in Christ. Instructor: Rev. Bruce Bryant-Scott

Thursday, October 26, 2017, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. “Luke: The Story Teller.” The Gospel of Luke invites us to reflect on mercy and social justice and to reflect on our life of discipleship today. Together, we will explore some of the great Lucan parables and how they invite us today to be a pilgrim on the way. Instructor: Fr. William Hann

Thursday, November 2, 2017, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. “John: Mystical Consciousness.” John's Gospel makes the 'flesh' the very dwelling place of the divine glory in Jesus. Instructor: Dr. Les McKeown.