Wednesday Evenings, Dec. 2, 9 & 16 | 7:00 P.M. | ZOOM
2020 has been unprecedented for all and challenging for many. With the challenges come opportunities. We have learned much, been forever changed, and unexpectedly enlightened. What are you longing to experience this Advent and Christmas season? What are you yearning to discover, and how will you prepare yourselves for the coming of the light of God into a world navigating a season of darkness? Join us for Preparing our Hearts, a three-week series featuring healing conversations around letting go, opening our minds, and becoming a beloved community.
December 2, 2020 | 7:00 p.m. (CST)
Rev. Matt Holcombe
Rector – St. Michael's Episcopal Church | Colorado Springs, CO
How do you allow God the holy space and privilege to change your lives? During this season of Advent, what are you willing to let go of so God can fill the voids and chasms created by a year of grief and loss? Join us to explore ways to prepare your heart and mind for the inevitable changes and challenges that complement life as we know it today.
Reverend Matt Holcombe is the Rector of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ordained in 2012, Matt previously served at Christ Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and St. David's Radnor, outside Philadelphia. Before answering his call to ministry, he was the vice-president of a start-up telecommunications company and also worked in the gaming industry. As a cradle Episcopalian, Matt fell in love with God and the Church at a young age. He has served the national Church in various capacities and held leadership positions on the diocesan level. More recently, Matt has led pilgrimages to Montgomery & Selma, Alabama, and helped organize a "Sacred Group" small group collaboration among 13 churches across Colorado.
A graduate of The General Theological Seminary in New York City, Matt enjoys the Church's rich traditions while exploring new and innovative ways to help people grow spiritually and deepen their relationship with God, the world, their neighbors, and self. He moved to Colorado Springs in February 2020 with his wife Alicia, their two children, and Archie (the family dog). Matt enjoys chasing adventure when he isn't behind the altar.
Opening Minds through Open Hearts
December 9, 2020 | 7:00 p.m. (CST)
Rev. Chris Harris
Associate Rector | Christ Church Cranbrook | Bloomfield Hills, MI
One of the most fundamental responsibilities we as Christians have is to take that inner journey, that self-reflective journey, and ask ourselves, "What am I carrying around"? Understanding reconciliation begins with self-work rather than other-work; in this Advent season, how can you prepare your OWN hearts for transformation? Join us in this session to learn just that.
Reverend Chris Harris started his professional career as a lawyer in San Diego, California, defending taxpayers from the IRS. He is a past Chairman of the Alpha Project for the Homeless, San Diego's largest multi-service homeless agency, recognized by the President of the United States as the country's 185th Point of Light.
Before entering the ordination process, Chris served as Canon for Congregational Development at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego, where he oversaw newcomer welcome, small groups, communications, and stewardship. He continues that ministry at Christ Church Cranbrook.
Chris serves the national Church on the Board of Directors of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS) and the Advisory Board for Invite-Welcome-Connect, a national evangelism ministry. He is the creator of Living Wi$ely, a nationally recognized faith and personal finance ministry. Chris speaks on congregational development and stewardship topics at churches and conferences around the country, including The Consortium for Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP), Evangelism Matters, The Episcopal Church Foundation (EFC), and The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS).
Chris's passion is helping people create lives of meaning and purpose by using their God-given gifts to love and serve the world. Chris lives in the Metro-Detroit area of Michigan with his husband Joe, their twin daughters, Aleena and Gianna, and a family of (as yet, unnamed) deer in their backyard.
Becoming a Beloved Community
December 16, 2020 | 7:00 p.m. (CST)
Rev. Kathleen (Kathy) Walker
Missioner for Black Ministries | Diocese of North Carolina
As we prepare for the celebration of Jesus' birth, let us embrace welcoming the strangers among us into our hearts and our sacred spaces. God is inviting each of us to connect with His people to bring the beloved community into realization. Join in this session and learn how you can embrace and become a welcoming community member.
Reverend Kathy Walker joined the bishop of North Carolina's staff in February 2020 to focus on historically Black congregations' contributions and vitality by helping to weave their diversity into a closer bond of inclusion with other parishes and the diocese. Her goal in the position is to ensure all predominantly Black congregations have the best opportunity to make the fullest use of their parishes, partnerships, and diocese resources. Kathy graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 2018. Shortly thereafter, she joined the clergy team at St. John's Episcopal Church in Tallahassee, Florida as associate rector for pastoral care and parish life. Kathy is originally from Miami and was an active layperson in that diocese before discerning the call to ordained ministry. She is past president of the Theodore R. Gibson chapter and Southern Region Director of the Union of Black Episcopalians. She also helped to charter a new chapter of the UBE in 2019.