A local church is inviting other congregations and the community to a series of public talks as part of its Lenten celebrations.
On Mon., Feb. 25, the Church of St. Stephen and St. Bede began The Lives Of People In Difficult Times, a four-week series of talks examining faith, its history, and its role in public life.
"We figure that we’re in difficult times today, but we look back on these earlier times and, gosh, it seems like there were always difficult times," said event organizer Wesley Stevens, a retired classics and history teacher from the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg.
The church – a blend of Anglican and Lutheran congregations located at 99 Turner Ave. just off Mount Royal and Ness – will hold its next talk Mon., March 4, where Rev. John Stafford from St. John’s College will speak on the Old Testament.
On Mon., March 11, Rev. Don Engel from St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church will present a talk answering the question: "Why do we worship this way?" and on Mon., March 18, former MLA and MP Rev. Bill Blaikie will speak on Christians in public affairs.
The talks are open to all and designed to get people thinking about their own faith, Stevens said.
"We go about it in the need to think, the need to remember our own situation and our own faith. It’s a little deeper than usual," said Stevens.
"Each of these topics will take the audience back into a topic or time where significant things were done that we need to remember."
Event organizer Donna MacLean said the series, now in its fourth year, is part of the small congregation’s outreach program, which include nursing home visits, prison ministry, Christmas carolling, a drop-in food program, and the Mitten Tree for inner-city school children.
"We’re a small church in numbers, maybe, but we are very active in the community," MacLean said.
Each talk will be followed by a discussion, and the talks are meant to help educate people on their religion during Lent, a six-week religious observance period leading up to Easter Sunday.
"In days gone by in the church, you would give up something (for Lent)," MacLean said.
"The emphasis in our church nowadays is to do something extra good. By doing these talks, we’re teaching, helping people with their Lenten study."
The talks begin at 7 p.m. each night.
For more, call 204-837-9812 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.