Sunday Forums


Sunday Morning Forums

All forums meet from 9:00 - 9:45 a.m. in the Meade Room unless otherwise specified. Coffee and goodies are provided.

August 25, 2019 - Rector's Forum


April 8, 2018 - Rector's Forum

The text from the Rev. Dr. Noelle York-Simmon's April 8 forum, in which she addressed some staffing changes, the work of the history committees and announced a new theme for the 2018-2019 program year, can be read here


January 28 - John Burns | Foundation Sunday



January 21 - Jim Wallis | Bring Theology Back to Church



Practicing Truth: Race, Our Church, and the Community

The following is a list of Sunday Forums as part of the Practicing Truth series. For a complete listing of all offerings in this series, please visit the Practicing Truth page.

September 17 -  Why is this hard? In the first of our Sunday Forums on race and reconciliation, the Rev. Noelle York-Simmons will lead a guided discussion on what makes conversations about race and racism so hard. Come with an open mind for how the Spirit might shed light in our community and in your heart.  

September 24 -  What do we do? In the second of our Sunday forums on race and reconciliation, Noelle will help move us through an exploration of how we respond to the difficulty of conversations about race. We know it is hard and we’ve identified why, so how should we respond as individuals and as a community?

October 1 - What's next? In the third of this three-part series, members of the Practicing Truth committee, led by Ann, will present some findings of their own exploration over the last year and introduce the congregation to some of what is planned for the community’s journey, informed by the discussions of the previous two weeks. 

December 3 - Alexandria is my home. Dr. Alton Wallace

December 17 - Heaven is my home. Singing the Songs of the Black Experience. Music Forum with the Rev. Dr. Bill Roberts, Church Music Professor at Virginia Theological Seminary. 




August 27

The Rev. Noelle York-Simmons reflects on her first year as Rector. 


June 11

In March, the Rev. Ann Gillespie completed her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing through Seattle Pacific University. Below is a recording from when the reading from her memoir manuscript, Letting Myself Go.




Practicing Truth: Race, Our Church, and the Community

Last January, immersed in and strengthened by our baptismal covenant, the Vestry and Clergy of Christ Church put out a unified statement against white supremacy. Shortly after that a committee was formed to discern how the church is called to respond to the undeniable disparity in treatment between whites and blacks in our city and in our country. What has been born is a year-long initiative of education and conversation that may eventually lead to action and reconciliation, called Practicing Truth: Race, Our Church, and the Community. Turns out we are right on schedule: last month the national church released a new program in support of churches embarking on this effort to deal with/dismantle racism called Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church's Long-Term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation, and Justice. 

Part One - We will begin this summer with a book study.

Sunday Forum series: July 9 - August 13, 9:00 a.m  

A six-part discussion of the book America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis.
Because there is some preparation suggested for each discussion, use this link to sign up to receive assignments.  Books can be purchased in the Christ Church Gift Shop or online.


Part Two - In the fall, we’ll kick off our adult faith formation with a series of structured conversations.

We will also offer age appropriate programming for children and youth at various times during the year. During Lent and Advent, we will offer multiple tracks of formation.    

We all have the ability to speak truth about the culture in which we live. As leaders in and members of the Episcopal church, we can wait no longer to address the injustices that still exist. As a white woman of privilege, I have benefitted from the color of my skin, just as my African-American colleagues have been punished or disadvantaged for the color of their skin. This effort is not intended to shame anyone, but it is intended to name the truth of what exists in our society and our city. We will dare to tell our stories in courageous conversation so that as a faith community we can make better decisions about how we move into the future. We can shape who we want to be as church in this community, but the first step is seeing clearly and speaking the truth to one another. 



Lent 2017 

Navigating the New 

March 12 - Navigating Difficult Dialogue with Dr. Kevin York-Simmons



2017 - Voices of Hope

Prayer 101: Voices of Hope in Scripture

Starting on January 5, on Thursday nights from 7:00-8:30 p.m. we will continue to practice Lectio Divina – a kind of contemplative divine reading – in which we will listen for God’s hope and mercy through the voices of hope in both holy scripture and writers like Martin Luther King, Jr. and theologian Howard Thurman. All are welcome at any time.

January 8: Voices of Hope in Music

Our Director of Music, Jason Abel, will present a forum on different pieces of music in which the composer created a work to provide the listener with hope. Works by Beethoven, Chopin, Elgar, and others will be presented.

January 15: Voices of Hope in Community - Fellowship Breakfast

Voices of Hope in Uganda - Forum (will be after 10:00 a.m. service)

Dr. Edith Namulema, the Director of the Mengo Hospital HIV/AIDS clinic, will share with us how Christ Church has offered Voices of Hope for the clinic and hospital and how they are a voice of hope for the future.

January 22: Voices of Hope in Community -  Annual Meeting in Historic Church

January 29: Voices of Hope in History

Historian and parishioner, Julia Randle, will offer another lecture on the history of Christ Church: “Worshipping in a National Shrine.”

February 5: Voices of Hope in Maryland

Jazz musician and activist, Daryl Davis will talk about his friendship with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan.

February 12: Voices of Hope in Richmond

The Rev. Melanie Mullen, our former seminarian will offer a forum on the process St. Paul’s Richmond has

recently been through about claiming their Confederate history and transforming the parish.

February 19Voices of Hope in Community - Fellowship Breakfast

February 26: Voices of Hope in Mission

Join us for a lively conversation with some of our mission partners.


Who Are We? Then and Now - Part 4 

Part 4 - Fall Book Study of Ta Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. 

October 23 & 30 – Race, Despair, and the Search for Hope: Wrestling with Coates’ Difficult Truths with George Mason Professor Andy Hoefer

November 13 – Debriefing Ta-Nehisi Coates book


Who Are We? Then and Now - Part 3

Fall Lectures from Julie Randle

September 25 - Christ Church: Our Confederate History

October 2 - Memorializing a Parishioner Named Robert E. Lee

October 9 - A Special City of the Dead: The Confederate Mound at Christ Church

To see more about the upcoming forums in the series, click here.


Who Are We? Then and Now - Part 2

William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! Summer Book Study

Our exploration of the classic book,Absalom, Absalom! by Southern icon, William Faulkner.was led by parishioner, Andy Hoefer (Andy Hoefer works in the field U.S. southern studies, but his published work engages graphic novels, detective fiction, Hurricane Katrina, and The Big Lebowski.  Prof. Hoefer currently serves as the Assistant Dean of the Honors College and the Director of Mason's University Scholars Program. A native of South Carolina, he earned his PhD at Louisiana State University.) and selected clergy.

Faulkner 101: How to Read Faulkner

Faulkner 101: The South and the Fury

Faulkner 101: Toni Morrison and William Faulkner

July 24 - Preparing to Read Faulkner (Part1)

July 31 – The People and Plantations of Faulkner (Part 2)

August 14 – The Past as Prologue (Part 3)

In case you missed it...

Visit our YouTube page to see Julie Randle, Christ Church Historian and Registrar/Archivist of the Diocese of Virginia, and the series of Sunday Forums detailing the history of Christ Church in terms of race relations and our Confederate legacy. The topics she covered were:

Myths and Realities: George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and Christ Church

Christ Church’s Racial History: Our Parishioners during the Time of Slavery

Christ Church’s Racial History: Living into Emancipation, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement

Christ Church’s Confederate History: The Impact of the Civil War—During the War and Beyond.