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Special to The PREVIEW
If you have ever wondered how the Episcopal Church differs from other denominations, about its history, worship practices, fancy vestments, its polity or its theology, you have an opportunity to have your questions answered.
The Rev. Douglas Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, is offering classes to answer these questions and more each Monday evening at 6 p.m. at the church, located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.
“These classes are a lot of fun,” says Fr. Neel. “We get into some wonderful discussions and offer participants the opportunity to really explore what the ‘Episcopal’ Church is all about. There is no obligation to become a member of the church, though there will be an opportunity provided to those who wish to be confirmed. We certainly want anyone who becomes confirmed into the church to be able to make fully informed and prayerful decisions. These classes offer that opportunity.”
Father Neel is not only a priest and a friend to many in our community, he is also a published author of a new book titled “The Food and Feasts of Jesus: Inside the world of first century fare,” with menus and recipes (published by Roman and Littlefield) that is receiving very favorable reviews. It is currently being used as a study guide for churches, a textbook at seminaries and universities, as well as a cookbook and a book of interest for those interested in food culture and its history. Fr. Neel is well known for his informative and entertaining teaching style and for bringing his insight and extensive knowledge to his discussions.
The Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neill, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, will be in Pagosa Springs to celebrate at St. Patrick’s morning worship service on Sunday, June 30, and confirm those who, after attending the classes, wish to make a commitment to Christ through membership in the Episcopal Church.
“This will certainly be a major festival occasion,” says Fr. Neel. “It is always a very special treat to have the bishop with us, and it is always a thrill to welcome new communicants into our parish family.”
The classes are open to anyone who wishes to attend. St. Patrick’s is located at 225. S. Pagosa Blvd. For more information about the parish, go to www.stpatrickspagosa.org, or call the church office at 731-5801.