This year Pentecost came amid a crucible moment for the movement for racial justice in our country. And our Church has been a visible and vocal witness during this time of pandemic and protest, as we have shown up and spoken out to declare unequivocally that black lives matter.

As Christians continue to discern what love looks like in the face of injustice–what tangible actions we can take individually and collectively in building a more just world–we must ground ourselves in the balm of Scripture. We turn to Scripture to be fed and formed as faithful witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that our work of justice might spring forth from the conviction of our faith. 

This summer, the Church of the Epiphany and St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church are coming together for “Faith and Empire,” a six-week study of the biblical Book of Daniel. 

Why Daniel?

Daniel was written during a time when God’s people were struggling to discern how to remain faithful, even as their lives were dominated by the political and cultural forces of the Empire. Daniel’s central themes have remained relevant ever since: the challenge of remaining loyal to God despite the alternately seductive and threatening voices of imperial powers; the indispensability of humility before God; the perpetual problem of human arrogance and failure to recognize the overarching power of God; the insatiable and life-denying human thirst for power and control; and the call to find in God the source of just, joyful and abundant living.

How will it work?

Each week there is a schedule of Bible readings to follow on your own, supplemented by an optional study book that corresponds with the reading. The daily reading schedule begins Sunday, July 12. Our small groups will then convene on Sundays for an hour on Zoom to discuss together what we’ve read the previous week. We will offer two Sunday meeting time options: 12:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. The Zoom meetings will begin on Sunday, July 19, and occur weekly through Sunday, August 23.

How do I sign up?

Anyone may download the reading schedule and follow it on their own. Registration is required, however, to participate in the weekly small group meetings via Zoom, and you will stay with your same group and meeting time throughout the series. While we hope you will attend all of the group meetings, it is OK to participate still if you know you will need to miss one or two sessions. 

What do I need?

  1. A Bible! And actually, for this study you will need a Bible with the Apocrypha. We recommend using the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation. A popular study Bible is The New Oxford Annotated Bible, should you wish to purchase a new edition.
  2. Participants are also encouraged to purchase the supplemental study book, Conversations with Scripture: The Book of Daniel, by Edmond F. Desueza and Judith Jones (Morehouse Publishing, 2011).

If you don’t have a Bible or need financial assistance to participate, please contact your pastor so that they can help you get the books you need (the Rev. Glenna Huber, rector of Epiphany, rector@epiphanydc.org, or the Rev. Richard Weinberg, rector of St. Margaret’s, richard@stmargaretsdc.org).

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