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Disciples of Christ in Community

You’ve been reading about DOCC (Disciples of Christ in Community) for the past few weeks and I’ve mentioned it in meetings and on Sunday morning. Now I thought I’d share some more with you about this wonderful opportunity to explore the faith together here at St. Paul’s.

Many of us have been exposed to “bits and pieces” of the Christian faith all our lives but have never known what it’s all about. What difference can the Christian faith really make in our lives? How can we know the power it has to offer? Is there something fresh and new underneath those ancient words and beliefs?

DOCC is a Christian formation program for adults that builds community while encouraging individual spiritual growth. DOCC strives to build a Christ-centered community. Beginning in the small groups formed during the course, such a community is not rooted in doctrine—but in what the New Testament calls agape; unconditional, no-strings-attached love. DOCC explores what difference the Christian faith can really make in our lives and how we can come to know the power it truly has to offer.

Our DOCC experience at St. Paul’s this spring will begin with a one-day retreat on Saturday, March 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We’ll be led that day by the Rev. Canon William Barnwell, National DOCC Coordinator. William is an extraordinary teacher and we are very blessed that he’s able to help us get started. He’ll also be our guest preacher at both services on Sunday, March 11. Then we’ll meet on Monday evenings beginning on March 12 and continuing through June 11.

Each evening session contains two parts. The first part includes a little singing, some prayer and a presentation that I will make. This is followed by an hour-long response in small groups led by members of the congregation trained to facilitate the discussions. The St. Paul’s facilitators will be receiving their training with Will and a few experienced facilitators from Holy Trinity, Decatur on Friday afternoon and evening, March 9.

Since its beginnings with the Rev. John Jenkins at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans, in 1974, DOCC has graduated nearly 30,000 participants in more than 450 churches nationwide (and in Europe!)
The Very Rev. Samuel Lloyd, Dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and long-time DOCC leader and teacher, has this to say about the program:

DOCC offers a step-by-step journey into the heart and soul of Christianity along with a community of fellow-explorers to travel with. Each session consists of a 30 to 45 minute presentation followed by an hour-long conversation in a small group. The groups stay together for the entire course.

The DOCC journey depends to a large extent on the quality of the small-group experience, and small groups depend on the regular attendance of participants. That means that if you know that you will have to miss more than 2-3 sessions, it would be best for you to wait and take the course another year.

To enroll in DOCC at St. Paul’s, please fill out the form available for download here or through the parish office and send a check for $50 made out to St. Paul’s, noting “DOCC” on the memo line. I don’t want these fees to be a stumbling block for any of you, so please let me know if you have need of financial assistance.


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