Adult Education & Faith Formation » Stay-at-Home Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic

Stay-at-Home Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Committee at Ascension provides several stay-at-home resources and activities for the parish, including small group book discussions using a video group format over Zoom. Zoom is easy to use; you just need a computer (hopefully with a camera) capable of downloading the Zoom software, and an email address. 


Updated 1.14.21

Imagining the Apocalypse


On January 27 Peter O’Leary will conclude a series of three evening discussions on the Book of Revelation and its impacts, presented by the Lifelong Leaning and Adult Faith Formation Committee. The program on Wednesday, January 27 will focus on two modern apocalypses: Climate Crisis and Rapture.


Blaring trumpets, stars falling, a lamb on a throne of blood – these images of the end of time continue to feed our imagination, particularly during this time of pandemic and disruption. Christians have imagined the Apocalypse ever since Christ promised to return.  In modern times, we face a climate crisis of apocalyptic proportions and the impact of the primarily evangelical doctrine of the “rapture.” In these 60-minute lectures, followed by plenty of time for questions and discussion, Ascension member Peter O’Leary examines the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation, Christian history, and modern religious life. 


The series is presented online on Wednesdays, January 6, 13, and 27 at 7:30 pm.


Registration is required. To register, please send an email to and put “Apocalypse” in the subject line. The sessions will be presented online over the Zoom platform. 


Dr. O’Leary is a lector and catechist at Ascension, a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School, a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago, and a poet and literary critic. He has written several books of poetry, including Earth Is Best.


Reading & Discussing Spiritual Classics 

We invite you to join us for book discussions on spiritual classics. To participate, just send an email to with the name of the book title in the subject line. You’ll receive a return email before the discussion with a link for the Zoom meeting and further instructions. Reading the book before the discussion is ideal, but feel free to join even if you haven’t finished it.  


The next Spiritual Classics book discussion will be on Tuesday, February 2 at 8:00 pm to discuss The Way of the Pilgrim.  

The Way of a Pilgrim is an anonymous 19th-century Russian work, recounting the narrator's journey as a mendicant pilgrim practicing the Jesus Prayer while traveling through Ukraine, Russia, and Siberia. The manuscript was found at a Mount Athos monastery in Greece in the 19th century and was first published in 1884. The pilgrim visits churches and monasteries to try and understand how to pray without ceasing. His travels lead him to a starets (a spiritual father) who teaches him the Jesus Prayer—"Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me"—and gives him practical advice on how to recite the prayer uninterruptedly.


The work is available for free online at and Electronic and hard copies are also available at Amazon. Registration is required; to participate just send an email to with the name of the book title in the subject line. You’ll receive a return email before the discussion with a link for the Zoom meeting.


We have scheduled upcoming spiritual classics for future monthly discussions:


March 2, 2021:  On Loving God by St. Bernard of Clairvaux

April 6, 2021:  The Holy Rule of Saint Benedict by St. Benedict

May 4, 2021:  Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton


These Spiritual Classics discussions are led by Jeff Wood, a member of Ascension and chair of the Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Committee. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have read and discussed The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, Dark Night of the Soul by Saint John of the Cross, Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich, The Cloud of Unknowing, Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux, and The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander.