EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 23, 2013

Biblical scholar to speak at Merrimack College

By Yadira Betances

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Michael Legaspi, a philosophy and religious studies professor at Phillips Academy, Andover, will speak at the Cassiciacum Dialogue Wednesday Feb. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Cascia Hall at Merrimack College, 315 Turnpike St.

Cassiciacum dialogue is an open discussion led by distinguished philosophy scholars. It is named for Cassiciacum, a town near Milan, now known as Cassago Brianza, where St. Augustine held his first philosophical conversations and his first writings.

Legaspi is a distinguished Biblical scholar and the 2011 John Templeton Awardee for Theological Promise.

He received a bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, from Harvard University.

His first book, “The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies” was published by Oxford University Press in 2010. It explores how Enlightenment thinkers developed new academic modes of biblical criticism designed to preserve European culture by replacing older, confessional forms of biblical theology.

Legaspi is working on a second book which will examine how concepts of wisdom have shaped biblical study and interpretation.

Miriam’s Seder

ANDOVER — Passover begins at sundown on March 25.

On March 17, the Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation hosts a Miriam’s Seder, in which the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt is told from Miriam’s perspective. It will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. at Temple Emanuel, 7 Haggetts Pond Road.

The event features Seder and dinner. Honorees will be women who made their bat mitzvah.

The word Passover comes from the act of being “passed over,” when the plague of the death of the firstborn came into Egypt.

On the first and second nights of the festival, Jews have a Seder meal, featuring symbolic items | a roasted shank bone representing the paschal sacrifice at the temple and a roasted hard-boiled egg commemorating a holiday offering made at the same time; bitter herbs, for the bitterness of the slaves’ lives; a mixture of fruit, nuts and wine called “haroset,” to represent the mortar the Israelites used when making bricks for the Pharaoh’s buildings; and a vegetable such as celery or parsley, which will be dipped into salt water symbolizing the tears the slaves shed. Salt water or vinegar for dipping is placed alongside all other items.

Church listings

:Ballard Vale United, 23 Clark Road, Andover: The series “Immigration and the Bible: A Guide for Radical Welcome,” Sundays 9 a.m. through March 24. The Lenten study looks at the stories of immigrants and migration from Abraham and Sarah in Genesis to the Israelites who wondered in the desert for 40 years and Jesus who immigrated to Egypt as a baby.

Christ Church, 25 Central St., Andover: Lenten lectionary based bible study Sundays 9 to 9:45 beginning Feb. 17 through Palm Sunday. Members discuss “The Rich and the Rest of Us” Tuesdays in Lent at 6:30 p.m. Carolyn Cuozzo leads an overview of the Cathechesis of the Good Shepherd program, March 11, 7:30 to 9 p.m. The chatechesis is the basis of the Christian education program at the church. She speaks part of the church’s Women’s Group.

Faith Lutheran, 360 S. Main St., Andover: Midweek worship services will be held from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday and March 5, 12 and 19. A soup and sandwich lunch follows. Pastor Marsha Heydenreich leads a Bible study group on “The Old Testament in Matthew,” Wednesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

First-Calvary Baptist, 586 Massachusetts Ave., North Andover: Ecumenical service March 13 at noon, sponsored by Communities Together.

Free Christian, 31 Elm St., Andover: The Alpha Course is held Tuesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. until April 9.

Lawrence General Hospital, 1 General St., Lawrence: Ecumenical service March 6 at noon, sponsored by Communities Together.

Little Sisters of St. Francis, 8 Barnard Way, Danville: The sisters hold days of prayer for women March 23, April 13, Sept. 28 and Nov. 26; for men on May 18 and Oct. 19 and for married couples on Aug. 24 all from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For reservations, call 603-382-7490 or send an email to littlewaystac@yahoo.com.

Mary Queen of Peace of Sts. Mary and Joseph Parish, 200 Lawrence St., Salem: Lenten Mission, March 4 to 7 after the 6:30 p.m. Mass. Penance service on March 10 at 2 p.m.

Merrimack College 315 Turnpike Street, North Andover: Michael Legaspi, philosophy and religious studies professor at Phillips Academy, Andover, speaks at the annual Cassiciacum Dialogue, Feb. 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. Cascia Hall. The program is named for Cassiciacum, a town near Milan, now known as Cassago Brianza, where St. Augustine held his first philosophical conversations and writings.

Sacred Hearts, South Main Street, Bradford: “The Communion of Saints,” is this week’s theme as part of the video Lenten series on “Catholicism” Thursday 6:30 to 8 p.m. to March 14.

St. Augustine, 34 Essex St., Andover: Evening prayer using the liturgy of the hours begins Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. through May 15. Actress Olivia Woodford performs “The Heart of the Cross,” March 2 at 9:30 a.m. The play looks at the Passion of Jesus through the eyes of five women close to Jesus. Seventh grade students in the religious education program host a Taize prayer service March 4 at 6:30 p.m.

St. David Episcopal, 231 Main St., Salem: Course on basic Christianity is held every Sunday in February at 11:30 a.m.

St. Joseph of St. Mary and Joseph Parish, 33 Main St., Salem: The Rev. John Michalowski leads a workshop on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius now through June. Participants will pray 45 to 60 minutes a day over the assigned scripture passages or meditations from Ignatius’ exercises, then write their experience in a journal. The program, “Exploring the Catholic Faith” where participants reflect on the Sunday gospel and discuss it, continues Sundays, 7-8:30 p.m. through Easter. Lenten Mission, March 4 to 7 after the 7:15 a.m. Mass. Lent in story and song is perform March 22 at 7 p.m.

St. Joseph Cathedral, 145 Lowell St., Manchester: Bishop Peter Libasci preaches on the spiritual works of mercy during the Lenten mission Feb. 27, March 6, 13 and 20 at 7 p.m.

St. Lucy, 254 Merrimack St., Methuen: Stations of the Cross Fridays at 5:30 p.m. followed by soup or pizza.

St. Luke the Evangelist, Newton: Lenten evening prayer is sung Sundays at 6 p.m. follow by reflection and reconciliation.

St. Matthew, 2 Searles Road, Windham: The calling of Matthew, from the gospel of Matthew 9:1-13 will be discussed during the mission on conversion, March 1. Program begins with stations of the cross at 5:30 p.m., soup supper at 6 p.m. with video presentation, reflection and discussion. Stations of the Cross will be prayed for caregivers March 1 at 5:30 p.m.

St. Michael, 196 Main St., North Andover: The Tuesday Bible study group explores the book of Revelation at 7:30 p.m. “Why Catholic?” a faith sharing group meets for six-week to explore the key tenets of the apostle’s creed with emphasis on the trinity, the incarnation and the paschal mystery. The Lenten mission, “Why Catholic: Believe, Profession of Faith” Wednesdays beginning Feb. 27 through April 10. The Lenten session of Women in God’s Spirit study, “Why Catholic,” Feb. 27 to April 10.

St. Patrick, 118 S. Broadway, Lawrence: “Life and Faith” adult faith formation series exploring part II of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be held March 14 and April 11, from 7-8:30, through April.

St. Paul Episcopal, 390 Main St., North Andover: The Women’s Book group reads “The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.

St. Thomas Aquinas, 26 Crystal Ave., Derry: The reverends Bruce Czapla, Chris Gaffrey and Roger Croteau are available for reconciliation March 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Temple Emanuel, 7 Haggetts Pond Road, Andover: Cantor Idan Irelander leads a bar and bat mitzvah class for adults beginning Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Participants will learn to read Hebrew, the history of music and chant the Torah trope or the musical phrase cantillation applied to sacred text during public readings. The book group discusses “Heatwave and Crazy Birds” by Gabriela Avigor-Rotem, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. led by Rabbi Miriam Phillips.

Temple Emanu-El, 514 Main St., Haverhill: The book club discusses Jamie Korngold’s “The Good Upgrade” March 2 after sabbath services.

Trinitarian Congregational, 72 Elm St., North Andover: Pastor Rich Knight leads a Lenten Book Club on “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife,” by Dr. Eben Alexander, Wednesdays during Lent at 10 a.m. or 7 p.m.

West Parish, 129 Reservation Road, Andover: Lenten study using Marcus Borg’s book “Speaking Christian,” tomorrow at 9 a.m. Ecumenical Lenten service, Feb. 27 at noon. Sponsored by Communities Together.