2023-2024 Programs--Overview The Adult Education Committee at St. Bart’s endeavors to support and coordinate opportunities for intellectual and spiritual growth in the company of others as part of an open and inviting Christian community. To those ends:
Reflection on the Life of the Spirit and Christian responsibility in the world
Discussion of issues of import to members of the congregation, friends, and visitors
Liturgical Season Guided Discussions
With other parish committees (e.g., Pastoral Care, Community Outreach, Fellowship) as well as diocesan and interfaith groups of common spirit
Planned and Ongoing Activities 2023-2024
Book-of-Two-Months Club We sponsor and promote volunteer-led* discussion of selected books in the support of the goal of intellectual and spiritual growth and ethical responsibility. Any parishioner may volunteer and lead a group discussing an approved book over a two-month period (including at least two meetings, in-person or on-line).
For October - November, we will be reading and discussing Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Lifeby Franciscan Friar and Ecumenical spiritual teacher, Richard Rohr. We’ll meet at 7:00pm (via Zoom) on October 12 and November 9. You can order the book directly from the Center for Action and Contemplation bookstore (store.cac.org), or from your preferred bookstore. Click here for more information. Please contact Maria Guarino to be added to the email list for the Zoom link.
Volunteers and suggestions for subsequent two-month periods are welcome.
Liturgical Season Guided Discussions We offer weekly, multiple session programs during the times of and reflecting the themes of specific liturgical seasons (e.g., Advent, Epiphany, Lent, etc.)
For Advent 2023, the series will be led by Elizabeth Ring on four Sundays at 3:00-4:30 p.m. beginning November 19. For Lent 2024, the series will be led by Dan Hudkins on five Sundays at 3:00-4:30 p.m., beginning February 25.
Study Groups We encourage and help to coordinate (as necessary) study groups on specific topics or subject on an ongoing or ad hoc basis. Currently, Rev. Amanda Gerken-Nelson leads a weekly Bible Study group on Wednesday mornings at 10AM. We have started discussing the Book of Exodus.
Deep Dives We encourage and support learning activities that provide a learning experience that is sustained and cumulative, involve a series of coordinated activities, substantial readings, and the viewing of films or other performances. Typically, registration is required and consistent attendance and participation is expected. Activities planned for 2023-2024 include:
Sacred Ground—an Episcopal Church program addressing racial inequity, the church’s history, and our responsibility as members a community of faith. Starting in September, there are options to attend in person with members of the parish of St. Mary’s or on-line study via Zoom through the Tri-Diocesan program of the Diocese of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Responsible Parish Contacts: D. Hudkins (St. Marty’s); E. Ring (Tri-Diocesan). Click here for details.
Indigenous Justice Book Study Series—a seven-month program coordinated throughout Province 1 of the Episcopal Church (all the dioceses of New England), consisting of four online book discussion meetings and related local activities focusing on the history of white settler-Indian relations in the U.S. and the role of the churches in the history of inequity and in subsequent efforts at Truth and Reconciliation. Click here for further details and how to register. Responsible Parish Contact: S. Hahn
Seminar offering on Saturday afternoon, May 13th Courage to Thrive : Practical Steps You Can Start Today to Find Meaning, Joy, and Hope In conjunction with the Pastoral Care Committee, we invited Rev. Dr. Flanagan to share his personal journey that led him to find meaning, joy, and hope. His journey has woven together the support of mental health professionals with his paths of faith. The seminar was well attended.
Programs from last school year focused on challenging conversations about our lives as Christians as we engage with the world. Lent 2023 What's an Episcopalian? Ever wondered what an "Episcopalian" really is? This program looked at some of the bigger themes of what defines "Episcopalian" in both the larger context and for us here at St. Bart's with such topics as "'Anglican vs. Episcopalian' what's the difference?" "What do Episcopalians believe and who decides?" and "What does all of this mean for me?" Classes were shepherded by Rev. Amanda, our intern, Mary Curlew, and lay leader, Elizabeth Ring -- with a few special guest speakers, including Bishop Thomas Brown!
Fall 2022: Participation in internal and external book discussion group on The Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism .
Advent Season : “Parables, Poems, and Persons: What is the value of a life?” Led by Steve Hahn, readings for the first session included Luke 12.35-47 and 15.11-32 and the poems “The Prodigal Son Goes Over Notes for his Memoirs” by Rhina P. Espaillat and “Poem Ending with Three Lines of Wordsworth’s” by Gail Mazur.
Lent 2022 During the Season of Lent, a four-week session in March was led by Rob Neal based on audio recordings by Clarence Jordan of his lectures Power from Parables. Clarence Jordan was the founder of Koinonia Farms in Americus, GA, in the early 1940s. Koinonia continues to exist today and is a multi-racial, non-violent Christian community.
Epiphany 2022 During the season of Epiphany 2022, the Adult Education Committee presented four Sunday afternoon ZOOM sessions on the topic Something to Follow: ModernPoets and the Epiphany. Discussions focused on prior readings of poems by modern poets and their response to the very simple biblical Epiphany narratives (Matt. 2.1-12 and 2.8-20) and a variety of cultural traditions that coalesce around the themes of the journey toward faith, the experience of precarious promise, and ongoing experience of mortality and transcendence implicit in those stories and traditions.