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
Book-of-Two-Months Club for January-February 2024 selection
Our selection for January/February 2024 will be Eve Isn’t Evil: FeministReadings in the Bible to Upend Our Assumptions (Baker Academic, 2023), by the Rev. Dr. Julie Faith Parker, led by Mary Curlew. Rev. Dr. Parker is currently Visiting Scholar at Union Theological Seminary and Biblical Scholar ion Residence at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. She will join the second of two discussion sessions on Zoom. We will meet via Zoom on January 23rd and February 20th from 7 PM - 9 PM.
Meanwhile, the Adult Education Committee continues to look for volunteers to suggest books for discussion and lead the discussion for May/June 2024. Please contact a member of the Adult Education Committee (Penni Groves, Steve Hahn, Dan Hudkins, or Elizabeth Ring) to start the ball rolling. You can choose to meet once a month (two meetings) or every two weeks over six to eight weeks (three or four meetings). We look forward to hearing from you. If you are “away” during these months, you can facilitate the discussion by Zoom.
Lenten Study: Religious Literacy: The Abrahamic Faiths--Starts February 25th More than half of the people in the world consider themselves religious. For essentially all of the world's population, religion matters. If we are going to figure out how to communicate in a wider world, we have to have a place to begin. The beginning is literacy. We cannot understand each other unless we understand the meanings of the words from each others perspective. Yet, many of us do not have a reliable understanding of what a Pentecostal Christian believes or what the word Pentecostal means. Much less, what Abraham signifies to an Orthodox Jew or an observant Sunni Moslem. Last year, the Lenten study was on what it meant to be an Episcopalian. This year, we would like to further broaden our frame into the world of religious literacy focusing on the Abrahamic faiths. We will spend four Sunday afternoons on four different topics using chapters from Huston Smith's text "The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions" as a jumping off point. (This book is widely available used and new.) Each session will stand independently, however consecutive attendance would be helpful.
We hope that you will join in a 4 session exploration of the broader definitions and understandings of some of the more common variations and practices of the Abrahamic religions.
We will meet from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM on 4 Sundays: • February 25 - Christianity - Roman Catholic and Orthodox (Chapters 1 & 8) • March 3 - no meeting, Lenten Evensong is at 4PM • March 10 - Christianity - Free church Black, Evangelical, Fundamental, & Pentecostal (Chapter 8 continued) • March 17 - Judaism - Conservative & Reform (Chapter 7) • March 24 - Islam - Sunni & Shia (Chapter 6) Questions? Interested? Sign-Up? Contact Dan Hudkins email@example.com or 207-401-0836.
Overview of Planned and Ongoing Activities 2023-2024 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 Lent 2024, the series will be led by Dan Hudkins on five Sundays at 3:00-4:30 p.m., beginning February 25.
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 read and discussed Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Lifeby Franciscan Friar and Ecumenical spiritual teacher, Richard Rohr.
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
Deep Dives: Province 1 Indigenous Relations Book Group: January 10, 2024 The Episcopal Church Province 1 Indigenous Relations book series convened via Zoom on January 10, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. The topic of discussion was Lisa Brooks’s Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’sWar (Yale 2018), winner of the Bancroft Prize for history (2019). As an Indigenous (Abenaki) writer Professor Brooks combines academic credentials as an historian (Ph.D., Cornell, 2004) with learning language and the reading of geography within the Indigenous communities and traditions of the Northeast to create a layered narrative of the event’s of King Philip’s War and its aftermath. There is a free website titled “Our Beloved Kin: Remapping a New History of King Philip’s War” available at https://ourbelovedkin.com/awikligan/index that provides an interactive supplement to the book.
2022-2023 Program History Advent Series 2023 This guided discussion series focused on Light of the World: A Beginner's Guide to Advent by Amy-Jill Levine. The discussions were led by Elizabeth Ring. In her introduction to the book, Professor Levine writes: "The more I read the nativity stories in Mathew and Luke, the more drawn in I am; each sentence, each word, shimmers with significance—with allusions to Jewish texts and Roman history, with connections to other words and stories in the Gospels, and multiple meanings for the present, about birth and death, revelation and hope, for any reader...."
Seminar offering on Saturday, 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.
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.