Christian Education for Adults
We at Trinity normally have a number of adult
education programs. We also participate in -- and occasionally lead -- adult education programs
undertaken by neighboring parishes.
What's upcoming or going on right now?
Adult Education on Sunday
--During the most recent months, Pastor Heidi led a class on the Gospel of Mark and "the
Essential Episcopalian" beginning at 8:50 AM (following the 8 AM
service) and ending by 9:45 AM. That class is now concluded, but a
new offering will begin in the Fall.
What's happened recently?
Linda Snyder, Diocesan Christian Formation Missioner, visited
and spoke with us
latest information about Adult Education at Trinity, be sure to read
the Trinity Update.
--Education for Ministry (EFM):
In recent years, we have held a
number of EFM classes, enrolling (and graduating) not only our own parishioners
but also parishioners from other Episcopal (and other denominations as well)
parishes in our area. As with most programs in a small parish, Education for Ministry
at Trinity will now be taking a holiday until new students emerge from the
parish and surrounding churches. The material that follows refers to the
most recent EFM program conducted at Trinity, which graduated our own Alexis
Dorf in June 2009.
EFM mentor Mary
Anne Carley led the course on Wednesdays from
3 – 5 PM in the Trinity library. The program meets weekly throughout the
academic year. EFM is an extension course from the University of the South
(Sewanee). It is not intended to prepare participants for the ordained ministry,
but rather to provide a seminary level course in theology, inviting participants
to more fully explore the roots of our beliefs and to reflect on their lives in
the light of the Christian tradition. The full program takes four years to
complete; however, members commit to only one year at a time. Our EFM group included participants from several parishes and at least two Dioceses. For further
information, including fees for the program and to discuss plans for future EFM
groups, contact Mary Anne at 860-364-5652
EFM Mentor Mary Anne
Carley congratulates Norma Wright upon her graduation from the four year EFM
curriculum in June 2007
What else notable has happened in adult
education in recent years?
--The Robertson Alford Lecture Series at
The 2007 Robertson Alford Lecture
Series was entitled "Domestic Green: helping the environment starts at
home" and was organized by Lynn Gaffney.
for more information about this
Christian traditions have come from
more than one source, and the contributions of so-called Celtic Christianity in
the days of the early Church were important ones. Their importance have
increasingly been recognized in the Episcopal Church in recent years -- no
surprise, really, when one considers that The Episcopal Church had its origin,
shortly after the American Revolution, in the Church of Scotland, rather than
the Anglican church at Canterbury.
At Trinity, we have one
very visible artifact of Celtic Christianity in our traditional "Trinity
Cross" which appears in two distinct variations on our steeply and on
our cornerstone. Another less tangible trace of Celtic Christianity is
found in our parish's purpose statement: "Trinity Church: offering
companionship along the Way."
The Inquirer's Class that recently
concluded was the first formal introduction of Celtic Christianity for most of us in the parish,
and the subject matter has resonated with the attendees.
What other kinds of programs have
Frequently people come to Trinity
with backgrounds in other religious traditions, and occasionally people come to
us with no religious
background at all. Gradually -- sometimes rapidly -- a critical mass of new parishioners with a desire
to know more about our Episcopal faith accumulates. When that time is reached, Trinity holds an Inquirer's Class, running for
several weeks, and scheduled for the convenience of both the inquirers and the
We concluded an Inquirer's
Class began at Trinity in March 2006. The class, which numbered around 35, was largely made up of present
Please contact the Parish Office -- or Pastor Heidi directly -- if you would like another Inquirer's Class
Noted speakers and innovative
programs on timely topics
--The Hardy Lectures on Anglicanism
late Rev. Dr. Daniel Hardy, Professor of Theology and Ecclesiology at Cambridge
University (and a former priest in the Diocese of Connecticut as well as
long-time summer resident of Twin Lakes) offered two notable presentations at
Trinity Lime Rock during the summer of 2006. The first lecture was Monday, July 31, at 7
PM and addressed a timely subject:
"Whither the Anglican Communion?" The second presentation was on
Thursday, August 3, also at 7 PM and focused on the person of Jesus
Not sure just who
Fr. Hardy was? Well, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams described him as "one of the Anglican Communion’s leading theologians."
--Christianity, Islam, and Iraq
following 9/11 and before the US invasion of Iraq, in response to the realization in the
congregation that most of us knew very little about Islam, the late Robertson
Alford, a parishioner with personal knowledge and experience in the Middle East, assumed the role of moderator of a group to study Islam at
Trinity Lime Rock. At the first session, Robertson presented a brief history
of Islam to the 15 parishioners who attended, accompanied by handouts that provided
a time line and defined many Islamic concepts.
A second session built on the
first. The group realized that we had barely scratched the surface in
terms of knowledge about
Islam, most particularly about how Islam and Christianity could co-exist in the
Robertson was charged with taking
the group further, and arranged for Dr. Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, Professor and Co-director of
the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian Muslim
Relations at the Hartford Seminary to speak at Trinity Lime Rock on April 5, 2003.
In a far-ranging discussion, Professor Abu-Rabi explored the subject of
Islamic/Christian co-existence, and in the process accurately predicted the next
several years of Iraq history. Parishioners who attended that evening
still marvel at the accuracy of the Professor's predictions regarding the
outcome of the Iraq invasion as they continue to play out and perhaps find it a bit disquieting that we
as parishioners of little Trinity Church in rural Connecticut had been able to
obtain better information about the prospects our nation faced in Iraq than our
to read more about
this series and see pictures
--Discussion and Book Study groups:
From time to time over the past few
years we have held Bible study groups and reading groups who met to read and
discuss authors whose writings were relevant to our own experiences here.
For the most part, these groups have been led by Trinity's clergy.
As well, particularly memorable were two recent series moderated
by Fr. Franck DeChambeau, in cooperation
with St. John's Church, Salisbury. One was on Bishop Spong's
recent works and another on the work Elaine Pagels has done on the Gnostic Gospels
discovered in Egypt.
--Christian Education for the unchurched:
Trinity a few years ago, under the
leadership of the Rev. Beth Long, sponsored a group of
women with no formal ties to organized religion, including professed atheists
and agnostics, for a series of weekday morning discussions in members' homes
regarding the Bible and its relevance today. Self-named "The Pagan Bible
Study Class," this group met for several months with considerable enthusiasm,
and, while we do not believe it gained any converts, we know that it enabled
many of its participants to have a better sense of where their believing friends
were coming from.