Adult Forum: Winter/Spring series – January 15 – April 30, 2017
Building on the theme of Beyond Our Walls begun in the fall, St. Paul’s Adult Forum series resumes on Sunday, January 15, 2017 as we continue to explore more completely the ways in which God works in the broader world. For many, church offers a refuge from the busyness and pain of the world, a safe place from all the uncertainty and trouble that exists outside. But the Good News of Jesus also beckons the followers of Christ to engage with and love the world past the edges of the church grounds.
The Forum continues its aim to illuminate several different ways in which God is at work beyond our walls. Forum speakers include leaders of social service organizations, important civic institutions and other faith communities, as well as leaders within St. Paul’s and the larger Church who offer a variety of perspectives on how God shows up in the world out there.
It is a diverse, exciting and informative year! Forums take place on Sunday mornings at 10:10 AM in the St. Hilda Room and conclude in time for the 11 AM Eucharist. There are also some special and noteworthy evening events. Please come as often as you can.
January 15, 2017 10:10 AM
Keeping the Dream Alive: Continuing the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. through Service in our Communities
St. Paul’s has had a partnership with Person-to-Person, a social service organization in Norwalk and Darien that provides emergency assistance to the needy, for many years. Christian Community Action, an organization that folded into Person-to-Person, had its start right here on the grounds of St. Paul’s, and St. Paul’s continues to collect food and other items for Person to Person several times a month. On Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, join the Executive Director of Person to Person, Ceci Maher, for a discussion about King’s legacy and the work of Person to Person in this area of Fairfield County.
January 22, 2017 10:10 AM
An Invisible Challenge: The Reality of Mental Illness and What We Can Do About It
Awareness of mental illness continues to increase among the general population, but there still remains much room for improvement when it comes to providing sufficient support and resources to those living with mental illness. Linda Autore is President and CEO of Laurel House, an organization that seeks to address the challenge that mental illness presents, and offers her own perspective on how we can best respond to what is an important issue for this and every community.
The Enduring Legacy of St. Paul’s: 280 Years as a Faith Community in Norwalk
As St. Paul’s begins its 280th year, Assistant Rector Peter Thompson explores the history of this community and its continued relevance in our present time. This should be a fascinating discussion of who we were and a joyous celebration of who we still are!
SPECIAL EVENT – SPECIAL TIME:
JANUARY 30, 2017 7:00 PM
A discussion with Kelly Brown Douglas, author of Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, about the continuing reality of racism in our time and what we as people of faith can do about it.
February 5, 2017 10:10 AM
Faithiest: How the Religious and the Non-Religious Can Find Common Ground
In the changing religious climate, more and more Americans, especially in this region of the country, are atheists, agnostics and “nones,” either adamantly against religion or seeing no use for it in their lives. What does this mean for the future of our society and the world? How do we as religious people engage them and effectively build bridges? Chris Stedman, Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community and author of the much-lauded book Faithiest, shares his thoughts with the people of St. Paul’s.
Gay, Muslim, and Black: Navigating Diverse Identities in Uncertain Times
A discussion with Imam Daaiyee Abdullah, the first openly gay imam in the United States about the intersection of faith, sexuality, and race in a national climate that can at times be hostile
to outsiders in all three areas.
February 12, 2017 10:10 AM
Weaving Together Hope: How Refugees Find Their Way in a New Land
Refugees settling in the United States not only have typically escaped horrific circumstances in their home countries but also, once here, struggle to adjust to their new homes. Jane Delworth leads an initiative called Our Woven Community at the Burroughs Community Center in Bridgeport, which assists refugee women in producing their own clothing to sell. She tells us about the mission and success of her organization and the general challenges refugees face when relocating to the United States.
February 19, 2017 10:10 AM
Suicide is one of the leading modern-day causes of death, especially for certain populations like young people and LGBT folks, and so is an immense public health concern. The Rector of St. Paul’s, Nicholas Lang, has been trained in suicide prevention and joins us to share what he has learned.
February 26, 2017 10:10 AM
Agents of Growth: The Role of Business in a Changing City
Norwalk is a changing city, undergoing rapid development and growth, which comes with both its blessings and its issues. Business has a key role in stimulating the development and growth which we are currently experiencing. Ed Musante, the President of the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, discusses the state of the business community in Norwalk and what we as individuals and as a Church should know.
March 5, 2017 10:10 AM
Conversations Across Differences: Notes from the Field
How do students of different faiths and from different cultures speak to each oter about the things that matter? What can we learn from their communications and apply to our politics, our policies and the way we live our lives? Claire Lorentzen is the former US Education Manager of Generation Global, a program encouraging communication across differences administered by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and joins us to offer her insights based on her work in the important areas of interfaith and intercultural dialogue.
March 12, 2017 10:10 AM
What is God up to in the World?: Participating in the Mission of God Outside the Church
The Episcopal Church in Connecticut, an organization of 168 parishes of which St. Paul’s is a part, has been engaged in a long-term effort to reorient itself away from interior matters of church life and towards the mission of God that is happening outside of the boundaries of the church building. Timothy Hodapp, Canon for Mission Collaboration and Congregational Life for ECCT and one of the leaders of this effort, provides the background and road map for this endeavor and urges us to pursue the mission of God out in the world.
March 19, 2017 10:10 AM
The Value of Silence and Meditation: An Exploration of Modern Zen Buddhism
Mindfulness Meditation has become a mainstream Western practice, but the faith tradition from which it arose, Buddhism, is less well known. Jane Shuman, a practitioner of Zen Buddhism who leads the Twining Vines Sangha in Old Greenwich and Purchase, NY, outlines the practices of her community and shares what Zen Buddhism means for her.
March 26, 2017 10:10 AM
A Universal Right?: Healthcare for the Uninsured
Health insurance has been a contentious topic in the political area in recent years, but all sides of the argument have to acknowledge that a detectable percentage of people who live in the United States are in need of healthcare yet do not have health insurance. Parishioner Barbara McCabe, who runs the Americares Clinic in South Norwalk, gives us insight into what life is like for those folks, and tells us about daily life at the clinic.
April 2, 2017 10:10 AM
Norwalk boasts an active Sikh Gurudwara, or temple, on West Avenue, yet many residents of Norwalk have no idea who Sikhs are or what they believe. Inni Kaur, the CEO of Sikh Research Institute and an active member at the Sikh Norwalk Gurudwara, provides an introduction to the faith tradition, based originally in India, and discusses the issues on the minds of the local Sikh
No Adult Forum is held on either Palm Sunday (April 9) or Easter Day (April 16)
April 23, 2017 10:10 AM
The recently retired Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, joins the St. Paul’s community for an informal conversation about the current state and future of the Church, her time as Presiding Bishop, and her passion for protecting the integrity of all creation. Bishop Katharine joins us again at 5:00pm in the evening for our Faith in a New Millenium series on This Fragile Earth, our Island Home: Caring for Creation in a Time of Volatile Change (see description below)
This Fragile Earth, our Island Home:
Caring for Creation in a Time of Volatile Change
Melting icecaps, rising temperatures, unpredictable storms: the effects of climate change become more and more evident as time goes on, and are having a disproportionate impact on those who are already poor and disadvantaged. What do we, as people who care about the world and all that lives in it, have the responsibility and the potential to do? On this day after Earth Day, Katharine Jefferts Schori, the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and a leading Christian voice on the environment, shares her reflections on the state of our planet and how we can do our part to help redeem it.
April 30, 2017 10:10 AM
St. Paul’s member, State Senator for Norwalk and Darien, and State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff shares his perspective on the current state of Norwalk, highlights important developments occurring in the larger state government, and imagines what the future of Norwalk
Download the full Winter/Spring series brochure here.