Adult Forum is our main Sunday adult education offering. It takes place Sundays from 9:15 to 10:15 am in the Langner Lounge.
Sunday adult classes for 2015-16 at Trinity, Easton.
September 13, 20 & 27: From the Last Supper to This Sunday Morning: The Origin and Practice of the Holy Eucharist with Fr. Raymond Harbort
Fr. Raymond will trace the origin and historical development of the Holy Eucharist from apostolic times through present Episcopal and Anglican practice. Discussion will include the sacramental theology and customs typical of Christians observing the rite (such as posture, making the sign of the cross at certain points, standing and kneeling).
October 4, 11, 18, & 27: Understanding and Confessing the Nicene Creed with the Rev. Dr. Paul Fries
The Nicene Creed is the most universally accepted creed of the Christian church (Eastern Orthodox churches do not accept the Apostles’ Creed as a doctrinal standard). Born out of fourth century turmoil and conflict afflicting the church involving the Roman emperor, bishops, and priests, the story of its formation is high drama. But more importantly, out of the chaotic events to the time, came a statement articulating and establishing the axial teachings of the church on fundamentals of the Christian faith such as the trinity, the incarnation, and church. The drama of its creation, the meaning of its articles and its importance for the worship of the church and in the devotional life of Christians would be explored in a course of four to six weeks.
November 1, 8, 15: The Many Churches of the New Testament with Canon Andrew Gerns
Most Christians know that many books comprise the New Testament and take for granted that a single author is responsible for each book, but few realize that each book also represents a congregation. Each book either arises out of the common life of these gathered Christians or is directed to them by the author. Together we will look behind the text to get an idea of the varieties of Christian communities through whom the Holy Spirit worked and how each responded to the Good News of Jesus Christ. We will also discover what these congregations can teach us about being the gathered followers of Jesus today.
November 22: Monks, Friars and Jesuits, oh my! Religious Life in the History of the Church with Br. Millard Cook, OLW
The history and variety of vowed religious life in the Western Church.
November 29, December 6, 13 & 20: For Our Salvation He Came Down From Heaven with the Rev. Dr. Paul Fries
These words from the Nicene Creed introduce the Creed’s statement concerning the incarnation. This course will provide a detailed examination of the biblical and ecclesial teachings concerning this doctrine. In addition to endeavoring to amplify our understanding of the singular act of God the Son taking on human nature, and the cosmic significance of this event, we will explore the meaning of the incarnation for our lives, our world, and the transformation of a sinful world into a new creation will be explored, as will common and popular misunderstandings of Jesus and his mission.
January 10, 17, & 24: From Palms to Resurrection with Fr. Raymond Harbort
The origins of Holy Week. How and why we celebrate the Lords’ death and resurrection and ours in Him. I will trace the origins from the New Testament times to our present Book of Common Prayer with a focus on Baptism….a guide to Holy Week!
January 31: Advanced Directives and “Five Wishes” with the Rev. Mary Catherine Cole, Director of Pastoral Care, St. Luke’s-University Health Network, Bethlehem.
Five Wishes is an easy to use legal document written in everyday language that lets adults of all ages plan how they want to be cared for in case they become seriously ill. It is America’s most popular living will with more than 18 million copies in circulation. It is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it speaks to all a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. In this class, you will learn how to use Five Wishes to help you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. You will also learn how to structure discussions with your family and physician about your wishes for care at the end of life.
February 14, 21, 28, & March 6:Suffering, Evil and the Goodness of God with the Rev. Dr. Paul Fries
It is not a new question but one which agonizes believers today as never before: if God is unconditionally good and unconditionally powerful, then how can pain, suffering and evil be possible? Would not a good God use invincible divine power to create a world of unqualified goodness? And if not, is God truly good? Scripture, philosophy, theology as well as a number of literary figures such as Dostoevsky and Camus will be examined.
March 13: Our Anglican Lady with Brother Millard Cook, OLW
On the importance of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in the history of the Anglican Church.
April 3, 10, 17, & 24: How to be a Crazy Christian with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry with Canon Andrew Gerns
In this course, Bishop Curry encourages us to break away, to be different, to embrace the crazy hope of the Gospel. He offers wisdom and guidance on how to become what he calls “crazy Christians.” But beware: following Jesus can be simultaneously natural and easy (as we live into who we were created to be) AND it can be relentlessly difficult (as we break away from what the world tells us and as we seek to remain committed to our calling). Joining the counter-cultural adventure of discipleship means beginning truly to live, to know peace and joy, to have hope, and to dream of glory. If you seek to revitalize your faith, or to learn more about what it means to be a Christian, or if you’re simply weary of following your own way, this course is for you.
May 1, 8, 15, and 22: Beyond Happiness: the Biblical Promise of Delight with the Rev. Dr. Paul Fries
Happiness is a primary value in American culture, and its pursuit a divine right according to the Declaration of Independence. Yet happiness as currently understood, identified as it is with consumption, is not easily reconciled with biblical Christianity. Although not generally recognized, scripture speaks of delight as the fulfillment of human desire, portraying God as a God of delight, and inviting us to participate in divine delight. I have been working on a book on this subject for over a decade and would be delighted to offer this course.
About the 2015-16 leaders of Adult Class:
The Rev. Mary Catherine Cole is Director of Pastoral Care and also an ACPE-certified CPE Supervisor. An ordained Baptist minister and graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, she has extensive experience in health care institutions and parish ministry.
Brother Millard Cooke, OLW, is a member of the Order of Our Lady of Walsingham and is Executive Assistant to the Rector at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, New York, NY. He earned his BA at Appalachian State University, an M.Div. and an M.A. in Systematic Theology from St. Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, PA, and an M.Phil and M.A. in European History from Fordham University. As a priest in the Roman Catholic Church, he served parishes in Manhattan, the Bronx, and in Pennsylvania.
The Rev. Dr. Paul Fries is an ordained minister of word and sacrament in the Reformed Church in America; and has served parishes in The Hague, Netherlands, the Chicago area, and Michigan. He was Professor of Foundational and Constructive Theology and academic dean at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Jersey. He earned his BA from the University of Michigan (with honors), an M. Div. from Western Theological Seminary (also studied at Chicago Lutheran Seminary), and Drs. Th. (cum laude) and Ph. D. from the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands).
The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns is the Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Easton, having served parishes and hospitals in Connecticut and West Virginia. He received his BA in religion from Drew University and M.Div. from the General Theological Seminary. He has also studied at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, England, Andover-Newton Theological School, and the Hartford Seminary. He was a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains from 1996-2004.
The Rev. Raymond Harbort is the priest associate at Trinity Episcopal Church and a graduate of the General Theological Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1968. He served parishes in the Dioceses of New York, Newark, California, and was Rector of St. George’s, Hellertown, 2005-2009. In the Diocese of Bethlehem, he was a member of the Commission on Ministry and the Liturgy and Music Committee, served as a facilitator for the Fresh Start program, and taught liturgy in the Bishop’s School. He volunteers at the Trinity Church, Bethlehem soup kitchen. He and his partner, Henry Baird, live in Bethlehem.
For more information contact Kathleen Lynch, Christian Formation Coordinator, through the parish office. 610-253-0792.