Adult Education



All programs are held Tuesdays, 4 pm 

via Zoom:   Passcode: StStephen

(Join us on Zoom 15 minutes before class for fellowship.) 

 . . . . . 

September 8, 15, & 22 (Tuesdays)

Where Do We Go From Here?

presented by Amy Hastings 

4:00 p.m. tea and visit;  4:30 p.m. class and conversation

     “Share the outrage now, but understand that if you are not having conversations about this with your family, your friends, and strangers you meet in the airport six months from now, then there is no reason for you to expect that anything will have changed with this moment. Silence is too easy.”   — Larry Gladney, Professor of Physics, Yale University

 One of the multitude of comments of a Black writer in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, this statement (above) challenges us to keep talking about thisThis is racism, racial injustice, and the anti-black bias that shaped the history of our country and overtly and more subtly permeates our civic life and institutions today. 

 As a predominately white congregation in one of the whitest states in the country, we must wrestle with this subject, deeply, fully, and intentionally. To share outrage, yes, but as importantly to listen, learn, and understand. The goals of this Adult Education series are to do all of those. Through video interviews, short readings, and discussion, we’ll go deeper into this and confront the question Martin Luther King asked in his final book, “Where do we go from here?”

Week 1 – September 8: “Waking Up White”

(Click on the video and readings to view)

Video:  Where Do We Go From Here, Episode 4, The Rev. Sherry Osborn.   

Readings:  Excerpt from Waking Up White – Debby Irving and White Debt – The New York Times

Week 2 – September 15: “The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning”

Video:  Where Do We Go From Here, Episode 1, Steffen Gillom.

Readings:  “The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning,” by Claudia Rankine;  “The Purpose of a House,” by Emily Bernard

Week 3 – September 22:  “Where Do We Go From Here” 

Readings:   1) Repentance and Reconciliation – C. Meeks ,” by Catherine Meeks;  2) “Repairing This ‘Era of Abandonment,’” by Liz Theoharis;  3) “Becoming an Incarnated People: An Interview with Keri L. Day”   



Many Thanks to Larry for the summer programs on “Love and Justice”.  The readings for “Love and Justice” are listed below and may be helpful for the “Where do we go from here” programs. 

Tuesday, September 29

“St. Michael and All Angels”

presented by Diane Nancekivell

Class begins at 4 p.m. on Zoom (socializing 15 minutes before class)

We will consider the history of The Feast of St. Michael and how the myth came into the lexicon of Christianity and influenced it’s cultural evolution.  St. Michael, the archangel slayed Satan.  Who is Satan?  How might we engage with and allow for the pure potential of angels?  Can this myth inspire us today?

Before the class, read: Revelation 12: 7-9  and the lectionary for the Feast of St. Michael 


Tuesday, October 6

“The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: What Do They Mean Today?” 

presented by Joanna Colwell

Class begins at 4 p.m.  (socializing 15 minutes before class)
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali consist of 196 short aphorisms describing human consciousness. Compiled by the Sage Patanjali approximately 2,500 years ago, they codify much older teachings from India’s vast spiritual heritage. These sutras have been expanded upon at great length by generations of pundits, and they are considered to be the philosophical framework upon which the practice of yoga is based. I am not by any means an expert in the sutras, but I will introduce you to some of my favorite ones, and we’ll explore their relevance to the world we live in today.


Tuesday,  October 13 & October 20

“A Time To Keep Silence”

presented by Eric Davis

Class begins at 4 p.m.  (socializing 15 minutes before class)

During the 1950s, British travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor paid extended visits to three monasteries in France, where, while working on a book, he joined the monks for meals and for prayer.  In A Time To Keep Silence, Fermor writes about the history and architecture of the monasteries, the monastic practices of prayer, contemplation, and silence, and offers his reflections on the monastic life.  He also includes a chapter on his visit to the ruins of ancient monasteries in Cappadocia.
On October 13, we will discuss through the end of the chapter on the Abbey of St. Wandrille.  On October 20, we will talk about the remainder of the book.
We have ordered copies of the book. They are $12. If you want one, please email Meg at and we’ll make arrangements with the bookstore for pickup. Send your check made out to Saint Stephen’s indicating it’s for Adult Ed Book.

Tuesday, Oct 27, 4 pm  

“The Ethical Edge of Pilgrimage”

by Dr. Henry Ralph Carse

If pilgrimage is “mysticism in motion,” how do we understand the practical theology and transformational ethics of sacred journey?  Pilgrimage takes a thousand forms, and calls us even in (perhaps especially in) times of “shut-down” and social crisis. What might a post-modern pilgrimage be like, if unplugged from piety, from politics, and from prejudice? Beginning with focus on journeys to the “Holy/Unholy Land,” we will then together let our pilgrim gaze widen, with perspectives into cross-cultural issues of justice, truth and reconciliation as pilgrim vocations.

You are invited to read this article by Dr. Carse before the program. ETHICAL EDGE OF PILGRIMAGE

Dr. Henry Ralph Carse lived for over 40 years in Palestine and Israel. His experiential teachings and a/theological renderings touch on the Art and Practice of Pilgrimage, Scriptural Theology, Wilderness Spirituality, Practical Mysticism, and Interfaith Peace Activism. 

Henry R. is the Founder of Kids4Peace International, a non-profit interfaith youth movement, engaging Palestinian and Israeli youngsters, as well as those from other war-torn regions, in dialogue across the lines of their respective conflicts. He has 4 children and 2 grandchildren in two hemispheres, and dwells himself in the Green Mountains, continuing to write and to practice theology and reconciliation, along the pilgrim path.


Tuesday, November 3 

A Word to The Church

Discussion of Sermon by Presiding Bishop Curry

We will view Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon, “A Word to the Church”, which he delivered on September 16 as guidance for the election season.  Bp Curry asks:  What is the role of the Church at a time of deep and dangerous divisions in our public life?  What is our role as individual followers of Jesus, committed to his way of love?  Although the church holds to partisan neutrality, “partisan neutrality does not mean moral neutrality.”   He urges followers of Jesus to engage moral discernment in relation to public policy, understanding voting as an act of moral agency, and asking always, “What does loving one’s neighbor look like in our public witness?”  


Bishop Curry’s words are inspiring and timely.  We’ll listen to his sermon together, and talk about what might help us in a difficult and urgent time.


Tuesday, November 10 and 17th

“The Grace in Aging”

Discussion led by Dee Hodges 


We will discuss the book, “The Grace in Aging: Awaken as You Grow Older”, by Kathleen Dowling Singh, a Dharma practitioner and wisdom teacher.  Singh guides us through the special conditions – withdrawal, silence, solitude, forgiveness, humility, presence and commitment – so essential for spiritual deepening, peace and happiness at t his phase of our lives. These are the same special conditions that nurture us at the end of life.  
While Singh sites both the Eastern and Western wisdom traditions, our focus will be primarily on the Western path to awakening, including, but not limited to, Christian contemplative prayer.  As in the past, guidelines will be set at the beginning of the conversation to ensure that this class is a safe place to share our insights and experience.


The book is available at the Vermont Book Shop.  Click Here to purchase the book online (discount code is BG15) or you can call the store (802-388-2061), ask for the St Stephen’s book group 15% discount.




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Dial in:
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Meeting ID: 360 635 588
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