GROWING IN FAITH
Sharing God’s Love from Generation to Generation
Experiencing God’s love in worship, and in reaching out to our neighbors, we become a community of faith, an extended family in which we share our lives, support each other, learn from each other, and have fun together!
Whether it’s Sunday School ... Vacation Bible School ... the Older and Wiser Group ... the Faith Study Group ... visiting homebound members ... our intergenerational Christmas pageant ... our chapter of the Girls’ Friendly Society ... a Lenten study program ... leading worship for the residents of Arden House ... a parish picnic ... or marching in the Hamden Memorial Day parade that goes right past our front door ... we’re here for each other and for our neighbors.
GROWING IN FAITH DURING LENT
Seeing Beyond Difference: Jesus’s Kingship of Kinship
Our Lenten series this year will include a weekly sermon/presentation and coffee hour conversation reflecting on the challenges faced by a variety of groups in our communities that may, for one reason or another, feel separate from (perhaps undervalued or even oppressed by) others. In turn, we will all be challenged to recognize, and to begin to dismantle, obstacles that may exist towards these groups in our own hearts and in our social, community and economic structures.
Topics and presenters:
DISABILITY: Jonathan Sigworth, co-Founder and President of More Than Walking - March 1
GENDER: Bola Akanji - March 8
RACE: Whitney Batson - March 15
INTERFAITH RELATIONS: Herb Brockman, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Mishkan Israel - March 22
EX-INMATE REINTEGRATION: Alden Woodcock, Executive Director EMERGE Connecticut - March 29
GROWING IN FAITH WITH CHILDREN
Our wonderful Church School Director is Allison Batson. Every Sunday during the school year, Allison and a parent helper welcome the children as their parents bring them downstairs to the undercroft (the church basement). The youngest little ones go to the nursery area to play under the watchful eyes of two trained leaders. The school age children settle into the comfortable seating around the children’s altar. After a light snack and some friendly conversation, there is a time of prayer and a lesson based on the same cycle of Bible readings as the adults are hearing in church upstairs.
Allison explains, “The curriculum comes from the Episcopal Church and is called Lesson Plans that Work. We use this as a starting point for our weekly lessons and then add to it or adapt it with our particular children in mind. Some weeks we may reflect on our lesson through art; painting, drawing, or crafting. Some weeks we may recreate the stories by acting them out or playing a game. Our goal is to have God be an active part of our children’s daily lives.”
We are watching with pride as a cohort of nine-to-eleven-year-olds is on the verge of growing into a youth group!
GROWING IN FAITH WITH CHILDREN
Vacation Bible School
Since 2017, we have offered a Vacation Bible School for a week in August, open to children from our own church and the community. We do not use a packaged curriculum but take this time to explore Bible stories and imagery more deeply, and connect the stories and images together, to show the "whole story" of God's inexhaustible love for us.
VBS 2019: "Here I Am, Lord: Heroes of the Bible." Worship and story in the (air-conditioned!) sanctuary with the Beulah Land feltboard ... making Abraham and Sarah dioramas and Jacob's ladders ... baking bread ... free play with the feltboard story elements
GROWING IN FAITH WITH ADULTS
Opportunities for Conversation, Learning, and Sharing Our Journey in Faith
Bible studies, forums, and discussion groups are an important part of developing and fostering mature faith. At Grace & St Peter's we have several ongoing groups and a varied mix of short-term seasonal offerings for adults.
The Faith Study Group, an ongoing group for Bible study and learning, has existed since 2013. Open to all, it meets two Tuesdays each month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in parishioners' homes.
Short-term programs in Advent and Lent, usually meeting on Sundays after the 10:00 am service, focus on a single theme related to these seasons of preparation for Christmas and Easter.
The Older and Wiser Group meets for prayer, fellowship and lunch on the third Thursday of every month.
4th Fridays at 5:30. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)
At the end of another busy week, treat yourself to a time to breathe and unwind. Learn simple skills that have been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, improve cognitive function and increase physical health. Join Rev Bob for meditation and quiet conversation on the 4th Friday of the month, at 5:30 PM in the Undercroft. Stay for Dinner for a Dollar!
Study, prayer or meditation groups or events may be called together at other times in response to specific occasions or topics.
ADVENT PROGRAM 2019
Caring for Creation
Our Advent program of prayer and conversation met in the Brewster Room, after the 10:00 am service, for the first three Sundays in Advent.
On Sunday, December 8 we were joined by Anne Rowthorn, author, environmentalist and wife of former ECCT suffragan bishop Jeffery Rowthorn. Anne also preached at the 10 am service. Read her sermon here.
Our theme this year was Environmental Stewardship. We looked at the central role that Creation plays in the biblical narrative and at the witness of other spiritual traditions to the importance and beauty of Creation. We reflected on and shared our own personal connections to the natural world. And we undertook to consider ways that we, as individuals and a community, can become better stewards of a Creation under siege in the modern world.