Art by Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones
We hope you’ll join us Sundays and throughout the week for Trinity’s faith formation classes and activities. Even though we’re apart, we’re here. God is present. And now, more than ever, we need each other’s presence.
Allow the reflections below — for adults as well as children and families — to challenge the way you see and respond to the world around you.
Change Your Thinking, Change the World
That’s exactly what the parables of Jesus, like the one we read this Sunday (Matthew 20:1–16), ask us to do. The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) offer a rich library of stories, short and long, that challenge the ways we see, understand, and behave.
As the great Franciscan teacher Richard Rohr writes, “A parable is a unique form of literature that is always trying to subvert business as usual, much like a Zen koan or a Confucian riddle, both of which use paradox to undo our reliance on what we think is logic. Yet we typically do not let parables do that for us. Our dominant consciousness is so in control that we try to figure them out inside of our existing consciousness — or more commonly we just ignore them or consider them out of date” (Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality).
Sometimes, of course, parables walk right up to us. I’m excited to say that next Sunday, September 27, Trinity’s longstanding adult formation program, Discovery, will return online by presenting Dylan Marron, an actor, writer, and activist whose life can act as a parable for the rest of us. Being both popular and outspoken, he drew more than his share of harsh online criticism. The common wisdom is, “Don’t read it.” He not only read it but invited some of his critics to talk. That counterintuitive impulse led to his podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me and to the conversation he’ll be holding with Trinity’s own the Rev. Winnie Varghese (who does not hate him) called Responding to the Urgency of Now.
Starting Next Week: Discovery
Tune in Sunday, September 27, at 10am to Responding to the Urgency of Now, a conversation with the Rev. Winnie Varghese and Dylan Marron. Be sure to register and prepare to be subverted. Then return for two Sunday Discovery sessions facilitated Prof. Susan Ward to discuss what we heard and how to apply it.
Evolution that Keeps on Giving
This Sunday, we’ll observe the Season of Creation in our liturgy and in our learning with the Godly Play story of Creation. The readings include the story of Moses and manna, and Jesus’ illustration of the persistent myth of a “zero-sum equation” — that the more someone else has, the less you will have.
Does all of this roll neatly into one theme? Even though I don’t think it’s always necessary to connect all of the dots that are presented on Sunday mornings, I do believe that all of them, in any combination, create an image of God. Some images are more abstract than others and the human face is not always evident. And I think that’s sort of the point. We are all interlocked in creation and we are recreating continuously. The manna* from God sustained the Israelites, who not only survived the decades in the desert, but went on to thrive and create and plant and grow. This kind of evolution that keeps on giving is God’s creation.
*“The miracle of the manna and quails is a sign of God’s mercy. The manna may have been related to the sap that flows from certain desert shrubs and trees when their bark is punctured by insects. The sap dries into a sweet flaky substance that can be eaten. Falling quail are still reported in Egypt today. Every year, as quail migrate across the Mediterranean Sea between Europe and Africa, the exhausted birds drop to the ground and can be easily caught” (excerpt from Whole People of God Biblical Background page).
Join us Sundays at 10am for Children’s Time. We’ll start with a brief opening assembly together and then, each week, children can choose from two different breakout groups. Register as soon as possible and be sure to complete the field for your mailing address. We will send a supply kit your child can use for Sunday activities or other projects.
Family Worship: Home Edition
See Family Worship: Home Edition to see this week’s activity for children and families.