Wednesdays @ Trinity

Trinity Cathedral’s Wednesday evening programs resume Feb. 5, 2014

Wednesday Evenings at Trinity begin with Evensong at 6 p. m., followed by supper ($5 donation) and a program at 7:30 p.m. In addition to the study series listed below, groups also meet for Tai Chi and other activities. Wednesday evening classes at Trinity include:

Embracing Spiritual Awakening
April 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21
Led by Gina Turella and Gail Smith
Embracing Spiritual Awakening is a video series that is hosted by Diana Butler Bass that invites participants to explore our evolving cultural landscape and then reflect on how our changing context is influencing our spirituality — affecting where and how we experience the Divine in our midst. Butler Bass, who perceives this shift as being akin to another of history’s “great awakenings,” frames the discussion around our contemporary categories of being spiritual and being religious. She then explores how Christians may live faithfully as they know and experience the Divine in their own lives. 

Tai Chi
February – May
Led by George Anderson
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that was originally developed for self-defense (it is considered to be a martial art form). Today tai chi has evolved into a graceful and elegant form of exercise where each posture flows gently into the next without pause which ensures that your body remains in constant motion. Consequently, tai chi is sometimes described as meditation in motion. Because of its gentle and flowing style, tai chi is considered to be a self-paced system of gentle stretching and low impact exercise that naturally promotes stress reduction. Tai chi is generally considered safe and beneficial for all ages and fitness levels.

Getting Balanced through Energy
May 21
Led by Dottie Rieman
Dottie Rieman is a Reiki Master and will lead a class that explores various techniques for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes health. Most alternative or eastern approaches to medicine is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. Thus, it is imperative to good health to seek to balance this energy.  Dottie will explore various techniques that will promote a more balanced approach to how we live our lives.

Integrating Our Spiritual Differences
Feb. 5
Led by Christian Grostic
Discussing religious matters in society (or even in church) can sometimes feel like a lost cause, talking past each other more than with each other. Imagine Richard Dawkins and the “new atheists” having dinner with Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition, or just a progressive Episcopalian speaking about her faith with a fundamentalist of the same denomination.  Drawing on integral theory’s frameworks for illuminating the partial truths of all perspectives, we will talk about how our various perspectives on God, religion, and spirituality have split apart, how we can better understand them in our own interactions, and how the truths in each can inform our own spiritual lives.

We will draw on models developed by integral philosophers to discuss the multitude of religious perspectives within the western world; how each adds a crucial partial truth to a larger vision; and how we can better bring out and connect to that truth in our own interactions.  We will also draw on the work of developmental researchers to focus more deeply on one aspect of those different perspectives – what Dr. James Fowler calls “stages of faith” – and how that aspect reveals striking insights into our spiritual lives and those around us.

Anne Frank: An Expression of Moral Courage for Our Day
Feb. 12, 19, 26
Led by Fern Ruth Levy, MS, MAJS
This year marks the 85th anniversary of the birth of Anne Frank and Martin Luther King, Jr. Both of these social visionaries were able to not only envision a world that is no longer defined by the overt discrimination of racism but to articulate the inevitability of such possibility. The dream for society that Anne Frank envisioned while in hiding and Martin Luther King, Jr. publicly articulated is as relevant today as it was in the mid-twentieth century. The life of Anne Frank provides invaluable insights concerning not only how we should perceive one another and our world but more importantly for how we should engage the other and thereby transform our world. As noted by Fern Levy, “There is much to admire and learn from those who were lost, those who survived and those who risked all to protect.” The struggle of Anne Frank is the ongoing struggle of humanity and her hope for the world is the continuing hope for humanity. 

Fern Ruth Levy is an Anne Frank scholar and the Director and Founder of the Anne Frank Moral Courage Project of Cleveland. Ms. Levy has had the privilege of meeting and interviewing people who knew Anne Frank and her family. This includes Miep Geis whose family hid the Frank Family for two years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. This past year Ms. Levy traveled to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam and the Anne Frank Center in Berlin, Germany to participate in conversations focusing on highlighting the relevancy of the legacy of Anne Frank throughout this year which commemorates the 85th anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth.

Book Study: Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic
March 12, 19, 26
Led by Charlotte Nichols
Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic chronicles the experience of Nora Gallagher who was diagnosed with an inflamed optic nerve (cause unknown) that if untreated would result in her becoming blind. Her search for a diagnosis and treatment plan forced her to let go of her busy and assured life and acknowledge the uncertainty of life and her vulnerability. It necessitated a change of lifestyle — forcing her to slow down and refocus. This book was written while Gallagher was still recovering and is a meditation on serious illness and how it impacts one’s life — not only the life of the patient but those who are close to the patient. This book opens up discussions about vulnerability and faith — not only within the context of serious illness but whenever one’s life is turned upside down. In other words, this book provides reflections for those times in life when the world is going forward and you are not.

The Paschal Mystery
April 2
Led by the Rev. Kay Rackley
Most of us who have been raised in the church are familiar with the term “Paschal Mystery” and associate it within the context of Holy Week and the Triduum (from the Latin meaning “three days” which refer to the great ceremonies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil of Easter). Unfortunately, our understanding tends to remain objective — viewing this great mystery of the church as being solely a remembrance of the historical events pertaining to the passion and death of Jesus of Nazareth. By consigning this mystery to a memorial commemoration of past events, we end up striping it of any relevance within our present context or of any power within our lives.  

The paschal mystery is about paschal death and resurrected life. The teaching and example of Jesus of Nazareth is that as we journey the path of human life — which includes suffering and loss, surrender and letting go — we become capable of living into the fullness of Life Itself. The human journey takes us from the limiting and small self of the ego into the fullness of the human being we were created to be. The paschal mystery reminds us of the paradoxical nature of spirituality — that it is only as we become empty, receptive, insignificant and weak that we become most open and are capable of experiencing God’s grace in our lives. 

In the paschal mystery we are invited to begin the process of letting go of our false-self or ego-self in order that we may embrace the God Self that lives within. The paschal mystery is the invitation to enter into the cosmic Christ — into the Divine Itself, the Word of God, in whom we live and move and have our being. This is the place of uninhibited faith that knows that God’s will is being done no matter what our circumstances may be.

Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life
April 2, 9
Led by Wayne Bifano
Marc Freedman, the author of Encore, explores the options we have as we approach the “second half of life.” For many, the cultural model for retirement, which is understood to be freedom from work and the opportunity to live exclusively for one’s self, is assumed to be the only acceptable paradigm. Freedman, however, contends that retirement can be something very different. We can choose to engage in an “encore” career where the goal is to be able to “stop climbing the ladder and start making a difference, to trade money for meaning, to have the latitude to work on things that matter most.” It is this scenario that Freedman explores through the stories of several encore career pioneers who are working not only for continued income but the promise of more meaning and the opportunity to engage in work that matters. This redefinition of retirement not only holds the potential to transform work but to create a society that works better for all the generations.

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You Really!
Feb. 5-March 26 & April 9 (Does not meet March 5, Ash Wednesday)
Led by the Rev. Canon Will Mebane
The Episcopal Church Welcomes You, Really! (TECWYR!) is a wide-ranging-and honest-exploration of our faith, our Church and our common life. Newcomers, seekers, Episcopalians and everyone else are welcome. Those who wish may use this class to prepare for confirmation or reception into The Episcopal Church. Registration is not required, but helpful. Guests do not need to attend every class but are welcome at any time. Contact Ginger Bitikofer at 216-774-0407 or by email. See the course outline.

The Sacraments:  Marking Life’s Transitions
April 23, 30
Led by the Rev. Kay Rackley
The standard definition for a sacrament is “an outward and visible sign of an inward and inner grace.” Although this remains a good, basic definition, it does imply that the sacraments are consigned to the realm of the sacred. In other words, the inherent assumption is that there is no essential relationship between the sacraments and our experience of life. And yet, the intention of the sacraments is to enable us to make the connection between the finite and the infinite; the secular and the sacred; the human and the divine. Through our participation in the sacraments the ordinary routines of human life become pregnant with meaning and purpose. This class will explore how the sacraments provide a larger context for our lived experiences and thereby give meaning and purpose to our lives.

Get to Know Trinity Cathedral
May 14 
Trinity Cathedral is the oldest church in Cleveland and has established itself as a center for educational, cultural, ecumenical and interfaith conversations and events. Learn about the life of the Cathedral and the varied opportunities to become involved.

Trinity also offers opportunities for faith formation and fellowship on Sundays. In addition, our Adult Journey programs—Confirmation, Culture of Call and Education Ministry—offer a deeper understanding of the life of faith.