After two years of isolation, we are thrilled to welcome everyone back to St. Peter's Square on Thursday nights in the summer for interesting presentations on topics ranging from Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Stephen Ministry to Anamchara. After each presentation, we will share fellowship and ice cream. You don't need to sign up to join us, and attendance is always free! Come join us for one or all of the presentations listed below.
With Fr. Ted
The Rev. Deacon Paula Waite
The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Kaeton & the Rev. Barry Stopfel
Thursday, June 16, 2022, 7PM in the Parish Hall
The Spirituality of Coming Out
Our Spirit (breath) is what animates us. It makes us alive. Coming out is then to come alive. It is a life-long spiritual practice seeking the integration of our Queer identities into the whole of our lives. A spiritual coming out opens us to God, ourselves and others. With that connection comes self-illumination. For Queers (and everyone else) living out of an identity that is more authentic to ourselves and the purging of a false life image will bring an abiding communion with the Divine that is at the deepest center of ourselves. Bernard of Clairvaux, wrote “Everyone has to drink from his [or her] own well.” Coming out is like a drink of living water that springs from the very depths of our own personal experience and that quenches a thirst for an authentic, full, and alive self. Mysteriously coming out lets our Queer selves breathe.
The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Kaeton is a self-avowed, unrepentant, practicing Jesus-freak and committed pilgrim who dreams dangerous dreams of the change and transformation of the institutional church. She loves the ocean and chocolate, basking in creativity and imagination in her sunroom where she also loves to pray and read, meditate and daydream. She finds herself most at home at the intersection of the sacred and the profane. There is a rumor afoot that she is retired but the only evidence thus far is that she collects a pension. She has no idea why it is that Barbara Conroy has remained her spouse for 46 years, except that all those folks must have been wrong all those many years ago and that it really must be love.
The Reverend Barry Stopfel is a retired Episcopal Priest and newcomer to the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware. He has served congregations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. He holds an M.A. in Teaching and Journalism from Columbia University and an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Following a career as a Marketing Executive he entered seminary in 1985. He was ordained by Bishop John Shelby Spong in 1991. He holds a firm belief that doubt and questions are necessary attendants to faith. His hometown is Hershey Pennsylvania.
The Power of Gratitude with Rabbi Beth Cohen
For what are you grateful? How often do you think about that for which you’re grateful? Do you find it hard to be grateful? Gratitude is one of the many values or soul traits that is studied in Mussar, a Jewish spiritual practice that can guide us on how to live a more meaningful and ethical life. We’ll talk about what gratitude means, the three stages of gratitude, how do we practice gratitude, can we improve our practice of gratitude, and can the practice of gratitude change our lives.
Presenter: Rabbi Beth Cohen is the Rabbi Emerita of the Seaside Jewish Community, where she was the congregation’s first religious leader for 10 years. She has been studying, practicing, and teaching Mussar for over 12 years. She is also the Rabbi-In-Residence at St. Peters, where she teaches Mussar, participates in the Summer Spirituality Series, and was part of the morning Bible study group for over 10 years.
The Underground Railroad in Delaware with Sylvester Woolford
As a border state, Delaware sat directly along the Underground Railroad lines used by escaped enslaved persons to reach the northern states and Canada. Harriet Tubman and other “conductors” led more than 3000 people to freedom through Delaware. Come and hear the fascinating history that took place in our State.
Presenter: Sylvester Woolford is a native Delawarean who currently resides in Newark, Delaware. He has two adult sons and two grandsons who live in Charlotte, NC. Mr. Woolford is a graduate of Wm Penn High School, a graduate of Delaware State University with a BS Degree in Business Administration /Accounting and a graduate of Rutgers University with an MBA in Marketing.In 2008, Mr. Woolford began researching his family history and expanded that research into a total revisiting of African-American history. He has been lecturing on African-American history since 2010. He serves on several historical preservation boards. Including: Delaware Heritage Commission – Commissioner, Historical and Cultural Affairs – Collections Committee, Delaware Preservation Fund,
He currently lectures monthly for the New Castle County Library System, is a guest lecturer at the University of Delaware and does consulting for State of Delaware – Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.
Heroes in our faith that we share with our Jewish, Christian and Muslim friends
Did you know that both Abraham and Moses each play a prominent role as examples of faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? And that Jesus’ mother, Mary, plays a prominent role in Islam? The Rev. Dr. Carol Flett, former Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer for the Episcopal diocese of Washington, DC, who has led interfaith dialogues for over ten years, will lead a study comparing the texts in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian testaments and the Quran that describe the roles of these heroes of our faiths. Handouts will be provided.
The Rev. Dr. Carol Flett is a retired Episcopal priest who moved to Lewes in 2020 with her husband. She served for 25 years in the Diocese of Massachusetts and the Diocese of Washington (DC). She moved to the DC area in 2007, and served at the Washington National Cathedral as the Interfaith Programs Coordinator and Associate Rector at St. Alban’s Church. She retired in 2012 and served as the Ecumenical & Inter-religious Officer for the Episcopal diocese of Washington until 2018. She has had years of experience building interfaith relations with faith leaders of all religions. As Co-Chair of Montgomery County, Maryland’s Faith Community Working Group, faith leaders met quarterly for dialogue and to share their community’s ministry and needs.
Stephen Ministry at St. Peter’s
For the last ten years Stephen Ministry has quietly and effectively been a source of effective pastoral care at St. Peter’s. Many have been trained as Stephen Ministers at St. Peter’s and others have been trained as Stephen Leaders by the national Stephen Ministry program. Stephen Ministers are assigned Care Receivers who wish to have the attentive listening skills of a Stephen Minister. Those Care Receivers include people with terminal diagnoses, those who have just lost a partner or spouse, and those who are living with a chronic illness. Stephen Ministers are lay people who have felt a call to care for people in our parish. Because Stephen Ministry caring relationships are confidential, many don’t know much about this program.
This presentation will introduce you to two seasoned Stephen Ministers who will talk about what this ministry means to them and how it works. Two members of St. Peter’s who have been Care Receivers will also talk about the difference in their lives made by the care of a Stephen Minister. You will also hear a Stephen Leader describe the training involved in becoming a Stephen Minister. You may want to become one! And you will hear our Rector describe the ongoing impact that Stephen Ministry is having on the life of our parish.
The Rev. Barry Stopfel
With the Rev. Carlyle Gill
The Rev. Jack Anderson
The Rev. Tom Ledbetter and Donna Strachan-Ledbetter
With Jody Barbarulo