The mission of the Adult Formation Council is to provide learning opportunities for spiritual growth and enrichment. Through this council Trinity offers an array of opportunities for discovering, questioning, and struggling with the transforming intersection of ancient truths with our complex lives. Participants in our adult formation programs are given many ways to discover their individual paths, and find that as we draw closer to the sacred, we also draw closer to one another.
The Base Community Bible Study Group meets weekly in our parish library to read the upcoming Sunday’s gospel and to reflect on its resonance in their lives; it ends with a brief celebration of the Eucharist. Our Science and Religion Study Group gathers monthly to hear guest speakers or watch videos, followed by a Q & A/discussion session. The Lenten Series and Advent Series focus on aspects of Christian formation. Sometimes they are centered around a book or a special film or DVD series. Other times a guest speaker comes to Trinity for a week-end of presentation, inquiry and preaching. Marcus Borg, John Spong, and John Dominic Crossan have been past guests, and in Lent 2016 our guest will be Matthew Fox. Our Lending Library makes available books on theology, social justice, interfaith activities and other areas of interest to parishioners. Education for Ministry (EFM) welcomes new and returning participants, and ad hoc book groups of all sizes are formed from time to time. Meeting Church Again is held during the Easter season for newcomer inclusion or as a refresher course on Anglican tradition and Trinity Church.
Meditation and spiritual growth.
On the second Wednesday of the month, a Contemplative Prayer Group gathers in the chapel to listen for God in a structured format of silence. The outdoor Labyrinth is available at all hours for both the congregation and the larger community to experience this ancient contemplative practice. Circles of Trust provide support for personal spiritual growth in small groups, and the Wisdom Group focuses on sacred wisdom traditions through the lens of our Christian heritage. Trinity has recently initiated an annual Women’s Retreat at the beginning of the year, and a Men’s Retreat in the spring. Retreatants meet at off-site locations for spiritual renewal and revitalization. Participants also find that personal relationships with their fellow parishioners have been deepened and enriched. LGBTQ Trinity provides a safe, nurturing, and joyful environment for LGBTQ persons to experience spiritual reconciliation and the holiness of identity and orientation.
Trinity has an ever-growing commitment offering opportunities that bring us closer to our sisters and brothers of other religions. School of the Heart began by incorporating contemplative and ancient traditions into our Sunday worship services. Some of these included walking the labyrinth, chanting, and centering prayer. This expanded into a broader exploration through School of the Heart Interfaith Workshops, which take place twice each year. The new Young Adult Interfaith Dialogue Group is a monthly Christian/Jewish/Muslim gathering which meets monthly from September through June for a meal and conversation about their faith traditions. To date, the participants are Trinity, Congregation B’Nai B’rith, and the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara.