Southport, CT - On Sunday, September 24 at 9am, distinguished film, television and stage actor Rev. Jack Gilpin will launch Trinity Episcopal Church’s "Distinguished Preachers Series", a special initiative welcoming some of this country’s most inspired, reflective and acclaimed preachers to Southport.
Throughout the fall, Trinity’s Distinguished Preachers Series will feature some of this country’s most respected preachers to inspire all of us from the pulpit. This will be a rare opportunity to hear these gifted celebrants break open scripture and apply it in encouraging ways to the challenges we face in today’s world.
September 24: Jack Gilpin
Retired Rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Milford
Rev. Jack Gilpin, who currently stars as Church the Butler in HBO’s historical drama series, The Gilded Age, is also a longstanding Episcopal priest, currently serving as Retired Rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Milford. His other screen credits include roles on Law & Order, Heartburn, Quiz Show, and Reversal of Fortune. He is also an accomplished stage actor, including the Broadway production of Getting and Spending.
At Trinity, Rev. Gilpin will present, “A Sense of Wonder: Experiences of a Priest and Actor” at Eucharist at 8:00 am (at Southport Beach) and 10:00am (in the church) on Sunday, September 24th.
“The sense of wonder – the readiness to be surprised – has always struck me as one of the hallmarks of faith,” says Rev. Gilpin. “It’s why Jesus loved children so much and held them up as examples for the rest of us. It comes from an instinctive, deeply personal awareness that life is always new: that God is always creating; and that God’s creation is good. A sense of wonder also happens to be one of the basic working tools of a good actor, and of a good preacher. I will discuss what all this has meant in my own experience in both of those capacities.”
October 29: Rev. Kenneth Swanson, Ph.D.
Retired Rector, St. David’s Episcopal Church, Roswell, GA
“Celtic Christianity” – Anglicanism is unique among all Christian denominations because of its roots in Celtic Christian piety, theology, and ecclesiology. Celtic Christianity embraced positive aspects of pagan culture, championed the leadership of women, had an intense love of nature, resisted centralized authority, and developed an emotionally grounded piety.
This two-part Forum is drawn from a course Ken teaches at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. It will examine how the distinctive features of Celtic Christianity influenced, sometimes subtly, the development of Christianity in Britain and its subsequent flourishing in the world-wide Anglican Communion.
Ken is an Episcopal priest and before retiring in 2019, was in parish ministry for over forty-five years, serving churches in California, Scotland, New York, Tennessee, and Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is the author of numerous articles on the history of religion, theology, spirituality, and social ethics as well as three books, one of which Uncommon Prayer, Approaching Intimacy with God is in its sixth edition. His newest book Into the Wilderness, Understanding the True Nature of Sin will be published in 2024. He has led many organizations, including the Amistad Mission in Bolivia and the Metropolitan Nashville Human Relations Commission. Ken is married to Darlene and has three children and two grandchildren. Both Ken and Darlene love to travel and have been on five continents and in several countries over the past few years.
November 5: Darlene Price Swanson, M.Div.
Lay Preacher, Christian Speaker, Retreat Facilitator
Darlene Price Swanson is a licensed lay preacher in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and serves as a speaker, teacher, and facilitator for churches and retreats. She is passionate about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and helping others discover God’s empowering and life-changing gifts.
Darlene earned a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta and undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Speech Communications from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
Professionally, Darlene serves as the president of Well Said, Inc., a speech and communications training firm which she founded in 1995. As an executive speech coach, Darlene helps business leaders speak and present more effectively. She is the author of an award-winning book entitled, Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.
Darlene is married to the The Reverend Dr. Ken Swanson, the retired rector of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Roswell, GA. They live in Atlanta.
About Trinity Episcopal Church
Trinity Episcopal Church is located in the historic seaside district of Southport at 651 Pequot Avenue (at Center Street) and welcomes seekers of all denominations. Trinity’s mission is to provide a vibrant 21st century Episcopal community that inspires spiritual growth, nurtures genuine connections, and promotes charitable service. Trinity is active in the greater community and holds several benefit events throughout the year.