Fall Programs

American Irony: Religious Freedom and Slavery in Colonial Rhode Island

Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Time: 6:00 pm, with Q&A and reception to follow

Location: St. Michael’s Parish House

Lecturer: Keith Stokes

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and Bristol Middle Passage Marker Project are pleased to present this remarkable lecture, given by Mr. Keith Stokes, about the simultaneous rise of religious freedom and African heritage enslavement in Colonial Rhode Island. The presentation will uniquely present Rhode Island’s religious, civic, and commerce evolution through the voices and experiences of enslaved and later free African heritage people, including the founding of several of the earliest free African heritage education and civic and religious institutions in America.

Mr. Stokes has a long and distinguished career in business, historic preservation, and community development, with degrees from Cornell University and the University of Chicago.  He is the former Executive Director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, Director of Business and Development for the City of Providence and Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. 

He has also been an Advisor for Rhode Island with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and served on numerous local, regional, and national business and public boards, including Preservation Society for Newport County, Touro Synagogue Foundation, Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission Historical Review Board, Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Quonset Development Corporation, Rhode Island Foundation, and Governor’s Workforce Board.  

Mr. Stokes frequently appears on national historical programs, including C-SPAN, Fox News Legends & Lies, and Ted Talk.  Recently, he was the lead researcher and author of “A Matter of Truth” report for the examination and documentation of the role of the City of Providence and State of Rhode Island in supporting a “Separate and Unequal” existence for African heritage, Indigenous, and People of Color. Mr. Stokes is also a direct descendant of an African family that took part in one of the most documented and successful slavery emancipation and reparation efforts in 1795. 

St. Michael’s Fall Creative Retreat

Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023 

Time: 10 am – 4 pm 

Location: St. Michael’s Parish House 

Registration Fee: $25/person

Facilitators: Jillian & Travis DeLong

This fall retreat is a one-day break in routine to nurture personal and collective creativity. The day is open to everyone and includes an optional journal/sketchbook-making workshop, as well as the invitation to bring and work on your own projects (writing, knitting, painting – anything!). Guests are invited to engage at their own pace and interest, to participate in group discussions, and to take breaks to walk around Bristol or to rest in the church garden. Lunch and book-making materials are included in the registration fee. Payment can be made by check or by credit card on our website here .

Jillian is a writer, photographer, and documentary filmmaker with 15 years of experience promoting creativity and storytelling as a public good. Travis is a former filmmaker currently engaged in photography and design. The two have co-led filmmaking workshops in the United States and Eastern Europe and enjoy hosting creative retreats for their friends and communities. They live in Warren, RI, among a lot of trees and with a small black cat called Midnight. 

The David Story

Dates: Four Tuesdays, Oct. 3, 10, 17 24

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: St. Michael’s Parish House

Facilitator:  Charles Calhoun

As presented in 1st and 2nd Samuel, the story of King David is probably the most psychologically and theologically complex piece of biography in the Hebrew Bible. The class will test poet Robert Pinsky’s interpretation of this fascinating man: was he really “a shape-shifting trickster, a seductive but treacherous lover, a bloodstained warrior, a crafty, murderous politician, with the soul of a great poet?”

Music @ St. Michael’s

The Founder of the Feast: Harvest Time in Old England

Seven Times Salt 

Date: Sunday, November 5th, 2023

Time: 3:30 pm

$25.00 per person-paid at the door (cash or credit card)

On Bonfire Night, join Seven Times Salt for a musical journey through autumn in 17th-century England. As the nights grew longer, farmers brought in their harvest and turned their thoughts towards the many delights of Fall. This program features a warming mix of songs about Martinmas and Guy Fawkes, autumnal tunes by Baldwin, Peerson, and Byrd, and high-spirited selections from Henry VIII’s music book, all performed on period instruments. You’ll also enjoy (and even sing along with) rousing ballads of hunting, harvest, and beer! 

Ari Nieh – baritone
Karen Burciaga – violin, guitar
Dan Meyers – recorder, flute, bagpipes, percussion
Josh Schreiber – bass viol
Matthew Wright – lute, bandora

Music @ St. Michael’s

Christmas with the New England Ringers

Date: Sunday, December 3, 2023 

Time: 4:00 pm

$25.00 per person-paid at the door (cash or credit card)

New England Ringers is a community handbell ensemble of highly energetic musicians playing advanced levels of handbell literature. Offering exciting performances, NER amazes listeners and receives enthusiastic reviews from audience members of all ages. NER performances are a blend of lively and diverse musical moods and styles with repertoire spanning classical transcriptions, familiar favorites and original compositions. The outstanding music is matched by touches of entertaining humor and the artful visual presentation of the ensemble playing this unique instrument. One of the major goals of the ensemble is to introduce audiences to the incredible music that can be made on this impressive instrument. The New England Ringers strive to achieve a level of musicianship that brings the art of handbell ringing greater recognition and acceptance in the world of musical performance.