The Queen City on the Lake has many architectural masterpieces; Tiffany stained glass windows on Delaware Avenue are a hidden treasure and must see for Western New Yorkers and tourist. Trinity Episcopal Church may be one of Buffalo’s oldest and most active faith communities, but many who have visited the 1886 National Historic Site know it mostly for its stunning stained-glass windows.
Trinity’s windows, which are known for their extraordinary depth of color, were designed in the late 1800s by master glass artists Louis Comfort Tiffany and John LaFarge.
But Trinity is now aiming to become known for more than just its opalescent windows. With its “Fresh Voices” speaker series, the church is reaching out to help solve one of modern religion’s most challenging questions: How to explore faith and belief in an age where a growing number of people no longer identify as religious.
(Indeed, research conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2018 and 2019 shows that the number of people who identify as not religious has risen to 26 percent – up from 17 percent in 2009.)
“Churches and religious leaders have fulfilled a need in society for authoritative answers to timeless questions about finding meaning and encouragement in life,” says Trinity’s pastor, the Rev. Matt Lincoln. “Society is no longer assuming that religious leaders have that authority. More and more, people want to hear from leaders they have seen living their lives with authenticity.
“… (‘Fresh Voices’ presents) folks with an opportunity to listen to some widely respected speakers talk about the spiritual dimension of their lives, shedding light on the deeper aspects of the inspiring work they do and on the sources of inspiration that help them do that work.”
On Saturday, Jan. 11, Trinity will host the latest “Fresh Voices” speaker: “Science Mike” McHargue, best-selling author of “Finding God in the Waves.” McHargue, who has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post and on National Public Radio, will reflect on how to discover spiritual significance through a scientific lens.
Joining McHargue for the discussion, which will include a talk on the neurology of peacemaking, is Dr. Nicholas J. Silvestri, a clinical associate professor in the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Department of Neurology.
The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity, 371 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo. Admission is $20. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance via EventBrite.com or at www.TrinityBuffalo.org.
Melvin Bankhead contributed to this article | Pictures courtesy of Trinity Episcopal Church