Sunday mornings at 9:15 am from September through May we offer Adult Forum. The topics vary from current events, theological reflection, community endeavors, and various ministries. Whatever the topic, it is helpful, informative, interesting and very often results in a lively discussion among attendees. The forums are announced in our newsletter and worship leaflet in advance. All are welcome (whether or not you worship with us).
Fundamentals of the Faith
The Adult Forum on the first Sunday of the month is dedicated to "Fundamentals of the Faith." This might be a look at our faith through the lens of history, the sacraments, the creed, or some other framework. The presenter is our rector, Mother Catherine, and in the 2018-2019 year she will be joined by the Rev. Juan Oliver, a parishioner and former professor from General Seminary in New York City.
Book Club meets on Mondays at noon. Check the newsletter and worship leaflet to learn what the current or upcoming book is. Members take turn leading the discussions, and books include National Book Award, New York Times Bestsellers and Editor’s Best Book Picks. Subjects focused on religion, faith, social justice, disability and difference, slavery and friendship, Native American culture, conquest of the American West, women’s rights, and the Vietnam War. At times authors have joined the discussion too. Book Club regularly engaged parishioners and friends through meaningful insights, new knowledge, critical thinking, spiritual reflection, and in-depth discussion among our spiritual community.
Education for Ministry (EfM)
Education for Ministry (EfM) is a four-year theological study and group reflection process out of Sewanee School of Theology for the formation of Christians involved in a variety of different ministries.
Topics covered include:
- Spirituality, prayer, and worship
- The authority of the Bible for the church today
- The lessons and perspectives of history
- Theological reflection as a life skill
- Integrating behavior and belief for faithful living
- Discovering vocation, passion, and one’s place in the church
Through study, prayer, reflection, and small-group conversation, participants are offered an opportunity to examine their own beliefs in light of the Christian tradition and everyday experience—developing knowledge, aptitude, and identity as followers of Jesus. The first two years of the curriculum focus on Scripture (year one on the Hebrew Scriptures and year two on the New Testament), year three examines Church history, and year four focuses on theology and ethics.
Lectio Divina is a contemplative way of reading the Bible. It dates back to the early centuries of the Christian Church and was established as a monastic practice by Benedict in the 6th century. It is a way of praying the scriptures that leads us deeper into God’s word. We slow down. We read a short passage more than once. We chew it over slowly and carefully. We savor it. Scripture begins to speak to us in a new way. It speaks to us personally and aids that union we have with God through Christ, who is himself the Living Word.
So, Lectio Divina is not Bible study or even an alternative to Bible study but something radically different. The practice understands Scripture as a meeting place for a personal encounter with the Living God. It is a practice we come to with the desire to be changed at all sorts of levels. It operates very much on the emotional rather than the purely cerebral level. It is perhaps more heart-driven than head-driven. Through it we allow ourselves to be formed in the likeness of Christ; it is about formation rather than instruction.