There are multiple outlets for Church of the Atonement parishioners—young and old—to learn and grow spiritually.
Adult Education Series
The Adult Formation Committee works to offer a new look at adult formation by offering an Adult Education Series following the 9:00 Mass and prior to the 11:00 Mass. In the past, there have been panel discussions, multi-media presentations, and interactive forums on Art, Music, and Prayer followed by group discussions. The committee continues to work to identify relevant topics, such as Holy Week Liturgies, The Prayer Book, What it Means to be an Episcopalian and a member of an Anglo-Catholic parish, and Dismissal: Going Forth with Christ. These enriching programs are offered to allow our parish members and visitors to grow in the knowledge and love of God in Christ. Any suggestions for topics or presentations are welcome, and you can email them here, or reach out with any questions..
Education for Ministry (EfM)
“Education for Ministry” (EfM) or “Education formation Ministry” or “Exploring Faith Matters” is theological education at a distance, since EfM is a program created and administered by the School of Theology at the University of the South (Sewanee). An EfM seminar group is lead by mentors who are group facilitators, not teachers, and no, EfM is not a substitute for a seminary education. EfM classes form in the summer and meet from September through May.
The EfM program (Sewanee) provides each student with one or more textbooks and the “Reading and Reflection Guide.” The “Reading and Reflection Guide” contains reading assignments and other material for each lesson, one for each week. Participants are expected to read the assigned lesson each week and arrive at the seminar ready to discuss and reflect on what they have read. The mentor’s job is to facilitate that discussion and reflection, not to teach the material. About half of the time in the seminar each week is spent discussing the weekly reading assignment from the textbooks. Year 1’s reading covers the Old Testament, Year 2 covers the New Testament, Year 3 covers Church History, and Year 4 covers Theology, Ethics, and Non-Christian Faith Traditions. The other half of each seminar meeting is spent in a variety of activities, primarily something called Theological Reflection.
And remember, EfM has a few rules:
Participants are asked not to bring unresolved personal issues. EfM is not group therapy.
All participants covenant with each other that everything, and that means EVERYTHING, which is discussed in an EfM seminar meeting stays within the group and is not discussed outside the group.
Participants are asked to share only as much or little as they find comfortable.
If you are interested in more information, please email here.
Spiritual Book Club
This exciting book club specifically selects books with a spiritual focus or teaching, which are then used to foster conversation and reflection around a predetermined spiritual question or topic. This book club is open to all adults. The format of check-in, opening worship, discussion, theological reflection, and closing worship, follows the same format as Education for Ministry, so it may hold particular interest for those who have completed EfM but wish to continue some communal formation that feels familiar in its approach. Please contact the office with questions for for the group contact.