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Adult Formation

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)


Every baptized person is called to ministry. The Education for Ministry (EfM) program of the School of Theology at the University of the South (Sewanee) provides people with the education to carry out that ministry. Through study, prayer, and reflection, EfM groups discover how to respond to the call to Christian service.

EfM is a four-year, facilitator-led, seminar style introduction to essential biblical and theological issues. A group of six to 12 participants explore ideas and concepts that promote open-ended reflection. Neither a traditional Bible study nor a series of lectures, EfM offers participants the opportunity to define and articulate personal beliefs on a variety of theological topics.

There are no tests or papers, but EfM requires considerable college-level reading each week. All participants receive a Reading and Reflection Guide. Required texts are available at a discount from selected booksellers. In addition, each student will need a copy of a Bible.

EfM will meet Mondays from 6:30-9 p.m. in the Elizabethan Room beginning Sep. 19 continuing through Memorial Day.  Zoom is the back-up option for inclement weather or a new COVID outbreak. Holidays will Thanksgiving, Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter Week.  

And remember, EfM has a few rules:


  1. Participants are asked not to bring unresolved personal issues. EfM is not group therapy.

  2. 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.

  3. Participants are asked to share only as much or little as they find comfortable.  


Participants in groups in the Diocese of Chicago pay a discounted fee of $325 per year. To learn more about EfM at Church of the Atonement please contact administrative mentor Helen Klaviter or co-mentor Ryan Mather.

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.

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