EfM

EfM

Education for Ministry (EfM) is a four-year program in group reflection and study, supporting formation for Christian ministry in daily life. Assigned readings provide the opportunity to engage in the study of the Christian tradition. The disciplines of individual and group theological reflection bring personal experience into conversation with the study. The sharing of worship, spiritual autobiographies, and personal stories across the year help to form the relationships that are foundational to ministry. At its heart, EfM is a program in practical theology that supports participants in the various ministries to which they are called.  In a recent year, the focus of study was Living Faithfully in a Multi-Cultural World. Students spent the year reflecting on the gifts and challenges of living in a world with such a wealth of cultural diversity. The next year  provided the opportunity to reflect on dismantling racism and interfaith engagement. In the coming year, focus will be on Living as Spiritually Mature Christians.  Throughout the year,  topics of adulthood, wisdom, integration, authenticity, and wholeness act as lenses to bring into focus a vision for living in the world as spiritually mature followers of Jesus Christ, especially for how that identity blossoms when nurtured and challenged by biblical, historical, theological, and ethical learning. The EfM group meets January through May and September through December on Wednesdays from 12:15-2:30pm.  The curious are encouraged to participate for a session to experience this unique opportunity to deepen their understanding of Christian scriptures, tradition and ministry.  A new class year begins each January.

Testimonials from EfM Students

“I found EFM opened the door to recognizing my faith and spiritual experience in my daily living. It was so far beyond a Bible Study and moved into genuine Spiritual Reflection.”

- Betty Anne McCoy

“I was originally introduced to EfM a few years ago, when invited to join a group just starting at a non-denominational evangelical church. “I politely declined thinking I, as an Episcopalian, did not need four years of indoctrination claiming that the bible is literally written by God and is therefore inerrant and infallible, and hearing their unchallengeable answers to everything. Imagine my surprise when years later I discovered that EfM is actually an Episcopal program! The four years of study were enlightening, unfailingly interesting and enormously rewarding. It is a program I would recommend to anyone who is serious in their quest for a deeper understanding of scripture and theology.”

- Sandi Davidson

“Through this study I am learning to connect my life story with Christian Tradition by using theological reflection. This process has been hard work but very rewarding. It is so easy to go through the labors of the day, forgetting to connect those Christian Traditions that have been living within me; those Bible verses, hymns and memorable sermons that are lodged in my brain and heart, with my actions in the world.”

- Maggie Collinge

“EfM is a great way to reach out to people outside the Episcopal Church. My new group in Oak Harbor will include several people who attend other churches and some who are curious about a seminar group that offers theological reflection tools for sharing Christianity in creative ways.  I may even have an unchurched person who is inquiring about Christianity in my Oak Harbor group.”

- Gaylene Reiten

“My faith has certainly been deepened by attending EfM, particularly in realizing the connections my faith brings to actions in everyday life. I don’t believe I have fundamentally changed, I am just more aware of my faith. The way Carol+ has mentored us, we are so much more willing to share personal experiences and learn from other’s experiences in a supportive community. Verna Dozier (author of Interlude text “Living into God’s Dream”) offered so many jewels in her book, however, the following I fell in love with: ‘The church is the people of God. It takes two forms, the church gathered and the church scattered. We gather to break bread as a community, to hear our story, and to recommit ourselves to the dream of God. We scatter to live into that dream.’”

- Judith Render