In the Episcopal Church, we believe that Christian formation is the lifelong process of growing in our relationship with God, self, others, and all creation. Every experience in our lives can provide us with the opportunity to express our faith; the challenge we face is recognizing these opportunities and learning ways to live a sometimes counter-cultural life in a secular world. www.episcopalchurch.org
How do we address this challenge, and recognize opportunities? A firm understanding of Scripture provides the foundation:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
Each week, our clergy preach and teach the Gospel message from the pulpit, and encourage parishioners to read and study Scripture. Weekly Scripture readings from both the Old and New Testaments are read during the Rite I and Rite II Services, and follow the Lectionary (a pre-selected collection of scriptural readings from the Bible that can be used for worship, study or other collection of scriptural readings from the Bible that can be used for worship, study or other theological uses). In addition, an Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism, is found in The Book of Common Prayer (pp 845-862) and is a commentary on the creeds in our liturgy, and provides a brief summary of the Church’s teachings. The combination of Scripture and liturgy and teaching can be found in our weekly services.
Adult Formation Opportunities
Adult Education Forums: (9:15 – 10:00AM; periodically scheduled on Sunday mornings between services.)
Our Adult Education program is a varied one. Forums are led by the rector, parishioners and occasional guests. Topics have included: Learning about our worship; Christian living; the church and the environment; and contemporary parish interests. Check this website regularly for topics.
Seasonal Book Clubs: (2nd and 4th Wednesday; 7-9PM; Vestry House). Each season, we have a special book club that meets for six sessions. An in depth book discussion, and often an accompanying video, give us the opportunity to delve deep into important theological study, such as Tim Keller’s A Reason for God.
Education for Ministry Groups (EfM): Have you ever wondered what journey God has planned for your life and whether you are on the right path? This is the question that Education for Ministry (EfM) is meant to assist in answering. Each year there is reading on a piece of our tradition, i.e. the Old Testament, the New Testament; Church History & the Church Today. EfM also brings people together in Christian community and love. Biblical principles are brought into our lives and culture today, and through Reflection, our past, present and future as God’s Children are examined.
EfM is a program developed and administered through the University of the South at Swanee, Tennessee. While there is a cost to the program, St. Mary Anne’s has always believed that money should not be an impediment to participating in the program. Scholarships are available for anyone interested in being part of a very special program. St. Mary Anne’s EfM group’s are formed periodically and if you would like to join the next group, please contact Carol Weisel at firstname.lastname@example.org or Father John through the church office.
Confirmation: According to our faith we believe that in the course of Christian development, those baptized at an early age are expected, when they are ready and prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their faith. Also, to make a commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism. This affirmation and commitment is made in front of the bishop; during which, they receive a laying on of hands. Many young adults participate in Confirmation, but adults of any age are also encouraged to participate.
For additional information about Confirmation instruction, please see the clergy.