EDUCATION FOR MINISTRY
CLASS BEGINS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2020 (UPDATED)
There’s an old line that goes something like this: Religion is sitting in church and thinking about fishing. Spirituality is sitting in a boat fishing and thinking about God. I have heard it paraphrased a hundred different ways. In these pandemic times we are struggling to give meaning to our “church” life when the architectural foundations of that are missing.
How do we continue to grow as Christians when we cannot touch or be with those that we trust and love in our church home? I would like to invite you to consider the Education for Ministry Program in the fall. It is a four-year program and you sign up one year at a time. There is a charge, but there are funds to help people if needed. We will be working via Zoom, of course, at least until there is some sort of safe resolution to the virus. I know many people are well zoomed out at this point – but this gives you a safe place to question your ideas about God, the church, and religion in general.
In the first year, the members read and consider the Old Testament. It can be pretty daunting – but the idea is that we need to know something about the Old Testament because it is the foundation that Jesus knew. In the second year, we read and consider the New Testament. There are textbooks that go along with each year to help explain the material – although most people think that the sharing of ideas can be more helpful. It is a safe place to talk about what you believe and what you question – and why you have the beliefs that you do. In the third year, we look at the history of the Episcopal Church (with all its beauty, flaws, and problems). The fourth year looks more at the ideas that make us Christian and how that fits into the world.
If you just consider spirituality, you look at trying to find meaning and how to connect to other people. If you look only at religion, then you want to consider what rituals and rites and practices work for you. Religion can also help (or hinder) your ability to know what is right and wrong. The EFM program helps you to find meaning in the middle between the two. It helps you to hone your beliefs; it can comfort (or discomfort) you and help you to understand why you believe what you do. And above all, that middle ground can help you to stand in awe of the beautiful God-given world we live in.
Won’t you join us? We meet on Thursday evenings at 6:30. We will begin the first Thursday after Labor Day (9/10/2020). If you need more information, please contact Chris Potter (404-376-7430) or Jan Potter (404-444-8627) or the church office. We would love to have you join us.