FORMATION / EDUCATION (formerly CHRISTIAN EDUCATION)
““As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
Christian formation is a lifelong journey of growth and enrichment that all Christians are called to undertake. Becoming a deeply formed Christian takes time and commitment. The process starts at our baptism and continues throughout all the stages of our lives. As Episcopalians, we draw on a variety of sources as we reflect on our faith and spirituality, including the Old and New Testaments, the traditions of the Church, and our individual experiences. Given that Christian formation is a lifelong activity, here at St. Mary’s we offer formation / education opportunities for children, youth and adults.
Children's Sunday School
Children’s Sunday School - The purpose of this ministry is to provide a positive learning environment for children and families so that they can grow in Christ and become faithful disciples. A secondary purpose is to grow the community of St. Mary’s and integrate young people and families with the congregation to provide a support network. This ministry serves youth, children and families as well as older members who benefit by interacting with younger people. It provides activities on a regular basis for families to enjoy together (family movie night, Messy Church), a learning environment for children (Sunday school and Wonderful Wednesdays), outside youth activities for fellowship as well as community service projects. We also will provide these services through Sunday school, Nursery School and Youth Group. As the programs grow, we will integrate more of the congregation through the use of volunteers in the classrooms and Messy Church. This will require a fairly good size pool of volunteers.
Order of St. Luke
Order of St. Luke (OSL) Ministry Our purpose is to help bring comfort and healing, in body, mind and spirit, to any who reach out for the assurance that Jesus Christ hears and answers their prayers. We are not healers; we believe that we are simply the “conduit” between our Lord and the persons we anoint, lay hands on and pray for. James 5 VS 13-15. The people involved in this ministry serve at each of the three weekend services at prayer stations located around the church for anyone seeking the laying on of hands and prayers for themselves, loved ones or friends. On these occasions we pray in teams of two. We are also available by appointment for soaking prayers done by a team of three or more Order of St. Luke lay prayer ministers for a more extended period of time (20 minutes to an hour). There are also occasions at services when people come to us to offer prayers of thanksgiving for prayers answered. We welcome others who are interested in being a part of this special ministry. We provide classes, training and on going support for all of the Order of St. Luke’s prayer team members.
Cursillo/Ultreya is an international movement that originated in Spain with the Catholic Church. The Episcopal Church participates by offering an intensive short course in living the Christian life so that emerging lay leaders and clergy may transform their own lives and the lives of others around them to become effective Christian evangelists. The focus is on growing Christ-centered leaders. It encourages Christians to strengthen their faith, reach out to share their time, treasure, and talents with others bringing them to the Christian faith. Under direction of the clergy, it gives lay people an opportunity to lead. Ultreya is the monthly follow-up meeting in which Cursillistas renew their commitment and are encouraged to “go forth” and demonstrate Christian behaviors and acts to others, both inside and outside the church. Ultreyas are open to any parishioner that might be interested. This ministry will serve both parishioners and non-parishioners of St. Mary’s that Cursillistas interact with in their lives
Adult Education/Formation Ministry
The purpose of the adult education and formation ministry is to provide many opportunities for you to grow in your faith and to connect in the church community through live classes, Bible study, online study, prayer and quiet days. As a seeker or believer, our starting place is in worship. In Advent and Lent we offer a Quiet Day. An opportunity for fellowship and spiritual growth is offered through a weekly Bible study on Wednesday morning at 10:30 am and Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm. We also offer the Revised Common Lectionary Bible Study weekly during season. St. Mary’s Library in the Parish Life Center is available for all members and seasonal visitors. We currently have more than 2,000 books, audiotapes, DVDs, VCR tapes and CDs for inspiration, education, and Bible study or for just plain enjoyment. This is a self-service library with directions posted in the room. All books may be borrowed for a period of one month. The library is open at any time the Parish Life Center is open.
The adult education / formation commission invites new contributors, ideas and participants into the fold. Our mission is to help achieve spiritual transformation through offerings in faith and love. Do you have a passion that can be transferred into our parish mission?
Adapted from Life and Ministries 2015 Rev 14