Parish Activities at Saint Ben's
Education for Ministry group
EfM mentor Lorienne Schwenk writes:
I would like to invite you on the journey that is Education for Ministry (EfM). Often, I have met adults whose religious education stopped when they were confirmed as teenagers. I’ve also met adults who have spent long years in one occupation and are now wondering how to figure what to do next. Other folks may have left church, had a negative experience, or feel empty in their religious lives and yet hunger for something to satisfy a holy longing inside. EfM is a joyous, exciting, invigorating opportunity to grow in a supportive group setting.
Through study, prayer, and reflection, EfM groups move toward a new understanding of the fullness of God's kingdom. This process can be illustrated by a two-rail fence. One rail is the Christian tradition. The other is the collective experience of the group's members. The rails are linked by fence posts which represent the seminar sessions where life and study meet. The fence is grounded in the soil of regular worship which is vital to the life of the group.
The seminar group is the nucleus of the Education for Ministry program. A group consists of six to twelve participants and a trained mentor who meet weekly over the course of a nine-month academic year. These meetings are usually from two and a half to three hours in length. Participants are given weekly assignments to study with the help of resource guides. Students are responsible for setting their own learning goals. They spend between two and four hours in study and preparation each week. In the seminars members have an opportunity to share their insights and discoveries as well as to discuss questions which the study materials raise for them.
Through discussion and guided reflection, the seminars furnish an opportunity to deepen understanding of the reading materials. More important is the development of skills in theological reflection. The goal is to learn to think theologically. By examining their own beliefs and their relationship to our culture and the tradition of our Christian faith, participants can learn what it means to be effective ministers in the world. In coming to terms with the notion that everything we do has potential for manifesting the love of Christ, we discover that our ministry is at hand wherever we turn.
The seminar is supported by a life of prayer and regular worship. EfM groups are encouraged to develop a pattern of worship appropriate to their situations. Liturgical materials are furnished with the course materials.
The cost is $350 and participants need to commit only to one year at a time. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Lorienne Schwenk at 203-5196 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Lorienne has mentored EfM for ten years and is always excited to begin the next year’s journey.
Education for Ministry is a program developed by The School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. The EfM website, www.sewanee.edu/EFM, provides a wealth of information on the program, its mission, and an outline of the course of study for all four years.
CENTERING PRAYER GROUP
CHILDREN'S MINISTRIES - Nursery care for children up to age 3, Children's Chapel (Sunday School) for children over 3 - each week during the 10:30 Service.
DREAMS & SPIRITUALITY GROUP – First and third Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm.
HEALING SERVICE – a time for prayers for healing and the laying-on of hands, at the 10:30 service on 5th Sundays.
LITLOVERS’ BOOK CLUB – General reading, novels, biographies, history, etc. Discussion and fellowship. Last Saturday of the month 1-3pm, members’ homes.
LUNCH BUNCH – lunchtime social gathering following church, 4th Sundays at Garden Café.
MEET ME IN MORRO – lunchtime social gathering, 3rd Tuesdays at varying restaurants in Morro Bay.
MID-WEEK EUCHARIST, once a month
PASTOR’S DISCRETIONARY FUND – On the last Sunday of each month, loose plate offering is designated to this fund.
PEOPLE’S KITCHEN – Providing and serving food at Prado Day Center, 1st Saturday of odd-numbered months.
POTLUCK AND PRADO on the 1st Sunday of each month donations to Prado Day Center are collected, potluck lunch follows 10:30 service.
VESPERS AND CONVERSATION – 5:30 pm Tuesdays, at the church. Vespers service using varying liturgies, followed by potluck supper.