Frequently during my 31 days of blogging, I mentioned EfM or Education for Ministry. Although the school year is well underway, I thought I would write about it.
It's a four year course for lay people. The course has recently (finally!) undergone some revision, including new texts, but I think the basic outline is the same:
- One year Old Testament
- One year New Testament
- One year church history, theology and tradition (up to American Revolution)
- One year continuing church history, theology
It looks like these last two are the most overhauled, as I checked out the new texts and it looks like they've finally made it to the 21st Century.
But that's the worst I can say for my EfM experience.
The best was learning to be part of a new small group, of learning to discern together, and to support each other through our faith crises.
And yes, each of us in the group struggled with a part of the Scriptures or theology as our mostly child-formed theology met some scripture or philosophy that at the least was unsettling.
I'm still trying to reconcile with a God that seems to condone genocide.
You know, unsettling stuff like that.
EfM also taught me how to see God in action in my life through learning how to our spiritual autobiography. I learned different forms of theological reflection and prayer.
I actually miss theological reflection.
I went because my Sunday School/confirmation classes were sketchy-non-existent at best. The bible studies were for the most part shallow, although great company.
So I got that intellectual fix and so much more.
Oh and it is for lay people in the Episcopal Church to continue, or uncover, their lay ministry. Not to become priests! (Although a few discern a call.)
The next year won't start until September 2014, so if you're Episcopal, be sure to ask around next summer!
For those who aren't -- is there an equivalent for you denomination/faith? If so, please share!