Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back from Sewanee: Education for Ministry

Lori and I are safely back in Charlottesville after our trek to-and-fro Sewanee, Tennessee. We were there for a three-day training as "mentors" in the Education for Ministry program, which has a long and hallowed history at St. Paul's. We hope to start a new EfM group in the Fall on Monday evenings.

Although, truth be told, I dreaded the trip because the drive is nine hours each way, not counting breaks, I always come away invigorated by EfM training. Lori and I were in different training groups (I hope you will ask her about her group). My group was led by Mary Ann Bryant, from Chicago, who is one of the most experienced and skilled trainers in the EfM system. I also reestablished friendships with the staff that directs the program.

My training group included mentors from Tennessee, Alabama and Chicago. We did nearly every theological reflection in the EfM book, and we learned a great deal from each other and Mary Ann about group life, theological reflection and how we are called to be ministers honoring each other for the gifts God has given us.

I came away invigorated and inspired by EfM and its possibilities, and hoping a few folks at St. Paul's will join us on the EfM journey this fall. It is a big commitment, but as anyone can tell you who has been through EfM, the experience can be life changing.

We will host a meeting at 7 pm on Monday Aug 3 at St. Paul's to talk about EfM with anyone who is interested. We also have a terrific short DVD to show you that will explain more. Come join us!

If you are reading this blog far from Charlottesville, please check out EfM at an Episcopal church near you, or go to the EfM website by clicking HERE.

The top photo, by the way, I took looking west from the Sewanee mountaintop off to the west across the Great Plains at sunset. The other is from the center of campus and the old chapel.

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