Thursday Morning Bible Study
Beginning at 10:00 am and ending at 11:30 am, a very special group of men and women meet to read, study, and struggle with biblical stories in order to find practical application for our lives. Most of our discussions center around theology and human behavior. We look for God's Word to help us apply it to our lives to make them more manageable and God-centered. We read the Bible from the Spiritual perspectives of the group. There is no obligation to conform to any one believe. One only has to be open to struggling with the complexity and paradox often found in the stories! This is an open bible study and all are welcome!
While Rev. Mary is on vacation and a trip to the Holy Land, we will be doing a book study. The book is Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris.
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Cloister Walk, a book about Christianity, spirituality, and rediscovered faith.
Struggling with her return to the Christian church after many years away, Kathleen Norris found it was the language of Christianity that most distanced her from faith. Words like "judgment," "faith," "dogma," "salvation," "sinner"—even "Christ"—formed what she called her "scary vocabulary," words that had become so codified or abstract that their meanings were all but impenetrable. She found she had to wrestle with them and make them her own before they could confer their blessings and their grace. Blending history, theology, storytelling, etymology, and memoir, Norris uses these words as a starting point for reflection, and offers a moving account of her own gradual conversion. She evokes a rich spirituality rooted firmly in the chaos of everyday life—and offers believers and doubters alike an illuminating perspective on how we can embrace ancient traditions and find faith in the contemporary world.
In the past year, as a congregation we read together the following books:
During Bibles Study:
Bishop Barry Beisner led a discussion on Being Disciples during coffee hours after each service. It was great to hear his perspective on the book and hear personal stories about Rowan Williams.
We will have Confirmation Class in the Spring of 2018. The dates are still to be determined.
We just concluded our Episcopal 101 class. We used the book Faith Rules: An Episcopal Manual by Ian S. Markham (Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary) with Samantha R. E. Gottlich. Thank you all who attended. It was a delight to teach this inquisitive and faithful group!
Training and Licensing
The process for becoming a licensed minister includes discernment, Safe Church Training and ministry specific trainings provided here at St Michael's and/or through deanery or diocesan workshops. Additionally, the Bishop of the Diocese of Northern California has included anti-racism training as a requirement for clergy, Licensed lay ministers and lay leaders in our congregations in an attempt to further educate our church on the negative effects of racism in our society and possible solutions to create a more just society. Please contact Rev. Mary for more information about trainings and licensing.
Education for Ministry
Education for Ministry or EfM is an ecumenical 4 year program of theological education under the direction of the University of the South. Each year is devoted to different subject matter - 1st year, Old Testament; 2nd year, New Testament; 3rd year - Church History; 4th year, Theology. If you are ready to learn more than you ever thought you didn't know, this program is for you. Classes will start in September, following a normal academic year. We are now registering for next year's class. We are excited to welcome additional members to join in Theological Reflection and discussions of the readings. We welcome all who are new and want to begin this program. We welcome back any EfM students who graduated and would like to experience the new materials offered, and former EfM students who did not complete their studies and want to pick up where you left off. Although it is a 4 year program, you only have to commit to one year at a time. For more information please contact either Jan Bowdler 916-667-3273, or Sue Gaston, 916-485-2023.
Baptism Classes for Parents and Godparents
Classes are designed to help refresh parents about the Baptismal Covenant we all share when we are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are generally scheduled two weeks prior to Baptisms.
Community of Hope
Community of Hope International is a training program for lay pastoral caregivers. This 14 session training is offered yearly here at St Michael’s and is open to congregation members of St Michael’s and members of the surrounding community, who feel called to provide spiritually based pastoral care to people in a number of settings- home , hospital, care facility, homeless shelters, mission trips etc. Our training is based in Benedictine Spirituality, which emphasizes a balanced life of prayer, service, self care, and healthy support systems through fellow Community of Hope pastoral care givers. If you have questions, please contact Deacon Cindy at firstname.lastname@example.org. A new class is beginning in January, 2018.