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Christian Formation
 
   
 

Education for Ministry (EFM)

Every baptized person is called to ministry.  The Education for Ministry (EFM) program provides people from all walks of life with the education "to be" Christians and to carry out their ministry. All Christians need a Christian education which supports their faith and which prepares them to express that faith in day-to-day events. 

EFM is a world-wide program developed by the School of Theology of the University of the South. It teaches that the foundation for bringing Christ to the world lies in a Church empowered by an active, theologically articulate laity. 

Thousands of persons have completed this four-year program. Participants enroll one year at a time, can transfer almost anywhere in the USA and in many foreign countries, and can obtain 18 Continuing Education Units per year from the University of the South by participating at St Thomas. 

Preparation for Christian Initiation or Reaffirmation (PCIR)

PCIR is a process of instruction, action, and reflection designed to create sacred time and sacred space for encountering the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is modeled on the catechumenate of the early church in which converts to the faith were prepared for baptism. It begins in the fall and continues through Eastertide. The class is designed for the following:

  • Adults preparing for baptism or confirmation;
  • Adults preparing to sponsor an infant’s or child’s baptism;
  • Newcomers to St Thomas or to the Episcopal Church; and,
  • Any adult who wishes to deepen his or her faith.

  Adult Forum

The Adult Forum meets at about 10:00am each Sunday morning from September through May. Sessions are led by clergy and lay persons from St. Thomas as well as some guest speakers. The forum is intended for all adults beginning with post-high school age. The curriculum for 2002-2003 is a Kerygma Bible Study. 

The flexible design of the forum makes it possible for interested individuals to drop in on an occasional basis or to attend regularly.

Children and Youth at St. Thomas

All children are deeply loved and cherished by God. At St. Thomas we want to make sure that they learn this truth deep in their hearts to carry them for a lifetime. To do so, we have many educational, fun, and ministry opportunities to teach young people about who God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is and the love that God has for them.

Toddlers’ Class

Beginning about two years old, our toddlers and preschoolers are taught about who Jesus Christ is and how he wanted all the children to come to him. These little ones meet in the nursery between church services on Sundays. 

Godly Play

This is our Montessori-style education to teach kindergarten through the early elementary years the stories of the Bible and about the Church. The class uses special playthings to tell the stories and each child has the chance to make an artistic response to what he or she has learned. They gather each Sunday morning between church services. 

Older Elementary

This age group learns more about the Bible and about the Episcopal Church. This class learns together each Sunday mornings between worship services. 

Rite 13

This class for twelve to fourteen year olds learns first to form a community among themselves. They begin the process towards earning their status as responsible, knowledgeable, mature adults of faith and in life. This class, with two adult mentors, meets on Sunday mornings and at additional times for fun events and fundraisers. Rite 13, held for two years, combines Christian education with a traditional youth group and requires a commitment by the students and the parents to join. Newcomers and visitors are always welcome! 

Journey to Adulthood or “J2A.”

A continuation of Rite 13, this class for fifteen to seventeen-year-olds learns about spirituality, self, sexuality, and society with the companionship of two adults. This class prepares those who wish for confirmation. This class also is held for two years. At the end of their two years, the group makes a sacred pilgrimage. This class combines Christian education with traditional youth group activities and requires a commitment by the students and the parents to join. Newcomers and visitors are always welcome! 

Young Adults in Church or “YAC”s.” This group for the oldest teens follows J2A. The class, with two adult mentors, designs its own learning, outreach, and social activities, and takes its place in the ministry of the parish. This class combines Christian education with traditional youth group activities and requires a commitment by the students and the parents to join. Newcomers and visitors are always welcome!

 
     
Last updated: March 31, 2004  
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