When I was in 8th grade I had an English teacher who encouraged me to make a list of all the books I’d read, and to keep that list active as I grew older as a kind of curriculum vitae, or “course of my life.” I didn’t do so a good job of actually tracking everything I subsequently read, but I understood the value of what my teacher was trying to instill in her students. Learning is a life-long process for which, ultimately, each of us is responsible for ourselves.
The same is true of our discipleship as Christians. Coincidentally, 8th grade is often the last time many of us remember being in a setting where we were actively studying the bible or examining our faith, in the context of our confirmation classes. As a result we may feel awkward when we imagine sitting down with others to read scripture, or to share what we’ve come to think or feel about some of the central matters of Christian faith and life — ideas about what Christians believe or how they are called to act, in public and in private.
As more and more people find their way to St. Luke’s, we are working hard to create new opportunities for you to explore our traditions as Christians, as Lutherans, as followers of Jesus. This fall, for the first time in recent history, we’ve divided the children’s Sunday School class to accommodate the developmental needs of both our toddlers and our grade school children. We’re also offering two different adult education opportunities during the same time slot on Sunday mornings before worship.
We know that discipleship is about more than book learning though, and that what brings many of you to church is the relationships formed over time among people with whom you can share life. With that in mind, we’re also offering a set of mid-week small groups that combine learning with table fellowship — remembering that if we want to get close to God, we have to get closer to each other.
We hope that everyone in the community will look for a way to extend their commitment to our growing congregation by taking part in at least one Sunday morning class or midweek small group. And, if you find that these opportunities don’t work for you — either because of when they’re offered, or because of the content or format — please share that information with me or with any member of the Education & Faith Formation committee. That feedback will be very useful to us as we continue to plan for the future.
The 2012/2013 Education & Faith Formation Committee is: Scott Shippy, chair; Justin Baxter; Anika Byrley; Bob Goldstein, Cynthia Stengel; Pastor Erik Christensen, ex officio.
Fall 2012 Education & Faith Formation offerings:
Leaders: Libby A’Hearn Gilmore, Melissa Wimer, Kerry Jenkins, and Christa Meyer
Sundays, 10am – 10:20am, on-going
St. Luke’s is offering two children’s classes this year. The first class is for children ages two and three. Parents are required to attend this class with the student. The second class is for students in early grade school. Parents may drop off students for this class.
Both classes use the Spark curricula, which follow the readings used in worship that day. Each class will engage kids in activities, games and puzzles that reinforce the week’s lesson in a fun and informative way.
Leaders: Cynthia Stengel & Jessica Palys
Sundays, October 7 – November 25, 9am – 10am (8 weeks)
(This is a 16 week course. The first 8 weeks will be offered this fall; the second 8 weeks will be offered in the spring, dates TBA)
Journey with the Apostle Paul from his conversion on the road to Damascus to his letters to the early church. Gain a foundational understanding of the key people, places, and events of the biblical narrative while building community and deepening faith.
Leaders: Erik Christensen & Sarah Rossing
Sundays, October 14 – November 11, 9am – 10am (5 weeks)
This five-week seminar explores reasons why we worship, what makes worship meaningful, and the qualities that mark Lutheran worship as distinctive from other faith traditions.
Leaders: Rachel Dahlgren & Others
Wednesdays, October 10 – November 28, 6pm – 7:30pm (8 weeks)
This mid-week Bible study is a small group for young women and will be held in the participants’ homes and explore the passages used in worship the previous Sunday.
Leader: Erik Christensen
Thursdays, October 11 – November 15, 6pm – 7:30pm (6 weeks)
This 6-week small group book study will explore Parker Palmer’s book, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, and will take place in participants’ homes. Mapping an inner journey that we take in solitude and in the company of others, Palmer describes a form of community that fits the limits of our active lives. Defining a “circle of trust” as “a space between us that honors the soul,” he shows how people in settings ranging from friendship to organizational life can support each other on the journey of living “divided no more.”
Leader: Jessica Palys
Sundays, December 2 – December 23, 9am – 10am (4 weeks)
During the four Sundays of Advent, as we await again the “Prince of Peace,” learn more about the ELCA’s statement on peace-making, with special attention given to the ongoing peace process in Israel and Palestine.