Lectionary Bible Study
Each week, we read and hear three lessons from the Bible. The Lectionary is the schedule for these readings, shared ecumenically by many Christian denominations. What we do in this Bible study is discuss the readings for each day, gathering in the library after the service with our coffee and snacks for about an hour. The discussion is always lively and we leave with a better understanding of the readings, how they connect with each other, and how we might live them out during the week.
Bring to this class your curiosity, interest in the Bible as you hear it during the liturgy, and willingness to ask questions and listen to each other.
The next lectionary bible study series will resume in Easter season.
Book Studies - Learning in Faith Together
Reading a book can be helpful in living our lives. Reading a book along with others in a book study amplifies the pleasure and concentrates the time and effort needed in our busy lives to make the experience more worthwhile. Come talk to others about what you have read in a safe, respectful setting; hear others’ responses; enlarge your thinking; understand more; realize different points of view other than your own; maintain contact with a small community of folks who share this experience. It all makes the book come to life. Try it and see for yourself.
Learning in Faith Together (LIFT) meets the first and third Tuesday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Good Shepherd room. We are presently discussing “Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times” by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
The new Sunday Forum will feature learning and discussion led by visiting speakers or parishioners on topics ranging from spiritual growth and parish identity to issues and outreach. The forum time will allow folks to gather in the parish hall for coffee and conversation following the 10 a.m. liturgy. Then at 11:30, participants can decide if they would like to attend the forum in the parish hall or continue their coffee and conversation in the library.
Feb. 19: Mary Wade, an author and scholar on Howard Thurman, will kick off our Forum series. She will preach that day as well. Wade is a Minister at Wayland Temple Baptist Church and founder of Building Respect in Community (BRIC), a community-based organization.
Feb. 26 and March 5: Charting our Course: Discerning our Parish Path. Rev. Barb and Rector's Warden Linda Toia will lead this two-part parish conversation, where we will use insights from the Parish Profile to discuss our parish's gifts and growth edges and begin to discern what God is calling us to be in this new phase of St. Peter's parish life. For those who can’t attend on Sundays, the conversations will also be held on Zoom on Thursday, March 2 and Tuesday March 7 at 7 p.m. Please contact Rev. Barb at firstname.lastname@example.org for the zoom links if you would like to attend.
Adult Education Committee
The Adult Education Committee is responsible for planning the topics that will be used at Sunday morning Adult Forums throughout the year. Committee members take turns creating and leading the lessons and/or finding outside speakers.
If you would like to be a part of the committee come to one of our meetings; everyone is welcome! Bring your ideas about what you would like to see discussed or topics that you want to know more about. Teaching experience is helpful but certainly not necessary. We invite people to come and talk about their personal journeys in work, faith, family and interests. If you are well-educated in a certain area or have a particular passion that you would like to share with the parish, let us know and we will pencil you in.
The Adult Education Committee meets in the summer to plan and prepare for the coming year (September-May) of Adult Forums.
Education for Ministry (EfM)
Every baptized person is called to ministry. The Education for Ministry (EfM) program provides people with the education to carry out their ministry. An extension of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, EfM reaches students around the globe including over 80 parishes in the Episcopal Church. Seminar groups (ranging from 6 to 12 participants) work under the leadership of trained mentors. St. Peter’s Church has a long history of EfM classes, graduates, and mentors.
EfM classes meet weekly from September through May. Students sign up one year at a time for this four-year program, which covers the basics of a theological education in the Old and New Testaments, church history, liturgy, and ancient and modern theologians. EfM is much more than bible study; students learn to reflect theologically on their own lives and the world around them, using many sources. Seminar groups study, discuss, worship, and pray together, carrying on the journey of spiritual formation as a community.
At St. Peter’s, EfM classes are formed as a sufficient number of people express an interest in embarking on this life-changing journey and as mentors are available. If you are interested, please contact The Rev. Barb Ballenger at 215-887-1765.
Here’s the link to the official EfM website: https://efm.sewanee.edu.
The Listening Circle is a small group that offers a place of safety and trust where participants are better able to connect with the place of inner wisdom, or the God within. Our goals are to deepen our relationships with each other, be able to identify and connect with the place of God/Truth within us, learn to listen more deeply, and to be nourished and strengthened within ourselves and also in our relationships with others.
While this group is open to anyone interested in deepening relationships, its size is limited to provide more generous time for each person’s participation.
Each person brings to the Listening Circle a desire to experience and practice deep listening and a willingness to attend as many sessions as possible so as to build trust within the group. We meet monthly in the evening.