Formation Offerings

For the 2018-2019 program year, our Adult Formation theme will be


"But who do you say that I am?


Luke 9:20

Formation During the Summer 

Plan to join in our summer Adult Formation offering, With Heart and Soul and Voice:  Poetry and the Life of Faith. Beginning on Sunday, June 10 and continuing through August 19, we will gather in Gish Hall at 9.00am to hear thoughts about how poetry expresses our deepest truths and invites us to explore all aspects of creation and our faith life.  Topics include What Inspires Us?, Metaphor, Faith and Doubt, The Sacred and the Profane, God in Nature, The Sacrament of the Present Moment, Poetry in the Anglican Tradition, Music as Poetry, and several other topics.  We will hear local poets (members of our parish) as well as those with poetic souls in hopes of recognizing the poetic journey of faith we all engage.

June 10 -  Ars Poetica, or What is Poetry? How God Inspires and is Present

June 17 - What Language Shall I Borrow? Metaphor and the Importance of Words

June 24 - Poetic Imagination: The Anglican Tradition of Faith and Poetry

July 1 - Poetry of Faith and Doubt

July 8 - God and Nature

July 15 - Storytelling: How We Know Ourselves Through Our Stories

July 22 - The Poetry of the Bible: Psalms and Other Writings

July 29 - The Sacrament of the Present Moment: Our Lives as Poetry

August 5 - Poetry as a Way of Hope for Incarceration:  A Workshop

August 12 - The Sacred and the Profane: How Poetry Binds Them into One

August 19 - Lift Every Voice: Music as Poetry

Formation During the Program Year 

Resumes September 16, 2018.

Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’ They answered, ‘John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’

Luke 9:18-20

We live in a world filled with questions about identity. Modern life loudly tries to tell us we are defined by what we wear, what we drive, how we look, who we know. The tension between being unique and fitting in with the crowd sometimes wears us down. From early on in our lives, we search for answers to who we are, as humans, as members of a family or a community or a nation. And certainly this question of identity is central to our life of faith.

In the gospels, the question of Jesus’ identity is central to the narrative, as Jesus teaches his disciples through his words and his actions. They struggle to grasp what is being revealed; slowly, the answers begin to come. Jesus leads the disciples through this exercise of identity, first of who Jesus is and then of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He asks them who people think he is, and then he gets to the real heart of the matter: But who do you say that I am?

In the 2018-2019 Program year, we will spend our time in Christian Formation exploring this question of who Jesus is and how our identity as Christians is intimately tied to the answers. In the Rector’s Forum, the Rev. Beth Knowlton, along with numerous co-teachers, will explore these questions of identity as we get back to the basics of our identity as the community of faith. The class will wrap up the year with a special Faith in the City series.

Track Two classes will also delve into these questions of who we are, especially in the midst of changes, missteps, and the unexpected, looking at how resilience, imperfection, and planning for the different stages of life’s journey. These offerings will include a series featuring a look at Brene Brown’s work in resilience, Rising Strong; a study of The Spirituality of Imperfection; and a Planning for Life’s Seasons class.

This promises to be a year in which together we can explore our identity as followers of Jesus, Episcopal-style. With multiple ways to explore, we hope that everyone will find a way to be connected. Look for all the specifics in the Parish Life Handbook on Homecoming Sunday.

Week Days During the Program Year 

In addition to the Sunday formation offerings, we will continue to mark the important liturgical rhythm of our year with Advent and Lenten Quiet Days. The Adult Confirmation Class will convene beginning in January, culminating in the wonderful joy of the Feast of St. Mark’s and our annual Episcopal visit. Images of the Divine in Film will meet again this year, with four featured films spread out from September through May. Weekly bible study will continue with the Early Morning Bible Study on Mondays, The Path Bible Study on Wednesday evenings, and Time Out Bible Study on Thursday mornings. Two EfM classes will be meeting in the year, one on Sunday and one on Thursdays. The Senior Tea will return in November. New for the Program Year will be a Rising Strong retreat in January and a special class for families about the liturgy, Little Hands at the Altar, in February.

Other weekly adult formation offerings will continue, including Daughters of the King book studies on Wednesdays; Centering Prayer on Wednesdays;  and Gifted Years book studies in October and March.  

In addition to the weekly schedules, we will continue the invitation to follow the rhythm of the liturgical calendar with several offerings. In Advent, Adult Formation will join forces with our Music and Children’s programs to offer inter-generational activities for all. With combined services at 10.00am during Advent and formation at the 9.00am hour, this time will allow all members of the parish to join together in expectation and waiting for the coming Christ.

Monday morning bible study

Facilitated by The Rev. Beth Knowlton
Meeting on Monday mornings from 7.00-8.00am in the Dean Richardson Room. This early morning study will focus on the lectionary texts resumes September 10, 2018. 

Daughters of the King Book Study

This group of women meets weekly at 4.30pm to study a book.  The group chooses at their first meeting what to read so that it is a group discernment.  Meetings begin September 5, 2018.

Group Centering Prayer

This weekly offering is a time prior to the Wednesday Eucharist during which people can gather in the Dean Richardson Room for quiet reflection as they center in prayer.  Prayer time will begin at 5.00pm and last for 20 minutes.

Time Out Bible Study

Facilitated by The Rev. Carol Morehead and The Rev. Matt Wise
Meeting on Thursday mornings from 10.00am-11.30am in the Youth Suite.  Class resumes this fall on September 13, 2018 . Please join us as we continue our close reading of The Gospel of Luke and then begin a study of the Book of Genesis. No prior participation in the class is required. Childcare available.

Images of the divine in Film

Facilitated by The Rev. Carol Morehead at 6.00pm
Resumes in the Fall of 2018
God is often experienced in varied and unusual ways, and we often find images of the Holy in media and film.  This class will be an experiential one in which we will view and discuss films together.  A wide variety of films will be a part of the curriculum, with the emphasis on images and experiences of the Holy.  

Education for Ministry

EfM (Education for Ministry) classes will continue this year at St. Mark’s. A unique four-year distance learning certificate program in theological education that uses seminar groups as its format, EfM helps the faithful encounter the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition and then apply it to their experiences of the world as they study, worship, and engage in theological reflection together.  Two classes meet for 36 weeks from September through May. For more information about EfM contact The Rev. Carol Morehead. 

Gifted Years Book Study

The Gifted Years Book Study will continue this year. It will meet this fall (dates to come) and the spring (dates to come) from 10.00-11.30am in the Dean Richardson Room.  All are welcome to attend this study that is aimed at anyone interested in reading, discussing as a group, growing spiritually, and connecting with the Unchanging in a rapidly changing world. Check the Announcements and eNews for the different books we will be studying. For more information contact Lillian Morris or Lou Taylor.