A peek into the School for Formation’s fall lineup

We’re excited to open registration for the School for Formation’s courses in Fall 2022!

As our congregations emerge from the pandemic, we want to see how the School for Formation can better serve lay leaders in their discipleship and innovation. This year, the Rev. Canon Blair Pogue will teach a new course, Practicing the Way of Jesus. Christianity is embodied in a series of practices – prayer, service, hospitality, silence, forgiveness, reconciliation, simplicity, and Eucharist – to name a few. Participants in this course will not only try on those practices, but also prepare to apprentice others into that life-giving way. This course is a great complement to the Faithful Innovation work that Blair is leading around ECMN, and would be a great way for lay and ordained folks to orient their leadership for the coming year.

We’re also excited about exploring offering lay pastoral care training through Community of Hope. Community of Hope International equips lay people to serve in all forms of pastoral care. Formed as a local team, after their training, the pastoral caregivers continue to meet in a Benedictine model of prayer and reflection. Through ongoing spiritual formation and practical lessons on caregiving, members learn to match theological insights and spiritual practices with their experiences of ministering to others and giving spiritual guidance. Find more about the COH approach here. Several congregations in ECMN have already formed ‘Circles of Care’ in the Community of Hope model. We’re exploring ways to bring COH training into reach for congregations and regions here in Minnesota. If you are interested in learning more about this approach to lay pastoral care ministry, or joining in the training, please email me at susan.d@episcopalmn.org.

This year we’ll also be offering a deeper dive on Episcopal Canons and Polity. In partnership with the Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership, the Rev. Tom Ferguson will teach a seven-week online-only course covering the ways our churches are structured, how power is shared and managed, and how decisions are made. This course is a great complement to the one-day Title IV workshop that Chancellor Doug Franzen and the Rev. Jennifer McNally will continue to offer. If you’re serving on a vestry, wondering about serving on an elected body or representing ECMN at General Convention, or if you’re an ordained person, this course will be a great way to use case studies to understand some of the important practicalities of our life together as a church.

We’ll also be offering a new Asset-Based Community Development workshop. Rachel Babbitt will reprise her role in teaching the introductory workshop, and offer an additional 201 workshop to help ABCD practitioners reflect on their work so far, and chart their next steps.

The faculty for School for Formation courses bring extraordinary commitment and care to teaching. Their service touches not only the learners in their courses, but the congregations and neighborhoods where those individuals worship and serve. We give thanks for the ministry of our faculty this fall – the Rev. Canon Blair Pogue, the Rev. Lisa Cressman and her team at Backstory Preaching, Richard Webb and Carrie Caroll, The Rev. John Bellaimey, the Rev. Cindi Brickson, the Rev. Marcus Halley, Rachel Babbitt, Steve Mullaney, the Rev. Eileen Shanley-Roberts of Bexley+Seabury Seminary Federation, Dr. Mark McInroy, Dr. Bradley Peterson, and more. We give thanks for the offering of their time, care, dedication, and expertise, for the sake of the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. Alleluia!