Beyond the SFF

Learn Online

Bridging the Political Divide with Parker Palmer | Learn how to walk through our divisive political climate with grace and peace. Author and activist Parker J. Palmer shares inspirational and practical knowledge on how Christians might approach deep political division.

Certificate in Vestry Leadership | Students and vestries can earn a certificate by completing all four, 45-minute courses, which will take an average learner a total of 3 hours. The courses are also available in a For Groups format, making them ideal for small group learning in vestry retreats or regular vestry meetings.

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry Webinar |The Appreciative Way. Learn the fundamentals of the Appreciative Way, Conduct an Appreciative Inquiry into your life and work, discover and articulate your core purpose for being, and more.

Family Faith Formation with John Roberto | Learn why parents are the crucial ‘faith transmitters’ to their children, and how they can become more faithful in passing along the most important parts of their lives to the most important people in their lives.

Members of the Association of Episcopal Deacons get a discount on online courses offered through the Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership (one of the SFF’s partners!). Check out their upcoming courses here.

Ongoing Events, Programs, & Resources

The Westminster Town Hall Forum| Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis. Featured speakers on important topics in Spring 2017 include Irshad Manji, Frank Bruni, Otis Moss III, and Richard Haass. You can listen to past forums, including talks from The Right Rev. Gene Robinson, Tavis Smiley, Bryan Stevenson, Sister Simone Campbell, and many, many more here.

Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning | University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. The center’s mission is to foster interreligious learning, friendship, and service between and among people from various religious traditions. In addition to offering public events, the Jay Phillips Center is willing to bring (often free) programming to Episcopal faith communities. Contact Hans Gustafson, Associate Director, at to explore options for interfaith learning in your community.

ECMN Faith Formation Network | Twin Cities / email group. Contact Marion Hunner at St. Christopher’s, Roseville to be added to the email list. Monthly meetings.

Healing Minnesota Stories | Sacred Sites Tours. The tours offer an opportunity to learn about Minnesota history from a Native perspective through story-telling and experiencing the sites in silence/meditation/reflection.

Upcoming Events and Courses

August 7-11, 2017: Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders | Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, Glen Ellyn, IL (Chicago metro). Conflict is normal and inevitable. This event is designed to equip church leaders with the skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.

August 15, 2017: Race and Gender | Downtown YWCA, Minneapolis. How does the intersectionality of race and gender inform and impact us as individuals? How does social context influence our perceptions of race and gender? Join us to discuss these questions and more!

August 18-19, 2017: Contemporary Perspectives on Luther | Luther Seminary, St. Paul. Do Luther’s reforming insights still speak? Come to hear and converse with theologians as they address how Luther’s reforming insights speak to—and are redefined by—a range of current topics and issues.

August 24, 2017: Share Your Story for Change | Downtown YWCA, Minneapolis. Effective advocacy is all about building relationships and storytelling. A personal story can be a powerful tool to dispel stereotypes, demonstrate the importance of an issue, and inspire others to act. This workshop is designed to help you gain skills and confidence to get involved in public policy and advocate for issues you care about.

September 7, 2017 and onward: The Anglican Tradition | Luther Seminary, St. Paul. This seminary course will explore the doctrine, history, polity, and ethos of Anglicanism, from its roots in the English Reformation to today’s global Communion. A particular focus is given to Anglican history in North America, including the Episcopal Church.

September 14, 2017: Racism 101 | Downtown YWCA, Minneapolis. What is racism, really? Often people think of big, obvious examples, like racial slurs, KKK or Nazis, racial hate crime, etc. But thinking about what racism IS and IS NOT is much more complicated than that. Join us for a conversation that explores the four levels of racism and gain knowledge of how racism plays a role in everyday interactions, decisions, policies, procedures and laws within the US.

October 1 – 4, 2017: Discovering Wholeness: A Retreat Towards Meaning | Mustang Island, Texas. Educational conversations based upon Jungian depth psychology led by John Price, PhD, LPC, are the foundation of the retreat.

October 2 – 4, 2017: The Craft of Preaching | Luther Seminary, St. Paul. Four top preachers will deliver a sermon and then tell you how they got there, with plenty of Q&A.

October 12-15, 2017: Vergers’ Guild Annual Conference | The Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church, Atlanta, GA. The Rt. Rev’d Rob Wright, the Rt. Rev’d Keith Whitmore, and the Rt. Rev’d Don Wimberly, Bishops of the Diocese of Atlanta, and the Mark Emory Graham Chapter of the VGEC serve as your hosts for this once in a life time experience to “Draw the Circle Wider” by joining the largest gathering of Vergers from the United States, Canada, and the world ever assembled.

October 23-25, 2017: Clergy Clinic in Family Emotional Process | Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, Lombard, IL. This leadership training program is for clergy who want to further develop their ability to manage themselves in emotionally intense situations including church conflicts. The program will enhance the ability of participants to function as self-differentiated leaders in their ministry setting.

November 14, 2017: Advocacy 101: How to Make a Difference | Downtown YWCA, Minneapolis. What is advocacy? Why advocate for change? How can I influence change? In this introductory workshop, we’ll answer the above questions, learn about the legislative process and how to get involved, and then take time to focus inward, reflecting on our personal stories that guide our advocacy work.


Living into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America, edited by Catherine Meeks. This book is a report from the front, combining personal stories and theoretical and theological reflection with examples of the work of dismantling racism and methods for creating the much-needed “safe space” for dialogue on race to occur.

Faithful Neighbors by Robert Heaney, Zeyneb Sayilgan, and Claire Haymes, from Church Publishing, outlines an introduction to the rationale for interfaith work through both theological and practical viewpoints, using stories from real experiences of interfaith cooperation to offer encouragement, inspiration, and practical steps to do the same.

These Are Our Bodies by Leslie Choplin and Jenny Beaumont, from Church Publishing, addresses foundational issues for how we are called to have conversations about our sexuality within a faith community. Looking at sexuality through the lenses of growth and change, we can explore values and intentionality. Individuals and churches can use this technique to build upon this theological grounding.

Examen: a prayer app from Loyola Press

By the Rivers PodcastCheck out this episode with ECMN’s own John Bellaimy.

The Road Back to You: Looking at Life Through the Lens of the Enneagram by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. Check out the podcast!

Faith Formation 4.0 by Julie Lytle, Ph.D

E-Formation 2016: Webinar Videos

Facing Decline, Finding Hope: New Possibilities for Faithful Churches by Jeffrey D. Jones