Beyond the SFF

Learn Online

Bridging the Political Divide with Parker Palmer | Churchnext.tv. 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 | ChurchNext.tv. 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.

A Christian Response to Gun Violence | ChurchNext.tv. A tragedy, a teaching moment, and maybe a change…
What good can come out of the senseless shooting in Las Vegas? Let’s take advantage of a teaching moment, and a chance to ponder anew what reforms we might help bring about. Also available for Groups.

Family Faith Formation with John Roberto | ChurchNext.tv. 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.

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.

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

Episcopal Public Policy Network | Washington, DC. The Episcopal Public Policy Network is a grassroots network of Episcopalians across the country dedicated to carrying out the Baptismal Covenant call to “strive for justice and peace” through the active ministry of public policy advocacy.

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 hsgustafson@stthomas.edu 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:

February 2-3, 2018: Values in Action: A Trinity Institute Conference| Trinity Church & St. Paul’s Chapel, NYC This year’s conference features leading activists, theologians, authors, and experts on how to integrate core values into strategic and effective action, including the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church; Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, and Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet, theologian, and mediator.

February 9, 2018: Creativity and the Craft of Writing Sermons | United Theological Seminary, New Brighton  While different than developing a play, the craft of writing sermons draws on a combination of creative and focused energy not unlike the careful work of a playwright. In this one-day session you will learn from renowned playwright Christina Ham how to discover and draw out the kernel of a story to develop writing that is robust in meaning, attention and impact. During the session you will learn (or relearn) creative skills and think about how to apply them to your work as a preacher or writer. The day will include both presentation and experiential learning.

March 3, 2018: Muslim Women Strong: 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference | RISE, Bloomington Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE) believes that women are strong and can change the world. RISE meets women where they are and helps them go further. This year’s Women’s Leadership Conference features keynote speaker Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic Fencing Medalist and Hijabi Woman.

March 6-10, 2018: The Art of Teaching Spiritual Discernment | Monteagle, Tennessee The Beecken Center of the School of Theology is partnering with Listening Hearts Ministries to offer an intensive, four-day retreat to train participants in the art of facilitating and mentoring spiritual discernment groups.The program has an “at home” component: for five weeks prior to the retreat (the weeks of Jan. 28; Feb. 5, 12, 19, & 26), participants will engage in short readings, creative meditation exercises, and online sharing of reflections. The retreat will include communal meditation activities; workshops that teach the practical aspects of teaching spiritual discernment; and a series of discernment sessions, each of which is followed by a reflective review to gain insight into the elements that bring forth fruitful discernment.

March 16-18, 2018: Lansing Lee Conference: Civil Discourse in America | Kanuga, Hendersonville, NC Featuring members of the United States House of Representatives (both Republicans and Democrats) along with nationally recognized voices from The Episcopal Church, this conference asks how we pivot from our current milieu to a place of cooperation and collaboration. In addition to plenary sessions where our representatives will share personally from their own stories, break-out workshops will include a variety of topics to equip attendees to be agents of goodness in the world. This conference is expected to be in high demand so early registration is suggested.

April 4, 2018: Act Now! Unite to End Racism |National Council of Churches, Washington, DC Awaken to the truth that racism is evil and hurts us all. Confront racism through truth-telling and action to right the wrong. Transform the hearts, minds, and behaviors of people and institutions. ACT Now: Unite to End Racism in the areas of church life and practices, criminal, economic and social justice, civil and human rights, environmental justice, media, and education. Join in the clarion call to heal the soul of the nation as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. Let’s finish the work!

Resources

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