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.

A Christian Response to Gun Violence | 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 | 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

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

October 14, 2017: Learn How to Manage a Project with Very Few Resources | St. Luke’s, Hastings Learn how to manage any event that is run by volunteers and help us with our project at the same time. Learn about large and small projects during this 3 hour hands-on learning experience. You will learn valuable lessons in Project Management and will still have time to begin creating your own project plan. Led by Lyn VanDeSteeg.

October 19, 2017: How Do I Put Soul Back Into My Leadership? | Benedictine Center, St. Paul The demands of ministry and leadership can wear down the passion and our initial call to respond to the great needs of people and our communities. What are the practices of the spiritual and ministerial life that carry us back over the threshold of attention, receptivity and a transforming vision for our vocational call? Led by Dr. Barbara Sutton, Adjunct Professor of professor of theology at Saint John’s School of Theology*Seminary and the Benedictine Center’s 2017-2018 Scholar in Residence.

October 20, 2017: Making Change in a Changing World | The Midtown Company, Open Book, Minneapolis This workshop is for people who help people grow. Teachers, Pastors, Counselors, Managers, Authors, Parents, and Consultants. Discover a model for understanding human behavior, culture, and growth. SPACE IS LIMITED!

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.

October 28, 2017: Nurturing Hope Through Spiritual Direction| St. Catherine University, St. Paul A free event, open to the public, focused on spiritual practices to support people in troubled times. The keynote speaker is well-known Catholic sister Elizabeth Liebert, SNJM.  

October 26-29, 2017: Keynote Series with Dr. Kathleen Cahalan | Benedictine Center, St. Paul 

November 3, 2017: Recalibrating: Cultivating Agile Leaders & Innovative Congregations| Luther Seminary–Northwestern 100, St. Paul 
Date and Time: Friday, November 39:30-11:30 am
Location: Northwestern 100

The church as we know it is calibrated for a world that no longer exists. The solution to this will be agile leaders and innovative congregations. 
Dr. Cormode will be sharing research from his latest book project and engaging us in discussion about how the church can adapt faithfully as it recalibrates its life for the world we find ourselves in today. Scott Cormode, Ph.D., is Hugh DePree Professor of Leadership Development, Fuller Seminary. He is the author of Making Spiritual Sense: Theological Interpretation as Christian Leadership (Abingdon, 2006) and the founder of the Academy of Religious Leadership. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA.

November 4, 2017: Community Engagement Forums series | Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Paul Holy Trinity has joined with members of the surrounding community to create “Community Conversations for Racial/Ethnic Reconciliation and Understanding,” a series of community engagement forums dealing with racial, ethnic, and cultural understanding and reconciliation. The first forum, “Jim Crow: Then and Now,” is scheduled for Sat., Nov. 4, 2-5pm. It will be held at Holy Trinity, 1636 Van Buren Ave. This a free event and RSVPs are welcomed as space is limited. For more information call the church office at 651-228-0930.

November 11, 2017: Art & Faith Formation | The Intersection Art Studio, United Theological Seminary, New Brighton Melissa Miller will guide you through some simple but meaningful art projects that can be used in teaching faith formation for youth and adults or in a pastoral care setting. You’ll explore Blessing Boards, guided painting, water color crayons and the energy of Art in Community. Supplies will be provided. Lunch available for purchase in our Context Cafe.

November 11, 2017: Justice, Renewal, & the Theology of Prince | Surly Brewing, Minneapolis Each year, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) hosts Voices: Addressing Issues That Affect the Church and Wider Community. Our audience is the wider ecumenical faith community in the Twin Cities, and our goal is to provide tools through nationally-recognized speakers & partnerships with local organizations and practitioners. In keeping with our calling to “be a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world,” The Wholeness Fund keeps registration fees low, and seeks to support local & global organizations that strive to meet the needs of their community by serving people in their walk through life.

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.

November 15, 2017: Making Change in a Changing World | The Midtown Company, Open Book, Minneapolis This workshop is for people who help people grow. Teachers, Pastors, Counselors, Managers, Authors, Parents, and Consultants. Discover a model for understanding human behavior, culture, and growth. SPACE IS LIMITED!

December 8, 2017: Making Change in a Changing World | The Midtown Company, Open Book, Minneapolis This workshop is for people who help people grow. Teachers, Pastors, Counselors, Managers, Authors, Parents, and Consultants. Discover a model for understanding human behavior, culture, and growth. SPACE IS LIMITED!

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.


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