Beyond the SFF

Learn Online

Six Tips to Preach in a Divided Culture: A .pdf resource from Backstory Preaching.

Creating Beloved Community Mission Opportunity Toolkits | The Mission Opportunity is a statewide invitation for Episcopalians in their faith community contexts to learn and engage in action around a specific topic. Not every Episcopalian and not every faith community takes on big projects related to the Mission Opportunity topic. But the invitation is to dip a toe in the water. To learn and walk with God to discern what we are called to do with the information that we are learning.

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.

LIVE Bible Studies |

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

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 to explore options for interfaith learning in your community.

KAIROS Courses | Luther Seminary, St. Paul
KAIROS courses will help leaders write and preach better sermons, explore the intersection of emotions and leadership, consider mental health issues and people affected by them, and equip others on their journey of faith formation.

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.

Traverse Counseling & Consulting | Traverse counseling offers counseling services for individuals and families, and offers workshops for both individuals and counselors.

Upcoming Events and Courses:

September 12 – October 17, 2018: Live Bible Studies |

The Bible and Racial Justice will ask probing questions around God, racism, and the Bible. Taught by the Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, author, professor, and inaugural Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary.

Heretics in Good Company examines how the church has handled the answers to important questions of belief and doctrine, especially in the light of scripture. Taught by Forward Movement Executive Director the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn and Episcopal priest and author Melody Wilson Shobe.

The Bible and Evangelism will look at relevant and effective ways of sharing the Gospel in today’s world. Taught by Episcopal priest and author, and ECMN Missioner for Evangelism, Marcus Halley.

September 21, 2018: City House Spiritual Listening Training | Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis
For those interested in learning more about how to listen with the heart, and how to increase their capacity to relate to people living on the margins of society, City House is offering a workshop on spiritual listening. Learn ways to develop your ability to listen in a compassionate, non-judgmental manner. Great for outreach and pastoral care teams.

September 25-December 4, 2018: Peace Meals | University of St. Thomas, St. Paul
Peace Meals gathers people from different faith traditions and religious identities who commit to meet together six times to share a meal and honest discussion, with the goal of building greater awareness and understanding of each other’s worldviews, questions, concerns, and hopes.

October 1-3, 2018: Working Preacher Presents: The Craft of Preaching | Luther Seminary, St. Paul
What elements go into the powerful sermons you hear at big conferences?
How do accomplished preachers create sermons that resonate?
Where can you find practical insights and trustworthy answers to your preaching questions?
Hear from respected preachers, learn in hands-on workshops, and attend a master class to receive personalized feedback on your sermon from one of our experienced preachers.

October 1-5, 2018: Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders | Minnetonka United Methodist, Minnetonka For church leaders who are interested in learning skills that will equip them to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of church conflict.

October 4-5, 2018: A Contemplative Approach to Spirituality & Sexuality | St. Mary’s Sewanee, Sewanee, TN Within faith communities, perhaps no other topic provokes such heated debate as sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Join us for this two-day workshop at beautiful St. Mary’s Sewanee as we engage in healthy and honest discussions around spirituality and sexuality, with the goal of enhancing the capacity of participants—spiritual directors, clergy leaders, or laypersons of any denomination—to discuss issues of faith and sexuality. We will not attempt to convince one another to adopt any view but rather offer a safe and sacred space to share knowledge, and to engage in open and honest dialogue. Tools will be provided for participants to engage in healthy discussion around sex, sexuality, and spirituality.

October 11-13, 2018: Episcopal Migration Ministries presents Love God, Love Neighbor | Louisville, KY Love God, Love Neighbor is a three-day training that equips participants to be advocates, allies, and ambassadors for refugees and the ministry of refugee resettlement. The training provides an in-depth exploration of the global displacement crisis, US refugee policy, the refugee resettlement process, faith-based advocacy for refugees, and organizing to welcome and support refugees in your home community.

November 1, 2018: Christianity in Hindu India | Church of St. Cecilia, St. Paul  This is the first lecture in a series of three by Ted Ulrich titled Hindu-Christian Encounter in India, which focuses on the history and aspects of Hindu-Christian encounter in south India. In this lecture he will explore distinctive features of Christianity in south India.

November 8-9, 2018: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training | KAIROS Courses, Luther Seminary, St. Paul Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training is for everyone 16 or older–regardless of prior experience–who wants to be able to provide suicide first aid. Shown by major studies to significantly reduce suicidality, the ASIST model teaches effective intervention skills while helping to build suicide prevention networks in the community.


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