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.

Events and Courses

White Racial Frame Reading Group | Luther Seminary. We are a small group of people interested in racial justice, interested in how our white racial identity shapes us, challenges us and privileges us. We are passionate about racial justice and feel the need to more deeply understand our white racial framework.  Contact Carrie Carroll, to join in.

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.

April 20-22, 2017: Who Am I Really? Discerning Aspects of the Soul Through the Spirituality of the Enneagram | The Beecken Center, Sewanee, TN. Through lectures, dynamic presentations, music, video, group work, and more, this weekend conference—led by Joseph B. Howell, Ph.D., author of Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram’s Forgotten Passageway—will teach participants to immerse in the deeper aspects of themselves as revealed by spiritual truths.

April 25, 2017: Confronting Racism: Minnesota Style | Downtown YWCA, Minneapolis. This workshop is designed for those who have an understanding of white privilege and racism, and want to acquire skills in dealing with racism as it occurs in their personal lives. The workshop will develop the participants’ active listening skills, as well as help them practice skills to respond to overt racism and covert racism within the dominant communication styles of the Midwest.

April 2017 – October 2017: Academy for Leaders with the Center for Courage and Renewal | Oak Ridge, Chaska. Sustainable, courageous leadership hinges on your ability to know your own values and act on them. When you’re true to yourself, and true with others, that authenticity translates into trust. And trustworthy relationships translate into more effective, wholehearted leaders, teams and results.

May 3 – July 12, 2017: Immortal Diamond: A Study in Search of the True Self | Online course from Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque. Rediscover your forgotten self that can never be destroyed, but can be transformed to live in eternal love. This media-rich, self-paced online course is based on Richard Rohr’s book of the same name. The course explores new themes each week, including exclusive teachings from Father Richard.

May 9 & 13, 2017: Marriage Matters | Nativity Episcopal Church, Burnsville.  For dating, engaged, or married couples. A workshop based on the Prepare/Enrich curriculum that will cover topics like: communication, conflict resolution, personality similarities and differences, family of origin, etc. Contact Nativity ( for more info and to register.

May 11, 2017: “No Religion is an Island: The Interfaith Legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel” | St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN. St. Kate’s Theology Department’s annual Goodman Lecture will feature Dr. Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. Her lecture is free but tickets are required.

May 13, 2017: Sacred Sites Tour | Healing Minnesota Stories, St. Paul. Learn about Minnesota history from a Native perspective through story-telling and experiencing the sites in silence/meditation/reflection. We visit sites located around the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, what the Dakota refer to as Bdote, or “meeting place of rivers.”

May 16, 2017: The Church Network Spring Certification Seminars | United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton. Whether you’re a business administrator, administrative assistant, pastor, or treasurer, these courses will provide you practical skills and theological reflection about the work of managing a church. Learn from experts in the field with a diverse group of church leaders from across the Upper Midwest.

May 17, 2017: Race and Socioeconomics | Downtown YWCA, Minneapolis. What role does race play in socioeconomics in Minnesota? Why do racial differences continue to result in socioeconomic disparities? Join us as we discuss why racial differences in poverty persist and what we can do to address these disparities.

May 23, 2017: “Building Bridges–National and Global Politics and Religious Tensions” | Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul. Dean Gregory Sterling of Yale Divinity School will address the role of religion as a source of conflict and as a source of peace. He will discuss how religion can serve as a means to build bridges rather than walls. Must RSVP by May 17. Click here to register as a Yale Alum.

May 26 – June 25, 2017: Taking Heart: Ramadan Iftar Open House Meals | Twin Cities. Taking Heart Open Houses is a long-running program coordinated by the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota (MAS-MN) to bring Christians and members of other faith communities together with Muslims for food and conversation during Ramadan.

May 28 – June 2, 2017: Spanish Language and Hispanic Ministry Intensive | Austin, TX. Gain competency in the Spanish language and an understanding of Hispanic culture.

June 3, 2017: “Living Out Our Baptismal Covenant” with Fredrica Harris Thompsett | St. John the Evangelist, St. Paul. A church historian, author, professor, and a deeply talented preacher, Fredrica Harris Thompsett will be visiting to speak on baptismal living and the ministry of the baptized.  She will lead an all-day workshop Saturday, June 3 entitled: “If not you, who? If not now, when? Living out our Baptismal Covenant.” She will also preach at 8am and 10am on June 4.

June 5 – 9, 2017: Summer Institute for Reconciliation | Duke Divinity School, Center for Reconciliation, NC. Rooted in Duke Divinity School’s conviction that reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel, the Summer Institute for Reconciliation draws on the strengths of a faculty of world-class scholars and practitioners. The institute is nurtured by the deepening formation, teaching, and content of a biblical vision of reconciliation that inspires and ferments a movement of transformed communities and relationships.

June 6-8, 2017: Volunteer Disaster Chaplaincy Training | The Beecken Center & the National Disaster Interfaiths Network, Sewanee, TN. Clergy, laypersons, professionals, and spiritual caregivers of all faiths are invited to take this three-day disaster chaplaincy training. Participants who complete this certification can volunteer as a chaplain in their own diocese or faith community, or with NDIN and its national partners.

June 11 – 16, 2017: Building Congregational Capacity for Hispanic Ministry | Austin, TX. Designed for congregational leaders in those congregations where consideration is being given to starting Hispanic Ministry in their community. Teams from congregations are encouraged to attend.

June 12-15, 2017: Women of Color in the Episcopal Church conference | Episcopal Women’s History Project, Baltimore, MD. Come to the 2017 EWHP Conference to hear stories of women of color, whether Native American, Latina, or Asian and to share ways the Church can be an even more effective instrument of justice, peace and opportunity for all the beloved people of God. Featured speakers include the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burroughs and the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas.

June 15, 2017: Legislative Session Is Over…Now What? | Downtown YWCA, Minneapolis. The legislative session is over…now what? In this workshop we’ll review what happened this legislative session and dive into how to stay engaged in advocacy and connect with policymakers in the interim.

June 22, 2017: Intent vs. Impact: Unconscious Bias | Downtown YWCA, Minneapolis. It is important for us aspiring to make change to recognize our biases and what we have been taught, while also respecting those with differing opinions. Join us to examine what you believe, where these beliefs came from, and how your experiences have shaped them.

June 25-30, 2017: Augsburg College Youth Theology Institute | Augsburg College, Minneapolis. This year’s theme: “God’s Mosaic: Diversity as Good News.” Together we will explore the sociological theories, biblical narratives, and theological frameworks that help us see, appreciate, engage and celebrate the beauty of diversity in God’s world. The cost is $250 for the week-long residential institute and applications are due May 15.

July 14-23, 2017: Living the Questions Youth Theology Institute | Bethel University, St. Paul. Living The Questions is designed to provide motivated high school students the time, place, and tools to think theologically and discern God’s calling upon their lives. Cost is $295.00 and covers housing, food, and all programming. Local congregations are encouraged to provide financial support. Scholarships are also available.

July 19, 2017: Confronting Racism: Social Media | Downtown YWCA, Minneapolis. Have you ever found yourself in a heated conversation on social media about race or racism? Did the conversation turn out well? Come join us for a conversation and develop skills of active listening, as well as practice skills to respond via social media.

July 26-28, 2017: Rethinking Church: Better Questions, Bolder Experiments | Luther Seminary, St. Paul. In the last century, Christian congregations in North America largely imagined their mission as attracting people to Sunday morning. Congregations were taught to measure attendance and offerings. If you are ready to ask different questions than simply how to get people to come, Rethinking Church is for you.

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 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 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.

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.

Ongoing: 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.


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