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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Education for Ministry's LiveJournal:

Thursday, July 19th, 2007
9:27 am
EFM  question
Any EFM members out there - has anyone done the grid thing in the common lessons (4-1-9) "Mapping Your System of Theology"?

We were just sort of told to work on it over the summer, but, not how.  And, the directions aren't particularly illuminating!  I started with question A **  and its all downhill from there.


A - God the Father/Creation

As you understand the biblical tradidion:

1.  What is the Father's relationship to the created universe?
2.  What is the Father's relationship to the Son?  To the Holy Spirit?

From your own experience:

3.  How does the Father's relationship to the  created  universe  affect your expectations of it?

4.  How do your expectations of the  created  universe affect your perception of the Father?


I don't lie when I say my brains explode whenever I sit down to work on this.

crossposted to episcopal

Current Mood: stressed
Wednesday, March 14th, 2007
11:36 pm
Changing EFMs
Well, I'm in the throes of buying a house in a different part of the state--a bit strange when you consider I'm not changing jobs; that's how big the DC Metro area has become.

When we first looked at this area, none of the local churches had EFM, but when I went to their site, I found that they did. It's new there, and everyone is, like me, a first year.

Right now I'm in a one-room-schoolhouse version of EFM, where there are 2-4 students in each year all in the same group. And I love my group, but I can't see driving 60 miles for it when I've already got that as a huge honkin' commute the rest of the week.

So what I'm wondering is, having spoken with the new place (and they are *very* excited to hear that Gallycat is moving to their town), they seem very receptive to a semi-celebrity-in-the-women-in-ministry-and-weblogging circuit not only joining their number but helping them in communications initiatives. They have a membership strategic plan that I'm uniquely poised to help them with.

But I'm really torn about EFM, especially after one of my favorite "classmates" told me that she really hopes I'll stay with St. Anne's.

Have any of you switched parishes in mid-EFM? I know we're mostly 1st and 2nd years here, but I'm curious as to ya'lls thoughts. To make matters worse, my rector/mentor is on extended sabbatical, so I don't even have him to talk to about it..
Friday, September 15th, 2006
8:48 am
Graduation Blessing
My apologies for the lateness of this post. I originally posted it to my own journal. Clearly my brain has shut down. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

My church is doing a graduation blessing during Sunday Eucharist for those who finished EfM last year. (Yes, we're a bit behind, but we were waiting for our Rector to return from Sabbatical.)

The leader materials don't seem to contain any guidance, so our mentor will be making it up. She tried googling it, but found only our own church website with the graduation on the calendar!

Have any of your churches done something like this? What did you do?
Monday, September 11th, 2006
4:33 am
I'm always curious to hear the different ideas that different groups use for worship, anyone feel like sharing any that have been done in your group?

We quite often default to the BCP (sometimes using an older edition or one from another province). The NZ Prayer Book is a favorite, as it has some particularly lovely prayers, such as this Night Prayer (found on pg. 184 of the NZ Prayer Book):

Lord, it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.
In your name, we pray.
Tuesday, August 29th, 2006
1:14 am
TRs revisited
I have a vague memory of someone suggesting last year (stjamesgal?) that we could try doing some online TRs, and I think it might be an interesting experience to try. (Plus, it might make this journal a bit more lively this year!).

As some of y'all may recall, my EFM group isn't too fond of TRs and tends to minimize time spent on them, or even skip them outright, in favor of the 'stuff' in the 3-ring binders. Without getting too in depth or specific, I think this is an issue of the particular group dynamics we have. For similar reasons, we skipped over several of the Common Lessons last year, too. (The few times we did do TRs, we had better results with scripture-based ones.)

I'd be very curious to see how a TR played out in an online format and also with a different group of people.

Anyone up for this, or, alternately, anyone think this is an endeavor that might be doomed to failure? Ideas on how to facilitate this?
Wednesday, August 16th, 2006
2:40 am
We're starting back up for the year in about a month, how about the rest of y'all? Thoughts, feelings?

I'll confess that the main thought racing through my head is "Oh no, time to do another spiritual autobiography!"
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
1:22 pm
The Deuteronomic Reform
I won't cross post the whole thing. You can find my reflection on Year 1 Ch. 28 here.

Hope everyone is still going strong even as the year wraps up.
Tuesday, April 11th, 2006
1:50 pm
Hi, I'm a new member of this community. My name is Wendy, I'm 34 years old, and I live in Washington, DC. I'm considering joining EfM at my church -- I'm going to an informational session on Monday.

I went to a lecture on the Gospel of Judas last night with two friends, one who is culturally Jewish and one who is culturally Christian but thinking of converting to Judaism. They asked questions that I could give broad answers to, but not nuanced helpful ones. That's helped light a fire under me to get me to explore EfM.
Thursday, March 2nd, 2006
2:55 pm
Praise the lord, I made it thru my first TR w/o totally screwing up!  Bwahaha, now thats out of the way for a good while :)

Current Mood: bouncy
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006
10:50 pm
What is the point of TRs?
I'm just not 'getting' the TRs. My group has used both the Microscope method and the Paradox method, and I'm just really not seeing the point. I prefer the Paradox method to the Microscope, which seems to me, to me beating and beating a dead horse, but I'm not particularly fond of it, either.

Actually, no one else in my group really feels like we're 'getting' the TRs - I don't know if we just haven't had a good story/incident to springboard from yet, or what. But at the moment, the whole idea feels like such a waste of time, and I know that I, for one, would prefer to spend that time on the lessons.

I asked our mentor about it, and his answer was "Frequently, TRs suck. Occasionally, you'll have a good one." (Not exactly a ringing endorsement, eh?).

How's everyone else's experience with it?
Tuesday, November 15th, 2005
2:57 pm
Really great TR

We had a really great Theological Reflection on the following text from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (I specifically chose a bit without spoilers)

"It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew - and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents - that there was all the difference in the world." ~J.K. Rowling, "Horcruxes," Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2005

It was wonderful and we came to some really good insights. Feel free to give it a try sometime.

Current Mood: excited
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005
12:46 pm
Common thread
Okay, so I noticed a major common thread among those of us in my EFM class who came to the church as adults. Granted, we do have a few in the group who are cradle Episcopalians, but many of us came later. It seems that most of us left other churches because either we felt excluded or felt that the ideology would force us to exclude others. We found the Episcopal church a good fit because it didn't exclude us or those we love. I knew that about myself but it was rather powerful to see the story retold 5 or 6 different ways.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2005
9:49 pm
Yr 1, Ch. 5 Cain and Abel
Here are my thoughts on chapter 5. Feel free to tell me where I'm being idiotic.

The first time I tried to read a guide without doing the Bible reading first I spent the whole time flipping around trying to figure out what the guide was talking about. Frankly, reading the passage first doesn't completely eliminate that problem.

I've formatted this by quoting the guide in italics and then adding my thoughts. What I'm quoting is what I've underlined.


That is, Cain offers what a farmer is supposed to offer; Abel brings what a shepherd is supposed to bring.... The point J is making has nothing to do with the offerings themselves, nor with the manner in which each came before God. The point is that sometimes we neither know nor understand why things happen.

The assertion that Cain offered what he was supposed to bothers me. Read more...Collapse )
Friday, September 30th, 2005
10:29 am
When do you read your lesson?
It's a bad habit, but I have a tendency to wait until Sunday afternoon to read my whole lesson. Which works okay when nothing comes up. However since my group meets on Monday nights, it can get me behind if all of a sudden I have a Sunday afternoon obligation. So... when do you read your lessons? Are you a procrastinator like me or do you read a little bit each night? Do you set aside a space or time for EFM lessons or just grab time and quiet where you can find it?
Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
5:20 pm
worship for Oct 4th
Oct 4th, I'm signed up to lead worship, and it's the Feast Day of St. Francis. I'm thinking about using this next week - what do you think?

A Reading from The Canticle of Brother Sun, by Francis of AssisiRead more...Collapse )
Monday, September 26th, 2005
8:12 pm
Group demographics
Just wondering, have you got a pretty even balance in your group between the different years or not?

We're all year 1, except for one married couple who are year 3.
9:48 am
table and chairs- an ongoing discussion
okay, so right now it's just you and me, but I thought I'd move this conversation over to the EFM community in case anyone else joins us and has a similar issue. So- I asked magnifi_cat
about a comment she made concerning a table and chairs issue in her group

2005-09-26 02:24 (link) Select
Oh, I posted about that in my LJ, I think.

I'll give it to you in a nutshell. My group meets in one of the conference rooms at the church. Our mentors picked the room with the least comfortable chairs andh and had the conference table removed, so we could rearrange the chairs into a circle and bond.

I asked if we were ever going to have a table - kind of hard to juggle the 3 ring binders, journal/notes, pen, bible, and coffee/dessert without a table. And got this whole horrified, "We can't have a table! Tables are artificial barriers to bonding and communication! We cannot be open if we are divided by one!"

Yeah. And tables also keep people on the other side of the circle from being able to look up my skirt and see what color knickers I'm wearing.

Anyhow, I convinced them to let us try it with a table and real chairs once. At the moment, the group is split 50/50 on the issue and both sides have strong feelings. We actually had a fight about this. The issue still isn't resolved.

I'm at the point of giving up, and 'borrowing' a comfy chair from another conference room for myself and bringing in one of those folding t.v. tray tables.

See why I'm thinking about defecting to another group?
Sunday, September 25th, 2005
9:27 pm
1st year, checking in here. Not sure about this yet, my current group is big on check-ins and short on TRs. Wouldn't surprise me to find a crystal pyramid in the middle of the room one of these days. I recognize it's good to push my comfort zones, but I forsee a lot of teeth-gnashing over the next year.

My most pressing problem is that I'm in charge of worship next week. So far, everyone has done the Complines service, and I want to break us out of that rut. Any ideas? What sort of thing has worked for you, what hasn't?
5:09 pm
Well, I am a third year EFM student and I started this group to perhaps broaden the folk with which I can "think theologically". Please if you are an EFM student or interested in the program, I invite you to join the group. I hope we can have some great discussion or at the very least vent some of our frustrations as we deal with difficult groups, arcane history, bad-typos, and exegesis that makes us want to take a nap. However, I have found that somewhere in all of that life is God and we are better for asking the question, "Where is God in all of this?"

Current Mood: optimistic
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