EfM Education for Ministry

EfM Education for Ministry


I’ve just learnt that 8,000 people are reading Healing Our Broken Humanity this year as part of EfM Education for Ministry. Thrilling news!

Co-authored with my wonderful friend, Grace Ji-Sun Kim.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York

Happy Hanukkah! The two 12-foot-high menorahs shown here on either side of the High Altar were presented to the Cathedral in 1930 by New York Times publisher Adolph Ochs to thank Bishop William Manning for his efforts to improve Jewish-Christian relations in New York City. The Cathedral is proud to be a place of interfaith and cross-cultural connections. To our Jewish community and all who celebrate the eight miraculous nights of Hanukkah, chag sameach!
Zoom: TODAY, SUNDAY DEC 11 | 4:15 PM (PST)/7:15 PM EST
(The most glorious choir in Los Angeles' most beautiful and welcoming Episcopal Church).

An Advent Procession of Lessons & Carols
The Choir of Saint James
Patterned after the ever-popular Nine Lessons and Carols originating from King’s College, in Cambridge, England, the Choir of Saint James offers this service on the Third Sunday of Advent.

Music will include the Matin Responsory by James Buonemani, “Adam lay y-bounden” by David Briggs, “Alleluya, a new work” by Peter Wishart, “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree” by Anthony Piccolo, “King Jesus hath a garden” arranged from the traditional Dutch tune by John Rutter, “I am changed” by Will Todd, “The Shepherd’s Carol” by Bob Chilcott and “O Magnum Mysterium” by Morten Lauridsen.
Zoom sign up here: Dr. Michael S. Kogan, Professor of Religion and author of Opening the Covenant: A Jewish Theology of Christianity published by Oxford University Press will be teaching a Zoom class on the Book of Geneses. “Genesis,” a foundational document of western civilization, is the source of our ideas of good and evil, of our origins and destiny, and of the meaning of life itself. In this class, we will examine it verse by verse, and story by story, exploring its content and authorship over the six centuries of its composition, and asking how and why it still influences our view of ourselves and of our world."
On this holiest day in Jewish observance it is important to reiterate Episcopal Church doctrine that confirms the belief in God's continuing Covenant with the Jewish people. So much has been achieved through the Christian-Jewish dialogue since Vatical II. It would behoove Episcopal Parishes to partner with Jewish congregations in their city and exchange clergy for continuing education (as is done so well by Brentwood Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles).
"For what we have done, for what we may yet do, we ask pardon; for rash words, broken pledges, insincere assurances, and foolish promises, may we find forgiveness."
I would appreciate any help in finding an online EfM course (I'm in the Philippines) that would accept a lifelong (but long inactive) Episcopalian who is humanist/nontheist/Spongian. Thanks!
I graduated from EFM several years ago and have moved twice since then. I remember one of the ways to share a faith story was called stepping stones. I would like to share this with a small group at church. Does anyone have notes about this they could get to easily? Would be much appreciated
Interesting theological read:
The Gospel of Christian Atheism” by Thomas J.J. Altheizer.

Thomas J.J. Altheizer. was a “death of God” theologian who wrote that God was tired of mankind praying to Him, rather than taking their fate into their own hands. Realizing that as long as He remained enthroned in heaven as God the Father, this situation would never improve, man would never come of age. So He vacated heaven and emptied himself into man,God the Son, Jesus. Now God walked among us as a brother, showing us how God wants us to live our lives, using our free will for righteousness.

After his time setting the example for human living. he orchestrated his own death, to show us how to empty ourselves out (kenosis) for the sake of others. God the Son (Jesus), dies on the cross and is put in the tomb. But, three days later, what arises from the tomb is not the Jesus who entered it. As God emptied Himself into Jesus, now Jesus empties himself into mankind, “The Great Humanity Divine,” as Altheizer calls it. God the Father self distructed, now God the Son self destructs, leaving God in all of us. No one left to pray to. Now its time to get to work in our world redeeming project as Christian atheists!

A very interesting new trinitarianism, and the Christian version of the story you present. These are post-Christiian and post-Jewish death of God theories for the age we live in, "post mortum dei.”

The Diocese of Utah held their Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, June 25th.

In the photo below are the EfM Graduates from the Diocese of Utah along with mentor, Cher'ie Naccarato (mentor) and Philip Kinchington (coordinator) -
left to right: Cher'ie Naccorato, Michele White, Peggy McCray, Steve Bauter, John Dossett, Jennifer Cannon, and Philip Kinchington.
photo credit: Laura Orcutt (mentor)
From our Senior Warden Annie Landenberger:
The Rev. Lars Hunter, a recently-ordained deacon in The Episcopal Church, will be preacher and deacon for Pride Sunday this week at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Brattleboro.

Hunter, a parishioner from St. Mary’s in the Mountains in Wilmington, Vt., is the Bereavement Program Coordinator at Brattleboro Area Hospice. He, his husband and two children first moved to the area in 1995; in 2001 he completed the Diocesan Study Program, a three-year Christian educational program offered by the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, allowing him to become a Licensed Lay Minister. In 2010 he completed the EfM Education for Ministry program at St. Michael’s with the late Rev. Deacon Joel Hill.
In September 2019, Rev. Hunter graduated from The New England School for Deacons and early this month he became the first openly transgender person to be ordained in the Diocese of Vermont. The Rev. Hunter will henceforth serve as a regional deacon in the southern part of the state.

The focus of Hunter’s sermon on Sunday will be on engendering hope within the LGBTQ+ community—and on encouraging acceptance among all. “There’s a lot going on—many rights are being threatened now. I want to give hope that, despite that erosion, we can still make progress. We can be out there to make a change.” In the most recent round of ordinations, Hunter points out, “three out of five of us were members of the LGBTQ+ community.” He admits cause for concern and wariness in these days of extreme violence, and he notes it is not easy for people, young and mature, coming out as LGBTQ+. Despite it all, he perseveres.

The Rev. Hunter’s involvement with The Episcopal Church began decades ago when he found that he not only “fell in love with the liturgy and the prayers,” but also that he felt acceptance. “That feeling of being accepted, and the acceptance of all, is what really drew me to the Episcopal church. When I started my gender transition in 2014, the church supported me one hundred percent and I’m grateful for their open and affirming stance on the LGBTQ+ community.”

St. Michael's Episcopal Church is at the corner of Putney Road and Bradley Ave. in Brattleboro. The Rev. Deacon Hunter will preach at both the 8 AM and 10:15 AM services. All are welcome.
Gallup: America's belief in God hits new low

The question is not one of abstract belief, but of whether your belief influenced your daily life. The question is not whether God intervenes in my life, but whether my claimed “belief” intervenes in my life. By that standard, only a small percentage of people are “religious.”

The question should be: “Do you believe God?” When God first broke into Western history, in appearing to Abraham, the text says, not that Abraham "believed in God,” but that “Abraham believed God.” He did not have to believe IN God. He had just heard his voice. God had directly confronted him. The question was whether he would now act as God directed him. Did he believe God? Did he trust God? Would he allow God to re-direct his life?

If I say, “I believe in you,” I don’t mean that I believe in your existence, but that I trust you, that I have confidence in you. That is what the truly religious person means when he says he “believes in God.” The vast majority of those polled do not mean that, or, at least, do not live that. The abstract metaphysical belief that there is a God out there somewhere who must have created all this stuff around us, has nothing to do with religion as defined by Kierkegaard, and other great theologians. Confidence and trust in God cannot be measured in polls.

Theologian Gabriel Vahanian used the word “religiosity” disdainfully, to describe the life of people who claimed to “believe in” God, went to church etc. but who were in no way in touch with God in their daily lives as Jesus demanded. True “religion", for him, was very rare, and could not be dealt with by polls, but only demonstrated in action motivated by God’s inbreaking presence in the life of the believer.


"Bible readers know all about the wickedness of fake news. Judas’ Jesus narrative was corrupt but effective. In the following century, Roman authorities laid waste to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, removing all evidence of Jews and Christians. They built a temple to their gods on the grave they thought they had made for Christianity and the God of the covenant. Bur they failed. The people remembered. Christ is alive. Our savior reigns.
Thirty-three years ago this month, in the heart of Beijing and surrounding neighborhoods, China cracked down on pro-democracy protestors, including those who made their stand in Tiananmen Square. Hundreds died, perhaps thousands. China covered it up and tried to erase it from its history. It punishes those who speak the truth. But the blood had flowed, and so the world remembers. So do the victims’ families. China’s leaders will be held accountable as enemies of democracy one day. In the courts of history, they already are.
And so it continues to this day in the heart of our own capital. Between November 2020 and January 2021, in violation of the sacred oath he took before God, Trump conspired illegally to overturn the election. He pressured Pence to desecrate his oath. Trump summoned a mob to Washington, set them against the United States Capitol, and did nothing when they threatened to kill Pence and got within 40 feet of doing it. Pence deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom for holding his ground. Our ground. And Trump deserves to be investigated and tried.
Giuliani, Eastman, Clark, and many others joined in the conspiracy. Because of these small men, the country that gave the world the Bill of Rights and Emancipation Proclamation, Jackie Robinson and Neil Armstrong, and Aretha Franklin and Bruce Springsteen was minutes from extinction. I love my country. Millions bled for it. In our whole history, no single American has been more dangerous than Trump. He is a high crime and misdemeanor. He is unconstitutional. Leveraging relatively small numbers of swing states’ voters’ worst impulses, seizing power with the help of the butcher of Ukraine, now angling for power yet again, he is one of the worst things that ever happened.
Yet in the spirit of temple deniers and Tiananmen deniers come Trump’s deniers. Beholden to him for their political survival, those hoping to seize control of Congress in November — betting on the all-too-real distractions of inflation and war anxiety — would fire the Jan. 6 investigators and do their utmost to cover up his crimes. They’d try to use Congress’s budget authority to harass Justice Department investigators while distracting the public with fake news about imaginary Biden crimes.
We’re watching this unfold slowing and excruciatingly as gas prices spike and the midterms near. We may not be able to stop it. The likes of Kevin McCarthy and Marjorie Taylor Greene are poised to take up the exact same work as Rome and Beijing, standing in the wings with their whitewash and bullhorns, their torches and pitchforks, taking care, one assumes, that in their loafers and high heels, they don’t slip on the blood of the wounded on the Capitol steps, of which we learned from those who courageously resisted Trump’s mob.
Solomon never ruled, and Christ never lived, the liars said. China’s tanks never crushed children, the liars said. Trump won the election and wasn’t a seditionist, the liars say. If they prevail in November, It will be awful for a while. We will have to resist again. But Americans will remember. History will remember. “Truthful lips endure forever,” Proverbs discloses, “but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.”

Contact information, map and directions, contact form, opening hours, services, ratings, photos, videos and announcements from EfM Education for Ministry, Education, Tennessee Avenue, Sewanee, TN.

For students, graduates, mentors, trainers, coordinators, and fans of the Education for Ministry program from the Beecken Center at the School of Theology at Sewanee at the The University of the South

Operating as usual

Timeline photos 01/13/2023

Anam Cara is posting a series on deconstruction as a spiritual process. If you are interested in exploring this topic you may want to go over to their page and read what they have shared over the past few days.

Deconstruction, spiritually speaking, is not the same as the experience of doubt (the other side of the coin of faith) or the experience of the dark night of the soul (which is an experience of new intimacy precipitated by the Beloved engaging in new or different ways) or even depression—although all three of these can lead to or be a part of the experience of deconstruction. To be in the midst of deconstruction is to be in the midst of a profoundly courageous process of taking apart the structures (sometimes dogmas) of our faith systems. Sometimes those structures were given to us lovingly; sometimes they were given to us oppressively, and sometimes a complex combination of both. Often deconstruction is precipitated by an experience of hurt or betrayal by our religious structures. That's not always the case, but as we think together about what this kind of journey entails, it matters to remember that what has been trustworthy has come into question for those experiencing this kind of faith shift. This is a profoundly destabilizing time, and as a result so much can feel at risk.

Have you experienced a time of deep destabilization in your spiritual journey?


Artwork: Carole Hillsbery


I do not ignore the theological and metaphysical interpretation of the Christian doctrine of salvation. But the underprivileged everywhere have long since abandoned any hope that this type of salvation deals with the crucial issues by which their days are turned into despair without consolation.

The basic fact is that Christianity as it was born in the mind of this Jewish teacher and thinker appears as a technique of survival for the oppressed. That it became, through the intervening years, a religion of the powerful and the dominant, used sometimes as an instrument of oppression, must not tempt us into believing that it was thus in the mind and life of Jesus.

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Wherever his spirit appears, the oppressed gather fresh courage; for he announced the good news that fear, hypocrisy, and hatred, the three hounds of hell that track the trail of the disinherited, need have no dominion over them.

Jesus And The Disinherited


In this week's meditations from The Upper Room Disciplines, F. Douglas Powe Jr. writes, "When we vow as a community of faith in the baptism liturgy to journey with others, it should be a commitment to be light for others and to allow them to be light for us."

Read more at UpperRoom.org/disciplines.


We send our prayers for all those celebrating tonight, and we wish you a safe and a happy new year!

Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on the death of Pope Benedict XVI – The Episcopal Church 12/31/2022

Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on the death of Pope Benedict XVI – The Episcopal Church

Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on the death of Pope Benedict XVI – The Episcopal Church With the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, I offer heartfelt prayers for His Holiness Pope Francis and all members of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world. As followers of Jesus, we know that death does not have the final word. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, the apostle Paul reminded that fir...

Timeline photos 12/29/2022

Timeline photos

In his blog post, Ten Reasons Why You Should Be An Episcopalian, The Rt. Rev. Dean E. Wolfe gives ten descriptive hallmarks of our denomination that you might want to share: https://ed.gr/efygx



Executive Director of Education for Ministry (EfM) 12/20/2022

Executive Director of Education for Ministry (EfM)

Are you the next Executive Director of Education? Do you know someone who could be the next Executive Director? Applications are still being accepted!


Executive Director of Education for Ministry (EfM) Job Title Executive Director of Education for Ministry (EfM) Name of church or organization School of Theology, University of the South Location Sewanee, TN Job Description The Executive Director o…


"Am I not here, I, who am your mother?"

Remember that Our Lady of Guadalupe spoke to Juan Diego in Nahuatl, an indigenous language, not Spanish; as she spoke to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdais, the local patois, not in French.

Mary, like her son, meets people where they are.


Today is the third Sunday of Advent. 💙 As we light these candles, satisfy our hunger with your good gifts, open our eyes to the great things you have done for us, and fill us with patience until the coming of the Lord Jesus.

Timeline photos 12/11/2022

Timeline photos

Week three of advent - a different colour candle. 🕯️

The Advent Wreath, or Advent Crown, can be found in churches throughout the Advent and Christmas season.

Rose is traditionally used for the Third Sunday of Advent. It anticipates the joy of Christmas so its colour is a mixture of Advent purple and Christmas white.


Richard Rohr Daily Meditation: Holy Bewilderment 12/07/2022

Richard Rohr Daily Meditation: Holy Bewilderment

Richard Rohr Daily Meditation: Holy Bewilderment Author Debie Thomas finds a worthy model of “holy bewilderment” in the faith of Mary, revealed at the Annunciation (Luke 1:26–38):


The daily practice of making time and space to speak with God, to listen to God, or to simply be with God, clears a pathway for God to enter our lives. How will you start praying on the Way of Love?

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14


Happy ! As part of the EfM community, you play a key role in helping others discover and cultivate their call to Christian service. Your generosity today will ensure a strong future for our program, as we transition to new leadership and work to launch EFML and our Short Courses. Make your gift at theologysupport.sewanee.edu. Thank you!


God’s amazing gift to us…. ❤️

“People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness, but they choose not to live in it. They claim that the light that shines in the darkness can be trusted more than the darkness itself and that a little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness. They point each other to flashes of light here and there, and remind each other that they reveal the hidden but real presence of God. They discover that there are people who heal each other’s wounds, forgive each other’s offenses, share their possessions, foster the spirit of community, celebrate the gifts they have received, and live in constant anticipation of the full manifestation of God’s glory.” - Henri Nouwen


On our hearts and on our houses, the blessing of God.
In our coming and our going, the peace of God.
In our life and our believing, the love of God.
At our end and new beginning, the arms of God to welcome us and bring us home. Amen.

Communion in the Michael Chapel of Iona Abbey this evening.

Timeline photos 11/10/2022

Timeline photos

“In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. One of the fascinating ideas here is the idea of soul-love; the old Gaelic term for this is ‘anam cara.’ ‘Anam’ is the Gaelic word for soul and ‘cara’ is the word for friend. So ‘anam cara’ in the Celtic world was the "soul friend." In the early Celtic church, a person who acted as a teacher, companion, or spiritual guide was called an ‘anam cara’. It originally referred to someone to whom you confessed, revealing the hidden intimacies of your life. With the ‘anam cara’ you could share your innermost self, your mind and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an ‘anam cara’, your friendship cut across all convention, morality, and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the ‘friend of your soul.’ The Celtic understanding did not set limitations of space or time on the soul. There is no cage for the soul. The soul is a divine light that flows into you and into your Other. This art of belonging awakened and fostered a deep and special companionship…

This art of love discloses the special and sacred identity of the other person. Love is the only light that can truly read the secret signature of the other person’s individuality and soul. Love alone is literate in the world of origin; it can decipher identity and destiny.

It is precisely in awakening and exploring this rich and opaque inner landscape that the ‘anam cara’ experience illuminates the mystery and kindness of the divine. The ‘anam cara’ is God’s gift. Friendship is the nature of God.” – John O’Donohue, Anam Cara

How do you see this “art” of love and belonging in your own life? How have you experienced your own identity being awakened and known, or been part of awakening that of your friend? How does this all reflect the very nature of God?


-Sunday Prayer-
A Prayer for Leaders with Vision and Wisdom
Give us, O God,
leaders whose hearts are large enough
to match the breadth of our own souls
and give us souls strong enough
to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.
In seeking a leader, let us seek
more than development for ourselves —
though development we hope for —
more than security for our own land —
though security we need —
more than satisfaction for our wants —
though many things we desire.
Give us the hearts to choose the leader
who will work with other leaders
to bring safety
to the whole world.
Give us leaders
who lead this nation to virtue
without seeking to impose our kind of virtue
on the virtue of others.
Give us a government
that provides for the advancement
of this country
without taking resources from others
to achieve it.
Give us insight enough ourselves
to choose as leaders those who can tell
strength from power,
growth from greed,
leadership from dominance,
and real greatness from the trappings of grandiosity.
We trust you, Great God,
to open our hearts to learn from those
to whom you speak in different tongues
and to respect the life and words
of those to whom you entrusted
the good of other parts of this globe.
We beg you, Great God,
give us the vision as a people
to know where global leadership truly lies,
to pursue it diligently,
to require it to protect human rights
for everyone everywhere.
We ask these things, Great God,
with minds open to your word
and hearts that trust in your eternal care.
— Joan Chittister, OSB


November 6 is the feast of Blessed William Temple (15 October 1881 – 26 October 1944).

Mobile uploads 10/24/2022

Mobile uploads

You might be a progressive Christian if…

Episode 3: Theologian Miguel De La Torre, author of Decolonizing Christianity 10/24/2022

Episode 3: Theologian Miguel De La Torre, author of Decolonizing Christianity

Grace Si-Jun Kim (co-author of Healing Our Broken Humanity) interviews Miguel De La Torre (author of Reading the Bible from the Margins) in this podcast.

Episode 3: Theologian Miguel De La Torre, author of Decolonizing Christianity A conversation with pastor and theologian Miguel De La Torre about White Christianity, Christian nationalism, women of color, and more


Happy Diwali to those who celebrate! Diwali (also called Divali or Deepavali) is a “festival of lights” that celebrates the triumph of light over dark and good over evil, and the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment. The name comes from Sanksrit dipavali, meaning “row of lights.” On the night of Diwali, celebrants light dozens of candles and clay lamps (called diyas), placing them throughout their homes and in the streets to light up the dark night.

Diwali is primarily celebrated by followers of the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain faiths.


-Sunday Prayer-
O Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the wind,
whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me;
I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty,
and make my eyes behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made,
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise, that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than another,
but to fight my greatest enemy: myself.
Make me ready to come to you,
with clean hands and clear eyes,
so when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.
-Native American prayer


Videos (show all)

In case you missed it, today is #TigerTuesday, Sewanee’s annual day of giving! We invite you to watch this #TigerTuesday...
It’s #TigerTuesday, Sewanee’s annual day of giving! Please watch this special message from EfM Executive Director Karen ...
Today is #TigerTuesday! Please join Dean Turrell and show your support for EfM on this annual day of giving.💜   🐯   💛htt...
Kevin Goodman-EfM
Andrew Han-EfM
The Episcopal Center of Learning
Dr. Catherine Meeks - Living into God's Dream
Living Courageously in Times Like These
EfM Summer Conference 2017





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Sewanee, TN

Opening Hours

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Tuesday 8am - 4:30pm
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Daynal Institute Daynal Institute

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