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.”

For students, graduates, mentors, trainers, coordinators, and fans of the Education for Ministry prog

Operating as usual

Photos from School of Theology at the University of the South's post 09/29/2023
Experiences of Theological Reflection 09/21/2023

Hawley Todd, mentor, trainer, and former coordinator, shares his experiences with Theological Reflection. Read his insights by linking below.

Experiences of Theological Reflection Hawley Todd | mentor, trainer, former coordinator


A call to prayer for our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, and for his medical team, as he prepares for surgery tomorrow morning (9/20). Curry shared with the House of Bishops Tuesday afternoon (9/19), “Whatever happens, I’ll be fine. God is good.”

EfM Program Survey: An Overview of Results 09/09/2023

Our external consultants LF! created a Mentor Training Survey “in order to produce substantive, measurable feedback from mentors and trainers, with a goal of improving mentor and trainer training in the future” (taken from the LF! survey analysis report). Mentor and trainer Jennifer Wickham shares a summary of the results with our EfM community. Link below to read.

EfM Program Survey: An Overview of Results Jennifer Wickham, M.S. | mentor, trainer


The EfM Staff gathers every Tuesday morning for work and reflection with the RRG followed by our weekly staff meeting. This week we moved through Week 3 of our Spiritual Autobiographies - Share a story about questions that have had an impact on your maturing in faith. (pg 30)

Pictured left to right - Kevin Goodman, Bobbie Adams, Cindy Hargis, Dawn Baker, Donna Layne, Joshua Boooher and Deborah Russell.


The EfM Immersion Experience introduces incoming School of Theology students to the program. Today, Kevin M. Goodman, Katie Nakamura Rengers, team leader Jose Fernandez, and Joshua Booher moved seminarians through worship, the program's history, coursework, spiritual autobiography, and theological reflection in 4 hours!

Barbie Land and losing paradise: Theologian muses on this summer's blockbuster 08/25/2023

If your seminar group enjoys TRs beginning with the culture source, here is an interesting article with several possibilities of "focus."

Barbie Land and losing paradise: Theologian muses on this summer's blockbuster Cathleen Kaveny sees correlations between the Western theological tradition and "Barbie," which tells the tale of a fall from paradise into patriarchy, and makes deep-pink points about the poignancy of human existence.


If you are in the area or are looking for a reason to hang out on the mountain, consider stopping by!

On the morning of Sept. 28, as part of the 2023 Annual Lectures & Homecoming, the School of Theology will offer a choice of workshops for continuing education presented by alumni, faculty, and staff. Visit theologyhomecoming.sewanee.edu to learn more!

Moving toward our 50-year anniversary! 08/21/2023

As we prepare to celebrate EfM's 50th Anniversary, executive director the Rev. Kevin M. Goodman shares what he prays is ahead for the program during the next two years.

Link below to read his reflection on EfM's Substack.

Moving toward our 50-year anniversary! the Rev. Kevin M. Goodman, Executive Director



I ask a moment of your time to call you to prayer. I heard from EfM Canada director Annette Cowan. As many of you are aware, Canada, like many places around the world, has been suffering under the burn of fires. Annette shared with me that fires are now reaching West Kelowna, which is where EfM Canada resides. Staff are being evacuated. Please remember Robin, Chris, and Annette, their families, and all in harm's way this morning.

"For those whose lives are in harm's way, protect them under the shadow of your wings. For those who rescue and bring aid, for those who seek the courage to face an uncertain future, may God's face shine on them and us and be gracious to them and us, and give us peace, Amen."

the Rev. Kevin M. Goodman
Executive Director, EfM


Register now for the 2023 Annual Lectures and Homecoming event, September 26-28. EfM's new executive director, the Rev. Kevin M. Goodman, will be offering a workshop titled "EfM: From Seminars to Streets."

Let the Mountain call you back! Register now for the 2023 Annual Lectures & Homecoming event, Sept. 26-28. The Annual Lecture Series, to be given by the Rev. Canon Dr. Lizette Larson-Miller, is the cornerstone of a two-day long homecoming event, which also includes a semi-formal cocktail reception and banquet dinner, continuing education workshops, EfM Education for Ministry gatherings with the new executive director, the Rev. Kevin M. Goodman; communal worship, guided hikes, and other organized activities. Register here: https://theology.sewanee.edu/events/2023-annual-lectures-homecoming/

EfM FAQs 08/05/2023

As we begin to reconfigure our website (August 2023-December 2023), we have created this simple FAQs page on our Substack. It also has the downloadable Unit 1 from this year's RRG.

Use the link below to connect. Propose additional FAQs in the comments here.

EfM FAQs seminars, trainings, materials, and all things EfM

EfM Mentor Registration Open 07/25/2023

EfM Mentor Registration is now open. To enroll yourself as a mentor and to begin enrolling your group, link below to move through sign-up.

EfM Mentor Registration Open PathWright registration system debuts

I Survived... EfM Mentor Registration! 07/15/2023

Laura Jenkins, an alumna of EfM and a new mentor in the Diocese of Chicago, was invited to beta-test the new registration process. Link below to read her experience and insights she offers to the EfM community.

Registration for mentors is scheduled to open July 25, 2023.

I Survived... EfM Mentor Registration! Laura Jenkins | mentor, Diocese of Chicago


The "It's All About Love" festival is underway in Baltimore. Following morning worship, the opening plenary was "Awake, Arise, Act: Racial Reconciliation Now," presented by Dr. Kwok Pui-lan.

Photos from EfM Education for Ministry's post 07/10/2023

Education for Ministry, the School of Theology, the University of the South at the "It's All about Love!" festival in Baltimore, Maryland.

Reflections on the 2023 EfM Conference 07/05/2023

Maggie Taliaferro - mentor, trainer, & diocesan coordinator - shares a brief reflection on EfM's Summer Conference 2023. If you weren't able to join us, link below to find out what we did during our time together.

Reflections on the 2023 EfM Conference Maggie Taliaferro, mentor, trainer, & diocesan coordinator


I must take the responsibility for how, mark my word, “how” I react to the forces that impinge upon my life, forces that are not responsive to my will, my desire, my ambition, my dream my hope- forces that don’t know I’m here.

But I know I’m here.

And I decide whether I will say yes or no, and make it hold. This is indeed a free man (person), and this is anticipated in the genius of the dogma of freedom as a manifestation of the soul of America, born in what to me is one of the greatest of the great experiments in human relations.

America In Search Of A Soul (January 20, 1976)
University of Redlands
Redlands, California

EfM 2023-24 Books 07/02/2023

Want to learn more about the textbooks we use in EfM. Link below to discover more.

EfM 2023-24 Books Texts and Resources


Earlier this week, just before she drove off into the sunset, we said our final farewell to EfM Education for Ministry Executive Director Karen Meridith. Karen is with the Dean of the School of Theology, Jim Turrell, trying retirement on for size in a traditional University of the South rocking chair—a gift from the School of Theology. We are grateful for your service, Karen, and will miss you in Sewanee!

Education for Ministry (EfM) 06/30/2023

Looking for words to use to recruit, market, or promote your EfM seminar group? Perhaps you can adapt these to your particular context. Link below.

Education for Ministry (EfM) our home on Substack

Daring to Follow the Call 06/28/2023

Daring to Follow the Call Fifty-two readings to spark weekly group discussion on putting Jesus’ most central teachings into practice.


The recording of Termaine Hicks's Education for Ministry (EfM) key note address, "God Kept You Around for a Reason. You Need to Figure Out Why," is now available. You can view it here: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/839880053/privacy


Termaine Hicks to speak Wednesday, June 21 at 7:00 p.m. CDT. Wrongly accused and incarcerated as a young man, Termaine Hicks made national news when he was exonerated and released from prison after a 19-year fight for justice. Come hear Hicks speak at the Blackman Auditorium (Woods Labs / Spence Hall) on the campus of the University of the South or join us via live stream webinar: hickszoom.sewanee.edu The lecture, funded by the Samuel Marshall Beattie Lecture Fund, is free and open to the public. All are encouraged to attend.


Just a reminder that EfM groups meet around the world

EfM Mentor Training
12noon, 4 August– 6pm, 5 August 2023
at the St Francis Retreat Centre, 50 Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough, Auckland
EfM (Education for Ministry) is a program of study devised primarily for lay people (though ordained folks benefit from participating too!). It provides four-years of study material at a tertiary level and in a learning environment where the reading and reflection undertaken by the individual members of the group is then reflected on together at weekly group meetings and applied to everyday life and ministry.

EfM is a way to continually deepen the journey with God in the company of a group which provides challenge and support and co-learning opportunities. It has both academic rigour and a holistic, grounded way of applying that rigour to the realities of 21st century life, living into what into means to be disciples of Christ in our particular time and context.

To support the life of EfM groups and provide for the possibility of new groups forming we need to have mentors who are trained in the skills needed to facilitate these co-learning groups.

A mentor is not an expert, or a tutor, but a co-learner with group members who has the added group skills to ensure that a safe, honest, non-judgmental learning environment is fostered.

If you think that you might have what it takes to be a mentor, and/or are interested in in stepping into the adventure that is EfM, fill in the registration form and come along to the training event in Auckland. (If the link doesn’t work on your browser try www.efm.org.nzevents)

Coming to the training does not commit you to being a mentor! Come, taste, and see!

If you have questions or want more information email [email protected]

Registrations close on 13 July 2023



The EfM Summer Conference registration has been extended through June 8th. We hope to see you on the mountain!

2023 EfM Summer Conference June 20-23, 2023 The EfM Summer Conference is open to EfM mentors, current participants, graduates, trainers and diocesan coordinators. Space is limited and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Because the School of Theology campus is undergoing renovation, conference events will be...


Come to the EfM Summer Conference in Sewanee to meet Kevin and hear him share his vision for EfM. Registration is open through June 5.

Episcopal priest Kevin Goodman is an Education for Ministry (EfM) graduate, a mentor, and a trainer—and the next executive director of the program. He was introduced to EfM as a child, became a mentor at 21, and credits EfM with making him who he is, both as a Christian and as a priest. Read more: https://theology.sewanee.edu/media/features/a-conversation-with-kevin-goodman/


-Sunday Prayer-
On Pentecost the real miracle
was not the momentary wonder
of people speaking languages
they hadn't been taught,
but the lasting miracle
of people making connections
despite all their separations,
discovering how they were alike
despite apparent differences,
knowing belonging
despite their being foreign.
They were one;
the boundaries did not exist.
They found a shared story,
tapped into the one Spirit
that breathed in them all.
Wonder at this: not that you could
speak some foreign language
but that you could love someone
who speaks a foreign language,
knowing by listening that
your hearts speak the same language,
you and they breathe the same Spirit,
one breath in all of us,
members of one body.
Something divine is going on,
partly in your heart and partly in theirs.
Only together will you behold the miracle.
-Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light

Baccalaureate Sunday 2023 05/22/2023

EfM groups are entering graduation season. Share your photos on our page.

Letting go of the Need to be Right – Mindful Christianity Today 05/20/2023

Letting go of the Need to be Right – Mindful Christianity Today Christian Life Letting go of the Need to be Right By Paul Bane - October 13, 2022 0 5583 Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Inspiration: Your behavior is a direct result of those thoughts you have about yourself and others. Without healing, negative feelings and judgmental words will cause you to h...

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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...
Andrew Han-EfM
Kevin Goodman-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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