St. David’s, Nashville – EfM group forming

Education for Ministry Group Forming at Saint David’s

An Education for Ministry (EFM) group is forming at Saint David’s in West Nashville. Saint David’s parishioner Kathi Fortenberry will be the EFM mentor and wishes to extend this opportunity to anyone discerning a call toward deeper lay ministry.

Why EFM? First, we must ask, “What is the ministry of the laity?” The Outline of the Faith in the back of the BCP answers this question: “The ministry of lay persons is to represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church.”  EFM equips and prepares participants to carry out these ministries.

What is EFM? EFM is a four-year program that follows the academic year and consists of thirty-six meetings lasting 2.5-3 hours per week. Groups consist of a minimum number of six and maximum twelve persons so that it becomes a small community of learning.

What will I learn? EFM breaks down in the following manner:

Year One: Old Testament

Year Two: New Testament

Year Three: Church History

Year Four: Ethics, liturgics and ascetical theology

Here is a smattering of some example questions we will pursue together:

  • Why does Genesis have verses that repeat in Exodus with different sentence structures?  Why do the verses repeat often but focus on different points?
  • Who was the author of the Pentateuch really?  (And what is that?)
  • Why did Paul and Peter quarrel and how is it important to us?
  • What happened at The Council of Nicaea?
  • What the heck does Kierkegaard mean by existentialism?  Is this something I really must know?

Is EFM a degree program? No, however, it is a regime of study that will expand your understanding of your beliefs and lead you into deeper faith. Despite EFM not granting degrees, the program offers as much rigor as one. The accountability of studies is a personal one; the shared accountability is to the group as demonstrated by regular attendance with intent and mindfulness to grow in some way. There is no pass or failing grade. 

What does my registration fee include? Registration for EFM ($375) includes all study materials and textbooks. Your receive a lesson guide with a scheduled calendar of meetings and breaks. In a year’s 52 weeks, EFM’s course of study is 36 weeks, leaving much time away from the demands of learning. 

Whom do I contact about this? Please email Kathi Fortenberry at kathifortenberry@gmail.com to inquire more or to reserve your spot. You can also call Saint David’s Parish Office at 615-352-0293.

When is the deadline? We must have all registrations in by Sunday, August 18, 2019.