Adult Forum takes place on most Sundays during the academic year at 10am in La Tienda, a Spanish delicacy store that allows us to use their le barre (bar room) on Sunday mornings.. A committee of twelve come together several times a year to plan interesting, formative and sometimes controversial programs to engage the congregation. Making use of many resources (outside speakers, the talents and passions of various parishioners, ministry leaders, and video and audio presentations), the committee makes every effort to challenge and meet the needs of the congregations. It is the hope of the committee to empower, equip, encourage and support individuals and households at each stage of life to integrate Christian practices into everyday life, so that they become an integral way of life for our parishioners in today’s world.
Beginning in October of 2014 we took a new approach to our Adult Formation programming. Using La Tienda, the Spanish store behind our church, as our venue, we offer themed questions or provocative subjects to the attendees who sit at tables of 4 to 6. Small group discussion is facilitated at each table by an Adult Formation Committee member. While we wrestle with these important subjects, we sip wonderfully made cappaccino, latte or tea made with Spanish coffee or tea and munch on Spanish breakfast treats. We are combining adult formation with fellowship, because without fellowship and an opportunity to form a relationship with others interested in learning and participating, offering opinions about religion can be scary. This "program" is very laid back and every effort is made to keep it comfortable for everyone. Wonderful discussions are generated in this kind of atmosphere.
The only time we don't go to La Tienda is when the church gathers in our parish hall to hear one of the eight stories told during the course of an academic year. The stories are told by professional Biblical storytellers, lay parishioners, Sunday school classes and our liturgical dance team.
During the academic year of 2014-2015 the eight stories being told are: · Moses in the wilderness and God feeding the Israelites quail and manna--Exodus 16:2-15
· Joshua leads the Israelites into the Promised Land & captures Jericho--Deuteronomy 34:1-12
· Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego as captives in Babylon (Fiery Furnace and Lion's Den)--Daniel 1:1-21, 3:1-30; 6:1-28
· Simeon and Anna see Jesus for the first time in the Temple of Jerusalem--Luke 2:1-52
· The Lord's Prayer--Luke 11:1-4
· The Parable of the Good Samaritan--Luke 10:22-37
· Jesus feeds 5,000--John 6:1-14
· I Am The Vine, You Are The Branches--John 15:1-17
CHRISTIAN ADULT FORMATION ON OTHER DAYS OF THE WEEK
* Monday: On November 17th an additional Benedictine Group began at noon in the church. The participants then adjourn to miles Hall and have lunch together. This offering is open to all.
* Wednesday: At 6:30am on Wednesday mornings a group meets in the church to practice Benedictine discipline.
* Thursday: At 6pm the Education for Ministry seminar group meets in the choir room. This four year course sponsored by the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, covers Old and New Testaments, church history and theology. There is a fee and only one time during the year that one can join. Please call the office for details.
* Friday: Meeting in the Library at noon on Fridays this group studies the lectionary readings* for the upcoming Sunday.
Education for Ministry
Thursday: This group begins each year in September on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8pm in the Choir Room. The Education for Ministry (EfM) program provides people with the education to carry out whatever individual ministry to which a person is called. Through study, prayer, and reflection, EfM groups move toward a new understanding of the fullness of God’s Kingdom. Participants dig deeper into the Christian faith, studying the Bible, church history and theological ideas and reflect on connecting faith with life experiences.
The Rule of St. Benedict
Wednesday: In January of 2010, a small group of parishioners at St. Martin’s joined together in morning prayer and reflection on the Rule of St. Benedict. In the Benedictine tradition, daily prayers include readings from the Psalms. This group also began reading Joan Chittester’s book of daily reflections entitled “The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages.” There are two groups and they meet at noon on Mondays and 6:30am on Wednesday mornings in the church.
*St. Martin’s uses the Common Lectionary which is a schedule of Bible readings that are used in worship throughout the year. The intent is that the passages appointed for the day are to be read to the congregation and that the sermon is to be based upon them. The purpose of a lectionary is to assure that all parts of the bible are used in proportion to their relative importance, and at the right time of the year (that is, resurrection stories at Easter, nativity stories at Christmas, and so forth.).