St. Columba's Episcopal Church

Adult Formation Groups

Booklets for Lenten study
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The mission of adult formation at St. Columba’s is to provide a safe community, which informs, nurtures, and integrates faith and practice for all who come here believing, doubting and seeking the way of Christ Jesus.

In addition to its formal programs of adult formation, St. Columba’s also has a variety of other groups for adult formation and spiritual growth. Click on the following links for more information:
Adult Formation Support Team
Art, Religion and Spirituality
Benedictine Cell
Branches Meditation Group
Centering Prayer
Discernment Ministry
First Monday Prayer Group
Labyrinth Ministry
Leading with the Spirit Study Group
Lenten Book Group
Listening for God
Sunday Adult Bible Study
Thursday Morning Bible Study
Treasures of the Library

Adult Formation Support Team

AFST assists the Associate Rector for Adult Formation in planning and implementing adult education and formation programs. The team meets once per month throughout the program year.

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Art, Religion and Spirituality

Calling all artists: Whatever your artistic medium, we invite you to join this community of mutual support that gathers for conversation exploring the relationship between the arts and spirituality. The Art, Religion and Spirituality group gathers artists, musicians, writers and others in support of their creative and spiritual lives.

One of our intentions is to participate in The Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts (ECVA), a national network that welcomes creators of all visual art forms: watercolor, enamel, acrylic, stone, wood, plastic, paper, fabric and more. But our parish group also welcomes musicians, dancers, writers and others who are not in the visual arts, and several "Arts Hours" are planned each year, featuring their talents.
Schedule: Periodic evening gatherings
Contact: Deborah Kennedy Coster

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Benedictine Cell

St. Benedict’s 5th-century Rule has been used by monastic communities for well over a thousand years. Despite the centuries that have elapsed between Benedict’s time and ours, it offers a surprisingly sturdy model for using the daily stuff of life—work, relationships with others, issues of authority and obedience—to grow closer to God. This group of parishioners meets twice a month to reflect and meditate on how they can use the Rule of St. Benedict to shape and inform their lives. They work with a brief passage from the Rule each week and with a guide, “The Rule of St. Benedict: Insights for the Ages,” by Joan Chittister, OSB, which is available at meetings. On summer hiatus, the group will start back up on Wed., Sept. 20, 2017. Newcomers are welcome.
Schedule: First and third Wednesday evenings from 6-7 pm in the Deming Library
Contact: Dick Dowd

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Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer is a contemporary method of Christian meditation whose origin dates back to the early centuries of the Christian Church. It is prayer without thoughts, words, images or feelings and is designed to open the mind and heart to a deeper relationship with God and to an awareness of the divine presence in daily life. Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other ways of praying; it merely augments our prayer repertoire. Instead of speaking to God with our thoughts, words and intentions, it teaches us to rest and listen to God in silence.

Centering Prayer groups meet on Monday evenings and Thursday at midday. Groups begin with Lectio Divina (meditative Bible study) followed by 30 minutes of centering prayer, a centering prayer teaching, group sharing and intercessory prayer. All who seek to deepen their relationship with God through prayer are welcome.
Schedule: Monday evenings from 6:25 to 7:30 pm; Thursdays from 12:55 to 2:15 pm, in Rm 202.
Contact: Anne Jarman

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Discernment Ministry

Mission Statement
The mission of the Discernment Ministry is to offer encouragement to the people of ministries of St. Columba’s Episcopal Church as they open their hearts to hear God’s will and faithfully respond to it.

What is Discernment?
Discernment is a prayerful process of listening for Gods’ Voice. It is the intentional development of a sense of direction in alignment with God. Discernment is an ongoing process that is enhanced by a regular meditation practice. It often involves faithful attention, waiting, and surrendering.

Offerings of the Discernment Ministry:
Branches Meditation Group
The Branches Meditation Group meets for meditation, prayer and sharing in community on the fourth Tuesday evening of each month. Visitors and new members are always welcome to join us as we sit in silence, discuss meditation methods or review discernment principles. This small spiritual community uses the Discernment Listening Guidelines to create a safe and peaceful space for contemplative prayer and sharing. This ongoing group is named after the passage in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches.”
No registration or long-term commitment is needed to attend. Chris Schumann is the facilitator of this ongoing and welcoming group.
Schedule: Fourth Tuesday evening of each month

“Listening for God” Class
The “Listening for God” class explores how we can use scripture, reflection, and spiritual community to open our hearts and minds to God’s presence. This class, which meets weekly for 8 to 10 sessions, is offered approximately once every one or two years. Several hundred St. Columban’s have taken this class over the last fifteen years. Members of each small group pray for each other, meditate on selected scripture passages, and read the book, "Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community" by Suzanne Farnham and others. Each week participants share their reflections with the group. They look for God’s presence in their lives and ponder questions such as:
“What does listening to God mean?”
“Am I willing to put myself in the hands of God?”
”What is the role of Christian community in my life?”

“Leading with the Spirit” Study Group
The “Leading with the Spirit” study group offers current and future ministry leaders an opportunity to explore certain spiritual disciplines for enhancing the awareness of God’s call. This study group meets weekly for four weeks. Topics include: listening, welcoming the Holy Spirit, catching the signals of God’s call, and “the business meeting as worship.”  Participants discuss suggestions for building spiritual consensus among ministry members. Study group members practice sitting in silence, sharing in community and using listening guidelines, in preparation for bringing them back to their ministries for further exploration. The book, Grounded in God, by Suzanne Farnham, Stephanie A. Hull, and R. Taylor McLean, is studied.

Contact: Barbara Zangler

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First Monday Prayer Group

This group meets once a month for deep listening for God’s voice and guidance in our daily lives. We use the African-Lambeth method of prayer, taking turns reading a selected passage from three different Bible translations, silently praying and then sharing our reflections as to what the scripture is telling us about what God wants each of us to do. Newcomers are always welcome.
Schedule: First Monday of every month from 9-10 am, in Rm 220
Contact: Anne Murphy

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Labyrinth Ministry

Are you seeking peace, renewal and time for quiet inner reflection? Come walk St C’s labyrinth! No experience is necessary and we welcome people of all ages and abilities. Volunteer guides will provide you with an informational flyer about walking the labyrinth and  answer any questions. We also offer special walks on request for other ministries or groups in the church. Learn more.
Schedule: Third Wednesday of the month from 6-8 pm and on select Saturdays. Dates and times are posted here.
Contact: Suzi Kindervatter

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Lenten Book Group

Sponsored by the Discernment Ministry, this small group uses discernment listening guidelines to discuss a book related to contemplative prayer.
Contact: Barbara Zangler

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Sunday Adult Bible Study

This group meets each Sunday to discuss the assigned readings for the day as prescribed in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), which has been adopted by St. Columba’s and many other churches for use throughout the liturgical year. Our Bible study complements worship by providing an opportunity to explore the week’s RCL texts in more depth during the education hour. Looking at the readings in a group context offers a dynamic and provocative view of the scriptures. All are welcome. No preparation is necessary.
Regular Schedule: Sunday mornings from 10:20 to 11:05 am
Summer Schedule: Sunday mornings 9:30 to 10:10 am
Contact: Ken Valentine

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Thursday Morning Bible Study

Meets weekly to study and discuss the upcoming Sunday lessons and gospel. This is a fun, provocative, experiential Bible study. Newcomers welcome. Light breakfast and good fellowship served each week.
Schedule: Thursday mornings from 7:45 to 9 am
Contact: Jon McBride

Treasures of the Library

This group meets in the Craig Eder Library on fourth Tuesdays at 2 pm for book discussions and sharing of library gems. All are welcome, even if you haven't read our current selection.
Schedule: Fourth Tuesday of the month 2–3 pm
Contact: bookgroup@columba.org.

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Photo: Anne Stone


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