Adult Formation & Education
Christian formation and education is a lifelong process involving the heart as well as the head— coming to know God in Christ rather than just learning about God in Christ. At the center of St. Michael’s is a commitment to create a safe place to explore, question, learn, be nurtured, and grow in Christian community. All are welcome to take part in the programs, worship and parish life at St. Michael & All Angels Church.
St. Michael’s is a Catechumenal Parish…is this the Year the Spirit moves You?
A process of faith formation with roots in the early church, the Catechumenate is a dynamic journey of spiritual inquiry and growth. In weekly gatherings, Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:15 pm, Advent through Pentecost (December through May), the catechumenal process is an invitation to faithful discipleship.
We welcome everyone, wherever you are in your spiritual journey, to this experience of deep community. Adults preparing for baptism, newcomers to St. Michael’s, and baptized persons seeking to deepen their faith and commitment come together in a lay-led, Gospel-centered process of reflection, learning and formation.
Over the years, many parishioners of St. Michael’s have experienced the Catechumenate journey:
- …the sponsor/candidate relationship was the work of the Holy Spirit. The relationship was truly a gift and one that I will always treasure.
- Listening deeply to others helped me reflect about how I could approach things differently in my life.
- …the small group interactions helped me to see what kind of person I want to be…. Little habits that integrate my spiritual life with my everyday life.
- It was a weekly retreat which really helped me get through the rest of my busy week.
- By participating with such a diverse group of people I got to see many approaches people have with their daily walk with God.
- After each meeting I felt my spirit come alive!
- … you were open to all of us regardless of where we were in our journey. And that the goal was not as important as the journey.
- I found myself connecting with people that I might not have if I hadn’t met them in the group first. Now I feel like I actually have a church family.
- It has made me more fully aware of God in others, and therefore deepened my awareness of God in me.
- No real “aha” moment, just a quiet conviction that this was the right place for me, I’ve looked forward to it each week and am sorry to see it end.
Perhaps this is the year for you. Questions? For more information, contact any member of the Catechumenate team:
Kathy Buhl 503/293-9139
Georgia Leibowitz 503/228-0078
Michael Sagun 503/226-1160
Jennie Street 503/282-8159
Lee Foss 503/703-6555
Kelly Kieft 734/649-4469
Rev. Gabe Lamazares 503/284-7141
or Rev. Chris Craun, Rector 503/284-7141
1st and 3rd Mondays at 1:00 pm
The St. Michael’s Monday Daytime Book Group has finished reading Healing the Heart of Democracy by Parker Palmer. They will continue to meet the 1st and 3rd Mondays of November and December, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the Raphael Room, to discuss In Search of Belief, by Joan Chittister. For November 5, read through Chapter 7; for November 19, through 16; for December 3, through 22; and for December 17, please finish the book. For more information or to get on the email list, contact Jana Gregory. Happy reading!
Thursday, November 8, 7:00 pm
In November, the St. Michael’s Book Group will meet to discuss Close to the Bone: Life-Threatening Illness as a Soul Journey by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. Early in this book, the author says, “I have learned over and over again that a life-threatening illness is soul-shaking for everyone involved. … [It] calls to the soul, taps into spiritual resources, and can be an initiation into the soul realm.” She also says, “Once we take the soul seriously … then we are spiritual beings on a human path rather than human beings who may well be on a spiritual path.” Alice Walker, says “This book is a staff on which to lean as we ourselves walk or are called upon to help others walk into the valley of the shadow of death.” Other reviewers describe it as “thought-provoking and optimistic,” “a godsend” and “a finely polished mirror for the healing heart and body.”
Copies of this book are available for purchase in the Parish Office for $10.25. We will gather to discuss it on Thursday, November 8 at 7:00 in St. Michael’s House.
Adult Formation Planning Team
Adult Formation opportunities are described below. The Adult Formation Planning Team meets quarterly to plan some of these, including Sunday Adult Forums and special opportunities for formation and education, such as our Lenten Covenant Groups, weeknight discussion series, the monthly “St. Michael’s Book Club,” and occasional Saturday morning workshops. For further information about The Adult Formation Planning Team click here.
Sunday Adult Forums
Presentations on various topics – often in the form of a multi-week series – are offered on Sunday mornings from 10:10 to 10:55 am, year-round. Topics range from reports of mission trips to Nicaragua and pilgrimages to various sacred places in the world, to exploration of issues of health and wholeness, the Millennium Development Goals, Scripture, and Church history.
The Catechumenate is both a personal and communal process of faith formation and practice that finds its roots in the early Church and focuses on spiritual development through the
disciplines of faith: corporate worship, the study of Scripture, prayer, and living our Baptismal promises. Through the Catechumenate, adults on a spiritual quest are offered an apprenticeship in living the Christian faith, and those already baptized are aided in the deepening of their faith and commitment. For further information about The Catechumenate click here.
Centering Prayer, which is sometimes called contemplative prayer, is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of God’s presence. It consists of responding to the Spirit of Christ by consenting to God’s presence and action within us. For further information about Centering Prayer click here.
Cornerstone is a group dedicated to the study and practice of the Rule of Benedict, the founder of monasticism. The group typically approaches this study through prayer and discussion of selected works which address aspects of the Benedictine Rule. For further information about Cornerstone click here.
Walking the labyrinth is an ancient form of prayer. Members of the Labyrinth Guild help provide the space for deep reflection by their careful preparation of the labyrinth space. The Labyrinth Guild sets up the Labyrinth, candles, and music on special days and is also responsible for take-down and storage afterward.
The Stewardship Team is dedicated to encouraging and supporting the people of St. Michael’s in our continuing formation as a community marked by the joy of Christian generosity. As a part of this effort, the team plans and implements the annual pledge campaign and other programs intended to contribute to our ongoing formation.
Planned gifts are those charitable gifts specified today and disbursed to St. Michael’s in the future. Such gifts may include money and/or other assets and may take many different forms, including (among others) will bequests, gift annuities, pooled income funds, charitable remainder trusts, and real estate. This type of gift is popular because it can provide valuable tax benefits and/or income for life. Both in the Scriptures and in the Book of Common Prayer we are admonished to plan for the future: to provide for those who will come after us.
Women’s Retreats are scheduled regularly and held at various retreat centers near Portland. They offer an opportunity to reflect on, and grow in, our relationship with God within a supportive and nurturing community.
Teaching Weekends are held periodically at St. Michael’s. These are led by noted and inspiring individuals and have a particular focus. Recent weekends of this type have included an exploration and celebration of our gifts led by The Rev. Kathy Glenn, and reflections on Celtic Spirituality led by The Rt. Rev. Rusty Kimsey and Gretchen Kimsey.
Study and reflection groups focusing on specific topics are offered throughout the year on weeknights and mid-morning on Wednesdays. These groups generally center on the discussion of a particular book or video series. Recent offerings have included Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak, Michael Johnston’s Engaging the Word, and Frederich Schmidt’s Conversations with Scripture: Revelation, as well as the Via Media video series (both the original series, “Introduction to the Episcopal Church,” and the newer Via Media Values series). For further information about Discussion Groups click here. For further information about Via Media click here.