Adult Education

September 18 – December 18, 2016

Each Sunday Morning during Sunday School: Coffee & the News

If it is your custom to pick up coffee & a newspaper at a local coffee shop, bring them back to St. Mark’s and take advantage of our gardens when weather permits or the Library (Room E-2). Then gather the kids at 10:20 and join us for Worship Service at 10:30 a.m.

Christian Formation for Adults

We are excited about our fall schedule. To see the topics and presenters, please go to the Adult Christian Education Schedule.

Weekday Formation Programs

Bi-Weekly Monday Night Bible Study

Meets biweekly on alternate Monday evenings, beginning on Monday, September 12, 2016, in the Community Life Center, from 7 to 9 p.m., with a short break at 7:45.

This fall, the Monday Night Bible Study Group continues our study of the Gospel According to Matthew, which we began in January. Because Matthew is so rich with engaging anecdotes, thought-provoking paradoxes and inspirations that seem so relevant to our own tumultuous present days, we decided as a group to “take our sweet time” with this Gospel. After a review session during our first meeting on Monday, September 12, we plan to pick up where we left off – at Chapter 12. We welcome newcomers and the opportunity they give us to revisit earlier material. All you will need is a Bible (any translation will do – in fact, the more the merrier, as we enjoy comparing texts!) and relevant passages from our supplementary text “Daily Life in the New Testament” by James W. Ermatinger will be provided by the facilitator, David Carter.

Morning Prayer and Bible Study:

Join us on Tuesday mornings for bible study and prayer. We will begin with studies of the Old Testament, following a series from The Great Courses, which uses audio discs and reading. The group will begin at 11:00 am and end with noonday prayers. Attendees can bring a bag lunch if they want so we can have some time for conversation. Contact: Deacon Sallie Simpson (salliesimpson@earthlink.net) and Dirk Hart (dirkjhart@gmail.com). 

Spiritual Quest – Thursday mornings, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Spiritual Quest meets at the home of Margaret Thurston, 919-844-0200. From gardens to grandmothers, from Bible to Buddhism, this group finds spirituality in everything. Beginning with morning prayers, created by a group member, and occasionally with lunch, the program offers time for intercession and thanksgivings; participants suggest and facilitate discussions, with quiet time to meditate on the day’s topic. Leadership is shared.

Watch our newsletter and the News page of this web site for other weekday opportunities during the year.

BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION

Part of Life-long Faith Formation

Baptism in the Episcopal Church

Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.” (BCP, page 298)

In the Episcopal Church, one becomes a “member” when baptized. Infants, toddlers, children, youth and adults are all invited to participate in the sacrament of Baptism. We celebrate Baptism in the context of our Sunday morning worship services. In our tradition, four days during the church year are especially appropriate: on Easter Day, on the Day of Pentecost, on All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1) or the Sunday after All Saints’ Day, and on the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus (the First Sunday after the Epiphany, that is, after Jan. 6th). Check with a member of our clergy or the church office for the specific dates on which these feast days occur.

Persons desiring to be baptized, or to have a member of their household baptized, are asked to complete an information form available from the church’s Office Manager. Prior to each service of Baptism, we schedule “Baptism Instruction” that includes those being baptized and parents and godparents of children or youth. We also ask that parents or candidates for Baptism to speak with our Rector about which Sunday morning formation/educational programs are especially helpful in preparing for Baptism.

Confirmation, Reception & Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows

The Book of Common Prayer (our main worship book in the Episcopal Church) calls each baptized person to participate in the sacrament of Confirmation. The prayer book says: “In the course of their Christian development, those baptized at an early age are expected, when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and to receive the laying on of hands by the bishop” (BCP 1979, page 412).

Each congregation sets forth the process whereby adults (persons age 16 and older) receive the instruction needed prior to confirmation, reception or reaffirmation. At St. Mark’s we ask that adults seeking to be confirmed or received participate in classes which explore the roots of our denomination, how our faith community organizes itself, and how our spiritual lives intersect in worship and service. Persons seeking to reaffirm their vows are also invited to speak with our clergy about identifying classes appropriate to a candidate’s background in the church. We usually have a Bishop’s Visitation once during a twelve to fifteen month period – the church office can provide the date. Young people are prepared for Confirmation by participating in the Journey to Adulthood program.

If you would like to begin this process, please contact one of our clergy or a member of the Vestry (our governing board), or an Usher.