A Taste of EfM
The Bible speaks clearly to our condition in modem life: We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every kind if doctrine…we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. (Ephesians 4).
In all aspects of our lives, there are bewildering choices to be made and none more than in the area of spirituality. We need practical tools that can help form us as Christians and enable us to become more effective in our lives. Education for Ministry (EfM) is a very effective tool for formation and growth – actually, a whole toolkit. A program developed, overseen, and accredited by the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, EFM uses a multi-pronged approach to help us “grow up in every way into Christ”. Sewanee provides all study materials and trained leadership. No background is necessary; this program is open to all adults of any or no denomination.
How does EFM work? Each EFM class is a mixture: a short worship session or meditation (selected and led by a different group member each week), time for each student to process what he or she has discovered in the week’s lesson (scripture, theology or church history), fellowship, and, most important of all, “TR” or theological reflection – a process for integrating what is learned into day-to-day living.
Theological Reflection is the heart of EFM. It’s a way of turning a problem or situation over in the group’s collective mind, delving deeper and deeper into the matter. Toward the end of the reflection, the group comes to a consensus about implications for future action, and sometimes builds a group prayer about the reflection. In Theological Reflection people learn to come together and exchange views with others with respect for all and become adept at using a powerful and practical tool for spiritual discernment.
Later this month, the EfM group here at St. Paul’s will be posting an invitation to join us at a virtual information session about our upcoming program year that will start in early January. In the meantime if you have questions, please reach out to either Margaret Haughey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Spencer Weig (email@example.com). You can also get more details at the EfM website: https://efm.sewanee.edu/
We look forward to telling you more about this formational program.