Christian Formation at St. Stephen’s
Christian Formation –
Christian Formation in the Episcopal Church begins and ends with worship in liturgy — a word that means “the work of the people.” It continues in lifelong learning directed at the formation and sustenance of a loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with God.
From the start, Christians gathered, prayed, and broke bread together. These actions are the outward sign of an inward faith that Christ’s love redeems humanity from sin by the promise of unity with God, at all times and in all places.
The Church’s first sign and sacrament is Baptism, the one that gets us underway; Holy Eucharist is its second sign and sacrament, the one that brings us together, keeps us upright, and restores us when we fall.
The prime role of liturgy in the Episcopal Church is supplemented by other formation means: sermons, Bible Study, Contemplative Prayer and related practices, book studies, group and community service activities. In every case St. Stephen’s meets people where they are, seeking always to form youth and adults in developmentally appropriate ways.
Children & Youth Formation —
Children’s Formation at St. Stephen’s centers on “Weaving God’s Promises,” a curriculum developed specifically for the Episcopal Church. Opportunities for acolyte service and intergenerational activities help round out formation.
The EYC (Episcopal Youth Community) meets every second Sunday of the month at 5pm in the Parish Hall, an activity that gives teens an opportunity to engage in service projects, fun activities, and meet together in a relaxed setting.
“Godly Play” is also used at St. Stephen’s. We are currently assessing a new approach to outreach that can bring this story-based form of learning to children in the wider community.
Adult Formation —
St. Stephen’s Adult Formation seeks creative ways to advance life-long formation. We offer weekly Bible Study, Sunday Christian Education on various topics, book studies, as well as opportunities for contemplative practices (examples: weekly Centering Prayer/Lectio Divina group gatherings and walking the Abingdon Labyrinth in Advent and Lent).
This fall we have a Bible Study on The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job beginning September 25th at 5:00pm in the Parlor. We also have a book study on “Love is the Way” by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry from September 18th to November 20th on Sundays at 9:15am in the Parish Hall.
All Are Welcome —
We invite you and your family to join us in any of these Christian Formation offerings at St. Stephen’s. Most especially we welcome you to worship with us in “the beauty of holiness” and experience our Episcopal Church liturgies.