Adult Education

Regular Weekly Offerings

Wednesday
9-9:30 am  Centering Prayer

Thursday
7:30-8:30 am  Bible Study

Friday
9-9:30 am  Centering Prayer

Saturday
11-11:30 am  Centering Prayer

Sunday
9:15-10:15 am  Christian Education for All Ages

Adult Christian Formation 2016-2017

In our Sunday morning formation program, we offer series of classes on a variety of topics, facilitated by lay and clergy leaders. Registration is appreciated but not required, and new participants are welcome to join at any point.

This autumn in adult formation we will develop our relationship with the Bible and grow personal prayer practices related to scripture. We will also explore the many spiritual gifts we have as a community and how to nurture them through our stewardship program, “Living Generously.”

Click to complete an online registration form.

Download the 2016-2017 registration form to print and return. 

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Autumn 2016

Living Generously
October 2 through November 13

This six-week stewardship series will explore the idea of generous living through the lens of the weekly lectionary, looking at Saint Francis and Jesus’ healing of the 10 lepers, and at questions of perseverance, pledging, and social justice.

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Bible Basics
September 11 & 25

September 11—What is the Bible? This week we will explore the Bible as a text, a collection of stories, and a revelation of God to humanity. What is the Bible? Who wrote it? How can we start reading it?

September 25—Art of Interpretation: This class will consider the Bible as a public text that encompasses both an expanse of human history and each of our lives.

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Adult Christian Formation 2016-2017

RenewalWorks: Our Spiritual Journey
June 12, 19, & 26

Review the data from our whole-parish survey and participate in exercises around the same questions that the RenewalWorks leadership team has been discussing this spring. Please plan to attend the whole series if you are able, and let’s discover together where we are -- and where we are heading -- on our spiritual journey.

June 12 - Where have we been? We will look at our own life journeys and how they intersect with our spiritual journeys, and we will examine four distinct stages along the spiritual continuum (explore, grow, deepen, and center).

June 19 - Where are we now? We will look at summarized data from our parish survey, focusing on where the congregation is and how that creates a baseline for where we want to grow.

June 26 - Where do we feel called to go, and how will we get there? The Reverend Scott Gunn, executive director of ForwardMovement, publisher of the RenewalWorks curriculum, will be sitting in on this discussion of our emerging priorities and the steps we can take to achieve them, both at St. Mary’s and in our own lives.

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Alive and Active: Engaging the Bible
May 22 & 29, June 5

A three-part series on the Old and New Testaments in which we will learn the fundamentals of Bible layout and structure, meet important characters and their stories, discuss the impact of scripture in our lives, and come away with an action plan for engaging God’ love story. Attend one or all three sessions. 

"Indeed, the word of God is alive and active . . . " - Saint Paul

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Please note: There will be no adult or youth Christian formation on Sunday, May 15, due to the bishop's visitation and a required 9:30 am rehearsal for all confirmands and those seeking reception into the Episcopal Church.

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Gather Faithfully Together: Liturgy as the Work of the People
April 10 through May 8

This five-week series is designed to heighten awareness, intentional presence, and creative ownership in our public and private prayer by engaging the mind, body, and creative spirit. All adults are welcome!

April 10 - Why We Gather: The roots of liturgical prayer and the structure, history, and evolution of our worship. Learn why intentionality in our presence is key to liturgical practice.

April 17 - Where We Gather: A hands-on hour of "Godly Play for Adults." Become aware of our worship spaces, touch sacred objects, and pique your curiosity about the “stuff” of liturgy.

April 24 - The Work of Gathering: Planning and holding a service for worship. We’ll discover how patience, practice, and presence are key for a meaningful liturgy that is faithful to our tradition and creatively engaging.

May 1 - Living the Liturgy: What about the rest of the week? Come away with strategies for creating times and spaces at home or work, with family or alone, to bring the sacred into your week.

May 8 - Awaiting the Gift of God: Confirmation and the Holy Spirit. We'll take a close look at the scriptural events surrounding Pentecost and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and a prayerful walk through the rite of confirmation.

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April 3
Nicaragua Project

We will welcome guest speaker Katie Hook, who will give a presentation about the Nicaragua Project and how you can alleviate poverty through your donations of various new and gently used items. Click for more details.

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Sundays in Lent: Episcopal 101

In ancient times Lent was a time of solidarity with those preparing for sacraments at Easter. Through "Episcopal 101," you will get to know, support, and share your own faith with those preparing for confirmation, reception, and reaffirmation through teaching, prayer, and creative discussion. It’s a time of renewal for all as we touch upon the ancient practice of communal preparation of our members making a step in their Episcopal faith. Your participation will make a difference!

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February 7
Lent, the Lectionary, and the Last Days of Jesus

Today we take a close look at the gospel readings for each Sunday of Lent as lifted from the Lectionary, reflecting on our liturgies for the upcoming season, ancient and new Lenten practices, and meditation on the timeline of Jesus’s last days on earth. Prepare with us to experience the richness and depth of this most holy time.

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January 31
Do Not Be Afraid: Evangelization and Mission in the Spirit of Jeremiah

Sharing our faith was no easier for Jeremiah than it is for us today. Considering all that St. Mary’s means to us and its impact on our spiritual, social, and day-to-day lives, what kind of church are we creating? What kind of church would we like to be? Looking at different models of “being church,” we’ll offer some perspectives on shaping our community and sharing our faith.

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January 24
Coffee and Conversation: Preparing for Annual Meeting

Join us to reflect on the ministry we have shared in the past year and our hopes for the coming year. Come speak with the treasurer, vestry leadership, clergy, and commission chairs. Learn about our giving, our spending, and our vision for the future—and share your own vision for St. Mary’s.

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January 17
The Gospel of Luke: Reading between the Lines

Have you ever wondered how and why the gospels differ from one another? Today we’ll look at some of the differences and use the gospel of Luke to paint a portrait of Jesus’s life and ministry and the personality of this particular gospel writer.

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January 10
Drama at the Jordan: The Manifestation of the Trinity

We will unpack the implications of God’s being self-revealed as parent, child, and the Breath of Life, looking at traditional and contemporary understandings of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and sharing our own images and perceptions of God. Please join the discussion!

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Voices of Advent: Let the Prophets be our Guides
December 6, 13, and 20

Throughout Advent, we will discover the prophets whose voices we hear in the Advent lessons. We will learn their backgrounds, explore their truths, and discover how they might help us find our own prophetic voice.

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God the Giver
September 27 through November 15

We will explore how acknowledging God’s generosity to us can unleash greater generosity in ourselves. Each Sunday, we will find in our worship bulletin reflections written by Episcopal stewardship leaders across the country, covering stewardship and faithful giving in connection with the Gospel reading of the day. We will use these for prayer, study, and discussion during the adult formation program on Sunday morning. On selected Sundays during worship, we will also hear stories of personal transformation from fellow parishioners.

September 27 - The gift and use of time: How do you and I spend our time?

October 4 - Our relation to temporal things: creation, money, possessions, relationships, other people and creatures.

October 11 - Being rich and seeking the kingdom of God: What does following Jesus mean for us with regard to our possessions? What are the turning points in our journey of giving?

October 18 - Having versus being: How does God open our hearts through relationship?

October 25 - Asking for what we need and being assured of God's provision

November 1 - In what ways do we resist giving? How does fear prevent us from experiencing God's abundance? How does giving open our hearts?

November 8 - The difference between giving and sharing: How does sharing financial gifts strengthen our commitment to community? What is the missionary obligation?

November 15 - Harvest Weekend: Giving thanks for pledges and the opportunity to pledge.

Coffee and Conversation 2015

August 30
A Tour of St. Mary’s

Facilitators: Members of St. Mary’s Property Commission

Please join us for a look at how St. Mary’s has evolved and what our role is as stewards of this historic church, that it may continue to thrive for generations to come.

August 23
Planned Giving: The Importance of Endowments and St. Mary’s Funds

Facilitators: Bill Hall and Chris Winslow

We continue our two-part discussion of planned giving and why it matters to St. Mary’s. This week’s conversation will be led by Bill Hall, the chairman of our Finance Commission, and Chris Winslow, our parish treasurer.

August 16
Planned Giving: A Primer
Facilitators: Rich Sayer and Bill Geasey

A primer on wills, trusts, gifting, how probate court works, what it is and why it exists, and the kinds of things people leave through their estates. The discussion will be led by St. Mary’s parishioners Rich Sayer, the diocesan chancellor, and Bill Geasey, a New York Life securities agent.

August 9
Introducing the Worship and Pastoral Care Commissions

Facilitators: Michelle Freitas and Pauline Davis

Come deepen your sense of the community that is St. Mary’s. Hear about the behind-the-scenes work of two vital parish commissions, learn how they support the needs of our faith community, and find out how you might get involved either as a giver or recipient of care.

August 2
Meet Presiding Bishop-Elect Michael Curry

Facilitator: Christine Cassels

The Episcopal Church has elected the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry as its next presiding bishop, to succeed the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori when her nine-year term comes to a close. In this forum, we will watch an interview with Bishop Curry and discuss what discipleship means to him and to us at St. Mary’s.

Episcopal News Service interview
2015 Convention Sermon
2014 Convention Sermon

Sunday, July 26
St. Mary’s Commissions: Where Meatloaf Is Made

Facilitator: Murry Edwards, Chair of the Chairs

While the vestry is responsible for strategic planning and the fiduciary responsibility of the parish, the commissions are where the work is done on the tactical level, or “where the meatloaf is made.” Come find out more about how we are reinvigorating the commission system at St. Mary’s.

Sunday, July 19
What Has Your Vestry Been Up To?

Facilitator: Linda Drummond, Senior Warden

The vestry has been hard at work this year, and it is important that the parish be kept abreast of what leadership is doing. Linda will share some of the vestry’s accomplishments since the first of the year, as well as ongoing projects and issues. The presentation will include an opportunity for Q&A.

Adult Christian Education 2014-2015

It's time to . . . Stop, Pray, Work, Play, and Love
February 15 through March 28
Facilitator: Christine Cassels

This Lent, we invite you to participate in a six-week series developed by the Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal monastic community based in Cambridge, Mass. The program uses short videos and opportunities for guided personal reflection to help us examine our relationship to time.

You can participate daily online and via email, weekly during the Sunday education hour, or both. Each Sunday, a major theme, such as Pray, is introduced with a video, and the theme is then explored in depth during the week in six short reflection videos (2 minutes each).

To download free materials or sign up for a daily email beginning Ash Wednesday, visit www.ssje.org/time. A limited number of workbooks will also be available at church ($3 each).

February 15 - Introduction
February 22 - Stop
March 1 - Pray
March 8 - Work
March 15 - Play
March 22 - Love

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Three Important Conversations
January 18 & 25 and February 1

The rector and vestry have been working to set goals for the next year and establish a budget to support the living out of our baptismal promises at this stage in our community life. Over the next three Sundays, all members are invited into the dialogue.

January 18 - Come for coffee and conversation to discuss parish goals for 2015.
January 25 - Talk about other important issues including our budget.
February 1 at noon - We will meet as a parish for our annual meeting, at which we will elect new leaders and conduct other business related to strengthening and growing the church that has been entrusted to us.

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The Adventure of Advent
Multi-generational Christian Formation in St. George's Chapel
November 30 through December 21

Join the adventure of Advent as we anticipate the mystery of Christmas. Over the four Sundays in Advent, Christian Formation for all ages will take place in St. George’s Chapel. All are invited to follow the story of the Holy Family as it journeys to Bethlehem and anticipates Christ’s arrival. On Sunday, November 30, we will make Advent wreaths. On Sunday, December 7, 14, and 21, we will use Godly Play to tell and reflect on events leading to Christ’s birth. Come hear the story in a new way and reflect on the holiness of this season.

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Episcopal Church 101

Whether you are a “cradle Episcopalian,” a curious Episcopalian, or not yet an Episcopalian, join friends from St. Mary’s to explore our church and its rich traditions. This class will be structured to share information about what we believe as a church, how we worship, and how we make decisions. If there is interest, we will also explore what makes us distinct from other Christian denominations. The content will be designed to address the questions and interests of the participants. 

The series will be led by Ken Hileman and Ellyn Eaves Hileman, with support from the rector. We hope to have current members of the Episcopal Church who wish to go deeper in exploring their faith, while offering mentoring and support to newer members. The series is required for those seeking adult baptism, confirmation, or reception, and is recommended for parents who are supporting teens preparing for their own confirmation on November 30 when our bishop makes his visit. 

We will meet Sundays, 9:15–10:15 am, from October 19 through November 23. Register by sending an email to  or sign up when you show up. 

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Following Jesus: Four Practices for Stepping Forward in Faith

Ever wonder about what it means for contemporary Christians to follow Jesus? Does it mean the same thing it meant for Christians a generation ago? What are some of the practical ways that we might follow Jesus with greater intention? What disciplines or habits help us to follow Jesus or come close to God?

Join our rector, Jennifer, and a spirited team of lay leaders for a series entitled “Following Jesus: Four Practices for Stepping Forward in Faith,” to be held during our new education hour (9:15-10:15 am on Sundays in St. George's Chapel).

Our time together requires no prior practice or experience. The teaching and learning will be both instructional and participatory, and most definitely fun. We hope this program will include parents of children, people who have little practice in faith, and people who’ve been practicing for a while. Sign up or just show up!

September 21 - Sabbath Rest: The blessing of time
September 28 - Serving: Send us out to do the work
October 5 - Practicing Prayer: Listen up, Listen in, Listening for God
October 12 - Giving: Gratitude for our gifts