At Saint Mark's, we seek to provide a variety of opportunities for seekers to deepen in relationship with God and to encounter God's liberating love through community and attention to Holy Scripture, tradition, and reason. At Saint Mark's, we refer broadly to these offerings as "Faith Formation."
Weekly Tuesday Bible Study
EVERY TUESDAY, 11:30 A.M.–1:30 P.M., online via Zoom only at this time.
This group provides a weekly conversation around the scripture readings for the following Sunday. Each week a discussion is facilitated by rotating guest leaders, and lively conversation ensues as people share their thoughts about the lessons. The group meets from 11:30 a.m.–12 p.m. for social time and 12–1:30 p.m. for study and prayer over the lectionary, led by a rotating member of the cathedral staff and clergy.
The group met in a hybrid way (both online and in person in Room 210) for a period in 2021, but decided to return to a Zoom-only meeting in January of 2022. The group will continue to meet online through July, then take a hiatus during the month of August. The group will resume in September, possibly with an in-person option.
Contact Lynne Cobb for more information and to get the link to join.
Second Sunday of odd-numbered months, 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m., in person in Cathedral House Room 210, and online via Zoom
A lively book discussion group, sometimes led by special guests. Books are selected by members of the the group themselves. Recent selections have included The Overstory by Richard Powers, The Second Mountain by David Brooks, The Sword of the Lord by Saint Mark's member Andrew Himes, and Why Religion? by Elaine Pagels. All are welcome. Questions, contact: Pearl McElheran. To get the Zoom link, contact Deborah Brown.
THE NEXT SERIES BEGINS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, AND LASTS SIX WEEKS THROUGH SUNDAY OCTOBER 23, 2022,
CLASS MEETS SUNDAY, 12:30–2 P.M., IN-PERSON IN BLOEDEL HALL OR ONLINE VIA ZOOM.
No matter where you are on your journey, consider attending this series, facilitated by clergy, where we will explore together the basics of the Christian faith through the Episcopal lens. Whether you are new to Saint Mark’s, or just interested in sharing and learning, you are welcome. After completing the series, many people often decide to receive the sacrament of baptism or be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church. Attendees are strongly encouraged to attend all six sessions. More information here.
Email Emily Meeks (email@example.com) with questions.
Education for Ministry
NEW SESSIONS BEGIN EACH FALL
An informational session was offered online via Zoom on Wednesday evening, June 8, 2022, at 6:45 p.m. See a complete video here and below.
Do you want to go deeper into your faith in an intense, ongoing way? Do you want to form lasting connections with others who also seek that connection? Consider registering for Education for Ministry (EfM) [external link]. EfM is a four-year program for lay people to study scripture, church history, and modern theology. Classes connect the material with church tradition, personal experiences, individual beliefs, and current events. EfM is a program of The School of Theology at Sewanee, and is The Episcopal Church’s most in-depth adult Christian education course.
Admission requires a solid commitment to attend the weekly seminars and spend between two and four hours in study and preparation weekly during the academic year (September–June). It is a four-year program, but students commit to one year at a time. Each class is limited to 12 people. EfM is also available online for students who are not able to attend the weekly seminars.
Three different classes meet weekly September to June at Saint Mark’s:
- Mondays, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
- Mondays, 6–8 p.m.
Sundays, 6:30–8:30 p.m.(UPDATE: The Sunday Evening group is coming to an end and will not resume in the fall)
FOUR SUNDAYS, BEGINNING MAY 15, 12:30–2 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom, registration required
Join Canon Rosario-Cruz for a book study of The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for the Beloved Community by The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers. This book looks in an honest and hopeful way at the history of Christianity and, more importantly, at the life of the Episcopal Church today. Canon Spellers (who presented at Saint Mark's in May of 2019) challenges us with an opportunity to discern our faithfulness toward building the Beloved Community in response to the racial reckoning and the pandemic experience of the past two years. We will meet on Sundays, 12:30–2 p.m.
- May 15: Introduction, chapters 1–2
- May 29: Chapters 3–4
- June 5: Chapters 5–6
- June 19: Chapters 7–8 and the conclusion
OPENING PLENARY: WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020, 7–8:30 P.M.
SERIES: FOUR WEDNESDAYS, JULY 15 & 29, and AUGUST 12 & 26, 2020, 7 P.M
At this critical moment in our nation’s and community’s history, we are confronted again with fresh knowledge of longstanding racial injustice – in policing, the justice system, health care, housing, education, the Church, and many other sectors of our common life. Our faith community is grappling with important questions – what do I need to learn? How should I and our church respond? We will undertake a four-week study and discussion series to confront racism—its theology, history, and presence in our lives today—and ways to move forward toward justice. The series is open to all, recognizing the responsibility for change falls on white people. A plenary session with Dean Thomason to learn more about the series was offered on July 1, 7–8:30 p.m. Video and materials from this offering may be found here. Other resources for the work of racial justice may be found here.
Exploring Sunday’s Scripture (Online)
FOUR MONDAYS IN JUNE: JUNE 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2020, 7–8 P.M., via Zoom.
Join Cathedral Clergy and gather on Zoom for an hour on Monday evenings, June 8, 15, 22, and 29, to check in with each other and look ahead at some of the readings for the upcoming Sunday. A little Bible Study and a little reflection together as we find new ways to connect to our lives to the shared sacred narrative of Scripture. What is God calling you to notice in this different season? Come (online) whatever weeks you can!
Exploring Scripture: The Book of Revelation
FOUR THURSDAY IN JUNE: JUNE 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2020, 7–8:30 P.M., via Zoom.
The 20s and 30s Group is relaunching its planned scripture study of Revelation and other apocalyptic literature. We will learn about their history, context, and interpretation and examine what these scriptures mean for us as Episcopalians. Beginning on June 4, we will meet from 7–8:30 p.m. on the four Thursday evenings in June. If you are interested in joining this exploration, please contact Canon Daugherty (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Melissa Sanborn (email@example.com). Space is limited.
The mission of the Wisdom School is to offer “a balanced path for spiritual transformation grounded in prayer and practice, drawing on the Christian contemplative tradition while respecting the diversity of experiences born from contemplative practices of other traditions.” The space for reasoned discourse, lifelong learning, and spiritual renewal is held sacred for all seekers, whether they worship at the cathedral or not. Wisdom School offerings sometimes occur during Wednesday night Cathedral Commons, along with regular contemplative offerings such as the 7 p.m. Sunday Contemplative Eucharist and Cathedral Yoga, and special faith formation events. Read more here.
PREVIOUS SPIRITED WOMEN OFFERING: Progressive Psalm Writing Together, SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 1–2:30 P.M.
Are you longing for a deeper connection at Saint Mark’s? Have you wondered about spiritual practices and how to put those into practice in your daily life? Growing out of the 2019 Women's Retreat, the "Spirited Women" group gathers occasionally throughout the year to talk about practices that help develop and nurture a healthy spirituality. Previous meeting topics have included the practice of praying with Anglican prayer beads, reflecting on "holy ordinary moments," and the spirituality of shared meals. Meetings are currently being held via Zoom. New members are always welcome! Learn more here or contact Canon Nancy Ross.
RADIX 7 BEGINS THE WEEK OF JANUARY 23, 2022. Learn more here.
In January of 2020 Saint Mark's launched The Radix Project: Small Groups/Deep Roots. More than 150 people in 18 small groups met weekly for six weeks to share their stories, reflect on scripture, and pray for one another with intention. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, so plans were made to repeat the offering in the Easter season., this time focusing on narratives of resurrection. When the pandemic lock-down came into effect, these groups easily made the transition to virtual meet-ups over the Zoom teleconferencing platform. Many community members have found these small groups profoundly valuable and life-giving, and the groups are welcome to continue meeting on an information basis if they wish.
A third series of meetings—on "The Role of Surprise in the Spiritual Journey"—was offered in the Fall 2020, followed by Radix 4 (on the stories associated with the Easter Vigil liturgy), Radix 5 ("Centering Women's Voices"), and Radix 6 ("Encounters with God in Times of Transition") in the Winter, Spring, and Fall of 2021 respectively.
Radix 7, on the theme of "Doing Justice, Loving Mercy," will begin in late January 2022.