Adult education happens at St. Thomas at a variety of times and occasionally outside the walls of our building as we connect formation to mission. We intend to be lifelong learners – not just stretching our minds but also our hearts and hands as disciples, i.e. “apprentices” in the way of Jesus.
We offer informative and stimulating programs related to seasons of the church year and members of the parish are encouraged to bring forward their ideas and interests for topics of study. Lay leaders among us, our priest, and sometimes guests from the wider community provide leadership.
Here is a sampling of some of the programs, conversations, and events we’ve hosted in support of adult education and formation:
a comMost recently, during the season of Lent, we hosted a community-wide series on the true meaning of the practice of fasting as described in Isaiah 58:6. We learned about cutting edge interventions we can adopt to address generational poverty, food insecurity, and early intervention with those who suffer from Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACES.
A day-long retreat on Celtic spirituality and call and response devotional singing called “Celtic kirtan” led by Stefan Andre Waligur.
Our Justice and Outreach ministry group uses a curriculum called Living in the Green to help us discern the focus of our service and distribution of our financial resources in the wider community.
A sermon and presentation by Dr. Courtney Cowart, a 9-11 survivor and faculty member of Sewanee School of Theology on “Embodied Hope and the Spiritual Practice of Resilience.”
Generous parishioners sponsored a retreat day with Phyllis Tickle on “Being Christian in the 21st Century” and “ The Age of the Spirit.”
A two-part Lenten series on “Why Did Jesus Have to Die? An Honest Reflection on the Meaning of a Suffering God (a teaching and community reflection on various ways Christians understand the atonement)
An adult Confirmation series open to the wider congregation on the book “Jesus was an Episcopalian and You Can Be One Too.”
A series with expert presenters who represent faithful action on each of the directives of Jesus found in our parish mission statement.
A sermon and presentation by a significant regional scholar from Appalachian State University on “The Concept of Justice in Judeo-Christian Scripture.”