Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Tania Lesack to Further her Worship Studies at St. Philip's Church
A few years ago, Tania Lesack was seeking an opportunity and a space where she could discuss her faith with other people:
“Our [Anglican Church] worship services are not set up to give people a chance to discuss; and a lot of people find it difficult to discuss their faith; they’re uncomfortable because we don’t do it a lot.”
Lesack also found gathering people for parish bible study was often challenged by scheduling issues.
Now a graduate of the diocesan Centre for Lay Education’s Education for Ministry (EfM) program, Lesack reflects on how the program provided students with a safe space to explore their faith, look at the basics of Christianity, and gain a level of comfort in talking about faith and issues related to personal faith.
What exactly is EfM? It is a program of theological education for lay people, comprising four years of study total, meeting in small groups with a trained mentor. The program combines academic study with integrative components to help participants take what they learn about Scripture, church history, theology and ethics into their own lives and hearts, supporting them in living out a vibrant baptismal ministry in the church and in the world.
“I have a much deeper knowledge, certainly a knowledge of the context [in which scriptural texts were written], which is really important. When you attend church services you get snippets of the bible. In EfM, you don’t justread it; you study it. The program texts speak about how the bible was put together and you come to understand it’s not a book you read cover to cover, which is normally how we read books; and it would appear to make sense with the bible because it starts with “In the beginning...”and ends with the events after Jesus’ resurrection; yet it’s not really that sort of book at all. It’s more like a library between two covers.”
One of the books read by the class this year examined the topic of interfaith relations. Lesack remarks that she learned how interfaith relations work most effectively through relationships between people rather than meetings where the topic itself is interfaith relations: “The stories were not about Christians impacting others but how the faith of other people had an effect on the person who was writing the story. Fascinating, especially in a multicultural society where we need to be much more open to interfaith dialogue.” “When you attend church you get snippets of the bible. In EfM, you don’t just read it; you study it.”
For more information about the EfM program offered by the Centre for Lay Education and to sign up for classes starting in September, please contact the Director of the Centre for Lay Education, the Rev’d Tim Smart at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Centre for Lay Education webpage at: www.dio-mdtc.ca/lay-ed
Source: Montreal Diocesan Theological College's newsletter