I am a passionate, obsessive knitter and have been on Ravelry since 2007 and Instagram and YouTube as of late. In these communities/platforms, I have been following the conversations on inclusion and diversity with great interest. Many commenting say that they don’t chime in because they have nothing new to offer or that they feel inadequate. I was among them until I remembered my other passion, Education for Ministry (EfM).
For the last 13 years, I have mentored or facilitated the discussions in our local EfM group. Each of the four years study has a particular theme and this year’s theme is “Living Faithfully in a Multi-Cultural World”. Throughout the year, we explore what it means to live and hear the myriad of perspectives that this small world of ours has.It is complex and it is ever-evolving. In December, we all read and discussed the book “Living into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America” edited by Catherine Meeks. I commend it to anyone who is remotely interested in this topic and it seems by all the conversations swirling around the internet that there are many.
Education for Ministry (EfM) is an ongoing course in theological education created and administered by the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. While it was created at a school founded by the Episcopal Church, it is meant to be not only non-denominational but welcoming to people of all faiths or no faith. For 4 years, members of local EfM seminars read the Old Testament, New Testament, church history, and theology. They engage in a process called theological reflection in which they consider things that matter to them viewed through the lenses of faith, culture, experience, and personal position. Great themes such as wholeness, brokenness, recognition, reorientation, and reconciliation are part of the guided conversation. The goal is to form lay people who can articulate their faith in the world.
So I add my little bit to the conversation in the form of further reading. I’ll be knitting and listening and talking every Monday night in EfM. If you are interested in the Education for Ministry program, visit their website for information about EfM seminars in your area.