Sunday Morning Adult Education Forum
At Holy Nativity, we believe that Christian Formation is a lifelong process. Holy Nativity has a very active and engaging Adult Christian Education Forum on Sunday mornings to help people along on their journey of faith. By inviting people to reflect on and share from their own life experiences, Adult Forum serves as an important bridge between what we do in worship and how we live gospel-shaped lives. Guided by Baylor University's "Christian Reflections: A Series in Faith and Ethics," together we think and act with a Christian mind about ethical issues in our society. Recent topics have included Hospitality, Global Wealth, Environmental Stewardship and an in depth look at the Millennium Development Goals. Adult Forum meets every other Sunday at 10:45 a.m., alternating every other week with coffee hour and fellowship.
For more information about the Christian Reflections: A Series in Faith and Ethics
Setting Our Hearts: An Introduction to Sacred Community
Setting Our Hearts is a unique and contemporary religious education experience for adults offered to people new to Holy Nativity and open to all people who are interested in taking a deeper look at their faith. Starting with the real life experiences of class members, Setting Our Hearts is designed to reveal the ways participants’ experiences are reflected in the Christian story and how their faith can help them function better in the world. During Setting Our Hearts, a small group gathers for five weeks to explore basic Christian themes and symbols, such as belonging, baptism, communion and the cross and resurrection as understood in this Episcopal community of faith.
Each Tuesday evening during Lent, Holy Nativity offers adult learning opportunities. The evening begins with a simple soup supper at 6 p.m. followed by an educational program at 7 p.m. The evening closes with a simple prayer service. Recent courses included In Polite Company, a course that explored the intersection of faith and politics and Journey In Faith, in which participants looked at parts of their lives that don’t make sense through a model of Christian faith that acknowledges the complexity of life.
EFM (Education for Ministry)
We believe every baptized person is called to ministry. The EFM is a small group program that provides lay people with an opportunity for study and reflection in order to discover how to respond to the call of Christian service and carry out their ministries. The program is a distance learning theological education program of the School of Theology for the University of the South. Participants commit 8 months at a time to meet regularly in seminars led by a trained mentor. Completion of the program takes four years, during which participants study the Old and New Testaments, church history and twentieth century theology. Through study, worship and reflection, EFM groups move toward an understanding of God’s kingdom and their role as steward of themselves and others. Interested people can go to the web-site at Sewanee University to learn more about the program. Feel free to talk to Sheree Capulli about your interest in this program. †
Small Group Communities
Do you need an afternoon out to go to a movie or go shopping? Do your kids need a monthly play date with other kids? Then Holy Nativity’s Babysitting Co-op is for you! Each month one family will baby sit for children (0-12) from other families who participate in the Babysitting Co-op. The Co-op convenes for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon or evening on rotating dates chosen by families who are doing the sitting in cooperation with the parents who need the sitters. Children stay and play while parents do whatever their hearts’ desire. Afterward, families share a potluck dinner and fellowship. If you would like to participate in the Babysitting Co-op check the church calendar for the next date, or talk to Kathy Nelson for more information. †
A Contemplative Prayer group meets at Holy Nativity on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. All who wish to share in this ancient prayer practice in community are welcome! Contemplative Prayer is an ancient form of Christian Meditation currently being revived in small groups around the world through the work of Benedictine monk Thomas Keating. Centering Prayer is "the opening of mind and heart – or whole being- to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions, whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, thinking, feeling and choosing; even closer than consciousness itself" (Fr. Thomas Keating). Verbal prayers, both silent and spoken, are important, but are only part of the picture. If we pray only by us doing the talking, it becomes difficult to listen to God and hear what God wants to say to us. Sometimes we need to be quiet and let God be God. This is what Centering Prayer basically is: letting God be God and letting God do what God wants to do. Please talk to Tom Burrows if you are interested in more information. †
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Twice a month on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. a group gathers to knit prayer shawls. Care and the love of knitting are combined into a prayerful ministry that reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace. Many blessings are knitted into every shawl. The knitter begins each shawl with prayers for the recipient. Intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl. When the shawl is completed it is offered for a final blessing by the priest and the community in Sunday worship before being given to a person in need of comfort and prayer. You are welcome to come. If you don't knit, someone will teach you and if you just want to come sit with us, you are welcome. Please talk to Jane Youngs for more information about this ministry. †
Supper Club is a potluck-style gathering with the express purpose of relaxed conversation, tasty food and generally an early evening. This is a wonderful time of fun, food and adult fellowship. The Supper Club meets the last Friday of the month in the Ford Room (Holy Nativity’s community room). Fellowship begins at 6 p.m. and supper is served at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome! Supper Club will resume in the Fall, have a wonderful summer! For more information please talk to Joan Fox. †
Once a month, on a typical UnderCroft Saturday evening, an assorted group of people will gather in someone’s home for an evening of good talk based on an agreed upon piece of writing: a poem, an essay, a short story or a chapter or two from a book. The reading for the evening is commented upon, but not explicated. The purpose of the group is not to study the reading but to use it as a platform for discussion. The aim of the group is to challenge, not to convince. The object of the group is to stimulate ideas and promote examination of ourselves as Christians, not to reach agreement or even consensus. Somehow the group manages to do all this and still share and enjoy one another’s company. Laughter is an important part of the evening. As with gathering of Episcopalians, there is always a sideboard groaning under the weight of the assembled snacks, put there, of course, to sustain the thinkers. All are welcome. †
Several times a year, the 20/30 Somethings of Holy Nativity are invited to gather to have a good time while making connections with other young adults in the parish. Past gatherings have included bowling, an outing to see Elevation, a U2 Tribute band, and an autumn evening gathered around a bonfire with burgers (including Bocas) and beer. Have a suggestion for an outing? Let Rev. Aimée know. †
Please check the church calendar page to see when the small group you are interested in meets next.† Please call the church office (630-323-6820) for individual ministry contact information.