In the baptismal service, we pray that the child be given “an inquiring and discerning heart.” Our church is full of inquirers, and we offer a range of adult education programs to satisfy their curiosity.
Bible & Book Studies
- The Wednesday Bible Study is led by Rector John E. Miller and meets weekly in the Library of the Youth and Adult Education Building. Each study session focuses on the Lectionary readings assigned for the succeeding Sunday. Members are encouraged to bring a Bible in a translation or version that they enjoy reading.
- Learning to Walk in the Dark, the latest book by renowned author and Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor, challenges us to find goodness in uncertainty and renewed strength within ourselves. Join Associate Rector Weezie Blanchard on Tuesdays, September 15, 22, and 29 at 10:30 a.m. as we explore Taylor’s guidebook to, as she says, things “I have learned…in the dark that I could never have learned in the light….” To sign up or find out more, contact Weezie at wblanchard@stmarysgoochland.
- Women may make infrequent appearances in the Bible, but often when they do surface, they make a profound impact! Join Associate Rector Emily Rowell Brown for coffee and light breakfast treats for a Thursday morning series that looks at the contributions of some strong, resourceful Old Testament women. We’ll meet from 9:15-10:30 am in the Library on September 17, September 24, October 1,and October 8. Contact Emily to sign up and with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All members and friends are cordially invited to attend and participate. Discussions are always enriching, and every point of view is appreciated. While no prior biblical training is required of group members, an open mind and readiness to learn and share insights are always welcome!
Education for Ministry Courses
Sometimes called “the layman’s version of a seminary education.” Since 1997, we have offered two or three classes every year—the maximum number of students allowed in each section is 12 (ages 29 to 84). A study of the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament gospels and kerygma, a history of the church and its doctrines, theology and ethics, theological reflection.
EFM is a four-year course, but we ask student commitment for only one year at a time, meeting two and a half hours one day each week (morning or evening) except during the summer and the month of December. A mentored approach to education, no canned lectures; students teach each other and take the initiative in homework and classroom studies.
A promise: your life will be changed (as well as enriched) if you complete this course. Intense, enlightening, energetic, argumentative and enlarging.
The rector teaches an annual Inquirers’ Class for those who are interested in becoming members of the Episcopal Church. Curriculum for the class includes study of The Book of Common Prayer, Anglican history and theology, church government, and the story of St. Mary’s Church, Dover Parish, in the Diocese of Virginia.
Between the worship services is an education hour for both adults and children. While children are in Sunday school, adults may enjoy forums on a wide range of topics, such as Episcopal Church 101, faith and justice, biblical and church history, to mention a few. The classes usually meet in the Education building from 10:10-11:00 A.M.