Adult Sunday Morning Formation
An integral part of our Christian growth and development comes in the form of learning. We are taught a great deal in the course of the events and circumstances in our lives. But, to give that learning a foundation informed by our faith, we also need periods of study and learning about the Christian faith. If you lay a seed down on a table outdoors, and let it experience the events and circumstances of weather and nature, not much will happen. The seed needs cultivated soil to flourish and grow. The same is true for our Christian lives. And so, with that in mind, the goal of our Sunday morning Adult Christian Formation hour is to provide time both for formal instruction as well as for integrating that information in our lives through informal discussion. Whether it be a class on Paul's writings, the meaning of Sabbath, or global climate change, the intention is the same: to help each of us grow ever more deeply into the person God has created us to be, and to live that life out faithfully. The classes are typically led by our Rector, although we are certainly open to having others lead the instruction and discussion.
Children's Sunday Formation
Children ages 4-10 have wonderful opportunities to learn about who we are as a church family and to hear and share our faith stories. Adults from every corner of our church get the chance to share their gifts from cooking to gardening, from art to storytelling. Over several weeks, children see the story of God and our faith through different lenses and different avenues of learning. Working with this age group is infectious and exciting! Adults can sign up for as few as 1 week and see how their own story can shape the spiritual development of our children.
Wednesday Bible Study
As a part of our Wonderful Wednesdays, we offer a weekly Bible Study. The Bible is the core of our faith and our understanding of God. As most of us will woefully concede (we can all include ourselves here), we tend to be more unfamiliar with this core than we would like to be. The richest form of Bible study comes in the context of community, where many gather together to share in this learning experience. As no single person can possess all the knowledge and experience of God, we need one another to learn and grow. This year, we will using Living the Good News curriculum as our Bible study guide. It is based on the Sunday readings, making it beneficial in several ways. First, we can explore more deeply what we will be hearing on Sunday morning during our worship. Second, it engages the Old and New Testaments each week. Third, it is wonderful in helping us to integrate the words and teachings of the Bible into our lives. Fourth, it allows room for the group to "go off-road," and explore more deeply particular subjects (e.g., women of the Bible, the sources of Genesis, etc.). And, finally, each week's lesson is self-contained, so that individuals who cannot make a weekly commitment can still attend when they are able.
St. Gabriel's Book Club
The St. Gabriel's Book Club meets typically on the second Thursday of the month from 10:00am - 11:00am. We have wide-ranging and eclectic tastes: from historical novels like The Pillars of the Earth to westerns; from international best-sellers like The Kite Runner to southern novels like The Help. We tend to have very interesting and lively conversations about the books we have read and about how they reflect upon our lives and our world. All are certainly welcome.
Education for Ministry (EfM)
Every baptized person is called to ministry. The Education for Ministry (EfM) program provides people from all walks of life with the education "to be" Christians and to carry out their ministry. All Christians need a Christian education which supports their faith and which prepares them to express that faith in day-to-day events. EfM is a worldwide program developed by the School of Theology of the University of the South. It holds before us that the foundation for bringing Christ to the world lies in a church empowered by an active, theologically articulate laity. Thousands of persons have completed this four year program. Students enroll one year at a time, can transfer almost anywhere in the USA and in many foreign countries, and can obtain 18 Continuing Education Units per year by participating.
St. Gabriel's Nursery
Most events at St. Gabriel's are covered by a paid childcare staff member, including Sunday Services. The nursery is strictly for children ages pre-K and under. The nursery also provides services during the special worship days of Lent, Holy Week, Advent, and Christmas. Services are available for the Annual Parish Meeting and the age group is open at that time to children up to the fifth grade. We do need volunteers, especially for those times where our paid staff may be away and where we may have events that provide a large number of children. Should you be interested in volunteering on occasion to help safeguard our children, please feel free to contact Lindsay LeMay so that your name can be included on our backup support list.
St. Gabriel's Youth
Based in self-expression, creativity, and laughter, we are establishing a vibrant, close-knit youth community. This curriculum has age-appropriate programs including Rite 13 for Early Middle School ages (beginning at age 11) which culminates in a Rite 13 ceremony, acknowledging our growth into an exciting phase of our lives. Journey to Adulthood is for early High School ages and ultimately leads to more adult roles in the life of the church and a youth-designed pilgrimage. Throughout the year, we also enjoy service projects, social events, retreats, and, of course, an annual lock-in. This year, we will focus on participating in more diocesan-level events.