Adult Christian Formation
Sunday Morning Programs
Our regular adult Sunday school meets every Sunday morning from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m., September through May.
This fall, we will kick off our program year with Rally Day, on September 11th, with a special service at 10:30 and a parishwide picnic following. It's a great time to see what's happening at Ascension!
All Sunday school programs, adults and children, will begin on Sunday, September 18th. We will be offering three small and large group options this fall for adults.
Parish Hall Class
For the Parish Hall class, Fr. Howard will be spearheading a class on Sacramental Discipleship. We will spend the whole year investigating what it means to be united in faith as a sacramental community of followers of Christ. Our year will be shaped by the following questions: Why Do We Gather? (worship) What Is Our Relationship with One Another? (friendship and community), How Do We Grow as Disciples? (formation and education), What Do Disciples Go and Do? (service, outreach) and How Do We Make Disciples? (evangelism) We will begin by discussing worship: why do we do it, what does it mean, and how does it shape our understanding of who we are? After the ministry fair, we’ll spend time talking about community, and how our sense of that relationship shapes our identity as disciples. While it will primarily be taught by Fr. Howard, we also will have a few guest speakers up our sleeve, and it promises to be an interesting and forward-looking class. If you really want to wrestle with who we are, and where are we going, this is the class for you.
Young Adults and Families
For the second class, Fr. Brett Backus will be leading a small-group discussion class designed for younger couples and young families. He will begin this fall with a study of Boundaries. “Hmmm...boundaries...is that like ‘good fences make good neighbors?’” Well - sort of! Boundaries is a Christian lens to help us look at how me make decisions - in our relationships, in our commitments, and in our lives. Do you find yourself saying “Yes” to too many things? (Don’t we all?) Isn’t a good Christian supposed to always be available, always helping, always doing something? “NO,” say Cloud & Townsend, the authors of the book Boundaries: When to Say YES, How to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life. The study will lead you through finding your own healthy boundaries - which are a gift to all of us from God. Following that fall series, after the new year, this group will become self-programming - a fancy way to say, “This group will get to choose what they want to do next.” Join the group this fall, learn how to set healthy boundaries, and then have a chance to vote on the topic for the spring.
Baby Boomers and Up
For our third class, Fr. Rob Travis will be leading another small group, this one specifically designed for baby boomers and older. He will begin with a special guest, Mr. Bob Coyne, who will lead a three-session class on Christian caregiving. Many of us have become caregivers when we didn’t expect to: of our parents, our spouses, siblings, or other family members. This class will offer some practical helps for caregivers, as well as spiritual support for all the stresses that involves. That shift in family dynamics can be a significant stress on a family - this class will help you find the support you need when you most need it. After the ministry fair, the class will move to look at family systems. As families grow and change, the family system also changes - how do you move from being a family with teenagers to an “empty nest”, or from a family with two employed spouses to two retired spouses? How do we renegotiate all those changes, and still grow our relationships, and where is God in the midst of all these changing seasons of life?
Wednesday Evening Dinner and Discussion
Our regular Wednesday evening dinner is held September through June, at 6:00 p.m. Dinners are excellent, and can be had for a small fee for adults and for children. Our "chef extraordinaire", Julie Teglas, never disappoints.
The Wednesday Evening Study Group is currently in the midst of their summer book discussion, Marcus Borg's The Heart of Christianity. Join them for 6:00 potluck dinner, and some thought-provoking conversation and meaningful discussion afterward.
New and Upcoming Activities and Groups
The following groups are in the process of forming. Interested in getting in on some exciting beginnings?
Early Morning Women's Bible Study
Interested in a women's Bible study, beginning Wednesday, October 5, and meeting weekly at 7:45 a.m.? A group is forming, and there's room for you. The first study will be Praying in the Messiness of Life, on how to refresh our prayer life amidst all our stresses, and all women are welcome.
Financial Peace University
A 13-week small group offering on managing your personal financial resources in a way that puts God first. Tentatively planned for Wednesday evenings beginning in January. E-mail for more info, or with questions.
Ongoing Small Group Study and Discussion
The following small groups meet regularly at Ascension, most of them year-round. We know you will find a home in one or more of them.
Women’s Lectionary Study – Wednesday, 10:45 a.m.
Men’s Bible Study – Tuesday, 7:00 a.m. in the Parlor
The Men’s Bible study is a small group of men who meet weekly to pray and to do in depth study and analysis of the various books of the Bible. The group studies one book of the Bible at a time and then votes on the next book for upcoming study. Participants in the group rotate leading the study on a weekly basis. All men are welcome to come and join us for this study at any time.
Young Men’s Bible Study - Wednesday, 7:00 a.m. in the Parlor
Education for Ministry (EfM)
Education for Ministry is an intensive, four-year program of study through University of the South at Sewanee. The group is limited to 12 participants each year, and meets weekly from September through May to study the Old and New Testaments, Christian church history, and theology. For more information about the program, or to read sample lessons, visit www.sewanee.edu/EFM. To find out about EfM at Ascension, contact Mary LeMense.
Wednesday Evening Study Group - Wednesday, 7 p.m.