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EFM Canada Newsletter
Easter-Pentecost 2007

The Quarterly Bulletin of Education for Ministry Canada
608 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna, B.C., V1Y 5X1
Phone: 1-250-762-3343
Fax: 1-250-712-3394
E Mail: EFM Canada
E Mail: Peter Davison - Director

Please read the EFM Newsletter from Sewanee on their website: Newsletter EFM Sewanne

International EFM Meeting - an Exercise in Renewal

As noted in the last edition of the newsletter, the first international gathering of EFM Directors was held at St. Columba’s House in Woking, Surrey from March 1st- 8th. The meeting took place after a six-day Training of Trainers event, planned and led by our British hosts Gary O’Neill, Haydon Wilcox and Joanna Hobart. As part of this event, British theologian Elaine Graham provided major input on theological reflection, based largely on her book “Theological Reflection – Methods” (2005, SCM Press), co-authored with Heather Walton and Frances Ward.

Dr. Graham is the Samuel Ferguson Professor of Social and Pastoral Theology at the University of Manchester. In her contributions to the training event, she outlined seven methods of Theological Reflection:

  • Theology by Heart – The Living Human Document
  • Speaking in Parables – Constructive Narrative Theology
  • Telling God’s Story – Canonical Narrative Theology
  • Writing the Body of Christ – Corporate Theological Reflection
  • Speaking of God in Public – Correlation
  • Theology in Action – Praxis
  • Theology in the Vernacular - Local Theologies

Each of these methods is related to particular theologians at various stages in history, and each method is carefully outlined and critiqued. The significance of Elaine Graham’s contribution can be related to the Purpose Statement sent to participants:

To develop skills, experience and awareness as Reflective Practitioners by:

  • Employing group process
  • Engaging with literature on TR from the last ten years.
  • Applying insights to mentor training.

The fifteen participants divided into Reflective Practice Groups to discuss the implications of the presentations, and also applied their learnings to the TR sessions where all took on various roles.

Some insights gained from all this included, in rough paraphrase:

1. Theological Reflection is not an artificial technique imposed from on high, but a natural process in which all of us engage in one way or another.

2. Practical Theology has moved from being “hints and helps” on applying academic theory to the “real world”, to becoming theology from the ground up, involving the whole People of God, empowering all as reflective practitioners of their faith.

3. Theological Reflection is not an individualistic act, but a normal'>conversation with Tradition, the world around us, and with one another, leading to action. There is a need to distinguish between “reflection”, “theological reflection” and “Christian theological reflection”.

4. Theological Reflection can be used with most ages, and in conversation between different faith traditions. Its importance is highlighted by the crisis of meaning for so many today.

There were fifteen participants in the event – our three British hosts, eight Americans, and one each from the Bahamas, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In addition to stimulating sessions, we were comfortably housed, treated to gourmet meals, and participated in creative worship. Provision was also made for excursions to London and Oxford for those who wished to do this.

The Directors Meeting which took place on March 7th-8th allowed us to compare notes. The USA branch is several times the size of all the others combined, with Australia and Canada having similar numbers, New Zealand and the Bahamas at about 60% of our numbers, and the UK still struggling for greater recognition.

Issues which arose included:

  • The need to ensure that all mentors train annually.
  • Well written learning goals for training.
  • Need to participate in diocesan educational policy-making.
  • Making Common Lessons more indigenous to national culture, and related to formation events.
  • Education for Ministry as education for life in the world, not just for church structures.
  • Rewriting and design of materials to make them more accessible, and to encourage students both to get the basics and go into greater depth. It is hoped this can be done within the next two years.
  • Make EFM more accessible, especially to younger people (e.g. divide 36-week program into four nine-week segments)
  • Academic credits for EFM grads.
  • Ensure regular contact between national EFM bodies, with interactive links, including exchange of annual reports and newsletters.

Group Status Reports Reviewed

The reports highlight strengths and suggested improvements. The reports for the end of March 2007 are overwhelmingly positive, but not without suggestions for improvements. Among the latter are:

  • Focus on understanding “ministry” at the beginning of the year, not the end.
  • Address conflict issues, especially when these are related to changes in the life of the group and/or its members.
  • Field trips for interfaith understanding.
  • Shared meals build group trust and mitigate problems re: time.
  • Group retreats to focus on intentional ministry.
  • Need to broaden understandings of “family”.
  • Use technology to enable participation of members unable to attend when ill.
  • Better provision for ongoing support after EFM graduation.
  • Revise Parallel Guides and Common Lessons for Canadian context.
  • Study texts and do TR in alternate weeks to give more time and focus to both.

Some special affirmations from the reports:

  • EFM makes us less obsessed with the state of the church and more focused on our vocations.
  • Single and multi-year groups both have advantages and disadvantages.
  • EFM helps us live our faith in a pluralistic world….but not the final word.


Congratulations and blessings on your ongoing ministries to:

Diocese of British Columbia:
Jessie H. Mantle, Cheryl V. Pardue, Geoffrey A. Machin, Dorothy C. Stewart, Judith L. Trueman (Mentor).

Diocese of Calgary:
Claire T. Crierie, William P. Taylor, John A. Pike, B. Trudy Wilson.

Diocese of Edmonton:
Halfdan Baadsgaard, Julia M. Boberg, Mary R. Glenfield, Mary K. Nelson, Anne Palmer, Percy F. Palmer, John R. Scott, Bradley J. Willis.

Diocese of Keewatin:
Reginald H. Drew, Antonius F.M. Knijnenburg, Aileen A. Urquhart, Mentor.

Diocese of Kootenay:
Margaret A. Walls, Patricia E. Aitken, Sharlie G. McCreadie, Laura S. Hargreaves, Brenda M. Schmalz, Barbara M.A. Pearson, Geraldine A. King, Teresa A. Golat, Edward J. Celiz (Mentor), Elaine L. Dunsmore, Art E. Martens.

Diocese of Montreal:
Marion de Terry, Donna M. Gomes, Stephanie E. Trenholm, Nancy L. Campbell, Yolande H. Ferron, Ivan T. Austin, Kay Dila.

Diocese of New Westminster:
J. Ann Dodd, Liz Mary E. Cullen, Haruyo S. Abramson, Neil R. Abramson,John M. Kowalchuk, Susan E. Ramprashad, Kathleen G. Symons, Leonard E. Dyer, B. Lynn Martens, Margaret M. Sherwood. Beverley J. Treherne, Elizabeth M. Lawrence, Anne L. Walker, Judy C. Chang, Wendy A. Lechner, Dana L. Timko, Jennifer L. Purych (Mentor), Marilou J. Appleby, Richard E. Appleby, Janice E. Juarez-Molina, Susan H. Jernigan, Sandra J. Martin, Paul C. Weir, L. Camilla Amundsen, Penny J. Collett, Penelope L. Connell, Anne Dryer, Pamela M. Seely, Wendy M. Middleton, Daniel E. Meakes (Mentor), Thomas W. Pike (Mentor).

Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI:
Agnes Evans, Thelma L. Beckett, Carl F.G. Fraser (Mentor)

Diocese of Ottawa:
David McCreery.

Diocese of Qu’Appelle:
Ron J. Hilton, Dorothy L. Jessup, Cindy L. Tulloch, Cynthia V. Sigurdson.

Diocese of Rupert’s Land:
Donald I. Seaton, Geraldine Seaton, Susan F. Roe-Finlay.

Diocese of Toronto:
P. Jane Tearne CSC (Mentor), Andrew P. Brack, Mary A. Wilson, Wendy J. Woodworth, Charles F. Laver, Ann Moore.

Diocese of Western Newfoundland:
Gregory J. Loder, Betty P. Hallett, Gertrude Hynes, Lloyd G. Piercey.


Please click on the link to see the training events for EFM-Canada Training Events


The efm-canada website offers suggestions about easily accessible and downloadable materials that can meet a number of your group’s needs. Please note the new website address www.efmcanada.ca

An archived copy of the January 2006 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE

An archived copy of the May 2006 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE

An archived copy of the September 2006 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE

An archived copy of the Late Winter 2007 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE

EFM-Canada operates across Canada as a program of the Diocese of Kootenay, under licence from the Faculty of Theology, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. The Bishop of Kootenay is the Right Reverend John Privett. The Director of EFM-Canada is the Reverend Canon Peter Davison. The Executive Coordinator of the program is Mrs. Sheila Mulgrew. Please feel free to contact us with comments, suggestions or enquiries:

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Last updated: May 30th, 2007