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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:
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:
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:
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:
Some special affirmations from the reports:
GRADUATES OF THE EFM PROGRAMME AS OF MAY 31, 2007
Congratulations and blessings on your ongoing ministries to:
Diocese of British Columbia:
Diocese of Calgary:
Diocese of Edmonton:
Diocese of Keewatin:
Diocese of Kootenay:
Diocese of Montreal:
Diocese of New Westminster:
Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI:
Diocese of Ottawa:
Diocese of Qu’Appelle:
Diocese of Rupert’s Land:
Diocese of Toronto:
Diocese of Western Newfoundland:
PLANNED TRAINING EVENTS
Please click on the link to see the training events for EFM-Canada Training Events
LOOKING FOR SUPPLEMENTARY RESOURCE MATERIAL FOR YOUR GROUP?
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:
WebSite design and implementation thanks to Chris Ross, EFM trainer
Last updated: May 30th, 2007