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EfM Canada Newsletter
Please read the EFM Newsletter from Sewanee on their website: Newsletter EFM Sewanee
A TIME FOR REFLECTION
We live at a critical time. The near collapse of the global economy precipitated by greed and a culture of entitlement has caused enormous suffering around the world. On the other hand it has caused almost everyone to re-think their values. Advocates of unfettered ‘free enterprise’ have become ‘overnight socialists’ as they seek state intervention in the form of bailouts. Yet at the same time President Obama and others have called for a renewed sense of individual responsibility. If ideology tends to be one-sided and ‘either/or’ in its thinking, theology is all about ‘both…and’ approaches to all of life. Health and wholeness require balance, and an ability to hold together seemingly irreconcilable opposites.
Reflection, of course, is more likely to occur in times of crisis; in periods of transition, and those liminal moments when we stand with heightened consciousness on the threshold between past and future. This is true for us as individuals, but also for societies. The vocation of EfM is to provide a stream of ‘reflective practitioners who understand the mystery and paradox of faith. This is all the more important as science breaks out of the box of linear, cause-and-effect thinking, and once again embraces a language familiar to mainstream Christianity.
This newsletter comes out during the season when we most deeply encounter that ‘mystery of faith’, with its contrasts of fasting and feasting, of sacrifice and celebration, of death and life. Many of us are at this time dealing with this mystery and these paradoxes at a personal level, as well as in our capacity as participants in local, national and global economies.
May this holiest of seasons encourage us both to reflect and to act, and may our Lenten lamentations indeed give way to ‘Easter triumph, Easter joy’!
Blessings to you all.Peter
KEEPING IN TOUCHThere are many ways we keep in touch with one another. We receive your evaluation forms, which help us to work on strengthening and improving the program, and to which we reply individually. Sheila is constantly in touch with people across the country by phone or by email. Best of all, of course, is when we meet you face-to-face! The Group Status Reports are valuable, not only for statistical purposes, but for the narratives they contain, which tell us about the ups and downs of the 56 groups across the country, and of their individual members. Some people even make the national news! Sr. Constance, SSJD recently celebrated her 105th birthday, and is still active in the community, and in her capacity as an expert in the field of gerontology! Indeed she is! Please keep Sr. Peta-Anne, SSJD in your prayers as she copes with serious illness, as well as Trainer Norman Knowles, who tells us he has a good prognosis, but faces a heavy treatment regimen. Trainer Chris Ross is also dealing with terminal illness and bereavement in her family. Please keep all these people in your thoughts and prayers, and let us know if you would like the prayer support of the EfM Canada community via this newsletter.
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIC PLANNING AT SEWANEE
It was clear that although. EfM has been extraordinarily successful for over thirty years, the time has come to update the materials. The format of the texts will become more user-friendly, and the contents will reflect a more ecumenical and interfaith perspective, recent developments in theology and a more global outlook on issues facing the church. Writers will be engaged, and there will be an ongoing editorial board. It is also expected that EfM Online will be a major area of growth. EfM Online Canada details are on our website.
What became clear was the enthusiasm at all levels for the program. This is reinforced by the deep commitment from the university administration and the faculty of theology, many of whom spoke of EfM as ‘the jewel in Sewanee’s crown’. All were deeply appreciative of the role of Sissie Wile as Interim Director. Her enthusiasm, compassion and support of a dedicated, but often overworked, staff have been a contribution beyond measure. We all owe her an enormous debt of gratitude.
Sewanee is now hoping to hire a new Director before the end of the summer. It is hoped that the next texts will begin to come off the presses in two or three years. It was a privilege and a pleasure to be part of the process.
IMAGES OF INCARNATION
Members of the EfM community have been known to complain about the paucity of materials on Canadian church history in the curriculum. This need has been partially met in ‘Stepping Stones”, written by Norman Knowles for use in year four of the program. A major conference will take place in Kelowna, B.C. from June 24-28, 2009. Featured speakers will be Alan Hayes, William Harrison, Bishop Mark Macdonald, Wendy Fletcher, Norman Knowles, and Archbishop Fred Hiltz. There will also be other papers presented.
This conference is designed for any who are interested in the various perspectives and stories that make up the collective history of Canadian Anglicanism. Information and brochures are available through diocesan offices and faculties of theology. Complete information is available from the conference website: Images of Incarnation Costs are reasonable. Come to the conference and holiday in the beautiful Canadian West.
IT'S JUST ABOUT SPRING!
That means it’s time, not only to think about graduates, but also about welcoming new students in September. Now is the best time to get other people interested, and the best way to get them interested is to talk up EfM in your parishes, or wherever you discover people interested in growing their faith. Also, please remember that our relationship of full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada means there’s a whole lot of people out there who would probably be interested, and who would enrich our program.
In these tough economic times, please remember we have a bursary fund to help out those who may have difficulty even with our low fees…or perhaps your parish would like to make EfM part of its own education program. That way, fee payments made as a gift to the parish could be classed as a charitable donation. Let’s make 2009 the year when we top the 500 mark, or better!
Blessings to one and all!
As of mid-February, EfM Canada now has 460 students (including 19 student-mentors) in 56 groups led by 82 mentors and co-mentors.
EfM Canada Website
Many of you have asked where you can find additional resources for individual and group study. We recommend that you visit the EfM CANADA website, which is always being updated by one of our Trainers, Chris Ross. In addition to general information, you will find useful links, pages about and for mentors, coordinators and trainers, forms you can download, upcoming events (including training events), tips for students, contact information, and supplemental books and internet resources. You can find it at www.efmcanada.ca
EFM ONLINE IN CANADA
Don't forget the Supplementary Reading list compiled by our Trainer, Patricia Bays and others. Click on the following link: Supplementary Reading List
PLANNED TRAINING EVENTS
Please click on the link to see the training events for EFM-Canada Training Events
An archived copy of the Autumn 2008 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE
An archived copy of the Pentecost 2008 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE
An archived copy of the Lent-Easter 2008 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE
An archived copy of the September 2007 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE
An archived copy of the Easter- Pentecost 2007 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE
An archived copy of the Winter 2007 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 May 2006 Newsletter can be found by clicking HERE
An archived copy of the January 2006 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: March 22nd, 2009