As we at Mercer wrapped up our 2018-2019 academic year we took time to reflect on the changes introduced as well as the continuation of long-standing programs and offerings. This year we welcomed interested laity into sections of our academic program for the first time in several years. Fourteen lay auditors participated in courses in liturgy, Scripture, and church history. We were encouraged by student feedback suggesting the perhaps the courses should meet more often and include assignments and texts for reading between class meetings. And we were uplifted by comments such as "This course was beyond enjoyable, informative and enriching," and "Loved this course." While our core purpose as a school of theoogy is to educate men and women for ordination, we leaned that our laity stimulate conversation and enliven class meetings!
So, with all of this in mind we have begun intensive planning for our next academic year. New courses from the second year of our formation program will include an introduction to theology, Wisdom and Prophetic literature in the Old Testament, and the history of the Episcopal Church. These courses will be taught alongside courses offered last fall for the first time in early Christianity, liturgical theology and interpretation of Scripture. We are also looking to see what other kinds of formation opportunities we might introduce: more training for lay ministers? Advent and Lenten programs in the daytime or evenings? Group Bible study? We are also exploring ways to help with the Diocesan wide program called The Path / La Senda. Congregations across the Diocese will be offered the opportunity to "walk through the Bible in an easy and accessible format. The Path is the story of the Bible, excerpted and condensed so that it is easier to read." Watch the Diocesan and Mercer websites over the summer for further details.
And of course, we will continue to support you in your various ministries by providing targeted workshops in such areas as Safe Church, Racial Awareness, Lay Eucharistic Visiting, being a more effective lector, treasurer or vestry member.
Monitor our calendar under "Upcoming Events" on the left. Follow us on Facebook (lower right). We'll be posting more as the Summer advances!
And as always, call or email us with thoughts, criticisms, and suggestions!!!!