The Faith-Seeking Journey is an experience through which participants share their faith, doubts (doubts are welcomed!), questions (questions are encouraged!), and learn the foundational teachings of the Church in areas such as Church History, Bible, Prayer, etc. As a Foundations Course, The Faith-Seeking Journey can serve many purposes: 1) It can be an introduction to Christianity and the Episcopal tradition for those who are new to the Church; 2) It can be a refresher for longtime members of the Episcopal Church, helping them deepen their faith; and 3) It can serve as instruction for those preparing to be Baptized (or parents/godparents of those being Baptized), Confirmed, Received, or those Reaffirming their Faith.
An important dynamic in The Faith-Seeking Journey is the group bond that is formed among participants!
There are four stages or phases in the program, corresponding to the seasons of the Church Year:
It begins in September with the Inquiry Period, during which time the focus is on Story -- both the faith stories of each individual and the faith story of the Church.We meet people where they are in their faith journey, and share with them the collective faith journey of the Christian Church down through the centuries.The Inquiry Period lasts through the end of the Pentecost Season (last Sunday before Advent).
At the end of the Inquiry Period, participants can decide whether they want to make the commitment to continue on into the next phase, the Formation Period.If so, there is a brief covenanting ceremony during worship on the First Sunday in Advent.Small Groups are formed, which will continue through the rest of the Journey.During the Formation Period, the focus is on the Liturgy of the Word (the Bible).The Inquiry Period lasts through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.
At the end of the Formation Period, participants can decide whether they want to make the commitment to continue on into the next phase, the Enlightenment Period.If so, there is a brief covenanting ceremony during worship on the First Sunday in Lent.The Enlightenment Period focuses on Prayer (using the Book of Common Prayer and other resources).The Enlightenment Period ends with a festive celebration of The Great Vigil of Easter early on Easter morning, at which time participants who have not been baptized may choose to be baptized.The Great Vigil of Easter becomes the most important service of the year, as it was in the ancient Church.A festive Easter Brunch is held after the Vigil.
At the end of the Enlightenment Period, participants can decide whether they want to make the commitment to continue on into the next phase, the Initiation Period.The Initiation Period focuses on the Sacraments and on Ministry.Participants are helped to discern the ministry/ministries to which God is calling them.The Initiation Period continues through the Easter Season, ending on Pentecost, when participants are commissioned in their new ministries.It is our Bishop’s practice to celebrate Regional Confirmations during the Easter Season, and those participants who choose to be Confirmed or to Reaffirm their Faith will do so at that Regional Confirmation service.
When will the course be offered?
The course begins Sunday, September 23, 2018. Classes are held in the Chapel at 9:00am on Sundays. An introductory Question and Answer session will be presented a week or two before the class begins, so that you can ask questions and find out more about the course.
An “I Am Interested” sign-up sheet will be put on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall in September.You may also call the Parish Office, 275-2028, and tell Becky you are interested in The Faith-Seeking Journey. She may have you speak with Mark. SIGNING UP DOES NOT COMMIT YOU TO CONTINUE WITH THE CLASS!It just means you are interested and want to attend the Introductory Question-and-Answer session.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS WHATSOEVER, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL MARK AT 275-2028!
Invite your friends! Participating in the Faith-Seeking Journey does not require a person to attend church, and there is no pressure to join Christ Church.
TESTIMONIALS FROM MEMBERS OF THE "CLASS OF 2018":
"The Faith Seeking Journey class has been a very significant experience for me. Not only has it offered me the opportunity to understand the Bible, the Church, and the working of the Holy Spirit at a much deeper level than I’ve ever known possible, it has also shown me the Unity and Oneness of Life. Father Mark’s knowledge and method of teaching has made the Bible come alive for me in my life today. The FSJ class has been much more than a class that I’ve attended for a period of time, it has been a life changing experience in Christ’s Love and Light. I love and appreciate all of you! May we all support each other in bringing this Love and Light into the world." -Dhiana Clarice
"Pat and I are constantly discussing what we have learned in class. It was a pleasure to gain so much insight into the Bible, our classmates, the prayer book, other churches and our church. "Our brains are full. "And our hearts are full. "We love our classmates so much.
"Father Mark is a brilliant and patient teacher who encourages us to think and clarifies complex topics using a variety of interesting teaching aids. His answers to our many questions are thorough and thoughtful. My goodness, who would not love all this?
"We have all grown in so many important ways during these months.
"Thank you Father Mark for making this journey safe and inspiring for us all." -Elizabeth and Pat Manzanares
"Thank you, Father Mark.
"I want to share that this class has brought me to a place where I am reading the New Testament. After listening and learning so much it brings so much importance to my life. Thank you to my fellow classmates who have brought so much of themselves to this special time." -Janet Klug
"I will miss our group so much. All of you are precious and I am so grateful for the time we shared throughout our journey together. Thank you, Mark, for being our teacher and for sharing your wisdom with us." -Trina