Plan for Adult Formation in Epiphany

A Report to the Parishioners of Saint James’ from the Adult Formation Discernment Team

Dear Parishioners,

The mission of the Adult Formation Discernment Team was to determine and launch new adult formation programs at Saint James’. Christian formation is Christian education with the added dimension of cultivating an openness to being formed and shaped by God.

The purpose of creating new adult formation offerings is threefold:

  • to serve more parishioners, especially those who have not been regular participants in formation programs before,
  • to choose one area of learning which could be a shared experience for the entire parish during a liturgical season or a period of time, and
  • to provide both scholarly content and practical application to daily living.

The team gathered data through conversations with parishioners and a parish survey. More than a hundred parishioners participated in the survey. We also looked at resources and methods of learning.

Based on our discussions and discernment, here are the plans for the Season of Epiphany, January 6 to February 28:

TOPIC: Bible Basics

Becoming more familiar with and knowledgeable about the Bible is one of the top priorities of parishioners. For the eight weeks of Epiphany (January 8 – February 26), we will focus on the New Testament. During Lent and Easter, we could study the Old Testament or other aspects of Scripture.

TIME: Sundays, 9:15-10:00 and 11:45-12:30

Sunday is clearly the preferred time for adult formation at Saint James’. Childcare will be provided for young children beginning at 9:00am. We will schedule learning groups at other times during the week if there is a stated need. Learning groups could also meet at other locations. The bottom line is that we want the topic, time, and place to be attractive to as many parishioners as possible.

RESOURCE: The New Testament: A Very Short Introduction

Written Luke Timothy Johnson and published by Oxford University Press. Weekly reading assignments are only about fifteen pages.

REGISTRATION: Email Fr. Randolph

In order to have the books available and the space ready, we need everyone to register as soon as possible, at least by January 1. To register, email Fr. Randolph at or sign-up on the activities bulletin board. The cost of the book is $10, which can be paid by a check made out to Saint James’ for “Bible Basics.”

The team believes that faith development happens best when there is both discussion of good content and consideration of practical application of faith principles to our daily lives. If that is not a possibility for you, however, here are some other excellent options for good Bible study:

We are thrilled that so many parishioners want to focus on Scripture as a primary anchor of faith and gateway to God. These are exciting times for Saint James’.


Fr. Randolph Charles, Kathy Ellis, Coy Ferrell, Ninie Laing, Karla McKimmie, Jen Taylor, Laura Updyke, Chris Working, and Bonnie Zacherle