Spiritual Formation PDF Print E-mail

St. Paul's is committed to offering opportunities for spiritual formation and Christian education, in response to the needs and concerns of our parishioners.  The following is a sampling of these opportunities.

We are currently preparing new class information for the winter of 2015 - here is what we have planned thus far!

Wednesday Evening Classes -

The "Bevy Of Bishops" Lenten series, co-hosted by St. Paul's and Grace Church, East Concord (all sessions held at St. Paul's) will be held on Wednesday evenings beginning February 25th and ending on March 25th.  Each evening will include a Service of Holy Eucharist at 5:30, with the guest bishop for that evening presiding, followed by a simple soup supper at 6:00 and the program and discussion with the bishop beginning at 6:30 PM.  You may attend all sessions or just one!  We encourage you to sign-up in advance.  There will be a sheet available at the church, or you may contact St. Paul's to have your name added (for catering/set-up purposes): 224-2523 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us.

Here is a listing of the participating bishops and the topics that will be the focus of their sessions:  February 25 - Rob Hirschfeld:"Dignity"; March 4 - Don Hart: "Foot-dragging Through the Wilderness of Lent"; March 11 - Bud Cedarholm: "Care for Creation"; March 18 - Stew Wood: "Lents that have been a gift to me"; and March 25 - Arthur Walmsley: "Lent, the Holy Spirit and Selma".

Adult Forums

Throughout the year we offer an opportunity to learn more about specific areas of ministry, mission, our Episcopal tradition, the Bible, and aspects of Christian life in the 21st century.  These forums take place at 9:00 on Sunday morning (in between our two morning services) and last for approximately 45 minutes.

Beginning on February 1st join us for At the Top of Your Bucket List, led by the Rev. Keith Patterson.  Most of us have a list in our minds of the things we want to do, or the exotic places in the world we want to visit before we die.  But how many of us have a "good death" on that list?  As a healthcare chaplain, Keith has vast experience with the process of death and dying.  What are some of the health and faith concerns each of us will have to face?  This adult formation will look at the spirituality of the end of life.  Using movies, short articles, and our personal stories, we will explore the issues all of us will have to face in the future.  Class meets in the library at 9:00 AM on Feb.1, 8, and 22, with March dates to be announced.

Check out more information about our special guest for the February 22nd session of At the Top of Your Bucket List by clicking here.

A "Spirituality of Service" class is meeting currently, on occasional Sunday mornings, at 9:00.  The class  provides an opportunity for each of us to reflect and share about our spiritual journey and to learn from one another.  There is always a discussion question that focus our attention on areas such as, putting our spirituality into action, vision, mission, doubts and dry periods in our spiritual life, prayers, self-examination, patience, discerning God's will, etc. All are welcome.  For information on meeting dates and other questions, send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "Spirituality of Service" in the subject line.

How to Read the Bible

Have you tried to read the Bible, only to find yourself a bit overwhelmed by its complexity?  Are you disoriented by the huge gap between our modern culture and ancient Biblical times? Have you struggled to make sense of what you have read for your own life?  You are certainly not alone, but a few basic reading strategies and some easy to use tools can open up a lifetime of engagement in reading scripture and applying it to our lives.  Look for a program on the New Testament coming soon - keep an eye on the CentrePoint and Good News for an announcement of dates.

Other program offerings

Here is a sampling of past topics - some of which may be re-visited:

Via Media brings people together through a program that uncovers the truth and beauty of the Episcopal Church and explores what it means to be a part of our church in today’s world -- using the thoughts and discussions of respected theologians and religious scholars.

Via Media is ideal for people who are exploring Christianity or the Episcopal Church for the first time; those returning to the church after time away; and experienced churchgoers seeking to explore their faith more deeply. It is especially useful for adults considering or preparing for baptism, confirmation, or reception into the Episcopal Church from another denomination.

Catholic? Episcopal? What’s the difference? - Many newcomers to St. Paul’s – as well as many of our longstanding members – come from a Roman Catholic background, and we often hear the comment that our services are “almost the same!” There are some similarities between our two denominations, it’s true, and of course there are some differences too.  This series allows for discussion of the similarities in our ways of worship, the differences in governance and authority, and the ways in which belief and doctrine compare.

Education for Ministry (EfM)

EfM is a lay theological program, begun in 1975 by the School of Theology at Sewanee, which offers a grounding in the Christian tradition. The seminar format of weekly meetings provides deep opportunities for learning, reflection, spiritual growth, and eventual service. A trained mentor guides each of the groups meeting this school year at St. Paul's.  Because the Diocese of New Hampshire is a sponsoring diocese for the program, tuition costs are reduced for students, and financial aid is available for St. Paul's parishioners. According to the EfM website, "While the course materials provide substantial academic content, the focus of the program is on life as ministry and in understanding that ministry."

The EfM program, which can be completed in four years, provides Christians with the basic skills in theological reflection, which lay the foundation of Christian ministry.  Through this process, students sharpen their skills of personal and cultural assessment and enhance their ability to be effective in a variety of ministries.

There are three EfM classes meeting currently at St. Paul's.  If you are interested in finding out more about this program, send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "EfM" in the subject line, or speak with one of our EfM mentors at church - Tamar Roberts, Jerry Tepe, or Shawn LaFrance.

Reading and Study

If you are interested in building your spiritual formation library, here are two online resources that may be of interest:

Episcopal Books and Resources

Episcopal Bookstore

St. Paul's has a library with books on many religious subjects.  If there is something you are interested in researching, please contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will put you in touch with someone who is able to help you.
The library is located in the basement on the east side of the building.  Contact the office for access during office hours on weekdays.

For more information about spiritual formation at St. Paul's, please contact Rev. Kate Atkinson.