Learning

Formation and discipleship for all ages

The Anglican/Episcopal tradition speaks of a three-legged stool of authority. The legs of the stool are Scripture, Reason and Tradition. In order to better understand the claims our faith makes on us and how it influences our lives, we use our intellect and understanding of the divine as we engage in study of the Bible and the tradition. Christian education and formation is meant for all of us at every stage of our development.

Children and Youth

Our offerings for children and youth run from mid-September through mid-June. 

Sunday School for Children

During the Sunday 11:00 am service, children are encouraged to participate in our Sunday School program. Younger children (pre-K to 4th grade) meet for Godly Play. Older children (5th to 7th grade) meet for Echo the Story.

Godly Play is a Montessori-based method of Biblical Storytelling. In each session, the children hear a sacred story, parable or liturgical lesson and respond to open-ended questions that invite them to wonder about what they have just heard. The children engage in art or imaginative play as they continue to explore the meaning of the story. Their time together concludes with prayers of thanksgiving. Each year our curriculum is refreshed and we have new stories and a new emphasis on learning the basics of faith. However, we also continue Godly Play’s focus on the relationship between God and your child.

Echo the Story takes kids from the beginning of the Bible through the early church, using storytelling in a variety of formats, creative reflection, sketch journals, and group dialogue.

Some families have asked why Sunday School starts and ends with the children in church. Yes, they can get distracted and a bit wiggly. But kids pick up more than we think during the service, and it makes a profound impact on them to see their parents and other adults in church, taking faith seriously. We also think it’s important for them to realize that all that happens in church – particularly communion – is for them now, not just for grown-ups. ​However, we do have a professional nursery attendant available in the Parish House to care for your child before Sunday School begins, as well as during Coffee Hour. The nursery is open to all children. ​

Confirmation Class

8th graders engage in a program of Christian education, community service, acolyting, and fellowship gatherings in preparation for the Sacramental Rite of Confirmation in late Spring.

High School Youth Group

High school youth meet monthly to discuss how faith plays a part in our everyday lives, with an emphasis on contemporary issues and events. Each participant is invited to speak their mind freely and explore what the Christian faith means to them – and how faith can help, support and guide them in their journey towards adulthood.

Contact the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser, Priest in Charge, to learn more about our opportunities for children and youth.

Bible Study and Spiritual Formation

Sunday Bible Study

Bible Study is held in the Parish House on Sundays from 10:00 to 10:30 am. We generally follow the Yale Bible Study program, which offers course materials on select books of the Bible, deepened by insights from Yale Divinity School professors.

Small Group Studies

We regularly offer small group studies on books aimed at deepening discipleship. Small groups are lay-led and meet for 4-6 weeks on Zoom or in person.

Recent studies include:

  • The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr
  • Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say by Adam Hamilton
  • Being Christian by Rowan Williams
  • Being Disciples by Rowan Williams
  • Being Human by Rowan Williams

Forums and Formation Series

On a semi-regular basis throughout our program year, we offer “forums” to discuss issues of importance to our faith. These issues generally feature a special speaker, and range from discussions of current events, to explorations into ways of living more fully into our liturgical calendar, to sessions aimed at deepening our spiritual practices.

Forums take place on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. directly following our principle worship service. Our next Forum will be a fireside chat on the first Sunday of Lent (February 26, 2023) with author Jeannie Reed, to discuss her The Afterlife Book. Other recent Forums have include:

  • “How Stories Can Save Us.” Mark Yaconelli, author of Between the Listening and the Tellingled an interactive presentation on the power of storytelling to heal our families, our communities, and ourselves.
  • “Lambeth and the Instruments of Unity.” The Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Jung-Chul Lee led a discussion and debrief of the recent Lambeth Conference and its implications for our parish, our Diocese, and the broader Episcopal Church.
  • The Contemplative Gaze.” The Rev. Posey Krakowsky, Priest Associate at Church of the Ascension, led a workshop to help participants see and reflect on the visual bounty already present within our sanctuary.
  • “At the Grave we Make Our Song: Reflections on the End, from the Middle.” The Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Jung-Chul Lee led a discussion, on the first Sunday of Lent, of one of the key themes of Lent––our mortality, and the place of death in our lives before God.

“Our Beliefs, Our Practices, Our Parish”

Each fall and spring, we offer a formation opportunity called “Our Beliefs, Our Practices, Our Parish.” Aimed primarily at helping newcomers and new members integrate into the parish, this three-part class is open to everyone who would like to know more about what our church believes and does.
 

Education for Ministry

Education for Ministry (EfM) is an extended course of study that offers deep biblical, historical and theological education with the purpose of helping participants live into their baptismal call as disciples of Christ. Meetings are held weekly, are led by trained facilitators, and run for one academic year.

Spiritual Tips and Biblical Reflections

We are collecting spiritual tips and reflections on Scripture from members and friends of the parish. If you have a favorite prayer practice, devotional book, Bible verse or other source of spiritual nourishment, contact the clergy to share it with the larger Incarnation community. Submissions in writing or video recording (up to 2 minutes) are welcome. Thank you for helping us “encourage one another and build each other up” as the Body of Christ. (1 Thess. 5:11).

Contact the Rev. Dr. Nate Lee, Associate Priest, for more information on Christian formation.

Inquirers’ Class

During the season of Lent, we offer a series of weekly meetings to present the understanding of the Christian faith professed by the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. It is the normal preparation for becoming an official member of Incarnation and receiving the Sacramental Rite of Confirmation. The course also serves as a refresher for those who are already members and a place for non-Episcopalians to explore questions about faith and life. Topics include:

  • Confirmation and the Sacraments
  • History and Identity of the Episcopal Church
  • The Book of Common Prayer: Worship and Practice
  • The Bible: Context and Content
  • The Faith: Belief and Action

Classes are held on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 pm in Parish House. Participants can also join by Zoom.

Confirmation Sunday will be March 26, 2023.

Contact the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser, Priest in Charge, for more information.