Dear Friends in Christ:
The Episcopal Church teaches that every baptized person is a minister of the Church: “The ministry of lay persons is to represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church” (BCP 855).
Most lay ministers carry out their ministries primarily “in the world” where they work, study, play, and live. Some serve in the church, officially licensed by the bishop as Pastoral Leaders, Worship Leaders (Lay Readers), Preachers, Eucharistic Visitors, Eucharistic Ministers, Catechists, and Evangelists.
In an effort to encourage and equip lay ministers in the Diocese, as well as to form Deacons, the North Dakota School for Ministry is offering three courses during the next school year: “Christian Ethics & Moral Theology,” and two quarters of “Practice of Ministry.” Some may wish to take these courses simply to learn more about our faith and our church; others may pursue these studies for eligibility to serve as a licensed Evangelist or Pastoral Leader in their congregations.
These three-month long courses will be facilitated by clergy in regional study groups across the Diocese: Mark Strobel — Red River Valley; Christian Senyoni – East Central; Zanne Ness & John Floberg – South Central; Mary Johnson – North Central; Ellery Dykeman – Southwest; Michael Paul – Northwest. Specifics about where and how often study groups meet will be determined by the facilitator and students of a region, based on their circumstances. In addition, two (or three) weekends per course will be shared at Assumption Abbey in Richardton. Please see the course listings below for specific dates.
Costs per course, including books and Richardton weekends, are $200. However, scholarships are available and lack of financial resources should not keep anyone from participating. Register for courses by filling out the form here. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or have questions.
This letter comes with hopes and prayers for a renewing and rejuvenating summer season for you. Peace,
+Michael G. Smith