Education & Spiritual Formation

St. Luke’s offers a three-pronged approach to engaging those who are seeking:

We learn and grow in our Christian faith through study and prayer. We invite people to join in any of our offerings with an open heart and mind, engaging in discourse and discussion and bringing questions for consideration and contemplation. It is through story-telling and deep listening that we grow in our faith and can serve the community around us.

Below are a few of the offerings and opportunities available at St. Luke’s. All programs are open to parishioners at St. Luke’s, as well as to the community.

New Offerings

I. In God’s Presence with Others
  • Quiet Prayer – online contemplative prayer service Tuesdays 5:30pm – 6:15pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month
  • Praying & Sharing Together – noonday prayer and intercessions, followed by bag lunch Wednesdays 12 noon in the Fort Sherman Chapel at 332 Hubbard St. in CdA.
  • Stations of the Cross – Fridays 12 noon in the church during Lent (whoever gathers)
II. Let’s Dig into Scripture!

Paul’s Letters from Prison – Tuesday evening
Beginning with Philippians, we will read Paul’s four short letters from prison. Here is Paul, that great missionary apostle, facing the likely end of his life and looking to secure the faith of those who will carry on beyond his life. This is what one Episcopal cathedral dean (Reggie Kidd) writes about these letters of Paul:

When soldiers face the uncertainties of war, their minds often turn toward thoughts of death. And they look for ways to comfort themselves and to comfort loved ones back home. Often, they write letters of thanks and final words of advice, encouraging their loved ones to carry on… Paul’s epistle to the Philippians is like a letter from a soldier facing the possibility of imminent death. Paul wrote Philippians at a time when he was suffering in prison, weary and wondering if he might soon lose his life for Christ. And he wrote to people he loved. So his words to the Christians in Philippi were heavy but caring; sad but consoling; appreciative but bittersweet.

As we read these beautiful letters, we will reflect on the people who shaped faith for us, and the ways we have shaped faith for each other. We each leave a legacy. What will be ours? How will we shape what lasts beyond us? What have we received, and what will we pass on?

Materials:
The Bible (NRSV, CEB, or NIV versions – or any other you have) N.T. Wright, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon for Everyone, (2023, 20th anniv. edition)

What’s Your Legacy? Parting Speeches in Scripture – Sunday morning after the 10am service
Throughout the Bible, there are powerful speeches, addresses, and “discourses” offered at the end of people’s lives. Jacob gathers his sons for final blessings and assessments of their lives. Moses stands before the Hebrew people and gives them his final words of guidance. Naomi offers Ruth and Boaz her final blessing. Elijah departs dramatically with only brief words to Elisha, who then seeks a “double portion of his spirit.” Jesus has several final discourses before his death and then again before his ascension – the most intimate of these in the Gospel of John. Paul wrote letters from prison that were farewell letters of love and counsel.

We all have examples of leaders, family members, and friends who have offered farewells in powerful ways. When my family knew my father’s life was coming to an end, we gathered. I remember drawing all of us together around Dad’s bed. We shared prayers, and he offered his own kind of high priestly prayer for us all in a way that surprised and touched each one of us.

The final farewells in the Bible meant something profound to the people receiving them – and to the people giving them. These speeches capture something of the legacy that each person hoped to leave with others.

What is your legacy? How will you communicate it to others – now and in the future? What makes a legacy? What purpose that God has implanted in you do you want to see carried onward into future generations?

Materials:
The Bible (NRSV, CEB, NIV, The Message, and other versions are all fine). Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final speech in Memphis: https://www.afscme.org/about/history/mlk/mountaintop. Nelson Mandela’s final speech in South Africa: http://www.mandela.gov.za/mandela_speeches/1999/990616_farewell.htm. A summarizing word by Dorothy Day: https://catholicworker.org/ddlw-867/

Walking through the Bible – Especially for 4th thru 9th graders – Tuesday post-school
The Bible is this amazing, complex collection of books that covers thousands of years of human experience of God. In the Episcopal Church, we rely deeply on the Bible. We are immersed in it – every week we read from four places in scripture, and everything in our worship is shaped by and rooted in the Bible. We learn many of the stories. But how many of us have read the Bible and know “the path of God’s love all the way from the beginning to the end, from Adam’s creation to John’s revelation”?

In Walking through the Bible, we will do just that – take a good, long tour through the whole Bible, from beginning to end. We will use a book called The Path, which gives us chunks from different books of the Bible surrounded by helpful summaries and explanations. We will also use videos and discussion tools from Echo the Story, and we will explore parts of the Bible not covered in these two resources.

I look forward to walking with our young people through the Bible, and I hope you learn to discover how this sacred book is an amazing treasure!

Materials:
The Path: A Journey through the Bible, (2016) Echo the Story (SparkHouse, 2014)

III. Our Christian Life in the World around Us

Practicing Caring and Courageous Conversations at NIC – Wednesdays (starting with Noonday prayer at the Fort Sherman Chapel, then moving onto campus for conversations).

One of the ways we live our mission to show and share the love of Jesus in North Idaho is through courageous conversations. From time to time, we practice ways to enter conversations with others in ways that show care and courageous vulnerability as we invite people to share about their lives and we share about ours. Our Diocese of Spokane is dedicated this year to learning more about how to do this as a key part of our spiritual lives.

There is a team of folks from St. Luke’s who want to serve the campus and people of NIC. There is no better way right now than to come with me to campus once a week to open up conversations with staff, faculty, and students. We have open invitation to come. I have found incredible welcome and deep gratitude for when I have gone into offices to meet people, just letting them know that I’m from a church that cares deeply about NIC and its people, that wants to be supportive, and that wants to offer safe conversation partners.

If you want to join in this effort, contact Fr. David. We will likely dedicate time on Wednesday afternoons, either beginning or ending with a short prayer service on campus or at the Fort Sherman Chapel.

Sacred Ground Circles – Sundays biweekly, January 14—June2.
Bishop Gretchen Rehberg and the Diocesan Council urge all members to participate in Sacred Ground, a 10-part film- and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in Christian faith. Small groups (“Circles”) walk with experienced, friendly facilitators from our diocese through America’s history of race and racism while weaving in threads of family story, class, and political and regional identity. – Jan. 14 – Jan. 28 – Feb. 11 – Feb. 25 – Mar. 10 – Mar. 24 (Palm Sunday) – Apr. 7 – Apr. 21 – May 5 – May 19 (Pentecost) – June 2. When you register you will receive an email with contact information, curriculum information as well as the Zoom Link for the events. Please look for this email in the account you used for registration.

Please Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqceusqDsiGtbVf1MKxtPXzXzQgV7jXxCm

IV. Book Study Groups

The book group that meets on Wednesdays at 1pm (open to anyone) is starting a new book on January 31 – The Inner Eye of Love – Mysticism & Religion by William Johnston. Contact Jill Kalberg to sign up. 

Starting March 6, The Wednesday at 4 p.m. book study group will explore  The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, by award-winning journalist Tim Alberta. Evangelical Christians are perhaps the most polarizing—and least understood—people in America today. Alberta is a practicing Christian and son of an evangelical pastor. He paints an expansive portrait of the American evangelical movement. Through the eyes of televangelists and small-town preachers, celebrity revivalists and everyday churchgoers, he tells the story of a faith cheapened by fear and a reputation stained by scandal.  Contact Lisa Nunlist for more information. 

V. Faith & Life Discussion and Exploration Groups

Any of these discussion and exploration groups are great places to invite people to “come and see.” If you know people who are spiritually searching, wrestling, wandering, or even recovering from negative religious experiences, consider inviting them to come with you to participate in one of these groups. Discussions are open-ended and are not in the business of selling “right answers.” The point of these groups is to open stories with each other, learn from each other, and listen together for God speaking through the conversations you have. See opportunities below.

Being With – Tuesday evenings starting in February – location TBA (NIC, Fort Sherman chapel, or church)
“If all the meaning, beauty and goodness you have found in life so far could help you discover something that holds it all together? If there is a God, wouldn’t God be best discovered with others?

“Being With is about sharing stories about our lives and hearing the stories of others. These stories are the small things that mean a lot to us and they can also be the most challenging and life changing moments of our lives. There’s a space for every person’s life and story.”

This is a wonderful program of open discussion and mutual discovery designed and used in the Church of England. It is a great space for people who are exploring faith, or who have needed to step away from an overly strict faith tradition and are looking for ways to rediscover their faith in fresh ways. Ern Warner & Jeff Wickham, co-facilitators Dave & Lyndi Phifer, soon to be co-facilitators.

Men’s Discussion Group – second Wednesday evening of each month.
With diverse backgrounds and life experiences, the St. Luke’s Men’s Discussion Group explores topics that affect the communities in which we live. Drawing on our experiences and faith, we listen and consider how we can have a positive impact in our community. All of this while we relax with an enjoyable light meal. Ian Hicks & Dave Phifer, “point people”

VI. In-Home Study and Reflection

Listening to God and Our Neighbors: Biblical Windows for Followers and Seekers of Christ
This collection of stories and readings from scripture has been created for us as a guide to help shape how we enter caring and vulnerably courageous conversations with God and with others around us. The collection includes examples of listening and responding to God, being sent, entering confrontations and hard conversations, breaking open new ground with new people, and being changed ourselves by conversations. Each example includes questions for our prayerful reflection as individuals and as a faith community together.

Another Selection of scriptures is Who Is This Jesus? This collection offers numerous reflections to consider who Jesus is to us and in our lives.

Families with Children

Children’ Chapel
St. Luke’s offers a children’s chapel during the 10 a.m. Sunday service for families with children.

These sessions combine Christian education (aka Sunday School) with our Episcopal liturgy in a child-friendly atmosphere. Children (and parents) are invited to chapel right before the scripture readings, and return when we share the Peace of God. 

St. Luke’s Youth
Youth who attend our parish are active in service participation and are involved in Diocesan youth activities and summer camps at Camp Cross, the Diocese of Spokane’s retreat/camp ministry on Lake Coeur d’Alene.