Exploring Faith Matters
Connect faith and daily life
Discover the treasures in the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament & Church History
Be challenged! Be inspired!
So what is it?
The title Exploring Faith Matters goes to the heart of EfM in that it challenges us
- to begin a journey of exploration of the Christian faith
- to make sense of our own faith journey with that of the Christian tradition
- to build a coherent theology or understanding of God
- to reflect theologically
- to discern what it means to follow Christ.
How does it work?
We do EfM in small reading and discussion groups. Through individual study, sharing our discoveries and exploring our faith together, we learn to think theologically. We connect what we come to know of the Christian tradition with our ordinary daily activities.
Participants commit themselves to:
- Reading and reflection in preparation for the weekly sessions (approx. 2-3hours)
- Attendance and participation in the weekly sessions
- Preparedness to share experiences, ideas and questions in a small learning group where norms of confidentiality, respect, diversity and trust are observed
EfM offers a four-year programme where participants enrol for only one year at a time. We meet on Monday evenings from 6.45 – 8.45pm in the Cornerstone Centre at St John’s. The course runs for 10 months from the beginning of September through to the end of June. It is open to all.
What will we cover?
EfM is a significant programme. It requires commitment of time to read, reflect on the reading, share thoughts and experiences and pray together, but it can be completed by anyone. It is based on books that cover the beginnings of the Christian tradition to this present time.The books we use are contemporary and represent well recognised scholarship. Except for the EfM Reading & Reflection Guide, participants purchase their own copies of the text books from suppliers of their own choosing (we recommend using Cornerstone Bookshop). Both hard copy and e-book versions of the texts are available.
EfM is ecumenical in its content and welcomes participants of any faith tradition who are open to a journey of exploration and discovery.
What books will we read?
The Bible is obviously a key text for us, and we recommend the use of the NRSV translation. As well as this there is material to read each week from the Reading & Reflection Guide (RRG) that is provided for you. In addition, each year has a different focus with its own set texts. These are listed below. You’ll find an overview of how the reading is spread across the year here.
The Hebrew Bible
A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, 3rd ed.
by John J. Collins.
The Hebrew Bible: Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives
edited by Gale Yee.
The New Testament
Introducing the New Testament
by Mark Allen Powell.
What are biblical values? What the bible says on key ethical issues
by John J. Collins.
Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
by Diarmaid MacCulloch.
Theology, Ethics, and Interfaith Encounter
Theology: A Very Short Introduction
by David Ford.
Mysteries of Faith
by Mark McIntosh.
The Christian Moral Life: Practices of Piety
by Timothy F. Sedgwick.
My Neighbor’s Faith
edited by Peace, Rose, and Mobley.
The overarching theme for all participants in 2022/23, whichever year they are studying, is ‘Living Faithfully in a Multicultural World’. As well as the books for the year there are ‘Interlude texts’ which are read by all participants.
For 2022/23 these are:
Reading the Bible from the Margins
by Miguel A. De La Torre
Healing Our Broken Humanity
by Grace Ji-Sun Kim & Graham Hill
Is there a cost?
Yes, the course fee for 2022/23 will be £80, which can be paid in full at the start of the course or monthly. The fee is reduced from the 2021/22 figure due to a reduction in costs and covers things such as the payment of mentor fees, administration fees, website hosting & associated fees and mentor training events.
Participants are also responsible for obtaining their own copies of the books that we use.
If cost may be an issue for you please mention this in your enquiry below and we will discuss it with you in confidence.
How do I find out more?
We’re glad you asked! If you’d like to know more about EfM at St John’s, or wish to enrol, then please fill out the form below and we will get back to you.