Christian Learning for Adults

Stages for growing in faith

0130 Grow in FaithClergy, lay leaders and members of SJYM have assembled an intentional program of Christian education based on the Apprenticeship Principle. Its goal is “oak trees” — well-rooted Christian disciples who know Christ and live with Christ, within themselves and in everything they are and do.

We acknowledge that people today have a variety of faith backgrounds. There are those who have been brought up in Christian homes of various church traditions. Some come from other faith traditions, or came to the faith as adults, or have have had no significant exposure to Christian teachings. That’s why the program is staged at various levels.

Stage 1: Regular Church Attendance

Being a part of a community of faith is essential to being a Christian, and the church is the central gathering place for the community.

Sunday morning offers a variety of gathering types. If you’re a newcomer we suggest that you start with The Open Door at 10:30. Arrive early and enjoy some coffee and casual conversation before we get underway.

  • 9:00     The Sacred Table:  A service of Holy Communion that honours our Anglican traditions
  • 10:00   Coffee and Conversation:  A casual social time with refreshments
  • 10:30   The Open Door: A contemporary worship time with music, teaching and a children’s program
  • 11:30   The Forum: A place to ask questions, discuss and explore

Stage 2: Getting Oriented (Half-day)

We regularly hold a Saturday morning get-together for newcomers and those wanting a fresh start. It’s a chance to meet the leaders of St. John’s, learn about one another, learn about the life in the church, and review the very basics of the Christian faith.

Stage 3: Rooted in Christ (6 weeks)

Meeting one evening a week for six weeks, clergy and lay leaders explore and discuss the tenets of the Christian faith. Discover —or refresh — your understanding of the essential elements of the faith. This is also your chance to ask questions about anything that you’re curious or even troubled about.

Stage 4: Growing in Christ (2–3 years)

Once you have the basics, this set of three courses helps you deepen your understanding and strengthen your spiritual discipline. With the guidance of clergy and lay leadership, you combine study and discussion of Christian teachings with spiritual practices to apply in daily life.

Based on the “Apprentice”series of books by James Bryan Smith, each study group runs for about ten weekly or bi-weekly sessions, and successive groups builds on the ones before:

  • The Good and Beautiful God
  • The Good and Beautiful Life
  • The Good and Beautiful Community

Stage 5: Cultivating Christ (Lifetime)

This is the stage where you really put all the teachings into practice and make your faith a meaningful reality. Members worship regularly and take leadership in meeting with fellow Christians for study, prayer and service.

Plan for your spiritual growth

Where are you in your learning? Are you moving on to the next stage? Could you benefit from some pruning and redirection in your growth?

Talk to any of the clergy or to any lay leader. We’ll be happy to help you answer these questions and to find your place among our offerings for Christian education and development.

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