Adult Education


In the Chapman Room (adjacent to the parish office in the basement), one adult group meets between the services, September to June, from 9:15-10:15 a.m. for continuing adult Christian education. The group chooses study materials that assist us in reflecting on God’s call to us in 21st century life in upstate NY by exploring Scripture, tradition, and theology.



Recent study and reflection focused on Anglican approaches to Holy Scripture as presented in the 11 book series Conversations with Scripture. The series editor, Frederick Schmidt, Episcopal priest and biblical scholar, describes Scripture as authoritative, illuminative, critical and varied, and its study in the Anglican tradition dynamic. The participants in the group read a chapter at a time during the week and consider our questions and insights, as well as responses to the study questions, together on Sunday mornings.




In 2015, the group selected Conversations with Scripture: The Psalms, by William Countryman. That study was so engaging that in 2016, the group selected another volume in the same series that stimulates deep reflection and rich discussion: Conversations with Scripture: Revelation, by Frederick Schmidt.




One of the sources that the group used in the past was a 21-DVD series called “Living the Questions”. The group began with a short reading, a presentation from the DVD, then discussion.



Participation is open, and divergent viewpoints from our journeys as Christians are often explored.

Whatever sources we discuss on Sunday mornings, the hour that the group spends together in study and reflection stimulates our thinking and actions along our Christian journeys in ways that can surprise and delight us. Join us!

Contact: Lisa Tatusko

In the dining room on the first floor of the church near the kitchen, another group that includes special needs adults meets for continuing Christian education from 9:15-10:15 am on Sundays. The group chooses study materials and ministers to the congregation in a number of ways, including writing birthday greetings and other cards to parishioners.

Contact: John Jackson


EFM is an international program which helps individuals discover how to respond to the call of Christian service.  EFM helps students encounter the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition and bring it into conversation with their experiences of the world as they study, worship, and engage in theological reflection together.

St. John’s supports Education for Ministry (EfM) groups that participate in a distance-learning program for adult Christian formation offered by the School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. The Diocese of Central NY has been a partner in the EfM program since 1987, and EfM groups have met here at St. John’s Ithaca since the early 1990s.

EfM groups often include St. John’s parishioners and members of the Episcopal Community at Cornell. The groups generally meet in the Chapman Room on Tuesday evenings from September to June. Individual questions and insights from the weekly assignments are discussed, and the group engages in a theological reflection exercise together.The program takes four years to complete and is broken up into these courses of study:

  • Year One: The Old Testament
  • Year Two: The New Testament
  • Year Three: Church History
  • Year Four: Theological Choices

All adults are welcome to participate in EfM, regardless of denomination and previous training. Participants sign up for one year of the four-year program at a time. Recent graduates and alumni are honored on EfM Sunday. Information about the annual EfM alumni gathering is available on the DCNY website at the link below.

It is easy to find more information about the EfM program! Check the bulletin board near the first floor restrooms and St. John’s kitchen, talk to EfM alumni at coffee hour, contact the EfM Co-Mentors for St. John’s, or click on links below for Sewanee and DCNY websites:

Contact: EfM Co-Mentors Jim Johnson and Lisa Tatusko