Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on your journey of faith, you are welcome here.

Adult Formation at St. James Episcopal Church

St. James wichita

Adult Formation

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in Adult Formation at St. James Episcopal Church. Below you’ll find a summary of our many educational opportunities for adults.

Please check back often as we will continue to add classes throughout the year!

Adult Formation St. James Wichita

Adult Forum: Going off the Lectionary Grid

This program year (2021-22) we will be diving deeper into the lectionary readings. Each week a new speaker will pick a reading from the lectionary and talk about the various aspects surrounding the reading. We could explore languages, cultures, context, short films, etc. Join us as we explore how Scripture relates to our everyday life and find God in all things. Open mind and open ideas are always welcome as we learn together as a community of believers.

Day and Time: Every Sunday (except 2nd Sunday) from 9:45-10:30 a.m. starting Sept. 19, 2021

Location: Guild Hall

Leader(s): Various

Agapē Feasts

Agapē Feasts are inspired by the ancient Christian tradition of the love feast, a communal meal that was distinct from the Eucharist and sought to ‘strengthen the bonds and the spirit of harmony, goodwill, and congeniality, as well as to forgive past disputes and instead love one another.’ As at these ancient feasts, on Agapē Fridays we seek to break bread together and, in coming together, show Christ’s unconditional love to one another. We seek to remember that in Christ we are all distinct and one at the same time. In a real way, our stories are our own and they belong to the great story of redeemed humanity in which we are all bound up. These Fridays are a chance to come together, to explore Christian tradition together, and to share your story with your fellow St. James siblings in Christ and to hear their stories, your stories, shared back to you!

Day and Time: 2nd Fridays at 6:00 p.m. starting Sept. 10, 2021

Location: Outside or Guild Hall

Leader(s): Racine Zackula and Dakota Bennett

Basic A

The current session of this class will meet weekly beginning Sept. 14, 2021. Basic A (A stands for Anglican) is a course open to anyone who would like to learn more about the Episcopal Church. It is especially good for people who are new to St. James and would like to know more about what we believe and what our history is. This course should make you able to discern if this is the church you should join and in which you should become an active part.

Please call the church at 316-683-5686 to let us know you’d like to be included in our upcoming class.
Anyone who completes this course becomes eligible to be confirmed (or received)* in the Episcopal Church at St. James. *(If you are already confirmed in a church in the apostolic succession, you will be received instead of confirmed.)

Time and Day: 6 p.m. Tuesdays starting Sept. 14, 2021

Location: Chapel

Leaders: Mother Dawn Frankfurt and Deacon Dillon Green

Evening Bible Study

We are reading and reflecting on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on Care for Our Common Home which addresses our responsibility as Christians to the natural world and the human community. Also each week one of the group shares a relevant poem by a Christian poet. All are welcome. If you want to participate contact Phil Speary, pspeary@butlerrcc.edu.

Time and Day: Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Leader: Dr. Phil Speary

Contemplative Prayer Group

We are a group of fellow seekers listening and learning from each other. We spend about the first half of our meeting discussing a member-suggested reading and then go into our contemplative prayer portion. All are welcome and no experience is needed. We will happily point out good sources to read for those interested in learning about this form of prayer. For Zoom log-in contact Dave McDonald, dmcdonald6@cox.net

Time and Day: Mondays, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Location: Lounge and on Zoom

Leader: Dave McDonald

Education for Ministry (EfM)

“And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.” The Book of Common Prayer

St. James is fortunate to offer the seminar Education for Ministry which offers laypersons the opportunity to learn the Bible, the history of Christianity and the Church. Through a program developed by the University of the South, we follow a curriculum, developed over many years, which is rich in readings, thought and reflection.

We meet once a week during the academic year. Until further notice, we meet virtually, through Zoom. If you are interested or have questions about joining us for the 2021-2022 program year, please contact Paul Rillema – paul.rillema@gmail.com – by email or phone 316-634-6945, or Deb Bagby – debagby@gmail.com by email or 316-612-0628.

The program helps to develop an informed and knowledgeable laity. We, as baptized Christians, are called to be participants in the church’s total ministry: worship, service to others and the proclamation of God’s Word to all people. In coming to terms with the notion that everything we do has potential for manifesting the love of Christ, we discover that our ministry is at hand wherever we turn.

EfM covers Old and New Testaments, 2,000 years of church history, and the thoughts of religious scholars. We meet as a “one-room schoolhouse” with Year 1 focusing on OT readings, Year 2 on NT readings, Year 3 on Church history readings and Year 4 on theology understandings of our interactions in the world. This program is administered by the University of the South, and you receive a certificate upon completion of the program. The cost is $350 per year, which includes books of study for each year enrolled in the program. Scholarships and other financial support are available.

Time and Day: 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays starting Sept. 15

Location: Zoom

Leaders: Dr. Paul Rillema and Deb Bagby

Graduate EfM

If you have finished the standard EfM course and want to continue in study and fellowship, please consider Graduate EfM. Each year we pick a course of study, usually using a series of taped lectures from The Teaching Company. We augment this with reading, discussion, guest speakers and field trips. The EfM pattern of learning, praying, and sharing treats and the joys and cares of our lives is continued in our group.

Time and Day: 7 p.m. Mondays starting Sept. 13

Location: Lounge or Zoom

Leaders: Deacon Jeff Roper and Richard Bowman

Restoration Project (TRP)

The Restoration Project is a national movement within the Episcopal Church calling our people back to the basic practices of the church by following the 12 steps of humility of St. Benedict within the framework of the small group. The members of each small group within TRP commit to seven vows to work toward lives with regular prayer, worship, service to the poor, generosity, learning, discerning of call and commitment to the discipleship group’s members.

* This group is on hiatus. Please email formation@stjameswichita.org if you are interested in learning more.

Sacred Ground Dialogue Circles

Please join this important mission and be part of the solution. You will need to purchase Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving and Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman. Here is an excerpt from The Episcopal Church’s Sacred Ground Curriculum: This is a race dialogue series designed for these times. It is an attempt to be responsive to the profound challenges that currently exist in our society. It is focused on the challenges that swirl around issues of race and racism, as well as the difficult but respectful and transformative dialogue we need to have with each other about them. It invites participants to walk back through history in order to peel away the layers that brought us to today, and to do so in a personal way, reflecting on family histories and stories, as well as important narratives that shape the collective American story. It holds the vision of beloved community as a guiding star – where all people are honored and protected and nurtured as beloved children of God, where we weep at one another’s pain and seek one another’s flourishing.

Day & Time: 2nd & 4th Thursdays starting Oct. 14th at 11:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m.

Location: 11:00 a.m. Lounge; 7:00 p.m. Zoom

Leader(s): 11:00 a.m. with Mother Dawn; 7:00 p.m. with Chelsea Whipple

Young Family Fellowship (YFF)

Young Family Fellowship (YFF)has been on hiatus since the 2020-2021 program year. We hope to be back together in October 2021.

What is Young Family Fellowship? Young Family Fellowship is for parents, parents-to-be and parents-in-waiting of young children and youth. We gather together every Sunday that Sunday school is in session from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. for refreshments and fellowship time. There is no agenda — just a time for us to gather together, tell funny stories, support each other, and generally have fun.

We’d love for you to join us and help our group grow! We are currently looking for a leader for this group. Please contact Chelsea Whipple if you are interested.


Previous Bible Studies Topics

  • Summer Speaker Series Recap: 2019
  • The Universal Christ Retreat
  • Funeral Planning Workshop
  • Savoring the F.R.U.I.T. of the Spirit
  • Discerning Our Spiritual Gifts
  • What is the Bible? by Rob Bell
  • Half-Truths by Adam Hamilton
  • The Theology of John Shelby Spong: Modern Intellect Meets Traditional Christianity
  • What have they done with my church? Examining last 50 years in the Episcopal Church

Bible Study Topics Continued…

  • Spiritual Companions Group
  • Introduction to Christian Meditation
  • Heart of Christianity, by Marcus Borg.
  • Accidental Saints, by Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber.
  • Wednesday Evening Bible Study: Forgiveness in the Gospels, Examples of faith from Hebrews 11, The Miracles of Jesus, Palestine during the time of Jesus.
  • Thursday Morning Bible Study: God’s Spirit-ed People: Prophecy, Dreams and Visions in the Hebrew Bible; Saving Salvation; Traveling the Birth Narrative from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
  • Adult Forum: The Way of Love, Nicene Creed, Beatitudes


If you’d like more information about our adult ministries, please contact Chelsea Whipple, Director of Programs at formation@stjameswichita.org. 


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