by Phyllis Thompson
Two parishioners of Sts. Anne and Edmund, Parksville, completed the 4-year EfM program this Spring. The May 10 graduation was held at their parish; the Rt. Rev. Logan McMenamie was celebrant and preacher at the liturgy. Honoured were Dawn Ragan and Kathy Miller, and—as is always done--other students in the program attended to the readings and some of the prayers. The two graduates proclaimed the Gospel, and the EfM mentors for the mid-Island area offered the Prayers of the People. As has been the case for a number of years, gifts of prayer shawls created by parishioners of St. Paul’s, Nanaimo, were presented to the graduates by Yvonne Oliver.
Both Ragan and Miller are long-time members of their parish and knew of the EfM program because fellow parishioner, Lynne Downes, is the administrator for the Oceanside area. Both women admitted the program was not easy, but very worthwhile—enjoyable and enriching.
The Gospel was from Matthew 5, the Beatitudes. Bishop Logan linked those statements to relationship, to engaged caring as we look at our place in today’s culture. “To be blessed is to be honoured,” he said, and “that Scriptural passage reminds us of who Jesus chose to honour: those who in his day engaged with their society in positive ways. So today, individuals—the laity, the people of God—who engage in the EfM program have the opportunity to effect a positive relationship with our society and culture.”
The bishop noted the importance of understanding and reflecting on Scripture theologically. The EfM program challenges one to do this, and for more than personal enrichment. The program’s graduates can take what they hear and “inwardly digest” at the Table of the Word on Sunday and let it be part of each Monday through Saturday—to live it out at home, at work, at various institutions, wherever. The church needs engaged laity in the world, the bishop noted. As such, he honoured this year’s graduates and all EfM participants.
A luncheon and fellowship followed the liturgy. It provided an opportunity to ask area coordinator Lynne Downes about the program. It clearly is an active one in Oceanside given numbers for the coming year. In the four-year program, although there will be no participants in year one, there will be six students in year two, and three students each in years three and four. Blessed be these engaged people of God.
Phyllis Thompson taught English at the University of Saskatchewan and is the proofreader for the Diocesan Post. She is also a frequent contributor—covering important events and meetings on the lower and mid-island. She is a member of St. Mary, Nanoose Bay.
Photo: EfM graduates, Dawn Ragan and Kathy Miller with Bishop Logan
Photo credit: Phyllis Thompson