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St. John's Episcopal

A testimonial by Judith Bouffiou, EfM graduate

Reflections from an EfM'er

About 5-6 years ago I was attending an all day workshop being held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olympia, Washington.  One of the participants was a woman with an unusual name of “Usrah.”

Usrah made an announcement at the workshop about a program St. John’s was offering called “Education for Ministry.”  It sounded quite interesting, and since I’d already taken (and hugely enjoyed) a number of DSOMAT classes when DSOMAT was being offered in Lacey, I had already met (and hugely enjoyed) a number of Episcopalians.  Thus, I felt comfortable asking Usrah to explain about EfM.

Usrah, being the warmhearted and friendly person she is, explained and invited me to consider signing up for year one.  Me, being the perpetual student I am, was ready “to go for it.”  However, I did have one question….”Will these Episcopalians  tolerate a quirky Quaker in their EfM Program??”  Usrah, laughed and assured me “it would not be a problem.”  And, indeed, it has not!

Going through EfM over the past four years, not once have I ever felt anything but warmly welcomed.  The EfM group has bonded as we’ve read, shared, studied, learned, stretched and grown, examined and/or re-examined our belief systems.  The curriculum is well done, challenging our assumptions, our knowledge of church, religious and spiritual history and knowledge of self (some of the hardest “work” we do in a lifetime!)

Yes, EfM is a commitment, and yet it is one guaranteed to help you stretch, grow, and think outside of the box.  And, possibly help you remember what you already knew and had forgotten you knew!  Such a deal!

I can whole-heartedly and enthusiastically recommend the EfM Program.  Usrah and John are experienced mentors and also “real” in the ways that encourage exploration and growth.

My deep appreciation to Usrah, John and ALL the EfM’ers I’ve spent learning time with.  Looking for an opportunity to grow and explore theology…yours and others????  Try EfM…you will like it!  As I finish the EfM Program….this perpetual student is wondering….”What now?  What next?”  Almost, but not quite, tempted to retake EfM. 

Blessed BE.