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By Rev. Canon Val Kenyon

In this final issue of the Huron Church News, before our summer hiatus, it seemed timely to offer you some reflections/confessions (you decide) of a first year EfM participant.

"As delightful as summer is, it seems to pass so quickly and before we know it, the September sessions of Education for Ministry will have begun.

As I reflect back on this first year of EfM, while not a time without some challenges, it has been a real pleasure; socially, spiritually, and intellectually very satisfying.  Below are some thoughts that have stood out for me:

  • EfM mentors are to be appreciated and admired: The volunteers who give of their time to lead and facilitate the EfM program and classes are very hard-working people. It’s not easy to do this work and it requires a lot of skill and patience in leading people through this journey.

  • EfM participants are to be appreciated and admired: It seems that no one joins an EfM group on a whim. It has become very apparent to me that each one in an EfM group is a gift to the other members in some way, through both who they are and who they are becoming. Sharing is not always easy, but with time, real community is formed, and thoughts and reflections land in a safe and receptive place.

  • Reflection is difficult – it’s a mental and spiritual muscle that needs to be exercised – Not everyone is comfortable reflecting on and thinking through complex and ancient things. Sometimes people say the craziest things – but that’s okay – that’s EfM. We’re all on our own journey, and we all need a space in our life where we can think out loud. EfM tries to provide a non-judgmental forum where we’re siblings in Christ. To help with reflecting, EfM uses an ABCD methodology as material is read, reviewed, and reflected upon: A amazed, B bothered, C confused and D delighted. It’s very helpful. This method gives me a mental hook on which to explain what I’ve learned and experienced. This also keeps us focused and on theme during our discussions.

  • Thinking in a better way vs. thinking the right things: EfM is about thinking/reflecting. It’s about how we think and the questions we work through. As people who desire a more mature faith, it’s not about having all the answers. It’s about searching for answers. It’s not about thinking the “right” way, but about how we think in a mature way.

  • Struggle is good: It’s okay to struggle through your studies. It’s okay to have your assumptions and preconceived ideas challenged. Questions are good, and sometimes unanswered questions are even better.

  • The Bible, Oh My! – The Bible is a complex compilation of many books, reflecting different perspectives and beliefs, hopes and dreams, life, and death (lots of death!), confidence and doubt, inspiration and disillusionment. The Bible is sometimes like vegetables; good for you, but it really helps how you cook them. In short, it reflects the “good, the bad and the ugly” of the human condition. EfM is a big help in appreciating the Bible despite this complexity.

  • EfM is a journey outward, and inward: EfM is like looking through both ends of a telescope. Look outward and you begin to see outward to a deeper view of the Divine and the human journey throughout time. Look inward and you’ll begin to better understand yourself.  You’ll see your own complexities, your beliefs, assumptions, biases, blind spots and your gifts and insights.

  • EfM isn’t perfect: EfM has been developed over many years. EfM works for some people, but not others. For some people EfM is the right program at the right time, for others it’s the right program but not at the right time. You’re truly blessed if it’s the right program at the right time!"

Well, there you have it, some thoughts from the front line. If any of this has piqued your interest in being a part of Education for Ministry, we’d be glad to welcome you at either of our upcoming virtual Open houses: Tuesday, June 18, or Monday, August 26 at 7pm on Zoom or to speak to you individually about the possibilities.

Please reach out to either Libi Clifford, the Diocese of Huron EfM Coordinator or me Val Kenyon at

Rev. Canon Dr. Val Kenyon is EFM Animator in Huron.