On my first day of EFM after going around and introducing everyone, the first question we were asked is 'Why did I choose to take this class and what did I expect to gain out of this class?'
I sat there and I listened to everybody’s answers and I thought about mine. What it would be and why on earth did I decide to take this class? When I started working at the Cathedral a year ago, I was not an Episcopalian. I’m still not in an Episcopalian, however everyone that I meet here in the church is so kind, so friendly, and with open arms. Every time I speak to these people they make me feel like I'm a part of something, a really big community - one that you will remember forever, one that you want to be a part of forever.
When speaking to some of the parishioners at church, they tell me about their experience with the EFM class. They talk about the bonds they made, about the friendships they made, and about how open and safe the space is and how much they learned.
I keep thinking "This is everything that I want; everything that I need right now." But it is a time commitment. Do I have the time? I don’t know - between working full-time and being a single mom, do I have time for anything? It important to make time for yourself. It is important to invest in yourself.
So I ask myself, “don’t you want to make yourself more complete, more whole?" Yes, the answer is a resounding, yes. So, I reached out to my mentor. I asked him if I could join the class and he said he would really like it if I did. In fact, he even got me a scholarship which helped with the financial burden. Not that I should be worried about that, but it helped.
So, I signed up; I got a scholarship and then I paid the difference. I laughed when I went to pick up the books at his house, my stack is six books thick. Wow! When am I gonna be able to read all these books? 'Are these for all four years?' I ask. No, he laughed, it is just for your first year he tells me. And they get bigger as you go. Deep breath, Cory. I can do this, I know I can do this.
So on my very first Tuesday night, I logged in at 7o’clock and there were about 15 of us. It looks like a good mix of people; all age groups, multiple genders, plus one of the leaders was not Episcopal so I felt like I was in the right place.
The meeting lasted about two hours; basically the first meeting was just talking about the schedule, the expectations, the upcoming autobiographies. Wait, religious autobiographies? Seriously is this something I have to do? I started to panic. An autobiography of my religious journey... I don’t know that I have one. What am I gonna say? Deep breath (again). This isn't until like the sixth or seventh week. My panic subsides a little, I start to think that it will all be okay, that I will have enough time to formulate my ideas.
I really enjoyed getting to know everybody and hearing a little bit about their story. I saw the emotional bond that the others share that are on their second, third, and fourth year. I was very happy to be a part of this class and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to take this class.
So, this week I will read my first chapter. And on Tuesday night at 7o’clock with much anticipation, I will show up for my second week of my education for ministry class, also known as my EFM journey.
Stay tuned, folks. Here goes something.