Our Education Programs
Adult Christian Education is under the direction of our Rector, Fr. Shannon Leach. There is a weekly Bible Study held
on Sunday morning following the 8:00 am service and prior to the 10:30 am service. The time is 9:30 am to
10:15 am. Occasional breaks in this schedule are announced in the Service Bulletin, the "Upcoming Events" column of the website,
and the E-Newsletter
prior to postponement.
Education for Ministry (EfM)
An EfM seminar was started at Grace by Fr Rick Smallwood in 2008. Rick Smallwood mentored the class until 2014/15, when Gladys Alford and Margo Smith became the co-mentors Susan Cooper joined them as a third mentor in 2016/17. Gladys and Susan has are co-mentor for 2017/18
, relieving Margo to concentrate on other matters. The Grace Education for Ministry program has graduated 11 students since its inception.
EfM is a “distance-learning program for adult Christian formation through theological education and reflection offered by the Beecken Center of the School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.”
What EfM is NOT: It is not a bible study in the traditional sense nor is it a path to ordination. The studies are designed to give participants insight, to broaden their horizons, and to help them find their way in ministry. These classes are not required for ordination, but are recognized as a tool for discernment.
EfM is comprised of a four year curriculum: Year I: Old Testament; Year II: New Testament; Year III: History of the Church. Year IV: Philosophy and Religion. Each year is designed to develop and expand one’s spiritual journey. Four years are required to complete EfM studies. The curriculum can be taken a year at a time, but must be taken in order. According to Fr. Shannon Leach, completion of the four years in EfM is equivalent to completing the first year in seminary.
EfM requires a commitment of time, talent, presence, and money. The class at Grace meets on Tuesdays from 6:30-9:00 pm weekly for 36 weeks. Preparation for the classes requires 2 to 4 hours of study per week; there is a considerable amount of reading. Since Grace sponsors the EfM class the fee is $375 per year instead of the normal $485. The fee includes all required reading materials. Partial scholarships are available from EfM based on class size. There may also be funding available through Grace or through scholarships created by EfM graduates. Each person will need to have their own bible as recommended by EfM. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha is available as an e-book, in paperback, and all other forms.
If you are curious about or interested in EfM, please contact Gladys Alford
or Susan Cooper , the co-mentors for the group. Any current student or graduate is also a good source of information.
Children have an innate sense of the presence of God. The Godly Play approach helps them to explore their
faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and
play. Based on Montessori principles and developed using a spiral curriculum, the Godly Play method
serves children through early, middle and late childhood and beyond. The tools of this program,
were lovingly created by Duane Schaefer, former Jr. Warden, and skilled craftsman.
ALL CLASSES ARE HELD IN THE PARISH HALL (PH).
Teachers gather the kids from Church after the beginning service and follow the Crucifer to the Parish Hall.
Children are accompanied by their teachers back to church during the Peace.
Grace in the Desert offers Nursery School to infants up to the age of four (4) and Sunday School for the following age groups:
- Age five(5) to 2nd grade: (Held outside the PH Nursery)
- 3rd grade to 5th grade: (PH Conference Room)
- Youth group: 6th grade to 12th grade (PH)
The Nursery is a spacious and safe area always covered by two people who are licensed by the Diocese.
The Sunday School classes are taught by teams of two people who are licensed by the Diocese.
The Youth Group class is taught at a table in the Parish Hall dining area.
Vacation Bible School
Grace in the Desert offers a week-long Vacation Bible School each summer for children age 4 through 5th grade.
All children are welcome. The curriculum is non-denominational.
This year’s VBS at Grace will be held Monday through Friday, June 19 to 23, 2017. The time Mon – Thursday is from 9am – 2pm and on Friday from 9am to 12:30pm.
Children age 4 through Grade 5 (going into 6th) are welcome to apply.
The registration form and other information for next year's program are posted here.
Specific questions can be directed to the Priest Associate,
The Reverend JoAnn Leach who can be reached through the church office (702) 838-7444.
View the 2017 Vacation Bible School slideshow after its completion.