Small Groups are a great way to connect with others at St. Mary's. For more information, contact the persons noted below through the church directory or call the church office at 907-563-3341.
The 9:00 Choir
The 9:00 Choir is a dedicated, friendly core group of a dozen singers, with additional participants welcomed who sing part time. The choir rehearses September through May on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 - 8:00 pm in the Sanctuary. Rehearsals are full of spiritual music making and laughter. The choir does not meet midweek during the summer; and it sings during every other summer Sunday service, alternating with the St. Mary's Praise Singers. Sometimes, they are joined by talented musicians at St. Mary's such as Skookums Sonnenschein (Harpist) and Laura Koenig (Flutist). Karen Bretz directs the 9:00 Choir.
The St. Mary's Praise Singers
The St. Mary's Praise Singers are the folk and contemporary music group that sings at the 11:30 am Roots Music service. Using piano, percussion and a variety of stringed instruments, the St. Mary's Praise Singers present joyous music from many sources, including original songs written specifically for the group, which presents vital witness in their music. Wade Hampton Miller leads The St. Mary's Praise Singers.
Education for Ministry (EfM)
Education for Ministry (EfM) is a program of distance learning developed by the School of Theology of the University of the South located in Sewanee, TN. Students sign up one year at a time for this four-year program that covers the basics of a theological education in the Old and New Testaments, church history, liturgy and theology. Students meet weekly on Tuesdays under the guidance of trained mentors. Maggie Wilkinson is the mentor for the daytime seminar which takes place from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm. Rashmika Paton is the mentor for the evening seminar which takes place from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. The program grants a certificate at the completion of the four years, along with 18 Continuing Education Units for each year's work.
The Education for Ministry program began in 1872 with a vision of enrolling a few hundred students. Within a few years, it developed into a program reaching several thousand students with groups around the globe. Participants in the EfM program study the entire sweep of the Christian tradition from the earliest period (when it wasn’t even called Christianity) to the present. Participants study the history of the bible, when it was written, by whom and why. They study the history and various interpretations of the many expressions of Christianity and ethics through studying bible commentaries, various authors and learned theologians.
EfM at St. Mary's is made up of 22 women and men from 3 different parishes who attend the daytime and evening classes. The diversity of experience is bountiful. New classes start in September 2016 and costs $350.00/year with scholarships available. Enrollment is limited to 12 and you may contact Rashmika Paton or Maggie Wilkinson for more information on the program. EfM Sample Lessons are available to browse online.
St. Mary's Women's Book Club
Meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at The Thomas Center for Senior Leadership from 6:30 - 8:00 pm to review the book of the month. In August, this group hosts a "Locavore Potluck" at which there is a vote on books for the entire year. For more information, please email Sherrie Simmonds.
Men's Book Study Group
Meets twice each month at 6:30 pm on: the first Wednesday of the month for dinner, usually at Sorrento's on Fireweed, and the third Wednesday of the month at Title Wave Books. On an occasional fifth Wednesday of the month, this group meets at a member's home for a pizza and movie night. Contact: Larry Koch or Eric Wohlforth for more information.
*The Men's Study Group has existed since 1991. Its purpose is to read and study books of common interest, both religious and non-religious, and to discuss them.
Thursday Morning Men's Bible Study Group
Meets Thursdays at 7:00 am in Waldron Hall for coffee and a light breakfast, fellowship and to study God's word. This group talks about their experiences and how they relate to the scripture that is being read. For more information, please email the Rev. Michael Burke.
St. Mary's Sewing Group
Meets Tuesdays from 10:00 am till 12 Noon at the home of Margaret Sharrow. Please bring your current needlework or craft or see what others are working on. The handwork that folks work on include: knitting, mending, quilting, crocheting or making rugs. Coffee, tea and good conversation are included. Please email Margaret Sharrow for more information.
The Bazaar Team meets for workshops two to three times every month for 10 months of the year. All are welcome. The workshops are an opportunity to get to know and support one another. The team has projects available for newcomers who would like to join - even if you feel that you are not “crafty”.
Traditionally, the Annual Holiday Bazaar is held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and it is a success due to the very dedicated team of Bazaar Women and Bazaar Dudes, St. Mary’s Youth, the Boy Scouts, the Playschool staff and countless numbers of folks from the St. Mary’s family. For more information, please contact Judy Veerman.