Magazine article Anglican Journal

Education Program Aimed at Newcomers: Via Media Similar in Style to Alpha Course

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Education Program Aimed at Newcomers: Via Media Similar in Style to Alpha Course

Article excerpt

Via Media, a fast-growing eight-week Christian education program for adults developed by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) and aimed at providing "an open forum where people can discuss the basics of the Christian faith" is now in Canada.

Canon Tim Smart of the diocese of Montreal, who trained for the Via Media program in Boston last June, offered it at the Montreal Diocesan College last month. Canon Michael Patterson, diocesan director of evangelism, also offers the course in the diocese of Niagara.

What happens in a course of Via Media (which means "the middle way")? According to Mr. Smart, "People gather for a meal, watch a video that introduces a conversation, and spend time in small groups discussing and posing questions of faith." After each session, participants take home materials, a glossary of terms ("insider lingo"), a theology statement, and specially designed liturgy.

A Via Media course offered in the United States calls it a program that offers people "a safe place to ask 21st century questions." According to the Via Media Web site, www.everyvoice.net/viamedia, it is "appropriate for newcomers to the faith as well as those who have been in the church for many years but never had the opportunity to talk about their questions of faith in a small group. …

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