The Norman Transcript

Religion

November 1, 2013

Educational ministries at St. Stephen’s gets new director

NORMAN — As the new director of educational ministries at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in Norman, Erin Floyd began her work already appreciating the church’s approach to Christian education.

That includes the belief that there is plenty of room for questions and doubt in a person’s faith journey, the exploration is never-ending and mystery can be embraced instead of literal interpretation.

So when Floyd was appointed to the position earlier this year, it was like coming home.

“I love the vitality of this place,” Floyd said. “Education is always taking place here, in ways that are implicit and explicit. The benefit of this church is that we don’t offer Christian education that is full of answers, but we allow people to explore questions and the mystery of who we are as people of faith.”

Floyd previously served St. Stephens as youth director and director of children’s ministries. She earned her undergraduate degree in religious education from Oklahoma City University, one of a handful of United Methodist-related universities with a specialization in Christian education, and she is working toward her master’s degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.

While she is still in the candidacy process to be ordained as a deacon in the United Methodist Church, she has felt drawn toward working in Christian education.

“I’m here to facilitate conversations in Christian education — to help people be in relationship with one another and to grow. And in the process, I grow as much as they do,” she said.

Floyd oversees a multitude of Christian education opportunities at St. Stephen’s. The adult education model — called Seminary for Life for its commitment to life-long learning — offers classes throughout the week, as well as special events.

The educational offerings strive to reflect one or more of four themes: “Claiming the Story — The Bible,” “Thinking Theologically — Christian Life and Faith,” “Nurturing Spirituality — Everyday Sacredness” and “Doing Justice — Mission and Justice Ministry.”

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