The 2023/2024 Christian Education catalog is here!

The goal of the lay-led Adult Christian Education Program at St. Mark’s is to provide a variety of open-hearted, innovative, experiential, and creative educational opportunities that connect us through our stories and experiences to each other and to the people who came before us.

The 2023-24 program year will mark the first year that our St. Mark’s Sunday School program will be administered under St. Mark’s Youth and Family Ministries (YFM) program rather than under the Christian Ed program. Going forward, our Christian Ed focus will be on classes for adult parishioners building on a long tradition of rich offerings to the parish.  Sunday School information can be found on the St. Mark’s website or by contacting Caleb Nelson Amaker, our Director of Youth and Family Ministries.

Our understanding is that as people of all ages and stages, we are involved at many levels in a search for meaning, relevance, and community. We look to parish members for their invaluable input, their willingness to volunteer, and their amazing support and encouragement throughout the year. Our thanks to all of you!

Our Adult Education program provides a rich range of classes that encourage belonging in our parish and our community, from Baptism classes for parents, to Bible and Religious Studies, Experiential Courses (we explore the larger questions of existence, share our stories and look for connections between life issues and the Christian story), book-centered classes, Buddhist Meditation, Arts at St. Mark’s, and classes that encourage bonding. We are delighted to offer “Pop-Up” classes which allow for new ideas to emerge throughout the year beyond what is planned for in this annual catalog.  Each class holds out the promise of openly engaging one another in our life experiences so that, as we worship together, take and teach classes together, and serve the greater community together, we grow and thrive as a spiritual community.

Our program hopes to spark your interest in spiritual growth and renewed belonging to the St. Mark’s community. Our hope is that each of you says “yes” to a class that meets you where you are on your journey.

If you would like to teach a class and haven’t yet submitted your idea, please send a short blurb to our Co-Directors, Greg Niblett at, and Annabelle Swift at describing your course and including your preferred dates and time for the class as well as the leader/leaders who will guide your course.

Throughout the year, we will continue to provide pop-up classes—classes that are formulated after the publication of the Christian Ed catalog. If you want to design and teach a pop-up class, please submit your ideas to Greg Niblett at  and Annabelle Swift at Once approved for content and timing, these classes will be announced to the parish.

We look forward to a year in which we have a growing sense of belonging as a church and as individuals within a thriving community. We hope our Christian Education classes will allow each of you to stay connected with old friends and discover new friends in our class communities while continuing to grow spiritually.

Greg Niblett and Annabelle Swift
Christian Education Co-Directors

Our Christian Education History

Christian Education at St. Mark’s began in the 1960s when Rector Bill Baxter wanted to bring experiential learning to our church. With Christian Education lay leaders, he provided rich and relevant educational programs for adults, teens, and older children based on the work of Charles Penniman, a mid-20th-century Episcopal theologian who wanted Christianity to assist people in their daily lives. Instead of focusing on Bible stories alone, Penniman took the teachings of scripture and developed a program called Functional Education that would provide people with ways to address the problems of life. Click here for a detailed exploration of Penniman’s ideas, with annotations from the tenth Rector of St. Mark’s, The Rev. James R. Adams.