Ten students met in September for the inaugural gathering of the Simeon Fellowship cohort of Columbia, SC. That first meeting took the form of a retreat held in Black Mountain over two days and two nights. After sharing meals, small groups, and guided large groups together, the eight men and two women left knowing each other better and excited about the next two years.
Simeon Fellowship is a two-year course aimed at providing new and upcoming clergy with pastoral formation which is often neglected in seminary training. Canon Art Going pioneered the class and set its curriculum and reading list; ours is the first group to be shepherded by another priest. Fr. Chip Edgar of Church of the Apostles serves as overseer, while Bishop David Bryan offers additional support and guidance.
Seminarians usually graduate with biblical and theological sophistication, but often lack spiritual and practical formation. The Simeon Fellowship—Columbia equips the next generation of church leaders in the context of local Gospel-centered churches. Participants mature within a covenant learning community and finish with a lifetime commitment to ongoing professional and personal growth.
The group gathers monthly ten times a year over two years. Five of those gatherings take the form of retreats, while the remaining meetings consist of day-long sessions that begin with Morning Prayer. We then engage in learning about that month’s topic as directed by a guest speaker. Our preparation includes having read an assigned book on subjects that have thus far included liturgy, preaching, culture, and gender & sexuality. We anticipate our remaining time together to be rich as we continue to explore what it means to “…tend the flock of God” that is in our charge. (1 Pet. 5:2)