Christian Formation Schedule


Jeannie Babb Named Director of Christian Formation

     Otey has been blessed to welcome Jeannie Babb into this quarter-time position.  Jeannie brings strong experience to this work as volunteer teacher, organizer of formation events, and member of the Christian Formation Committee.  She holds the degrees Master of Arts and the Master of Sacred Theology from the School of Theology, and currently serves as Registrar for the Godly Play Foundation.  Beyond these formal qualifications, Jeannie has excellent rapport with children along with outstanding communication and organizational skills.  She has hit the ground running and is already making a positive difference.  Of course parish staff exist not to replace the work of Christian volunteers but to empower it.  The best way to support Jeannie and the ministry of Christian Formation at Otey is prayerfully to consider giving of your time when opportunities present themselves.




From Jeannie Babb


Happy Birthday to the God’s Church

           When our school-year programs finish in the red of Pentecost Sunday, we are not left owing. Rather, we celebrate our Church birthday by thanking God for our gifts, or charisms. Here are a few gifts, and gifted parishioners, for which we are thankful:

           Godly Play explored the problem of the deep well, where the expected thought of reaching the water with rope and bucket, was expanded by the child who decided one could use the rope to climb into the well and drink directly.  The philosophy of Godly Play recognizes the innate connection between child and the child’s Creator, honoring each student and teacher as both gift and giver. Regular Godly play teachers this year are Anna Thomas, Sara Nally, Regan Schutz, Jeannie Babb, Rebecca Van De Van, Jim Goodman, Barbara Prunty, are Teresa Phares.

Fire on the Mountain has also been working to strengthen the gift of intergenerational connections. A large-scale study by the Barna group shows that a teen’s relationships with adult parishioners are the number one factor determining whether they remain committed to the church. Youth director Neil Patterson sought to increase the investment of adult parishioners in Otey young people by inviting a team of adults to rotate teaching. Larry Barker, Marilyn Phelps, Amy Patterson, and Kathy Solomon participated. Other adults chaperoned mission trips, including Lesley Thomas, Kevin Hiers, Becky Spurlock, Shelley Cammack, Lisa Hartman, and Phoebe Kajubi. Neil says Peter Trenchi has served faithfully as a volunteer at nearly every Fire on the Mountain event.

The Adult Forum challenged us with weekly lessons on diverse topics spanning several disciplines, but always circling back to the relevance of our own faith.  This lecture series, organized by Brown Patterson, Jennifer Michael and Virginia Craighill, drew speakers from both clerical and academic connections, and fostered rich parish dialogue. Every the third Sunday, the Rector’s Forum offers a platform to assimilate this new knowledge into our shared relationships, to grow in our connection with our rector, and better understand our mission.

In contrast to the Adult Forum topics and speakers, the Lectionary Class has served as a perennial constant no matter the occasion or season. A small group organized by Pete Trenchi gathers in a circle for coffee and conversation centered around the Gospel lesson appointed for the day. People bring their own thoughts, study, and experience for examination in light of the text, and honor the gift of shared connection week to week.

In addition to all these offerings, Carol Sampson and Shelley Cammack launched a new Women’s Spirituality Group. After hearing Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber speak in Chattanooga and encountering Bolz-Weber’s book Pastrix; The Cranky Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint, they were inspired to organize the group to deepen friendships and faith by reading inspiring spiritual reflections together. The group meets in Thurmond Library from 3:30-5:00 on Sundays, with May 1 as the final meeting before summer break.


Summer Gifts

What better way to kick off an outside-the-walls summer experience than to launch the season with a Pentecost celebration. In both May 15 services, we will honor the teachers and organizers who have provided us with these rich formation experiences. Following the second service, we will head to St. James Episcopal Church in Midway for cookout with mountain music, sports, and games!

During the summer months, the nursery will continue to provide care for children up to 3 years of age during Sunday services.  Sheila Layne, Ginger Poe, Trinity Sweeton and Stephanie Faxon are ready to welcome the smallest Otey parishioners for playtime in the nursery while parents worship and fellowship. Feel free to enjoy some time on the playground with your older children between services, or join the Lectionary Class while your tot takes a little break. After all, training parents is hard work!

Vacation Bible School is going to be very different this year! To join the planning effort, please email Jeannie Babb at

Jeannie Babb