Building the Continuum

Supporting Formation and Vocation in The Episcopal Church

Implications to Formation if Funding Goes Away

The Episcopal Church Proposed Budget for 2013-2015 has proposed a 90% cut to the Formation and Vocation Ministries Team which includes the offices for Youth, Young Adults, Campus Ministry, and Lifelong Christian Formation, including Children’s Ministries.  To help the Church understand the real implications of what this budget means, we have looked through the Formation and Vocation Reports to Executive Council over the last 2.5 years, and pulled together the lists below.  While it does not represent each minute detail, it does represent the immense and broad work that these offices do each triennium.  We invite you to take some time to look closely at each bullet point and consider if that piece of the budget goes away, what will it mean for the children, youth, campus ministries, and young adults throughout the church.

Formation and Vocation Office: General

  • Partnering and Collaborating with Forma (formerly NAECED)
  • General Convention Youth, Young Adult, and Children’s programming and presence
  • Formation and Vocation Newsletters and resources
  • Building the Continuum Summit work with Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers
  • Collaboration on resources such as the work done with Doctrine of Discovery
  • Joint Network meetings to discuss and collaborate with one another across the age ranges: Children, Youth, Young Adults, Adults and Older Adult ministries
  • Social Media presence
  • Blogs and Web presence
  • Ecumenical Partnerships
  • Newsletters and Communication from the Denominational Staff about formation, resources, events, people, etc.
  • Support and Networking with Diocese and Provinces
  • Episcopal Generations initiative to bridge the gaps to work toward evangelism and mission as the Body of Christ

Youth

  • Ministry on behalf of young people and the Episcopal Church grounded in the Five Marks of Mission in order to keep moving forward with intentionality in mission through outreach and evangelism.
  • Building relationships, connecting and resourcing with those responsible for Youth Ministry and Lifelong Christian Formation and Vocation
  • Meeting with Youth Ministry networks at the Provincial and Diocesan levels, and with affiliated organizations such as Forma (formerly the National Association for Episcopal Christian Education Directors – NAECED) and our seminaries working on continuing education for Lifelong Christian Formation volunteers and professionals
  • Episcopal Youth Event
    • mentoring leadership with youth on EYE Mission Planning Team
    • giving church wide exposure to youth who may not have experienced richness of our diversity in their local faith community context
    • developing follow-up resources from keynotes and workshops
    • establishing personal connections for future mission and ministry
    • Doing something big together to make an impact in the church and in the world (gifts to ERD, Haiti, UTO & Habitat for Humanity)

  •  General Convention Official Youth Presence: Mentoring young leaders for activism in the councils of the church, sharing the story of General Convention in the youth community
  • Collaboration with other areas of Mission within DFMS teams to develop partnerships and create young leaders for putting faith in action
  • Coordination and collaboration with “Safeguarding God’s People” program and with Church Pension Group and the Nathan Network
  • Partnerships with Church Publishing to create resources for church wide use
  • Collaboration and Partnership with Youth Worker Summit (NCCC)
  • Collaboration and Partnership with d365.org (ecumenical partnership)
  • Youth Ministry Network
  • Provincial Youth Ministries support
  • Collaboration with Episcopal Relief and Development in curriculum design and mission initiatives

Lifelong Formation (Primarily focusing on Children and Adult Ministries)

  • Development of programming and coordinated efforts for all ages
  • Coordination and collaboration with “Safeguarding God’s People” program
  • Collaborative work with the Office of Federal Chaplaincies (Armed services) in creating a program to connect those who are deployed with their children and families
  • Collaborative work with the Office of Asian American and Hispanic ministries, including the Alternative Leadership & Theological Training consultation, New Communities gathering,
  • Supporting Christian educators in Province IX in writing curriculum for their own context and culture
  • Collaborative work with the Office of Black Ministries Office in creating a resource, “School to Prison Pipeline”
  • Collaborative work with Indigenous Ministries with the Spirit of the Circle Curriculum
  • Working on collaboration with the Domestic Poverty initiative
  • Collaboration and partnering with the Episcopal Council of Camp and Conference Centers and has created two new Faith Formation training programs for Program Directors and Camp Counselors.
  • Staff liaison to the Standing Commission on Lifelong Christian Formation and Education
  • Updates for Lesson Plans that Work
  • Participation in National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy
  • Older Adult Ministries Resources and team work
  • Advocacy for Children
  • Older Adult Ministries Task Force
  • Partnership with the Lifelong Council on Christian Formation (Provincial network representatives)
  • Implementation and resources for the Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation

Young Adult and Campus Ministries

  • Collaboration with the Mission Personnel Office in selecting, training and supporting young adults for participation as Young Adult Service Corps missionaries. Collaborate to develop sites and Anglican Communion partnerships.
  • Consulting with Trinity Grants and the Episcopal Service Corps to support the development of new domestic internship sites for young adults across the U.S.
  • Collaboration with young adults from across the Episcopal Church to create seasonal guides (Advent and Lent) for students and young adults, especially those in the military.
  • Episcopal Young Adult Delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women
  • Young Adult Festival
  • Committee on Young Adult Ministry
  • Episcopal Leadership Institute for Young Adults – Issue/Network specific leadership development and vocational discernment immersion experiences
  • Collaboration with ethnic ministries and Coordination of Why Serve: Vocational Discernment Conference for Young Adults of Color
  • Eco-Justice Immersion Experience – a collaboration with the Office of Economic and Environmental Affairs
  • Consultation and Support for Young Adult Led Initiatives such as Vocare, Episcopal Evangelism Network, Episcopal App And Young Adult Web Magazine
  • Diocesan Coordinators of Young Adult Ministry gathering
  • Leadership in Anglican Youth Network
  • Words Matter expansive language project collaboration (NCCC)
  • Packaging and distribution of new resources – Discernment for Young Adult Ministry, Talking Points, Starting a Young Adult Ministry, Board Development and Fundraising for campus ministry
  • Grants for new campus ministry start-ups as well as commitment to longer-term support of these missions once the initial funding is ended.
  • Annual Chaplains of Campus Ministries Conference
  • Coordination and Convening of Provincial Coordinators for Campus Ministry
  • Student Leadership Team
  • Church wide student gathering
  • Funding for Provincial gatherings for students and chaplains

The Episcopal Church’s Strategic Plan illuminated “The Church needs to see campus ministry and young adult ministry as the most important evangelism and mission area there is. It is where our culture is the most dynamic, most committed, most culturally diverse.” It is critical that this focus be incorporated into all areas of the Church’s ministry as it seeks to participate in God’s mission in the world.

This list of activities was compiled by Shannon Ferguson Kelly and Sharon Ely Pearson by researching Executive Council minutes and  ENS news reports. 

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4 thoughts on “Implications to Formation if Funding Goes Away

  1. Thanks to Sharon and Shannon for the research they did for this article. It really helped me envision the far reaches of Faith Formation in the Episcopal Church. What a tragic loss if these programs, events, missions and instructive materials are removed from the resources for the larger church. Dontie Fuller, Coordinator of Ministries with and for Youth, Diocese of Indianapolis

  2. Lisa Brown on said:

    Based on the comprehensive list Sharon and Shannon assembled (thank you!), I’m convinced that if we cut the budget as proposed, we’d might as well close the doors now. It will only be a matter of time. It’s not my nature to be pessimistic, but the loss would be catestrophic.

  3. Kim Robey on said:

    Impressive and you could come up with a similar list for any one of the program areas at TEC. The issue is DON’T CUT YOUR STAFF.

  4. Pingback: Lifelong Formation: Talking Points « Building the Continuum

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