Christian Formation at #GC78
The 78th General Convention will soon be upon us. Bishops and Deputies have been busy reading “Blue Book” reports, studying the Triennial Budget, and digesting (and writing) blogs on the various issues to come before The Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City June 25 – July 3, 2015.
There are many issues before our Church. The world is changing. Our Church is changing – some would say it is not, others would say it is changing too slow or too fast. However, the importance of Christian Formation has not changed at all.
Every General Convention raises issues of theological, liturgical, and formational concern. It has been acknowledged (a relatively new phenomena) that Christian Formation is the making of disciples of all ages: children, youth, young adults, adults, and older adults. It happens in a myriad of ways – through education, worship, pastoral care, fellowship, outreach, and service. Christian discipleship (walking in the steps of Jesus) means being his hands, feet, and voice to the world. How are we equipping disciples in the 21st century?
Many resolutions will be studied, discussed, discarded, rewritten, and/or adopted in Salt Lake City. This website, Building the Continuum, was developed in preparation for the 2012 General Convention (#77) in order to share some issues before the Church regarding Christian Formation. It is time to revisit the past as we work toward the future. This site has kept the documentation from 2012 and has added 2015. Many of these resolutions are of similar vein. Is anyone listening?
Those of us who are Christian formation leaders (and members of Forma) continually ask for resources in order to strengthen our ministry in our congregations. These resources are financial, programmatic, and theological. And every General Convention our cry is the same – please support us. Don’t cut us from the budget (on the parish, diocesan, or church-wide level) first (which happens much too often).
Particular issues to follow this time that will affect Christian Formation:
- Grant for Forma in the budget
- Funding the Office of Formation and Vocations (church wide office that supports children, youth, young adult, and older adult ministry)
- Episcopal Youth Event and Young Adult Gatherings (all church wide)
- Safeguarding God’s Children and Safeguarding God’s People materials and training
- Web Resources – online and their communication to the wider church
- Curricular Resources – for the environment, interfaith issues, and more
- Seminary education – its future, delivery, and accessibility
- Provinces and networks
Welcome back, as we continue to Build the Continuum of lifelong Christian formation and education for The Episcopal Church.