Building the Continuum

Supporting Formation and Vocation in The Episcopal Church

Archive for the tag “#GC78”

Spread the Word with an Elevator Speech

elevator-speechThe 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church begins next week and there are several resolutions that Forma would like the Church to be aware of that impact Christian Formation.

Forma’s Advocacy Committee researched and wrote position papers (approved by the Forma Board of Directors) on the following resolutions.

If you are a Christian educator, youth minister, Episcopal camp or conference center staff person, or Sunday School teacher these resolutions will affect you in one way or another. They will affect every congregation and ministry in the Church. Yes, this is a radical statement, but how we prioritize the importance of Christian Formation is often shown in where we choose to budget our staff, resources, time, and money.

Each of the above resolutions have Forma’s position papers for reading and downloading in order to share with your bishop/s or deputies. If you don’t know who they are, here is the link to all diocesan deputations. They are packing their suitcases now, why not send them an e-mail with your thoughts and a position paper or two to read on the plane? Get your talking points from Jane!

Jane Gober, a Christian educator in Walla Walla, Washington (Diocese of Olympia) and member of the Advocacy teams shares her thoughts at A Blissful Irreverent in Life and Ministry about some of these resolutions.

  •  Safe Serving A073 & A074. Ever think that training to be a certified mixologist was like taking Safe Guarding God’s Children training? Jane has the experience to talk about both. Here are her talking points, but her essay is well worth the read, and will definitely give you some food (and angst) for thought. Safeguarding Virtual Elevator Speech: Approve the updates to prevention of misconduct Model Policies in A073; Approve the updates to the training materials in A074; Make sure that both the Policies and the Training Materials have input of the people on the ground doing this work; Make sure that they both deal with social media/technology and establishing gracious methods to minister with our LGBTQ friends and colleagues.
  • She’ll give you a virtual elevator speech for why we need an online resource center at the church-wide level (A075). Let the Special BE Special (that’s all of us): Approve the creation and curation of a central digital hub of Christian formation and education resources through DFMS/Episcopal Church Website. This action will serve the questions and needs of the local mission of the church in all dioceses, cease needless and wasteful repetition of identical cataloging, empower and share the best resources for the Episcopal Church’s mission of discipleship.
  • Budget Decimation for Lifelong Christian Formation: The draft Budget offered to the 78th General Convention makes significant cuts to the second mark of ministry TEACH. This area of mission is the life-giving nurture for all the areas of mission. Changes need to be made to appropriate healthy funding for both the DFMS office and FORMA. Approve needed funding for: Youth and Young Adult Events such as EYE, the Lifelong Formation office of DFMS, the FORMA grant from some place in the budget other than the Lifelong Formation Office’s budget line.

Follow Forma on Twitter and Facebook during General Convention to learn what’s going on on the ground in Salt Lake City.

Christian Formation at #GC78

GC%20logo15_colorThe 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)
  • Confirmation
  • 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

You can learn more on Forma’s website, as well as following Forma on its Facebook Page, the Facebook Group and on Twitter in the coming weeks.

Welcome back, as we continue to Build the Continuum of lifelong Christian formation and education for The Episcopal Church.

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