Two seven year old girls miles, worlds and cultures apart bonded together through mutual delight in The Seed of God booklets brought to Bogata, Colombia by a family from Asheville, NC on a family vacation with a mission purpose in mind. Young souls nurtured in the giving and receiving of gifts. Gifts to be enjoyed and explored together as potentially lasting friendships are formed. Friendships with each other and mutual friendships with the Good Shepherd whose story they read, each in their own language but on the same page. Being “on the same page” is but one step closer to building relationships for understanding that is foundational to world peace.
This is but one story of how these bi-lingual books are being used by the staff at the Episcopal Church Center in their partnership with private funding brings new life and joy to both those who give and those who receive.
Through the generosity of St Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation, Inc. in Salisbury, North Carolina, a Foreign Mission grant was made available to the Episcopal Church Center for the distribution of the English/Spanish edition of The Seed of God books to be used primarily with mission work in the dioceses of Province IX and other foreign mission places where the opportunity arises. The fact that the books are best delivered by hand creates further opportunities for partnerships.
Certainly most of the books are distributed evenly to each of the dioceses by ECC staff, especially as Ruth Ann Collins, Staff Officer from the Office of Life Long Christian Formation visits these dioceses, attends regional gatherings and gives workshops at Christian Formation gatherings. Other books are transported beyond Province IX by a variety of people from local Episcopal churches. This opens up greater possibilities of partnerships as the books become transported by folks traveling with their Companion Diocese, taking family vacations for Spanish Language immersion, or involved with a humanitarian type mission project.
Publishing by the Center for Children and Theology, these charming little booklets (in English and Spanish) are also being used with adults as well as with children. The simple language and beautiful illustrations offers the Gospel in a nutshell as they invite hungry hearts to enter into the Good Shepherd’s love.
If the budget of the Office of Christian Formation and Vocations is removed, how will such partnerships continue and these types of connections be made?
Genelda Woggon is the author of The Seed of God and lives with her husband, a retired priest, in Asheville, North Carolina. She is a trained catechist with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.