Christian Formation (Report Presented to Diocesan Council on September 30, 2017)
September 14, 2017
Attending: Heidi Edson, Rob Spainhour, Mark Preece (note taking)
We discussed the relationship of “formation” to “making disciples” or “discipleship”, wondered about changing our name. Were reminded that “formation” is itself still a newish usage in the church, broadening the focus from simply “Sunday School” or “Bible Study”.
We discussed what Council might have to offer the diocese through a committee on Formation. Talked about being a clearinghouse of good ideas, resources, and practices. Talked about looking for ways to highlight material on the Forma web site (https://www.forma.church/).
Proposed having a table at Diocesan Convention 2019, to facilitate a conversation with parishes in the diocese and to raise our visibility as a clearinghouse. Could distribute materials from published curricula, perhaps with contact info for local people who have experience with them, and programs like EFM. Discussed bringing in trainers for diocesan events (this would involve having a budget).
Are there opportunities at the Province 1 level?
Proposed that a first step would be to canvas parish leaders about what they do, what’s worked, and so on. What courses have they done, what materials have they used, what books have been good for discussion groups? This would be an individual chat more than a data collection tool — the point being to refine our notion of what might be valuable to be able to offer. (We could look into an online evaluation tool at some point, for ongoing data collecting.) We agreed to reach out to some other parishes in our three mission districts before the Formation group next meets, then talk about how to proceed with the rest of the diocese.