Because faith formation is important, it is also important to consider the times when it is offered and its availability to all members who might wish to attend. We must contend with a theological and spiritual call that our community worship reflect the true and complete diversity that is the Body of Christ, and we are invited to respond to the need to engage a greater proportion of that Body, here in this Church, in the serious inner work of spiritual formation. As we move forward throughout this year, we will be paying more attention to when things are scheduled and how easily everyone who wishes to attend is able to do so.
It would be naïve of us to think that everyone wants (or is able) to worship or participate in formation opportunities at the same times or together. Nevertheless, it is clear in the Strategic Plan priorities that our congregation has interest in exploring how we can increase access to both of these vital components of our life together while also looking at how we can better reflect our intergenerational diversity. A large number of parish leaders will be meeting together to pray about and create means of assessing and surveying our congregations needs and interests on these very topics. A survey and opportunities for the whole congregation to discuss our findings and ideas will be coming as well. We are calling this process “The Sunday Project”. Stay tuned for more to come, and, as always, please drop Jered a line or stop him on Sundays if you have a question about the Sunday Project or ideas to contribute. Please be praying for this process too.
There are a number of excellent articles online that reveal more about why this process is important and how it can benefit a congregation to consider these things. These include:
- Worship and Education for All
- Sticky Faith
- The Growing Generational Divide
- What Struggling Congregations Need to Renew Their Churches
- Ecumenical Study of Lifelong Faith Formation
- When Church Is a Choice
- 5 Reasons Millennials Stay Connected to Church
- Building Spiritual Capital
- Want millennials back in the pews? Stop trying to make church ‘cool.’
- Vital Worship, Healthy Congregations
- When Did ‘Just Showing Up’ Become Not Enough?
- Pastor as Teacher, Congregation as Learning Community
- Why Would Laypeople Want Theological Education, Anyway?
- How Your Congregation Learns
- What Is Your Purpose?
- Why Do We Experience Awe?