Here’s my latest scoop of resources, ideas, etc from cyberspace, including a few things of my own. Click here.
Yesterday I led a workshop on preparing young people and adults for baptism and confirmation. Here’s a list of resources that may be helpful. It is important to say that learners vary considerably, from those who have no Christian background to those who have grown up in the church, from teenagers to older adults. You need to find resources that work for your setting.
Also, stay tuned for an announcement about the forthcoming “We are the Uniting Church: Our Faith” series of six vidoes plus discussion guide.
Belonging Kit by Cheryl Lawrie (editor)
Uniting Church Press, 1998
Available from Mediacom
This is a modular approach featuring twelve sessions and a flexible range of teaching a learning options – group discussion sessions, mentor sessions, teaching notes, action learning activities, Bible studies and journaling. The themes combine exploration of belief with exploring discipleship.
The kit may be photocopied for local use (ie. you only need to purchase one copy). Includes a double CD of music and stories.
Session titles: Belonging to God; Belonging to God’s People; Belonging to God’s World; Believing in God; Believing in Jesus Christ; Believing the Good News; Growing in Worship; Growing in the Spirit; Growing with Scripture; Sharing Our Gifts; Sharing Our Faith; Sharing Our World.Continue Reading
I’ve been visiting churches across our Presbytery, meeting the ministers and attending worship services. In my conversation with ministers, I have tried to ask “Apart from Sunday worship, what happens to help people grow in faith and discipleship?” Their responses have been varied and interesting. I’m learning a lot about the rich diversity of our congregations.
I’m going to continue blogging about ways to think about how we envision, plan for and resource lifelong faith development. Here is one way, based on the theological work of Geoffrey Wainwright, my systematic theology teacher at Duke University. In his landmark book Doxology, Wainwright talks about the dynamic relationship between Christian worship, Christian theology and Christian living.
According to Wainwright, worship, doctrine and life exist in a dynamic relationship with one another. His systematic theology gives both biblical and historical examples of how each of these have influenced each other across time and contexts. Liturgy, theology and ethics are inter-related.
Worship and Belief
Our experience of worship shapes our Christian beliefs
Our Christian beliefs shape our worship
Belief and Living
Our Christian beliefs shape our everyday lives
Our everyday experiences shape our Christian beliefs
Worship and Living
Our experience of worship shapes our everday lives
Our everyday lives shape our worship
– how did the charismatic movement influence Christian worship?
– why did liberation theology arise in Latin America?
– how do beliefs about Creation shape our attitudes to the environment?
– how is the belief in the Trinity reflected in our worship?
– what happens in worship to gather up our daily concerns with God?
– when has the experience of worship significantly changed how you live?
These associations can be seen as having liturgical and theological dimensions, but also as having formational and educational dimensions. Our growth in faith and discipleship involves experience, exploration and integration of these three areas of being Christian. So, people’s learning in faith involves making conscious (and maybe also unconscious) connections between these three.
How and where are people helped to explore these connections outside of Sunday worship – individually, in small groups, with mentors, via print or media resources, opportunities for prayer and reflection, through spiritual disciplines?
Worship, beliefs and living come together in Christian faith practices, or practices of discipleship
- Faith practices are expressions of our faith in daily living
- Faith practices are the embodiment of out Christian beliefs and convictions
- Faith practices express our daily worship of our Creator
So a focus on discipleship practices in the life of a Christian community – whether Bible study, generosity, prayer, seeking justice, hospitality or whatever – is an invitation to explore how worship, belief and life intersect in ways which embody our participation in the ongoing mission of Jesus Christ in the world. Formation and education in Christian faith in the context of a worshipping community involve intentional participation in learning through Christian practices as well as learning Christian beliefs. Both the being and the doing of discipleship are central to learning in the community of faith.
Photo: Springvale Uniting Church worship led by Rev Paul Dau
Here’s the latest roundup of stuff that I’ve found around the WWW this month – ideas, resources, events, etc for ministry and mission.
Last night at Port Phillip East Presbytery we launched our Mission Pilot Process, part of a significant cultural change process within the presbytery called “Cultivating our Future”. This has been facilitated by Phil McCredden from Ecclesia Leadership whom you’ll see in this video.
From the brochure:
The Mission Cultivation Process is a twelve-month process for congregations to learn about new ways of being in mission through action learning – taking on a new initiative and learning from the experience.
The Port Phillip East Presbytery Cultivating a New Future Process includes a strategic priority to develop a small number of Congregational Mission Pilots in 2019 and 2020. This involves a process of missional cultural change designed to assist congregations to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the post-Christendom context in Australia.
The Presbytery is seeking to identify three congregations for this first round of mission pilots, with subsequent rounds from mid-2020. Congregations are invited to submit expressions of interest to participate in the project by 31 August, 2019.
Here’s the A4 version of the supporting documents .
The brochure will be available via our presbytery website in the next couple of days.
We’ll be sharing our learnings both within and beyond the presbytery as we proceed. I’m very excited about this venture, both personally and for our presbytery.