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Faith Formation Working Group

Report to Convention 2021

The Faith Formation Working Group is dedicated to assisting congregations in the lifelong process of learning and growing in the Christian faith. The Working Group covers the lifelong journey of faith, dividing the work with Amy Cook focusing on adults and Caren Miles focusing on everyone under the age of 18.  The newest member of the group is Travis Stevens, Vocations Officer for the diocese, who oversees and shepherds those in the ordination process. Together, the Faith Formation Working Group consults, provides and curates resources, designs and leads training, and supports congregations and institutions of the diocese in achieving their faith formation goals.

 

In 2021, the Faith Formation Working Group collaborated with congregational leaders to support ongoing formation work in churches as well as offer training opportunities for skill-building to meet changing demands. We offered:

  • Ongoing online workshops and meetings on various topics of interest to both clergy and lay

  • Colleague support and learning opportunities for both professionals and volunteers involved in faith formation ministries in churches, including access to the FORMA conference, ongoing youth minister meetings, and resource curation on www.faithInformed.org

  • Whole & Healthy Church Training: updating policies to meet current realities, continuing training opportunities online, and actively participating with the Episcopal Church in updating policy, training, and accessibility

  • Day of Discernment moved online. With input and direction from Travis Stevens, this event as well as all the online discernment materials continue to be revised and deepened

 

We also offered support for diocesan groups and priorities:

  • Supporting three college chaplaincies (UC Berkeley, SF State, and Stanford) revisioning their ministries in different ways during pandemic

  • Support for the School for Deacons during their work of re-imagining diaconal formation in the midst of cultural and educational change

  • Support for antiracism and racial reconciliation training for adults and youth

 

In 2022, the Faith Formation Working Group will continue to support congregation formation ministries, young adult and college chaplaincy ministries, and ministries for youth and children while focusing on the spiritual support and wellness of formation leaders. We plan for:

  • Ongoing youth ministry collaboration across congregations including possible in-person meet-ups and a summer pilgrimage

  • Expanding offerings across diocese for Racial Reconciliation and learning that leads to action

  • Creating new web content, resource curation, and access to new TEC programs and trainings

  • Expanding diocesan participation in online Whole and Healthy Church training

  • Expanding discernment resources to support discernment for all, for those in the process, and expanding access and materials for ordained leadership for all the breadth of diocesan diversity

 

Amy Cook, Faith Formation Working Group Head 

Caren Miles, Associate for Faith Formation

Travis Stevens, Vocations Officer, Stanford University Chaplain