“…until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”  (Ephesians 4:13)

We don’t say “education” here.  We say “formation.” Formation is God shaping us into the real human beings we were made to be, and that Jesus Christ came to make possible through his self-giving love, through sacrament, prayer practices, learning, mutual support, and service for the life of the world. In Christ, God became human so that we might finally become truly human and share fully in the life of God.  

In groups that meet regularly, we learn spiritual and prayer practices to encounter each other in love, and to encounter the Spirit of God.  We ponder and explore the Holy Bible as the ancient Word of God that is timelessly alive today.  We go deep in our Tradition, to receive wisdom from holy ancestors who ground and guide us for the life we live today. 

The most important place God’s Holy Spirit forms us to be alive like Christ is in our regular, communal prayer and sacramental worship.  Next, we are formed by our individual practices of Mass, prayer, penitence, and performing the works of mercy.

Children’s Formation: 

We joyfully include children in Christian formation, certainly in the life of Mass, prayer, penitence, and the works of mercy. We also have children’s formation 9-10 am on Sunday mornings. Parishioners mentor our children in the Big Story of the Bible, ground them in prayer and Holy Tradition, and guide them to reflect on how to live as Christians in daily life. We combine the curriculum Weaving God’s Promises, a lectionary-based program from the Episcopal Church, with learning how to “do” the faith in our parish and the world, what we call praxis.

 

Adult Formation: 

The heart of formation for adults at Grace is called catechesis. That’s a deep word that means, roughly, instruction straight from the mouth. It is for the spiritually hungry and the honestly curious. It is a rich and committed form of instruction lasting several rewarding months of discussion, reading, prayer, sharing, and growth. Youth and adults enter catechesis for preparation for the sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation, or for being received in the Episcopal Church. Catechesis usually begins in autumn each year and meets once a week. It culminates in the sacarments of Baptism or Confirmation, and membership in the life of the Church.

 

Adults also meet on Sunday mornings 9-10 am for Adult Forum.  Forum often includes reading the Bible, reflecting on ancient Christian teaching, discussing the latest developments in the world and culture, and reading old and new books together.  While this group includes teaching and lecture at times, it mostly includes generous portions of seminar and discussion for mutual formation. 

 

How would you like to go deeper into the hungers of the mind and heart? Please contact our rector, Fr William Bulson at 920-452-9659.