Sarah Kates, chair of the diocesan Christian Formation Department, suggested to Council that there are many ways to do Christian formation and that “Church is not only happening in a building, it is happening all over the place whether or not we are there – at Mission Road Foundation in San Antonio, at Camp Capers, in homes of hungry families, in hospitals and during lunch hour in high school.”
She spoke of work being done at St. David’s Church and School through a program called “Snack Pak 4-Kids” in which volunteers gather food pack to send home with hungry children for weekends and school breaks.
Kates said that to be better followers of Jesus we must eat his word: learn about his life and his teachings and how it all fits together in God’s big story. “We need to walk alongside one another sharing stories and experiences about how the gospel is lived out.”
Recently the Christian Formation Department contacted 25 churches in the diocese to learn about the strengths and challenges of their Christian formation programs. They learned such things as doing a 30-minute Christian formation time with breakfast right before Eucharist on Sunday, doing a week-long VBS for ‘tweens in the community, distributing Ash Wednesday ashes in the drop-off line at school.
The Christian Formation Department is gathering these and other ideas and will post them on the diocesan website in the near future. Churches will be able to search through the information, contact sister churches, and adapt it for their own communities.
Kates encouraged churches to go find new opportunities and new places to spread the gospel, and not to be hampered by “what we have always done.”
Hear the full audio, here: