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Caring for God's Creation: Called to be Stewards
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Eco-Justice Resolutions
from the Episcopal Church

Directive for Dioceses to Formulate at Strategy for Lifelong Christian Formation in the Next Triennium

Final Resolution from the
76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, USA, July 2009

Resolution A083: Directive for Dioceses to Formulate at Strategy for Lifelong Christian Formation in the Next Triennium

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention strongly encourage all dioceses to formulate a strategy for Lifelong Christian Formation in the next triennium; and be it further

Resolved, That such strategies should encompass and be suitable for all persons (e.g. various ages, languages and abilities). These strategies should be responsive to diocesan and societal contexts and accurately depict the current education and formation status. Because formation is not limited to a cognitive experience (classroom), formation should be holistic (encompasses learning, action and reflection); and be it further

Resolved, That the Congregational Life Center design an instrument and system of collection that will document currently available and successful programs, activities and resources. The instrument will pay special attention to resolutions adopted and resources highlighted at the 76th and each successive General Convention. In addition, such an endeavor will seek to gather the aspirations for diocesan future programs/activities concerning Christian formation; and be it further

Resolved, That the information and data collected be forwarded to the SCLEF by January 31, 2011.


Proposer: Standing Commission on Lifelong Christian Education and Formation

Explanation:

Most importantly, formation is so crucial to our life as disciples that we must be more and more intentional about it. This Resolution calls upon dioceses not only to share their wisdom and aspirations, but also mandates that every diocese must have a purposeful plan for Christian Formation that is appropriate to their context.

The importance of this Resolution stems from our work over the past triennium, as well as the work from PEALL. We embarked on a charge that calls us to implement "coordinated policies for children, youth, young adults, adults and seniors for lifelong Christian formation."

As we prepare for a new decade, it is appropriate to survey and coordinate the church's resources. The called for survey will enable greater collaboration between dioceses, seminaries, diocesan schools, The Episcopal Church Center, camps, conference centers and educational programs. In this age of reduced financial resources, it is urgent that we exercise good stewardship and not duplicate our formational efforts. In addition, as The Episcopal Church Center decentralizes and seeks to be more responsive to the whole church, it is necessary to discern the needs and hopes of those involved in formation in all places.

Moreover, the church flourishes when we share our experiences and resources. Such a survey will enable us to do more programs, projects and activities together-more effectively. We can better live out the axiom that 'we should only do apart what we cannot do together.' The final report from PEALL clearly states, "One consequence of this lack of effective networks is that Christian education leaders have developed identical parallel programs and replicated the same trainings, wasting both talent and resources. The need is critical for a commonly networked system with a common commitment to mission, a system that improves access to resources for all congregations. Currently there is a proliferation of resources and local networks, but these are not yet equally distributed nor equally accessible or available or even known about."

The members and congregations of The Episcopal Church are active in mission and outreach in their communities as well as in the wider society and world. Our call to attention to Christian formation recognizes the role of outreach and mission. Rather than viewing formation as related only to education (especially in a formal interpretation), the PEALL report helps us understand that experiences-grounded in mission-are formational for persons of all ages. How can we hold up these experiences-be they on a Habitat build or working in a soup kitchen-as essential to our formation? This survey of diocesan policies, practices and resources will include attention to these formational contexts for persons of all ages and thereby broaden our definition of formation.

Original text available here
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The EpEN is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church. Members come from around the Episcopal Church USA. The activities of the EpEN are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action. 

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last update: 2012-05-07

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