What is the ‘way of Jesus,’ you ask? We’re asking too.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the shift in language coming from the Presiding Bishop’s office. Over and over again, he reiterates the idea that we are ‘the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement,’ on ‘the way of Jesus.’

What does that mean, the way of Jesus? What does it look like to practice the way of Jesus? Most of us would have some good answers, but, generally speaking, our vocabulary as a church has erred toward thinking of ourselves as Christians because we believe. Thinking of ourselves as Christians because of our practice is deep in our DNA, but not necessarily in our language or consciousness.IMG_2955

Last Saturday folks from Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Rochester, the Cities, and more gathered in Collegeville to talk about what practices make up the way of Jesus. The School for Formation offered this gathering as our yearly Adult Faith Formation workshop. With some guidance from Lizabeth Bougie, Director of the Resource Center for Churches, and from me, Susan Daughtry, your Missioner for Formation, we asked: What would change in our formation programs if we thought of ourselves as forming people who practice the way of Jesus?

Here are just a few of the comments from participants:IMG_2959

The depth of adult faith formation goes way beyond finding an attractive thing to do for 45 minutes on a Sunday morning. I love the idea of formation being holistic and encompassing everything we do. So good!

I came away with a valuable set of ideas to “move the goal post”, a large number of resource to do so, and a group of clergy committed to discussing this work and our part in it. It can’t be distilled to one thing—I need to digest this to see where I will start.

Three takeaways for you:

  • It’s clear that this is a conversation that wants to be had. Already we’re talking with folks in Northeast Minnesota, Northwest Minnesota, and Minneapolis about taking this show on the road. If you’re interested in being part of such conversations or bringing them to your faith community, contact Susan: formation@episcopalmn.org!
  • One participant wrote Terrific- thank you! I’d like the chance for this to be a series- maybe program year related. Chance to check in, see how things are going, troubleshoot and celebrate small steps. If you’re interested in being part of a network of folks connecting about adult faith formation, reach out to Susan or Sarah Barnett <sarah.b@episcopalmn.org>.
  • Want to dig even further into the Way of Jesus? We’ll be offering a seven-week online course on it, in partnership with CDSP’s CALL program, again this fall, taught by the Rev. Bob Leopold. Stay tuned to find out more.