Shaped by Faith

Shaped by Faith

A Collect for Shaped by Faith

GOD OF WISDOM AND LOVE, in whom we find our joy: Help us to listen for your Word and to discern your way forward for our Church. Give us the insight to hold on to what is true, the courage to explore new ideas, and the boldness to create with you. Let us be Shaped by Faith for your mission; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. AMEN.

 

Shaped by Faith invites us to explore, discover, and reshape our Diocese to serve God’s mission with vitality and strength.

 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

—Romans 12:2

 

1-Intensive Work:

Regional groups of parishes will examine their future together and their optimal configuration for health. Projects will explore congregational vitality and values, financial sustainability, God’s call in the neighborhood, and new models for being Church. Seven projects will take place between 2019–2021.

 

2-Stevenson School for Ministry

Opportunities: Online five-week learning opportunities are available for individuals, vestries, or parish teams through a no-cost voucher system.

 

3-Celebrating Our Common Story:

Rooted in God, we will celebrate our heritage, learn from our history, and draw strength for our future.

 

Intensive Work

Shaped by Faith invites congregations to engage in regional groups for a two-year period of intensive work. Congregations of all sizes are encouraged to join in discovering the optimal configuration in their region for carrying out  God’s mission.

 

We invite a team of three (ideally a clergy person, senior warden, and other respected leaders) to represent each congregation and to meet every other month for a total of nine sessions with the members of our Shaped by Faith team.

 

During our first session together, we begin by exploring the landscape and reality of our congregations in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. We review demographics, financial and attendance data, along with leadership trends in our diocese and the wider Episcopal Church.

 

We name the challenges of our current context and recognize God’s call to be reshaped to optimize our vitality and ability to serve Christ in the 21st century.

 

Over the next eight sessions, we equip ourselves with the tools needed to reshape our Church. Tools include:

  • Surveying our communities to discover strengths and challenges, analyze results, and identify trends.
  • Completing a values matrix to focus on the values and priorities of each congregation.
  • Reflecting on Christ’s call to move back into our neighborhoods, seek the places where God is already at work, and identify ways that we can join in that good work.
  • Equipping congregations with an in-depth understanding of their parish financial and capital resources.
  • Teaching congregational development models allowing parishes to view their community through a different lens and vantage point.
  • Learning ways of structuring our congregations outside of the traditional model of “one church = one priest.”
  • Considering possibilities for increasing collaboration and sharing resources, especially with other congregations.
  • Developing a plan for the future to share with the leadership of your congregation.

If you would like to join in this initiative or have questions, please contact The Rev. Canon Chris Streeter, Canon for Mission Development & Innovation cstreeter@diocesecpa.org.

717-236-5959, ext. 1115.

Learning Opportunities

Shaped by Faith webinar learning opportunities are available through The Stevenson School for Ministry. Participants can learn online and/or
face-to-face in small groups. Five-week e–learning opportunities are available at no cost through our Diocesan voucher system.

Stewardship
• Gospel Hospitality
• Changing Congregation’s Money Culture
• Congregational Stewardship:

Best Practices and Strategies Prayer Practices for individuals and for parish life
• Ways to Pray: Spiritual Practices for Parish Life I
• Celtic Spirituality Bible Study
• Sharing the Lectionary
• The Message of Mission

Parish Administration
• Priestly, Pastoral, and Practical Ministry in Congregations
• Pursuing Excellence in Ministry Discernment
• Shaped by Faith
• A Discovery of Gifts for Congregations
• Transforming Life and faith in the Smaller Parish Outreach
• Joining the Jesus Movement
• Ways to Share our Story and Follow Jesus
• Community Listening as Evangelism 101

Courses on the Way of Love and Becoming the Beloved Community
Certificate Programs available in the following areas
• Evangelism
• Worship Leadership
• Lay Spiritual leadership
• Lay Pastoral Care
• Missional Preaching
• Lay Preaching
• Lay Teaching

For more information or to register, please visit: https://diocesecpa.org/shaped-by-faith-courses/

As part of the Shaped By Faith program, individuals and/or parishes may have tuition covered for Shaped By Faith courses. Approximately $5,000 worth of vouchers are available each term and are offered on a first come, first-serve basis. When registering for a course(s), please check the box: I/We would like to use a Shaped By Faith voucher for this course. You will also need to check the appropriate box if you are taking the course as an individual or as a parish (2 or more individuals belonging to the same parish). If you have any questions, please contact clinder@diocesecpa.org.

Celebrating Our Common Story

Every parish has a wealth of stories. When we remember, celebrate, and preserve them, we strengthen our bonds of affection and draw on our usable past for our future
course in faith. As a part of Shaped by Faith, we will hold six diocesan-wide events where we will honor and celebrate the stories of our parish communities:

Pentecost
May 2020: When was the Holy Spirit most present in your parish?

Annual Convention
October 2020: Our Annual Convention is our annual diocesan family reunion. Share with your wider diocesan family the photos and stories of your parish family.

Pentecost
May 2021: When did the Holy Spirit challenge your parish?

Annual Convention
October 2021: We will be creating a diocesan time capsule and will ask you to bring one significant item from your parish to include.
For each of these celebrations, you will be encouraged to, as a parish, gather, share and preserve photos, artifacts and stories. Between each diocesan event,
parishes will be encouraged to hold their own celebrations of their stories. And…stay tuned for some special diocesan projects to honor all our stories.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact: Carolyn Joy Patterson, cpatterson@diocesecpa.org 717-236-5959 ext. 1101 Or, our Diocesan Archivist,
Debbie Robelen, officemailbox@diocesecpa.org, 717-236-5959 ext.1100.

FAQ

What is Shaped by Faith?
Shaped by Faith is an invitation from Bishop Scanlan to the congregations of our Diocese. It is a three-part initiative to create a Diocese best shaped to serve God’s mission in Central Pennsylvania.

Why is this initiative happening now?
Bishop Scanlan’s years of ministry in this Diocese have included visiting our congregations, learning our stories, and listening to our challenges. She has identified the vital need to reshape some of the ways we are currently configured. Together we will explore our present reality, discern our priorities and values, and discover new ways of serving Christ with vitality and strength.

Who can participate in Shaped by Faith?
All congregations are invited to participate and support the work of Shaped by Faith.

How can my congregation get involved?
Shaped by Faith has three components.
1. Intensive Work
2. Stevenson School for
Ministry Opportunities
3. Celebrating Our Common Story
Congregations may participate in one component, or multiple components.

Who is on the Shaped by Faith team?
A team of leaders, lay and ordained, has been assembled to support and administer the three components of Shaped by Faith. Members include:

Intensive Work
The Rt. Rev. Audrey Scanlan – Bishop
Canon Chad Linder – Canon for Finance
The Rev. Canon Dan Morrow – Canon for Congregational Life and Mission
The Rev. Canon Chris Streeter – Canon for Mission Development and Innovation
Amy Swiernik – Support
Latoya Harden – Support

Stevenson School for Ministry Opportunities
The Very Rev. Robyn Szoke-Coolidge – Dean of Stevenson School for Ministry

Celebrating Our Common Story
Carolyn Joy Patterson – Bishop’s Assistant
Debbie Robelen – Diocesan Archivist

For questions, contact The Rev. Canon Chris Streeter (717) 236-5959 ext. 1115, cstreeter@diocesecpa.org

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