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.
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.
Celebrating Our Common Story:
Rooted in God, we will celebrate our heritage, learn from our history, and draw strength for our future.
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, 717-236-5959, ext. 1115.
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. E–learning opportunities are available at no cost through our Diocesan voucher system.
• 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
• 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
• Worship Leadership
• Lay Spiritual leadership
• Lay Pastoral Care
• Missional Preaching
• Lay Preaching
• Lay Teaching
For more information or to register, please visit: /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 email Canon Linder.
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: