Practice Discipleship Initiative
The Practice Discipleship Initiative (PD-2 for short) is a joint effort by the ELCA Youth Ministry Network (www.ELCAYMNET.org), the ELCA, First Third at Luther Seminary and the North Carolina Synod, to bring the church into the 21st century. The focus in 2013 is to explore the realities of faith formation in this missional age: i.e. to help church leaders understand the cultural shifts we are experiencing from both theoretical and theological perspectives. The initiative also suggests some practical ways congregations might engage their context in new ways. You can find out more at www.practicediscipleship.org.
PD-2 consists of 7 sessions designed to encourage dialog, reflection and exploration. All webinars are at 4:PM Eastern Time. The titles and dates are:
Overview Faith Formation in a Missional Age developed by Terri Elton – Luther Seminary January 13
Theology Session #1 “When Necessary Use Words” ? Verbum Dei Theology for Right Now developed by Hans Wiersma – Augsburg College January 20
Theoretical Session #1 Theories of Culture: A New Age for Theology, Ministry and Faith Formation developed by Nathan Frambach – Wartburg Seminary February 3
Theology Session #2 Walking Together in Solidarity: A Theology of Accompaniment developed by Rozella White of the Emory Center for Pastoral Services February 17
Theological Session #2 In-cultur-ating the Gospel developed by Colleen Windham-Hughes – California Lutheran University March 3
Practical Session #1 Dog Eating Chicken: Translating Faith developed by Heather Hansen – Texas Lutheran University March 17
Practical Session #2 Going Public developed by Jeremy Myers – Augsburg College April 7
These were all presentations at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza in January. Webinars and power points are or will be available on the Practice Discipleship website. Practice Discipleship Coaches have been designated in 63 (of 65) synods to facilitate presentations locally. And the best part, all of these resources are free!
We are seeking venues to present the sessions locally in the Metropolitan New York Synod. If you would like a presentation in your location, please contact deacon Charlie Germain. A schedule will be posted as sessions become available.
Practice Discipleship: Overview of Sessions Faith Formation in a Missional Age
The world is changing rapidly. 1 out of every 5 adults in the USA claims to have no religious affiliation. Our task of faith formation just got more difficult. The purpose of this year’s Practice Discipleship Project is to explore the realities of faith formation in this missional age. These sessions will help you understand the cultural shifts we are witnessing both theoretically and theologically. They will also introduce you to some practical ways in which you and your congregation can begin to engage your context in new ways. You will encounter a variety of styles in this year’s lesson plans. You will need to spend time preparing each lesson – more time will be needed on some more than others. We encourage you to tweak any and all lessons to make them work for you. Please feel free to contact the authors if you have any questions.
Faith Formation In a Missional Age
Terri Elton | Luther Seminary | firstname.lastname@example.org
The world is changing rapidly. 1 out of every 5 adults in the USA claims to have no religious affiliation. Our task of faith formation just got more difficult. The purpose of this year’s Practice Discipleship Project is to explore the realities of faith formation in this missional age. This session will be an open discussion on the challenges we all face when doing ministry in this era. What are the challenges we are faced with? What is the opportunity? What are your fears and anxieties? What are your joys? We will seek the collective wisdom of the group on ways we can faithfully move forward and continue to support one another in our work.
Theology Session #1
“When Necessary Use Words”? Verbum Dei Theology for Right Now
Hans Wiersma | Augsburg College | email@example.com
By now, you’ve likely been admonished by some t-shirt, poster, or bumper sticker to “preach the gospel and, if necessary, use words.” The slogan (inaccurately attributed to St. Francis) appears to turn the Theology of the Word on its ear. On the other hand, the slogan resonates in a culture where explicitly religious speech is met with suspicion or even outright hostility. Still, if “faith comes through hearing” and “God’s Word does what it says,” then should we not also be speaking up for the spoken, preached Word? Along with Scripture, we’ll look at past and present resources from Lutheran and other traditions to guide our investigation.
Theology Session #2
Walking Together in Solidarity: A Theology of Accompaniment
Rozella White | Emory Center for Pastoral Services | firstname.lastname@example.org
The ministry of accompaniment is the sacred act of being in authentic relationship with others. The purpose of this ministry is to allow individuals, groups and organizations to grow in love and compassion towards each other. Accompaniment calls congregations to listen deeply to their contexts in order to discern how best to walk alongside the community. This accompaniment provides a reciprocal relationship of giving and serving that builds the bond between the community and the congregation. This way of being in relationship calls the congregation to take the needs and the wisdom of its context seriously.
Theoretical Session #1
Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology, Ministry, and Faith Formation
Nathan Frambach | Wartburg Seminary | email@example.com
Culture: a familiar word that rolls off the tongue rather easily, perhaps casually, as though it needs no explication. How do we move beyond popular definitions to a deeper understanding of the notion of culture for today? Three assertions:
• The Christian gospel and culture(s) cannot be separated;
• We live within a pluriverse of cultures;
• Congregations are one of those cultures.
This workshop will help participants better understand the reality of culture(s) today for the sake of faithful, truthful, and effective ministry in a missional age.
Theoretical Session #2
In-cultur-ating the gospel
Colleen Windham-Hughes | California Lutheran University | firstname.lastname@example.org
The gospel is the good news for all people, in all places, at all times. And yet the gospel must be translated anew for each generation, made fresh for each culture. What is culture anyway? Learn how cultural intelligence helps to equip us for the work of inculturating the gospel for God’s people in our places and times.
Practical Session #1
Dog Eating Chicken: Translating Faith
Heather Hamen, Texas Lutheran University
Heather Hansen | Texas Lutheran University | email@example.com
What’s that you say? A dog eating chicken? Or did you mean a dog-eating chicken? It’s funny how even when we speak the same language, we have to learn to communicate in a way that makes sense to the people we are talking to. In a missional age with youth, come explore what it means to speak their language and share with them a Gospel message that makes sense. In this workshop, participants will explore the ways they might take an old language of faith and translate it into a youth-friendly way of sharing the story. Participants will also spend some time learning how to teach youth to share their own stories of faith in a way that speaks to their peers.
Practical Session #2
Jeremy Myers, Augsburg College
Jeremy Myers | Augsburg College | firstname.lastname@example.org
So, how can my church engage our community in new and meaningful ways? This session will build off all the previous theological and theoretical sessions and offer a way forward with a handful of practices and exercises to empower your congregation to express its faith in public ways with your youth. We’ve figured out the service project (sort of) but now let’s start talking innovatively and creatively about community asset mapping, public art, and public rituals