It seems, Dear Reader, that most of my attention in the last few days has been focused on Christian Formation. This is decidedly not a bad thing. Truth be told, a good bit of my attention is always focused on Christian Formation; and, I boldly say, so should yours.
“Oh, that’s just great, Father,” Dear Reader exclaims, “but what exactly is this Christian Formation of which you speak?”
Simply put, Christian Formation is the life-long exercise to conform our will to that of Our Heavenly Father. Usually, we begin our Christian walk at a very early age learning about God, Jesus, and the Church from our parents and family. As we grow, we add to that our experiences in Church and in Sunday School, a process that continues for the better part of our young lives. That is, for many people, the epitome of Christian Formation.
It goes much further than that, however. Serving as an acolyte on Sunday mornings is an important part of one’s Formation as a follower of Christ. So is serving as a Chalice Bearer or singing in the Choir or serving as an usher or lector. All of these things give us an opportunity to serve God and each other and exercise our ministries in His Church. Likewise, serving on Vestry or on any of the many committees of the church allow us opportunities to learn and grow in His Will.
Just because we are older, Dear Reader, does not mean that we can ever stop learning, and that is why I feel it is so important to offer different ways to learn and live the Faith that has been delivered to us from Christ. On Wednesday nights, we study different aspects of our Faith, spirituality, and our traditional Anglican heritage. Starting soon we will be offering a comprehensive Confirmation Course that will be open to everyone in the parish, not just those seeking the Sacrament of Confirmation. This class will cover the basics of our Faith, including the Sacraments, the Creeds, the Ten Commandments, prayer, spirituality and the doctrine and history of the Anglican Faith.
Everything we do, the study, the service, the prayer, and the worship, should serve to bring our human wills into closer proximity to the Divine Will of He who has created all things and, in turn, made all things new. By knowing God and then by showing God to our neighbors and to the world, we bring ourselves into a closer and closer relationship with Him. That is what He wants.
Over the coming months there will be more and more opportunities for us to learn, worship and grow together into the people that God wants us to be. Remember, that we are constantly being formed. What we must decide, each and every day, is what will do the forming: the world or the Will of God.