Check our Christian Formation Booklet for current offerings by clicking here.
You may have noticed a new word being used to describe our parish programming for our children, youth, and adults. Often in the Diocese and beyond we hear the words Christian Formation, yet the words used here at St. Paul’s have been Christian Education.
Some have asked about the difference—what Formation, used in this way, is. Interestingly, the question parallels a movement into its use here at St. Paul’s.
A brief answer comes from the Baptismal Covenant we say as a parish each time a child is baptized. We promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons. We believe that we are created with Christ within us.
As we go through life we make it a goal to let Christ shine more and more fully through us. Formation guides us in discovering our role as Christians in a way that impacts our values, our decision making—our life.
In our ministry with children, youth, and adults—all the parishioners of St. Paul’s—we are forming something that is already there. For example, as we talk with children we discover that even the youngest have a strong sense of the Holy. We help them develop as Christians, we form them. This reflects the journey of our lives as Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ who seek to use his life as a model for our own.
Forming rather than educating Christians reflects movement away from teaching facts or approaches to life. We are about an experience of formation to enable us to live a Christian life in the midst of our quickly changing world. We don’t graduate, we are never done growing into Christ. Our lives as Christians are the goal and the journey. We seek to form Christians of all ages whose faith is flexible enough to offer strength, hope and meaning in their life-long journey of faith in our culture and our times.