Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Your diocesan pledge makes it possible

Formation Ministries 

Annual Stewardship Conference
Formation is vital to the life of the church from the very beginning and Formation in Southern Virginia continues to expand to meet the changing needs and challenges of our congregations. Diocesan formation programs are designed in collaboration with liturgists, communication and technical experts, as well as experts in content such as stewardship, to provide a springboard for parishes to continue the work of making disciples.

This past year we were able to produce a video and a study guide for the diocese addressing the sin of racism and that work will continue in 2014 with your support. This venture has touched the lives of a number of our members and our November 2 Service of Repentance will be the highlight of our years work.

Essential Building Dimensions participants
Events such as the CENet speaker series attract clergy and laity, with speakers who address all aspects of formation and the cost is minimal, thanks to your financial support. Bishop's Days and Stewardship conferences are well attended because the cost is low. All Formation events in Southern Virginia are underwritten by the diocesan budget so they are affordable for everyone. In addition, scholarships are available for laity for almost every event. These dollars are bolstered by your diocesan pledge and are being stretched even further by sharing and collaboration among parishes, convocations, and diocesan staff members. The upcoming Liturgical Arts Festival in the spring of 2014, sponsored by Emmanuel, Hampton, is in collaboration with other parishes in Convocation 5 and diocesan Formation ministries. In each event, we strive to model new ways of working together and sharing our resources.

Caroline Black collaborates with other dioceses in the Essential Building Dimensions Professional Leadership initiative, and the Hybrid Faith Formation Initiative with VTS. Both programs have strong participation from parishes in our diocese. EBD, mentioned above, was free to any paid Christian Formation staff in our diocese, again thanks to the financial support of Formation.
The Formation office purchases or provides access to the latest curricula, videos and other resources that are available to all parishes as well as training, consultations and any other assistance with formation implementation. Thank you for your support of the formation work in Southern Virginia.