Announcing the Bishop's Deputy for Christian Formation
The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas is pleased to announce the appointment of Suzanna Green as Bishop’s Deputy for Christian Formation. The Bishop’s Deputy for Christian Formation is responsible for encouraging and providing support for strong Christian formation for all ages among all diocesan churches and will create a diocesan-wide support system for the churches, in collaboration with the Rt. Rev. David Reed, Bishop of West Texas, and the Christian Formation Committee.
Suzanna Green has worked in the area of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries for the past 10 years in Presbyterian, Methodist, and Episcopal settings, most recently serving as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Family Studies from Baylor University and a Master’s of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Suzanna is an active member of several diocesan committees, including the Diocesan Discernment Committee, and is the Christian Formation Committee Chair. She has served on summer staff at both Camp Capers and Mustang Island Family Camp and as the Teacher for various Camp Capers Summer Camp sessions since 2015.
Suzanna is excited to expand her ministry throughout the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas and has compiled a list of resources below for congregations considering ways to provide Christian Formation opportunities in light of potential pandemic accommodations.
Congregations and individuals may contact Suzanna Green, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greetings & Resources from the Christian Formation Committee
Earlier this year, the Christian Formation Committee hosted a series of Listening Sessions where folks involved in formation across the diocese shared ideas, questions, struggles, and resources. Repeatedly and in all of the sessions, people considered the many ways that formation has had to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And in conversations that followed, churches have continued to note the change in attendance and volunteers. At the same time that church workers have struggled to pivot to new ways of worship and formation, families have struggled to find new rhythms and many have had to pull back from church due to their own particular circumstances.
If your church has experienced lower formation attendance and volunteers, please know you’re not alone! Both large and small churches across the Diocese have all been confronted by this problem. We are in this together, and the Christian Formation Committee is here to serve as a resource as your congregation navigates the changing formation landscape in front of us.
While some churches may resume offering formation opportunities that are similar to Fall 2019, many congregations are rethinking their plans for Fall 2021. As we reflect on the ways our formation changed and shifted during the pandemic, we are identifying the pieces we want to keep and ones that we will let go moving forward. Some churches are wondering how to share this process with their congregation and lead some lament work together. The Christian Formation Committee has collected a list of articles and resources from Building Faith, a ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary, and other formation groups to get you started in this work. We hope they will be helpful to you as you make or remake plans for the Fall.
Additionally, as we approach a Fall Semester where children under 12 remain unvaccinated and attendance, especially for young families and the immunocompromised, continues to be uncertain, consider intergenerational formation opportunities as a formation component that does not put too much emphasis on a certain number to attend or a certain number of volunteers to help. The Christian Formation committee has recorded videos for presenting the five-week Isaiah Introductory Study that could be used as an intergenerational curriculum along with the prayers and questions from the study. Additional intergenerational formation curricula are listed below, with plenty more available.
The Christian Formation Committee would love to talk with any congregations, clergy, or volunteers with questions or concerns that the resources below do not address or who may be looking for different curriculum. Contact email@example.com, and the Bishop’s Deputy for Christian Formation will get in touch with you.
Lament and Storytelling Articles and Resources:
- A Second Pandemic Program Year: Finding Handholds
- A Gentle Regathering: Practical Resources for Tending to Grief & Loss
- Story as a Path to Healing - Listed as a youth activity, but could work well as a congregation-wide activity too!
- How to Reflect on our COVID Experience While We Are Still Going Through It
Intergenerational Formation Articles and Curriculum Ideas:
- Practical Steps to Increasing Intergenerationality
- Time to Rekindle Relationships: 9 Fall Ideas for Intergenerational Ministry
- Diocesan 2021 Isaiah Introductory Study - Videos for this study available online, at vimeo.com/dwtx.
- Illustrated Ministry Mini Revolutions
- GenOn Ministries LIFT
- Godly Play
Wisdom Years Ministry:
The Wisdom Years Ministry is a community of older adults dedicated to deepening our spiritual journeys as we live out the last third of our lives. We gather regularly in large and small groups online where we create space for listening for deep wisdom, using resources from authors, poets, and artists.
- For more information about the Wisdom Years Ministry, contact Marjorie George, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Fall 2021 Online Book Discussion: Beginning September 9, join the Wisdom Years Ministry for an eight-week, online discussion, exploring how to foster peace of mind through these disheartening times. Participants will gather by Zoom on Thursdays, from 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. CT, for large-group and small-group harvesting of insights and revelations. Together we will see how our souls are calling each of us to continue to grow into the exact person God created us to be. Click here to learn more about the Fall Online Book Discussion from the Wisdom Years Ministry.