The Spiritual Formation Commission mission is to advocate for Christian formation; explore the needs of West Missouri congregations and determine a helpful response. By sharing and discovering new resources, we can recommend ‘best practices; assist congregations in the process of incorporating pathways to formation with intention; and if desired, offer training or educational events. Our goal is to encourage and nurture spiritual growth, Christian practices, and theological reflection, based on the belief that actively engaging in Christian formation is a transformative experience which affects our understanding of morality, politics, economics, labor, family, the environment, hospitality, justice, friendship, and forgiveness. In short, everything is a spiritual matter.
- The Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce
- The Rev. Alisa Carmichael
- Mary Chiles
- The Very Rev. Don Compier
- The Rev. Larry Ehren
- Cosette Hardwick
- Anita Philbrick
- Zachary Phillips
- Clare Stern-Burbano
- The Rev. Kim Taube
- Milt Tootle
- The Rev. Brittany Sparrow Savage
We’re here to walk with you along the way. If you have reviews, suggestions or can offer up a “best practice” to help others, please share; explore the links below and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, let us help you find it; if you feel confused, challenged or like you’re wandering in the wilderness, reach out. Connect with the Spiritual Formation Commission by emailing: email@example.com.
Browse our information and resources. There’s something for everyone!
Designed to build young disciples in their faith, Children’s Ministry provides a safe and welcoming atmosphere in which children can learn the stories of our faith, build friendships, wonder about the words and symbols in worship, learn spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation, and grow as full members of the Body of Christ.
Let’s keep in mind:
- Children are full members of the church by virtue of their Baptism.
- Children have profound experiences of the mystery and presence of God long before they can put these experiences into words.
- We are called to proclaim the Gospel to children in a way that empowers them as disciples and ministers.
- We are called to pass on the language and practice of faith to enable children to articulate, share and proclaim their experience of the Holy.
- We are called to be in ministry “with” and “for” children, not “to” children.
- Formation is growth in knowledge, service and love of God; it engages the whole person for a life in Christ.
- Children who are valued for their gifts and are invited to participate in and contribute to the life of the whole community are more likely to continue to engage with a community of faith as they mature.
- When children have the opportunity to build relationships with people in multiple generations, those relationships support the development of lifelong disciples of Christ.
In 1 Samuel 16 when the prophet Samuel goes to the house of Jesse, it’s not the strapping, strutting older brothers of the house that God chooses to be king. It’s the underage runt of the litter that got anointed as the future leader of Israel.
Youth engage, taking their faith journey seriously by asking thought-provoking, challenging questions. They are not afraid to have a conversation about what they believe and why they believe it. Jesus lives and breathes through their words and actions. Youth are walking examples of the gospel. Imagine the possibilities of involving them as worship leaders, altar guild members, greeters, ushers, Sunday school teachers, and even preachers! When given the opportunity they will not only rise to the challenge, but the will set the bar at a whole new level.
We were all teenagers once and other than technology, things have not changed that much – people are people. The next time you see a young person take a moment to sit and visit with them. Ask them how things are going and don’t be afraid to share a little about you. Give them the opportunity to be the face of the present church and you will surely be amazed at the work God is doing through them.
- is vital to helping teens integrate into the larger, intergenerational church community.
- resists the status quo, helping the church stay relevant.
- focuses on inviting those outside the church into the deeper narrative of God’s plan.
- reminds the church that teens are co-creators and conspirators in the work of the church.
- helps the church focus on the way of Jesus, going beyond tradition, dogma, and work.
Events and Programs
Events and programs in the Diocese of West Missouri are designed for youth to experience opportunities in Evangelism, Spiritual Formation, Christian Leadership, Mission, Fellowship, Scripture and the Episcopal Church. WEMO Youth programming strives to provide:
- safe, loving, and wholesome atmosphere for young people
- programs which helps young people become formed in their faith
- variety in worship experiences that help young people connect with God and one another
- teaching about the Anglican expression of Christianity
- the means for young people to develop their individual prayer and spiritual life
- assistance for young people as they develop values and ethical norms
- interaction with adults who authentically model the Christian faith
- activities (games, sports, crafts, etc.) which involve fun and the building of sense of worth
For Young Adults
Young Adult Ministry is geared toward those between the ages of twenty and forty – and the types of responsibilities and life experiences vary greatly within that age range. The needs and desires of a single, twenty-two year old trying to navigate his first full-time job in a new city is a far cry from those of a married, thirty-five year old with two children. Both need to be ministered to, but it looks different depending on the specific stage of life. Yet, research shows, most young adults are looking for the same things: community life (fellowship), accessibility to the sacraments (liturgy), engaging teaching (education), the opportunity to put their faith into action (mission).
Young adult ministry attempts to cultivate leaders by offering making resources available to assist them on their own personal faith journey. Offering opportunities like round table discussion, young adult forums, retreats, and mission work gives young adults the ability to build and find a home within the Church.
- Think of the church movements initiated by young adults like St. Benedict (father of Western monasticism), St. Ignatius of Loyola who formed the “companions of Jesus” (Jesuits) and St. Francis of Assisi – all young adults turning their attention toward God.
- Young adults want faith to be personally meaningful and first-hand. The church can be a valuable expression in the lives, impacting how they live, how they relate, and how they grow. Church needs to be become something they want to do.
- Young adults need to be prepared for the spiritual challenges that will come and the faith questions they will face.
- Campus Ministries serve as places of community which may center around shared meals, regular worship, pastoral care and community service. ECM is a lively place for mentoring the Christian formation of both seekers and those who grew up in Episcopal churches. Currently, there is an active Campus Ministry meeting weekly at Christ Church in Springfield. The Reverend Bradley Heuett would be most happy to speak with anyone interested in starting this ministry in their ‘neck of the woods’!
It is a religion of transformation and a lifelong process of growing in our relationship with God, self, others, and all creation.
Every experience in our lives can provide us with the opportunity to express our faith; the challenge we face is recognizing these opportunities and learning ways to live a society which sometimes puts the secular life above a spiritual, faith-filled life.
Adult Christian formation seeks to intentionally nurture and develop spiritual growth, theological reflection, and Christian practices that make it possible for adults to engage in the process by utilizing traditional and experiential resources.
- Formation is foundational to everything we believe and do.
- Education is part of formation, but so are mission, liturgy and fellowship.
- Faith formation happens – either intentionally or unintentionally. Every life experience is an opportunity to live out our Baptismal Covenant.
- People are hungry to know why we believe what we do. Christian formation is essential to instilling that deep understanding and knowledge to empower Christians to be able to say what they believe in.
- As life goes on, Scripture takes on new connections. It constantly presents new situations and ideas.
- It is important to develop child faith into adult faith
- Formation encompasses learning, action and reflection; it is informal and formal.
- The premise of Christian formation informs how we conduct the Church’s mission. Mission then involves sharing stories as well as building hospitals, social transformation as well as personal service.
- Educating ourselves as adults is one of the most important things a church can help us do.
“Intergenerational Ministry occurs when a congregation intentionally brings the generation together in mutual serving, sharing or learning within the core activities of the church in order to live out being the body of Christ to each other and the great community.”
This quote from Holly C. Allen and Christine Lawton’s book Intergenerational Christian Formation: Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship places an emphasis on intention. Whether you are part of the Greatest Generation, a Baby Boomers or a Gen X, Y or Millennial we have points of common reference and congregations can intentionally make their intergenerational character a defining feature of their community life, ministries and programming.
- Bringing generations together within the church affirms each person’s value in the total community (regardless of age).
- Intergenerational Ministry nurtures the support of each other’s concerns, interests and activities.
- Intergenerational Ministry breaks down stereotypes and barriers that stand between generations and give new meaning to “faith family.”
- Intergenerational Ministry can foster leadership regardless of age or stature.
- The Spirit of God works formatively through community worship, mission, education and fellowship in unique ways when believers across the life span are present and participating together.
- Intergenerational ministry ideas can be social events, mentoring opportunities or service oriented.