Committee 11: Formation & discipleship

After blowing through at least 40 (!) liturgy resolutions, I’m pleased to say that Resolutionpalooza has to make only a quick stop with the next committee. We have six resolutions in formation & discipleship. While that’s not a big number, it’s of course true that liturgy is often a part of our discipleship, so it’s not as if this committee is the only place that deals with the important topics of formation and discipleship. Still, it would be lovely at some future convention if we shifted our focus more toward discipleship — and perhaps not just in resolutions, but in our time together at General Convention.

Let’s turn to the resolutions.

 

A017 Creation of a Staff Position for Director of LGBTQI and Women’s Ministries. Full text. Likely vote: NO, because it’s already done, I think?

A few weeks ago, I read in the Episcopal News Service that the Episcopal Church has hired Aaron Scott as a gender justice staff officer. That article mentions this as a culmination of a 2022 General Convention resolution (2022-A063), which called for the hiring of a “Director of LBGTQI and Women’s Ministries.” Presumably, this resolution, calling for a hire with the same title, was already in the system as the hiring was in process, so it can be discharged now. I wish Aaron well in his new role.

 

A086 Create a Task Force for Youth Formation and World Mission. Full text. Likely vote: NO.

If passed, this resolution would create a task force “for collaborative research, relationship-building and program development for the purpose of identifying, sharing and developing global mission opportunities for youth (ages 13-21).” As I’ve mentioned in other posts in this series, I’m told that we are looking at resolutions calling for the creation of 21 task forces. We don’t need loads of task forces. In this case, I think there are staff at the churchwide level who could work with a few others to put together a list of opportunities for youth and world mission. Or Forma could do this. Or a bunch of youth ministers could organize themselves to do this.

Friends, just do it! No one needs 1,000 bishops and deputies to say it’s OK to do stuff. You can make resources or gather information or plan things without a resolution. Perhaps I’ve got this one completely wrong, but this project sounds like a Survey Monkey and an afternoon on Google, not a $30,000 task force.

 

A096 Task Force on Equipping a Church Grounded in Justice as Christian Ministry. Full text. Likely vote: NO.

Another task force! This resolution seeks the creation of a task force to do a bunch of things, but the core aim is to “consider what the church must look like if we put our vocation to love our neighbor and to be repairers of the breach at the center of our work.” Well, yes, but we don’t need a General Convention to tell us that loving our neighbor is the core of our vocation. Jesus Christ himself literally said that was right up there with loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind as the first and greatest commandment. If we’re not already doing that because Jesus told us to, I’m not sure that a resolution will get us there.

The $40,000 task force contemplated here would, among other things, create an online hub of justice resources. Again, as I wrote above, there is absolutely nothing stopping a group of Episcopalians from just going out and doing this! We don’t need resolutions to empower us to do the work God has given us to do. Let’s have fewer task forces and more active ministers of the Gospel.

 

A132 Establishing an Online Hub for Continuing Formation and Ministry Resources. Full text. Likely vote: NO.

This resolution calls for the creation of an “Online Hub for Continuing Formation and Ministry Resources.” What would be on this hub, you ask? It’s laid out in the third resolve: it would be a “central repository of vetted resources, ensuring that leaders have access to adaptable materials for their specific contexts, fostering ongoing formation, and addressing the current void left by the absence of sustained denominational-level work.” I’m all for this, but I think there’s no need for a bunch of red tape by involving General Convention. Much of what this resolution calls for already exists online from places like Building Faith. My experience with the excellent folks at Virginia Theological Seminary who run Building Faith is that they’re super collaborative and eager to serve the church. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that if some interested folks contacted them, a hub such as the one imagined here could be running in no time.

Again, we can just do stuff. We don’t need General Convention to approve all our work to make our church better, to answer God’s call to us.

 

A136 Translating the Catechism. Full text. Likely vote: YES.

Just when you thought 7WD was going to have another NOPE sweep of a committee’s resolutions, I’m here to surprise you. This resolution simply calls for the translation of the catechism from the Book of Common Prayer into Arabic, Dutch, Georgian, German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, and Russian. I can’t say why they picked these languages, but it sounds good to me. I’m all for offering evangelism and formation resources in many languages. The resolution asks for a budget allocation of $50,000. That seems like quite a bit for this project, but better to be delighted if it ends up costing less. By the way, the catechism is already available in English, Spanish, French, and Haitian Kreyol.

 

A137 Create a Task Force for Youth Formation and World Mission. Full text. Likely vote: NO.

See commentary on A086, above. These resolutions are…identical? Or super close to it.

Photo by Adam Smotkin on Unsplash. It’s a formation, get it?

Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.