This Lent I have been musing on the faith formation of those who facilitate faith formation. Yes, Seneca expressed something we have known: “While we teach, we learn.” I know the accuracy of these ancient words, and I also know that sometimes leading faith formation events enriches me differently than it enriches those engaging the event. So where do faith formation leaders go to deliberately provide for their own faith formation?
This is partly connected to the passing of a milestone ordination anniversary — reflecting on meaningful experiences, significant moments, and times of deep connection. Within this reminiscing I have begun tracing the events in which my own faith has been formed anew by deliberative action.
The most consistent patterns have been the sustained dialogues with colleagues about the purposes and practices of faith formation. I’m separating this from professional development, although that has been a source for engaging my growth in faith as well. It is about probing into why faith formation matters, how faith is formed, how faith transitions, and how our teaching practices impact experiencing faith-full moments. Some of those have been brief conversations, others have been lingering for years.
My Lenten practice has been gratitude. I am thankful for such an assembly of colleagues as those in AUCE, who guide me toward new ways of forming my own faith even as I discover new ways to engage the faith formation of others.
Thank you for your testimonies, and also your vulnerabilities as we grow in faith together. I look forward to exploring our faith formation stories together.
May you experience renewal.
thom bower, AUCE Chair