Who We Are
Faith Formation Values
Faith Formation is how we describe growing/turning together toward God. Here's how we're "FORMED":
Feeling and Understanding
Jesus forms both minds and hearts. Faith formation is not just education and learning. And it’s not just emotional or spiritual experience. (Hence, “Kids’ Community” and “Youth Group” rather than “Sunday School.”)
Opening the Scripture
As the written word of God, the Bible reveals Christ to us, tells stories of the relationship between God and God’s people, and connects us with God’s people of many times and places. We take the Bible “seriously but not literally” and look for every possible opportunity to help ourselves and others experience and learn the “first language of faith,” the language of Scripture. The Bible offers guidance, but “moral instruction” is not its primary usage or purpose. “The Bible creates and nurtures faith through the work of the Holy Spirit and points us to Jesus Christ, the living Word and center of our faith. And in reading the Bible, we are invited into a relationship with God that both challenges us and promises us new life” (www.elca.org).
Responding to God’s Grace
We do not earn, gain, or increase God’s acceptance and love for us by anything we do. Luther writes in the Small Catechism, “I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him.” In faith formation, the Holy Spirit always goes first, inviting us to understanding, discipline, community, and vocation. Then, we respond to these invitations out of gratitude for what Christ has already done for us.
At every age and stage of life, each person 1) needs mentoring and support, and 2) has gifts to share with church and world, both of which are formative for our faith. We look for ways to connect people of different generations so they can offer and receive gifts and support, and learn from one another’s stories, skills, and experiences.
Doing Ministry in Daily Life
God calls everyone of all ages to various roles and tasks throughout our lives. Some of these callings are lived out in service to or through the church, but a great many others are lived out at home, school, work, etc. We follow Luther in our conviction that the primary influence for faith formation of children and youth is at home. In all we do together in this community of faith, our goal is equipping people of all ages to live their faith each and every day, always resisting the temptation to keep faith limited to Sundays or to the church building.