Just recently, I spent the good portion of a day with a 4th grade class at Breck. That same week I also met with some people to talk about youth and camp ministry; I was involved with a number of conversations with folks about our School for Formation; I got to meet with some educators discussing the use of technology; I had an extended, and meaningful, conversation with the graduating seniors from Shattuck-St. Mary’s; I met with the young people and adults who are planning this summer’s youth gathering, Episcopal Youth Event; and I was blessed to confirm a great group of teens from Holy Apostles and St. John the Evangelist. Whew!
“… to equip the saints for the work of ministry” is what Paul tells the good people of Ephesus as to why they have been called to be apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers…and I would say the same to rest of us.
Equipping, what we more often refer to as ‘formation’, is paramount for each one of us to fully utilize the gifts that God has given us for ministry. Formation takes place in formal educational settings but also happens in other settings such as worship, small groups and alone time of prayer, study and reflection.
Formation is also not a destination but a journey. A lifelong journey of being lifelong learners. God is not done with any of us. Rather, God, as we hear from the prophet Isaiah, is the potter and we are the clay, continuing to be shaped, molded and formed.
I feel truly blessed that the Episcopal Church in Minnesota on so many levels is committed to and engaged in formation.