New to West Missouri! Beginning in January a special monthly formation package will reach out in a tangible, friendly, and fun way to West Missouri households of all shapes, sizes, and ages. We feel that this is such an important project that the monthly packages will be provided at no cost to the participants.
stacks of opt-in postcards are being mailed out to every Episcopal Church in West Missouri.
Each month will be unique, containing elements of formation – liturgy, service, education and fellowship – woven together through a subtle theme and keeping multiple learning styles in mind. Additional tangible supplies will often be included that tie it all together. As I write this, stacks of opt-in postcards are being mailed out to every Episcopal Church in West Missouri. When they arrive, clergy, vestries, and leadership can either mail them out to their members or make them available in another way.
You can also choose to opt-in now. When you opt-in a Welcome Box will be sent directly to your home containing materials to create a Sacred Space at home. Each box will be different, but an typical box could contain, cloth, seasonal block icon, candle and holder, incense and holder, hand-held cross and prayer card. Also included will be some craft and Everything Holy related supplies such as colored pencils, markers and crayons, stickers, etc.
Check out this helpful overview of the monthly package’s contents.
- Clergy will be asked to share a brief Reflection on monthly themes.
- Art can encourage reflection and an ancient practice known to work wonders on the human body, mind and emotions. Meditating on art, and reflecting on related questions, can lower your heart rate, reduce stress and energize the spirit. Millions around the word incorporate it into their daily lives.
- Telling The Story is recounting our collective story through seasonally related passages and “I wonder” questions. Flash drives will include a Godly Play version of the story.
- Sacred Space @ Home creates space in our homes to encourage experiential learning and practice.
- Do We Know The Bible? Opens up the Book that makes a big impact on our life and culture.
- Laughter is Good Medicine for the soul, something to bring a smile to the face and a little humor into the day.
- The Way of Love will highlight practices for a Jesus-centered life.
- Meet a Saint — This year we plan to highlight individuals from both West Missouri as well as Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints. We imitate the values and examples of people whose stories we can come to know and admire. These will be people just like you and me, imperfect and yet helping us see and honor the holy in each and every person; people of faith who have worked for love, compassion, and justice in their corners of the world and eras, even when that meant rocking the religious boat.
- The BCP Hunt is a mini-step into the Book of Common Prayer to (re)discover and appreciate.
- A Way to Pray will include prayers we can memorize, create, use our whole body, use no words at all, encourage spontaneity and prayers that have been around for thousands of years.
- ‘Tis Always a Church Season in the life of an Episcopalian. Contents will focus on an aspect of each season, from Advent through Ordinary Time.
- Meditation takes so many forms and a plethora to offer year-round.
- West MO Cooking — Each month someone from West Missouri will be asked to share a recipe along with a related story or memory and along with a way to use.
- Table Talk offers conversation starters when you are at the dinner table, coffee shop or hanging with friends.
- Episcofacts will offer a little tidbit of information about The Episcopal Church in general.
- Movie Time We can often see religious symbolism or experience God’s presence through movies. These suggestions, along with questions, will hopefully inspire and illustrate.
- Book Club — Everything relates to our spirituality; books of many genres offer insight and wisdom.
- Reach Out Challenge — Each month a new challenge is offered to encourage outreach, connections and community,
- Do Ya/Would Ya/Could Ya? — This is chance to get involved by submitting a recipe, offering to help with an upcoming craftivity or add to monthly content; whatever comes up.
- Craftivities offer creative ways to express our spirituality.
The Formation Team putting all this together are Kat Mercer, Josh Trader and Kim Snodgrass, but we would love your input too. If this sounds intriguing, pay special attention to the ‘Do Ya/Would Ya/Could Ya?’ opportunity to get involved. In our minds, more people equals more good ideas that we haven’t begun to think of yet.