From Font to Table: Welcoming the Stranger into Christ and Congregational Life
Veteran pastors and commissioned ministers of parish ministry are well aware there is no “magic bullet” that guarantees to increase a congregation’s membership, and this workshop makes no such claim for an adult faith formation process. Rather, the research—case studies at four congregations with robust catechumenal practices—points to congregational transformation that draws newcomers and long-time members into an apprenticeship of the way and life of Jesus Christ and that fosters a missional identity for the whole congregation.
Conceived more as a visioning lab than workshop, Dr. Kent Burreson and Dr. Rhoda Schuler will offer background material on adult faith formation, facilitate small group studies and discussions, lead participants through experiential learning on ritual, and moderate structured time designed for participants to formulate a plan for introducing an adult faith formation process in their congregations. Pastors from our research congregations will lead short sessions via Zoom to share their wisdom on various topics related to an adult catechumenate.
In the end, faith formation is not a program, not even a set of processes or practices, but a way of life. Through the congregational life of community and worship, teaching and preaching, witness and service God transforms the baptized and the community, deeply and broadly.
Louis A. Fincke and Anna B. Shine Professor of Systematic Theology, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
Few people know the liturgical landscape as well as Dr. Kent Burreson. He has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the liturgy’s history — how it has remained the same and how it has changed. Just as importantly, Burreson shows how the liturgy and our worship life forms the faith within us and shapes our lives within the world.
Professor Emerita, Director of LCMS Placement, Concordia University, Saint Paul, Minn.
Dr. Rhoda Schuler taught full-time at Concordia University, Saint Paul, Minn., from 2008 through 2020. A rostered deaconess in The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), she has a master’s degree in liturgical studies from St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn., and a Th.D. in historical theology from Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn. Schuler’s research passions are liturgical theology and ritual studies, which she views as more than academic disciplines. Convinced that what people believe is more profoundly shaped by worship and ritual than by didactic exercises, her research interests have implications for the church. She previously served as executive director for a church-related nonprofit that addressed problems of poverty and racism in north St. Louis County, Mo.
|Wednesday, July 5
|Thursday, July 6
|8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
|Friday, July 7
Note: The schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the workshop presenters.