“Orbiting Christ: Belonging, Believing, Behaving” is the title for the online conference we are planning for June. We are still working to finalize the dates, based on the availability of our leadership. Potential dates for the conference are June 1-3, 2021 OR a series of Tuesdays: June 1, 8, and 15.
The “three BEs” of the title come from authors Alan Kreider (The Change of Conversion and the Origin of Christendom) and Diana Butler Bass (Christianity after Religion), both of whom use this alliterative phrase to describe the path toward Christian identity and discipleship. The image of “orbiting Christ” places our Savior at the center of the life of the Christian; it is Christ who orders our path and who gives stability to our lives. Each day of the conference will pair the marks of the church with one of the “BEs.”
Day 1: Belonging How can congregations foster a sense of belonging in adult faith formation? Two of our pastoral leaders will discuss why and how community and liturgy are the essential marks of the Church that create a sense a belonging among adult catechumens. This day will also offer several practical workshops on topics related to community and liturgy.
Day 2: Believing As St. Paul writes, “Faith comes through hearing” (Romans 10:17), and central to the pastoral role is preaching and teaching. Two pastoral leaders will unpack these overlapping yet distinctive marks of the Church. The workshops on this day will consider concrete aspects of teaching (particularly for adults) and the intersection between preaching and teaching in relation to adult faith formation.
Day 3: Behaving Witness and service, the marks of the Church that correlate with behaving, send Christians out into the world. Two deaconesses, whose identities are wrapped in this language, will consider how and why Christians are called into the world (and are yet not “of” the world). The workshops will focus on methods of equipping laity for witness and service.
Once we have finalized the dates of the conference, registration will open on the website.