A Culture of Calling Grant-funded initiative begins at FPCA
For the 2018–2019 program year, First Presbyterian will be delving into the theme “God Is Calling You: Partnering in Christ’s Mission.” In our Sunday sermons, Sunday morning faith formation offerings, small groups, and numerous other ways, we’ll be examining what it means to be called and how call guides our lives at every stage and moment.
Te idea of call transcends the annual theme of a single year. It is at the core of what being Christian means, and our church seeks to establish a culture of calling in everything we do—not just this year but in years to come.
FPCA has been moving in this direction for a number of years. In recognition of this shift and the ways it has already affected the spiritual life of our congregation, along with our potential to do much more, First Presbyterian has been awarded a Lilly Endowment grant through an organization called Vibrant Faith (see box).
Vibrant Faith’s grant-funded initiative is titled “Creating a Culture of Calling: Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose”—sometimes shortened to C3. Tis initiative began in early 2018 and continues through spring 2021.
Te C3 initiative is guided by a vision that FPCA leadership thoroughly endorses. It is grounded in biblical and theological understandings that place calling—and the necessity of nurturing callings—at the center of Christian life and congregational culture. We believe:
• Our callings in life are a dynamic response to who we are, expressed
in how we live and what we give our lives to.
• Every human being has a calling, whether or not they acknowledge
or recognize it.
• Trough Christ, God calls us into relationship and a life of
discipleship. Our response to God’s calling is a life expressed through our life of faith.
• True callings are guided by love
• Callings are lifelong and evolve over time.
• Callings are for all life—family, church, community, world—and
not just what we do at work.
• Living a calling is transformational for the person
and the world. C3 seeks to:
• Develop a lifelong approach to discovering callings and nurture vocation with families and people of all ages and generations.
• Infuse vocational formation into all aspects of church life.
• Develop approaches for discovering callings and
nurturing vocation with people of diverse religious practice and engagement—including those actively involved in living their faith and participating in the faith community, those who are spiritual but not religious, and those who are religiously unaffiliated.
Partnering in Christ’s mission in the context of call entails discerning, acting, and engaging in community. We look forward to joining in the journey!
THE CULTURE OF CALLING
FAITH AND VIBRANT
Vibrant Faith is an interdenominational organization whose focus is to train church leaders in adapting to the realities of 21st century faith formation. FPCA has forged bonds with Vibrant Faith in recent years during seminars, workshops, and consultations as leadership and a faith formation vision team discerned future directions for our church.
FPCA is one of 24 churches nationwide that Vibrant Faith has chosen to participate in the Lilly Endowment-funded Creating a Culture of Calling initiative. These churches reflect diverse locations, sizes, denominations, and ethnicities. Participant denominations include Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal, community churches, and one other Presbyterian congregation. All have demonstrated an ability to provide high-quality worship and faith formation for all ages and generations, and provide a positive, supportive environment to implement new projects and initiatives.
A CULTURE OF CALLING TEAM
Stephen Emick Anne Ferrera Jack Haberer Lois Henseler Rich Laliberte Jane Long (team leader) Erica Simmons Bill White Von Clemens, Vibrant Faith coach
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