So, before the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering a wild idea started bopping around the Youth Ministry world. What would it look like to have a “Synod Day” as part of the gathering? One of my dearest friends, Catherine Anderson, was approached with this new idea. Catherine, in her infinite wisdom, said it couldn’t or shouldn’t be done UNLESS someone put together a coach in each synod to do trainings so that adults traveling with our most precious young people would be equipped to walk alongside them on this journey of faith. Turns out Catherine was that someone. So, she gathered some people to dream and when you get together with people you enjoy working with and dream together, amazing things happen.
The Practice Discipleship Initiative happened. I have been blessed to be a part of this journey and on December 1st will move into the position of Interim Director. I’m not taking Catherine’s place because that simply isn’t possible. She is one of a kind. She has built a wild idea into reality and is ready for her next adventure. I’m stepping in as we decide what’s next for Practice Discipleship. The ELCA has funded this Initiative and conversations are happening about what’s next and what’s best. I trust in the process and have faith that it will bear fruit.
What I do want to say publicly is thank you, Catherine. For daring to dream big dreams and trusting that God would be with us and guide us. For being Christ to so many. “Most likely to make a difference in the ELCA” – not a superlative you’ll find in any high school yearbook but one that rings true. You’ve made a difference and will continue to do so.
Because of your dreams we have…
– 5 years of curriculum that will be used for years to come.
– incredible webinars that are free and easily available.
– coaches in each synod that are equipped to teach and share the faith practices.
– over 30,000 people who have been a part of some type of Practice Discipleship training.
– writers in our colleges/universities and seminaries who have blessed this initiative with their knowledge.
– a system in place that makes folks take notice. Proclaim Story used the same delivery system with Synod Day Directors and it worked SO well.
– volunteers who were once searching for accessible trainings who can now feel equipped to walk with our young people.
– young people surrounded by adults who have the tools they need to talk with young people about where the Kingdom of God has drawn near and to feel comfortable with the big questions of faith.
You’ll never take credit because that’s just who you are but bless your heart – without you, this wouldn’t have happened. The Holy Spirit took you by the hand and set you on this path. Thank you for bringing us along for the ride. Well done, good and faithful servant.
If you have no idea what Practice Discipleship is all about – check it out. http://www.practicediscipleship.org You’ll be glad you did.