Where and how did you learn about God? Jesus? The Bible? What has formed you as a person of faith? A Christian? An Episcopalian? What has transformed your beliefs and ideas as you’ve grown and changed?

These are the kinds of questions a group of St. John’s members, staff, and clergy started with as we gathered to plan faith formation offerings for 2021 and 2022. Charles Taliaferro, John Bellaimey, Leah Guy, Lisa Wiens Heinsohn, Mike Walters, Rex McKee, Sara Logan, and I (your seminary intern) are planning adult faith formation offerings for the fall and are beginning to think about the winter and spring. As we gathered, we knew we had planning to do, but we also wanted to remain focused on the “bigger picture” – listening for what God was up to in our midst, remaining open to the movement of the spirit, and staying grounding in our hopes for how faith formation transforms our community. One way we did that was to reflect on how we’ve been formed in our own faith and what has shaped our faith lives throughout the years. Below is an illustration from that conversation, highlight some of the words, phrases, and ideas that surfaced most often.

I invite you to look at these words and think about this question for yourself. Where have you been formed, shaped, and transformed in your life of faith? Who was with you? Who supported you? What did it feel like? I invite you to write the words that come up for you when you think about this, and I’ll create another word cloud for the larger community of St. John’s.

And I invite you to join us this year for our various faith formation offerings. We hope that in community we can continue to grow, change, and deepen our individual and collective spiritual lives.

Elizabeth Lienesch, St. John’s Seminary Intern

p.s. If you’d like to join the faith formation planning team, we’d welcome you! Please let me know!