This Worldly, Indifferent, Spiritual but not Religious, Seekers, Nominally Religious, Religiously Committed… these are the six broad groups which Associate Professor Andrew Singleton described at the recent LCAQD Ministry Summit as making up the religious landscape of young people in Australia today.
We know this kind of diversity is reality… amongst a range of other diversities which we encounter every day. And it is in this context of diversity that we seek to nurture our Identity as Lutheran places of education where Jesus’ heart for individuals, communities and the whole world is proclaimed in word and deed. A tough gig? A worthwhile gig?
The ways in which we engage with this gig, I’d like to suggest has seasons… and to some extent 2019 has been a place of liminality… a threshold between formal accreditation programs that have been in place for some time, and the waiting as the new directions are slowly unfolded.
Liminal spaces… thresholds between old and new ways of being and doing, are an ongoing reality of our faith journey. We have recently celebrated Pentecost. Imagine what it must have felt like for Jesus’ disciples as they mourned the bodily presence of Jesus with them and waited for the promised Spirit… I reckon it must have been an excruciating period of waiting.
And yet these moments of uncomfortable waiting, of wondering filled with fear, hope and uncertainty can be places where God is powerfully and unexpectedly at work. Times of waiting give us pause to reflect, to evaluate, to notice … and maybe to allow space to grow, enabling God’s Spirit to empower and guide anew and afresh.
I am thrilled that the LEA Ministry and Mission conference in July is almost upon us, and that as we engage with the approach and material of CONNECT we can have pause to reflect on the context of our communities in 2019, knowing that God’s Spirit is at work among us and we’re invited to participate in that work.
May God help us in times of transition to accept the gift of discomfort, enable us to make space and remind us that God’s Spirit continues to breathe life.
From the Gospel according to John – after the resurrection:
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Supporting the work of nurturing our Identity and Formation, the following dates include both reminders and additional dates for Semester 2 2019:
LEA Ministry & Mission Conference: July 18 & 19
Restorative Practices Training with Marg Thorsborne: August 21 – 23
Service Learning Network Meeting: August 19
A second offering of Equip 1: August 26, 27 & October 22
If you have questions about any of these opportunities, please make contact.
Director of Identity & Formation