Formation never stops….
For every creature, to be is to become; to exist is to change; to have and to hold is to lose and to mourn; to awake is to hope.
Philosopher & theologian James KA Smith in his recent book, How to Inhabit Time
This statement struck me as deeply true, beautiful, and also, as offering an opportunity or a way to think about formation in our schools. When I use the word formation, I am mostly talking about the programs we intentionally run which allow opportunities for staff, together in community to be invited to listen to the Gospel, and to experience God’s Word and work in the world. But when I read this quote, I am struck by the way Smith expresses the idea that everyday we are being formed as we encounter the worlds we inhabit.
We proclaim that God is active in the world always coming to us… at the same time we believe God has called us to work with God to proclaim the Gospel and to serve our neighbour in ways they can hear, experience and understand.
In recent weeks Helena & I have been working with schools as they look to 2023 to plan for Staff Formation. Alongside retreats, devotions, Connect & Equip, I invite you to think about which of the five essential practices would benefit from refreshed focus in your community in 2023. I believe that all of the Essential Practices give significant opportunities to engage staff in intentional formation underpinned by the Gospel.
I will finish with a familiar Tom Christenson quote which speaks to the way we think about education both for the young people in our care, and for our staff:
Education is not just about the teaching of a what (some particular subject or another); it is also about the growing of a who. Education is about the coming to be of persons…
Let us continue to work together to be intentional about how we invite staff to encounter the Gospel in 2023. Yell if we can help!
Director – Identity & Formation