As a Christian Educator, I have unabashedly borrowed, re-purposed and utilized other people’s imaginative concepts and resources. But the phrase, HomeGrown Faith, was the result of my own “hav’n a g-o-o-d idea,” as my two young sons use to regularly declare. One restless night I awoke, alert, with the words clearly planted in my heart and mind.
In 2004, in my role as Assistant to the Bishop for Faith Formation in the Grand Canyon Synod- ELCA, we began an 18-month initiative to work intensively with a dozen congregations to connect church and home for nurturing faith. The middle of the night revelation was an answer to the wondering, “What to call the initiative?”
One could say that “HomeGrown Faith” has become my trade-mark. The phrase reflects my rural Iowa roots. More importantly, it summarizes my ministry and mission in the ever changing landscape for Christian education, faith formation and discipleship. HomeGrown Faith is about:
- Creating a seamless journey for faith formation that connects each generation, age and stage of life.
- Equipping households to speak the language of faith and the heart of faith – at home and away from home.
- Knowing and treasuring, “like an old family recipe,” the faith stories of our ancestors as recorded in Holy Scriptures.
- Becoming “living stones”– story tellers of God’s unfolding Story in my life and God’s Story in yours.
- Engaging, inspiring, equipping and empowering all generations for serving and accompanying one another, like Jesus, at home, across the street and in the world.
- Learning from and honoring our neighbors and their communal, household, and personal practices of faith.
Similar to the exchanges at a farmers market, my hope is that HomeGrown Faith will become a space and a relationship where we share fresh ideas and support one another in the nurturing of an organic faith in Jesus Christ, deeply rooted, generative and sustainable for a lifetime.
Whether you are a congregation, institution, household or individual, I look forward to partnering with you as together in Christ, and with the guidance of the Spirit, we tend our faith into its fullness and maturity, for existing generations and the next.
A special thanks to Jake Fedie who is a professional website designer and graphic artist. His patience in working with me, an immigrant to blogging and designing a personal web site world, gives him my nomination for Sainthood.