I’ve worked in churches my entire adult life. But I wasn’t raised in the church, and neither was my husband. We do the best we can, but for a long time I felt like we were missing something.
What changed that feeling? Stumbling on mom blogs about celebrating the liturgical year at home and shared stories about faith and family. I lurked on these blogs, finally feeling like I wasn’t alone, finding ideas I could implement in our family’s life. There were simple craft projects to do and meals to make. Finally, finding those blogs, I felt a sense of integration between my faith life and my regular life.
I wrote about my faith-at-home projects on this blog occasionally. But those posts looked out of place alongside larger strategic questions about the church and news of the Christian food movement, my usual topics. I thought they needed their own space – but I also knew that I couldn’t do the topic of faith at home justice alone. Especially since, after years working in Christian formation, I felt that the church needed a strong space bringing together multiple voices sharing faith stories and practices. I knew that was beyond my capacity. So I put the dream on the shelf.
Then at the E-formation 2015 conference, I started talking to Scott Gunn of Forward Movement about what the church needed today – especially, what parents and godparents and grandparents needed to raise children in the Christian faith. Off the shelf came that dream for a group blog – a blog where stories and recipes and reflections could live side by side. He was interested enough to give me a ride to the airport so we could talk more.
I’ll never forget the moment when he went one way toward his flight and I went the other way toward mine. Through my mind went this thought: “Could this actually happen?” A few months went by, and both of us were interested enough to talk again.
By then I had started Plainsong Farm (more news on that coming soon). This was exactly the type of project I was hoping the farm might create: a virtual home for practical discipleship. It turned out that Forward Movement wanted to move forward as well (see what I did there?).
So we formed a partnership. We decided that together we would make Grow Christians real for Lent 2016. And we decided that at the end of Lent 2016, we would see if it served the church enough to continue.
Grow Christians went live this week. The first post is up, and more are coming soon. I have now read almost all the posts that will be published, and I am so excited to share them with you. I have learned from every one of these authors. They have helped me grow as a Christian.
I ask your prayers and your honesty about Grow Christians. Comment in the comment fields. Make requests. Give us your email address so we can ask you how it worked when our Lent experiment is done. And most of all, please pray that together we can glorify God, whose presence working in us can do more than we can ask or imagine. Pray for more disciples living more deeply into our call from God.
Pray that the Episcopal Church will grow Christians.