Last Christian Education News - April 2017 



Holy Week - Endings, Beginnings, Trends, and Next Steps



This will be my last Christian Education News and it is bittersweet.  I'm excited for the next phase of my work life in the diocese of California, but it is hard to leave Massachusetts and the friends and churches that I know so well here.

Somehow Holy Week seems a fitting time to be looking back as well as looking ahead. It is already hard to say goodbye not to mention all the stresses of moving across country. But at the same time I'm looking with joy to new possibilities. And as Easter people we try to always live in this hope and joy.

As I'm getting ready to leave, I have been formulating some last thoughts around Christian education in churches. This is the culmination of the things I have been noticing, and some input from the last gathering in January of a newly developing Christian Formation Network for the diocese.  Please see the information below about a gathering on APRIL 20!

In the gathering in January, a few educators talked about the needs we see in churches, some trends, and what we are trying that is working. We also talked about models that have helped us in our ministries.  Here is one model that is helpful for evaluating all of our programs and the overall life of the church. This model illustrates a continual loop between building up the inner life and going out into the world to do the work of God. And we can’t do one without the other.



As you think about your own work and the offerings of your church, how does one side affect the other? How is the formation on Sunday mornings constantly informing the service of Christians in the world? In everyday life? In families and relationships?  On the other side, how is what we see in the world: the issues, the politics, the problems, the areas that generate joy and enthusiasm – how do these inform the life of the church? How does the weight of the world enter into our spiritual lives to be brought forward within us on Sunday mornings and up to the altar rail for a moment of unity in Christ?

This is the shape of our liturgical lives.

I hope that the Formation Network of this diocese continues to share and explore with each other our understandings of discipleship.  As society changes, the church needs to change as well and we have to be trying new things and finding new ways to share our stories with those in our communities who long for deep fulfillment and purpose but don’t necessarily see the church as having anything to offer.

What are you offering?

And if you want to discuss this more, please consider coming to the dinner on Thursday, April 20th to discuss formation in this diocese. This dinner is an opportunity for those interested in Christian formation to network and share:

Thursday, April 20, 6-8:30 p.m., at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (138 Tremont Street) in Boston.

Topics of discussion will include new models of formation in churches, experimentation and how to engage all ages. This will also be my last meeting with the education network before I move to the Diocese of California, and it seemed like the right time for a party as well as in-depth sharing and goodbyes.

There is no cost to attend, but RSVP by TUESDAY NIGHT, APRIL 18 to to be included in the meal count and indicate any food allergies. FOR INFORMATION: Amy Cook, Congregational Resources and Training (617-482-4826, ext. 645 or ).

Blessings on your Holy Week,

Amy Cook





I will be at clergy conference on Tuesday and will have time on Tuesday afternoon to meet with anyone who has some last questions about education programs at your parish. Please email me by April 21 if you would like to meet and discuss a specific topic.


I'm hoping that this will also be the time for some goodbyes as well. I will miss you all very much.







Diocesan Family Camp

June 22-25, 2017

Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center

Greenfield, NH


CLICK HERE for all the details and Registration!



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