Team Grows with Creative Faith Timeline

By Lance Georgeson, JBL Board Member Certainly one of the most impactful exercises in early sessions of the catechumenate is the “faith timeline”.  We have consistently found that this fosters a sense of intimacy in the small group and sets the tone for the entire process:  both Candidates and Sponsors begin to see that their stories are connected with God’s … Read More

Bigger always Better?: The Small Church and the Catechumenate

By Larry Ehrens, JBL Board Member and Vice President After facilitating the Catechumenate in a Cathedral parish and several good sized suburban congregations, I was unsure how to go about this same ministry in a smaller setting. My question was: Is the Catechumenate scalable to smaller churches? Our new church plant has a Sunday attendance between 50 and 60 persons. … Read More

Which fountain offers new life?

By Elise Eslinger, retiring JBL Board member, with Richard Eslinger, lifetime member Do you remember that lively fountain scene early in the ‘70s movie Godspell? Jesus seeks out and is baptized by John, and interaction between the cousins attracts the attention of a motley crew of young people. The whole gang joyfully splashes with Jesus and John in the waters … Read More

Freed from self-righteousness

By Bryon Hansen, Pastor at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, Seattle, WA Phinney Ridge Lutheran uses a horse trough for baptisms.  It’s a temporary arrangement.  One day we will have a permanent font suitable for full immersion.  In the meantime, we pull a horse trough from the attic and place it in the assembly to be used at all baptismal festivals. … Read More

Ottawa Training includes Poignant Moment

By Greg Smith, JBL:NAAC Board Member A JBL Training was held in Ottawa, Canada from October 25-28 using facilities at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa.  The Training was jointly sponsored by the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and St. Paul’s University.  St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Ottawa generously hosted the event … Read More

Reimagining the Catechumenate

By Charles Mantey, JBL:NAAC Board Member Even after working with the catechumenate for over twelve years in two congregations, I keep learning new things. What is supposed to be a process attuned to spiritual formation can easily become a program which ignores the needs and desires of the individuals we are serving. Fortunately, the Spirit keeps inviting us into new … Read More

Thankful for the Catechumenate

By Eddie Francis Fremont United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon began their catechumenate, Sacramental Living, a year ago. Eddie Francis was one of the first catechumens and was deeply impacted by the process. As a child, Eddie resented having to go to church since the message didn’t resonate with him. As an adult, however, he started attending a UMC church … Read More

What does GOD’S story have to do with OUR story?

Come to the Annual Gathering and leave with a resource for restoring the connections! By Bev Piro, JBL:NAAC Board President                 The Loss of Connection to God’s Story The Bible is our best avenue to know God’s Great Story of saving acts. We travel from the flood, to the crossing of the Red … Read More

Catechumenate Training Changes Lives & Congregations: Stories from the Trenches

By Martha Maier, JBL:NAAC Board Member From Skeptic to Believer Pastor Linda Quanstrom was a skeptic about the catechumenate. But encouraged by her District Superintendent, who had recently joined her church, she rounded up a team to attend the catechumenate training held in Seattle, WA last fall. After the training she wasn’t sure the process would work in her modestly-sized … Read More

“Living Wet” in a Troubled World

By Elise Eslinger A world in turmoil The world, the nation, the churches, our cities and communities are in conflict and turmoil. Even creation itself is groaning. How to respond in this season? “Write the vision plainly, so that a runner may read it.” (Habakkuk 2:2) In this digital culture, what makes for such a plain vision— a blinking display … Read More