Greetings, Building Faith readers! Today I am departing from our typical publication formats to share some news, thanksgivings, and words of invitation with you.
As of January 1, I have accepted the invitation to serve as lead editor of Building Faith. Last August I had the privilege of joining the Building Faith team as interim editor for the fall, and I am excited for the opportunity to continue supporting Building Faith’s ministry in this new capacity.
Sarah Bentley Allred, who formerly led Building Faith’s editorial team, is still an editor for Building Faith. You will still get to read articles by her on occasion. However, she will be devoting more of her time to Forma in her role as Forma Convener on behalf of Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary (you can learn more about Forma here).
When I directed Christian formation programs in a parish, I turned to Building Faith more times than I can count for guidance, inspiration, and sometimes just to get my bearings when I did not know what to do. I have been where many of you are as formation leaders and teachers. I understand many of the joys, surprises, and struggles of formation ministries, especially through the pandemic upheaval. My deep hope is that Building Faith may meet all of you where you are in 2023 and beyond and may help sustain you in the joys, surprises, and struggles of faith formation among your diverse communities. The work you do, the time you give, the energy you offer, the spaces you hold, the presence you embody, and the faith you carry—and that carries you—matter.
Thanksgivings for 2022
As we step into this new year, I want to lift up several thanksgivings for 2022. First, thank you so much to all of our 2022 authors. My fellow editorial team members and I are grateful for you and your contributions to Building Faith this year. Thank you for your courage and creativity in sharing your experiences, wisdom, and ideas with this community of formation leaders and ministers.
Here are their names (in publication date order, January – December):
Luis Hernandez Rivas
Ahnna Lise Stevens-Jennings
Marty Wheeler Burnett
Allison Sandlin Liles
Andrés Herrera Gré
Erin Puckett McClure
Ellis Reyes Montes
Angela Compton Nelson
Anna Ostenso Moore
Sharon Ely Pearson
Luz Maria Lambi
Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows (republished from Interfaith America)
Rachel Doboney Benton
Simone Monique Barnes
Second, I want to express my thanks for all the members of Building Faith’s editorial team: Sarah Bentley Allred, Casey Jones, and Elizabeth Walker (you can read more about them here). I also want to give a shout out to Katherine Malloy, Elizabeth Panox-Leach, and Josh Brown for providing administrative support at Lifelong Learning in 2022 and for Josh’s continuing support to the editorial team in 2023. Each person has brought unique and wonderful gifts to the processes behind the scenes that enable Building Faith to be a place for sharing, equipping, and growing among authors and readers. I am so grateful for all that they have done to help make Building Faith what it is today, and I give thanks for the opportunity to collaborate more with Sarah, Casey, Elizabeth Walker, and Josh as we move forward.
Finally, thank you, readers, for your presence and participation in the Building Faith community. You and your communities are what Building Faith is all about. Your stories, your needs, your skills, your questions, your writing, and your creative ministry tools have helped build this resource hub to serve and enrich formation ministries across denominations. Thank you so much for being part of this labor of love.
An Invitation for 2023
I am so excited to see where 2023 will take us at Building Faith. I am eager to hear more of your stories, to celebrate what more of your communities are doing, and to hold more spaces for all of us to walk together through the challenges that may arise. Our God is not done with us. Our God is not done with our churches. Our God is not done with God’s steadfast, liberating, life-giving love for all people and all of creation.
So I invite you to be part of Building Faith’s community and ministry this year. If you have a question you’d like to ask, an idea to share, or a challenge you’re seeking to address, please reach out and tell us about it. Let us know what topics you are interested in reading about and what articles would help you this year. Send us a message through this contact form or by emailing us here.
If you have not yet subscribed to Building Faith, consider signing up. Subscribers receive new Building Faith articles along with seasonal resource emails once or twice weekly in their inboxes. Subscription is free and only requires your name and email address. You can subscribe through this link.
I also invite you to consider writing for Building Faith this year. Sharing your experiences in formation ministries can make a meaningful difference to someone else who might not otherwise envision the idea you came up with, encounter the perspective you bring, or hear their struggle named in your own question or story. We love to feature both new and returning authors, and you do not have to have publishing experience or an educational background in writing to write for us. We especially want to amplify voices and communities that have been underrepresented and marginalized on account of race, culture, nationality, gender, sexuality, disability, and economic status so that more members of the body of Christ may see their gifts, needs, and lives reflected in Building Faith’s ministry and all of us may better “strive for justice and peace among all people,” as The Episcopal Church’s Baptismal Covenant says, together in 2023. If you are interested in writing for Building Faith, send us your proposal (a paragraph or two describing your topic, goal, and approach) at this email address.
May God be with you and your communities throughout this year!
Much peace to you,