As one of thirteen participating grantees in the Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose initiative funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., Baptized for Life (BFL) has walked alongside 17 faith communities from six dioceses with a focus on forming Christians who are confident about their baptismal identity and vocation. Now at the end of our five-year project, representatives from across the country gathered at Camp McDowell Conference and Retreat Center in Nauvoo, Alabama (an hour outside of Birmingham) from October 12-16th to participate in a culminating residency experience. “Lectionary + Liturgy + Life” – the initiative’s overarching catechumenal touchstone grounded our time together. Spiritual hospitality, daily prayer, and fellowship were combined with intense and profoundly moving times of learning, sharing, and planning. Featured speakers included The Rev. Juan Oliver, former custodian of the Book of Common Prayer and author of the recently published Shaped by Worship: Liturgy and Formation, and The Rev. Chantal McKinney from Root, Thrive, Soar. The residency began by joyously sharing each faith community’s BFL journey and ended with the completion of mission plans to continue the work of baptismal living within each diocese and beyond. So what is next for Baptized for Life as a grant initiative? Now that our time with these lay-led congregations is complete, story gathering and resource sharing will be the project’s final focus, with the intent of informing other projects within Lifelong Learning, specifically one of the department’s most recent Lilly Endowment Inc. grants, the Mutual Ministry Initiative (MMi).
Post-Residency Feedback from Andrea Farley, BFL Sponsor and Canon for Discipleship, Diocese of Spokane: “THANK YOU feels inadequate, but we are so grateful for your inspiring vision, your stalwart support, and your prayerful presence over these past four years! Our entire diocese has benefitted from the work and formation engaged by our four BFL teams! This initiative will continue to blossom and grow throughout our diocese as an ongoing outcome of your work, I have no doubt. Thank you, thank you, thank you for following the call of Jesus in beginning and sustaining this project. We are so grateful.”
Project Coordinator & Evangelist, Baptized for Life
Participating Dioceses: Arkansas, Central Gulf Coast, Michigan, Northern Indiana, Spokane, Upper South Carolina