Baptized for Life (BFL) is a Lilly Endowment Inc. funded grant initiative that, over five years, nurtured participating congregations across six dioceses through a baptismal and vocational lens, affirming that confident Christian vocations are formed around scripture, community, and the sacraments to live faithfully in the world (vocation) every day. One of the largest groups in the initiative was The Diocese of Spokane, with four participating faith communities (All Saints; St. Stephen’s; Nativity; and Methow Episcopal). As the official grant ends, members of the BFL core team (Lisa Kimball, Project Director; Kim Arakawa, Project Manager; Francie Thayer and Rodney Dean, Spiritual Directors) had the opportunity to pay a final visit to diocesan leadership and attend the annual cider pressing at lay-led Methow Episcopal located in the rural Methow Valley of Washington State.
Lisa Kimball notes on our project website, “Metrics like average Sunday attendance describe who is there. Without intentional formation, they say nothing about what a congregation is becoming.” For the people at Methow Episcopal, the process of becoming is rooted in four pillars: worship, fellowship, spiritual formation, and ministry. Our visit to their joy-filled intergenerational fall cider press allowed our BFL core team to experience all four pillars in embodied action. The worship, gathered around a common table, honored this community’s desire “to see each other wherever we sit” as all listened to the homily offered by Lisa Kimball. Before and after the service, Christian hospitality was on deep display as apples were pressed into delicious cider, and a potluck meal nourished every person. The people of Methow Episcopal are being in relationship with God through their commitment to building intimate and authentic relationships with their neighbor. As BFL ends, the connections will continue. For more information about baptismal living, including a history of Baptized for Life and other helpful resources, visit the Baptismal Living page of the Activate Baptism section of our website!
– Kim Arakawa
Initiatives Coordinator and Project Manager