In our scriptures, there are multiple places where the very names of the people in the stories change because what their names were and who they had become no longer fell in line. Think of Abram and Sarai becoming Abraham and Sarah, or Saul becoming Paul. The realities of their relationship with God was such that these people found themselves no longer matching the names that they had for themselves and so they changed their names to greater reflect who they were. There was such a great change for the better in their lives that the best way they had to encapsulate it was to change their name.
We have a similar metamorphosis happening at our church right now. It is with great pleasure that we are announcing news from the Education Committee! The Education Committee of our church is changing its name to Family Ministries! For quite some time the Education Committee has been wrestling with whether the name of the group was really in line with what the group was doing as a body. The more we looked at this the more and more it seemed like things were not lining up in a way that made sense. It is not that the Education Committee has not been educating but rather that the Education Committee has been doing so much more than just education. As a result, we started looking for other words that more encapsulated what it was that we are doing. The Education Committee feels like the name they currently hold does not reflect what the group now does and who the group now is. There has been a feel that what this group does is a much more holistic approach to the formation of the young Christians in our midst than the current name entails.
Many studies have been showing that for Christian Education to truly take hold and create lifelong Disciples that doing things as a family makes the most difference in formation when paired along with education about the faith. This is also very reflective of the direction that our Family Ministries has when it comes to the types of opportunities that we offer. A perfect example comes from the wonderful event that we held after church on the 24th of September. The families of the church came together to put together hygiene kits to send to UMCOR as a response to the recent hurricanes that have been plaguing our brothers and sisters near the Gulf of Mexico. This was so much more than basic education in the Christian Faith. This was a chance to bring families together and put faith in action so that children and youth can see the importance of loving others by using precious family time to show love to those in need. From what I have heard about the event it was very successful in doing just this and is very reflective of the holistic type of ministry that the education committee has been doing.
I hope that you will give your support to our Family Ministries as they move forwards with expressing the more holistic approach to Discipleship that we are doing here at North Scottsdale UMC!