Who are we?
The Christian Education, Faith Formation, and Leadership Development (CEFELD) is a Convening Table of the NCC. In 2021 the CEFFLD will meet quarterly to share stories of how spiritual practices guide and equip individuals, denominations/communions, congregations, or other faith-based communities toward Spirit-led acts of justice. Sharing our experiences of spiritual practices with one another will open space for discernment and action on some of the CEFFLD topics discussed in previous years (e.g., race, interreligious dialogue with a focus on peace, reparations, mass incarceration, racial audits). The 2021 proposal addresses the three larger foci of our Convening Table: Christian education (developing resources for Christian teaching and learning), faith formation (understanding discipleship, spiritual nurture and faith practices across Christian traditions), and leadership development (demonstrating how mission and service are an important part of faithful leadership in our churches, communities, and beyond).
CEFFLD objectives for 2021
• Share ways that a spiritual practice is used to create awareness of critical justice issues and prompt faithful action in our communities, regions, countries, and the world.
• Share a testimony of how this practice has been particularly helpful for the faith formation or leadership development of an individual, or in a congregational setting. Historical or contemporary examples could also be highlighted.
• Share a model or example of how someone in one of our member communions (or beyond) could employ this practice for use in other settings or contexts beyond the Church.
• Share resources (e.g., books, website, articles, videos) that give readers/viewers a chance to learn more about the practice and to empower them to move forward.
• Inspire others to share their own examples of spiritual practices, particularly ones that sustain and challenge them to move forward in faithful efforts toward justice.
• Show connections across faith traditions that have some similarities in practices, helping to build stronger bridges of understanding around commitments to shaping spiritual lives and communities to be agents of peace and justice in the world.
What is a spiritual practice?
• Classic practices as defined by the early Church and early Church traditions. (e.g., prayer, fasting, tithing, intercession).
• Practices common within specific Christian traditions, but lesser known to others (e.g., lectio divina, pilgrimage, iconography, examen).
• Practices that might be common to other cultural or faith traditions, but that can be adapted for use in Christian contexts.
• Practices that may be more readily associated with social or political activism, and yet are shaped by Christian theology and carried out with attention to God’s justice and righteousness. (e.g., peace vigil, protesting, lobbying, letter-writing).
• Practices that include an intersection of one or more of the above.