Augsburg Lutheran Church, Brampton, ON is the PIF Resource congregation for the Toronto Conference in Eastern Synod.
As part of the covenant with ELCIC Augsburg's PIF committee decided to host their first PIF event on April 28, 2002. The goal was to tell Augsburg's story. For the committee this meant that participants would need to share what happens on Sunday.
A work in progress, Augsburg is excited about what is happening as their congregation partners with homes. Pastor Tom Doherty contacted the Toronto Conference council to make them aware of their plans to invite other congregations to come for a Sunday. This meant that participants would be involved in:
a) the educational hour
d) an afternoon of sharing of resources
e) the paradigm shift
f) what this paradigm shift means to ministry at Augsburg
g) participants' own congregational planning and group sharing.
April 28 Seminar
Partners in Faith
Augsburg Lutheran Church
- During the time set aside for the educational hour the participants heard from members how Augsburg went from a Sunday morning where worship and Sunday School ran concurrently to a set up where children are invited to worship following the educational hour. Sunday School and Adult learning take place during this time. For those young children who find sermon time difficult provision is made for them to go and do activities on the sermon topic.
- Participants took part in the meaningful worship service where all ages shared leadership. A member of the congregation told of the journey she had taken that led to approval to adopt in her 50's. Members are encouraged to tell their stories and share their faith journeys. Worship was intergenerational.
- Following lunch Pastor Tom welcomed and discussed Augsburg's role as PIF resource congregation for Toronto. He showed the Lending Library that had been bought with ELCIC funds and encouraged others to borrow items.
- Following the introduction of the concept of the paradigm shift in society the Dick Hardel portion of The Child In Our Hands video was shown. Participants shared what the paradigm shift in congregations would be.
- The PIF committee a) demonstrated skits that were used to present PIF ideas to the congregation b) described how many were involved in the Faith chests. A handout "Baptismal Sponsorship – A Ministry of Pastoral Care" corroborates Augsburg's statement of commitment to support parents and those baptized. The section, A Ministry of Friendship, outlines how the congregational sponsor of the baptized can be part of that child's faith journey from Baptism through High School graduation.
- Several ways of raising money were suggested - chili cook-off etc. Augsburg finds that PIF ministry is now a budget item of the church.
- Faith Talk cards were introduced and used. The value of this type of tool to get people sharing was highlighted.
- The participants were divided into congregational groups. Keeping in mind the experiences of the day, groups brainstormed ministry happening in their congregation that should be celebrate. They discussed how some ministry might be "tweaked" to help families and also added ministry that they would like to see happen at home. Everyone shared their ideas.
- The day was evaluated by the participants,
- The PIF event closed with a hymn and prayer.
As a Sunday all day event is unusual, the number of congregations represented was encouraging. Publicity sent by the Augsburg committee tweaked five congregations including one Anglican to send representatives.
These participants were very interested in the concepts of the process of passing on the faith and the many ways Augsburg partnered with the home. The enthusiasm of the presenters, indeed all the members of Augsburg, was motivational and the joy was "catching".