Communications - BIML Christian Ed Workshop

Bishop's Institute Lay Leadership Workshop on Children's Christian Formation

The Bishop's Institute for Ministry and Leadership hosted a lay leadership workshop on Children's Christian Formation from Friday, May 12 to Saturday, May 13, 2017. This was the first Children's Formation workshop sponsored by The Bishop's Institute, and it is the fourth in a series of eight Bishop's Institute lay leadership workshops. 

As with all of the Bishop's Institute educational events, the idea of a Children's Christian Workshop was developed in response to a need that was communicated to The Rev. Canon Dr. Douglas Dupree, Rector of the Bishop's Institute for Ministry and Leadership  by lay and clergy leaders in our Diocese. In this instance, The Rev. Stephen Mazingo, Rector of St Peter's Church, Fernandina Beach encouraged the Bishop's Institute to sponsor a conference on Children's Formation that would be "good, fun [and] engaging" and that would be accessible to our churches developing Sunday School and other children's programs that cannot necessarily afford to attend the long-distance conferences and workshops on children's formation. With his help and that of The Rev. Remington Slone from Christ Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, the first draft of what the conference might look like was worked out and The Rev. Abi Moon of St John's Church, Tallahassee was brought on board to lead the conference.

Many parishes in the diocese, both large and small, have long-standing and well-led children's education programs, while others are looking to start programs for the first time. What better way to enrich Children's Education in the diocese than to create a space for our children's education directors to learn from each other, share ideas, and network?  With Mtr. Abi Moon's direction and leadership, that space was created and these ideas were realized. Some twenty-three participants from churches across the Diocese were gathered for the conference that opened on Friday morning May 12th and closed with lunch on Saturday, May 13. The workshop included three excellent presentations from lay leaders with much experience in the field: Laura Magevney of St Mark's, Jacksonville, and Catherine Montgomery and Malinda Harris of Christ Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, respectively.

Participants also had the opportunity to work together in small groups to share ideas and get to know one another. A fire was lit by this conference to encourage and realize more offerings and opportunities for learning and for equipping all of our churches with the knowledge and tools needed to strengthen and build their children's formation programs.

Mtr. Abi Moon concludes, "We gathered for study, rest and to learn from each other. Laura Mageveny, at St Mark's, Jacksonville, shared her insight on the top 10 key principles of children's ministry, Catherine Montgomery, Christ Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, shared her joy and wisdom of recruiting and refreshing children's ministry volunteers, and Malinda Harris, also at Christ Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, shared her insights on intergenerational gatherings at all sizes of parishes. We are looking forward to forming a Diocesan Children's Ministry Commission and gathering again for collaboration and trainings!