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stems from “a deeper faith that is the foundation under everything we do.” This faithful foundation can help leadership


blossom when both rostered ministers and lay members are encouraged to grow by trying new things. Carson knows this from personal experience: her opportunities as a youth to help lead ministries in her home congregation encouraged her to seek a call to the ministry of word and service. Now, Carson works to nurture faith formation


for all ages. “The church has so often focused on faith formation for the first third of life,” she said, “but I point out that we also have two-thirds of our lives left to grow, and that’s when we have a fully formed brain!” Carson isn’t only expanding the “who” of faith


formation, but also the where and when: she is developing “Faith on the Go,” a website-in-progress that will offer online faith formation resources to meet busy people where they are. Proclamation and leadership can also come


from surprising places. Clark recalls a week of camp designed for youth on the autism spectrum when a young man was moved at the final campfire to share his testimony. In a long, halting speech, the young man told the story of his mother saving him from drowning—and how he now connected that story to Jesus’ saving death on the cross. “His peers applauded,” Clark remembered. “He was able to connect his life and faith and have the space to be heard.”


“Serve all people following the example of Jesus” Santoriello consistently finds that the service ministries of her congregation help people of all ages to naturally incorporate faith into their everyday lives. At Zion’s food pantry, which serves 150 families


each Saturday, “we have a picture of our oldest and youngest volunteers together, and they’re 83 and 3,” she said.


18 JANUARY 2018


The 3-year-old belongs to a family whose


parents wanted to volunteer but weren’t sure what to do with their children. Santoriello suggested they bring them along. Now “they do it as a family; that’s how they spend their Saturday mornings,” she said. Santoriello emphasized that service doesn’t just


come from faith—it forms faith. “The faith conver- sations we have between adult volunteers and kids [are something] you can’t replicate and you can’t force,” she said. Church becomes a place where kids learn “there are adults who will always love [them] unconditionally”—and adults learn too, she added. For Darin Johnson, campus pastor of Agape


House—a ministry of San Diego State University whose student community he said has personally experienced “struggling with food and housing, losing weight, sleeping in cars, being robbed and [sexually assaulted]”—service takes on a different meaning: “we serve each other.” This happens literally at a weekly Wednesday night meal, but also in opportunities for students to share their stories and to give and receive support. Following Jesus’ example, Johnson argued,


means challenging a notion of faith that imagines “the individual is at the center,” instead striving “to meet as equals [and] to acknowledge that the relationship itself is at the center.” Johnson teaches students “how to build


relationships, not just as a means to an end, but as the end,” so service is measured by “the quality of our connectedness—do we know each other?”


“Strive for justice and peace in all the earth” As an African-American child in Harlem, New York City, attending her grandmother’s Baptist church, Smith had trouble connecting the blue- eyed, blond-haired Jesus up on the wall with the hardships facing her community. “I thought maybe Jesus doesn’t like black people,” Smith recalled. “A lot of people were struggling—where was God in this community?”


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