It would seem that I touched a nerve (in a good way) when I suggested recently that our adult faith formation efforts need to focus on brokenness. This idea really seems to resonate with people, based on the volume of comments and the number of people who shared the post on social networks. Thanks for making this such a robust conversation. I thought it might be helpful to revisit it and delve a little deeper.
The question comes down to: How do we make this happen on a practical level? What are the first steps?
In my mind, one of the first steps at the parish level would be to bring together the faith formation team and the human concerns team to explore the needs of people in the parish community and brainstorm how outreach can be coupled with formation in faith.
For example, if one of the major human concerns in the parish is addressing the needs of the elderly, perhaps the parish could explore opportunities for helping the elderly to explore how Scripture and Tradition speak to issues such as suffering, loss, surrender, contemplation, forgiveness and reconciliation, new life (grandchildren!), and yes, even death and the afterlife.
Likewise, if one of the major human concerns in the parish community is poverty, perhaps the parish could explore opportunities for helping those who are unemployed to acquire not only job-searching skills but also to see how Scripture and Tradition speak to the issues of poverty, labor, vocation, stewardship, Catholic social teaching, God’s Providence, prayer, and so on.
What other examples can you offer?