you're reading...
Wednesday's Whim

Wednesday’s Whim: Nones

Happy Wednesday!

Tomorrow morning I am headed to Ohio with Lindsay (resident staff intern) and Peter Bergstrom to engage in a discussion about faith formation at Episcopal summer camps.  Our particular topic is “Nourishing Episcopal Faith Formation in a World of Rising “Nones”’ and I am anticipating some delightful and fruitful conversation!

As a foretaste, I thought I’d share with you some of the resources we are using.  The first two are Episcopal Church documents that offer helpful direction in the broader discussion of faith formation.  The following are some interesting and provocative resources that offer research and ideas about how culture and views on organized religion are changing.

If you’ve got some time and would like to add your voice (for which I’d be grateful), what are your thoughts on how Camp Stevens or Episcopal summer camp programs could approach faith formation given this shift in culture?


Whim: “sudden idea.” This weekly-ish post promises a number of things: personal thoughts and reflections, showing off Camp Stevens’ programs and staff, announcements for upcoming opportunities, and answering questions or responding to comments “from the audience.” If you have a topic or question you’d like addressed, just e-mail Beth!


4 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Whim: Nones

  1. I, personally, do not find “faith formation” necessary. Also, faith formation is just the “nice” way of saying conversion – which is not a good thing to stride for. You should let children and young adults make their own decisions about their religious beliefs based on their own ideas and experiences, without trying to “form” their “faith” for them. That is not a Summer Camp – or anyones – job.

    Also, when you present your statistic:
    “20% of Americans and 1/3 of young adults under 30 do not identify with any religious tradition”
    You are presenting this statistic in a worrisome manner, as if it something that needs to be changed. However, what is wrong with people choosing to not identify with any religious tradition? This trend is not something of concern. Whether people chose to hold religious beliefs or not hold them is irrelevant to a Summer Camp, even if it is a religiously founded Summer camp.


    Posted by Annie | November 14, 2013, 5:32 pm
    • Thanks for your comments, Annie! I also struggle with the title of “faith formation” because it gives the impression of conversion. One of the things we’re doing this morning in the workshop is defining faith formation. For me (& I think for much of Camp Stevens), faith formation is about walking alongside campers & staff to invite them to explore the idea of faith broadly – that we are a part of something bigger, that we are loved, that we belong. Unfortunately, many people, kids especially, feel alone & separate.

      For me personally, both my sense of belonging and love, and my drive to help others experience belonging and love are rooted in the story and experience of a Christian community. I hope, though, that folks experience that desire as something other than conversion and that, like you have, if a need for conversion is the message that someone would call me on it!

      I think what the statistics suggest is that people – young people in particular – aren’t finding that love or belonging in organized religion anymore. As a camp community, this present an exciting challenge as we discover ways to encourage wonder of self, others & the universe or God or nature.

      Did you watch the McLaren video? You might not agree with him, or you might take it much differently, but in a way he, too, is arguing that a move away from organized religion might be a good thing!


      Posted by Beth | November 15, 2013, 6:00 am
  2. Reblogged this on Hear what the Spirit is saying and commented:
    Beth is the Executive Director of our (Episcopal) Camp Stevens. The Conference she is attending is vital on so many levels. The resources she highlights are provocative (if you will ‘read, mark, and inwardly’ explore them). Her invitation is to you and me for comment. Let’s engage in this conversation.


    Posted by Daniel Rondeau | November 15, 2013, 7:12 am


  1. Pingback: Wednesday’s Whim: Meat-Free Mondays | When the Bell Rings - March 12, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

We Tweet too.

Other Ways to Support & Stay Current

Contribute to this blog!

Have something to share about Camp Stevens? Contact ashley-at-campstevens-dot-org with the topic you'd like to write about, and some info about your association with camp.
%d bloggers like this: