The best I can recollect, the year was 1996 – shortly after we moved to Austin, Texas – when I began to nurture the idea for Faithkeepers. I bounced the idea around in my head for a couple of years and then finally began putting pen to paper around 1998.
Many, many people helped me in those early days. But special thanks in particular go to Susan Rueue, Cathy Cordes, Beth Marie Halvorsen, and Sandy Wikelius for providing inspiration, encouragement, and elbow grease to make the ideas come into being.
For the next four years or so, I learned so much driving across the far reaches of the Texas Hill Country to visit with pastors, book store managers, and lay people about the story of baptism and its importance to the Christian faith.
During these driving journeys, I guess you might say I was on a spiritual journey as well. Through the process, I discerned that another step in my education was necessary. So, around 2004, we decided to put Faithkeepers on hold while I returned to college for my Master’s of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministry at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest.
Over nights and weekends for the next five years, I plowed through the class work, to receive my degree in mid-2008. Graduation opened up a new door, as I accepted the invitation to serve as the interim director of Spiritual Life & Growth at my home congregation, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran, in late 2008.
Which brings us up to a couple of months ago, when I began to reflect on all of the experiences and conversations I’d had for more than a year in my role at Shepherd of the Hills. It’s been a wonderful opportunity: enriching, challenging, and rewarding.
And while I’ve learned much, one of the strongest, most repeated lessons for me has been how much the “body of believers” continues to change. That lesson has led me to bring back Faithkeepers, out of hibernation, as an alternative form of outreach.
I believe we need more alternatives, because we live in a society that “mashes up” aspects of work, family, belief, hobbies, community, career, politics, learning, and wellness, into a 24×7 stream of activity. At every moment, every member of this society, from young to old, is presented options on where to focus their time and attention.
With Faithkeepers, we hope to have a conversation with you and, hopefully, produce some good, new options for igniting and growing faith for the children of this new society. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing the conversation into the next 10 years!
In the meantime, please take advantage of our gift offer, marking our anniversary and celebrating Pentecost 2010.