Hello, Building Faith readers! With a new liturgical year already underway and a new calendar year approaching, I’d like to share some thanksgivings and updates from 2023 at Building Faith.
Thank You to Our 2023 Authors
First, I want to thank our authors for 2023. I count it a deep privilege to have worked with each of them this year. I am grateful for the ways they have been generous and brave in sharing their stories, wisdom, creativity, and words of encouragement from their ministries with this whole community. Their contributions have made a meaningful impact on Building Faith and enriched Christian formation, not only in 2023 but for years to come.
Here are Building Faith’s 2023 authors:
Nurya Love Parish
Kathleen Henderson Staudt
Kelli Sieplinga Dunn
Heidi J. A. Carter
Alberta Brown Buller
Mauricio J. Wilson
Carol Pinkham Oak
Allison Bird Treacy
Breen Marie Sipes
Sarah Bentley Allred
Miriam Willard McKenney
Thank you so much!
A Word of Thanks to Those Behind the Scenes
I also want to give a shout out to the members of Building Faith’s editing team. My fellow editors, Sarah Bentley Allred and Casey Jones, have worked hard behind the scenes to support authors and prepare articles for publication all year. They also have brought brilliant ideas to the table and pitched in with various projects at Building Faith to strengthen this ministry. I am incredibly grateful to each of them.
Another person I want to thank is former fellow editor Elizabeth Walker, who was a vital part of our team during the first half of the year. She contributed so much to Building Faith while she completed her course of study at Virginia Theological Seminary. While we were sad to see her go, we were thrilled to celebrate her graduation and to wish her well this summer. Thank you, Elizabeth.
I also must thank two other members of our team who help sustain our work in many ways: Wallace Benton, Associate Director of Lifelong Learning, and Josh Brown, Operations Manager of Lifelong Learning. I am deeply grateful to both of them for how they support this team in putting Building Faith’s mission into concrete action.
Additionally, I want to say a word of thanks to the whole Lifelong Learning team at VTS. The wisdom, ideas, and collegiality they have offered amid their numerous projects and responsibilities have edified Building Faith and inspired me. Many thanks to all of you.
Thank You to Our Readers
A final word of thanks goes to you, our readers. Thank you for being here with us this year. You and your communities are the reason we do what we do. I am grateful to you all for sharing your presence, comments, emails, stories, and ideas with us.
Updates from 2023
Along with our regular article publications, we made a few different updates to the Building Faith website this year in the hope of better serving you and your communities. Here are a couple of the key changes you will find.
Creation Care Page
In the spring, we added a landing page for Creation Care articles to the site. Now when you visit the Articles page, you will have an easier time finding resources to equip your communities in caring for creation.
Throughout 2023, we had a Disability and Inclusion Audit conducted at Building Faith in order to address outdated language and recommendations regarding disabilities and accessibility in Building Faith’s archives. Through the audit, we also learned about ways to increase accessibility on the website for disabled users.
I want to thank Bird Treacy, our consultant, for conducting the audit and providing guidance on needed changes at Building Faith. With her expert feedback and recommendations, we have updated our articles on disability and inclusion along with our editorial style guide and author guidelines. We are also in the process of implementing changes to help make the website more accessible.
I invite you to check out the updates in our Disability and Inclusion articles. You can also learn more about the audit in the article “Addressing Disability on Building Faith: A Note on Sitewide Changes” by Bird Treacy.
Additional 2023 Highlights
Another offering that we have at Building Faith that visitors to the website may not be aware of is our series of resource round-ups. We regularly curate seasonal and topical articles from our archives and send these collections by email to our subscribers. During 2023, we shared a total of 12 article collections with our mailing list subscribers and on our Facebook page. These ranged from Lent and Holy Week and All Saints and All Souls compilations to fall formation prep, a VBS toolkit, and youth pilgrimage and mission trip resources.
Looking Forward to 2024
I am excited to journey with you into 2024 at Building Faith. A lot of good work lies ahead of us all in Christian formation ministries, and we at Building Faith are eager to equip and inspire you to meet the needs of your communities and to follow our liberating and loving God into the new year.
Please reach out and let us know how we can support you in your formation ministries in 2024. You can get in touch with us via email. I also hope you will consider writing for Building Faith to share your experiences and ideas with other formation leaders. The story, program, or resource you have to share could make a meaningful difference in formation ministries across the Building Faith community.
I wish you a wonderful conclusion to 2023 and generative beginning to 2024!