• Ways to help Episcopalians articulate and feel comfortable about speaking of their faith with others
• Builds upon the Jesus Movement and evangelism initiatives in the Episcopal Church
Today, in a rapidly changing religious landscape, the structures of Christendom— which once almost automatically instilled faith in generation after generation of believers—are gone. For faithful Episcopalians, it has become essential to learn how to "tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love." This is especially important for those generations born after the Baby Boom, which are experiencing the rapid rise of the "nones"—people who have lost their faith, or who have no faith at all.
The time to speak, to share our faith, is now. Kit Carlson offers a road map for those who want to learn to speak about the faith that lives within them. Speaking Our Faith will help them put words to their own experiences of God, create their own statements of belief, and to begin to have compassionate, caring conversations with other people about spirituality, belief, and Jesus Christ.
Audience: clergy, seminarians, adult education leaders, Christian educators, college chaplains, church planters, Episcopal Evangelism Network, Acts 8 Movement
Chapter One: A Whole New World—The Rising of the "Nones"
Chapter Two: Why is it so Hard to Talk about Faith?
Chapter Three: Where is God in My Story? The First Steps in Speaking about Faith
Chapter Four: How Firm a Foundation: Building a Faith That Will Stand
Chapter Five: Making a Statement about Faith
Chapter Six: Reclaiming Evangelism: Learning to Listen, Learning to Speak
"For years, the church has been encouraging people to tell their story which is much more difficult than it seems. In this book and Leader Guide we have a roadmap to help young adults discover their story and the stories of those around them. Carlson has skillfully brought together the data and background on young adults and their faith in order to craft a tried and true methodology that helps break down the barriers and fears of sharing our story. Speaking our Faith will help young adults and quite frankly all of us discover how to have transformative sacred conversations in which we will find Jesus in our own story, in our community, and in the world."
––The Rev. Shannon Kelly, Officer for Young Adult and Campus Ministries for The Episcopal Church
"Speaking Our Faith illustrates how contemplating faith in community leads people into claiming their faith and proclaiming the Good News. This resource will help the church to form the confident disciples and evangelists we so need. I'm ready to use Speaking Our Faith with the young adults in my community today."
––Samantha Haycock, chaplain at St. Martin's Episcopal Center at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville
"What a delightful resource! Kit Carlson has written a practical and hopeful guide for those of us who would love to tell the Story, but don't know where to start. Exploring both societal and internal inhibitions to talk about one's faith, the author proposes circles of sacred conversations as a transformative place of constructive theology. The accompanying Leader's Guide offers a ready-to-use template for groups to start practicing Speaking Our Faith in vulnerable and authentic ways. By finding words for their faith biography, participants embark on a journey that will help them discover that their own stories matter and become more comfortable to talk with their friends about the Old, Old Story.
––Thomas Dummermuth, Associate Pastor for Congregational Life, Eastridge Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, Nebraska
"King Solomon famously said, 'of making many books there is no end,' and this is increasingly evident in the oceans of ink written now about the need to do evangelism better inside and outside our faith communities. Dr. Carlson's book is unique among the many books and blogs on evangelism because she gives clear examples and well-researched methods about how to actually teach people the techniques and, more importantly, the joyful transformation that comes when we hear ourselves telling the stories of God in our lives. Dr. Carlson is a former journalist and it shows in this book. Her facts are hard earned, her conclusions well tested, and her ideas deeply grounded in sound theology and practice. Carlson believes––and teaches how––sharing our faith is not only the way to connect others to the power of the Gospel in the world, but also a way to connect our selves more deeply to God. The souls we touch may be our own."
––The Rev. Dr. Patricia Lyons, Missioner for Evangelism and Community Engagement, Episcopal Diocese of Washington