Visioning Our Future: Christian Education

By Mother Imogen Rhodenhiser, Associate Rector

One of my favorite, hidden treasures at Christ Church Cranbrook is an engraving in the stones high above the Library Door which reads, “Teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” While it sounds very much like a reference to Jesus, the Christ child, it is actually a quotation from the Hebrew scriptures (Judges 13:8). The child it refers to is Samson, who of course met with that highly unfortunate fate between the two pillars after falling for Delilah and then having his long hair cut off, amongst other things.

Of all the quotations that could have been selected for this engraving, Judges 13:8 seems a curious choice. Yet this fragment of a prayer, offered by a parent for their child, contains two of the central beliefs of our Christian community. Firstly, growing in faith and in our relationship with God is a constant process of learning, even when it entails unlearning and relearning. Secondly, what we learn is to shape and impact what we do and the way we live both as individuals and as a church.

These beliefs are at the heart of our Capital Campaign, From Our Founding to Our Future. The
members of the Booth family, who allowed Christ’s vision to shape their own, were focused on formation from the beginning. Before this beautiful building existed, people gathered for Sunday School at Cranbrook House. That desire to form and support Christians of all ages at all stages of their lives is still with us now. It is a desire God placed in the hearts of the Booths and that God places in our hearts today.

Our capital improvements will comprehensively support our holy work in creating and encouraging disciples of Christ in the following ways:

•Increased accessible parking will allow greater ease of attendance for all God’s     children, whatever their circumstances, to our many formational programs.

•Beautiful, intentional classroom spaces for children will immediately communicate that they are loved and valued members of our community.

•Parents will be able to deeply embrace their own formation, knowing that their children are in safe, visible spaces just down the hallway from the sanctuary.

•An array of flexible meeting spaces will provide us with space for small groups
(instead of having to use staff offices as we did this past Lent), writing retreats, prayer groups, and seminar-style classes.

•A dedicated room for youth will
demonstrate to our youth that their presence matters to us, even when they are not serving as acolytes, and that we are committed to their flourishing and formation.

I invite your continued prayers, participation, and pledge to help us carry out this ongoing work of
formation together as we journey by faith into the future.