On July 1st we officially welcomed Kurt Schmidt to the role of half-time Director of Christian Formation at Christ Church Cathedral. Please pray for Kurt as he begins his work. Kurt brings a wealth of experience in education, spiritual formation and family life to us. Married to Catherine and father to Rachel, Kurt lectures as an instructor in Mathematics at the University of New Brunswick in the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre.
The appointment of a Director of Christian Formation is a turning point for the Cathedral congregation. Kurt’s title is not “youth leader,” “teacher,” or “Sunday School Superintendent.” First and foremost Kurt’s role will be to facilitate, using an intergenerational approach to ministry, opportunities for us to learn from one another. Together, we will help to form, shape, mould and conform one another in Christian faith. Kurt’s job is to help make that happen in our midst.
Yes, something may be asked of you! Ultimately, the responsibility for forming Christians belongs to the whole Christian community. At baptism, the community stands and accepts the challenge: “Will you who witnesses these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” The difficulty is that most of us haven’t the foggiest idea of where that starts. What we intend to attempt to create at the Cathedral is the best possible model of that actually happening!
A Cathedral Church is a leader in an Anglican Diocese. That doesn’t mean that we are better than anyone else. What it does mean is that what we are a model, and help set a standard, for the Anglican Church, in our case, in the Diocese of Fredericton. Our Diocese happens to be coterminous with the boundaries of the Province of New Brunswick with its 70 plus parishes and more than 150 churches.
Kurt’s biography reads:
Born in Illinois but raised in Littleton, Colorado, Kurt has lived in Fredericton since 2006. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College (1997—major in Mathematics, minor in African Studies) and an MEd from the Institute for Humane Education in Surry, Maine (2011).
Kurt considers himself an educator at heart, and has spent the last 15 years working as a teacher in diverse contexts and at various levels. Kurt’s own spiritual journey includes formative periods among his Jesuit teachers and mentors in high school, with monastic friends during university, and alongside members of L’Arche communities in both Canada and the United States.
A lover of music, dogs, poetry and soccer (the real football!), Kurt lives in downtown Fredericton with his wife Catherine (an occupational therapist) and daughter Rachel (launching into her second decade).
Kurt says he is honoured and blessed to be part of the Staff Team as Director of Christian Formation, serving God and the dynamic Cathedral congregation.
The position description for the Director of Christian Formation:
Day to day supervision will be by the Dean. The Christian Formation Committee of Bishop and Chapter will function as a support group for the Christian Formation Director. This group will work with the Director to develop yearly outcomes.
The Director of Christian Formation will see as a foundation of this ministry the facilitation of several formation and discipleship activities, working with other leadership towards an increased number of mission-minded followers of Jesus Christ within the Cathedral congregation.
Qualifications include having a living, maturing Christian faith, commitment and experience working with children, youth and families, and seniors having knowledge of and/or are supportive of the Anglican expression of the Christian faith.
• co-ordination and teacher development for the children’s Christian education program, while looking to expand this to all ages;
• scheduling, co-ordination, publicity and recruitment of leaders and mentors for baptism, first communion and confirmation preparation;
• organization of intergenerational activities and learning events to recognize special times and seasons in the church calendar year;
• encouraging the organization of home-based study and prayer groups;
• training and support of leaders when required;
• support for families in both community and home-based Christian formation;
• support of Alpha Course leadership;
• development and support of a regular seeker/ new member/ new Christian learning programme(s);
• particular focus initially on families with children, including engaging with them to determine needs and expectations