The Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith recently launched a Web site, Practicing Our Faith.
The site complements the 1997 book Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People, edited by Dorothy C. Bass, director of the Valparaiso Project.
The site explores “twelve time-honored practices shaped by the Christian community over the centuries, yet richly grounded in contemporary experience,” according to the site. “These Christian practices are shared activities that address fundamental human needs and that woven together, form a way of life that is faithful and has integrity.”
Christian practices explored on the site include hospitality, discernment, forgiveness and dying well. The site distinguishes between a practice and an activity.
“For example, human beings have a fundamental need to make music, to engage in the practice we call ‘singing our lives.’ We do not have a fundamental need to play the guitar,” according to the site. “‘Singing our lives’ is a practice; playing the guitar is an activity within a practice.”
The Baptist Center for Ethics is also part of the movement emphasizing practices of the faith. BCE published an undated Bible study curriculum entitled “The Practice of Living Faithfully” in 2000. Thirteen lessons explore the biblical witness and outfit Christians to live their faith in the increasingly complicated, fragmenting 21st century.
Lessons include the practices of living simply, giving gifts and fasting.
The Practicing Our Faith site also offers study guides for the practices, sermons on the practices and ideas for practicing faith. Additionally, the site features news and activities related to the Valparaiso Project, and information about its grants program.
Future plans for the site include an interactive section devoted to youth and youth leaders.
“The project is ecumenical in orientation and appreciative of the legacies of a range of Christian traditions,” according to the site. It is funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. and based at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind.
Cliff Vaughn is BCE’s associate director.