Q: What is Spirit of Invitation:
A: Spirit of Invitation is an initiative of the Diocese of Toronto. We’re a kind of creative working group, built on the idea that mission and discipleship are inseparable from one another, and seeking to explore our Christian faith through a variety of media.
Spirit of Invitation has developed Invited, which is a series of short films and a written resource, both aimed at exploring the shape of genuine Christian invitation. And, who knows? We might just have more projects in mind.
Q: What is Invited? Is it a series of films, or some kind of written resource?
Invited is a series of short films that seek to explore what it means to engage in genuine, Christian invitation. We begin with the conviction that invitation is at the very heart of the Gospel – that Jesus invites each one of us to come and follow him, and being an invitational people is at the very core of our identity as Christians. From there, we offer thoughts, images and dreams – and we hope that you’ll join the conversation.
Invited is also a written resource, intended to be used by groups and communities to help foster conversation about and exploration into the breadth and length and depth of invitation. The written resource will be released early in 2015 – so check back soon.
Q: Wait – I thought you said that this wasn’t going to be a six-week course?
That’s true – we did say that. Which is why we didn’t develop a course.
We’ve developed a series of videos and a six-part written resource, and these things can be used together or on their own. Some might say that the six-part written resource looks suspiciously like a six-week course, but we believe that it’s a flexible, modular, guided resource for groups that want to dig deeper and explore these issues in community. To us, the idea of a course brings up images of teachers and students, homework, bad coffee, and all kinds of obligation. Instead, we really believe that what we’ve got here is interesting, engaging, and freeing (and the bad coffee part – that’s up to you). Which is why you can download it and use it anyway you want.
Q: Who developed Invited?
This idea came out of a working group within the Diocese of Toronto that was tasked with exploring new ways of encouraging Anglicans to be more invitational. You might say that we’re a group of people who stumbled upon an exciting idea.
The Spirit of Invitation team is a diverse group of about 10 people from all kinds of different backgrounds, ordained and lay, working together to explore the concept of invitation. The group is co-chaired by Jeff Potter and the Rev. Canon Mark Kinghan. Scripts for each of the videos were written by Jeff Potter and Nate Wall. Some friends of ours – the Rev. Canon Susan Bell, Canon Missioner of the Diocese of Toronto, and the Rev. Dr. Judy Paulsen, Professor of Evangelism at Wycliffe College – co-authored the written resources. And Nicholas Bradford-Ewart, award-winning filmmaker extraordinaire of Farmer Vision Media, adapted our scripts and helped us to put the videos together.
Q: How do I use Invited?
Any way you want to!
We’ve designed the videos and the written materials to work together, but they also work on their own. There is a kind of internal logic at work as you move through them in order, but, hey – we’re not going to tell on you if you decide to use them out of order. And we’ve heard that if you play the first video backwards at double speed while reading the fourth part of the written resources out loud, crazy things can happen.
Seriously, though, we hope you’ll engage with the material and make them your own. Use them however makes sense to you.
And if you’re looking for a little more structure, we’ll have a list of communities that are going to be running the Invited series in the Diocese of Toronto up on the site by early 2015. Check back soon, and consider joining one of the groups.
Q: Does it cost anything to use?
It’s our gift to you. And, if you like it, all we ask it that you share it.
If you’re a large organization and you’re looking to use Invited on a large scale, we ask that you do us the courtesy of letting us know by dropping us a line at moc.n1603194150oitat1603194150ivnif1603194150otiri1603194150ps@of1603194150ni1603194150
And, please, don’t try to pass off our material as your own. That’s just not nice. It only takes a second to attribute this stuff to Spirit of Invitation.
Q: My group wants to run Invited as a series. Do you offer any support?
We do run workshops for group facilitators from time to time, and we’re always looking for new communities to join in. Also, for a small fee, we’re also able to arrange for printed copies of the written material, and copies of the videos on disk.
Q: Can I download the videos?
Yes. Go to the Vimeo page for the video you want and look for the Download link/button.
You can also use the Embed option to display the video on your own website/blog without having to download the file.
Q: Can I get hard copies of the videos and/or written resources?
You can, for a small fee. Drop us a line at moc.n1603194150oitat1603194150ivnif1603194150otiri1603194150ps@of1603194150ni1603194150 and we’ll give you the details.
Q: What’s next?
We’ve learned a whole lot over the past couple of years as we put the Invited series together. More than a few new ideas came up on the way, and we’re always thinking about new ways to better understand, explore, and communicate our Christian faith. But, as you probably know, the creative process takes time, and can’t be rushed. So stay tuned – exciting things are on the horizon.
Q: How can I get involved?
Good question. For starters, share the Invited series with other people, and join the conversation. Consider hosting Invited as an organized series at your church or with your community.
And feel free to drop us a line at moc.n1603194150oitat1603194150ivnif1603194150otiri1603194150ps@of1603194150ni1603194150 We’re always open to receiving feedback, answering questions, and hearing new ideas.
Q: You didn’t answer my question. What gives?
Sorry about that. Feel free to drop us a line at moc.n1603194150oitat1603194150ivnif1603194150otiri1603194150ps@of1603194150ni1603194150, and we’ll see what we can do.