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Formation Updates

Welcome to the Formation Leaders Updates page, your central hub for staying connected with the latest activities, resources, and events in the realm of spiritual education and leadership. Here, you’ll find regular updates on upcoming meet-ups, innovative teaching resources, enriching workshops, and collaborative opportunities that will not only enhance your leadership skills but also deepen your impact in guiding others on their spiritual paths.

Whether you’re looking for the latest trends in faith-based education or seeking to network with like-minded leaders, this space is your gateway to a wealth of knowledge and community connections, all aimed at supporting your vital role in spiritual formation.


May 22, 2024

 Connection – Learning – Sabbath

I have been thinking of you all in these last few weeks of Spring. The way you have poured your hearts, minds, spirits, and energy into so many magnificent things. You inspire me! And I imagine you are exhausted. My prayer for you this Summer is that I hope you have time for connection, learning, and Sabbath. You have provided for so many. I hope this Summer there is time for YOU! The offerings below are designed to enrich your lives. I invite you to choose the ones that are best for you!


Formation Leaders Gathering – June 13, 2024 – 9AM-1PM – St. James by the Sea, La Jolla – You are invited to join me and other formation leaders from around the diocese from around the diocese for a day of reflection and planning. I will bring a planning tool that you can use for next year as well as several curriculums that might be helpful for Fall. Please rsvp through the link below and bring a “bowl of goodness” to share for a potluck lunch. What is a “bowl of goodness”? Well, that is up to you! Something delicious- from popcorn, to salad, to ice cream, the possibilities are endless. I hope to see you there!

Formation Leaders Gathering RSVP


Godly Play Core Training – July 12-14 – St. Bartholomew’s, Poway – This annual training is an opportunity not only to explore or enrich your Godly Play ministry, but is also helpful for anyone who wishes a deeply connective professional development experience. As part of our commitment to providing our diocese with exceptional professional development opportunities, we underwrite the cost of this training. Core Training is normally $355 per participants. Members of EDSD are able to register for a discounted rate of $75 per person. Registration is open now through July 5, 2024 or when we reach capacity.

Godly Play Core Training Registration

Lay Catechist License – The Fourth Tuesday of the month August – February – Zoom – By definition, a Catechist is a lay person authorized to prepare persons for Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, and the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows. It is so much more than that though. This course aims to provide a deep and broad course of study that will find the through-line of Faith Formation offerings. Participants will explore formation across ages, vet and adapt curriculum, and complete a project they can use in their congregation. At the end of the training, participants will be eligible for a Lay Catechist License. 

Lay Catechist Training Details and Registration


This Summer, more than anything, I hope you find time for Sabbath. The opportunity to breathe deeply and rest well creates space for dreams! Below is a prayer for rest from Black Liturgies by Cole Arthur Riley. It has blessed me. I hope it blesses you.

God of levity, Grant us a rest that permeates our waking hours. Mark our days with the recreation and playfulness of our youth. Restore to us the energy for mischief and creativity and competition that we’ve lost as we’ve gotten older. Put people in our lives who inspire us in our play. Game nights, karaoke, gardening, film–we want more than the binary of work and sleep. We want delight in the in-between, those moments of interior rest that can happen while we’re awake. Show us what forms of entertainment and what hobbies lead us into peace. And protect us from the lie that if we are awake, we should be working. Remind us that a light heart is not a heart that lacks depth. That our play does not negate our grief. Let us rest in the way we need today. Amen

Please let me know if I can support you in any way. I hope to see you on June 13th at St. James!



May 13, 2024

Hello Everyone!
Here we are at Pentecost! I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone. Below are some important updates for you. This is one of two emails you will receive from me this week. I was worried that if I included more, it would get lost in the shuffle. This email contains information for the youth in your congregation. The next email will have information for you, including a year-end planning meeting, dates for Godly Play training, and more! 
Pentecost Day at the Bay!  June 2, 2024 – 2-7pm – – Bahia Point – Grades 6-12 – Come and enjoy an afternoon of fun with young people from all around our diocese. There will be the opportunity to sail, swim, play games, and relax with friends! Leighton Jones is hosting this year’s event! Please see the details for you below.
Host: Leighton Jones, St. James by the Sea Episcopal Church, leighton@sjbts.org
Arrival: 2pm Bahia Point.
What youth need to bring: Water bottle, sunscreen, and swimwear that is appropriate for sports and games.
Optional items for youth: chairs, beach games, playing cards, etc.
What chaperones need to bring: waivers (attached to this email) for each person in your group, sunscreen, water bottle, chair. Please plan on one chaperone for every 8 students you are bringing.
Food: Leighton will have large jugs of water for refilling water bottles and snacks during the day. The evening will include hotdogs, and s’mores.
Cost: FREE!
Registration: complete this form by  May 31, 2024, at 5pm with the size of your group. That will enable Leighton to purchase supplies. Please also include any dietary needs on that form. A completed waiver for every student that attends is required. Those forms need to come with you to the event.
CAMINAR EN LA LUZ – Walk in the Light – High School Youth Summer Trip 2024 – August 2-8, 2024 – entering grade 10 – exiting grade 12. There are 15 total spots available for this trip. The application is open through May 27, 2024.
This Summer youth from the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego will travel to the Community of Light in Tijuana. They will meet youth from the Anglican Diocese of Western Mexico. The Community of Light is a partnership between the two dioceses and will be a shelter for women and children building a life in Tijuana after being unable to cross into the United States of America. Youth on this trip will build relationships with the youth from Western Mexico, learn about the culture in Mexico, work on service projects for the shelter, and deepen their faith through learning, serving, and worship.
Applications are open through June 10, 2024. There are 15 spots for this year’s trip. This trip is fully funded! Please encourage your students to apply to be part of the delegation!


April 22, 2024

Applications are now open for next year’s Youth Leadership Council! There is a shareable description with links at the bottom of this email. Please don’t forward this email but copy and paste that section and send it along. A few important things for you to note about the process first!
  • TWO STEPS: application from the student and a nomination from the congregation are both required to be considered for council
  • YOUTH VOTE AT CONVENTION: this year’s council will also have the opportunity to be part of the first youth voting block at convention!
  • MAXIMUM OF TWO PER CONGREGATION: If more students in your congregation want to apply for council, please make sure to connect with me for a discernment conversation. A maximum of two students per congregation will be accepted.
The information below the line is to share with your students. Please help me to share this far and wide!
Youth entering grades 10-12 in the ’24-’25 school year are invited to apply for Youth Leadership Council. The council assists with the planning of convention and the annual Epiphany Retreat at Camp Stevens. They are conversation partners for diocesan working groups and congregations looking to enhance their youth programs. They work as a team, building leadership skills, and forming close relationships with each other. Interested students are invited to consider the following questions: 
Do you have a voice that needs to be heard, a kind and open heart for others, and a willing spirit to work not only as a leader but also as a team? 
Do you want to help plan events for the youth of our diocese providing opportunities for others to connect more deeply to their faith and each other? 
Can you help identify who isn’t at the table and invite them into relationship and connection? 
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego believes in the leadership of young people and specifically, that they are called to lead in both our diocese and the world. With roles for the outspoken advocate and the quiet worker, the EDSD Youth Leadership Council was formed with this in mind. 
Students interested in being a member of this year’s council must complete the two-step process before June 10, 2024. 
  1. Step one: student application for youth leadership council by June 10, 2023. STUDENT APPLICATION LINK
  2. Step two: Clergy or youth leader nominations due by June 14, 2024. NOMINATION LINK
Students will be contacted with the result of their application by June 17, 2022. 

Please contact Charlette Preslar, cpreslar@edsd.org with any questions.



March 28, 2024

Hello Everyone,

Prayers are ascending for you all today as we enter the Holy Triduum. Quiet reflection isn’t often something permitted those of us who serve in congregations. I hope you are able to find time for your own spiritual journey as you support those you serve. Below are a few details that will be helpful to you in the week’s ahead. 

Sacred Trails – Registration is well underway for this event, with participants from all over our diocese. There are two ways you can engage with this at a congregational level. 

  • Individual Participation – Share the details and registration link with your parish and invite them to register. If you choose this option, no further steps are required of you! *Of special note is that children and youth may not register for this event unless they are going with their families or as part of your youth group. See the details for this option below.
  • Group Registration – Send out waivers to your youth group and bring a group to the event! If you do this, please modify this waiver to have your congregation name and the hike you are attending. Have families complete the waivers and turn them into you. Then you register the group through the registration link below. 



Free Resource for April 7 – Perhaps you have planned for the week after Easter, but if you haven’t, Illustrated Ministry has released a wonderful free resource for that day. I particularly like the youth adaptation of it. The intergenerational component seems worthwhile as well. You can access it through the link below.

            Illustrated Ministry Mini Revoluntions

Professional Development – There are still a few spots left for LARK and Knowing Yourself workshops. Please register soon. Both of these count as professional development and would assist you in supporting your ministry and your congregation. Details below!



March 15, 2024

Hello Everyone,

This update includes 3 important things, two of which are for you!

Knowing Yourself: Ministry from a place of self-awareness is now open for registration. This exceptionally powerful tool will enhance your ministry through greater understanding of how we enter into relationships.

April 13th – 9 AM – 12 PM @ All Saints Hillcrest

There are only 30 spots, and 10 are already filled! REGISTER HERE

LARK – Localized Anti-racism Knowledge is an exceptional anti-racism training that was born in our diocese. Come and explore the danger of a single story, with stories gleaned from the areas where we live. This training is more than conversation, but pushes participants to consider what they will DO with what they have learned. I attended the last training and it was exceptional. May 3 & 4 at St. Matthew’s National City. REGISTER HERE

Sacred Trails – The Creation Care Play Day has had a shift in name… it is now Sacred Trails! This event is intergenerational and is taking place all over our diocese! Follow this link for more information and to register. If you would like to bring your youth group, I will send out group registration details the week of the 25th. SACRED TRAILS DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

I am headed out now to pick up the vans for Nightwatch. Please pray for the 32 students, and 8 chaperones who are going on pilgrimage to the desert this weekend! I will be on vacation next week, but will look forward to connecting with you when I return.

As always, I am exceptionally grateful for each of you and your ministries!



March 1, 2024

Hello Everyone,
A quick update on Nightwatch this year! Current registration is posted under the registration tab in this section.
Please also sign up to chaperone the event through these links. Chaperone commitments are due today!

Both forms must be completed in order to complete chaperone teams.

Congregation Leadership  (clergy/wardens)                   Interested Chaperones 

I thought some new details might help inspire your students to register. Please share the FAQ below with your youth and families. I am getting excited for this program!
FAQ Nightwatch Pilgrimage 2024
Where are we going?
This year’s Nightwatch is a Pilgrimage to the Coachella Valley. We will spend time both at St. John’s in Indio and St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert.
How will we get there?
Vans will depart from several San Diego locations to transport students to and from the desert. Youth who live in the Coachella Valley will meet us at St. Margaret’s and then hop into vans with us to head to St. John’s that evening.
What will we do?
Nightwatch is designed to be an immersive, interactive faith experience. This year’s theme, Walk Humbly with God, invites us to consider how we care for the earth, serve local communities, and deepen our own prayer life. We will learn about sustainability from Chet Hecht at St. Margaret’s and create a pet food pantry for their food pantry. Later that afternoon we will hike to the cross behind St. Margaret’s. The evening’s program will include dinner, games, worship and keeping the watch at the altar at St. John’s. The following morning we will have breakfast and attend St. John’s service before heading home.
What is the timeline for the event?
Official departure times will be created once registration is closed and we can identify where vans will be departing from. A rough timeline would have vans departing from San Diego at 9:30 Saturday morning and returning Sunday about 1 PM.
What if I need to come late or leave early?
While it is ideal for everyone to have the entire experience, we know that schedules won’t always allow for that. If a student is able to be transported to and from the desert at an alternate time, they are still welcome to participate in Nightwatch. These arrangements should be made with Charlette.
What if I can’t afford this right now?
The pricing for Nightwatch is a sliding scale. While it is listed as $50 per participant, each family is asked to discern what is viable for them. Insert that amount into the form to complete registration.
How do I sign up?


February 23, 2024

I just posted the first registration update for Nightwatch. It is a slow start with four for now. Please check through the list and see who is listed, and who isn’t listed that you expected to be! You can access the lists under the registration tab of this page. Remember that updated lists are posted on Fridays!

Also, please have your congregations and any chaperones/drivers complete the forms below. I can’t start ordering vans until I know who is going! I will be renting minivans, so please don’t worry if you thought it was going to be large vans. I know the trip over the mountain can be daunting, and so I went with smaller vans.

Congregation Leadership  (clergy/wardens)                   Interested Chaperones 

One other reminder, next week is rollout for Shout for Joy! – this Summer’s EDSD Vacation Bible School curriculum. Please register for one of the rollout session through this link.

Shout for Joy Rollout Sessions

With continues gratitude for each of you!


February 14, 2024

On this Valentine’s Day Ash Wednesday, I am writing to you with a grateful heart for the work you will do preparing people to experience a Holy Lent. Your creativity and thoughtfulness will create room for people to prepare their hearts for the journey to the cross. It is sacred work, and it is challenging! I am praying for you this Lent and always. <3

I also have two important event registrations to highlight for you. I will send an email with downloadable images for your advertising needs.

Shout for Joy – Vacation Bible School 2024

This year’s program is a journey through the Psalms. Participants will write their own psalm, create art inspired by them, and sing songs that reverberate through their bodies and your campus! If you would like to utilize this year’s curriculum, please register for one of the rollouts. You can find details on it through the hyperlink at the start of this paragraph. To read more about this year’s program, as well as a reflection from a few of last year’s participating congregations, please read the article on the diocesan website.

Nightwatch Pilgrimage to the Desert

The annual EDSD Lent youth retreat is going on a pilgrimage this year! Vans will load in various areas of San Diego on Saturday morning to begin the pilgrimage. The trip will include a sustainability program at St. Margaret’s, Palm Desert, walking the Cross Trail, and culminate in an overnight at St. John’s, Indio. We will explore the last piece of Micah 6:8, considering how we are called to Walk Humbly with God. This beloved program provides space for young people to connect with youth from around the diocese and share the joy of worshiping and playing together. The event is $50 per participant, open to grades 6-12, and includes transportation, games, food, small group work, worship, laughter, love, friendship, and more!

Chaperones/Drivers are needed for this event. Chaperones/Drivers are requested when you are sending 3 or more participants. Please let me know if you would like to set up a time to talk about how diocesan collaborative projects are structured. Utilize the two forms below based on the role at your congregation. Both forms must be completed in order to complete chaperone teams.

Congregation Leadership  (clergy/wardens)                   Interested Chaperones 

Please email me with questions.



January 9, 2024

Registration is open for this year’s diocesan hybrid confirmation program, We Believe! This program allows participants to take the next step in their faith journey with friends from all over the diocese. The majority of the program is online, building connections across distances and helping to navigate difficult teen schedules. The success of this program requires only a a small amount from all of us. Here is how you can engage with the program:

  • Share the story from last year.
  • Print flyers to hand out at youth group.
  • Register to co-lead a session. The Zoom links and lesson plans from last year are available as jumping off points.
  • Find mentors for the young people in your congregation.
  • Ask questions, engage, encourage, partner in the journey with your students!

Registration is open now!



January 4, 2024

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the first Leaders Corner Update! This page will hold periodic updates from me including resources that I come across that may be helpful for you in your ministry. I hope you will take a few minutes today to poke through the pages here in the password protected area, as well as those on the main formation page. They are not complete, YET, but I wanted to give you access to what is here.

Please take special note of the registration tab as it contains a list of all of the registrations for the program year, the date they open, and the date they will close. I will also work to have a current registration list to each registration. I hope to update that weekly.

I know that email gets cumbersome to navigate. I am hopeful that having a primary location to look for information will be helpful to your ministry. I am grateful for each of you and your ministries. Please let me know how I can support you!

I came across this fun (and free) resource from Illustrated Ministry that is designed for youth group, but could easily be adapted for upper grade elementary use. Enjoy!




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