When Covid-19 stay at home orders came in March, our congregation was caught off guard. Our Christian Education ministry relied on face-to-face gatherings. From Sunday School to youth Confirmation, Wednesday night LOGOS to weekly small groups, we were used to traditional ways of doing Christian education. And we were in the midst of our Lenten Small Group study! Teacher training events never talked about what happens during a pandemic when you are told to physically social distance from other people.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve had a number of questions from parents and grandparents about where and when to start talking to their young children about faith. Many of them have little or no experience as children themselves or ones that they would not like to repeat. Recently, I began a blog “FaithSprouts”. Designed to provide simple ways to engage small children around stories of faith, the blog includes a short reflection for caregivers, a book suggestion, an activity and a suggested prayer. You can find the most recent blog here . Hopefully these simple stories and practices can support faith in each household.
Linnae Himsl Peterson
Coordinator, Formation Network NH
Episcopal Church of NH
Our story is so common, a 125 year old congregation, inner-city, wants to minister to the community around it, I’m sure you have heard it all before.
Our average attendance: 170ish
Average Sunday school was: 30ish (all in, all ages)
Most families attended once a month
We have a separate family chapel, attended by substantially more persons than Sunday school hour.
Our take away was that families are interested, but not in our traditional model.
We kept coming back to the old adage “it takes a village…”
I thought a salon was a place one went to have their hair “done” or to get a pedicure. Only recently did I learn that salon originally referred to an important place for the exchange of ideas. According to wikipedia.org, a salon, commonly associated with the French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, is a gathering of people in someone’s home for the purpose of education and enjoyment. Salon is thus the perfect name for adult conversational gatherings in private homes.
The internet has ushered in a new way of doing almost everything, from shopping to research. Here at Practical Resources for Churches (PRC), we’ve seen an increase in the use of the internet in how we interact with people, provide resources, and offer learning and growth opportunities. Although we still offer face-to-face experiences through our workshops and roundtables, our webinar program is continually expanding. Continue reading
At the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE) Annual Event in Baltimore, Zeta Touchton Lamberson led a workshop on Adult Faith Formation. Believing that the role of the church is to walk alongside adults through their journey of faith providing resources, opportunities and conversations that will draw them into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, the workshop led the participants through a process of developing an intentional comprehensive adult education program. Using the Stepping Stones on the Journey of Faith resource (available from Zeta Lamberson at email@example.com) four areas were identified as important: Biblical Knowledge, Worship & Sacraments, Stewardship & Mission, and Church History/Theology/Doctrine/Polity. The participants used a brainstorming process to identify resources that had been used in their churches in four areas. Following the event the list of resources were compiled and amplified and Zeta has shared them here and would love to know of other resources used successfully with adults. Continue reading
Building Faith is a resource website dedicated to Christian Formation for children, youth, and adults. Fresh articles are offered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday written by experienced educators and formation leaders. Their creative ideas, tips, and resource reviews, make Building Faith a site to be bookmarked and subscribed to so you don’t miss each golden nugget when it appears. Continue reading
Another Lenten practice to either think about for next year or if you are doing this already to live more deeply into this practice
Faith’s worship and spiritual formation staff is introducing our congregation to the Lenten spiritual practice of Burying the Alleluia this Lent. While the practice of Burying the Alleluia might be new to Faith UMC, it is an ancient Christian tradition practiced in many faith traditions. Read on to learn more about this Lenten spiritual practice.
Alleluia is a word heard throughout the Christian world regardless of language. Alleluia is the Greek and Latin form of the Hebrew word Hallelujah, a word meaning praise the Lord. In the Western world, Alleluia came to be associated with the celebration of the most important season of the Church year, Easter. The association of Alleluia with Easter led to the custom of intentionally omitting it from liturgy during Lent. It’s a kind of verbal fast, not with the intention of depressing the mood of our worship services, but instead to create a sense of anticipation…
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The Lifelong Faith journal is one of several initiatives of the LifelongFaith Associates organization directed by John Roberto, a prominent scholar of faith formation whose work was profiled by Hope4CE in a recent post. The journal, published quarterly, focuses on the faith formation of all ages, with the hope that ministry leaders might be better equipped to nurture the faith of those in their care in each moment of their lives. Continue reading