Recently a group of adults from Fleetwood CRC in Surrey, BC, gathered to talk about how to strengthen their faith formation practices in the home. Most of the adults in the group were empty nesters. Regional Catalyzer for Faith Formation Ministries Liz Tolkamp (Vancouver/BC) facilitated the conversation. She was encouraged by how it was shaped by a deep desire to develop healthy faith formation practices beyond the season when children are living in the home.
Ron Chu (California) reports that Korean churches are big on mission, but usually keep the adults and younger people separate during mission activities. One LA-area church discussed family mission as a part of the family faith formation process, with the entire family going on mission together. When this happens, faith is not taught but caught. as young and old teach and learn from each other and practice giving God praise together as a family. These discussions will lead to a family mission trip this summer.
Trudy Ash (Northern Plains) planned an event on Intergenerational Ministry at Faith CRC in New Brighton, MN. The day was full of deep conversation about how generations are blessed and strengthened as they do ministry together.
Children's Ministry Catalyzer Mimi Larson hosted a 60-minute video conference with a CRC church planter in Seattle who was seeking guidance on how to craft a job description for a new children's ministry position. Mimi was encouraged by this strong conversation shaped by insightful questions and a deep desire to serve children well.
Kevin Adams (California) led a Sunday evening workshop called “Framing Worship for Mission” at Palo Alto CRC. The evening was full of robust conversation about how worship and mission intersect and flow from each other in different neighborhood contexts, and how “framing” elements of worship helps veteran and rookie attendees experience grace in deeper ways.
Jill Friend (Iowa), worked with Rev. Joel DeBoer to present a morning workshop in Sioux Center, IA, on family faith formation. Local CRC church members and leaders were able to provide encouragement to each other as well as engage in exploring the wide range of resources available from FFM.
The three Thunder Bay, ON CRCs hosted Lesli van Milligen (Canada East) for a “Faith Formation Week,” which included many different workshops and consultations for a wide variety of audiences. One pastor felt like there had been a significant sea change in the community afterwards. Another attendee noted that the week changed how he will approach teaching catechism, and he couldn’t wait to teach his next class. One attendee gave a testimony during the storytelling workshop. He had planned to stay home because it was his anniversary and his wife had recently died, but he tearfully told the room that the Lord told him he had to attend, and he was so blessed by hearing the stories.
In April, Laura Keeley (Michigan) hosted a roundtable video conference discussion with church representatives from Michigan, Oregon, and Ontario. John Roberto of Lifelong Faith Associates joined the group from Connecticut and shared his experiences and ideas about family faith formation. The group heard about barriers that churches Roberto has worked with have faced in making changes, and they discussed why a three-year plan for new initiatives is a good idea. He also gave a tour of his curated resources online and gave the group many practical ideas to consider.
Faith Formation Ministries provides congregational faith formation leaders the opportunity to meet in-person or connect digitally or by phone with members of our team and other ministry leaders for coaching and support. Whether it’s a one-time, one-on-one conversation or a long-term peer group, we are here to help. For more information about our regional catalyzer, visit crcna.org/FaithFormation/coaching!