One of the things I love most about working with Faith Formation Ministries is the fact that cross-pollination and connectivity is built into its DNA. We love hearing what is happening in congregations around North America and are excited to find ways to help church communities learn from each other.
One way we’ve done this is by inviting CRC churches to join cohorts and to serve as their congregation’s trailblazer in a denomination-wide peer learning experience. Currently we have 10 church teams discovering new ways to support faith formation in the home. Their experiments and the results of their exploration will be added to Faith Formation Ministries’s new Family Faith Formation toolkit.
We are grateful for these churches’ willingness to serve as testing grounds for new ideas in this area and for their openness to sharing their successes with other congregations in the cohort and beyond. More often than not, these shared strategies and programs are easily replicable because of our shared history and theology.
We are also grateful for individual pastors and congregational ministry leaders who send us creative and impactful ideas and practices that have blessed their church body.
One such idea comes from Rev. Heidi De Jonge, pastor of Westside Fellowship CRC in Kingston, Ontario. She invited the junior youth (grades 6-8, with a couple in Grade 5 and one in Grade 9) from her congregation to attend a Worldview Weekend. Over the weekend students participated in a variety of hands-on experiences like emoji theology and a visit to a local cemetery to talk about comfort in life and death. Rev. De Jonge is quick to share that seeds for this idea first came from Rev. Matt Eenigenburg, pastor of Celebration Community Church in Muskegon, Michigan. Cross-pollination in action!
Folks interested in some unique ways that churches are teaching the catechism and confessions might want to connect with Rev. John Medendorp of Community CRC in Kitchener, Ontario. He has created 6-8 mini-sessions for youth and adults on the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dordt, and the Belgic Confession. Or contact Classis Youth Champion Ashley Patton, Director of Youth Ministry at Victoria CRC in British Columbia, who with senior pastor Rev. David Salverda created “G-Force” to prepare students for profession of faith.
Let your Faith Formation Ministries Regional Catalyzer know what has been working in your congregation, and we will find ways to let other churches know how to connect with you! Below is a list of catalyzers in your area. Give one of us a call!