A few weeks ago we offered a recap on what Faith Formation Ministries has been up to in the months since we launched at Synod 2015. This week, we'll do a little previewing of what we are working on in this last half of 2015 and into 2016 and beyond.
- Regional focus: One of the most important pieces of our work this year and next will be strengthening our regional ministry via our team of Regional Catalyzers. Our goal is to have regional people serving regional needs and speaking into how we as a denominational ministry serve local churches. We are excited to be one of a few CRCNA projects experimenting our way into better regional resourcing models.
- Profession of Faith toolkit: Following up on the 2015 release of our Welcoming Children to the Lord's Supper toolkit, we are in the early stages of planning a Profession of Faith toolkit. A lot of churches have been asking about the practice of public profession of faith in light of the changes brought about by the Faith Formation Committee's work (which removed public profession of faith as a precursor to coming to the Table). If your church is doing something interesting with profession of faith, we'd love to hear from you as we collect resources and stories to share. We'd also like to hear from you about what you'd like to see included in the toolkit or what specific questions you'd like to see addressed. Email Derek at [email protected] with your thoughts!
- Intergenerational Faith Formation toolkit: This toolkit will be focused on equipping churches with resources to engage in intentional intergenerational ministry. Studies are continuing to show that intergenerational relationships are one of the key factors in helping people — esp. teenagers and young adults — stay engaged in the life of the church. Whether your approach is to take this on via worship, events, small groups, or another avenue, we hope to be able to share stories about what other churches are doing and point you to some great resources on this growing aspect of ministry. Have a story to share or a question about intergenerational ministry you'd like us to address? Contact Karen at [email protected].
- Belhar Confession resources: In response to Synod 2015's request, we'll be working with multiple ministries to provide updated tools for congregations to engage in the study of the Belhar Confession. If you have ideas about what kind of resources you'd like to see or if you are doing something interesting with the Belhar already and would like to share that with us, email Shannon at [email protected].
- Evaluating Curriculum: One of the questions we get asked a lot is: "So, are you going to be creating any new Sunday School curriculum?" While we don't have the resources or plans to tackle a project like that at this point, we are putting together a resource to help churches better evaluate the curriculum options that are out there. If you would like to speak into this aspect of our work, email us at [email protected].
- Webinars: We'd like to start to offer a regular schedule of webinars on faith formation topics you want to learn more about. Have ideas? Email us at [email protected].
- Other ideas: We've also been kicking around revising some of the old Faith Alive materials, developing new catechism materials, developing resources to help churches connect with parents as partners in faith formation, and partnering with other ministries to address the issues raised in the CRC's Emerging Ministry Plan.
All of this goes along with continuing to create space for faith formation conversations via workshops, retreats, coaching, and hosting regular conversations about faith formation on The Network and other digital spaces.
In the end, we want to make sure our work is a partnership with you. There are churches across the CRC doing amazing things in the area of faith formation. We'd love to hear from you about your approaches, projects, and plans as well as hear stories from your congregations. We want to know what questions you are wrestling with. We want you to speak into the work we do. So please, feel free to connect with us by email at [email protected]. We'd love to be your partner in ministry.
I am so glad to see all of these projects or avenues. So much of this has been needed and so few have time to put towards them. Thank you especially for working on the profession of faith toolkit and the evaluation of curriculum. Your focus on regions should also help. I hope that you are finding ways to get other voices included in these discussions because the more we share the better we are.
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