Resource Center for Churches http://rcc-mn.org Equipping Communities for Vibrant Ministry Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:10:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Equipping Communities for Vibrant Ministry Resource Center for Churches no Equipping Communities for Vibrant Ministry Resource Center for Churches http://rcc-mn.org/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://rcc-mn.org New for Advent http://rcc-mn.org/2014/09/23/new-for-advent/ http://rcc-mn.org/2014/09/23/new-for-advent/#respond Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:50:10 +0000 http://rcc-mn.org/?p=2219 We’ll keep updating this list of current and recommended resources for Advent.  Cokesbury provides this helpful list of seasonal studies.

DVDs 
This year, Adam Hamilton’s Not a Silent Night joins other favorite studies for the season:  A Thrill of Hope,  Hamilton’s The Journey, Mike Slaughter’s A Different Kind of Christmas, and Advent Conspiracy (and its companion website).  Under Wraps is an all-church Advent experience for all ages from Abingdon.

New in print  
Mary Had a Baby (Abingdon) is an Advent Bible study based on African American spirituals.
In The Season of the Nativity (Paraclete), Praying in Color author Sybil MacBeth offers practices, activities, and simple tools for busy people.
Following Ignatius, Taste and See (Upper Room) invites readers to experience the stories of the season with their senses.
Sarah Arthur’s Light upon Light (Paraclete) is a literary guide to prayer for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
Feasting on the Word Worship Companion (WKJP) provides resources for preaching and worship.
All I Really Want (Abingdon) by Quinn G. Caldwell includes brief daily readings, each with a simple action, ritual or meditation.
Essential Advent (Pilgrim) offers accessible activities and worship resources for all ages.
Scott Stoner’s Living Well Through Advent 2014 (Morehouse) includes a booklet, a poster and an app.
Walter Brueggemann explores the royal titles from Isaiah in The Messiah, a four-session downloadable study.
Light of Lights, compiled by Robin Pippin, is a collection of devotions from The Upper Room.

For Children
Children’s Dramas for the Church Year (Abingdon) presents simple reproducible dramas for Advent and Christmas.
The Lion Classic Christmas Stories (Lion Hudson) by Mary Joslin is illustrated by Jane Ray.  Alida Massari illustrates Joslin’s The Story of Christmas (Lion Hudson).
In Manger (Eerdmans) by Lee Bennett Hopkins, all creatures are given the power of speech at midnight on Christmas.
Anselm Grun’s The Legend of Saint Nicholas (Eerdmans) includes evocative illustrations from Giuliano Ferri.
What the Shepherd Saw (NorthSouth) is a picture book edition of Selma Lagerloff’s classic tale.

On the Web
Four Great Outreach Ideas for Advent, from United Methodist Communications.

 

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DVD Roundup http://rcc-mn.org/2014/06/05/dvd-roundup/ http://rcc-mn.org/2014/06/05/dvd-roundup/#respond Thu, 05 Jun 2014 01:36:03 +0000 http://rcc-mn.org/?p=2113 New DVD studies for fall 2014 offer a wealth of options.

Animate: Practices, featuring Shane Claiborne, Brian McLaren, Sara Miles, Enume Okoro, Doug Pagitt, Michael Slaughter, and Phyllis Tickle, joins Animate: Faith and Animate Bible from Sparkhouse.

Covenant is a 24-week study that moves between the Old and New Testaments to cover the whole Bible.

The newest studies in The Embracing Series from Morehouse are from Richard Rohr and Barbara Crafton.  Her Embracing Forgiveness is available in September.

Living the Questions introduces The Jesus Fatwah:  Love Your (Muslim) Neighbor as Yourself in September.

The Ten Commandments:  Laws of the Heart is a 12-session study with Joan Chittister from Faith and Reason.

Adam Hamilton‘s newest DVD studies are Making Sense of the Bible; Revival, tracing the life of John Wesley in versions for children, youth and adults; and Not a Silent Night, inviting us to experience Advent and Christmas with Mary.

The God We Can Know by Rob Fuquay is filmed in the Holy Land.  Appropriate for all ages, it will be released in September.

In Fresh Air, Jack Levison provides video introductions to each chapter of his book on the Holy Spirit.

Jesus the Forgiving Victim:  Listening for the Unheard Voice is a DVD (re)introduction to Christianity from James Alison.  See Christian Century‘s review here.

Body & Soul:  Reclaiming the Heidelberg Catechism from M. Craig Barnes includes resources for a six-week all-church study.

Bonhoeffer is a four-session study by Eric Metaxas.

Engaging Local Schools from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership supports this missional work.

Unusual Gospel for Unusual People is a series on the Gospel of John by Adam Thomas.

DVDs from Jacob ArmstrongTom Berlin, Jessica LaGrone, Melissa Spoelstra and Rob Renfroe complete the list.  Contact us at the RCC about using these studies in your faith community.

 

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Curriculum Update http://rcc-mn.org/2014/06/05/curriculum-update/ http://rcc-mn.org/2014/06/05/curriculum-update/#respond Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:18:21 +0000 http://rcc-mn.org/?p=2099 New curriculum offerings for 2014-15 abound.

Shine:  Living in God’s Light, from Bretheren Press/MennoMedia, replaces Gather ‘Round for age 3 to grade 8.  Each session teaches a spiritual practice.  The RCC will host a presentation on the Shine curriculum Thursday August 7 at 10 a.m.

Whirl is a lectionary-centered curriculum for preK to grade 6 from Sparkhouse.

Echo the Story from Sparkhouse helps youth enter into the biblical narrative, now in 36 sessions.

Building Faith Brick by Brick by Emily Slichter Given (Morehouse, September) includes lesson plans for 30 Old Testament and 24 New Testament stories using Legos.

Godly Play Digital now offers downloadable resources.  New picture books will be available this fall.

Contact the RCC to see materials or consult on curriculum selection.

 

 

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Including Young People with Learning Differences http://rcc-mn.org/2014/03/26/including-young-people-with-learning-differences/ http://rcc-mn.org/2014/03/26/including-young-people-with-learning-differences/#respond Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:18:11 +0000 http://rcc-mn.org/?p=1990 From a wealth of resources on the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in faith communities, we highlight a few that our users have found particularly helpful.

Amy Fenton Lee’s blog, The Inclusive Church, is a goldmine:  see especially Ideas & Best Practices, Getting Started, Top Posts, and her Facebook.  Her volunteer training DVD, Surviving to Thriving:  Successfully Including the Child with Special Needs, is available at the RCC.

Child by Child:  Supporting Children with Learning Differences and Their Families (Morehouse, 2011) by Susan Richardson includes short descriptions, interventions, and resource lists for each of many areas of need.

Barbara J. Newman, Director of CLC Church Services, is author of several essential resources:  G.L.U.E. Training Manual and DVD, Autism and Your Church, and Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities.  See CLC Network’s book and DVD recommendations, and check their blog.

The Inclusion Handbook (2011) from the Christian Reformed and Reformed Church in America Disability Concerns, is available for free download, as is Autism and Faith:  A Journey into Community (2008).

Faith Formation Learning Exchange has updated their articles and  books on faith formation with people with disabilities.  They feature Erik W. Carter’s Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities and Benjamin T. Connor’s Amplifying Our Witness:  Giving Voice to Adolescents with Disabilities.

Disability is one of the diversity issues addressed in the Families All Matter Book Project.  Contact us at the RCC to find picture books, curriculum, guidance for worship and more resources on inclusion.

 

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Resources for Intergenerational Faith Formation http://rcc-mn.org/2014/02/03/resources-for-intergenerational-faith-formation/ http://rcc-mn.org/2014/02/03/resources-for-intergenerational-faith-formation/#respond Mon, 03 Feb 2014 16:53:23 +0000 http://rcc-mn.org/?p=1753 The UCC faith formation leaders of children and youth met last month to learn about intergenerational ministry.  Here’s a list of resources we shared.

Articles

 From Joyce Ann Mercer:  “Cultivating a Community of Practice”

From John Roberto:  “Our Future is Intergenerational”

From Carol Howard Merritt’s Tribal Church:  “Fostering Intergenerational Relationships”

From Sticky Faith“Intergenerational Ministry Beyond the Rhetoric”
“Five Keys for Effective Mentoring”

From Ministry Matters“Congregations as Families of Faith:  Beyond Age-Level Ministries”

From Csinos and Beckwith’s Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus:  chapter 9 is readable in full here

From Rethinking Youth Ministry:  “10 Ideas for Creating Cross-Generational Youth Ministry”

and a website:  Worshiping with Children

Books

Susan K. Bock, Liturgy for the Whole Church, Church Publishing, Inc., 2008

Holly Catterton Allen and Christine Lawton Ross, Intergenerational Christian Formation: Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship, IVP Academic, 2012.  See especially Part Four and Appendix material.

Curriculum

Faith Practices

Faith Inkubators

SeasonsFUSION

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The Families All Matter Book Project Faith-Based Guide http://rcc-mn.org/2013/06/07/the-families-all-matter-book-project-faith-based-guide/ http://rcc-mn.org/2013/06/07/the-families-all-matter-book-project-faith-based-guide/#respond Fri, 07 Jun 2013 11:18:40 +0000 http://rcfc.episcopalmn-sites.org/?p=1425 Many faith formation leaders know the power of reading picture books with young people.  The Families All Matter Book Project from AMAZE uses picture books to help children understand and respect families and the many cultures and experiences that shape them.  Through discussion and activities, children develop empathy, love of neighbor, skills to recognize and challenge bias and mistreatment, and a passion for justice.  The books focus on ten diversity issues:  families are different, race/ethnicity, divorce and break-ups, lesbian and gay family members, socioeconomics, immigration, adoption, disability, aging, and religion.

The new Christian Faith-Based Curriculum Guide, offering additional questions that invite discussion of Christian stories and themes, is available for preview at the RCC.  Members may borrow many of the picture books, with discussion questions and activities.

The Families All Matter Early Childhood Anti-Bias Curriculum is also available for preview.  This guide also uses picture books to help preschoolers gain insights about themselves and their families, accept people who are different from them, and learn ways to have a positive impact when bias and unfairness occur.

 

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Short Videos for Faith Formation http://rcc-mn.org/2013/06/05/short-videos-for-faith-formation/ http://rcc-mn.org/2013/06/05/short-videos-for-faith-formation/#respond Wed, 05 Jun 2013 15:39:49 +0000 http://rcfc.episcopalmn-sites.org/?p=1406 Many of our members have used Rob Bell’s NOOMA series of films for youth and adult faith formation.  New options in short videos for faith formation are appearing, and many are available online.  These engaging films allow plenty of time for discussion.

The Work Of The People is an independent ecumenical platform that offers multimedia to stir imagination, spark discussion, and move people toward transformation.  Their short “visual epistles” gather the wisdom and insight of well-known figures like Diana Butler Bass, Brene Brown, Walter Brueggemann, Shane Claiborne, Stanley Hauerwas, Brian McLaren, Parker Palmer, Richard Rohr, Barbara Brown Taylor, Jean Vanier, and many more.  Browse by theme or people.

Practicing Our Faith provides 12 short video conversations from the authors of On Our Way:  Christian Practices for Living a Whole Life (Upper Room, 2010).  Produced for emerging adults, the videos are available online or on DVD, and are accompanied by discussion guides.

Randall Curtis, aka The Holy Geek, has gathered short videos, “slices of life that show…what it means to be in relationship with God,” at Videos For Your Soul.  Each video is accompanied by a thought or question.

At Soul Biographies, local filmmaker Nic Askew has created black and white human portraits.  They are indexed by subject, and he suggests films most appropriate for use in faith communities.

Spirituality & Practice offers video clips from spiritual teachers such as Frederick Buechner, Matthew Fox, Thomas Keating, Wayne Muller, Parker Palmer, Richard Rohr, David Steindl-Rast, Desmond Tutu, and many more.

Odyssey Networks is a multi-faith coalition producing media to enrich spiritual life and build bridges of understanding among people of faith.  ON Bible films connect scripture and the modern world.  ON News videos treat current events.  A topical index is provided.

Rethinking Youth Ministry has shared three lessons on faith issues based on YouTube videos, designed for mixed groups of youth and adults.

Of course, there are many other sources of excellent short videos for faith formation.  Let us know about your favorites.

 

 

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New Curriculum http://rcc-mn.org/2013/06/05/new-curriculum/ http://rcc-mn.org/2013/06/05/new-curriculum/#respond Wed, 05 Jun 2013 13:17:38 +0000 http://rcfc.episcopalmn-sites.org/?p=1393 Several curricula are new for fall.  Here’s a list.

A Joyful Path (The Center for Progressive Christianity) is a progressive Christian curriculum for children ages 6-10.  Year Two will be available this summer.

Awaken Sunday School (Logos Productions, Inc.) emphasizes spiritual practice and the arts for children ages 3-12.  William H. Willimon provides background for texts from the Revised Common Lectionary.  Devotions for home use are included.

Sparkhouse is introducing Echo the Story, a 12-week Bible overview that helps youth find themselves in God’s story through the art of Biblical storying.  In addition, animate.Bible will follow the format of the popular animate.Faith DVD series for adults.  Contributors include Nadia Bolz-Weber, Will Willimon, Jose Francisco Morales, Jay Bakker, Rachel Held Evans, Phyllis Tickle and Eric Elnes.

A Place for Everyone Placemat Curriculum (Wood Lake Publishing) is recommended for congregations with smaller class sizes, multi-age classrooms, or sporadic attendance.

Preview these and other curricula at the RCC as they become available.  Check our Curriculum tab for links to online info and assistance with choosing curriculum.  Contact us for consultation or feedback.

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New Resources on Bullying http://rcc-mn.org/2013/03/02/new-resources-on-bullying/ http://rcc-mn.org/2013/03/02/new-resources-on-bullying/#respond Sat, 02 Mar 2013 19:17:07 +0000 http://rcfc.episcopalmn-sites.org/?p=1148 What role can faith communities play in bullying prevention?  As Minnesota lawmakers consider an anti-bullying bill, we note a dizzying array of material on bullying.  Several new resources stand out.

Now available on DVD, Lee Hirsch’s acclaimed Bully (PG-13) follows five kids and families over the course of a school year.  Intimate and shocking, the stories include two families who have lost children to suicide, and a 14-year-old girl incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus.  The films’ website offers a film guide and toolkits for parents, students, and special needs.  The following are particularly helpful tools for faith communities:

What is Bullying?
Student Discussion Action Guide
Internet Safety Strategies for Youth
Ten Ways to be an Upstander
Empowering Bystanders
What Do You Say To ‘That’s So Gay’…
The Parent Action Toolkit
Ten Actions ALL Parents Can Take to Help Eliminate Bullying
Cyberbullying Prevention and Intervention Tips for Families
Creating Just and Caring Communities:  A Roadmap for Parents
When the Advice is Ineffective

The film’s companion book offers deeper resources, including an extensive list of websites.  Among them is the federal government site, Stop Bullying.

Many bullying resources are not produced specifically for faith communities, but Rethinking Youth Ministry has posted a six-part series on Teens, Bullying and Suicide.  The It Gets Better Project is also a powerful tool for youth ministry.

In the New York Times, Andrew Solomon reviews Emily Bazelon’s new Sticks and Stones:  Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy (Random House, 2013).  This short video clip from Bazelon is a useful beginning for conversation in community.  Her book joins several other recent volumes:  Carrie Goldman’s Bullied:  What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear (HarperOne, 2012) and Barbara Coloroso’s The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander (William Morrow, 2009) are fine recommendations for parents.

Picture books are great conversation starters.  On bullying, we recommend Patricia Polocco, Bully (Putnam Juvenile, 2012) and Trudy Ludwig, Confessions of a Former Bully (Dragonfly, 2012), My Secret Bully (Tricycle, 2005), Just Kidding (Tricycle, 2006), and others.

The RCC has long recommended Bullied from Teaching Tolerance, Let’s Get Real from Groundspark, Stop Bullying:  Standing Up for Yourself and Others from Paraclete, and Bullying:  What Every Adult Needs to Know, also from Paraclete.  Church is a vital context for education around bullying.  Contact the RCC to access or consult about these resources.

 

 

 

 

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Intergenerational Faith Formation http://rcc-mn.org/2013/03/01/intergenerational-faith-formation/ http://rcc-mn.org/2013/03/01/intergenerational-faith-formation/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2013 19:00:07 +0000 http://rcfc.episcopalmn-sites.org/?p=1135 Interest in intergenerational faith formation is growing.  Here’s a short list of accessible resources, with special thanks to Diane Olson and her CEF colleagues.

Lifelong Faith Journal is a free download.  See especially volume 6.1, “The Ecologies of Lifelong Faith Formation,” volume 3.1, “Generations Learning Together,” and “Best Practices in Intergenerational Faith Formation” in volume 1.3/4.  Faith Formation Learning Exchange offers a short list of current books here.  Find them at the RCC.

Several curricula guide formation for all ages.  Faith Inkubators provides resources for family and cross-generational formation.  With their FAITH 5 approach, churches model a practice for use at home:  sharing highs and lows, relating a Bible verse, praying and blessing.  This process recalls the Linns’ classic Sleeping with Bread:  Holding What Gives You Life (Paulist, 1995).  SeasonsFUSION from Seasons of the Spirit is another curricular option.  And Vibrant Faith Ministries offers a wealth of resources for intergenerational formation;  see their Faith Talk cards, Milestones Ministry material, and more at the RCC.

The RCC can recommend many books of ideas for intergenerational faith formation.  Holly Catterton Allen and Christine Lawton Ross include an appendix of ideas in their Intergenerational Christian Formation:  Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship (IVP Academic, 2012).   Some of our favorites:  Share a loaf of bread and wonder together.  Cook; eat.  Share art.  Learn to sign the words of a prayer or song.  Create and walk a labyrinth.  And tell your stories:  find resources for these and more activities for all ages at the RCC.

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