Faith Formation

The Ministry Lab has created lists of anti-racism and ending white supremacy culture resources for use with adultsyouth/teens and children & parents. We also commend our contemplative Visual Word, inviting us to listen to the Spirit’s cries for justice.
If you have requests, questions or suggestions, please share at ministrylab@unitedseminary.edu.


TIPS & RESOURCES FOR CREATING AT-HOME/ONLINE FAITH FORMATION

Rejoice! Special Issue: A Time Enduring (MennoMedia) is a free, down-loadable collection of devotionals to offer comfort, hope, and prayerful reflection specifically created in and for this unprecedented time.

CDC Recommended Resources for Families

Ideas for Helping Children Cope with Emergencies and Disasters: https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/helping-children-cope.html 

Ideas for ways you and your kids can de-stress during the Coronavirus: https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-you-and-your-kids-can-de-stress-during-coronavirus

The UMC’s Discipleship Ministries hosted a webinar to share helpful ideas about using technology to strengthen faith formation and small groups in your church.  Access webinar and handouts

Set up a FREE ONLINE CLASSROOM for just about any age group through Upper Room Learning.

The PC(USA) Store has a huge list of resources for on-lining church (worship and study groups) and free downloadable faith formation for all ages: books, coloring pages, study guides, etc.

The Association of United Church Educators provides a pdf on Using Zoom Tools for Online Learning Experiences in a Congregation.

Virginia Theological Seminary’s eform offers a number of brief video introductions on creating online worship, faith formation, safe space, and community.


CHILDREN & FAMILY RESOURCES

UMC Ministry with Children (fb) includes tips on empowering and listening to children in this time of pandemic and a list of resources for further mental and spiritual health and formation.  

Illustrated Ministry has free weekly resources for all ages including children’s activities, devotionals, and coloring pages.

Dwell Sunday School curricula offers free downloads and sharing during social distancing. Whether you use Dwell curricula or not, they have some fun ideas.

Michel Gribble-Dates and her daughter Joy share a youtube video of their Son Salutation from Story and Stretch.

Hope4CE shares a really basic but helpful outline for creating community on zoom between elders, caring individuals, and kids and families.

The Association of United Church Educators shares a giant list of at-home faith formation activities and ideas.

Keep up with Disciples Home Missions on their website and fb for every-day at-home faith formation ideas.

MennoMedia’s Shine curriculum is available with free resources for use by churches for online learning or to send to parents for use at home.


YOUTH & INTERGENERATIONAL RESOURCES

Fuller Youth Institute offers a 4-week curriculum on anxiety and faith for high school students.

d365 is an online daily devotion that includes leading questions that could be discussion starters.

The Ministry Lab’s Rev. Emily Meyer offers several study guides based on movies and series, including Iron Man (2008), Spider Man (2002), Messiah (Netflix, 2020), and – coming soon: movement and activity-based Frozen 2!

forma/Faith@Home shares regular/weekly RCL “lectionary-based readings and reflections”.

(ALSO, SEE “SEXUALITY DISCUSSIONS”, BELOW)


AT-HOME / FAMILY-BASED SEXUALITY DISCUSSION RESOURCES

Many judicatories are urging an avoidance of intimate and/or confidential conversations on many online platforms to safeguard vulnerable individuals and maintain healthy boundaries. In our rush toward community via technology, it can be easy to lose sight of potential hazards.

The Inter-Group Association of AA for New York, Inc. offers some best practices suggestions here. Judicatories are working to create guidelines and potentially additional platforms to ensure confidentiality, safe boundaries, and general best practices. We’ll post those as soon as we get them!

To encourage at-home / family-based discussions and/or to facilitate secure online small group discussions, the following have been suggested:

Advocates for Youth is a free online sexual education curriculum that meets National Sexuality Education Standards.

Amaze has youth-, parent-, and educator-based sites including short youtube videos on a number of sexuality and gender topics, including for people with different abilities.

Kate Ott’s youtube videos cover a lot of ground from gender equity to dating to language and consent.

Scarleteen‘s home page is all about coping with COVID-19 from the perspective of sexual and mental health for young people. They have free text, message board and live chat options for immediate help for kids suffering abuse (which is likely compounded in these stressful and isolating realities), or those feeling depressed, anxious or confused. And there are a number of links to additional resources for mental and sexual health questions.

Sex, etc. is for teens, by teens with topics ranging from talking about sex in an immigrant family to dating abuse; from abortion to pregnancy; from condoms and safer sex practices to how to talk with doctors or parents – among many others.

Sexuality for All Abilities, as the name suggests, offers resources geared toward talking with kids with different abilities on topics of dating, sexual activity, identity, marriage, and family.

A Trans Faith Resource List from Austen Hartke, a bisexual, transgender Christian includes numerous links to national and regional hotlines and additional information.


ADULT & SMALL GROUP RESOURCES

The Upper Room offers online e-courses for small groups (one free, others half-price), meditation and prayer groups, inspiring videos and more.

The Work of the People offer a number of visually powerful films that explore topics of faith for discussion groups; films might also figure into online worship.

The Converging Paths podcast from Darkwood Brew includes national leaders and everyday peoples’ stories, covering everything from homeschooling to grounding spiritual practices in these times of high anxiety.

Living the Questions offers free digital Dream.Think.Be.Do curriculum during COVID-19 quarantines.

First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta shares resources for multiple ages adaptable for in-home use.

Faith & Leadership’s Living Like They Believe is an online video study series on vocation and discipleship.

ChurchNext offers affordable online courses for congregational leaders and all adults.


FREE ONLINE BIBLE STUDIES FOR ADULTS

Free online Bibles and Bible search engines to share with your congregation:

Bible Gateway
Oremus Bible Browser

Luther Seminary’s professors offer breadth and depth for Bible discussions in Enter the Bible.

Yale Bible Study shares online courses of varying length on every book of the Bible.

The Bible Project offers an 8-week Church-at-Home Bible study for congregation and families.


CLERGY & YOUTH LEADER DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES

Faith+Lead hosts weekly Dwelling in the Word prayer and discussion times and frequent webinars addressing current issues; and they offer a plethora of community-building resources.

For personal growth and continuing education pertinent to COVID-19 days, try ClergyEducation.com.

The Youth Worker Collective podcast may be a place for support and networking ideas.

Fuller Youth Institute offers a podcast to nourish leaders.