Hope4CE shares a really basic but helpful outline for creating community on zoom between elders, caring individuals, and kids and families.
d365 is an online daily devotion that includes leading questions that could be discussion starters for a youth group and forma/Faith@Home share regular/weekly RCL “lectionary-based readings and reflections” that could do the same.
The Ministry Lab’s Emily Meyer offers several study guides based on movies and series, including Iron Man (2008), Spider Man (from 2002), Messiah (Netflix, 2020), and – coming soon: movement and activity-based Frozen 2!
Watch The Ministry Lab’s website for a curated and organized resource page; coming early next week.
Resources for healthy conversations even in the midst of COVID-19.
Many judicatories are urging folks to avoid intimate and/or confidential conversations on most online platforms in order to protect 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!
In the meantime – and perhaps for engagement well into the future, I give a shout-out to the UCC FourThursday Faith Formation Folks: we met to share ideas and concern and resources, and I was gifted with a ton of at-home supports for parents and kids of all ages, abilities and identities around the topic of sexuality and sexual and gender identity.
Amaze has youth-, parent-, and educator-based sites including short youtube videos on a slough of sexuality and gender topics, including for people with different abilities.
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.
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.
UCC Faith Formation Leaders gather every FourThursday for networking, support and info-gathering. Sounds good, right now, yes!!?? Leaders of all stripes and backgrounds are invited to join this week in the discussion of on-line-ing church and at-home faith formation. Here’s the zoom info:
Time: Mar 26, 2020 12:00 PM (NOTE THE NOON START!!) Central Time (US and Canada)
Richard Rohr continues to support us all with words of wisdom and hope.
Underground Seminary’s “In the End, the Beginning”: Climate Catastrophe, Church, and Permaculture, is now online only: Monday, March 23, 7-9pm. A zoom link will be sent to registrants, only!
Faith Inkubators offers a pdf-format Pandemic Hope: A Family Devotional for Life During COVID-19.
Our Hennepin County Library system has made an array of resources available online. This could be an excellent way to make adult, youth and kids books accessible for small group discussions and at-home faith formation.
In a similar vein: resources for your own edification or that of your congregation (again, choose any number of items on here as a small group discussion or as illustrations for faith formation groups) in Arts and Culture; Activities; Educational courses; or Health and Wellness (from counseling to basics on COVID-19 protocols).
As always, use what’s helpful or inspiring; chuck the rest!
Today’s post is intended to sustain you church leaders: this is all for you. Internalize and use what is helpful; discard the rest.
My friend, an air traffic controller at the Dubai International Airport (and therefore no stranger to stress), shared Kitty O’Meara’s Daily Round post from March 16th on his facebook page. You may find it hopeful and inspiring, if you haven’t read it already.
Richard Rohr shared some helpful thoughts (as usual) on March 20th.
The Shalem Institute is offering a number of free online resources and courses to support mental and spiritual well-being.
The following two are not free, so if that feels like an advertisement you don’t have time for, skip the next paragraph:
A Luther Seminary classmate, Tessa Moon Lieseth, now interim pastor at Horace Lutheran Church, reflected on March 17 about her family’s move to South Africa, several years ago, posting, “I am recalling our early days in South Africa. We didn’t know how to do *anything* and it was exhausting! We developed a one-thing-a-day rule. And what that meant is that we could only expect to tackle one thing a day. Some days that didn’t even happen… It helped us moderate our expectations… [T]here is a lot of hard thinking and new territory. I’m trying to remember to be gentle with my expectations. This could be a long journey. Take care of yourselves, everyone! This applies to you, too!”
Indeed: take care of yourselves, everyone. Don’t forget that God’s Sabbath mandate about rest is in the Top Three, and those mandates do, indeed, include even you.
Hearing and heeding this reminder, I will take tomorrow off for Sabbath rest and encourage you to find a day when you, too, can rest in God’s limitless care and grace.
In the interest of supporting all those on the front lines of meeting needs and concerns of parishioners, loved ones and your own souls, I offer the following resources:
This month’s MN Conference UCC’s FourThursday faith formation leaders gathering will be a zoom meeting. The topic, not surprisingly, is mutual support and resourcing around changing dynamics in faith formation ministries in this time of social distancing. Connecting info is below:
Time: Mar 26, 2020 11:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
I’ll do my utmost to post the above again on Thursday.
You might share Rev. Dr. Michael Piazza’s daily blog, Liberating Word, with suggestions for ways to use home time as renewing, rather than allow it to become a curse, or, as he writes, allowing the virus to “infect our souls, even if our isolation kept it from getting into our bodies”.
Share the free call-in Mindfulness Classes, from Mindful Schools: help parents and kids destress while doing something that is creative, bonding and long-lasting for their well-being!