Office of Christian Formation launches Faith Practices Toolkit

Each kit explores a practice to celebrate Sabbath communally

by Scott O’Neill | Presbyterian News Service

At  a 2017  symposium hosted by the Office of Christian Formation,  seasoned faith practitioners from across the country identified five lifelong Christian practices for faith.  (Photo by Paul Seebeck)

LOUISVILLE — The Office of Christian Formation, part of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Theology, Formation & Evangelism ministry, has launched a comprehensive online Faith Practices Toolkit designed to help faith leaders teach and guide their communities into becoming an intergenerational community of faith.

The five faith practices featured are: Hospitality, Prayer, Service, Storytelling, and Retreat. The toolkits are available for download on the office’s new toolkit web page.

There are dozens of Christian practices that could have been emphasized in this new resource, but OCF chose these five for specific reasons. Because each practice allows for a wide range of participation among all age groups, they are adaptable to a wide variety of ministry settings.

According to Stephanie Fritz, associate coordinator for Christian Formation, each toolkit includes age and stage guides to help participants explore more deeply the practical application for the user’s specific ministry context.

Stephanie Fritz is associate coordinator for Christian Formation. (Contributed photo)

“We like to call them ‘Sabbath practices’ because each one explores the central nature of what it means to celebrate the Sabbath communally,” she said. “It’s through our communal participation that we connect with God and one another in a qualitative kind of way.”

The five practices were curated through a Christian Formation symposium hosted by the ministry in 2017. More than 30 notable ministry practitioners and academics met to discern a short list of practices that could be used through various types of “age and stage” ministry. When used regularly, the practices offer a means to connect the different life stages in lifelong formation.

The kits explore practices for:

  • Children
  • Youth
  • Young adults
  • Adults
  • Intergenerational ministries
  • Camp and retreat ministries
  • Worship
  • Faith at home.

Because faith formation happens not only in Sunday school classes or worship, but in peer groups and in homes and communities, Fritz said that by intentionally focusing on faith practices in all those settings, “we form new holy rhythms and rituals that connect us as an intergenerational community.”

 

“This resource is a tool to help you focus on practices as the thread that connects faith formation across all ages and our communal lives,” she said.

Download the Faith Practices Toolkit Sampler for a brief sampling of ideas on how to engage in the five faith practices. The comprehensive resource  for each faith practice is available here on the Christian Formation toolkit web page.

Paul Seebeck of the Presbyterian News Service contributed to this report.


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