Office of Christian Formation, Christian Formation Collective offer faith formation resources during the current pandemic and beyond
by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service
The document provides practical tips for church leaders navigating this new world by inviting them to take a breath and remember that God’s grace abounds. It also reminds those engaged in faith formation that there have always been church members who struggle physically to come to church. Perhaps, the document suggests, now is the time to develop long-term strategies to connect with people struggling to maintain connections with their faith community.
Presbyterian Mission Agency Associate Coordinator for Christian Formation Stephanie Fritz said the most important thing for faith formation leaders to remember right now is that relationships and connections to the community are key.
“Keep things simple and meaningful,” she said. “Introduce your community to faith practice you can engage in together.”
Also included in the document are COVID-19 resources from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) along with resources for children’s ministry, intergenerational and family ministry, youth and collegiate ministries and adult education/formation.
Each partner ministry of the Christian Formation Collective is offering support for the leaders they serve. They include a Friday Zoom conversation on supporting older adults during the pandemic. The Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network will share ideas and provide an opportunity for those joining to break into smaller groups to discuss ideas and resources with each other.
“Many older adults we’re hearing from are saying they’re having trouble not being depressed,” said POAMN President Michele Hendrix.
Stressing the importance of connecting with older adults, Hendrix also said that it’s important to get the word out about available resources and to reinforce the importance of staying home and maintaining social distancing. To join the conversation, click here at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, March 27.
Here are what others in the Christian Formation Collective are offering to help those in their age-and-stage specific ministries get through the crisis together:
- UKirk Collegiate Ministries Association is hosting twice-weekly Zoom support calls for those leading collegiate ministries. Campus ministers are in a difficult situation with students losing housing, often limited financial resources and disconnection from their campus ministry. UKirk’s Facebook page, found at https://www.facebook.com/UKirkMinistries, is updated regularly.
- Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE) is hosting Zoom calls for educators and those leading faith formation ministries to support one another and resource one another for faith formation online. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/apcenet.
- Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association (PCCCA) is hosting a Zoom call this week to help camp directors and staff deal with the enormous financial implications of losing programs and the possibility of summer camp being altered. Resources for camps are listed here.
- Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association (PYWA) has a shared document it is using crowd-sourcing with other youth workers for resources. Executive director Brian Kuhn hosts devotions and check-in sessions as well on the PYWA Facebook page.
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Categories: Christian Formation, Partner Associations
Tags: APCE, association of presbyterian church educators, christian formation, coronavirus, covid-19, partner associations, PCCCA, presbyterian church camp and conference association, presbyterian youth workers association, pywa, stephanie fritz, ukirk
Ministries: Office of Christian Formation, Age and Stage Formation Ministries, Partner Associations