Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It Takes a Village

Hey, ELCA citizens of the blogosphere and theological kissing-cousins! I have a favor to ask you, by way of our pastoral intern (have I mentioned that she's doing a terrific job?).

First some backstory: Our church, like many others, has a difficult time these days gathering people together in real-time to do religious formation. Those days when parents dutifully brought their children to Sunday School and their adolescents to catechism class week after week on a consistent basis are no more, for a variety of reasons.

A couple of years ago our Education Committee, at the request of frustrated parents, came up with a program of monthly educational packets -- an assortment of lessons, prayers and activities that families could do together -- that we've been sending to families of small children. This is supplemented throughout the year with special educational events/family worship. In our locality, this seems to be a workable alternative to traditional Sunday School.

Now parents of older kids, tweens and teenagers, have asked the Education Committee if a similar program could be developed for confirmation class.

Knowing all the creativity that goes on in other congregations, I am asking my online friends for help in finding resources to create a confirmation-class packet. We have until recently been using a resource called Free to Be, but we need to update and upgrade. And we are open to thinking outside the box in terms of utilizing "homegrown" materials, including online resources, that congregations have developed themselves. I'm also interested to hear how other congregations are navigating religious formation these days when it's so hard to get people (including FT and me) committed to a physical classroom presence on a week-to-week basis.

Thank you in advance for your helpfulness and creativity.