Category Archives: Christian Education Archive

On The Way to Bethlehem: An Advent Devotional Booklet to Download

I want to share with you this year’s Advent Devotional booklet entitled On the Way to Bethlehem.

Starting on Sunday, November 29, 2020 this simply laid out devotional guide will help you begin your journey to Bethlehem. Over the four weeks of Advent you will read wonder-filled stories from scripture that will have you walking with the prophet Isaiah, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the Magi, until you finally reach Bethlehem. There, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day you will hear the story of the birth of Jesus and gather with those you have been walking with to witness this special gift of God.

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Setting Up a Google or Bitmoji Classroom

Tonight I will be presenting a workshop on how to use Google Classroom as a hybrid model for Sunday school delivery. As this is the website I use, I am uploading the following so I can demonstrate Google Classroom for the participants and also deliver a handout easily for them. Thus, this really isn’t an article, but instead a means of my making the material available for them. Thank you for your forgiveness if you receive an email from this article. I shall actually write an article on this topic next week, so come back then for the extra content. Blessings, Tori

Please Pass the Faith: How Grandparents Can Best Pass Their Faith on to Their Grandchildren

“My granddaughter loves going to church. We’re all there together; three generations sitting in the pew – It make me the happiest grandparent I can be. My kids are doing a great job, but I often wonder if it’s all up to them. What should I be doing to pass on my faith to my grandchildren?”

“My children no longer go to church, and don’t want to have anything to do it. I bring my grandchildren to Sunday school as often as I can and I tell them the stories of Jesus. I am so sad my grown children have walked away from the church and I don’t want to fail with my grandchildren.”

In my job serving as Regional Minister for Faith Formation I get asked a lot of questions by grandparents; grandparents who come alongside their adult children sharing their faith with their grandchildren, grandparents who rarely get to see their grandchildren, and grandparents who grieve their adult children’s leaving church and deeply desire that their grandchildren know Jesus. Regardless of circumstances, these grandparents all want to know how they can best pass their faith on to their grandchildren. It’s a wonderful question, and one I have a few answers for, for them and for you.

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Three Hybrid Models for Faith Formation This Fall

Last week Robynne Howard, Director of the Cairn Family of Camps, and I hosted a Zoom training session to introduce three hybrid faith formation models your church may wish to consider for the fall as we continue to stay out of our physical church classrooms. If you missed joining us last week, or want to review what was said, I want to share with you the video from that training session along with some handouts and resources that might help your church as you determine how you will be connecting with children and young people this year.

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September’s Coming!

Have you figured out how you will be doing Sunday school and/or youth ministry with the children and youth of your church yet? 

If you are looking for a hybrid model for faith formation with the younger members of your church family that will work outside of an in-person classroom setting, join us on Tuesday, September 1 at 10:30 ET for a one hour Zoom gathering and hear about some great possibilities for at-home and online education.

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New Updates on Curriculum Resources for Hybrid Sunday Schools this Fall

A few weeks ago I wrote an article that outlined how Sunday school curriculum publishers were striving to support our churches through the production of resources to help us shift to hybrid models for teaching Sunday school this fall. Each have been busy writing new curricula and/or providing supplements to their existing offerings to assist us in making the transition to teaching outside of a classroom setting smoother and better for our teachers, participants and parents.

You can find that original article here: https://www.cnob.org/?p=1719#more-1719.

Please revisit it for an overview of the materials each will be providing this fall, especially if the curriculum your church uses is not mentioned in the following article. Your church’s curriculum may only be highlighted in the previous article because nothing has changed since July 22, 2020.

This article has been written to provide new or additional information that has been released since I last wrote on the topic.

So, let’s see what’s new.

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Cairn Family of Camps Has Gone Virtual

Week 1: Campers start each day in ‘cabin groups’ with their two counsellors, which promotes connection through small group discussion and activities.

We’re at the point of the year where our camp staff regularly exclaim “I can’t believe we’re almost already half-way through the summer!” 

Just a few months ago within the Cairn Family of Camps, we were worried that campers and staff would lose the opportunity to build meaningful relationships, engage in camp programs, and be part of the faith community we know and love without camp this summer.

But we found a way.

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InterGenerate AUS: Enjoy These Great Podcasts on Intergenerational Ministry

InterGenerate, is that even a word? 

Not according to the Oxford dictionary, but in faith formation circles it’s filled with meaning and implication for our congregations.

Over the past couple of decades ‘intergenerational’ has become the buzz word circulating among church educators and worship leaders. While programmes designed for age groups to meet separately for learning and faith formation have their benefits, a steady diet of graded classrooms, youth group events and mission trips, and adult focused worship and study groups has taken a toll on our church families. By revisiting of the practices of the early church, re-reading the work of foundational developmental theorists, and paying attention to more recent generational theory studies, the church has been prompted to reconsider its dependance on the ‘age and stage’ ministry that has dominated the past century. New research has revealed to the church that we do better when we’re together. People of every age are more able to grow and mature in their faith, care for one another and become the body Christ spoke of when our churches place a priority on being intentional intergenerational communities of faith.

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Planning for Online Sunday School for This Fall – Curriculum Updates

What will we teach this fall?

For many of our churches thinking creatively about how and what our Sunday schools will be teaching this fall as we go online, over Zoom, and/or become parent-led is a huge and overwhelming concern.

As each of us begins to look at the curriculum we’re already using, or perhaps wonders if there is another one we ought to consider, everyone can be assured that all of the mainline, Protestant and Reformed curricula that many of our churches use now have got our backs. Each publishing house has been working hard to develop resources specific to help you adapt their existing lesson plans for new delivery platforms and circumstances. Some have even developed new curriculum resources specific for these days that are shortened and easy for parents to use at home with little preparation and materials needed.

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