A Still Speaking Worship Event
October 27, 2015
11 AM – 12:30 PM (EDT))
700 Prospect Ave E
Rev. Amy Bruch currently serves as the Associate Minister of Children and Youth at the Congregational Church of Topsfield in Topsfield, MA. In recent years, Amy's ministry has also focused on liturgical arts. She creates installations for worship spaces both seasonally and for specific themed worship services. She believes that the purpose of liturgical art work is to illuminate the scripture, to enhance the experience of worship, to involve laity in the liturgy and to cultivate beauty. For several years, Amy offered on-site liturgical arts classes at churches around New England.
Rev. Quentin Chin is an intentional interim pastor in western Massachusetts where he currently serves as interim pastor at the First Congregational Church of Dalton. He serves part-time as a chaplain at a shelter for homeless veterans. Quentin blends pastoral sensitivity with an innovative use of space and internet savvy to create services which encourage congregations to pray “outside the box” and so open themselves to unexpected possibilities for worship and transformation.
Ms. Kris Garratt recently retired from her position as Worship Coordinator at University Congregational UCC in Seattle, WA and is currently serving as artist-in-residence. In this new role Kris continues to plan visual installations for the church sanctuary and leads visual arts workshops and projects. She has spent much of her personal time over the last ten years developing a visual arts ministry at the church. During the year preceding her retirement, she administered a project to bring more artistic expression to worship, an initiative made possible by a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, with funds provided by the Lilly Endowment.
What is the unique role parents and guardians play in the faith formation of their families? What are the joys and challenges parents encounter as they try to raise children with faith, empathy, a sense of fairness and the courage to act justly? How is the church supporting them, and how might we further support their efforts?
Join us for this conversation with a panel of colleagues on the intersections of faith formation, justice advocacy, and the unique role of parents as the primary faith teachers of children in day-to-day life. Learn about Homegrown Faith and Justice, a use-at-home resource for families that's been published thanks to a sponsorship from the United Church of Christ Minnesota Ashley Endowment Fund.
Click here for video: Homegrown Faith and Justice: Conversations on Faith Formation at Home.
Mr. Wade Zick serves as Associate Conference Minister of Faith Formation for Children and Youth in the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Ms. Debbie Gline Allen is a Commissioned Minister of Christian Formation at the United Church of Christ in North Hampton, NH, and serves as the Chairperson of the Association of United Church Educators.
The Rev. Shernell Edney serves as Program Associate for Advocacy, Mission Interpretation and Education with Global Ministries and has been an active Justice LED trainer for the UCC since the program began in 2009.
The Rev. Dr. Peter A. Wells served until recently on the staff of the UCC Massachusetts Conference. Peter currently supports trainers and congregations with Justice Leaders Engaging and Developing (Justice) program as a Justice LED Organizer on a part-time basis, along with the Rev. Lizette Merchan Pinilla.
Rev. Nancy Rosas, one of the writers of the Homegrown Faith and Justice book, serves as Minister for Spiritual Formation at Washington Park UCC in Denver, Colorado.
Ms. Amy Johnson, one of the writers of the Homegrown Faith and Justice book, is Our Whole Lives coordinator for the UCC.
The Rev. Dr. Olivia Bryan Updegrove serves as one of three Ministers for Family and Children’s Ministries on behalf of the Disciples of Christ and the United Church of Christ.
The Rev. Kelly Burd is senior minister at Pilgrim Congregational UCC in Cleveland, Ohio. She was former Minister for Leadership Development with the UCC Justice and Witness Ministries team.
Resources for Church Intergenerational Retreats
Looking for resources for a weekend intergenerational retreat for your church? The folks at Christ Church in Summit, NJ have graciously offered their plans for 4 years of retreats to UCC churches. Click on these links for plans and inspiration.
Intergenerational Retreat Plan #1: Touch the Water, Taste the Bread
Learning together about the meaning of Baptism and Communion.
Intergenerational Retreat Plan #2: Praying and Playing
Learning together about prayer.
Intergenerational Retreat Plan #3: Let's Can Hunger
Learning together about hunger in our world and what we can do about it.
Intergenerational Retreat Plan #4: Under Construction: Building Our Faith Together
Learning together about what it means to have faith and practice faith.
Worship Activity Sheets for Children
New Resources for Children's use in Worship or other educational times.
Ecumenical Children's Curricula
Kids2Kids includes: Journey to Congo VBS
Visit our page dedicated to this year long educational possibility for congregations
Additional resources that you might find helpful
A Bibliography of Children’s Storybooks, related to the Events of September 11th
UCC Youth Page
Disciples of Christ Family & Children's Ministries
Disciples-UCC Kids-to-Kids Mission Project
Materials for reflection and your use
What Matters for Children and Families
Children and Families in Worship: Two Perspectives
Children and Communion Suggested Resources
One of the best places to find information that connects curriculum to the history, ministry, and mission of the United Church of Christ is the United Church of Christ award winning web site. Use this directory to find topics of specific interest for a particular Sunday or session.
Whether your church uses Shine, Deep Blue Kids, Caffeine, The Present Word, or another curriculum, you will find links below that will help you add activities and resources that reflect the United Church of Christ.
Some of these links direct you to pages on the UCC web site, while others connect you with resources which you may order from UCC Resources.
United Church of Christ History
Look for opportunities to help learners explore and understand the rich heritage of the United Church of Christ. These links will be of special help to those working with Affirming Faith: A Congregation's Guide to Confirmation.
United Church of Christ Identity and Information
These links direct you to basic information about the United Church of Christ.
God Is Still Speaking
What is the UCC?
Justice and Witness Ministries Home Page
Local Church Ministries Home Page
Wider Church Ministries Home Page
Pension Boards Home Page
United Church Foundation Home Page
Meet Our Officers
Calendar of Prayer
UCC Annual Reports
UCC Logo Page
UCC Electronic Newsroom
Confessing Our Faith: An Interpretation of the Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ
United Church of Christ Ministries
The links below to national ministries of the United Church of Christ provide connections with ways your group may choose to respond.
Mission Throughout the Year
Many suggestions for specific Sundays through the whole church year are in the above document!
Making Our Churches Safe for All
The two links below are a gateway to a wealth of information for churches which use the Revised Common Lectionary to guide worship and education using the resources of Seasons of the Spirit. Worship Ways provide liturgies on themes for Sundays thorughout the church year and may be used to provide denomination specific connection to any curriculum resources.
Sometimes you want to know how to connect a specific office at the Church House in Cleveland or you want to know who on your Conference staff might provide information to you. The links below can direct you to the right person. The education institutions related to the United Church of Christ provide a wealth of information which may be used in your church's education program. Your Conference Resource Center has many resources which are available on loan to use in your program.
Resources to Order
The links below provide information about videos, books, and curricula which you may purchase for your church's ministry of teaching.
Welcome to the Faith Formation ministries page of the United Church of Christ! There is a wealth of information and resources for your adaptation and use on this site, so please feel free to visit often.
A Reflection on Faith Formation
Yet, O Lord, you are our God;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand. –Isaiah 64:8
Faith formation is at the heart of what the Christian life is all about. In many ways, we engage in the practices of our daily lives and the rituals of our faith communities—through worship, mission, working for justice and peace, evangelism, and education—so that our faith may be nurtured, enlivened, sustained, and formed. In this regard, the imagery offered by the prophet Isaiah of Potter God forming humanity, God's created own, is an appropriate vision for how we might view the ministry of faith formation.
In the United Church of Christ, we can understand faith formation to be "an engaged process of learning and practice integrated throughout all aspects of congregational and daily life." This definition highlights the initiative and action we must take in our own faith formation. In essence, we become clay so that we are formed and transformed by the Holy and by one another. But throughout all of our doing and being, we are reminded that God's "hands" are continually present in our efforts to gain both "head" knowledge found in education and learning and "heart" wisdom discovered through prayer, ritual, and practice.
So, it is indeed most fitting to say that faith formation is at the heart of what our living and being is all about; but without the hands that guide what we are continually becoming, the process is incomplete. May this webpage offer some helpful tools from which you and others can “become clay” and be reminded of God's formational presence along life's journey.
Small Group Study Resources
Dialogues on Christian Faith Formation and Education
Dialogue #1: Marcus Borg
Dialogue #2: Doug Pagitt
Dialogue #3: Geoffrey Black
Dialogues on Christian Faith Formation and Education is offered with the intent of promoting conversation around the past, present, and future of faith formation in the United Church of Christ.
Children and Families Ministries for the 21st Century (ppt)
Annual Meeting, Penn Central Conference, Selinsgrove, PA – June 2013
Transitioning UCC Faith Formation Ministries (ppt)
New England Association of United Church Educators (NEAUCE) Annual Meeting, Centerville, MA – May 2013
Infusing Best Practices of Faith Formation into Your Congregation (ppt)
New England Association of United Church Educators (NEAUCE) Annual Meeting, Centerville, MA – May 2013
Faith Formation, Christian Education, or Other: Shaping Ministry in Your Church (ppt)
Congregations Alive, Rocky Mountain Conference – February 2013
Futuring Faith Formation and Leadership Development(ppt)
Young Adult Service Communities (YASC) Host Church Leaders’ Training, Cleveland, OH – January 2013
Futuring Faith Formation for Wider Church Ministry (ppt)
Network of Wider Church Youth Ministers (NOWCYM) Annual Gathering, New Orleans, LA – December 2012
Christian Faith Formation: Best Practices in A Shifting Landscape (ppt)
United Church of Chapel Hill, NC – November 2012
Highlights of “Foundations, Findings, and Futures: Christian Faith Formation and Education in the United Church of Christ” (ppt)
Faith Formation for Children and Youth Ministry Team Retreat, Minnesota Conference – October 2012
Foundations, Findings, and Futures: Christian Faith Formation and Education in the United Church of Christ (ppt)
Education Consultants’ Gathering, Cleveland, OH – September 2012
Where Are All the “Young People?” An Exploration of Young Adults, Spirituality, and Their Experiences of Church (ppt)
Growth Ministry Team, Rocky Mountain Conference – August 2012
What Makes Your Youths’ Spirits SOAR? A Multisensory Focus Group on Youth Faith Formation – Youth Leaders (ppt)
What Makes Your Spirit SOAR? A Multisensory Focus Group on Faith Formation – Youth (ppt)
National Youth Event, Purdue, IN – July 2012
Out of the Classroom and Into the World: Faith Formation in the Postmodern Age (ppt)
March in the Son, Connecticut Conference – March 2012
Faith Formation and Education Research on Young Adults (ppt)
LinK Event: Young Adult Ministry Workers, Cleveland, OH – December 2011
A page that shares information helpful to educators.
Seeking A Church Educator
So, your church needs a Christian Educator. Where can you find viable candidates? What qualifications should you look for? What is reasonable compensation? "Seeking A Church Educator" gives a concise guide to get you started.
The United Church of Christ Book of Worship is now available on CD along with a catalog of selected resources from the Worship and Education Ministry team.
Looking for resources for your congregation education program which are:
+Multi-racial and Multi-cultural,
+Age or interest specific,
+Currently available (from United Church of Christ Resources or another publisher),
+Printed or Multi-Media
Check the bibliographies for some of the best resources recommended by United Church of Christ congregations.
What Matters includes a variety of resources to connect your questions of faith with the deep faith expressed by the UCC. Explore six aspects of our faith through links below. Discover what matters through reflection, stories from UCC congregations and members, stories from history, Bible study, prayer, worship, and service.
Resources for Christian Education Sunday
Service Prayers and Liturgies (Online)
Come, Teach Us, Spirit of Our God – TNCH #287
O God, Who Teaches Us To Live – TNCH #359
Praise the Source of Faith and Learning – TNCH #411
Teach Me, O Lord, Your Holy Way – TNCH #465
God, Speak to Me, That I May Speak – TNCH #531
O Grant Us Light – TNCH #469
Colorful Creator – TNCH #30
Open My Eyes, That I May See
Litany for Recognition of Teachers
One: Teachers are called to serve the church in a variety of roles – ordained and lay, volunteer and paid. The United Church of Christ [or insert your own church name here] recognizes and affirms with deep appreciation the outstanding, faithful, and dedicated commitment to the teaching task. Today we honor all those dedicated teachers in the UCC. We thank you, O God, for the ministry of education.
Many: Gentle and Loving God, through the ministry of teaching we learn about you, your creation of humankind, your trust in us to be your people, and your expectation that we will be responsible stewards of your creation.
One: We also learn, from the Holy Spirit and from our spiritual ancestors, that we have room to grow in faith.
Many: Priests, prophets, and wise counselors teach us through the Hebrew scriptures. Evangelists, apostles, and letter-writers in the Christian scriptures teach us of your love and forgiveness.
One: Most of all, we learn from your living Word, Jesus the teacher.
Many: That story, always fresh, comes to us through teachers in the church.
One: We thank you now and offer you praise for the educational ministry of [names]. Help us to affirm and support them in the ministry of teaching.
Unison: We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
[Present certificate or other gift, and/or offer handshake or sign of peace.]
Adapted from the 1999 Excellence in Teaching Awards. Originally from the Committee on Certification for Church Educators in the United Church of Christ.
Just click on our link to our Seminarians' Page plus links to UCC-related seminaries, universities and colleges. Also, you will find information on campus ministries and a mailing list for college students.
The United Church of Christ Undergraduate Scholarship for UCC members studying at U.S. colleges and universities.
These are foundational documents on education in local congregations that were developed by the former United Church Board for Homeland Ministries.