Spring 2020 Resources and Virtual Faith Formation Opportunities
Keeping the Faith at Home During Trouble Times webinar from April 2, 2020.
Story and Stretch
Michel Gribble-Dates, mom, certified yoga instructor, and former elementary teacher, has written this series of books to teach the tools necessary to grow into a healthy and peaceful individual. The Story and Stretch method combine the ancient art of oral storytelling and the healing practice of yoga to help kids connect with their inner world of creativity while acquiring listening and literary skills, body awareness and character development. These books include stories with instructions on how to lead children through recreating the stories using yoga poses, as well as breathing, meditation, and mindfulness exercises, yoga games, and extension activities.
Jami Vandock, DCE at Raleigh Moravian Church, shows us how she has incorporated this technique into her at-home faith formation with her children.
Virtual Storytelling with Storypath
Created by students and faculty from Union Presbyterian Seminary, Storypath is a website that lists children’s books and how they connect to Biblical stories. The resources are divided into book reviews, lesson plans using children’s books, and other ideas for using children’s literature in different settings.
Using books from Storypath, Jami records lessons for the children of Raleigh Moravian Church to view every week. The parents are able to buy the books on Amazon and use them throughout the week as the discussion evolves.
Godly Play (Virtual and At Home)
Children have an innate sense of the presence of God. The Godly Play approach helps them to explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play. Based on Montessori principles and developed using a spiral curriculum, the Godly Play method serves children through early, middle and late childhood and beyond.
Margaret Norris, DCE at Home Moravian Church, uses Zoom and Godly Play to interact with the children of Home Church. These recordings are then posted on HomeMoravian.org so that parents can view them throughout the week. In addition to Home’s recording, there are many YouTube videos using Godly Play, including a channel run by Godly Play Foundations. For a more hands-on approach, a simple Pinterest search brings up lots of resources on how to use Godly Play at home with supplies around the house.
Weekly Family Devotion
Evie Blum, DCE at New Philadelphia Moravian Church, sends out a weekly family devotion that uses the lectionary text for the week. She includes scripture verses, prayers, and activities to use as a family throughout the week during everyday activities. To sign up to receive this weekly devotion, email Evie to be added to the list.
Below are sites that have a variety of resources that can be used during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Faith Formation Resources for Families
- Loving Hearts United (Book and weekly email)
- Common Prayer for Children and Families
- Building Faith Brick by Brick: An Imaginative Way to Explore the Bible with Children
- What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
- It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change
- Issuu.com/ChurchPublishing (Special Holy Week Edition)
- CokesburyKids.com (Weekly Deep Blue Virtual Sunday School)
- It has been no surprise to me that Christian formation folks have been at the forefront in sharing resources and ideas for supporting households who are staying at home. Many ideas that have been shared are not new, but are coming to light as the need has arisen for so many. New collaborations are forming to determine new ways to use social media and virtual gatherings for worship, prayer, Bible study, and simply being present with one another as a faith community.
- TheThoughtfulChristian.com (downloadable activities like coloring pages and Bible study curriculum)
- Pandemic Hope- A Family Devotional for Life During COVID-19 (PDF Download)
- Let’s adjust our new extended spring break schedules and join together in some time of deepening our faith and listening to how God is calling us to love and serve our neighbor. There are devotional readings & activities prepared for the next 8 weeks for you to do with those you are isolated alongside. If you live alone, call a friend or journal.
- Practical Resources for Churches
- Sunday LIFT (Living in Faith Together) is a fun and easy way for families at home to grow relationships through the sharing of food, fellowship, and learning. Families can be small or large, from younger to older. Each LIFT session (about 40-60 minutes) has complete details for: gathering together, breaking bread together, studying God’s Word together, playing together, and praying together. GenOn is giving away two free Spring sessions to gather around the kitchen table, coffee table, picnic blanket, or anywhere food is shared. Maybe with grandparents or friends over Zoom or FaceTime? It could become a new Sunday morning or Friday night tradition!
- IllustratedMinistry.com (Free, weekly, faith formation email)
- We Wonder Podcast
- Plenty of wonderful resources exist to teach children about the Bible. This podcast invites children into an immersive, contemplative experience of the words of Scripture. We make space for their responses and questions, and guide them in a prayerful engagement with the story. And we remember, always, that God is drawing close to us in love as we make space for the Holy Spirit to speak through our sacred text.
- FlyAwayBooks.com (free and downloadable activities like an origami butterfly, a paper airplane, and parable-themed coloring pages)
- The Presbyterian Outlook