At-home Worship and Formation
During this time of suspended in-person worship and physical distancing, our churches have worked hard to provide worship and formation resources to parishioners. Let's not forget, though, that the home has always been a center for formation, and that's perhaps even more true now!
In this spirit, diocesan staff, with the help of clergy and lay leaders throughout the Diocese, have curated resources for all ages to continue at-home formation until we can again gather in person. The resources are arranged by age group.
An excellent tool for all ages - and for churches as well as individuals and families - is Zoom, a video conferencing software with a phone option that is free for calls up to 40 minutes in length. The free option allows unlimited 40-minute meetings up to 100 participants, and one-on-one conversations have no time limit.
The building blocks for our ongoing formation never change. You may have copies at home, but if not - no worries! Many of these beloved tools are also available online:
- Book of Common Prayer (either a physical copy or the online version)
- Forward Day by Day resources
- Gospel-Based Discipleship
For Families and Children
- Illustrated Ministry offers coloring pages and lectionary based curriculum for children and families. Currently they are offering free resources during COVID-19. Sign up to receive resources.
- Zoom offers a free option which allows groups to meet for periods up to 40 minutes long. This free option allows unlimited number of meeting and unlimited one-on-one meetings. Watch tutorials.
- Candle Walk: A Bedtime Prayer to God
Karin Holsinger Sherman offers her book to families and invites them to read together before bedtime.
- Faith at Home
Developed by Forward Movement and Forma, this lectionary-based resource offers formation for our daily lives and gives meaning and purpose every day of the week.
- Keeping Faith at Home: Sharon Pearson
Ideas from Sharon Pearson about ways to do formation at home for families.
- Lauren's Line: Helping Families Keep Holy Week
An offering for Rev. Lauren Villemur-Drenth of St. Paul's, Winston Salem, this resource offers families a way to worship and share during Holy Week.
- Christian Essentials from Christ Church, Charlotte
This holistic curriculum invites participants to explore, grow and deepen their faith and life with God and live a Christ-centered life. Three six-week sessions have been developed, covering 15 topics essential to the Christian life.
- Living Compass Information for Small Parishes
Living Compass is a wholistic program stemming from The Episcopal Church. Each program includes area of heart, soul, strength and mind, addressing eight inter-related areas of wellness: spirituality, rest and play, care for the body, stress resilience, healthy relationships, handling emotions, organization, and vocation. Resources and programs offered include seasonal (like Lent), overall (“The Wellness”) and situational (adult, teen, parent).
Costs: All material is downloadable on pdf and is free. Booklets to be ordered (they print for you) are about $1 each. The facilitator guide is free.
This program would work well in weekly Zoom meeting or a group Skype. The materials could be downloaded by each member. Another option would be to create a Facebook Group specifically for this study and take turns posting a discussion question on the page for others to respond to.
These programs can be continued in person when our church buildings are open for formation. The community would continue without any pause or readjusting. The community has already been established.
- Online parish formation options:
- Reflection on Saturdays, 9 a.m., from St. Luke's Durham
- Bible study (via Zoom) on Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m., from St. Philip's, Durham
- Book study - Walk In Love: Episcopal Beliefs and Practices (via Zoom) on Sundays, 9:30 a.m., from St. Christopher's, Garner
- Bible study (via Zoom) on Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m., from St. Ambrose, Raleigh
- Adult formation (via Zoom) on Sundays, 9 a.m., from St. Ambrose, Raleigh
- SPECIAL WORKSHOP: "Exploring Manuscript Changes in the Gospel of John" - April 1 and 8, 7-8p.m.Join us for a two-night workshop offered via webinar exploring manuscript changes within the Gospel of John and the impact of those changes.Week 1: "The Gospel of John and Mary Magdalene's Witness: Were the Manuscripts Changed?"
Elizabeth Schrader's recent examination of the manuscripts of our lectionary texts suggests that Martha of Bethany may have been a later addition to the Fourth Gospel as a way to diminish the role of Mary Magdalene.
Week 2: "Christians and Questions About John 11: How Do We Respond as People of Faith?"
Schrader and others discuss the implications of the text changes in John 11, in light of our understanding of theology, the role and authority of women, and the Church's mission.
Led by Elizabeth Schrader, a doctoral candidate at Duke University, this is a conversation you won't want to miss!
This event is offered in partnership between the Diocese of North Carolina; Holy Family, Chapel Hill; and St. Philip's, Durham. Registration is open.
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