Free Resource: Creation Celebration (Cross+Gen Education Activity)
It might be comforting news, anxiety-producing, or neither, but the school/program year is approaching! For some congregations, there’s not much a difference between one Sunday to the next in terms of faith formation or Christian education programming. But, many congregations take a break or make a change in their programming during the summer and start up again the Sunday after Labor Day (sometimes called Rally Day). And many of these have some sort of event to kick off the programming year.
The variety of kickoff events is wonderfully diverse. But, I would recommend one major thing: include everybody. Do it even if your congregation only has faith formation programming for certain age groups. Why? I have two different arguments. First, it is my belief that part of every church’s mission should be to purposefully form faith in everybody. And, if you have a worship service, you are doing this. The question then is whether those faith formation efforts are effective. Is everybody engaged in this effort? But, that’s beyond the scope of this post.
My second argument is that your programming will be most successful if it has the support of the entire congregation. Especially when a worship service is directed at an adult audience, faith formation programming is a critical way a congregation can form faith in our younger disciples (along with family involvement).
You can do your kickoff, and include everybody, in a variety of ways. A workshop, something during fellowship time, a special worship service, or the normal worship service(s). I would recommend holding your kickoff during the worship service(s) because that is the best time to involve the most people. This can be a special portion of the service, or the entire service can be devoted to a celebration of faith formation in your congregation (perhaps using a cross+generational worship format). Note that I didn’t say to devote the entire service to children. Instead, devote the time to faith formation for everyone, although be sure to celebrate and include children, too.
A Cross+Gen Example
This week we are offering a free activity from our Living the Word: Cross+Gen Education curriculum, which is designed for a classroom setting but can easily be used in a worship service without much adaptation. “Creation Celebration” is a fun way to include all ages and your whole body in worshipping our Creator. This activity was created to go along with the Narrative Lectionary reading for the day (September 9, 2018), on the story of Noah and the Ark. However, the activity focuses on God’s creation itself, and so you can use it whether your congregation follows the NL or not. What’s better to kick off the program year than worshipping our Creator?
-Gregory Rawn (Publisher)
2018-2019 (NL Year 1) faith formation materials are now available for purchase. Download Fall and Winter lessons right away! You can download the 2018-2019 Planning Tool and Scope & Sequence to start your planning for the next program year!
For more great ideas on how to engage participants of all ages in the story of God’s love, check out our Living the Word series for elementary students, youth, adults, and intergenerational settings!