Family Faith Formation @ Home

Introduction
What Is Faith Formation?
Why Faith Formation at Home?
What is the Revised Common Lectionary?
What is the Narrative Lectionary?
What’s in a Lesson?
Scopes & Sequences
Sharing God’s Story @ Home
Other Resources
Ordering & Download Information
Letters to Families

Order for 2020-2021 (RCL)

Download Sample (RCL)

Order for 2020-2021 (NL)

Download Sample (NL)

Introduction

Equip families to do faith formation together at home with our two new @ Home products. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many congregations have not been able to gather together for worship or faith formation. The home has temporarily replaced the sanctuary and classroom. However, the home should always be the center of faith formation.

These two new curricula use the same basic model to follow two different lectionaries, the Revised Common Lectionary and the Narrative Lectionary.

Purchase the whole year or try it for a season!

Each lesson plan provides all the information families need to explore the Bible reading, including necessary supplies, step-by-step instructions, and even scripts for those who want them.

Our new @ Home curricula are high-quality, low-cost options for congregations and ministries of all sizes. Pricing is based on your estimated number of families who will use the lessons, and the purchase of a single license covers the entire congregation. A congregational leader can download the materials from your Customer Account as soon as each quarter is released (See the current Release Dates page for details). You can then email the short lessons to families or send them in some other way.

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What Is Faith Formation?

Although we have a whole page devoted to What Is Faith Formation?, here is the basic definition we use: We pass on the faith through every action, experience, or relationship that nurtures a transformative relationship of trust with God and shapes the way we see and interact with God’s world. When we do this in meaningful relationships, our faith is enriched from the diversity of the experiences we share with each other. Our families and communities are strengthened, and we have confidence in our sense of belonging to God and with each other.

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Why Faith Formation at Home?

A week consists of 168 hours. How many of those hours does the typical family spend at church? One, two, even three? Even assuming that a really busy family has only an hour a day at home (taking away time spent sleeping, working, going to school and other extra-curricular activities), they still spend more time home than at church. In hours and the quality of connections amongst family members, families have more impact on faith formation than any church worker.

And if your congregation is not physically gathering for the time being, families may not be even getting an hour of “church” each week. This means that faith formation must be done at home.

Many (most) adults are not well equipped to lead Christian education or devotional time with their families. This is where resources come in.

As a church faith formation leader, you can write or adapt lessons for families to use at home, but wouldn’t it be easier if you can just send something home?

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What is the Revised Common Lectionary?

The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is a calendar of Scripture readings used in worship by thousands of congregations each week. There are four readings assigned to each day:

  • First Reading (often from the Old Testament)
  • Psalm
  • Second Reading (often from the New Testament epistles)
  • Gospel Reading

One of the strengths of the RCL is its attention to the pattern of the church year. The Gospel reading is often chosen to coordinate with the particular church festival or season it is in. The other readings are chosen to support the Gospel reading.

The RCL is a three-year cycle that begins with the expectation of the coming Messiah, on the First Sunday of Advent. As most Christian education programs follow the common school year rather than the church year, our curriculum covers portions of two different cycles, from the first Sunday after Labor Day (US) through Christ the King Sunday (Year A in 2020) and the First Sunday of Advent through Pentecost Sunday (Year B in 2020-2021).

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What is the Narrative Lectionary?

The Narrative Lectionary is a nine-month calendar of Scripture readings which focuses on one story or passage each Sunday. It starts in September with a story about creation and touches on the major stories, characters, and plot points in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) until mid-December. At that point, the lectionary picks up one of the four Gospels (one Gospel each year for a four-year cycle) and moves through many of the main stories or passages of that Gospel sequentially until just after Easter. From the second Sunday of Easter through Pentecost Sunday, the readings are pulled from Acts and the Letters. Read more about this on our What Is the Narrative Lectionary? webpage.

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What’s in a Lesson?

Each downloadable lesson includes:

    • Overview– The lesson starts with a summary page that gives an overview of the Bible reading. The second page is a brief table of contents, showing the four activities in that lesson with a list of supplies for each activity.
    • Into the Word/Introduction– An introductory activity that introduces everyone to the themes of the Bible reading.
    • Learning the Word/Learning the Story– An activith that engages the whole family in the week’s Bible text through art, actions, and more. This is the central activity for the day!
    • Activities: Two activities that further explore the assigned Bible passage using multiple learning styles.
    • Prayer: A lesson wrap-up and prayer.
    • The Word @ Home: The Revised Common Lectionary curriculum (God’s Word @ Home) includes a one-page sheet which includes a set of daily Bible readings, a prayer of the week, and a blessing for the week. Our third family faith formation product Living the Word: Sharing God’s Story @ Home (NL) gives the same information and more for the Narrative Lectionary, so a separate page is not provided for the God’s Story @ Home curriculum.

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Scopes & Sequences

If you would like to see the full set of lessons included in each product, check out each Scope & Sequence:

  • Revised Common Lectionary Scope and Sequence (2020-2021)
  • Narrative Lectionary Scope and Sequence (2020-2021)

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Sharing God’s Story @ Home

These two new curricula join our longtime product Living the Word: Sharing God’s Story @ Home, a weekly devotional resource that follows the Narrative Lectionary. This devotional insert gives busy households an easy-to-use, flexible tool for seeking God and forming faith at home, every day. A practice of regular devotions together fosters deep, meaningful connections between all household members, which is important in the enduring faith formation of children and youth.

This includes a list of daily Bible readings, prayers, conversation starters, and many other things for daily or weekly devotions at home. It has been traditionally printed and included in congregations’ worship bulletins, which is why we often refer to it as a “bulletin insert.” However, each week’s resource is a separate PDF file that can be emailed to households (with or without children) when you don’t have physical bulletins (or even when you do).

If you are using the Narrative Lectionary in worship, the bulletin insert connects Sunday to Monday and the rest of the week with a Bible reading plan that provides context and continuity to the Sunday readings. If you are not using the Narrative Lectionary in worship, these devotional inserts guide households through the story of Scripture from creation to the early church over the course of nine months.

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Other Resources

If you are looking for more products to support faith formation in your congregation, check out our Narrative Lectionary, Revised Common Lectionary, intergenerational confirmation, and worship education products.

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Ordering & Download Information

To order, go to the indivdual product page and select your best estimate of the number of families to whom you will be sending the lessons. For the Sharing God’s Story @ Home devotional resource, you only need to purchase one license for the entire congregation. You will select the Full Year, or the Fall, Winter, or Spring quarters. After you add the product to your cart and complete the rest of your shopping, you can proceed to checkout. There, complete the form and select your payment type.

All resource materials are available as digital downloads (PDF files) for printing or using electronically. The end user licensing agreement (EULA) allows congregations to download, print, and use the materials as often as you would like as long as the use remains in the purchasing congregation.

After your payment is processed, you can download the materials from your Customer Account as soon as each quarter is released (See the current Release Dates page for details). Each quarter purchased comes in a single compressed (ZIP) file, which your operating system should be able to open and extract the folders and PDF files, at which point you can share with your families as you please!

For more detailed information on ordering, downloading, and other topics, please go to our Customer Service FAQ page.

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Letters to Families

God’s Word @ Home (RCL) Introduction Letter

God’s Story @ Home (NL) Introduction Letter