Faith Formation Ministry 2020 Annual Report
Co-Chairs: Tina Griffin and Ben Smith
Members: Julie Clarke (former chair), Rorie Hutter, Jennings Duncan
Staff Support: Kathy Doby
At Sojourners we are committed to:
- Creating welcoming spaces for children, youth, and adults to experience unconditional love and be celebrated for who they are and what they are becoming
- Providing tools to help them explore their faith, work through questions, entertain doubts, create meaning, affirm their faith, and integrate it into their lives
- Communicating an open-minded, progressive approach to Scripture and tradition that inspires a love of God using biblical narratives and other stories to teach values such as kindness, love, service, self-control, caring for others, generosity, living in community, and the importance of creating a just world
2019: A Year of Learning and Growing Together
We Welcome Children in Worship
The Pray-Ground has been a go-to favorite welcoming space for children of all ages! Each week there are activities, books and coloring pages that go with a theme or story. It is open at the start of worship until Time with Children. On the first Sunday of the month, (Communion Sunday), all children remain in worship together.
Leading in Worship
Children and youth are invited to share their gifts and participate in worship in multiple ways. Reading scripture or contemporary reading, singing or playing an instrument, and help with serving communion.
Celebrating Seasons in the Church Calendar
Making the seasons meaningful through events like our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner, Holy Week Sacred Walk, Easter Worship and Egg Hunts., Christmas Crafts and Cocoa & Telling the Christmas story with our annual Pageant. During Advent Faith Formation partnered with Worship to provide Friday Advent Reflections on Fridays at noon for 3 weeks leading up to Christmas.
Sunday Morning Classes: Elementary Age
On Sunday Morning at Sojourners, we want our children to discover:
- All people are lovable in the eyes of God, no exceptions. Love Self
- I am called to love and care for people in need. Love Neighbor
- I can see and feel God’s love in my life. Love God
Thank you to our Teaching Team: Rachel Baum, Amanda Beresford, Rorie Hutter, Sean Lyons, Abbie Moore, Steve Brinkley, Tina Griffin, Ian Little
Nursery: Our new Nursery Caregiver is Tammy Dorrier. Congregation members serve in the Nursery with Tammy each Sunday.
On any given Sunday you can find our youth interacting with members of the congregation! Laughing, listening, learning, serving, and playing together is what we like to do! Youth have enjoyed:
- Gathering for our 2nd Sunday Youth Kitchen Table Wisdom!
- Time in their own dedicated Sunday morning class on 4th Sunday with leaders Tina Griffin & Ian Little.
Hosting a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner to raise money for UCC Annual Youth Event in July. Thank you Ian Little!
Fun, Fellowship, Service and More
Parents Night Out A fun-filled Friday evening where parents (and Grandparents) can drop their children off for a few hours to have some adult time. This year we even had a neighbor who saw our sign come join us! Bi-monthly in 2019.
Summer: Sharing What You Love What do you love and enjoy doing?. is it Walking labyrinths, science, pottery, music, cooking or handcrafts or hospitality? Consider signing up for a Sunday this summer to share what you love with our children and youth!
Loving Our Neighbors
On Halloween our children and youth went to Riverdale Nursing Facility to host a party with the residents. Youth spent a day loving our neighbors by helping at Loaves and Fishes and gleaning apples out in Covesville. Are you involved in an organization that we could partner with you to provide opportunities to serve and stand up for justice? Speak with Kathy about this!
Every child needs adults other than their parents they can talk to about the important stuff. There is no set road map for the future of Faith Formation at Sojourners. We make the road by walking and journeying together!! What small way can you participate with Faith Formation to build connections with our children and youth in 2020?
Adult focused faith formation
- Waking Up White-small groups meet to use Debby Irving’s book “Waking Up White” along with curriculum from the UCC to write about, share and discuss our own life experiences from the point of race. Many members and friends within the congregation participated in 2019 and now into 2020.
- Exploring Spirituality-meets weekly on Monday evenings having interesting and stimulating discussions based on the lectionary readings, religious texts, theological works, and/or related materials.
- Seeking and Sharing-meets weekly mid-day for a time of personal sharing and discussing spiritual issues.
Advent Reflections Brown Bag Lunch; a group of adults interested in fostering continued faith development through contemplative silence and meditation; a joint venture between Worship and Faith Formation.