Resources for Educators
There are many different resources for those working in the area of spiritual formation and discipleship ministries in the Episcopal Church.
This is a short list of websites we have found to be very useful for those in leadership in Episcopal Churches.
FORMA is the is the Network for Christian Formation for the Episcopal Church and beyond. The website has information on educational programs, job openings for educational ministries for all ages, professional resources, and links to many other great sites. FORMA also hosts an annual conference in January for those doing the work of formation in Episcopal churches and beyond. There is a FORMA Facebook page as well.
Faith @ Home, a ministry of FORMA and Forward Movement, offers weekly, lectionary-based lessons for all ages. These free resources could easily be copied and emailed individually to the appropriate age groups, or encourage folks to sign up for these lessons themselves. Though written for individuals and families, they could provide material for group discussions.
Building Faith, a ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary, is a primary resource for those working in the area of Spiritual Formation and Education. They have resource articles for discipleship with all ages. They offer key resources for curriculum and programs including an excellent review of Vacation Bible School materials each year. Monthly webinars feature panelists who are ministry practitioners and content experts in specific areas. Topics vary from adult formation to using children’s literature in ministry. Each post includes the recording, slides, and resources. Many Spanish resources are also available.
Lesson Plans that Work is a free, 3-year lesson cycle for children. These lessons are divided for younger children and older children for both the Old Testament lesson and the Gospel reading and work well for small Sunday school programs. Some lessons also include an adult lesson or perhaps an intergenerational lesson for the whole church. Recently the Episcopal Church added lessons for Youth and Young Adults. These are thematic lesson plans rather than lectionary based and are broken down for Middle School, High School, and Young Adults.
Faith Formation in the Episcopal Church highlights the ministries and programs offered by the Episcopal Church including connections to staff officers in the church, upcoming events, resources, and the best practices for Educational and Formational ministries with all ages.
Grow Christians provides online articles and resources for faith at home, including topics on parenting and families. This Episcopal blog site provides inspiration for living and practicing faith outside a church building.
Visual Parables: Join veteran film critic Edward McNulty in exploring the inspiring connections between faith and pop culture. Ed has been analyzing film, leading film discussions in his and other churches, speaking at conferences, creating study guides, and publishing books on the topic for over 4 decades. These helpful guides from a mainline, progressive viewpoint connect scripture and faith teachings to the most current movies, and sometimes TV shows, to help contextualize faith for this generation.
How2charist is a Digital Instructed Eucharist that is helpful for confirmation, newcomers to the Episcopal Church, acolyte instruction, and anyone who wants to understand Episcopal Liturgy. Just register to get these free resources.
Free Range Worship has resources, kits, and coaching to help you create interactive, deeply connecting worship both digitally and in person. Lilly Lewin helps churches reimagine worship experiences to create authentic experiences meeting God for all ages. There are some free resources to try out and then a range of price points for materials and expert advice on deepening worship.
What we Believe from the Episcopal Church provides some basic explanations of what shapes our belief and thought in the Episcopal Church. This could be useful for confirmation or newcomer classes.
Earth & Altar is an Episcopal blog with articles on theology, faith, devotions and mediations on the lectionary, and more. A popular series has been Christianity 101 with articles on topics such as What is Prayer? What is Sin? What are the Creeds? What is Baptism? These short articles could be used in newcomer or confirmation classes, for adult discussion groups, or personal learning. The series can be found at the bottom of the home page, or all 33 articles can also be purchased in a book form in both English and Spanish.
If you have sites you would like to recommend, please contact Amy Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org.