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Churches can download new 'Faith Practices' curriculum

The Pacific Northwest Conference’s three Partners in Education to help churches plan for Christian Education and Nurture are Gale Peterson, director of Christian education at  Kirkland UCC, and Donald Schmidt, interim pastor of First Congregational Church at Bellevue through February, on the Westside and Lorna Kropp, Westminster Congregational UCC in Spokane. Peterson and Kropp attended the national introductory workshop on “Faith Practices” in early February in Nashville, Tenn., will lead a workshop at Annual Meeting.

By Lorna Kropp

The UCC is inviting churches, educators and writers to share in creating new educational resources for congregations that will be available for download from the Internet by subscription.

Called “Faith Practices: Worship, Learning and Serving for Vital Congregations,” the materials will feature 24 faith practices with four practices to be developed each year for the next six years.

Gale Peterson and Lorna Kropp
Gale Peterson and Lorna Kropp

The first four practices, coming out in 2010-2011 are: “Forming Community: Giving and Receiving Hospitality”; “Being Stewards: Living Stewardship”; “Centering Life: Keeping Sabbath,” and “Living Creatively: Playing and Living Joyfully.”  The resources are meant to provide flexibility in planning for churches.  Subscriptions will range from $100 for one component to $600 for an annual subscription for the whole site.  There will be discounts for small churches.

Resources can be used in various settings—worship, education, church school, workshops, retreats, church leaders, small groups, outdoor ministry, vacation church school, midweek programs and community settings.

While the resources can be used with age-related groups in a traditional setting, the hope is that they will help congregations extend learning to additional settings, such as integrating worship and learning, inter-generational programs and faith searching stirred up in the “God is Still Speaking Campaign.”

The planning has grown out of conversations among church leaders and educators about faith formation. They believe that growing in faith is about living out faith, seeking meaning and exercising faith as a lifelong process, not something limited to children and youth.

A planning premise is that new understandings and spiritual development come through participation in community—sharing in church life, joining in worship, serving others and engaging in spiritual practices of prayer and contemplation.

The organization of Faith Practices contrasts with the other curricula available—lectionary based, or Bible-story based—by not being linear, nor based on the church year themes. As more themes are developed, churches will be able to pick and choose to craft an individualized sequence of themes.

Congregations will want to be purposeful in planning education goals.  Does the church want its education program to develop participants to progress on a spiritual journey; to become full participants in the community of faith; to seek justice and serve those in need, and to be well versed in biblical stories and Christian traditions?

Schmidt, who begins in March as pastor at Admiral UCC in Seattle, is also one of the editors and Ana Gobledale, interim at Kirkland, is one of the writers for these resources.

For information visit Information about becoming a development partner is available at:


Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © February 2010


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