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National UCC offers survey on education, and announces changes in prices, personnel

Lorna Kropp
Lorna Kropp is one of the conference's three Partners in Education available to give presentations to congregations.

By Lorna Kropp - Pacific Northwest Conference Partner in Education since 1999

Local Church Ministries has launched a survey for all church leaders and members, youth through adults.

The National Listening Campaign on Christian Faith Formation and Education in the United Church of Christ is being conducted from Oct. 1 to Dec. 16 to gather information from UCC members that will assist in shaping the future of faith formation for the UCC.  The link to the survey is:

The survey takes about 20 minutes.  It’s an opportunity for UCC members to share their thoughts about the educational and formation ministries they engage in now and that they should/could promote.

New resources are part of Faith Practices

Last year, the national United Church of Christ rolled out a new set of resources for the church’s “Faith Practices: Worship, Learning, and Serving for Vital Congregations.”

These are resources, not curriculum per se.  That means they are date specific and follow either the lectionary or the church year, which is usual for curricula such as “Seasons of the Spirit” and “Gather Round.” 

Faith Practices are available for subscription on-line.

New prices set for annual subscriptions

This fall, several changes have been announced. First, there is a new price structure for the Faith Practices Resources:  The annual subscription for all practices will be $300 a year, with renewal at $250 annually. Individual Practice prices are reduced by 50 percent.

The first five modules are available now on the website

• Giving and Receiving Hospitality

• Living Stewardship

• Keeping Sabbath

• Playing and Living Joyfully

• Giving Testimony and Witness

• Encountering Scripture (2012)

• Praying and Making Ritual (2012)

• Working for Justice (2012)

New faith formation leader named by LCM

Ken Ostermuller, who was minister for curriculum development within the Local Church Ministries and the leader of the Faith Practices development process retired in the spring 2011.

A new leader has been chosen to continue the work of Christian faith formation.

The Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, has begun work as the minister for Christian faith formation research, within the Congregational Vitality and Discipleship department of Local Church Ministries.

For information, email

LCM executive outlines plans with 12 Practices

In a recent letter to conference education leaders, the Rev. Bennett Guess, executive, minister of the UCC Local Church Ministries, reported on meetings with the education consultants and the new minister of Christian faith formation research.

He pledges to complete the first 12 practices in the cycle and to promote additional “addendum resources that promote the creative use of these resources.

He suggests:  “Using Faith Practices to Revitalize Your VBS” or “Using Faith Practices in Worship” or “How Faith Practices Can Jumpstart Intergenerational Ministry.”

“There is a factor of folks being overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of what is available and people feeling inadequate to knowing how to utilize Faith Practices in various settings of church life,” he said.  “Therefore, in short, we envision some new resources and trainings (through investment of additional dollars)  that will help people unpack the resource itself.”

He indicated that the proposed second set of Practices will be on hold until the current research is completed and studied. When created, additional Practices may be different rather than a second round of the same 12 Practices.

Using the new price structure, these resources become much less complicated to purchase and use and should become a good option for our congregations to use. So, take the time to look over what is currently available, and think of creative ways to engage your congregation. They are meant to be helpful for settings like meetings, congregational workshops, inter-generational activities, workshop rotation events, and more.

Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © October 2011





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