SPARKHOUSE: Sparkhouse Sunday School at Home: How-tos for Creating Remote Sunday School Experiences -Sparkhouse is equipping you with the tools to lead Sunday school lessons remotely with the kids in your ministry. Whether you prerecord, livestream, or host a virtual meeting, these resources will help you prepare to use Sparkhouse Sunday school curricula virtually. Available with different Curriculum including: Spark: Activiate Faith, Whirl, Holy Moly, and Connect.
The Beatitudes: An Illustrated Curriculum is an intergenerational twelve-session verse by verse study of the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew. It is incredibly flexible, adaptable, and formative for your entire Sunday school program and the whole family. Designed to be led virtually, churches and families can experience this popular teaching through art, reflection, and discussion. Participants will have a chance to learn about Jesus’ vision of God’s kingdom for all people, how Jesus turned expectations and traditional beliefs about being blessed upside down, and how to live into the promises of Jesus’ Beatitudes.
Christian Reformed Church: Dwell Flex includes 36 sessions for use in a variety of situations and across multiple age groups.
These single-page Dwell lesson plans require no other materials and work within a wide range of ages and contexts, including: By Video (Whether pre-recorded segment or live via video conference.) At Church (If lower attendance requires you to combine into a multi-age class.) At Home (Send these easy lessons for families to do at home.)
Each Flex session includes four steps—Breathe, Tell and Wonder, Pray, and Respond—providing a simple framework for anyone to lead with little advanced preparation. There is a logical progression to the 36 Flex sessions, but every lesson stands alone. Check out a Dwell Flex sample here!
Living in Faith Together (LIFT): Virtually
Congregations have options for how to gather for faith formation this program year: outdoors, small (masked and distanced) groups in the church building, at home with “menus” and “playlists,” and virtually. This specific approach to intergenerational discipleship is done in homes via a virtual platform.
Virtual LIFT in Community is a bridge resource for pandemic-restrictive times. It is based on our Sunday LIFT (Living In Faith Together) that, in normal times, brings generations together around tables at the church to share food, learn, worship, and have fun. This new version of LIFT is designed for use in a home setting using video conferencing to connect LIFT Homes with each other and with the LIFT facilitator.
A free sample session—based on Psalm 100—is available now. More sessions will be available on August 22.
Books of the Bible Song:
Top Pick's for Adult Bible Study Curriculum - comprised by Building Faith - There are many options from a variety of publishers and denominations. The right choice depends entirely on your context and goals. Here you’ll find a list of Building Faith’s favorite Bible study options based on theology, availability, and pedagogy.
Select Learning - from the ELCA come DVD and online instrtuction courses.
12 Tiny Things - Simple ways to live a more intentional life. Includes a website, curriculum and a book by authors Ellie Roscher and Heidi Barr.
Yale Divinity School Sermons - A collection of sermons and messages by Yale Divinity School faculty and alumni in the form of manuscripts, audio and video.
Boundless! God Beyong Measure - from Lutheran Outoor Ministry. Daily themes include:
Goodness Beyond Measure (Day 1) God the Creator brings forth, out of darkness and chaos, a good and interconnected creation.
Love Beyond Measure (Day 2) In boundless love, God sent Christ to heal our broken world and renew all creation.
Welcome Beyond Measure (Day 3) In God’s household all are welcomed and joined together through Christ.
Forgiveness Beyond Measure (Day 4) God’s mercy for the lost is extravagant. God is not about fairness but all about grace.
Generosity Beyond Measure (Day 5) God generously fills our lives “with all that God is,” producing an abundant harvest.
Building Faith’s Top Picks for Children’s Ministry Curriculum - Comprised by Sharon Ely Pearson with her wisdom and experience you can trust her insights. Looking for the “best” curriculum for your children’s ministry? There are many options from a variety of publishers and denominations. The right choice depends entirely on your context and goals.
Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints - Curriculum: 12-LESSONS (PDF Format)
This digital companion curriculum to the book, is designed to introduce children to the concepts of holy troublemaking as modeled by the people profiled in Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints, from diverse faiths, who worked for love, compassion, and justice, even when that rocked the religious boat.
COKESBURY: (Methodist Publishing House) -Celebrate Wonder is a curriculum that engages children’s natural sense of curiosity to help them understand God’s love. It creates a safe environment for kids to ask big questions — helping them explore the Bible in ways that feed their imagination and encourages creativity. Available September 2020 in virtual and in-person formats! To get a fuller view, check out the Wonder Scope and Sequence file below.
Spirit & Truth Publishing:
Family Faith Formation @ Home
Living the Word: God's Word @ Home (Revised Common Lectionary)
and Living the Word: God's Story @ Home (Narrative Lectionary), follow similar designs.
Each easy-to-use, digital lesson has:
Chosen Together Confirmation Curriculum
The Chosen Together confirmation curriculum helps confirmation students thrive by setting up vital conversations at home, connecting confirmands with one another, and explore their sense of belonging in the wider congregation.
Chosen Together offers a combination of online and in-person class options.
Investing in Chosen Together includes coaching by author Natalie Hall to help you get started. It is not “just one more video conference.” The curriculum engages imagery, reading, conversation, and community connections.
Amplify - videos from the Methodist church on a range of topics.
Vibrant Faith @Home - hundreds of activities for families with children, families with adolescents, young adults, adults and couples, and activities just for kids.
The activities are short (usually only 5-10 minutes). They are in PDF files with a simple formatting to make it easy to use and download. You can provide these to people in variety of ways through age group programming, family or intergenerational programming, on a website, in an e-newsletter, on social media, etc. You have permission to use these activities in print or digital formats.
Confirm not Conform - “We cannot and should not force any one to believe,” Martin Luther writes in the Small Catechism. Yet, as Luther well understood, it is by spending time considering the essential elements of faith that we can come to believe and integrate what we come to believe into our lives and actions.
Confirm not Conform Lutheran is a complete confirmation curriculum in its own right, or can be used in conjunction with the Small Catechism to supplement your confirmation program.
The program includes:
- Getting Started guide
- 20 sessions on Scripture, church history, the Nicene Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, worship, world religions, social justice, and more
- Weekend Retreat handbook
- Mentor/Parent handbook
- iConfirm service
- Mentor recruitment and training materials
Sparkhouse - ELCA Publishing house for kids, creates faith formation resources for children, youth, and adults-- striving to spark new life in Christian communities. Curriculum for classrooms, lectionary, theme-based, rotation models and also transferable as VBS lessons.
Frolic, is a family of early childhood resources that integrates faith development and child development both at church and in the home! Frolic resources help keep your church connected to active families with young children.
*Invite parents and their little ones to Frolic Faith Development classes based on the Frolic First Bible and books.
*Transform your nursery into an intentional ministry site with the Frolic Nursery Guide and other Frolic nursery resources.
*Connect with families each month by automatically sending them personalized e-newsletters packed with articles on child development, tips on early faith formation, and fun seasonal activities and ideas.
Augsburg-Fortress - The publishing house of the ELCA featuring a variety of resources for education as well as supplies for ministry. Consider their communion materials Fed and Forgiven. And Confirmation material.
ELCA Youth Gathering Curriculum NOT JUST for those going to the youth gathering. Use it! It's great curriculum. Did I mention it's FREE?!
Bringing the Gathering Home - In partnership with LuMin Campus Ministry Network and the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Network, The ELCA Gathering team created three cross generational sessions and three sessions to be used in young adult ministry contexts. Each curriculum seeks to continue conversations started this summer at the Gathering, at camps and in congregations about God's grace, love and hope changing everything for us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Grace Alone - written by ELCA pastor this Confirmation curriculum provides 38 lessons.
A Place for You Starter Pack -written by Daniel Erlander. This pack contains A Place for You Interactive Edition, A Place for You Leader Sourcebook, A Place for You, Little One board book, and A Place for You Animated Videos. Gives you the components you need to introduce or reintroduce your congregation to Daniel Erlander's beloved classic, A Place for You: My Holy Communion Book. Watch a video about the products here.
Lutheran Peace Fellowship - Offers ideas for many ages, including computer games targeted for kids around social justice issues.
Church Publishing Inc. - the official publisher for the Episcopal church offers a wide variety of books and curriculum for children and youth ministries.
Godly Play - "assumes that children have some experience of the mystery of the presence of God in their lives, but that they lack the language, the permission and the understanding to express and enjoy that spiritual experience..." It provides a way of storytelling that invites questions of wonder about God and is appropriate for all ages. Read a Christian Century article by it's creator Jerome Berryman here.
Episcopal Confirmation Magazine with tons of resources. This edition provides eight questions that ask the planning team to consider context and purpose as they design a program that encourages lifelong faith provides
Lesson Plans That Work! - Lesson plans are written by experienced church teachers using practical approaches to respond to the needs of volunteer teachers. They are designed to follow the Revised Common Lectionary and published by the Episcopal Church.
Forward Movement - Episcopal resources for children through adults.
These Are Our Bodies addresses foundational issues for how we are called to have conversations about our sexuality within a faith community. Looking at sexuality through the lenses of growth and change, we can explore values and intentionality. Individuals and churches can use this technique to build upon this theological grounding. Discusses sexuality starting from the age 3, written by Episcopalians.
Cokesbury - is the retail division of The United Methodist Publishing House. Our mission is to reach more people in more places with quality services and resources that help them come to know and deepen their knowledge of God through Jesus Christ, learn to love God, and choose to serve God and neighbor.
Teach Bible Stories with a Parachute! -Examples of using parachutes to engage children with Bible stories. Christine V. Hides is the Director of Ministries with Children and Youth at Northbrook UMC and Content Manager for Christians Engaged in Faith Formation.
Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible Curriculum
Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible Curriculum! It focuses on one of the first ways we begin to understand God’s self-revelation -- hearing, engaging, and wrestling with the written Word. In other words, it is through the stories of the Bible that we get to know God. Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible Curriculum features 35 units, which allows you to build a library of stories. It’s ideal for small churches and big churches alike. While this curriculum is meant to be a multiage curriculum for K-5, each unit includes suggestions on how the curriculum can be used in intergenerational settings. FREE Growing in God's Love SAMPLE here.
Practical Resources for Churches - terrific resources for evaluating Sunday School Curricula and tips for supporting teachers.
The Thread - The Thread is a hub for the extended learning community of Princeton Theological Seminary. Developed by the Office of Continuing Education, the array of digital media and resources educate, equip, and inspire theologically curious Christian leaders.
Gun Violence Toolkit - 70 pages of educational resources and action tools
-Case studies on two churches and a presbytery engaged with gun violence prevention
-Three complete Small Group Studies
-Worship, biblical and pastoral care resources on issues of suicide prevention, grief and solidarity
-The Citizen’s Test on Gun Violence in America
-Sample signage for “No Guns in God’s House”
-Over 160 links to educational resources and action ideas, including gun violence prevention national groups and local contacts in all 50 states
Faith Alive - is a nonprofit publishing ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America. Faith Alive publishes materials for...Sunday school and other children’s ministries, youth ministry, adults and small groups and
The Brave Space - by Micky ScottBey Jones is a wonderful short resource for starting small group discussions. Micky has an M.A. in Intercultural Studies and is an Associate Fellow of Racial Justice with Christians for Social Action. She is the Director of Healing Justice at Faith Matters Network based in Nashville, TN. Micky was named one of the Black Christian leaders changing the world in Huffington Post. You can interact with her work and collaborations at MickyScottBeyJones.com.
From Youth Director Ashely Kulhman and Pastor Jennifer Gonsalves at Grace Lutheran Church, Albert Lea, MN, comes the Curriculum they created to go with their Visual Church Year Calendar. We recreated our Confirmation Program to allow different learning styles and movement into our Wednesday Nights. Some Important things to understand this curriculum include:
• Designed for 7/8 Graders for a 15 min lesson
• The Confirmation Curriculum is called “What does this Mean” and we start with Large Group Time lead by one of our Pastors for 10 Minutes. They introduce the theme of the day and any announcements. The youth are then split into their small groups and rotate through 2-3 different stations based on that day’s theme. Each stations is about 15 minutes. The Small Groups end their evening in a 30-minute discussion about the theme, the different stations and how they can use this knowledge
Engage - Youth Ministry & Contemporary Issues by the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton.
Connecting Faith and Justice: Youth Lectionary A Curriculum (UMC) -This curriculum is for all youth (Junior High and Senior High) students. The lessons are flexible and can be adapted to fit the needs of your students while encouraging them to search deeper within themselves, their relationship with God and their role within their community and the world. The lessons are written by a diverse group of educators, youth pastors, elders, deacons, deaconesses, practitioners, professors, emerging leaders and missionaries from around the globe who are passionate about youth faith development. Each lesson is designed to last an hour and includes a centering moment, scripture study, group activity and a closing moment. All the lessons are standalone lessons and are not dependent on previous lessons.
My Neighbor is a Muslim - A FREE resource from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service that helps your audience learn more about what it means to be a Muslim. Jesus taught us to love our neighbor, learning about who our neighbor is and about their faith are steps in this direction.
Why Jesus? - A Small group activity from Luther seminary.
Faith 5 - Care to have some fun, keep your family communicating every night, and grow in your understanding of yourself and God? Try this simple five-step process for the next six weeks and see if it doesn’t help!
Faith Lens - Free from the ELCA and written for teenagers is a weekly (during the school year) look at the lessons that uses current events and relevant questions.
The Book of Faith (variety of Bible resources can be adapted for junior high and high school) For example: "Heaven on Earth: Studies in Matthew"
Narrative Lectionary Resources:
Spirit and Truth Publishing - Spirit and Truth Publishing produces faith formation resources for all ages integrating education and worship, with products related to the liturgy, church year, and the Narrative Lectionary. The publisher, Gregory Rawn, received his MA from Luther Seminary and graduated from the Institute of Children's Literature.
Bloom! - is created by ELCA Pastor Rachel Simonson with children's ministry resources that follow the narrative lectionary. Check out free samples here.
Storyboard by ELCA Pastor Heather Roth Johnson. "I am storyteller, public speaker, workshop leader, writer and in general just a creative soul. Contact her about narrative lectionary curriculum.
Clergy Stuff - Provides Narrative lectionary based curriculum, liturgy helps, original music, children's bulletins and pays attends to special needs children. Dr. Kimberly "Kace" Leetch, the owner, graduated with an MDiv from Luther Seminary and serves as an associate pastor in the MN area.
Spill the Beans - A quarterly resource with a Scottish Flavor for Worship Leaders, Sunday Schools, and Youth Leaders based on the Narrative Lectionary. Uses inclusive language and hands on activities.
Preschool LOGOS was created by GenOn Ministries for 3 and 4 year old children and can be used in a variety of settings: education time, VBS, Christian preschools, and daycare. The objectives for children are to:
Feasting on the Word written by mainline Protestants follows the lectionary. Great theology and good resources for all ages.
Progressive Christianity - offers a 6-10 year old curriculum focusing on Jesus' example of compassion and inclusivity. Sample lessons for A Joyful Path curriculum can be found here.
BimBam - BimBam (formerly G-dcast) is a new media studio making Jewish videos, apps and animated series that are joyful, empowering introductions to Jewish ideas and life for kids & adults.
Ooey Gooey, Inc. -is dedicated to the creation of child-centered, hands-on, play-based environments for young children and provides workshops, training, technical support and curriculum resources to those who wish the same. Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., early childhood specialist, author, founder & CEO, is available for both domestic and international conferences and seminars.
Process verses Product Art example... hugely important and hugely different!
First Third of Life Church Booklet - Westwood Lutheran Church has an in-depth take home booklet outlining their faith formation mission and strategy. Get some great ideas here!
Communion - ELCA Pastor Brian Hooper provides a great example of a congregational letter talking about "first" communion changes.
Ways congregations can be more inclusive, as written by 11-14 year old Lower Susquehanna Synod ELCA Confirmation campers:
- Have more traditionally marginalized people guest preach and speak and use their books or have them come do workshops.
- Change artwork, stained glass windows, and photos to be representative of different cultures and types of families.
- Have a mentorship program to support younger marginalized people who may not have supportive families.
- Have services at different times and provide shuttles, bulletins in multiple languages, and childcare so more people can participate.
- Put the offering plate by the door instead of passing it around where everyone can see if you have money for it or not. Also have slips of paper where you can write down a talent or volunteer time you want to share instead, or have people give donations of food or clothing if they don't have money to give.
- The Bible stories we use are mostly about men, especially in the New Testament, so spend more time preaching and teaching about stories with women in them.
- Use gender neutral pronouns for God and use they/them pronouns for all people until they say what pronouns they want you to use.
- Get a list of resources for different groups of people and keep them at the church so if people need help you can give it to them.
- Ask people what they need.
The Confirmation Project - The Christian Youth: Learning and Living the Faith Project (CY: LLF) seeks to learn the extent to which confirmation and equivalent practices (CEP) in five Protestant denominations in North America are effective for strengthening discipleship in youth.
LeaderResources offers a collection of downloadable Christian Formation Resources --- for children’s ministry and youth groups including Sunday School and confirmation curriculum, leadership training as well as retreat speakers, trainers or a consultant in religious education and youth ministry. While grounded in the Episcopal Church, they serve all denominations and people of faith.