About The Department of Christian Formation
The Department of Christian Formation is comprised of 16 members who are both clergy and lay folks, chosen by the Bishop to serve as a voice for Christian Educators in the diocese. We provide parishes with opportunities for training, community building, and trusted resource guidance. Department members strive to support all who are involved with education in the parish. Assisting Bishop Brian Prior is serves as the liaison for the Department of Christian Formation.
Click on the Podcasts for Faith Formation photo to download a trusted and curated list of podcasts. Don't see your favorite faith formation podcast on our list? Email us to help our resources to grow and share the wider community!
How do we sustain quality Christian formation in the 21st century? Many churches are finding the answer online! ChurchNext offers online Christian Formation that is led by experts in their fields of study and taught from a mainline Christian perspective to help you and your parish to: Form & Shape Disciples, Help People to Cross Important Thresholds, and Build Community. You're invited to learn more about the diocesan ChurchNext Subscription. Reach out! The Department of Christian Formation is here to help.
The Department of Lifelong Christian Formation
Education Planning Calendars (complimentary download)
We can count on the rhythm of the liturgical year and this planning calendar will help you get things in order! Included are downloadable Word documents that you can edit for 3 calendars: Academic year lectionary A to B; B to C, and C to A. You will definitely need to tweak it for the current calendar year and may have to remove or add Sunday Propers.Many thanks to Sharon Pearson for creating and sharing this free download!
Planning for Fall Programs? Consider ChurchNext! There are many courses available that are sure to be a good fit for your parish! The "For Groups" courses also contain a facilitator and participants guides that you may download and print if you like. Reach out using the ChurchNext Contact Form on this page to preview a course.
This ChurchNext Course Highlight is: Grace and Depression with Rob Hirschfeld. Learn about how depression and mental illness affect those who live a life of faith. Watch a course preview below.
Rob Hirschfeld is the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire. He is the author of two books, "With Sighs Too Deep For Words: Grace and Depression"and Without Shame or Fear: from Adam to Christ." He is married to Polly M. Ingraham, and they have three children. He reads, writes poetry, paints in mixed media, and sculls on the Merrimack River."
A NEW Intergenerational and Family Learning Program is Online at: IntergenerationalFaith.com
Creed and Christian Beliefs
The latest update to the free family-intergenerational learning programs are six sessions on the Creed and Christian Beliefs.Visit the website for the free downloadable resourse. This program includes:
How to Be a Godparent
Nancy McLaughlin tells us how being a Godparent is a two way street: both the godchild and godparent are blessed. Learn about the religious underpinnings and responsibilities -- both in the church and afterward -- to help raise Christians.
Dr. Nancy McLaughlin is a teacher and author of two books including Godparenting: Nurturing the Next Generation (with Tracey Herzer).
In this course, writer and teacher Nancy McLaughlin tells us:
Want to know more about the tract of courses that St. Stephen's, Birmingham created for Sunday Christian Formation time? Click the Home Life Series below for a full description of courses. Thanks to the good folks at St. Stephen's for sharing!
A few words from those who are using ChurchNext Online Christian Formation in their parish:
St Stephen’s, Birmingham
We began using ChurchNext courses for our Sunday morning and Wednesday evening programs. We developed Home Life series course tract using the video courses on topics like Difficult Children, Money Management, Being Single, and Prayer. Our church has responded very well to the video series and the following discussion. Each "For Groups" course includes a facilitator and participant guides that you may download and print.
The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Guntersville:
With an iPhone and AppleTV, we had an instant video series that was thoughtful and engaging.
The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Rainbow City
“I used ChurchNext for Congregations as a supplement to my Adult Confirmation Class. The courses offered a wonderful way for those seeking confirmation to learn on their own time and then come to Sunday class ready for in-depth discussion. I am grateful to our diocese for supporting this extremely helpful Christian Formation resource.”
The Rev. Michael Goldsmith
Grace Episcopal Church, Anniston
I found CN very helpful and used it in a variety of settings. In the spring during the Sunday morning Christian Ed time, I used different courses that focused on Spiritual Practices to highlight different practices. I have also used classes for Wednesday evening programming and I used two during Confirmation classes. The format is good for jump-starting conversations in groups. There are usually 4-5 short segments in each course so the time required can vary depending on what is available or how much conversation is generated. The Rev. Dr. Lee F. Shafer