About The About TheDepartment of Christian Formation
The Department of Christian Formation is comprised of 16 members, 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 resource guidance. The committee strives to support all who are involved with education in the parish. We have trained consultants and you may access their gifts and talents! Contact: Kathy Graham at 205.715.2060 ext. 9229 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org We are happy to send a representative to your parish or help you find the resources you need.
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. Clergy are 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
Contact: Kathy Graham at: email@example.com
Courage for Caregivers. This course includes five lectures by Jamie Haith, a member of the clergy at Holy Trinity Church in McLean, VA. It also includes a resource list for caregivers to help them get the help that they need, opportunities for discussion, and suggestions for spiritual exercises that caregivers may find helpful. We hope that caregivers find help from this course as they continue to do the work of Christ for their loved ones.
Watch a preview here:
Susan is a trial lawyer-turned-pastor, a comedian, and a public speaker and author whose mission, as she describes it, is to “help people regain their grit and reclaim their joy.” She argues that humor serves to activate and open up our faith. Laughing heals us, she argues, body and soul. We know this, on some level. When we are feeling despondent, we often tell ourselves that we need a good laugh. We reach for something funny to read or watch, or we seek out that funny friend who can always make us chuckle. Susan argues that we should extend our understanding that humor is healthful to our spiritual lives. Laughter creates an ease — albeit a temporary one — that opens up enough space to help us acknowledge God; a change in perspective that helps us remember who’s in charge.
Watch a preview video from Faith and Humor with Susan Sparks here:
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