Resources for Pastors and faith formation leaders
In addition to other valuable resources that maybe useful during this time of quarantine that can already be found on our website, here are others that might be of interest to pastors, worship and faith formation leaders.
Don't be afraid to try new things!
Work with other congregations so that you can do what you are the best at! We don't all need to do the same exact thing--COLLABORATE!
Back to Church?
With many states “opening up,” churches may soon be offered the ability to resume in-person worship services. As you discern with your congregation when it is time to meet together in person, please follow your local state and county guidelines, putting into place every proscribed precaution. You may also want to frame the questions of “when” and “how” theologically, thinking together about what it means to protect and care for the most vulnerable among us. The following articles may help with this discernment.
"As Churches Consider Reopening Buildings and Resuming In-Person Worship, What Can Pastors Expect"
"Living in the Mystery of Disorientation" by Terry Zehr, Conference Minister for New York Mennonite Conference
So you want to go back to church (as usual?)! by Doug Luginbill, Conference Minister of Central District Mennonite Conference
"Returning to Church" (written for Wisconsin churches, but applicable to all)
"Church Music in the Age of COVID-19" (more counsel from the Wisconsin Council of Churches)
"24 Questions Your Church Should Answer before People Return"
Church in these VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) Times, video
CPMC staff have created a simple resource called "Now what?" for congregational reflection on collective stay-at-home/shelter-in-place and virtual church experiences. This resource is a series of reflection questions that can be used all at once or split into three sections. You can find the resource by clicking on the links below.
Introduction to "Now What?"
Online Resources for Children
Virtual VBS Shine’s VBS will release a new digital upgrade! Shine is developing strategies, adaptations, and digital products to help churches and families explore God’s Great Big Beautiful World VBS in new ways amid social distancing. Visit ShineCurriculum.com and follow Shine on social media sites to keep tabs on all the creative new ideas and products for making Great Big Beautiful World your most memorable VBS yet!
Virtual VBS Illustrated Ministry is releasing a virtual VBS curriculum called "Compassion Camp: Be Loved. Be Kind. Be You." You can find information on this resource by clicking on the graphic.
Parents Guide Shine will offer a digital Parent Guide for Fall 2020 that has a simple, weekly plan for families to share the Bible story, pray, sing and do an easy activity together. This guide can be used with Shine’s leaflets, student magazines and the new Bible storybook, All of Us: God’s Story for You & Me. This new Parent Guide is designed for congregations that will be meeting digitally this fall.
CARES act resources
Resources from Everence for pastors and congregations
CPMC pastors Joel Beachy (East Union, Kalona, IA) and Michael Loss (Wellman, IA) interviewed Nyle Kauffman, MD, about COVID-19. They've given permission to share it.
Liturgies for Virtual Communion can be found at Maren C. Tirabassi's blog, "Gifts in Open Hands"
"Leading Your Church in a Prolonged Crisis"
"Without Casseroles and Crowded Churches: 10 Ways to Support the Grieving While Social Distancing"
"Churches Should Think Twice Before Webcasting Their Worship Services"
Resources for worship at home:
Peace Mennonite Church--Home-Based Worship
Anabaptist Prayer Book
Worship at Home-by Mary Hawes
Strategies for Online Programming (from Vibrant Faith)
Here are a few ideas to help you think about how to organize online programming for the people in your church. Since it’s online you might want to partner with other churches in your area to develop the digital platform and curate the resources.
Ideas for using Zoom for worship or meetings
*use Zoom to do a Bible or book study after children's bedtime!
*Offer an open Zoom hangout (un-programmed) for people who need to talk or have face-to-face contact.
*Try adult or children's Sunday school or youth group over Zoom.
*Use Zoom for fun:
Youth group Zoom games
Zoom/home scavenger hunt
*PAY ATTENTION TO CHILD-PROTECTION RULES THAT MANDATE PARENTS ARE INVOLVED IN THE CONVERSATION WHEN YOU CONVERSE WITH A MINOR VIA TEXT, ZOOM OR EMAIL!
*Use the comment section to solicit prayer requests, etc.
*Offer Zoom meetings for individuals/families who want to meet together face-to-face
Tips for Leading a Zoom meeting or worship
*Pay attention to what is in the background of the picture--make sure that people can see you!
*How good is the camera you are using? Do you need a tripod? (A tripod could be useful for worship)
*Mute everyone! (You have the power)
*Get a cohost! The cohost should work on things like making sure everyone is muted and checking the chat box so that you, the host, can focus on hosting/worship leading/etc.
*Start with a centering prayer! Meeting over zoom is a strange thing--we have our household or office distractions surrounding us, but we're expected to pay attention and be in the moment--a centering prayer can help to bring people from all of their disparate homes/offices together before you begin.
Weekly Zoom Meetings for Pastors and Faith Formation Leaders
Thanks to everyone who has been part of the Pastors and/or Faith Formation Zoom meetings. Your commitment to being church during trying times is inspiring. So is the creativity you’ve unleashed in utilizing new, and for many of us, unfamiliar ways to gather for worship and nurture, faith formation and to do pastoral care. You are modeling what several people have said in recent days — that physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social (or spiritual) isolation. — Susan Janzen, Conference Minister for Ministerial Leadership and Amanda Bleichty, Conference Minister for Christian Formation
Pastors Weekly Zoom Meetings (scroll down for faith formation leaders zoom information)
Group meetings for pastors are on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Please join by Zoom at 11 a.m. CDT, when we'll share information, ask questions, and encourage one another.
All other Wednesdays are unstructured "office hours" with Susan. You're welcome to join any time between 11 a.m. and 12 noon. The only agenda is what you bring.
Topic: Pastors Gathering & Office Hours
Time: Wednesdays at 11:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 793 171 586
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,793171586# US (Chicago)
Here are notes from earlier conversations:
"Waiting" is the poem shared during the April 15 pastors' gathering. Written by 11-year-old Beulah Landis, it expresses her feelings about living during this pandemic.
Matt & Elizabeth Troyer-Miller (Wood River Mennonite Church), whose community went through severe flooding last spring, shared some learnings with us. You can read their reflections here.
Meghan Florian, managing editor at MennoMedia, joined us on March 25. She is the person to contact about copyright permissions for music and visuals, including when we worship online. Her email is MeghanF@mcusa.org. See the notes from March 25 for more information.
The prayer with which we closed the March 18 meeting was written by Carol Penner, a Canadian Mennonite blogger. You can find it at https://carolpenner.typepad.com/leadinginworship/2020/03/prayer-in-virulent-times-after-st-patrick.html
Faith Formation Leaders Weekly Zoom Meetings
Faith formation leaders are invited to gather on Wednesdays at 1:00pm for the foreseeable future. In this unstructured meeting, we'll resource one another about the best virtual faith formation practices in this time of social distancing.
Topic: Faith Formation Leaders
Time: Wednesdays at 1:00 PM CDT
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 968 199 211
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,968199211# US (Chicago)
Creative ideas from Faith Formation Leaders in CPMC from our meeting on March 18.