Devotional and Formation Resources

Devotional and Formation Resources

For All Ages

Building Faith:  Online Christian Education Community – www.buildfaith.org
This invaluable website for Christian education provides a wealth of resources, articles and information for all ages. The site is updated daily with useful links, seasonal resources, book and curriculum reviews and practical ideas.

Forma – www.episcoforma.org
Forma is the Episcopal organization for Christian formation leaders. Membership is based on a sliding scale and includes access to a very active and helpful list serve as well as job postings and other professional information.

Growing Together
Growing Together is a series of intergenerational celebrations for churches. Each volume has 8 celebrations and includes background, activity suggestions and ideas for organizing. Sample copies are available in the Resource Room.

  • Volume I: Fall and Winter Celebrations (All Saints, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Los Pasados and more)
  • Volume 2: Spring and Summer Celebrations (Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Cinco de Mayo, Mardi Gras and more)
  • Volume 3: More Fall and Winter Celebratons (Labor Day, New Year’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday and more)
  • Volume 4: More Spring and Summer Celebrations (Martin Luther King Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and more)

LeaderResources – www.leaderresources.org
LeaderResources offers a large collection of downloadable Christian Formation Resources — for children’s ministry, youth groups, adult education, congregational development and more! They provide churches with high-quality, low-cost Sunday School and confirmation curriculum, leadership training and other ministry resources, as well as retreat speakers, trainers or a consultant in religious education, youth ministry and congregational development. They also offer books, DVDs, education kits and teacher aids. While grounded in the Episcopal Church, they serve all denominations and people of faith.

Living IN-Formation – www.churchpublishing.org/emailSubscription
Living IN-Formation is a monthly E-newsletter of Christian Education resources edited by Sharon Ely Pearson, Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing, Inc.

Living the Good News – www.livingthegoodnews.com
Living the Good News is a comprehensive lectionary-based program for people of all ages.

Prayer Book Guide to Christian Education – www.prayerbookguide.wordpress.com
An on-line resource for Episcopalians based on the book of the same title.

Rows of Sharon: Thoughts of a Christian Educator – www.rowsofsharon.com
A personal blog written by Sharon Ely Pearson, Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing, Inc.

For Adults

Confirmation Programs

Confirm not Conform - www.confirmnotconform.com
Confirm not Conform is a confirmation program that celebrates questions and choices. It provides a safe place for adults to explore the breadth of the Christian tradition, to ask questions and express their doubts, and to discover what they truly believe.

Education

Academy For Formation and Missionhttp://www.diocese-oregon.org/academy-for-formation-and-mission/
The mission of the Academy is to develop a community of seekers, workers, learners and listeners eager to carry out the Gospel in word and action. It does so primarily through rigorous, semester-long course work integrated with in-depth practical experience, providing lay and ordained leaders with the theological education and spiritual formation to serve the ever-changing and challenging 21st-Century church.

Education for Ministry - www.diocese-oregon.org/formation/education-for-ministry
Lay persons face the difficult and often subtle task of interpreting the richness of the church's faith in a complex and confusing world. They need a theological education which supports their faith and also teaches them to express that faith in day-to-day events. As the emphasis on lay ministry has grown, Education for Ministry has come to play an important role by providing a program that develops an informed and knowledgeable laity.

Study Series

Embracing Study Series
The Embracing Series for small-group study offers engaging and discussion-rich sessions on relevant topics of contemporary interest.. Each DVD series offers materials for six sessions along with a detailed study guide. The series is published by Morehouse. Our Resource Room has the following titles:

  • Embracing an Adult Faith - Marcus Borg on What it Means to Be Christian
  • Embracing Emergence Christianity - Phyllis Tickle on the Church’s Next Rummage Sale”
  • Embracing the Prophets in Contemporary Culture - Walter Brueggemann on Confronting Today’s “Pharaohs”
  • Embracing a Life of Meaning - Kathleen Norris on Discovering What Matters
  • Embracing Interfaith Cooperation - Eboo Patel on Coming Together to Change the World
  • Embracing Spiritual Awakening - Diana Butler Bass on the Dynamics of Experiential Faith

Living the Questions - www.livingthequestions.com

Living the Questions is a source of curriculum and media for both seekers and "church alumni/ae" convinced that Christianity still has relevance in the 21st Century. Providing a variety of flexible resources, Living the Questions can help people explore the future of Christianity and what a meaningful faith can look like in today's world.

New Church's Teaching Series
New Church’s Teaching Series is designed for adult Christian formation. While many people may simply want to ready the books on their own, the series will be far more useful in a congregational context if you use them as the basis for you adult education program. The series is published by Cowley Publications. All of the titles are available for check-out from the diocesan Resource Room.

  • A Guide to The New Church’s Teaching Series - by Linda L. Grenz
  • The Anglican Vision - by James E. Griffiss
  • Opening the Bible - by Roger Ferlo
  • Engaging the Word - by Michael Johnston
  • The Practice of Prayer - by Margaret Guenther
  • Living with History - Fredrica Harris Thompsett
  • Early Christian Traditions - by Rebecca Lyman
  • Opening the Prayer Book - by Jeffrey Lee
  • Mysteries of Faith - by Mark McIntosh
  • Ethics After Easter - by Stephen Holgren
  • Christian Social Witness - by Harold Lewis
  • Horizons of Mission - by Titus Pressler
  • A Theology of Worship - by Louis Weil
  • Christian Wholeness - by Martin L. Smith

Progressive Christianity - www.progressivechristianity.org
Spiritual networking and resources for an evolving faith.

Resources for Seekers
Your Faith, Your Life - An Invitation to the Episcopal Church by Jenifer Gamber

Seasonal Studies with Candler School of Theology
These studies blend striking artwork by John August Swanson with insightful commentary from the renowned biblical scholars of Candler University. Each study contains six 7-8 minute sessions which focus on a selected biblical passage.

Our Resource Room has the following titles:

  • A Thrill of Hope - The Christmas Story in Word and Art
  • What Wondrous Love - Holy Week in Word and Art

For Youth

Confirmation Resources

Confirm not Conform - www.confirmnotconform.com
Confirm not Conform is a confirmation program that celebrates questions and choices.  It provides a safe place for young people to explore the breadth of the Christian tradition, to ask questions and express their doubts, and to discover what they truly believe.

My Faith, My Life: A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Church by Jenifer Gamber

I Will with God’s Help: Episcopal Confirmation for Youth and Adults

Curriculum

Act Out - www.er-d.org/youth
An intensive educational program for middle and high school students that brings the needs and hopes of the world together with the lives of youth in a context framed by liturgy and filled with prophetic stories of Scripture.  Published by Episcopal Relief and Development.

Journey to Adulthoodwww.leaderresources.org/j2a_youth
The Journey to Adulthood is a complete youth ministry program of spiritual formation for 6th-12th grades. It encourages relational ministry and uses Bible study, prayer, rites of passage, outreach ministries and both serious and playful activities to underscore the two guiding principles of the program: 1) Manhood and womanhood are free gifts from God; and 2) Adulthood must be earned.

J2A is a downloadable resource offered to churches and schools on an annual membership basis. There are three two-year segments included in the program:

Rite-13: The first two years (Grades 6-7 or 7-8) celebrate the individuality of each young teen and their creative potential, while exploring Biblical stories of God and God's people. The Rite-13 liturgy (Celebration of Manhood and Womanhood) is the community expression of this and serves as a rite of passage from childhood towards adulthood.

J2A: The next segment (Grades 8-9 or 9-10) helps teens create and understand the importance of Christian community as they develop critical thinking and other skills they will need in adulthood.  The end of J2A is marked with a spiritual pilgrimage that is often a life-changing experience for the group.

YAC: This mentor-based program helps older teens (11th and 12th graders) discern and carry out a ministry within their church or in the larger community. Vocation and development of a personal credo are also emphasized. A final rite of passage sends them out into the world as ambassadors of Christ.

Weaving God’s Promises for Youth - www.WeavingGodsPromises.org

A comprehensive, three-year Christian education curriculum which is available online.

For Children

Godly Play
Godly Play teaches the art of using religious language – parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action – helping people become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives in deeply spiritual and highly creative ways.

Developed by author, teacher and Episcopal priest, Jerome W. Berryman, Godly Play is offered throughout the United States within denominations as diverse and varied as Catholic, Baptist, Episcopalian, Pentecostal, Lutheran, and Presbyterian. Originally designed for children aged two to twelve, Godly Play is now used with people of all ages in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, and retirement centers. Internationally, Godly Play classrooms are found in the United Kingdom, Finland, Germany, Canada, Tanzania, Australia, and in Spanish speaking countries.

Candle Press – www.candlepress.com
Children come equipped to approach life with awe and wonder.  Parents long to engage the natural curiosity of children while helping them participate in worship.  The resources of Candle Press can help families explore what we believe about baptism, what we are doing at Holy Communion, observe Advent and Lent and much more.

Abundant Life Garden Project – www.episcopalrelief.org/church-in-action/christian-formation/christian-formation-for-children
An interactive Scripture-based children’s curriculum published by Episcopal Relief and Development.  Children are invited to participate in our mission by exploring five thematic modules on water, seeds, soil, animals and harvest. This curriculum includes prayer and thanksgiving for the essential gifts from God and invites children (and their families) to participate in the ministry and mission of caring for people in need all over the world.

A Joyful Path –  www.progressivechristianity.org/childrens-curriculum
A curriculum for children published by Progressive Christianity.

Sacramental Resources from Church Publishing, Inc.

  • Christ’s Own Forever: Episcopal Baptism for Infants and Young Children
  • This Bread and This Cup: Episcopal Communion for Children

Weaving God’s Promises for Children – www.WeavingGodsPromises.org
A comprehensive, three-year Christian education curriculum which is available on-line.

The Resource Room

The Ministry Resource Room is a service provided to the friends and members of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon by the Ministry of Christian Education and Lifelong Formation. Just as the familiar title “Christian Education” has been expanded to include “Lifelong Formation,” the materials in the Ministry Resource Room have evolved from resources that support Sunday School to materials supporting all Christian Ministries.

Via the Ministry Resource Room you may:

  • Study congregational program materials, education resources, community outreach programs, pastoral care issues and Spanish language materials.
  • Explore print curriculum resources for all ages and occasions
  • Search and preview our video holdings
  • Consult with staff educators about program planning issues, curriculum selection and other educational issues, conundrums and dilemmas.
  • Request/Reserve The Peace Village for your group or congregation.
  • Check out materials for personal or congregational use.

The Ministry Resource Room is in the sun porch (an extension of the Youth and Education Ministries office) located on the second floor of the Diocesan Offices, aka “The Bishop’s Close.” The offices are situated in the historic Kerr house on the grounds of Elk Rock Gardens in Portland, Oregon.