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At Holy Trinity, we recognize that one of the best gifts God has given us is each other. We believe we were made to love and support each other and to learn together. Because of this, the foundation of our congregation's learning is inter-generational. Our Faith Formation Team helps plan events and programs for all ages to Grow Together in Faith.
On May 12, the Faith Formation Team and several other parish members met with John Roberto, the nationally-recognized consultant who has worked with Holy Trinity before, for the second time. We went over and refined the draft of a plan for learning and growth in faith for the congregation. We were grateful for all the feedback we received on Plan #1, which helped us to make it more attainable and more tailored to the parish’s needs.
As I mentioned during the announcement time on Sunday, in 2017-18 the plan is to build on the strengths of both the former “Sunday School” program and our recent intergenerational learning experiences. We plan to offer a consistent schedule for Christian education, with programs every Sunday. Most Sundays, those programs will be offered for at least three different age ranges: children (possibly divided into older and younger groups), youth (confirmation and high school), and adults. Periodically, all ages will come together for seasonal celebrations, service projects, or other faith experiences.
In order to provide focus and consistency, we will be using a curriculum (Living the Good News) that is based on the lectionary, the series of weekly readings we hear in church. Thus, each week each age group will experience a lesson or activity based on the same passages of Scripture, so (grand)parents and children will be able to discuss together what each group learned that day. The curriculum also provides all-age lessons, which we can use if we wish. Conversely, if an important parish meeting must take place, the adults will not miss out entirely because they will still hear the lessons of the day and be able to pick up where they left off the following week.
In addition, we will create a designated area of the church website for faith learning at home and on the go. Images, texts and activities will be posted weekly that will encourage all ages to engage more deeply with the Bible passages we have encountered at church on Sunday. Families can incorporate these resources into their daily devotions, and those who travel frequently can use them to stay in touch with the church community.
We remain committed, with the help of Holy Trinity’s new pastor, to moving in the direction of a more comprehensive plan of spiritual growth and learning, which would look more like the original draft that many of you have read and commented on. All of the pastoral candidates, when shown the plan, were enthusiastic both at its content and at the clear commitment to Christian education that it demonstrates, and were excited to work with us to put it into practice over the next 3-5 years.
We hope to continue to integrate worship, service and learning, and to explore the possibilities for community building on Wednesday nights. We recognize that there is a demand for grandparent/grandchild activities, and a need for more reflection and planning about how to fully integrate children into worship for both their own and their families’ sake.
Opportunities for feedback and conversation about the proposed 2017-18 plan will take place over the summer, before the planned implementation it in September. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with us if you have more to say!
Pastor Grace Burson
For the Faith Formation Team
Heidi Roberts Morrison