Course #1 introduces the participants to the five elements of the new faith forming ecosystem which forms the foundation for developing a vibrant congregational culture in the 21st century. The new faith forming ecosystem is designed to: 1) engage all generations—intergenerationally; 2) nurture family faith and equips parents to transmit faith at home; 3) address the unique needs of age groups—children, youth, and adults; 4) develop missional outreach to the unaffiliated and uninvolved and invite people into discipleship and participation in the faith community; and 5) utilize online communities and resources, and digitally-enabled strategies for faith formation. Participants will apply the five elements by exploring their congregational culture and faith formation programs and activities.
Course #1 also introduces the practices of developing digitally-enabled faith formation and connecting people with online faith forming resources and communities. Participants will explore the potential of blended models of faith formation that incorporate physical settings and online settings ranging from fully online programming to gathered programming in physical settings that use online resources: 1) gathered program with online content, 2) gathered program and online content, 3) online and gathered, 4) mostly online, and 5) fully online. Participants will begin building a website platform for faith formation.
Roberto, John. Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century. Naugatuck: LifelongFaith Associates, 2015. (Available in print from www.LifelongFaith.com; and in e-book formats - Kindle and Nook)
Stewart, John W. Envisioning the Congregation, Practicing the Gospel. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2015.
Connect to the Zoom Video Conference using the following link: https://zoom.us/j/243469207
Tuesday, January 24, 2017: 1-4 pm EST
Tuesday, February 21, 2017: 1-4 pm EST
Tuesday, April 18, 2017: 1-4 pm EST
Posting responses to the Discussion Forum is an integral element of every course. Discussions for Course #1 are integrated into Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. There is a focusing question in the "Apply" section of each learning plan. Every participant is asked to post a response to the question in the Discussions tab on the main menu. Your response might be as short as one sentence or might be a series of actions your are going to take because of your learning.
We encourage you to return regularly to the Discussions Forum to review and respond to posts by course participants.
The project assignment for Course #1 is to develop a faith formation faith formation network for a target audience - age group, family, all generations, or whole church. The learning plans and resources for Weeks 11-13 provide the process to guide you in developing a first draft of your faith formation network and website. In Week 14 each participant will provide an overview of his or her faith formation network and website design.
During the four month timespan of Course #1, schedule three meetings with your congregational team to accomplish the following tasks:
Team Meeting 1 (Complete before Week #3). "Congregational Faith Formation Assessment"
Team Meeting 2. (Complete after completing Week #8)
Team Meeting 3. (During Weeks 11-13)