I spend a lot of my time going to meetings and conferences. The face-to-face time at these events is invaluable because of the connections made, interests shared, and information gained. I also spend a lot of my time online doing video conference calls, responding to email and Facebook, and culling through many online resources to find the good ones that are out there. Over the last few years I have gotten pushback from colleagues about online conversations and connections not being “real” or that things like Facebook don’t encourage “genuine” relationships. While this can be true at times, I also find that these online platforms have allowed me to be more fully present to some and maintain connection with others who I do not talk to on a regular basis.
How compassionate is your congregation? Your children’s ministry? Your youth ministry? Your adult education? Other specific ministries? The Greater Good Science Center has created a free, online quiz to help your congregation or ministry assess how compassionate it is. Visit: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/quizzes/take_quiz/11.
Last year Seth Godin posted: “Eleven Things Organizations Can Learn from Airports.” (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/01/ten-things-organizations-can-learn-from-airports-.html)
Seth begins by saying: “[Of course, this post isn’t actually about airports].” Many of Seth’s reflections can lead us to ask questions about what we do in adult faith formation:
As religious people, prayer is something we engage in on a regular basis. Whether in our worship together, in small groups, before meetings, or at home, we pray to call God into our midst and call upon God to help us in what we are doing. However, some struggle to use prayer from a book and others struggle to pray without a book. As the year begins and as we head toward Lent, now is the time when many are looking at their prayer practices and wondering how they can do it more, try something new, or begin a new practice. Here are a few ideas to get you started. They can be used with many different age groups and in a wide variety of settings.
On the ABC political drama Scandal, DC fixer Olivia Pope leads a team of “gladiators in suits” who make the problems of Washington’s rich and powerful disappear discretely. As the series progresses, we learn the backstory of how she assembled Pope and Associates and why the group works together so effectively.
Death and dying is a topic we rarely want to talk about until it confronts us personally through our own health, a family member, or a close friend. It isn’t until that moment that we take time to investigate the best route to take for continued quality care. Our health is essential to everything we do. In my opinion, it is the same for the church. Until we actually experience smaller numbers in the congregation or budgets shrinking to the point we no longer can afford the necessities to keep the congregation active, we seldom take steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It’s the New Year and many of us think about how we might improve our lives this year over the last. Resolving to change is a good thing. But how? A lot goes into making a lasting change in our lives, but there is one piece of it that many fail to master: SEEKING AND ACCEPTING FEEDBACK.
It seems that each year we have good intentions to commit to some type of New Year’s resolution. Change in our life style is not easy. Many of us dream about taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle but how many of us reflect on a healthier faith life? According to several polls, the top ten New Year’s Resolutions are. . .
In the liturgical Christian tradition to which I belong, faith formation activities tied to seasons are becoming more and more important. Commitment to a year-long program seems daunting; a 4–6 week commitment is much more manageable. Easter falls in the final week of its allowed range this year, which means we have a substantial “Season after the Epiphany.” Why not take advantage of the extra time and create a fun, thematic activity for your congregation, class, or small group? Since the feast itself falls on a Monday, you still have the whole week to get organized and launch!
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