Faith Formation & Youth Ministry Leaders Needed for Post-Pandemic Times

Faith Formation & Youth Ministry Leaders Needed for Post-Pandemic Times

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We in the Southern New England Conference are blessed in many ways. Our congregations are supported by an experienced and innovative staff. Our clergy and lay leaders can take advantage of our Super Saturday events to learn best practices for local church and social justice leadership. And we have the only entry-level training program specifically for faith formation and youth ministry leaders in the United Church of Christ!

This kind of training is critical to the life and health of a congregation, particularly in post-pandemic times, as:
  • it supports both clergy and lay leaders in adapting the best possible methods and learning models for hybrid ministry;
  • it supports both clergy and lay leaders in assessing, selecting, and adapting the best possible resources for their particular congregation in post-pandemic times, both in age-specific and intergenerational settings;
  • it enlightens leaders about the spiritual development of children, youth, and adults, and the critical effectiveness of intergenerational worship & ministry; and
  • it provides a foundation for lay faith formation and youth ministry leaders who are called to this ministry but may not have the theological, biblical, and educational background to serve in the best possible ways.
We have learned that post-pandemic faith formation ministries require a greater focus on supporting parents/grandparents/caregivers with faith conversations with their children at home, as well as with more ministry in intergenerational settings. This is not only due to the availability of fewer volunteers, but because faith formation in the church has always been substantially more effective with all ages present. The SNEUCC Faith Formation Leadership Program classes provide tools and resources to assist both clergy and lay leaders in shifting to these more effective faith formation models.

Who may participate in the Southern New England Conference’s Faith Formation Leadership Program?
ANYONE! Lay leaders, local church staff, authorized ministers — anyone who wants to further their education and understanding about the Bible, theology, Christian practices, and faith formation for all ages in the United Church of Christ is welcome to take advantage of this opportunity to expand their experiences in the Christian faith.

This program is offered as both a Certificate program, and as a series of classes that may be taken as stand-alone opportunities for those only interested in certain topics. Classes include a focus on faith formation for all ages and youth-specific ministries.

Classes offered this program year are:
  • Making Disciples — Theories and Practices for the 21st Century  
    with Dr. Joshua Lunde-Whitler
  • Youth Ministry 101 — Practices for a Sustainable Ministry
    with Rev. Dave and Becky Stambaugh
  • Faith Formation 101 — Practices for a Sustainable Ministry
    with Larainne Wilson, M.Ed.  
  • Creating Safe Environments — Policies and Procedures
    with Debby Kirk
  • Developing Faith — Ages and Stages
    with Rev. Dr. Ted E. Huffman
  • Living Into the Mystery — Worship and Sacraments in the United Church of Christ
    with Rev. Jenn Macy
  • Racial Justice for Faith Formation & Youth Ministry Leaders   
    with Rev. James Ross
And new to the program this year:
  • Adaptive and Innovative Leadership for Faith Formation & Youth Ministry Leaders
    with Rev. Susy Townsley
Registration is now open for the 2022-2023 program year; however you may begin taking our classes at any time. Each class is offered twice to allow participants to select the best date and format for their particular needs, and all classes are offered via Zoom on Saturday mornings. Now that all of the classes are offered completely online, students are welcomed from across the country! To date, one quarter of the students bring their varied perspectives to the classes from Wisconsin, New York, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maine, and California.

Those who minister in the church owe it to children, youth, and adults to offer the best possible models, resources, and support in faith formation ministries, particularly during these uncertain times. We owe it to our God as well. Join us this program year in making connections, honing and adapting your ministry skills, and igniting your passions for lifelong faith formation!

Author

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Debbie Gline Allen

Debbie Gline Allen serves as a Minister of Faith Formation on the Conference’s Faith Formation Ministry Team. She also serves as the administrator of the SNEUCC Faith Formation Leadership Program.  Her passion for ministry is with children and family...

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