Children’s Faith Formation
Welcome to our resource page for ministry with preschool through elementary-aged children.
Please click on the boxes below to explore each area.
Vacation Bible School (VBS) 2020
In light of social distancing, many churches are reenvisioning VBS. One of the best things to do is ask your families what they need this summer. Use the following resources to help you think creatively and gain inspiration from other formation leaders.
Each Year Virginia Theological Seminary evaluates the latest VBS curricula. Check out what they have to say and which curricula received the highest rankings. This year’s top picks are:
- MennoMedia: Great Big Beautiful World
- Abingdon Press: Champions in Life: Ready, Set, GO with God!
- Cokesbury: Knights Of The North Castle
Curricula that are especially adaptable during this time of pandemic include:
- All God’s Children: The Church Family Gathers for Summer from GenOn ministries – with adaptations for at home or backyard VBS
- Bolt, a “Quarantine Friendly VBS” from Go! Curriculum
- Compassion Camp: Be Loved. Be Kind. Be You., an at-home/virtual VBS from Illustrated Ministry
(Taken from BuildFaith article)
The Spirit of VBS in the Year of Pandemic provides encouragement and offers a checklist of things to think about in planning vacation Bible school during these unusual times.
BuildFaith’s webinar Vacation Bible School 2020 provides a panelist discussion on figuring out what to do about VBS. Hear from three experts in the area of children’s formation.
In addition to the webinar above, BuildFaith has curated a list of valuable resources and tools for deciding how to do children’s formation this summer.
Online Faith Formation Resources
It can be difficult to navigate the plethora of online resources. To get started, we recommend acquainting yourself with these well-established websites.
Building Faith is a ministry of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS). It provides regular, fresh perspectives on faith formation for children and youth. Search for resources on the site by season, topic, or age range; and sign up to receive the latest articles via email.
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Godly Play, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Living the Good News, and Weaving God’s Promises are the most widely used curricula in the Episcopal Church in Colorado. The Building Faith website provides good descriptions, including a Top Picks Curricula Overview, that can be used to find the right curriculum for your church. To discuss ideas for your children’s ministry, please contact the faith formation team at 303.837.1173 or Faith@EpiscopalColorado.org.
Godly Play is a Montessori-based curriculum that engages children in a well-developed flow of storytelling, wondering, response time, and feast. This is a spiral curriculum originally created for preschool through elementary-aged children; however, it is appropriate with some adaptation for people of all ages. Storytellers are encouraged to become certified in Godly Play Core Training.
Content coming soon.
Content coming soon.
The article Ages and Stages: Teaching Children at Each Level can help leaders understand the development of children and what to expect at each age.
Quick Children’s Sermons are 15-minute (or so) lessons can be used by themselves (maybe as an introduction to a family activity or event) or built into a longer faith formation session. Questions are presented creatively and responses are biblically based and interactive.
Gretchen Wolff Pritchard’s family-run business, The Sunday Paper, offers weekly lessons, booklets for Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, Christmas pageant scripts, playsets, and puzzles. In her original promotion of the family-run business, Gretchen Wolff Pritchard said, “The Sunday Paper is informal, whimsical, faithful to Scripture, and in dead earnest. It is not condescending or cute. It helps children to acquire a vocabulary of crucial Scriptural images, and to relate the Gospel to the Old Testament, the life of the Church, and their own lives.”
The well-known Sunday Paper publication presents one lesson (usually the Gospel) as a two-line cartoon, with the other lectionary readings and psalm presented as single vignettes. A short commentary ties the lessons together. It appeals to children grade 5 and above and may be used as a handout or basis for weekly lessons. Check out a sample page >
The newer Sunday Paper Junior offers big, bold artwork, a simple story line, and an activity page designed to stir children’s imaginations and spirituality. Only pencil or crayons are required and it does not involve word games or other literacy-based activities. It can be used in church, nursery, or classroom. Check out a sample page >