Tag Archives: Church School

Planning for 2014-2015

calendarIt’s not too soon in our congregations to being mapping out the events, activities, and lesson plans for the coming academic year (2014-2015). Most school systems already have next year’s calendar of holidays and vacations out, so it’s the perfect opportunity to do that program planning now that you know when everyone (who is able) heads to the hills for Spring Break or decides to take a hiatus (intentionally) from church on a three-day weekend.

For the past ten or so years I’ve put together a planning calendar focused on the Sunday lectionary readings, along with the season of the year and any event that may be occurring during the week (President’s Day) or that Sunday (baptisms).

Each year I published this (in pdf form since that was the only way to embed it in my now dormant “Living IN-Formation” newsletter, I would be inundated with e-mails from folks asking for it in a Word document so that it could be tweaked and customized on a computer instead of filled in by hand. I’ve heard you!

So – here is the Education Planning Calendar for 2014 (June) – 2015 (August)! (updated on May 15 with corrections)

And don’t forget – now is the perfect time to evaluate this past year and review your curriculum choices, renewals, or search for August/September’s new start! You’ll find all your helps in Building Faith’s Resource Room!

The Curriculum Challenge = The Sunday School Challenge?

var73Many of you know that every 18-months or so I conduct a curriculum survey. I began the practice during my tenure as Children’s Ministries & Christian Education Coordinator in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut as a means to determine what curricula was being used in congregations in the diocese as well as learn what needs churches and their leadership had that I might be able to offer assistance. When I was called to a new position as Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing in 2007, I continued the practice, only offering it church-wide and across denominations.

Perhaps more than anything else, I’m known for the curriculum charts I produce every Spring that gives an overview of a growing list of curricular resources: their theology, publisher, content, format, cost, age-level, and more – all in a handy-dandy multi-page chart. Now my survey results are also looked at with interest. They aren’t scientific, and any true statistician would find all sorts of flaws in my process. But I believe over the years I can see trends. And I hear from real people with real joys, concerns, and questions.

About six months ago I was contacted by Christian Century (the only print magazine I now subscribe to). They were interested in an article about what types of curriculum are being used in mainline churches today. They were interested in what their editorial board were surmising was a greater interest in Godly Play. Would I be able to write a piece? Wow. What an honor.

So, many drafts and edits later, my article has appeared in the February 19, 2014 issue of The Christian Century. I knew it would be coming out soon, but didn’t quite know when. Until I got my bi-weekly e-mail of the issue via e-mail yesterday, listing all the articles. Volume 131, No. 4 is entitled, “Theologians in Residence.”

Read my article:

What Reaches Children? The Sunday School Challenge.

I didn’t choose the title, but perhaps it does speak to the issue facing our church today. I invite your to post your responses on the space offered on The Christian Centuries website / Facebook page and join in the conversation!

The Episcopal Christian Educator’s Handbook

CEHandbookIt’s been years in the making as I’ve been culling through file folders full of handouts, worksheets, lists, and post-it notes. Coming early November, my latest book, “The Episcopal Christian Educator’s Handbook” should be arriving in Cokesbury’s warehouse and hopefully in Amazon’s stockpile (but one never knows with Amazon).

It was fun to assemble and quite a challenge to determine what to include and what to leave out. Trying to make it ‘light’ but informative and useful, as well as categorized in a way that would make sense to a volunteer Christian educator, I had to lay out the page titles on my dining room table before submitting my final draft for publication. Continue reading The Episcopal Christian Educator’s Handbook