Home Fuel Your Faith - Issue #216 (January 9, 2015)

Fuel Your Faith - Issue #216 (January 9, 2015)

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Manchester UMC in Manchester, Missouri, believes that they are called to heal a broken and hurting world and to be a place where justice is proclaimed and lives are transformed. In order to live out that belief, the church offers multiple opportunities to help people of all ages develop intentional practices that lead to compassion and justice in their daily lives.

Recently, the congregation has added a new component to its intentional discipling and spiritual growth opportunities called Fuel Your Faith. On Sunday evenings, people from across the age span gather to focus on fellowship and growth in their faith through an array of settings and options. In addition to learning, the experiences intentionally deepen relationships and Christian community through the sharing of a meal. The full spectrum of topics and activities are open to the wider public as well as members of the congregation.

The goal is to engage people of all ages and families of different configurations in experiences that match their particular interests and needs. People can choose to participate in activities that are intergenerational or to gather with people at a similar stage of life or with an interest in a particular topic. Some classes involve multiple sessions, while others focus on a different experience each week.

This fall’s schedule gives a glimpse into creative possibilities for weekly gatherings that involve people from across the generations. Youth can participate in choir and/or small groups focused on support and biblical foundations for their faith. Disciple Bible Study specifically for preschoolers and Epic Adventure: Living Faith Every Day for elementary aged children use the best learning approaches for these age-levels. Classes for adults, parents, and guardians include Embracing Spiritual Awakenings, based on a DVD featuring Diana Butler Bass; The Bible for Dummies, intended to help folks feel more knowledgeable about and comfortable with the Bible; and The Courage to Parent. The Courage to Parent is geared toward grandparents raising grandchildren, as well as parents raising their children. Intergenerational learning and activities include Families in Hands on Mission, All Y’All Fellowship, and Creative Doodling as Zen Art.

Questions for Reflection

  • How do your congregation’s opportunities for learning and growing in faith mirror your stated beliefs and values?
  • How could intergenerational gatherings provide a catalyst for new and intriguing opportunities for intentional growth in faith, discipleship, and Christian community?
  • How could your congregation support parents and families in faith practices and growth in the home, as well as in the congregation?

Kevin Witt is the former Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries at Discipleship Ministries in Nashville, TN.

Romans 12 Newsletter. Issue #216. © 2015 Discipleship Ministries. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this newsletter for use in United Methodist congregations. This newsletter is provided as a service of Discipleship Ministries and is funded through World Service apportionment giving by local United Methodist congregations.