Home Making Connections - A Sacred Circle - Issue #67

Making Connections - A Sacred Circle - Issue #67

This is an excerpt from a PDF download. To download the full text of this document click: Making Connections - A Sacred Circle.

At First United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, children experience relational spirituality thanks to a connection between the church and a community based organization, First Steps Spirituality Center. First Steps is a safe space that provides, at no cost, spiritual support for children and teens who have experienced crisis or trauma. It was founded by Rev. Leanne Ciampa Hadley who also serves as Associate Minister to Children and Their Families at First UMC.

Through listening to and learning from children and teens over the course of twenty-five years, Rev. Hadley has developed amazingly effective healing methods that can be used to help all children in the church deepen their spiritual lives. The key is a "hands-on" rather than a "study of" approach.

One way this is incorporated is through the congregation’s weekday preschool ministry which includes religious education in its curriculum. The children experience Sacred Circle Time using a trinitarian model developed by Rev. Hadley. Each day the children gather for a time to wonder, hear stories of our faith, share a prayer, and receive a blessing. Having experienced this simple Sacred Circle Time model, the preschool teachers are able to easily incorporate sacred circle time within their own classroom structure.

Within our communities there are people who possess gifts that enrich and enhance the teachings of The United Methodist Church. We need only create a connection.

Some Questions for Discussion

  • In what ways does your congregation intentionally help children of all ages deepen their spiritual lives through relationships?

  • If you have a weekday program for children, how do you help teachers understand their role as faith mentors as well as care providers?

  • What community organizations might you partner with to both extend your ministry beyond the congregation and enhance faith forming opportunities within the congregation?

Melanie Gordon is the Director of Ministry With Children at the Discipleship Ministries. She can be reached at [email protected]. To learn more about First Steps Spirituality Center visit www.1ststeps.net.

In 2007 church leaders throughout The United Methodist Church in the U.S. were invited to identify churches that demonstrated the vision of discipleship described in the twelfth chapter of Romans. Over 200 churches were surveyed or visited. Issue #67. © 2010 Discipleship Ministries. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this page for use in United Methodist congregations.