Starting the Year: Faith Formation
For me, this picture is a wonderful illustration of what we hope to nurture at NUMC: wonder, excitement, interaction, joy, and relationships with God and diverse people. With input from youth and adult leaders, I have developed our year-long faith formation lesson plan that I hope captures the spirit of this image.
Faith formation classes for PreK-5th grades begin October 8. Youth (grades 6-12) begin on October 15. Read on to learn more about how and why we are passionate about faith formation (what we used to call Sunday school)!
What is Faith Formation?
Faith formation is a lifelong journey of making sense of life’s greatest questions: Who is God? What is God like? Where did we come from? What is our purpose? Why do bad things happen? What does God hope the world will be like? As we grow in our understanding of God’s love and grace, our lives are formed and changed. We imagine God’s hopes for the world and participate in acts of devotion, worship, mercy, and justice. We seek to live by the greatest commandments found in Matthew 22:36-40:
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
How Faith Formation is Nurtured:
Research from Vibrant Faith and others has shown that there are several important factors that contribute to our faith growth:
- Caring relationships
- Worshiping together
- Reading the Bible
- Serving others
- Prayer and spiritual practice
- Christian traditions
- Celebrating church seasons (Advent, Lent, etc.)
- Marking milestones (birthdays, start of school, confirmation, graduation, etc.)
NUMC is committed to equipping and encouraging people of all ages to practice their faith:
While we know the value of our church community, we also realize that most of our time is spent outside the church walls. Northbrook United Methodist Church is committed to equipping and encouraging individuals and families to practice faith wherever we are. Weekly emails with faith forming activities; regular blog postings; webinar, video, book and music recommendations; and social media prompts are some of the ways we invite you to encounter God throughout the week.
- Regular opportunities for all ages to worship together as the body of Christ are offered. (see the schedule on the next page)
- Faith Formation Groups (we are phasing out the phrase “Sunday school”) on Sunday mornings for PreK-12th
- Youth Group for 6-12th grades on Sunday evenings.
- Adult Bible studies and other groups.
- Opportunities for service, community, and special worship services throughout the year (See the website calendar).
On Sunday, September 17th, we will have a special faith formation focused worship service. Sunday morning Faith formation groups (classes) for children and youth begin October 8th. Please be sure to fill out the registration form (Download the 2017-2018 Faith Formation Registration and 2017-2018 Youth Medical & Transportation Release here) and return to me, Christine Hides, Director of Children’s and Youth Ministry, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faith formation at NUMC is intentional, creative, family focused and wonder-filled! If you have any questions, need a resource, or would like a tour of our spaces, please get in touch. Wherever you are on your journey, you are welcome at NUMC!