Vaccines are on the way, but even if everything goes according to plan, we will not return to "normal" before summer (at the earliest). And we certainly need to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe.
It is tempting to procrastinate. "We'll just wait for the pandemic to end. We'll get back to normal in Advent... or Lent... or Easter...." But we can't "lose" another season. The first Christians were convinced the world was about to end, and look what they accomplished!
We CAN minister well during a pandemic, despite all the limitations. Vibrant, creative churches are showing us that it is possible to serve our members and even grow under these conditions. Here at the Pastoral Center we have been listening and learning, and as a result we have rewritten this Sending Faith Home guide for pandemic ministry.
This guide for pastoral leaders talks through how we can serve our people well during this challenging time, completely rewritten for 2021. It includes:
General Guide/Introduction (16 pages) begins with an overview, then offers short chapters on parish communications, small group faith sharing, Lent 2021, pastoral care, and serving others.
Hosting Virtual, Video-Based Parish Events (20 pages) helps you consider the ways in which you can use online video to extend your ministry into peoples' homes. It focuses primarily on what you need to know as a pastoral minister and how to get the technical help you need. It includes many best practices and tips that we have gathered from watching many churches over the last year. This guide is relevant for a wide variety of ministries, from family faith formation and teen ministry to streaming Mass or leading small faith sharing groups.
Sunday Worship for Families (14 pages) focuses on how we can offer engag- ing weekly worship especially to families with younger children. From what we are hearing, many have given up tuning in to streaming Mass because it is not working for some or all family members. We offer insights on family-led Liturgy of the Word services, virtual Children's Liturgy of the Word, making streaming Mass more family-friendly, and other tools to reflect on the Sunday readings as a family.
Whole Family Catechesis (20 pages) covers other forms of remote family faith formation. It includes principles and recommended resources for parent-led, remote-facilitated, or hybrid activities and sessions, as well as other send-home tools. It covers general faiith formation, sacramental preparation, safe environment, Lenten resources, and more.
Vacation Bible School (20 pages) gives you suggestions on how to stay flexible and offer this more dynamic, interactive style of catechesis even if some physical distancing requirements remain through the summer.
Webinar: Lemonade Catechesis: Make the Most of This Year to Form Families Well (44 minutes) discusses family faith formation in light of the pandemic and the new Directory for Catechesis, highlighting best practices using our new Faith Stories curriculum.
Webinar: Engaging Parents When Engaging Parents is Hard (49 minutes) reviews some of our learnings from the pandemic so far, focusing on what we've learned from offering our [email protected], [email protected], and other family catechesis programs during this time. We also discuss the monopoly model, consumer model, and accompaniment models of ministry.
- Plus additional links and tools
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The Pastoral Center
Paul Canavese serves as director of The Pastoral Center (PastoralCenter.com), author, frequent conference speaker, and pastoral consultant. He has his MTS from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley. He directs GrowingUpCatholic.com (focused on coaching parents) and GospelLiving.org ("intentional daily life Catholicism"). He has served in a wide range of parish ministries, most recently as a pastoral consultant at Corpus Christi Parish in Piedmont, CA. Paul also has 20 years of experience in software development and management with technology startups and social media. Along with his wife Ann, two daughters, and seven chickens, he lives in Alameda, CA, where they operate a mini-urban farm and looks for creative ways to build community in their neighborhood.
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The resources contained in this publication are invaluable!