With Labor Day right around the corner, many formation leaders are already planning for a return to the church program year in addition to a new school year. Some congregations are eagerly anticipating a return to the more traditional in-person formation programming, and others are incorporating lessons learned from the last year in regards to online and hybrid options. We don’t have a “one size fits all” solution for how to program this fall! But wherever you are in the process, we are here to support you–reach out with any questions, concerns, or ideas to share!
Here are a few things to consider for this season:
- Blessing of the Backpacks: This September event has become a tradition in many congregations around the Diocese. This year, we are excited to share that the Campus Ministry Committee has developed a Backpack Blessing for use across New Jersey! We also find that backpack tags, such as these from Illustrated Ministry, are a simple and affordable way to make a maximum impact in your congregation and community.
Back to School Blessings (for liturgy) >>
Backpack Tag Instructions >>
- Safety Guidelines: As we look to regather for worship and formation, we all need to be aware of state, local, and diocesan safety guidelines. Even in the last several weeks, plans have needed to be reassessed based on current COVID numbers in our communities. Please continue to stay current with these guidelines, and be patient and flexible as we all navigate these waters.
Diocesan Reopening Guidelines >>
- Pastoral Care for our Families and for Ourselves: Despite our early-summer optimism, we are still very much in the midst of a challenging time. Many of us, as congregational leaders, are entering a third year of planning for the unknown. Our families are equally unsure–what will the school year or workplace look like this fall? This non-liminal time, between ‘what is’ and ‘what will be,’ requires us to be compassionate with ourselves and those to whom we minister. Here are some helpful resources to navigate this dynamic:
Returning to the Sanctuary (article) >>
How to Reflect on our COVID Experience While We are Still Going Through It (article) >>
Launch! Faith Formation (podcast) >>