My Faith, My Life, Leader's Guide Revised Edition: A Teen's Guide to the Episcopal Church

My Faith, My Life, Leader's Guide Revised Edition: A Teen's Guide to the Episcopal Church

by Jenifer Gamber
     
 

In addition to a book for teens, My Faith, My Life is a curriculum. With this guide, leaders can create short, intermediate, and longer programs, including confirmation sequences of six, nine, or twelve-sessions, a retreat or similar short program, or a longer study that is integrated with other current programs over the entire academic year. Filled with prayers to…  See more details below

Overview

In addition to a book for teens, My Faith, My Life is a curriculum. With this guide, leaders can create short, intermediate, and longer programs, including confirmation sequences of six, nine, or twelve-sessions, a retreat or similar short program, or a longer study that is integrated with other current programs over the entire academic year. Filled with prayers to begin and end each session, plus a variety of activities that tap into multiple learning styles and ways to interact with the congregation, this will be a primary go-to resource for any youth leader. New material includes how to select, train, and support mentors, as well as how leaders can strengthen their own spiritual life.

With this Leader's Guide, My Faith, My Life will continue as a trusted Confirmation curriculum for the Episcopal Church.

Newly available in print and eBook editions

Supports a foundational book for youth in the Episcopal Church

Releases along with the revised edition of primary text

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780819229649
Publisher:
Church Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/2014
Edition description:
Revised
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
813,765
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

My Faith, My Life

Leader's Guide


By JENIFER GAMBER

MOREHOUSE PUBLISHING

Copyright © 2014 Jenifer Gamber
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8192-2964-9



CHAPTER 1

Baptism and Confirmation: Beginnings


Corresponds to chapter 1 of My Faith, My Life

Session length: 2 hours

Preparation


Materials

[] Rounded stones, 1 for each youth and 1 for each adult leader

[] Medium glass bowl

[] Tea candle

[] Small table covered with tablecloth (rough linen or blue preferred)

[] CD player and CD Cairn by Fran McKendree

[] Snacks

[] Additional materials to support selected activities


Setup

• Set up the chairs for the youth in a circle with a small table in the center.

• Set the table with the bowl of water in the middle and the stones in a circle around the bowl. Place the candle on the table.


Session

5–10 min Icebreaker: Bippety Boppety Boo

(Group Games and Icebreakers #2, page 95)


10 min Opening worship

Light a candle. Tell the youth that this class is a continuation of the faith journey that began in their mothers' wombs and continued with their births into the human family and baptisms into the church family (see Jeremiah 1:4–8). It will continue throughout their lives. God, who knitted them in their mother's womb, will continue to be with them. Play "O God, You Search Me," track 4 of Cairn by Fran McKendree. As the music is playing, invite the youth, one at a time, to choose a stone, wash it in the water, and return to their places. Ask each to notice his or her stone—its color, texture, and shape. Does their particular stone have sharp edges or is it smooth? Is it a uniform color or does it have flecks from a variety of rocks? Is it symmetrical or asymmetrical? What makes this stone different from the other stones? When the music ends, ask them, one by one, to share what is special about their stone, and to then place it around the perimeter of the bowl of water.

15 min Establishing Group Norms (Exercise #1, page 53)

15–20 min Recalling Your Baptism (Exercise #5, page 54)

15 min Break

15–20 min

Baptism and Confirmation (Exercise #2, page 53)

15–20 min Baptismal Promises (Exercise #3, page 54)

2 min Announcements

• Read chapter 2 of My Faith, My Life.

• Continue to attend church regularly.

• Students meet with mentors if this is part of your program.

3 min Closing worship

Ask the youth for individual prayers and thanksgivings. End by praying the Lord's Prayer.

CHAPTER 2

The Bible: Stories about Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow


Corresponds to chapter 2 of My Faith, My Life

Session length: 2 hours


Preparation

Materials


[] Rounded stones, 1 for each youth and 1 for each adult leader

[] 1 18–24" terracotta saucer

[] Bag of natural-colored sand

[] Small glass tea-candle holder

[] Scallop shell

[] Chrism oil

[] Tea candle

[] Small table covered with tablecloth

[] CD player and CD Cairn by Fran McKendree

[] Snacks

[] Additional materials to support selected activities


Setup

• Set up the chairs for the youth in a circle with a small table in the center.

• Place the large saucer on the table. Fill with sand. Add a tea-candle holder filled with water and a shell filled with a drop of oil. Place stones around the dish on the table. Set up this sandscape for each of the remaining sessions.


Session

5–10 min Icebreaker: Yarn Toss (Group Games and Icebreakers #11, page 98)

5–10 min Alternate gathering question

Do you feel that you have walked in the light of Christ this week? Why or why not? What stone have you been carrying with you this week? Be specific.

10 min Opening worship

Place a candle in the sandscape and light it. Ask the youth to think about their faith as a journey. Sometimes, like the Israelites, it is a journey through the desert, but just as God provided for the Israelites, God will provide a guide by day and night, food to eat, and water to drink. Play "A Light I Am," track 7 of Cairn by Fran McKendree. Invite the youth, one by one, to find their rock from the previous session on the perimeter of the sandscape and to set it inside the circle of sand, carefully choosing its place in the landscape among the other stones. As the music ends, ask them, one at a time, to share where they placed their stones and why they chose that spot. It could be along the perimeter, close to the water, near another stone, and so on. The selection may reflect where they feel they are in their journey or their desires.

Ask the group to identify the items in the sandscape. They will notice that there is sand, a candle, water, and a shell with a drop of oil. The water represents the living water of baptism. The shell with chrism oil is the oil with which each of us was anointed at baptism. Discuss the symbolism of the oil: oil was used to anoint King David (1 Samuel 16:13). We are anointed into a royal priesthood. Oil is used for healing. God yearns for us to be whole in mind, body, and spirit.

10–15 min Discuss a few questions from the end of chapter 2 in My Faith, My Life.

15 min Break

15–20 min Biblical Interpretation (Exercise #6, page 56)

15–20 min Study the Bible together.

Using the steps for reading the Bible in My Faith, My Life (page 35), explore Exodus 13:17–22. This reading begins the wilderness travels of the Israelites after the defeat of Pharaoh.

2 min Announcements

• Read chapter 3 of My Faith, My Life.

• Continue to attend church regularly.

• Students meet with mentors if this is part of your program.

• Ask the youth to reserve the agreed-upon weekend for the retreat (hand out a printed sheet of details for parents).

3 min Closing worship

Ask the youth for their prayers and thanksgivings. End with this Prayer of Self-Dedication:

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you would, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 832)

CHAPTER 3

Knowing Our History


Corresponds to chapter 3 of My Faith, My Life

Session length: 2 hours


Preparation

• Invite a member of the church's history group to share the history of the church.


Materials

[] Sandscape from previous session, including the stones and candle

[] CD player and CD Cairn by Fran McKendree

[] Newsprint and markers

[] Additional materials to support selected activities


Setup

• Set up the chairs for the youth in a circle with a small table in the center.

• Place the sandscape and stones on the table.

• Other set up for listed activities.


Session


5–10 min Icebreaker: Knots (Group Games and Icebreakers #6, page 96)

5–10 min Alternate gathering question

Ask the youth who has been their guide this week. How?

10 min Opening worship

Place a candle in the sandscape and light it. Read Joshua 4:1–9. Stones are heavy, so they are unlikely to be moved. They are strong and therefore take years to weather. For that reason, people throughout the ages have used stones to mark the location of important events that they want remembered—memorials such as the one built by the twelve tribes crossing the Jordan River. Pilgrims mark sacred places with cairns, a pile of stones, each placed with a special prayer or intent. As each stone is added, the cairn grows higher and higher. A cairn is a tower of hopes and dreams, of burdens unloaded and left behind, of celebrations for great awakenings. Cairns sometime appear to be in fragile balance, with spaces for the wind to enter and exit as if God were breathing in the prayers held within the rocks. Each stone must be placed carefully to maintain the stability of the column.

Today, hikers build cairns to indicate turns in the path or to mark the beauty of a natural formation. Cairns are particularly helpful when the way is along a large rocky outcropping without soil or foliage. Along these desolate parts, the footsteps of those who came before leave no mark. Cairns are sentinels that keep watch over history and the future, signposts of journeys taken and yet to come.

Invite the youth to help create a cairn by adding his or her own stones along with a prayer of hope or the unloading of a burden. Notice how the cairn changes as each stone is added. Play "Turn, Turn, Turn," track 10 of Cairn by Fran McKendree. As the music ends, invite the youth to share their hope or burden with the group.


10–15 min Discuss a few questions from the end of chapter 3 in My Faith, My Life.

15–20 min Saints: Who Am I? (Exercise #9, page 57)

15 min Break

30 min Member of the congregation presents the church's history.

2 min Announcements

• Read chapter 4 of My Faith, My Life.

• Continue to attend church regularly.

• Meet with mentors.

3 min Closing worship

Ask the youth for their prayers and thanksgivings. End with the collect Of a Saint:

O God, you have brought us near to an innumerable company of angels, and to the spirits of just men made perfect: Grant us during our earthly pilgrimage to abide in their fellowship, and in our heavenly country to become partakers of their joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 250)

CHAPTER 4

Faith: What Do We Believe?


Corresponds to chapter 4 of My Faith, My Life

Session length: 2 hours


Preparation


For personal preparation, consider listening to "The Need for Creeds," an interview with Jarislov Pelikan by Krista Tippett at www.onbeing.org or "If Jesus Never Called Himself God, How Did He Become One," an interview with Bart Ehrman at www.npr.org.


Materials

[] Sandscape from previous session, including the stones and candle

[] CD player and song "One of Us" by Joan Osborne (CD title is Relish)

[] 1 photocopy of the Worship Worksheet for each youth (see page 135)

[] Additional materials to support selected activities


Setup

• Set up the chairs for the youth in a circle with a small table in the center.

• Place the sandscape and stones on the table.


Session


5–10 min Icebreaker: Empty Your Wallet (Group Games and Icebreakers #4, page 96)

5–10 min Alternate gathering question

What have you seen this week that tells you that God is among us? Be specific.

10 min Opening worship

Move your hand along the sand to create a pathway. Place a candle at one end of the path and light it. Ask the youth to think about their life as a journey with Christ and toward Christ. God loves us so much that he came into the world to be just like us and live among us—to endure our pain and sorrow and celebrate our joy and happiness. Jesus, God incarnate, died and was resurrected. Today, we can be the resurrected Christ's hands in the world. And others are Christ's hands to us. Where are you on your journey? Do you feel that you can be the hands of Christ? Do you feel that others are ministering to you? While we listen to the music, consider what it would be like if God were just like us today.

Play and listen to the song "What if God Was One of Us?" by Joan Osborne. Invite youth to place their stones along the path. They can bury part of their stone, add additional paths in the sand, or place their stone outside the sand altogether. After the song ends, ask them to share who has been Christ to them this week.

10–15 min Discuss a few questions from the end of chapter 4 in My Faith, My Life.

15–20 min What Does the Apostles' Creed Mean? (Exercise #13, page 59)

15 min Break

15–20 min Who Is the Trinity? (Exercise #15, page 60)

15–20 min Commandments as Freedom (Exercise #10, page 58)

2 min Announcements

• Read chapter 5 of My Faith, My Life.

• Continue to attend church regularly.

• Complete Worship Worksheet and bring to the next class.

• Meet with mentors.

3 min Closing worship

Ask the youth for their prayers and thanksgivings. End with the collect Of the Incarnation:

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 252)


(Continues...)

Excerpted from My Faith, My Life by JENIFER GAMBER. Copyright © 2014 Jenifer Gamber. Excerpted by permission of MOREHOUSE PUBLISHING.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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