Guest Blog: Faith Formation in Advent Season

Guest Blog by Linnae Peterson, Formation Network NH

Recently an older member of my parish remarked that she had misplaced her cell phone for several days. She was amazed at how difficult it was for her to function without it. That small device had replaced not only her phone but her calendar, flashlight, map and yellow pages. For all of us, our connections online are a significant part of our daily life. There are also an increasing number of resources available online to help us deepen our faith. Here are some that I’ve found helpful and interesting. Look them over and see what you might find helpful.

Pod casts
My son loves to listen to podcast while he does chores. Others listen when waiting for appointments, driving to work, or all those other in between times. These podcast offer short audio reflections and conversations on topics of faith.
These video’s are just fun!
The Gospel of John in 3 minutes
The Book of Acts in 3 minutes
Emmanuel Episcopal in Wakefield MA has created some wonderful videos of Biblical stories using Legos.
The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Kingwood TX offers ways for families to interact with the upcoming Sunday lessons. With ways to engage children, youth and adults, this is one you will want to use weekly.
Daily Prayer and Meditation
The Daily Office
If you are interested in praying Morning and Evening Prayer, this is a good resource. It will post to your email or you can go to their site. A weekly webcast enables you to join with others in praying the daily office.
Daily Meditations
If you are looking for a way to connect with God at the beginning of your day, any of these are wonderful options.
Barbara Cawthorne Crafton- an Episcopal Priest and author, her daily meditation often use art to illuminate faith.

Richard Rohr- a Roman Catholic monk has written extensively of topics of faith and action.

Society of St. John the Evangelist-Drawing on the wisdom of teachings of the brothers in the order, these short daily meditations encompass a wide variety of topics and voices.
Online study opportunities:

Church Next-The Big Class
Getting More Out of the Bible with Archbishop Justin Welby
Church Next offers a huge variety of video based classes with some of the best people. Most are offered at a modest price (appox. $15 per class). Their “Big Class” offering are free. During Advent 2016, the Big Class presenter is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. This 45 min. class will offer ways to read and interact with Scripture.
The Five Marks of Love
This year’s Lenten offering by the Society of St. John the Evangelist focuses on five marks of God’s mission (Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform, Treasure). With a daily mobile-ready video and daily questions, individuals or groups can participate. The hashtag #5marksoflove will enable participants to share insights with other around the globe. (Free)
Darkwood Brew
The Faith of Jesus in a Pluralistic World
Listen- hearing the still small voice and finding your own
Hope – A Pessimist’s Guide
These titles are just some of the offerings you can find at Darkwood Brew. Created by Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes, these course are insightful and provoking. Centered around conversations with leading thinkers, scholars and activists, each course provides additional material that will provoke the participant to dig deeper and keep one thinking about the topic long after the class.  (available for free but with a suggested donation of $49 per class).