FUSION provides a thoughtful balance between practical planning, biblical background information and worship outlines as well as pages that can be used along with a Christian education team. It also includes faith formation resources that families can use to grow their faith at home and in the community.
SeasonsFUSION is designed for:
- large and small congregations looking for resources that integrate or fuse worship, learning, and service, and that support the many ways they practice Christianity
- congregations where age range and numbers make age-level faith formation programs difficult to maintain
- vital congregations committed to faith formation and living their lives together in ways that embody and nourish faith
- congregations that look to lay worship/preaching teams and need study help
- congregations that want to experiment with reshaping their lives together as a worshipping and learning community
- congregations that are looking for support for growing faith and discipleship at home
- congregations that… well, you fill in the blank!
- A Planning page
- A Biblical Background page
- A Reflection and Focus page
- Three-page Worship Outline
- A Poetry and Prose page, containing articles, poems, and stories
- A Bible Story page
- Stations pages
- A Resource Sheet, for use at one of the stations
- An Activity Sheet for very young children
- Articles – including About this Season, Connecting With the Art; Communion Prayers for the season; and articles that support the theme of the season(s)
- Living the Seasons – connects congregation members to what is happening in church. Contains suggestions for how to use SeasonsFUSION within and beyond the group that gathers for worship, including individuals and families at home
- Gatherings for All Ages – outlines for all-ages worship events that include a meal (appropriate for people with no church background, perfect for community outreach)
- Special Worship Outlines – including a Christmas pageant, Christmas Day, Blue Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Thanksgiving
- Two posters
Ways to Use Seasons:
The resources in SeasonsFUSION can support congregational life as we worship, live, learn, and grow as disciples and as communities of faith. They are designed for time together, as well as apart, that is holistic, designed for all ages, and invites us into creativity. At the heart of all this is the assumption that SeasonsFUSION will serve as a starting point for your congregation to plan and adapt what will work best for you.
Who is FUSION designed for?
- Congregations who are looking for resources that integrate or fuse worship, learning, and service, and support the many ways they practice Christianity.
- Smaller congregations where age range and numbers make age-level faith formation programs difficult to maintain and sustain.
- Small but vital congregations committed to faith formation and living their lives together in ways that embody and nourish faith.
- Congregations that look to lay worship/preaching teams and need some study helps.
- Congregations who want to experiment with reshaping their lives together as a worshipping and learning community.
- Congregations who are looking for support for growing faith and discipleship at home.
- Congregations that…well, you fill in the blank!
So, where to begin?
The page About this Season (p. 3) provides an introduction to the themes, mood, and movement of the season. Consider copying/reproducing this page and distributing it to congregational members through the bulletin, church paper, or e-mail list. In addition, articles on pp. 4-5 introduce the seasons’ art posters, and provide information to enrich the theme/direction of the season.
Here are the resources you will find included for each week:
- Planning is a weekly calendar page that lists liturgical and ecumenical observances for the week, as well as including the lectionary readings.
- Biblical background offers a brief commentary on the readings for the day, and the theme direction.
- Reflecting on the word offers reflective and thought provoking questions. You may find this page useful for adult studies, youth discussion, lay worship teams, young adults preparing alternative worship, sermon seeds for clergy, and so on.
- Focus for worship, learning, and serving considers what is going on in the lives of those who will gather on this day, and how the theme might intersect and connect with their lives.
- Worship outline – three pages of worship resources designed with all ages in mind; providing a wide variety of different experiences each week.
- Information about saints and interfaith days.
- Poetry and prose titles are listed below.
- Bible story for use in church, and for growing faith and discipleship at home. The story is designed to work across all ages, and is also available in MP3 format on the Data CD.
- Stations can be used in a variety of ways. You might choose one, two, or more to set up in or around the worship space, so people remain within the worship space, which is especially suitable for congregations where there are fewer children and young people. Some will want to offer them for children, youth, and others who leave worship for 20 minutes, usually during the sermon time; these will best be set up in a space away from the worship area. They can also be used in mid-week settings, or the ideas adapted for use in the worship. These activities are designed to affirm and foster the way we live, learn, and grow as disciples.
- Resource sheet designed for use in reflecting on the word or at one of the stations.
- Activity sheet to be used by the very young in church time, posted to the church website for downloading, mailed, or taken to families when visiting.
One way to use SeasonsFUSION might look like this
A planning team (probably looking at several weeks at a time) decides which resources to use. As you explore the weekly scriptures you will note themes that apply to your church, and then plan to use or adapt some of the worship resources to suit your needs. Recruiting a wide variety of laity to help lead each week’s worship is key to making this resource feel like it “belongs” to the whole congregation.
Next, decide which faith stations you wish to have. This will depend on your interests as well as the ages and numbers of people likely to participate.
Those who have left worship in the middle will be invited to rejoin the congregation for the end of worship time; this helps tie the events together and provide a cohesive sense of worshipping and learning together.