Faith Formation, Worship, and Ministry Support During COVID-19

Apr 9, 2020 9:00:00 AM / by Augsburg Fortress

We have been working hard to support your ministry during this unprecedented time. Here is a collection of resources that we have put together in the past few weeks in order to help you do faith formation, worship, and congregational ministry at a distance.

The Augsburg Fortress Blog has been publishing posts to support worship and Lutheran faith formation during this time

We published “In the Midst of Fear,” one of the devotions from Wondrous Love: Devotions for Lent, on the Augsburg Fortress Blog on March 12. We then ran a series of blog posts with technical tips on ministry in this time of pandemic, including a post detailing how to livestream a service via Facebook Live, a post on how to turn sermons into podcasts, a post on how to do remote Sunday school and Bible study, and a post on pastoral visitation. After that, we published a post with resources for the Three Days during this pandemic. We also published a compilation of prayer resources, both our own and the ELCA's, that are available during this time. 

The Prelude Music Planner Blog has been publishing posts to support church musicians during this time

Ann Schrooten is writing a series of posts about how to lead youth choir over Zoom. Here is the first post, and here is the second one.

The Sparkhouse Blog has been publishing posts to support leaders and families during this time

The Sparkhouse Blog is an ecumenical resource for both pastors and faith formation leaders, and it has also published a number of helpful posts about how to continue to be the church during this pandemic. Topics covered include deepening connections virtually in times of uncertainty, celebrating Holy Week and Easter at home, guiding families through grief during this crisis, and self-care in a time of pandemic.

Sparkhouse has been sharing resources on Facebook

We’ve been trying to make a variety of resources—videos, activity ideas, prayers, and coloring pages—freely available via our social media, especially Facebook. We’ve shared the Holy Moly Good Friday video, readings from the Whirl and Spark Story Bibles, and an animated video of Psalm 23, as well as hosting a Facebook Live with Dr. Dawn Rundman talking about faith formation at home. We’ve posted Holy Week family activities each day of Holy Week. We’ve put up prayer cards each Tuesday and Thursday. Whirl coloring sheets were already available for free on the Sparkhouse website, but we’ve spread the word about them on social media recently. We also created and shared handwashing posters featuring characters from our curricula.

Sparkhouse has created Family Sunday School, freely available online

Each week Sunday school curriculum developer (and former summer camp Arts and Crafts director) Dr. Dawn Rundman and her family will host Family Sunday School. Each episode presents a lesson based on Lectionary readings that families can watch together. The Bible story, illustrations, and other content are based on Spark: Activate Faith Lectionary Sunday school lessons.

You are welcome to distribute, post, and reproduce the lesson materials for your church families in whatever way works for you. We’ll post a new lesson every Tuesday for the following Sunday. Lessons will be posted through Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2020.

Augsburg Fortress, Sparkhouse, and Beaming Books have all expanded copyright permissions

Augsburg Fortress, Sparkhouse, and Beaming Books have all expanded copyright permissions during the pandemic.

You can read more about Augsburg Fortress’s expanded permissions here and Sparkhouse’s here. You can also read books from Beaming Books out loud on videos for the purposes of virtual story time. You can read Beaming Books’ permission statement here.

Augsburg Fortress and Sparkhouse have launched the ATHOME promotion to support faith formation and worship in the home

The ATHOME promotion provides discounts and free shipping on a variety of resources that are useful for at-home faith formation and worship. The offer will be valid through May 31, 2020. These are the products and discounts involved:

Beaming Books and Broadleaf Books are offering free shipping on all purchases through their websites

On the Broadleaf Books website, use promo code BROADLEAF20. On the Beaming Books website, use promo code BEAMING20.

We’ve hosted webinars about Sparkhouse Digital as well as Sundays and Seasons

Given that many of you are making increased use of our digital tools for planning worship and faith formation, we decided to offer webinars on how to use them most effectively. Here is the webinar on Sparkhouse Digital, and here is the webinar on Sundays and Seasons—this one focuses on Holy Week planning and the current copyright expansion.

Augsburg Fortress made the Christ in Our Home devotional freely available as an email through June 30

Many people are accustomed to picking up a copy of our popular devotional Christ in Our Home at church, something that has now become impossible in many contexts. Whether you’ve read Christ in Our Home regularly for years, or you’re new to the devotional, we welcome you to sign up for the email edition. Daily devotionals will arrive in your inbox at 4:00 a.m. Central time until June 30.

Augsburg Fortress has distributed PDFs of Wondrous Love: Devotions for Lent 2020 Holy Week devotions

Augsburg Fortress has sent PDFs of the Holy Week devotions from Wondrous Love: Devotions for Lent 2020 to all the pastors on our email list to share with their congregations.

Augsburg Fortress has made playlists of choral music

Augsburg Fortress has aggregated our collection of choral recordings into playlists for churches to share with members or use during their livestreams of worship. These include a playlist for Holy Week and a playlist of music that comforts and uplifts.

The Prelude Music Planner Blog has made free sheet music available for an Eastertide vocal solo

“’Twas on a Sunday Morning,” a solo from composer Evelyn Larter, is perfect for Easter Sunday or Eastertide. Augsburg Fortress will be releasing a collection of vocal solos from Larter next year, but in the meantime we have made this manuscript available for free in the hopes that churches will find it useful when many congregations are unable to assemble in person. Permission is granted by the composer and Augsburg fortress to reproduce this piece for worship through August of 2020.

Here are links to the MP3 preview of the medium voice version, the PDF of the medium voice sheet music, and the PDF of the low voice sheet music.

The Beaming Books Blog has been publishing posts to support families during this time

The Beaming Books blog is a resource for parents of young children, and it has begun publishing helpful posts about how to keep kids busy and emotionally healthy during this pandemic. Topics covered include creating sacred spaces at home and a list of downloadable activities for kids.

Broadleaf Books has made eBooks available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Broadleaf Books has made all of its titles available as eBooks through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Topics: COVID-19, Coronavirus

Augsburg Fortress

Written by Augsburg Fortress

Augsburg Fortress develops engaging resources for Lutheran congregations In our ministry as the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we create substantive and innovative materials to support the ministries of faith communities in communicating the good news of God's liberating grace. To meet the evolving needs of Lutheran communities, we continually invest in the development of new ministry resources, seeking ongoing input from theologians, educators, church leaders, and church members.

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