Church Confirmation for One (or More)! Cross Generational, Mentor- and Story-Based

Narratology – God's Story. Faithful Friends.™ Clergy Stuff Confirmation Brand Image
 

How an Affirmation of Baptism Program Doesn't Have to Suck – Special Needs Confirmation Too

by Daniel D. Maurer & Dr. Kace Leetch, Clergy Stuff


Narratology Small Icon for Affirmation of Baptism Clergy Stuff Program

1 Kid, 2 Kids, 3? Raise the Faith & Explore the Stories.

Clergy Stuff™ is extremely excited to announce a NEW PRODUCT we will be offering in 2017 and on. It's for congregations looking for the best way to "do" confirmation in congregations with only one, or just a few students.

But first, let me tell you a story . . .

We're kinda like that here—we like stories.


Narratology Small Icon for Affirmation of Baptism Clergy Stuff Program

Small Churches, Big Hearts

Dr. Kace Leetch has noticed for some time now that churches with only a few students feel left behind. The classroom-based, "programatic" (cookie-cutter) style doesn't work in these places. She wanted a way to offer a real solution for smaller congregations (and larger ones too with one or two kids) who want to let the stories of faithful adults help shape the faith lives of kids - and let the kids' stories shape theirs, too!

So she set out to provide a resource that starts with the stories as told in the Bible, and then guides mentors and students to discover just how relevant faith formation can be.

Why confirmation? To teach? To grow in faith? To encourage kids’ involvement? As we move away from classroom-based curriculum toward story-sharing and relationship building, we can do all these and so much more!
— Dr. Kace Leetch
Teen CC0 photo (pexels)

The fact of the matter is that cross-cultural immersion, learning nonviolent communication, building authentic relationships to discover a Force More Powerful than yourself (GOD) becomes a way to model the faith through the story—God's Story.

"Faith formation of youth"—as a program—is killing the church by either:

  1. Ushering them out with a confOrmation/graduation approach (see: "church exit strategy"), or
  2. Entertaining them.

Instead, we can connect them with adult mentors who want to influence the faith lives of emerging generations.

What's more, we believe firmly at Clergy Stuff that God's story is *THE* most important story ever told.

Teen girl cc0 photo

Then . . . why don't we focus on letting God's story (and ours) shape our faith lives?

Why not build on the relationships that often develop organically in congregations with active, involved, faithful adults and kids?

In a time when congregations are struggling to navigate their way through our fast moving culture, we can lean on the community of faith to help shape the faith lives of young adults. Mentors and leaders will reap the benefits, too.

At Clergy Stuff, we try to listen to what congregations are telling us they need as a valuable asset to help pass along faith. But don't take our word for it. Here are some of the voices we hear:

For me if we start with a *program* for confirmation we are doing our kids a disservice because we are trying to make them fit into a preconceived notion of faith and where we expect them to be. I have found that bringing them to the Bible and the Bible to them we can “dance” with them through the Word.
— Rev. Matt Muters, ECLA Pastor
I like having materials to work with for affirmation of baptism. Still, it seems to me that there’s just nothing out there for congregations that only have one or two kids. So you know what I end up doing? Writing it myself! That’s fine, but I sure wish I could have something to start with.
— Rev. Jill G., UMC Pastor

Narratology Small Icon for Affirmation of Baptism Clergy Stuff Program

Special Needs Section

Another reason why Narratology™ is completely different than the cookie cutter, programatic method to teaching faith is that Clergy Stuff knows that resources for special needs kids are severely lacking for congregations.

Another story . . .

If you haven't read the new blog we've set up, An Exceptional People, you need to check it out. Dan Maurer's son, Josh, is one of those exceptional people. From experience, we know that clergy, pastors, ministers, and volunteers of all flavors and colors need and want such resources to reach kids with special needs.

Wait . . . that's not right. It's how special needs kids can reach us.

Adult with teen mentor cc0 photo

That's why, with Narratology, we've added material for background how best to share God's story in and between kids and mentors. Our special needs writer has the background (and the degree—she has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology) to offer a flexible approach to sharing the story.


Narratology Small Icon for Affirmation of Baptism Clergy Stuff Program

God's Story. Faithful Friends. Adaptable to YOUR Needs.

Why "Narratology?" From a dictionary definition, it means that the story is the stuff that matters

Plus, the word is just really, really cool.

• Narr-a-tol-o-gy: the branch of knowledge or literary criticism that deals with the structure and function of narrative and its themes, conventions, and symbols.
— Source: Google

So this is where you come in.

The story is the story. How you tell it matters.

We've done the heavy lifting to making the transition to pass along the story in creatively engaging ways (cartoons, videos, activities, and more!) so that you can be free to actively empower mentors and allies to share God's BIG story among friends. We believe Affirmation of Baptism should not be a one-and-done event, but an ongoing narrative.

Here's just a brief sampling of the stuff we're doing. More to come. Promise!!

 


 
Narratology Confirmation Logo – Clergy Stuff (May not be copied.)
 

Click on the image to expand in a lightbox.

Unit videos will be produced by kids for kids.

 
 

Narrative Lectionary Worship Planning Resources

Ahhhhh... for days gone by. Although our great Narrative Lectionary resource writers all use computers today, we do at least like to pretend that writing is still done in this manner.

Ahhhhh... for days gone by. Although our great Narrative Lectionary resource writers all use computers today, we do at least like to pretend that writing is still done in this manner.

All That Happy Stuff and So Much More for 2017-18!

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff Writer & Creative Dude For the Online Stuff


Source: Giphy CC0 - Novel Christian Worship Preparation Image

Brand, Spankin' New Worship-Support Materials to Make Your Job Easier

Hello everyone! Greetings from the Narrative Lectionary writing and editorial team at Clergy Stuff!

We've been hard at work composing the best set of worship planning resources you can find for the 2017-18 Narrative Lectionary, Year Four (John). We've put tons of forethought into the design of this years' goods and we are very excited to share the new things we have in store for you within all the packages.

First off, since we know the NL focuses on God's Love Story as spelled out in the Bible, we want you to be confident that the resources you receive providing help for you to prepare for worship are story-based. What does THAT mean? Well, to put it bluntly, we craft each worship preparation setting to zero in on the core message of GRACE. That doesn't mean we shy away from the account in holy scripture that deals with God's Law.

Instead, the primary nucleus around which we shape every Sunday's lesson (and special days, too) is God's work in the world in the person of Jesus Christ. It's about in-car-na-tion!

Let me cut to the chase and get right at the NEW FEATURES you can expect within the 2017-18 Narrative Lectionary Year Four Resources.

  • Creative Expressions and Litanies both offered nearly every week! (Some texts are naturally not conducive for one or the other—for those dates, we will provide one or the other.)
  • Totally new and shiny KidStuff™ Children's Bulletins with a kid's rendition of the text printed right on it for your convenience. (They look great! And this year, they should print out easier on black-and-white if you so choose.)
  • The Kid's Storytime section has an all new subsection for special needs kids. Incidentally, we have started a new blog for congregational leaders to bring awareness for special needs (kids, teens, and adults too) in your faith context. Check it out!
  • ALL the worship planning resources for the Narrative Lectionary will be provided (available now) for both the 2017 Summer Session and also the full Program Year (2017-18). (Note: Original Music for Summer 2017 is ready now. Program Year music is coming soon and we'll get it directly to your inbox! )
  • Clergy Stuff has expanded its FREE STUFF offerings. I just know you'll click.
  • We continue to offer inclusive language and be sensitive to inclusive, grace-centered theology.

All right, I've read enough! click now to solve your faith community's NL planning needs!

We just know you're going to love this year's church and congregational stuff to prepare services in your faith community. I mean, look at these folks . . . 


About the Blog Post Author

Daniel D. Maurer - Writer and Author

Daniel D. Maurer is the director for marketing, creative content, and an author to boot. He lives with his family in Saint Paul, Minnesota. For more info on our crack team of writers, musicians, and editors, click here.

You'll Never Guess What's Shocking Dan & His Kids So Much!

The Date! The Time! What Are These Things?

by Clergy Stuff's Web & Resource Design Guru Daniel D. Maurer


Dan and his boys just realized something...

The date!

The time!

Soon September 11th will be rolling around. That's not only a day for remembrance for a terrible tragedy in the United States (I bet you remember where you were when 9-11-01 happened, right? *See below.)

It's also the day that the new Program Year for the Narrative Lectionary begins.


Luckily, Dan's boys are a tad sharper than their pop. They showed him how to effectively use a calendar, and—as scary as it may be—it's not as difficult as one might imagine.

The coolest thing about Clergy Stuff is that Dan's boys and Kace Leetch are much more on the ball than he is. 

Click the button below to see your options for the 2016-17 Program Year worship planning resources. Believe me, you'll be happy that you did. We're extraordinarily proud of our resources (giving the Almighty the glory, of course) and we know you're just going to love them. Totes love 'em. (That's middle-schooler speak for 'totally, by the way.)

 
 

* By the way, Daniel Maurer was in Medora, North Dakota on September 11th, 2001. He was attending a pastor's yearly retreat with the Western North Dakota Synod of the ELCA. He remembers lying in bed in the hotel room where he and his wife, Carol, were staying. Carol turned on the television after she got out of the shower. It was about 7:45am and the first plane had already hit. At 8:03 Central Standard Time, the second plane hit, and he saw it live on the Today Show. The pastor's conference began a prayer vigil soon after everyone knew the news.

Posters! Bookmarks! Colors! Oh MY!!

Clergy Stuff Narrative Lectionary and Posters are Hot Off the Press!

by Daniel D. Maurer


August 7, 2016 - Saint Paul, Minn.

Two wonderful fabulous famous runway-model-like volunteers decided to help us out at Clergy Stuff–West (otherwise known as Dan's Writing Studio in St. Paul) showing off the new Narrative Lectionary Poster and Bookmarks.

You, too, can get yours for your congregation or faith community (or even your family) while they last. The posters are great, because they show the progression of the Narrative Lectionary over the 2016-17 Program Year. The bookmarks are great, because they go in books. And who doesn't like books or bookmarks?!

LET'S SEE THAT POSTER 'N BOOKMARK GOODNESS NOW!

CLICK ON THE POW!

Free Stuff! Free Stuff!

Narrative Lectionary Free Stuff

Clergy Stuff is happy to announce that the Spark, Sunday School recommendations are up and online.

Spark Sunday School Recommendations


For additional images for bulletin covers, please visit our FREE STUFF page located...

>>  HERE  <<

What is the Narrative Lectionary, Anyway?

Daniel Maurer from Clergy Stuff recently travelled to Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota to speak with Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson, one of the founders of the Narrative Lectionary

With this video, Professor Jacobson answers first what a "Lectionary" by itself is and what makes the Narrative Lectionary so important and effective.

Clergy Stuff Hires a Rad Dude

Exciting news!

Clergy Stuff has hired a brand new Director of Creative Content and Marketing, Daniel Maurer. Dan has designed a brand new, amazing Clergy Stuff website, which now includes resources for Summer 2016 and Program Year 2016-17. (Resources are available now for Summer 2016 and Fall through Christmas 2016. The spring resources, January 8 through Pentecost 2017, included in the Program Year packages, are nearly ready and will be uploaded in three weeks.) Check out the new resources and products here:


Daniel D. Maurer is an award-winning freelance writer, journalist, editor, and public speaker. He has authored two books. His first, Sobriety: A Graphic Novel is a new resource from Hazelden Publishing for youth and young adults. His second is the story of a victim of Human Trafficking. Its title is Faraway: A Suburban Boy’s Story as a Victim of Sex Trafficking.

His third book to be released in the fall of 2016 is a large project with Augsburg Fortress Publishers, the details of which are forthcoming. Daniel is currently in the process of writing a fourth book dealing with the psychological concept of resilience and how spirituality and narrative facilitate change.

Daniel has also written to create children’s curriculum for Sparkhouse and Amicus Publishing. He keeps the blog Transformation is Realsharing stories of personal transformation. He enjoys gardening, writing, reading, walking his dog, serving as slave to his cats, and playing with his boys. Daniel lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife, Carol, and his family.

Daniel is extremely excited about his recent partnership with Kimberly “Kace” Leetch and her company, Clergy Stuff. Daniel will be working as an editor, a writer, and as the director of creative content and marketing.

For more information about Daniel or his work, see: transformation-is-real.com

If you have any customer questions, Dan is right on it! You can contact him at dan@clergystuff.com. And, of course, you can always contact me, too, at kace@clergystuff.com

Blessings on your spring! - Kace

COMING SOON!

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