Faith at Home
As we strive to grow disciples of Jesus Christ, we understand that growth not only happens in the church, but at home as well. Below are some accessible resources to help you (and your family) grow your faith at home.
Amplify Media - Available video series to currently view for free include:
- "Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times"
- "Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide to Holy Week"
- "The Grace of Les Misérables"
NOOMA - A series of short films (24) ranging 10-15 min. in length that offer spiritual reflections on real life situations. NOOMA comes from the Greek word πνευμα, which means "wind," "spirit," or "breath."
Everything is Spiritual (2006) - In this 90 minute film, Rob Bell points out that "in the Hebrew scriptures there is no word for 'spiritual.' And Jesus never used the phrase 'spiritual life.' Because, for Jesus and his tradition, all of life is spiritual." But what does that really mean?
Everything is Spiritual (2016) - A follow up to Bell's 2006 film with new ideas and insights.
The Bible Project - A nonprofit animation studio that produces short-form, fully animated Bible videos and resources that make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Chuck Knows Church - Two fun, informative video series featuring a guy named Chuck who helps folks learn more about the church.
Original Series - Over 100 epidsodes (2-15 min. in length) about the objects, symbols, and terms we often hear in church.
The Committee Series - a funny, poignant 15-part online series that examines the struggles congregations face as they look toward a preferred future.
Faith Gateway - A great resource for prayers, devotionals, and Bible Studies.
Prayer and Worship in Our Homes - ChurchNext, which offers hundreds of online faith formation courses, is currently offering this free course in response to Covid-19.
Online Prayer & Devotional Resources
d365 - A devotional that provides daily reflections on Scripture by leading users through an experience of "pause, listen, think, pray, and go." It’s supported by the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the PC(USA).
Sacred Space – A daily devotional that provides Scripture lessons, reflection questions, and prayer.
FaithGateway - A great resource for prayers, devotionals, and Bible Studies
Daily Prayer PC (USA) – A simple yet rich devotional resource from the PC(USA) for morning, midday, evening, and the end of the day. Each service includes psalms and scripture readings.
Prayer of Examen - a video-based app that helps you review the day and re-tune ourselves to the sacred in ordinary life.
Books & Studies
The Parent Cue - Managing fear and anxiety during a health pandemic
Living into Lent - A study by Don McKim is currently available free on kindle
Mindfulness and Christian Spirituality - by Tim Stead - Offers readers mindfulness practices during this time. Currently free on kindle and as an audiobook.
Overcoming Stress - by Tim Cantopher, MD - Offers information on both acute treatments and longer term management in avoiding stress and its ill effects. Currently free on kindle.
Books are one of the best ways that we can grow in our faith on our own. Here are 10 books that Rob and Joel recommend:
The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henry Nouwen
Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber
Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell
Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life by Marjorie Thompson
Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus by Thomas Cahill
The Naked Now: Learning To See As the Mystics See by Richard Rohr
The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith by Marcus Borg
A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith by Brian D. McLaren
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright
Mixed Blessings by Barbara Brown Taylor
A Contemporary Daily Examen
The Prayer of Examen, taken from the spiritual practices taught by St.Ignatius of Loyola, is a prayer method of reviewing (or “examining”) your day in the presence of God. It is best done in the evening, amid a time intentionally side aside to thankfully reflect on God’s presence in your everyday life. The prayer method has five steps, which can take as little or much time as desired:
- Give thanks for the day you have just lived, and the gifts it offered.
- Ask God for the light to see your day through God’s perspective, rather than just your own.
- Review your day, reflecting upon the events and encounters you had.
- What were the emotions you experienced?
- What perspective did you not see then that you can see now?
- Where did God seem present?
- Where did God seem absent?
- What can you learn from your reflections? In what ways might God be inviting you to grow?
- Look forward to the day to come, asking God to guide you tomorrow.
The biblical word for “spirit” is the same word for “breath.” The rhythmic joining of breaths with prayers is an ancient Christian practice that can help the pray-er encounter centering and stillness in the way it combines what two things we know to be essential for life: our very breath and God’s very presence. It entails three easy steps:
- Choose A Phrase/Prayer – You might select a verse or phrase from Scripture, or any statement of praise, thanksgiving, or petition (request) to God. Or, if not a phrase, you might name what you’d like to receive as you inhale, and name what you’d like to give up or give out as you exhale. Common Scripture verses of simple phrases for breath prayers include:
- "Be still, and know that I am God."
- "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you."
- "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
- "Lord, have mercy."
- "My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth."
- "Grace in. Grace out."
- "Holy Wisdom, guide me."
- Breathe In & Out - Take 3-4 seconds to deeply breathe in as you think/pray the first half of the phrase. Pause for 2-3 second Then, take 3-4 seconds to slowly exhale as you think/pray the second half of the phrase.
- Repeat for a desired number of times until you feel calm, still, and amid the presence of God.
Lectio Divina means “divine reading.” It’s long been used as a prayerful way of reading and reflecting on Scripture. It entails five simple steps.
- Prepare – Make yourself comfortable, ensuring you’re not only comfortable physically but also have a comfortable amount of time and attention to offer. Next, select a Scripture passage to read. It is often recommended that, when beginning this practice, choose a passage from one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John). Seven to 15 verses is a good target.
- Read (Lectio) – Read the passage straight through. It’s often recommended to read the passage aloud. This reading is aimed at simply understanding the actions or thoughts being shared.
- Reflect (Meditatio) – Once you’ve read the passage, read it again, but this time more slowly and intentionally. Pay attention to words or phrases that may speak to you. Stop amid your reading to re-read these words or phrases (as many times as desired). Reflect on them. What might God be saying to you (or what nudges God may be giving you) amid these words, phrases, or passage?
- Respond (Oratio) – After reading the passage reflectively, consider further what God is saying to you through your reflections. Do questions arise within you? New ideas to pursue? Pray to God, seeking God to use your reflection to help guide you.
- Rest (Contemplatio) – Now, simply let go and rest in the presence of God. Allow yourself to grow still, as you listen for God amid the silence.
Podcasts are a great opportunity to listen, learn, laugh and grow in faith when you’re shopping for groceries, doing laundry, taking a walk or at the gym. While the following can be found be googling each podcast, they’re also all on iTunes and can be downloaded to your smartphone.
Joel & Rob's Podcast - This fall Joel and Rob, TPC's two pastors, dive deeper into the Animate Practice we’re exploring as a church, as well as continuing their love affair of TV show theme songs. Click HERE to listen. Joel & Rob’s Podcast can also be found on iTunes and Google Play, as well as in video form on TPC’s Facebook page. It's a fun, informative, and honest look at a pastor's faith.
The Irreverends – A weekly podcast from two Episcopal priests who explore the upcoming readings for Sunday from the lectionary along with a spiritual exercise and a “dash of snark”!
The Liturgists – Explores important topics (religion, race, gender, sexuality) through the lens of art, faith and science. This award-winning podcast has an audience of millions.
The RobCast – A weekly podcast by Rob Bell. If you enjoyed Velvet Elvis and other books by Rob, you’ll love The RobCast.
Pray as You Go – A daily prayer session, designed for use on portable devices, to help you pray whenever you find time. The 10-minute session includes music, scripture and reflection questions.
The Bible for Normal People – What is the Bible and what do we do it? Pete Enns and Jared Byas explore that question in what they call “The Only God-Ordained Podcast on the Internet.”
Faith at Home for Families
Families are called to explore faith together.
TPC’s “Family Faith Formation” resources and activities help bring a family together spiritually, but in the convenience of your own home on your own schedule. Foundational to faith formation in the home is Scripture reading. For children, TPC staff recommends Growing In God's Love - A Story Bible. Also, take time to explore programs at church for parents to learn and grow in prayer, Bible story reading, and creating a spiritual discipline within the home.
Families are called to explore faith together.
TPC’s “Family Faith Formation” practices and activities help bring a family together spiritually, but in the convenience of your own home on your own schedule. Also, take time to explore programs at church for parents to learn and grow in prayer, Bible story reading, and creating a spiritual discipline within the home.
Mealtime Prayer Cards - A great tool for parents and children to share around a meal. Simply cut out the cards and put them in a small stack next to the dinner table. Take turns choosing from the stack and offering a prayer at a meal.
PBS Kids for Parents - How to talk to you kids about the Coronavirus.
The Parent Cue - Managing fear and anxiety during a health pandemic.
Pandemic Hope - A family Devotional for Life During Covid-19
Illustrated Ministry - Currently offering free, weekly faith formation resources for all ages.
Faith + Family + Spirit by Traci Smith - Offers exceptional resources that make family faith formation accessible and meaningful
Fly Away Books - Offering free resources right now via Thoughtful Christian, including:
Kindness Can Be Taught - A great podcast for parents. Enjoy and learn.