Faith Formation

If the root is holy, then the branches also are holy. —Romans 11:16
Green Leaves
Credit: 
Pixabay

Faith Formation Pilot Program

Inspire lives of faith grounded in the life, mission, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The United Church is beginning a pilot program to invite communities of faith to a lifelong process of faith formation. We are seeking participants to gather, evaluate, and share Christian faith formation resources and best practices and build connections within and beyond the United Church.

For more information, contact:

Chris PullenayegemProgram Coordinator, Faith Formation and Missioncpullenayegem [at] united-church.ca416-231-7680 ext. 4129
1-800-268-3781 ext. 4129

Faith Formation Resources

To nurture new life

Resources to nurture the growing faith of children, youth, and adults.

  • 24/7 Jesus series: This series of Bible studies is for adults and young adults who want to explore the Bible and Christianity in a small group setting with a United Church of Canada ethos. The first title, A Short Course on Faith for the Questing Christian, is supplemented by a Guide to Spiritual Growth and a Youth volume suitable for confirmation class or youth study groups.
  • Children, youth, and young adults are valued members of our faith communities, with much to give and to receive. Explore the Children, Youth, and Young Adults section for more opportunities for young people to get involved.
  • The Children worship page will be getting new Sunday school resources throughout fall and winter 2019. Scroll down to Related Material for the first one, “With Respect in Creation.”
  • Explore What We Believe for an overview of United Church principles of faith, and Faith Statements for the church’s formal expressions of faith.
  • Christian Foundations: A resource produced by the Anglican Church and Wycliffe College on Christian basics. It covers the basic tenets of the Christian faith and practices for all those who want to know more about God, Jesus, church, sacraments, serving, and witnessing. Available from Wycliffe College, Toronto, for $30; Wycliffe also offers a free sample workbook for download.

To nourish the roots of faithful witness

Woods on Mount Kurama in Japan
Credit: 
Pixabay

Resources to nourish daily practice through prayer, Bible reading, worship, and social action.

  • Bullseye: Aiming to Follow Jesus: A United Church small-group resource for the whole community of faith, complete with accompanying workbook. For all those interested in growing in faith and engaging in six faith markers identified by the produced by North Bramalea United Church: using spiritual practices, worshipping together weekly, discovering authentic community, serving, giving generously, and sharing Christ. Order the e-book, download a sample chapter, and view the companion videos at UCRDstore.ca.
  • The Presence Project: “Surely God is in this place! Help me notice.” Brother Lawrence, a simple, lay monk in 17th-century France who worked in the abbey’s kitchen, was so attuned to the presence of God that even in the midst of his mundane chores he knew he was experiencing the sacred. Would you like to transform the culture of your church using a simple immersion process for deepening spirituality? Learn more at The Presence Project or contact presence.uccan [at] gmail.com.
  • Faith bears fruit in action: explore Social Action, Partners in Mission, Ways to Give, and Worship Resources for some of the ways United Church people live out their faith.
  • Bible Reflections for Older People: This periodical of daily Bible readings is produced by the Bible Reading Fellowship in the UK.
  • Vibrant Faith Institute: The Foundations Program and Specialized Faith Formation Courses, delivered online, are for full-time, part-time, or volunteer leaders who care about faith formation in their communities. Designed to help you develop practices for faith formation with all ages and generations, the course costs US$750 (please contact cpullenayegem [at] united-church.ca  to inquire about possible subsidy).
  • Forma: Faith formation resources for families, children, and adults produced by the Episcopal Church in the USA.
  • Vision4life: Free small-group resources for exploring the Bible and discovering ways of prayer compiled by the United Reformed Church of the UK.
  • Lifelong Faith Workshops & Presentations: A free compilation of resources for leaders.

Spread the Good News

Share reflections on faith and faithful living on United Church of Canada blogs and social media.

On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit in each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
—Revelation 22:2

Last updated: 
February 7, 2020

General Secretary Nora Sanders writes about experiencing a profound reminder of the presence of God in an everyday setting.

Last updated: 
September 26, 2019

Sunday, September 8, 2019 wasn’t the warmest early fall day and the St. Lawrence River had already begun to cool. Nevertheless, seven people from our faith community elected to be baptized (or renew their baptismal vows) through full immersion in the river. It’s powerful to witness members of our faith community proclaiming, through baptism, their desire to follow our crucified and risen saviour.

We do this service at Wall Street United Church annually. We start off by sharing a barbecue in a local park followed by an outdoor worship...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

Jane Dawson writes that the tragic fire at Notre Dame cathedral can remind us to look at what can be born when the defining symbols of our lives are changed.

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September 5, 2019

In the blog post Rev. David Sherwin writes that being a Christian isn’t something we are, it is something we aspire to be. When we practice our faith we set ourselves free. 

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

There was a time, within the memory of many of us in The United Church of Canada, when a congregation could count on the culture around it to assist in the spiritual formation of its members. 

For children, weekly Sunday School classes and mid-week groups were supplemented by daily prayers and devotions in school. Even those adults who did not participate in Bible study groups were immersed in a culture that largely operated on the premise that there was consensus about morals and attitudes and that those morals and attitudes were shaped by the Christian story. Magazines, radio and...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

In the summer of 2018, our church decided to try Vacation Bible School camp (VBS).

The last time the United Church had organized a Vacations Bible School in the Gatineau Hills was circa 1955. Unsure of whether we could do this alone, Église Grace United Church asked our Anglican neighbours at St. Mary Magdalene in Chelsea if they would like to work together. They agreed!

We chose a theme: “Weird Animals” and adapted resources for our own context as we planned activities.

We advertised and prayed that children would sign up. On the first day of camp, 13 children...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

The word “formation” makes me think of fashioning something out of raw material — perhaps with the hands, like a piece of wood or a lump of clay or a garment.

I love to sing and I’ve learned that, aside from breathing, the most important factor in singing well is how you form your vowels.

We all have the ability to form the world around us and shape it according to our will.

When it comes to faith formation, though, it’s a little different. Generations testify to the fact that it is more about being formed than forming. It’s more something that is...

Last updated: 
July 9, 2018

When I was growing up, our family did not have a summer cottage, but we spent part of many summers at the cottage of our good friends, the Fosters. That cottage was on a beautiful lake in Muskoka, and although I haven’t been there for years, I have many clear images in my mind of the times there, swimming in the cold clear water, hiking over the rocks to pick blueberries, and reading by flashlight in the little bunkhouse down by the shore.

For years, if I was asked to name my favourite church, I would name the island on Muldrew Lake where cottagers gathered for outdoor worship on...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

The United Church of Canada is kicking off the 43rd General Council with the Festival of Faith. This celebration of our work and witness through the arts takes place July 21-22, 2018 in Oshawa, Ont.

The festival will be infused with an old-time country fair vibe, and feature an inspiring and joyful line-up of workshops, musicians, authors, dancers, storytellers, and craftspeople. There will also be opportunities to connect and offer your own voice and artistry in the coffee...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

Indigenous Day of Prayer reminds us that if we are to heal broken relationships, we must talk with one another. Let us begin today and never stop.