From The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
Continuing the invitation to connect The Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life (https://www.episcopalchurch.org/way-of-love) more deeply to the seasons of the year, The Episcopal Church is developing additional free and downloadable resources for congregations, dioceses, and communities of faith. A Back-2-School Digital Invitation Kit and the Back to Ministry Digital Invitation Kit is available now.
Each of these kits include: a customizable poster and postcard; a social media-ready graphic; and a Facebook cover image. Each kit also includes a video prayer message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry which can be embedded on a church’s website. These resources are themed both with and without Way of Love graphics. All evangelism resources are available at https://www.episcopalchurch.org/evangelism-resources/back-to-ministry and https://www.episcopalchurch.org/evangelism-resources/back-to-school.
“The kick-off of a school year or a new ministry year may not be liturgical seasons, but they are incarnational as they signify new beginnings and fresh starts – they represent the opportunity that we always have through our baptismal identities to start again with God’s help” said Jerusalem Greer, staff officer for evangelism for The Episcopal Church, “These new digital invitation kits and resources provide congregations an easy way to invite both members and their community to celebrate the gift of new beginnings.”
More than a program or curriculum, The Way of Love is an intentional commitment to a set of practices –Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest – that form us into the likeness of Jesus. Congregations have engaged with Way of Love practices by organizing ministry fairs around the seven practices, setting up semi-public prayer stations with one station per practice, and organizing inquirer’s classes around each topic.
“The Way of Love is one pattern of living an intentional baptized life no matter your age.” says Greer. “Everyone, ages 5 to 95+, can live these practices in their own way in their everyday lives – not just on Sundays, which is one reason that Way of Love is a great fit for celebrations such as Back-2-School and Back to Ministry. These events remind us that following Jesus is a daily practice, rooted in each person’s unique story.”
In addition to the back-2-school, ministry fair, and previously-released Easter Digital Invitation Kits, similar resources are planned for the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. They will be offered in Spanish and English.
If your ministry has developed a seasonal Way of Love offering, please share at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to feature it on the website and pray for our shared journey into new life.
Additional resources from Forma
Including Way of Love backpack tags that you can customize, Back to School prayer stations and a Blessing of the Backpacks prayer can be found on the Forma website at https://www.forma.church/back-2-school-resources-for-the-way-of-love/?mc_cid=f45c19f559&mc_eid=a2ffe9b0de