Resources offer responses to pandemic challenges
By Ann Leaman
This month I would like to highlight two resources, one primarily for pastors and one for families.
MennoMedia is offering the “What Now?” series designed specifically for pastors as they navigate the challenges and opportunities that have emerged as a result of the global pandemic. In August, September, and October subscribers are receiving an email every other week with links to practical resources, worship helps, downloadable PDFs, shareable images, a mini-series of -ing podcasts, and more.
“What Now” offers practical resources in each of the following areas: Worship, Connection, Faith Formation, Sustaining Leaders, Community Engagement, and Navigating Polarization. Go to https://bit.ly/WhatNowSignup to sign up to receive these free resources, or download them from the MennoMedia website at https://www.mennomedia.org/what-now.
Family Devotional resource
From Mennonite Church USA — The Faith Formation ministry of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has released a new interactive devotional card deck for families called “Pause: Play, Breathe, Pray.” This resource was developed by a Faith Formation cohort made up of six Mennonite pastors and lay leaders and led by Shana Peachey Boshart, the denominational minister for faith formation.
The deck consists of 40 reflection cards, with instructions and tips for use. The cards contain prompts for the individual or family to use to reflect on their feelings and attitudes, as well as scripture. Many of the cards include physical or creative activities, such as taking a walk or drawing a picture.
In May 2020, Peachey Boshart began to offer Faith Formation coaching cohorts to help youth and children’s ministry workers grapple with the difficulties of caring for youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Peachey Boshart said these cohorts were very popular; during 2020, she led seven cohorts, each made up of six people. As the five-week cohorts ended, it became clear that one cohort wished to continue meeting to create a resource to help families reset and connect with each other and God during difficult times.
“This cohort wanted to create a resource to equip parents, many of whom had unexpectedly found themselves home with their children 24/7 during the pandemic, with a tool that somehow addressed the stress and responsibility that they were under, while also offering faith formation for both the parents and the children together,” said Peachey Boshart. She went on to say, “We intend for the deck to be useable by people of all ages. Of course, some cards are written with children in mind, but we think that most cards can appeal to anyone.”
To purchase a copy of the “Pause: Play, Breathe, Pray” card deck, visit the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) bookstore at https://bit.ly/AMBSDevotionalCards. Cost is $10 plus shipping.