Each year our services and programs are centered around monthly themes. Each theme plays a part in the development of a well-grounded religious and spiritual life. Our programming each month is by no means limited to the themes. However, these topics provide an axis around which many elements of congregational life gain more meaning and depth. They provide us with a set of common stories and ideas that become elements of an ongoing community conversation. Be warned: Seriously engaging these themes could transform your life!
Theme-Based Ministry – A little background / further information
- Each month of the church year has a designated theological theme – this allows for common ground for shared conversation across our theological diversity.
- At least one worship service of the month relates specifically to the theme, and sometimes all of them do.
- Every Sunday, during the Time for All Ages, we have a story or ritual that explores the theme. The important thing is that youth and adults use the same story and theme. This offers us all a common language with common symbols.
- All elements of church life are invited to explore that theme within the context of their programming – small groups, circle suppers, Adult and Children’s RE, committee meetings, ministers’ newsletter articles, etc.
- Often includes a hymn related to the theme that is sung every Sunday for the month, even if the particular worship service doesn’t directly relate to the theme.
- Allows ministers (and members) to go deeper into theological themes, and to ensure that ministers don’t avoid the “hard” themes.
- Also allows members to heal/reconstruct theology in areas where their past has been especially harmful.
- Staying on a single theme for a month allows kids to be sure to get something on a given topic, even if they only come once a month.
- In theme-based ministry, children are often encouraged to keep a theme journal (words and art) where they can explore the theme themselves.
- Committees will often start their meetings with a chalice lighting that is related to the theme, or answering a question about the theme for themselves.
- Themes provide a focus for creative inspiration – many congregations now have journals where members submit their creative expressions/reflections from a given theme that are collected and published for all the congregation to see.
- For more information, check out http://www.themebasedministry.org/index.php