Prayer stone stacks on the stone strewn bank of a stream.

Implementing the Touchstones Project

Each congregation will decide

which elements to use.

Implementing the Touchstones Project will vary by congregation. The materials can be used in many ways as the following describes. Ideally, implementation will involve different staff and volunteers in the important work of deepening within the congregation and increasing visibility in the wider community served by the congregation.

 

  1. At the simplest level, these are rich resources for Ministers and Lay Leaders, Sunday Service Committees, Directors of Religious Education, RE Committees, and Adult RE Committees in both lay-led and minister-led congregations of all sizes. They can be used as need, interest, and imagination dictate.

  2. The easiest level of “formal” implementation involves emailing the pdf of the Touchstones Project Journal to all participates in a congregation, including families, on a monthly basis. This alone will be very enriching.

  3. The lifespan REACH Packet provides resources to explore the theme with children, youth, adults, and families. At a minimum this may involve focusing on the theme for one Sunday a month, but materials can be shared and used in many different ways.

  4. An easy “ask” is to invite adults as they are so moved to hold a small group discussion once or twice a month using the Small Group Discussion Guides. The guides will also assist anyone organizing a formal, small group discussion program in the congregation.

  5. The Worship Resources Packet provides materials to launch the theme in a Sunday service. This can be lay-led or minister-led. (The other services would cover topics that the congregation typically explores, although some congregations address the theme on two Sundays a month.)

  6. The Readings from the Common Bowl and/or Netcards can be shared via email, the website, and or Facebook page as a daily meditation

  7. Various materials can be used for openings, closings, and conversations in leadership meetings.

  8. Providing an overview of Theme-Based Ministry in orientation meetings for newcomers will provide important information about how the congregation “does” church.

  9. The Faith in Action Packet provides activities and programs to engage members of the congregation and people in the community.

  10. The monthly Social Media Plan provides a schedule for publicizing Netcards.

Piles of stones, photo by Oatsy40, June 15, 2014, (CC BY 2.0), https://www.flickr.com/photos/oatsy40/14477286044