A look inside the new Faith Out Loud

I’m so excited to share with you the new Faith Out Loud! FOL began in 2011 with the idea to develop a youth curriculum by Cumberland Presbyterians for Cumberland Presbyterians. Over the past 5 years, we’ve strived to create the best curriculum we can and that is still our goal. Over the past 6 months, I’ve personally reached out to many folks who use or have used FOL to get their feedback. Using that feedback and some new ideas I’m very excited to tell you about FOL Year 5!

This week we released to new FOL books:

Superheroes and Extraordinary

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The previous Faith Out Loud lessons came in one book, each with 13 lessons. The new Faith Out Loud comes out in different books based on subject/topics.

 

FOL Superheroes contains 6 lessons and FOL Extraordinary Christians contains 6 lessons.

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Lesson from FOL Superheroes on Batman and Punisher
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Lesson from FOL: Extraordinary Christians on Corrie Ten Boom

 

Each lesson will begin with a title page that scripture and theme for that lesson.

 

 

 

Each lesson contains a leader portion that includes sections on Connecting to your Students, Explaining the Topic, Theological Underpinnings & Applying the Lesson to your Own Life.

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A look inside the leader portion of FOL: Extraordinary Christians

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the lesson you will a Leader Prep section, including resources that will help you in preparing for the lesson.

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A look inside FOL: Superheroes

 

 

 

 

 

The lesson itself includes Get Started section to help you kick off the lesson, Listen Up and Now What sections that help engage your students through scripture reading, discussion questions and relevant activities and Live It section that closes out the lesson.

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A look inside a lesson in FOL: Extraordinary Christians
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A look inside a lesson in FOL: Extraordinary Christians

 

 

 

 

 

Also, many of the lessons come with Just In Case and Digging Deeper section that helps you as the leader as you lead the lesson. We’ve also included a little area for you to add your own notes.

 

It's even a different size now!
It’s even a different size now!

Another big difference to FOL Year 5 will be the cost. We will be lowering the cost of individual books and our yearly subscriptions as well. We know budgets are tight and it’s hard to buy youth curriculum. So we are lowering the cost on our entire FOL curriculum. In the past, our yearly standing orders cost $215 for 52 lessons. Now, you can get all 8 books, 52 unique teaching lessons for your youth group for only $120! If you aren’t interested in FOL Year 5 subscription you will still be able to purchase all 8 books separately as well. All lessons are available for download as well.

 

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Back cover of FOL: Extraordinary Christians
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Back cover for FOL: Superheroes

 

We are so excited about the new Faith Out Loud and we hope that you will be too!

 

 

 

For more information about Faith Out Loud or to order the new lessons go to our online web store by clicking here.

Special thanks to Joanna Wilkinson for her beautiful design work and the writers of Faith Out Loud!

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Creating Space For The Artist

Article written by Whitney Brown

“In the beginning, God created…” This is how our story begins. God created. God took the chaotic, dark void and out of it brought light and life and order through creation. That is, by definition, creativity. We are created in the image of a creative Creator. Should the church not reflect such fundamental and expansive creativity? The Body itself surely does! Our leaders, our congregations, our youth groups all encompass people with various gifts and abilities, people who learn and communicate most effectively in various ways. For those who connect best through hearing a sermon or lecture or by reading and studying or by serving, avenues for connection already exist within the church. However, there is a great need for attention to be given to those who connect in other ways. It might be impossible for leaders to set apart a space to fully embrace each person’s gift—not every church can have a fully stocked art studio, a gallery, a recording booth, a concert hall, a theater, etc., but we can provide outlets and opportunities for those with gifts not always recognized by the church. In so doing we gain a better understanding of exactly what it means that we are one body and “individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

Colorful Artist

Image by Ian Sane

For the artist, whatever their art may be, it is more than a hobby; it is a means of connecting and communicating. The potter is immersed in the clay, bringing form from what was once a lump of gooey dirt. It is a messy, beautiful art. And isn’t that where we find our faith? Somewhere amidst the mess and the beauty…or the beauty within the mess? There is something about plugging into our passion that connects us to God in the most intimate way. Writers through words, painters through a brush, actors through comedy and drama, musicians through melodies and harmonies—it is that deep connection with the Creator, that form of communication God has instilled within us that can reach even beyond simple words and phrases, even when that would have been enough. And for those who do not consider themselves artists, who has not heard a song or seen a work of art or read a passage that connected with something so deep within them, they could say their very soul was stirred?

How can we bring more of this soul stirring into the life of our churches and ministries?

Step 1

Acknowledge the need. Connect with your artists and hear their thoughts and needs.

Step 2

Create a space. Perhaps it’s a shelf, a desk, a trunk, a cabinet, or a Rubbermaid bucket in the corner. Perhaps your artists are ready for more and there is even an extra room available. Gather materials—papers, canvases, pens, pencils, paints, books, brushes, cameras, instruments, etc. Let the supplies be available, and inform people of their location. Show me a blank canvas someone is not eager to paint.

Step 3

Incorporate various creative aspects into your lessons, sermons and activities. If you are talking about potters and jars of clay, by all means let us see, touch, and fully experience what this is about! If you are telling a parable or a narrative, bring it to life. If you are studying wisdom literature, what would we say if we were to write our own? Psalmists, do we have praises? Do we have laments? Ask your “creative minds” for ideas, or look to scripture itself and examine the ways creativity has been put to work and used to enhance understanding since the very beginning.

May we be encouraged as we take these first steps. May God prepare our hearts for the stirring of our souls. May this be only the beginning, and in beginning, may we create.

CC licence used for image from Ian Sane

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