Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Spirit in Practice: An Adult Program for Developing A Regular Practice of the Spirit


Each congregation has its own approach to structuring adult programs. Some congregations offer programs on Sunday mornings, gathering adults before the service, after the service, during a second service, or between two services. Other congregations offer their adult workshops on Sunday afternoons or weekday evenings. Some offer single workshops here and there; others prefer to present workshops as a series. Some congregations charge money and require advance registration for adult courses. Many congregations open their adult programs to all who wish to attend, regardless of whether they've attended previous workshops in a series.

The Spirit in Practice program has a flexibility that allows you to offer it under any of these scenarios. The program design does not assume that the same participants will come to each workshop. Each workshop includes a time for leaders and participants to introduce themselves. The one-hour workshop length fits readily in the time slot typically available for a Sunday morning adult program. A 90-minute workshop, including one or more alternative activities, might better suit an afternoon or evening program. Congregations can use just one of these workshops, a few, or all of them. Program leaders and congregational leadership can decide how the Spirit in Practice program can best fit into your congregation's lifespan religious education program.

Making Spirit in Practice accessible to a full range of a congregation's adults requires provisions for adults with children. It is strongly recommended that congregations offer Spirit in Practice workshops during time slots when children's religious education programming and/or on-site child care are available. Even with on-site child care, evening workshops may still be a challenge for parents of young children whose bedtime comes before the workshop's end.

Evening workshops can also be a challenge for participants who don't drive, who don't drive after dark, or who live a long way from the workshop location. Arranging for carpools can help.