What are practical resources for faith formation?

Faith formation plays a crucial role in the development and growth of individuals in their spiritual journeys. The Michigan Conference recognizes the importance of providing practical resources to support faith formation, especially for children and families. In this article, we will explore the practical resources offered by the Michigan Conference, including the Advent offering recipients, updated resources for children and families, and grants for Advent and Christmas ministries.

Advent Offering Recipients

The Michigan Conference has announced the recipients of this year’s Advent offering. The funds raised during the Advent season will be divided between two ministries: After the Storm and the Readers to Leaders campaign.

  1. After the Storm: After the Storm is the Michigan Conference’s long-term disaster recovery nonprofit. It provides support and assistance to communities affected by disasters. The Advent offering will help After the Storm to continue its work of providing a caring response when disasters strike.

  2. Readers to Leaders Campaign: The Readers to Leaders campaign aims to raise funds to send children to United Methodist-affiliated schools in Michigan and Liberia. By supporting this campaign, individuals and congregations can contribute to educational opportunities for children and youth.

How to Contribute to Bishop Bard’s Advent Appeal

Bishop David Bard invites United Methodist congregations in Michigan to contribute financially to the two ministries mentioned above. If you wish to give to Bishop Bard’s Advent appeal, you can do so by sending a check, payable to the Michigan Conference, to the Conference Treasurer. The address is 1161 East Clark Road, Suite 212, DeWitt, MI 48820. Please write “Advent Offering” in the memo line of the check. Additionally, donations can also be made online through a secure PayPal link.

Bishop Bard expresses his delight in directing this year’s Advent offering to ministries that are making a difference. He emphasizes the generosity of God and encourages individuals to share God’s goodness with others through their giving.

Updated Resources for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany

Rev. Kathy Pittenger, the Children’s Initiatives Coordinator of the Michigan Conference, has compiled new and updated resources for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. These resources can be found on the Michigan Conference’s brand-new Lifelong Faith website, dedicated to faith formation.

Most of the resources are geared towards children, but there are also intergenerational materials that can be useful for youth and adults. The Lifelong Faith website hosts the Children’s Ministry Toolbox, which was recently moved from the main Michigan Conference website. The toolbox will continue to be updated with new content leading up to its official website launch in 2024.

Grants for Advent and Christmas Ministries

Michigan United Methodist churches have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $300 for Advent and Christmas faith formation-related ministries. These grants are made possible by the annual Christian Education Sunday offering, contributed by generous congregations.

The grants can be used for curriculum, resources, or supplies directly related to faith formation and discipleship for all ages during the Advent and Christmas season. The application deadline is November 17, with priority given to churches that did not receive a grant in the previous year.

Holy Moments: Light Resource

“Light” is an Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany resource provided by Practical Resources for Churches (PRC), an ecumenical resource center. Through a partnership between the Michigan Conference and PRC, all Michigan United Methodist churches can access the downloadable resources at no cost.

“Light” is designed for families and congregations and offers various materials to enhance worship and ministry during the Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany seasons. Michigan United Methodist churches can preview samples of “Light” on the PRC website and request the resource through a form, without the need for a purchase.


pictureAdvent is an intergenerational, spirit-filled, invitational, and reflective approach to Advent. It provides daily devotions in the style of “Visio Divina” (Divine Seeing), inviting individuals to reflect on each day’s scripture through images, questions, and prayer.

This resource is a collaborative project of the Rio Texas, Great Plains, and Michigan Conferences of The United Methodist Church. Individuals can find #pictureAdvent on Facebook or sign up to receive each day’s devotion by email.


In conclusion, the Michigan Conference offers practical resources for faith formation, particularly during the Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany seasons. These resources include the Advent offering recipients, updated materials for children and families, grants for Advent and Christmas ministries, the “Light” resource from PRC, and the #pictureAdvent project.

By providing these resources, the Michigan Conference aims to support and empower individuals and congregations in their faith formation efforts. Faith formation is a lifelong journey, and these practical resources can make a significant impact on the spiritual growth of children, youth, and adults alike.