Vermont Conference, UCC
Christian Education (CE) E-LINK

September, 2011  
Vol. 3, No. 1

For Pastors - Christian Educators - Teachers - Superintendents -
Youth Leaders - Parents -
All Who Care About Our Kids and Our Youth and Our Adults

In this Issue:

If worship is the heartbeat of a congregation, then Christian Education is the church's soul - and together worship and education cause hands and feet and voices to reach out and help build God's Kingdom here on earth.
So this newsletter is about SOUL WORK.  It includes ideas, resources, articles, stories, information, inspiration and opportunities.  We invite your suggestions, your ideas, your stories, resources you've found helpful.
Please send your ideas and suggestions to

Rev. Pam Lucas
Associate Conference Minister

MainCommunities of Practice for Christian EducatorsCOP
by Laurie Chipman, Church School Director, First Congregational Church of Essex Jct.

Did you know that Vermont has Community of Practice Groups for new pastors, settled pastors and Christian Educators? Currently we have only one group in the Burlington/Essex Junction/Charlotte/Underhill area that supports Christian Educators. The pastors groups have been going for a couple of years, but this is the first year for a CE group. It is very exciting! This is a great support group for someone who is leading Christian Education programs at local church level, whether a volunteer or a paid staff person.


As the Partner in Education Representative for the Champlain Association, I was asked if I would be willing to go through the training to lead such a group. I welcomed the opportunity to help and grow a support group for CE educators, for I knew the need existed. I reached out through our connections to the local churches looking for interested people doing CE work in their church. In September of 2010 I began leading this group of eight from different sized churches and CE programs. We meet once a month for an hour and a half and begin every gathering with devotions. We've shared ideas of how we are doing CE, our highs and lows of ministry.   This Community of Practice group holds confidentiality and supports each other physically, emotionally and spiritually. This group finds the networking and collaboration very important and would recommend it whether you are just getting started in CE or have been involved for years.


If you would like to be a part of a CE Community of Practice group in your area or know someone who would benefit from such a group, please connect with Rev. Pam Lucas at the conference office (

Contact Laurie at:

[Note:  Thanks to Laurie for contributing this article.  If you have a newsletter article to share with the wider Vermont Conference CE audience, please sent it to Sybil McShane, Communications/Resource Coordinator at Thanks!]

TwoNEAUCE Turns 40
by Julianne Nickerson, Christian Education Director. United Church of Underhill

The New England Association for United Church Educators (NEAUCE) turned 40 this past May and it was quite the celebration! I am Julianne Nickerson, Christian Education Director at United Church of Underhill and first timer at NEAUCE. The conference offered me a time of learning, reflection and worship. Celia Whitler was the keynote speaker, worship leader and music inspiration. She offered worship with creativity and even pushed the limits of comfort as we passed the peace telling each other "You are Amazing," how we love each "like chicken" or with no words at all just a looking in each other's eyes. Her stories of faith were then reflected in her songs like "Hope Alive in Me" to help us carry forth our own faith stories.


The workshops were full of ideas and supports for Christian education (CE) in our churches. People who are new to CE and those who have been doing it a long time all can find creative new ideas to fit the church. It was also interesting the broad scope of small rural churches and large city churches serving 100's of children. Regardless of size and location we all learned from each other and shared ideas on how to spread God's word to the communities we are in. I found learning about curriculums to be so helpful even when I was not sure if I would use that resource or not. Also creative ideas of making worship engaging for children and adults- making prayer beads or flowing streamers was fun and relaxing for me. The day was not so jam packed because there were choices. People could learn hands on creative projects, meditate on the beach, in a labyrinth or just talk with a new or old friend with the same passion for CE. The evenings celebrated the 40 years of NEAUCE supporting Christian educators!

Each year there is state representative that helps make sure others know about NEAUCE and help with planning for the next conference. I have offered to be a part of this. Vermont is well represented with Christian educators Nancy Fowler as conference registrar and Laurie Chipman as the treasurer. I chose to participate in the planning after only attending once because I thought it was such a wonderful event and I wanted to be sure to help spread the word. In my past work I was a conference planner and I thought if I can offer these gifts to this group, why not? Vermont had a presence at the conference this past year with about 20 pastors and Christian Educators.

I hope next year even more folks will make their way to Cape Cod, Craigville, MA May 8, 9, and 10, 2012 for a wonderful chance to rejuvenated and grow in their own faith journey as well as those they serve. Watch for more details in information in the following months. Plan now for 2012; contact me if you have questions

OneThe KERYGMA Program

Bible Study for Adults 


Kerygma (Greek: κήρυγμα, kérugma) -  proclamation, announcement, preaching of the Gospel

There are now over 30 Kerygma studies in print ranging from year long full Bible courses, to shorter studies of four to fourteen weeks with a focus on single books of the Bible or familiar portions of Scripture and the Conference Resource Center owns virtually all the them.


Kerygma is an ideal match for congregations that want to increase adult biblical literacy but are looking for an educational approach that can be characterized as "come and discover" rather than "come and we'll teach you something."


Because Scripture is allowed to speak for itself, Kerygma studies are not doctrinaire. They are currently used by over a dozen denominations.

Kerygma studies are intentionally written to avoid any slant or bias. They are designed to offer a guided reading of the Scriptures taking seriously the best information on study and educational methods. They do reflect a "Reformed" perspective.   


Kerygma materials consist of a Leader's Guide and a Resource Book, and for newer studies, also a CD/DVD with background from the author.  The Resource Center has one copy of each Leader's Guide and Resource Book (and CD if applicable).


For a Q & A about the Kerygma studies, visit the UCC Partners in Education website.   For more information on the studies visit the Kerygma website

For a listing of Kerygma studies in the Conference Resource Center, click here.   


To borrow any of the Kerygma titles, email: or call Sybil McShane at 802-728-4999.    


ThreeNew AUCE Resource


Announcing AUCE's newest online resource: Called To Educational and Formational Ministries: A Guide for Local Churches, Educators, and Youth Workers.


What's in it?

  • Help to determine the type of educator or youth worker a local church needs
  • Education and experience guidelines
  • Where and how to find educators & youth workers
  • Resumes, the Ministerial Profile, position & job descriptions, contracts, and more
  • Compensation guidelines for lay and authorized educators and youth workers
  • How to support and evaluate your Christian education/formation staff person
  • And much more!

This Guide will be your primary source of information regarding educational/formational ministries in the UCC for doing God's mission through the transformative power of these ministries.

Click here to view and download "The Guide."

FourMISSION: 1 - 11.1.11-11.11.11

Resources & Activities


Mission: 1 is the UCC's shared mission for 11 powerful days (November 1-11, 2011) to feed the hungry and confront food-related injustice. More general information may be found by clicking here.

Christian Education resources that can be use with Mission: 1 include:

Feeding 5000Heifer International's Feeding 5,000 curriculum provides provides one-hour-long workshops in Art, Drama, Geography, Make Your Own Video, Movement/Games, Photography, Puppetry, Science and Storytelling.   
The materials are available free on-line. Download Heifer's Feeding 5,000 curriculum at:

The Presbyterian Hunger Program's Just Eating?  Practicing our Faith at Table helps young people better understand the relationship between our faith and our food. The curriculum includes fun activities, Bible stories and illustrations in story, song and screen that will challenge teenagers to think about food and our faith in new ways. Just Eating? is available as a curriculum for middle school, high school and adult groups groups.

The materials are available free on-line at the Presbyterian Church (USA) website.

Click here for a listing of hunger activities for all ages and settings from the Faith Practices resources.

If you need assistance with any of these resources, contact the Conference Resource Center at


EventsChristian Education Events

For Clergy . . .

LearnFall/Winter 2011-12 Seminars - Enroll now in one of Andover Newton's on-line seminars to grow in your faithfulness and effectiveness as a leader. You can do it from your own home, on your own time.  For a listing of Fall/Winter Seminars or to register go to the LEARN website or contact Jeff Jones, Director of Distance Learning at

Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry - Save the DateApril 23 -26, 2012, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ. Complete details coming soon.
Registration will open in October, 2011. Check for updates.     

For Christian Educators . . . 

Godly Playy Play Training Opportunities  
Click here for information about Godly Play Training opportunities in the Northeast.  


NEAUCE LogoSave the Date - NEAUCE (New England Association of United Church Educators) 41th Annual Conference on Christian Education

When:  May 8-10, 2012
Where:  Craigville, MA


For Youth . . .

National Youth Event (NYE) 2012

When:  July 10- 13, 2012
Where: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

The National Youth Event, held every four years, provides an opportunity for over 3000 youth (ages 13 to 18) to gather for worship, workshops, faith, fun and fellowship. It is planned by the collaborative efforts of national staff and an NYE Planning Committee comprised of a diverse group of UCC youth and young adults.


Registration opens November 7, 2011.

Check this website for updates:

Please spread the word about this newsletter: Forward to a Friend.
To subscribe to the newsletter, click here:
Join our mail list.
Don't miss our other newsletters!
If you enjoy this Emailing don't miss out on our other free e-newsletters. Whether you are involved in Christian Education, Stewardship or are just looking to keep up-to-date about what's happening around the Conference, we have a newsletter for you.
Did you know . . .

Your OCWM (Our Church's Wider Mission) contribution to the VT Conference makes this email newsletter and the numerous programs described herein available to you and your church.
Have you considered remembering the Vermont Conference in your will? You could leave a lasting legacy which would support the good works of the Conference and our churches.

Vermont Conference, UCC | 36 N Main St | Randolph | VT | 05060