WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools has been working with teachers and other school leaders to help navigate the quickly-changing landscape of education during COVID-19. WELS schools are still committed to providing a strong Christian education for their students. New schools are even continuing to open. Pictured are teachers from Divine Savior Academy–Santa Rita Ranch, Liberty Hill, Texas, on the first day of this new school in August 2020.
Website offers resources and training modules
WELS Congregational Services offers resources and training modules for congregations at welscongregationalservices.net. This year, new resources include:
- Congregational Evangelism Kit: Video-based training for congregational evangelism leaders to ensure that a congregation has a solid foundation to reach the lost in its community.
- Youth ministry made simple: Video and print resources that offer straightforward tips for starting an effective yet simple youth ministry.
- C20—The greatest gift: This Christmas outreach program provides materials for congregations to invite neighbors to Christmas Eve services.
- Acoustics and audio for worship: Learn what factors need to be considered when creating a worship environment that enhances the spoken word and allows for dynamic singing as well as takes into consideration those who need hearing assistance.
- COVID-19—For such a time as this: Articles and resources to assist pastors and congregations as they serve their members and communities during the pandemic. A follow-up resource titled “Resuming worship in a pandemic” was also shared.
The Christian Service Members’ Handbook was developed by WELS Special Ministries, the Lutheran Military Support Group, and Northwestern Publishing House to help those in the military stay strong in their faith in places where a pastor or fellow believer might not be available. The book is divided into five sections—prayer, meditations and devotions, Scriptures, hymns, and the Small Catechism. Military members can receive this book—and other spiritual resources—for free by filling out a referral form at wels.net/refer.
Online faith-building resources grow
In 2020, WELS Discipleship began offering a variety of new resources to help members grow in their faith.
- Family devotions: Offered three times per week, these devotions coincide with the previous Sunday’s Bible readings. In addition to Scripture, each devotion includes a set of questions for different age groups, a prayer, and hymn verses that can be sung or spoken. They are available at wels.net/family-devotions.
- Marriage moments: This new series of videos explores one marriage thought per week as well as a question or exercise “for further thought”—all in two minutes or less. For more information or to subscribe, visit welscongregationalservices.net/marriage-moments.
- Youth Bible study—Focused living in Christ: Rev. Joel Russow has written a new four-part Bible study for teens based on Colossians 3:12-15 that includes video lessons. Find the study at wels.net/youth-ministry.
New hymnal resources introduced
A new website, christianworship.com, was launched in January 2020 to share details about the new Christian Worship hymnal. The site highlights features of the upcoming hymnal as well as the suite of resources that will accompany it. Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated new resource is Christian Worship: Service Builder, a powerful software tool that will save worship planners and staff members considerable time as they design worship services. Visit christianworship.com to watch videos and learn more about the new hymnal and the many new resources that will complement it.
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