A few months ago Victoria Hoppes invited me to join the Faith @ Home community by writing short reflections on lectionary texts to help adults teach the stories to young children. The idea of bringing connecting scripture that’s heard in church to the family home sounded familiar. Faith @ Home does for the Revised Common Lectionary what Grow Christians does for Feast Days and Commemorations. I wanted to learn more about Faith @ Home’s history, hear how folks use it, and see what the future holds for this valuable resource within the Episcopal Church. I chatted with Faith @ Home’s editor, Victoria Hoppes to get all the details.
Allison Sandlin Liles: Alright, Victoria, how do you describe Faith @ Home to people?
Victoria Hoppes: Faith @ Home is a resource that seeks to provide families with a framework for talking about faith at home. Faith @ Home invites families of all makeups, shapes and sizes to make faith conversations a part of everyday life by reading, reflecting, and responding together to texts from the Revised Common Lectionary. During Lent 2019, we also released a special series of devotions inspired by the practices found in the Way of Love.
Faith @ Home is a free resource, sent weekly by email. Each week’s email includes four devotions—each devotion written for a different age group—that invite family and friends to connect to scripture by using the mind (reading), heart (reflection), and body (response). Our writers come from diverse backgrounds: clergy and lay, parents, Christian educators, authors and bloggers, and other voices in the Church. Each writer has a different story to tell.
ASL: What led to its creation?
VH: Faith @ Home is really the brainchild of Jerusalem Greer. She came to Forma‘s Executive Director Bill Campbell with an idea of something we should try for the Good Book Club. It caught on quickly and seemed like just the sort of thing Forma could continue to offer their members. It has grown in both scope and in use since then.
ASL: How can folks access Faith @ Home?
VH: By visiting our website at www.dofaithathome.org. On the front page of the website you can subscribe to receive the devotions weekly by email or read them straight from the website. Archives of past devotions are also available on the website.
ASL: What are the different ways people are using the Faith @ Home lectionary-based reflections?
VH: The most common way Faith @ Home is used is by sharing the content with families on a weekly basis. Each weekly email includes a downloadable PDF of that week’s devotions, so it is easy to print and distribute content regularly. However, there are so many other ways in which this resource can be used! The devotions have also been used as conversation starters and devotions for youth groups and adult formation classes, or as inspiration for children’s sermons or children’s chapel programming.
ASL: Are there any particular stories of how the reflections have been incorporated into family life or parish life that surprised you?
VH: I am amazed at how broad our reach has become! When Faith @ Home first launched, we were sending emails to a small number of people; mostly Forma members. Now, our list has grown and we send the devotions to parents, clergy, Christian formation leaders, youth workers… even bishops! I’m also amazed at how this resource is being used beyond the Episcopal Church; we have followers in other denominations. We have the ability to reach a wide audience with the gospel, and I think this is amazing and special.
ASL: That sounds incredible, Victoria. People are hungry for this sort of formation education. So, what’s next for Faith @ Home?
VH: Faith @ Home was created and is still a resource developed by Forma. In early 2019, Forma and Forward Movement entered into a partnership with Faith @ Home. As co-collaborators in this ministry, Forward Movement and Forma have shared resources, writers, and content in order to reach as many families as possible with this resource.
We are working on new branding and marketing materials to share Faith @ Home to a larger audience. We are assessing our content to make sure it is serving its purpose in the Church. We are also slightly adjusting our emails, introducing some new themes, and adjusting some devotion formats starting in January 2020. There is a lot to look forward to in the coming months!
ASL: It sure sounds like it and I hope you’ll keep us posted as these new themes and formats become available. Thank you for taking time to talk with me and share your ministry with our Grow Christians community!