Members of the Learning Forte team continued our series of reflections at the end of Day 2 of the Forma Conference.
From Jenn Baker (Consultant, Integrated Learning):
The second half of Day 2 offered opportunities to think about Letting Go. In a session called “Discerning a Path Forward: Hybrid Faith Formation in Your Context,” Hannah Graham and Tania Schramm of the Learning Forte team offered a process for and real examples of reflecting on ministry, defining goals, and discerning what can be honored and let go.
There were some great reminders for approaching reflection without judgement—judgement of yourself, participants, and the programs themselves—and that letting go of something well-loved that just doesn’t fit anymore is an opportunity to honor that past offering.
I also personally appreciated the reminder that change is challenging because it can remove us from our comfort zones. If we name that discomfort and move forward, we can listen with open hearts to what God is calling us to do. New ministries will likely look different, but the goal remains the same: supporting God’s work in the world.
Learn more from Hannah and Tania beginning January 28 by registering for our signature course Faith Formation in a Hybrid World.
From Matt O’Rear (Consultant, Organizational Development & Innovation):
Jamie Martin-Currie and Chad Brinkman introduced empathy and social justice resources developed by Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD).
Jamie shared that the lack of empathy among U.S. teens is problematic, with one in four teens reporting that they have been bullied by their peers. The team at ERD has put together accessible tools for developing this essential interpersonal awareness among children, teens, and adults.
ERD has declared November 13 a “Day of Love,” an occasion to highlight the good deeds happening all around us and the common thread of love in our lives. Our team greatly admires the variety and quality of resources the organization has created to support our collective transformation into a world focused on love.
Episcopal Relief and Development has contracted with Learning Forte through our custom consulting process to help them document their recent campaign and develop media-rich tools to share with a larger audience.
Learning Forte is here to help a wide range of clients move their mission forward through unique projects. If you need help finding a solution, reach out to us.
From Kyle Oliver (Chief Product Officer):
When I attended Rev. Paige Alvarez Hanks’s session “Justice from the Ground Up,” I especially appreciated her very first point of emphasis.
She advised participants that the most important preparation leaders can undertake when engaging their congregations in anti-racism work is being ready to address the inevitable resistance. She reminded us that white supremacy is a self-perpetuating system, with many built-in defense mechanisms and foundational myths.
We spent some time talking about how these defenses tend to manifest in predominantly white congregations. Rev. Alvarez prepared us to address the situation lovingly but firmly through a grounding in scripture, other spiritual resources of our traditions, and fact-based social analysis. It was a clear-eyed and empowering way to begin the workshop.
Learning designers call this stage in the planning process an awareness of contextual realities. Whether creating a formation experience from scratch or adapting existing curriculum materials, the first thing we should do is ask questions about participants and their setting—including the opportunities and limitations we anticipate. This emphasis is “backwards” from focusing on the offering’s content or learning activities, the first step to which many of us understandably default.
If you’re preparing a formal or semi-formal learning experience in the days ahead and would like to work a design process curated by education and change experts and receive feedback from facilitators and peers, register for our signature course Design + Deliver: Intensive on Teaching Online and Hybrid Courses. It begins February 7 with Learning Forte founder Stacy Williams-Duncan and myself.
Can’t join us for a facilitated course this spring? Want to first dip your toe into the world of research-based digital teaching practices? We also offer Design + Deliver: Foundations, an on-demand introduction to eight proven concepts and approaches.
Want to know more about Learning Forte? Start with our Work page to learn more about our clients and offerings.