With hope and resilience

Resources for prayer and worship

Hands on a book of PsalmsBelow are materials suggested by members of our learning community to help us to be grounded in and sustained through God’s love, compassion and unfailing presence during the global COVID-19 outbreak. These materials are for people both within and beyond our community. Visit our submissions page for details on how to send a resource for consideration.

Resources by category

Ethics

Music and video 

Pastoral care Praying Preaching
Poetry Spiritual formation Trauma resources Worship Youth

Ethics

 

PODCAST: Ethical considerations during the coronavirus pandemic (Episode 7)

Listen in as Joann Hunsberger interviews Rev. Dr. Joseph J. Kotva, Jr., an Anabaptist bioethicist, as they discuss some of the ethical conundrums related to patient care and provider protections during the coronavirus pandemic. Joe (a former AMBS faculty member) is ordained in the Mennonite Church and currently co-directs the ethics program at the Indiana University School of Medicine in South Bend.

Also referenced in the podcast is AMBS Sessional Faculty member Daniel Schrock, D.Min. Attention is given to considerations about holding church in the months to come.

For a better listening experience, access the podcast by searching for “MennoHealth” on your podcast app. (Added Friday, April 17, 2020)

From Beverly Lapp, Ed.D., Vice President and Academic Dean

Music and video

 

SONG: "On the Emmaus Road"

In response to various requests, here is a video of my "On the Emmaus Road" song that can be used in online worship. I recorded it as though I was visiting a church and teaching, singing and/or leading the song as I would in a special "children's story" time. 

I gladly give permission to use this and/or my other songs for one-time congregational worship (including zoom, live-streams, and pre-recorded and posted on YouTube). If you would like to make ongoing use of this or another song (any use beyond a one-time use), visit the Small Tall Ministries church music licenses webpage, and consider going through the simple process to acquire a "license" for your congregation. (Added Tuesday, April 21, 2020)

From Bryan Moyer Suderman of Kitchener, Ontario, M.T.S., Advancement Associate for Canada and Teaching Associate of the Church Leadership Center

RedeemTV.com

I’ve been working with Christian History Institute, a small nonprofit my grandfather started that provides accessible educational resources about Christian history. Just recently, we’ve launched a free online streaming service with Christian content called RedeemTV.com. It is totally free without ads, running on a donation basis. I hope this new resource will be a blessing to you and your family if you’re looking for things to watch while at home. (Added Friday, April 17, 2020)

From Michelle Curtis, Master of Divinity 2018, originally of Lansdale, Pennsylvania

Online family singalongs

I have started doing short online family singalong times via Facebook Live on my SmallTall Ministries Facebook page, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:23pm EDT. This is meant to be an encouragement and a resource for families and communities during this "stay-at-home" time. After each "live" experience, videos remain posted on the SmallTall Ministries Facebook page, so they can be viewed any time (including by people who do not have a Facebook account). Past episodes can also be found here(Added Tuesday, March 24, 2020)

From Bryan Moyer Suderman of Kitchener, Ontario, M.T.S., Advancement Associate for Canada and Teaching Associate of the Church Leadership Center

PLAYLIST: Songs of hope for a time of pandemic

With the coronavirus spreading and normal activities being shut down, here are some songs that we can use as prayers for the healing of those who have been affected, and to keep fear from overwhelming us. (Added Friday, March 20, 2020)

From Janeen Bertsche Johnson, M.Div., Director of Campus Ministries; Admissions Associate; Alumni Director; Instructor
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Pastoral care for the congregation

 

Membership at Keller Park Church (working document)

Keller Park Church, where I am teaching pastor, is using this time without corporate gatherings to do some intentional reflection on our identity. I have created a working document on membership, and my co-pastor, worship director and I are offering daily reflections on each of our central convictions (found on page 4). Each daily reflection also serves as a way of centering ourselves on Jesus and the kingdom during this time of uncertainty. If this document can help other pastors, churches or individuals during this time, I'm happy to share it! (Added Friday, March 20, 2020)

From David C. Cramer, Ph.D., Managing Editor of the Institute of Mennonite Studies; Sessional Instructor at AMBS; and Teaching Pastor at Keller Park Church

10 guidelines for pastoral care during the coronavirus outbreak: How can we accompany people through this valley of anxiety, fear, and death?

By Eileen R. Campbell-Reed | Christian Century | posted March 10, 2020

I thought this was a good article (albeit I may be a bit biased as a pastor’s spouse). (Added Friday, March 20, 2020)

From Cheryl Zehr, M.A., Executive Assistant for the Church Leadership Center
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Praying

 

Rejoice! A Time Such As This: Reflections on COVID-19

Rejoice! daily devotional editor Leslie Hawthorne Klinger invited writers to contribute to a special edition titled A Time Such as This. Some 56 heartfelt devotionals poured in, connecting us to one another. We hope that these devotionals offer you comfort, hope, peace and prayerful reflection during this very stressful time.

This resource is entirely volunteer created and open source. If you want to use sections of it, please add, “First published in A Time Such As This, a special publication of Rejoice!, MennoMedia, March 2020.” A number of AMBS alumni contributed to this resource. (Added Friday, April 17, 2020)

From Malinda Elizabeth Berry, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics

BLOG: The Pen of My Prayers: See(k)ing solace in the everyday

I would humbly submit my blog as a resource as I continue to reflect on finding peace in the everyday, particularly during this time. (Added Monday, April 13, 2020)

From Keith M. Lyndaker, friend of AMBS from the Washington, DC, area

VIDEO: Embodied Affirmation

Here is an embodied affirmation adapted (through many layers!) from a STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience from Eastern Mennonite University) resource that a friend of a friend learned maybe 10 years ago. The video is unlisted but is available for viewing and sharing using the video link. You can also download this written version(Added Friday, March 27, 2020)

From Rachel Miller Jacobs, D.Min., Associate Professor of Congregational Formation

ZOOM: Praying the Anabaptist Prayer App together online. Meets 8:30 a.m. Central Time Monday through Friday

A group of Mennonite pastors has created the Anabaptist Prayer Project, an online gathering to say morning prayers together using the Anabaptist Prayer App. The group, which is open to anyone, meets at 8:30 a.m. Central Time Monday through Friday via Zoom (and can also be found on Facebook). Each prayer session is recorded and posted to the Anabaptist Prayer Project YouTube channel.

Asia Frye, a 2017 AMBS MDiv graduate and a minister at Mennonite Church of the Servant in Wichita, Kansas, started the project. Also providing leadership are Scott Litwiller, a 2019 AMBS MDiv graduate, and Christina Manero, co-pastors of Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church in Wichita; and Melissa Florer-Bixler of Raleigh (North Carolina) Mennonite Church. (Added Friday, March 27, 2020)

From David C. Cramer, Ph.D., Managing Editor of the Institute of Mennonite Studies; Sessional Instructor at AMBS; and Teaching Pastor at Keller Park Church

A Prayer for Mercy

A resource for our spiritual care during these days written by Carmen Schrock-Hurst (M.A.: Theological Studies 1996) of Eastern Mennonite Seminary, March 10, 2020. (Added Monday, March 23, 2020)

From Janeen Bertsche Johnson, M.Div., Director of Campus Ministries; Admissions Associate; Alumni Director; Instructor

Prayer for a Pandemic (A Prayer for the World’s Most Vulnerable)

My friend Rev. Anke Flohr — Executive Director of Pacific Health Ministry — sent me this prayer that we might consider making our own and sharing with others as well. Prayer by Cameron Wiggins Bellm, Ph.D. (Added Monday, March 23, 2020)

From Daniel Schipani, Dr.Psy., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Care and Counseling

Meditation Monday — Soul Care for a Chaotic COVID 19 Filled Lent

Excellent resources for your prayer life during these days of uncertainty. (Added Monday, March 23, 2020)

From Janeen Bertsche Johnson, M.Div., Director of Campus Ministries; Admissions Associate; Alumni Director; Instructor

APP: Anabaptist Prayer App

The free Anabaptist Prayer App from the Institute of Mennonite Studies and Herald Press provides an easy-to-use format and structure for praying individually or as a group — with prayers for all seasons of the church year. The morning and evening prayer services of Take Our Moments and Our Days are grounded in Scripture and include song suggestions and space for shared reflections on the texts. It’s available for both Apple and Android devices. (Added Friday, March 20, 2020)

From Nekeisha Alayna Alexis, M.A., Graphic Designer and Website Specialist; Intercultural Competence and Undoing Racism coordinator
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Preaching

 

WEBINAR: Preaching to the Screen: Sharing the Good News Online in the Age of COVID-19 
(Thursday, May 14, at 2 p.m. EDT. Registration required.)

Panelists are Bruxy Cavey, Meghan Larissa Good, Lesley Francisco McClendon, Josh Meyer, Osheta Moore, Brian Quan and Allan Rudy-Froese

Many pastors and church leaders are delivering sermons remotely for the first time, as in-person worship has become impossible due to COVID-19. How best can preachers foster meaningful encounters with the good news of Jesus, even as congregation and preacher are physically dispersed? MennoMedia’s Leader magazine is hosting a discussion with a panel of Anabaptist pastors and church leaders to unpack practical advice as well as theological considerations for effective online preaching. (Added Tuesday, May 12, 2020)

From Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, Ph.D., Dean of Lifelong Learning

AUDIO: Preachers Deaf and Blind, Servants of God the Creator

How can leaders sustain hope among the people they serve, even as they struggle with fear, hopelessness and exhaustion? Ben Ollenburger, Ph.D., Retired Professor of Biblical Theology, speaks directly with bold encouragement to pastors and leaders — those who have unique roles as “servants of the Lord” but can feel overwhelmed and inadequate. Delivered two years ago at “For Such a Time as This,” the Pastors and Leaders 2018 conference, this message is also for a time of pandemic. (Added Friday, March 20, 2020)

From Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, Ph.D., Dean of Lifelong Learning

AUDIO: Be Still and Know that I am God

Rebecca Slough, Ph.D., former AMBS Vice President and Academic Dean, presented “Be Still — Know I Am God,” at the Pastors and Leaders 2018 conference. Using compelling personal testimony and song, she shared the “roots” that help her to lead in times of anxiety. Songs have been removed in light of copyright restrictions, but song titles are included. (Added Friday, March 20, 2020)

From Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, Ph.D., Dean of Lifelong Learning
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Poetry

 

Pandemic Lament

Original poetry. Written March 20, 2020 (Added Tuesday, March 24, 2020)

From Joyce Peachey Lind, an MDiv Connect student from Harrisonburg, Virginia

T O G E T H E R • W E • C A N • S T A N D • A G A I N S T • C O V I D 1 9

Original poetry. Written March 16, 2020 (Added Friday, March 20, 2020)

From Andi O. Santoso, an MA: Theology and Peace Studies student from Surabaya, Indonesia
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Spiritual Formation

 

Soul Care Conversations: Podcasts about the critical times we face

Two of our members, Jimm and Kaylene Derksen from Sunnyside, are part of a Soul Care Ministry that is providing some excellent resources for resilience in the midst of a pandemic. They were trained through the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) program of Eastern Mennonite University. The Derksens and their colleagues are releasing two podcasts per week (on Tuesdays and Fridays) to address the issues we each may face during these times. (Added Tuesday, April 21, 2020)

From Joshua Jefferson, lead pastor at Sunnyside Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a friend of AMBS

Resources for spiritual formation while keeping social distance

(Added, Monday, April 13, 2020)

From Joshua Jefferson, lead pastor at Sunnyside Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a friend of AMBS

“Staying Connected + Staying Safe”

In response to the pandemic, MennoMedia is sending weekly resource emails on Wednesdays with free content for congregations. They contain:

  • Adult Bible Study materials
  • Rejoice! daily devotional for the week (PDF)
  • Beyond Our Fears curriculum download
  • Take Our Moments and Our Days weekly prayer download (PDF)
  • Shine Children’s Sunday School curriculum downloads and online resources
  • Other free online resources that change from week to week (such as pertinent Leader articles and free chapters from Herald Press books)

Subscribe at bit.ly/MennoSubscribe 

Also, the Rejoice! daily devotional is posted each morning on MennoMedia’s Facebook page. A free downloadable/streaming Voices Together song and prayer resource is available here.

From Bethany Yoder of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a student in AMBS’s Journey Missional Leadership Development Program who attends Sermon on the Mount Mennonite Church in Sioux Falls

Examen for Life During COVID-19 | Voices for Justice, Ignatian Solidarity Network

We can practice classic spiritual disciplines (like the examination of consciousness from the Ignatian Solidarity Network posted here) alone or with others either in our households or through digital technology. (Added Monday, March 23, 2020)

From Rachel Miller Jacobs, D.Min., Associate Professor of Congregational Formation
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Trauma Resources

 

Resiliency in the Time of Coronavirus: A Toolkit for Leaning Into Our Anxiety and Trauma

I have compiled a toolkit addressing trauma healing and resiliency, written specifically with COVID-19 in mind. The toolkit is framed by trauma-aware peacebuilding for everyday folk, in which our pain becomes a catalyst for creating change and working for peace — drawing from a lot of things I worked on for my MA: Theology and Peace Studies degree. (Added Monday, March 30, 2020)

From Peter Anderson, a 2019 MA: Theology and Peace Studies graduate of AMBS. Peter is now living in the Twin Cities, where he and his spouse, Liz, are engaged in spiritual exploration, peacemaking and community building.
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Worship

 

Call to Worship

Here is a Call to Worship that I wrote for this past Sunday when our congregation met over Zoom. (Added Monday, April 13, 2020)

Leader: Jesus taught us to love, and he said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
ALL: We are two. We are three. We are one.
Leader: Jesus healed the sick, and he said that where any number are gathered …
ALL: We are four. We are five. We are one.
Leader: Jesus called the world to work for justice.
ALL: We are thousands. We are millions. We are one.
Leader: Jesus came to show us that we are not alone.
ALL: We are together. We are connected. We are one.

From Matthew Bailey-Dick, a 2003 MA: Peace Studies graduate of Waterloo, Ontario, who attends Erb Street Mennonite in Waterloo

Holy Week and Easter Season
 

Good Friday Reflection 2020

I developed this reflection guide for my congregation to follow from home. It is intended to work for someone alone, a pair, or a household or family with children. People will use it any time during the day and then we’ll have communion "together" on Zoom in the evening (and share our experiences). The communion liturgy is from the March 31 Good Friday and Easter Planning AMBS webinar. (Added Tuesday, April 7, 2020)

From Alissa Bender, Master of Divinity 2007 and pastor at Hamilton (Ontario) Mennonite Church

Anabaptist Prayer Book: Alternative readings for Holy Week using John’s Gospel

These morning and evening prayer services for Holy Week — created in the style of the Anabaptist prayer book Take Our Moments and Our Days — were drafted by John D. Rempel, Th.D., Retired Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies and one of the prayer book editors, after the books were published. The prayer book services in the published volume use the passion narrative from Luke’s Gospel; these alternative services use the narrative from John’s Gospel. Want to print a copy? Download that version here(Added Tuesday, April 7, 2020)

From Barbara Nelson Gingerich, A.M. in Divinity, who retired in 2018 as Managing Editor of the Institute of Mennonite Studies, AMBS’s research agency

Holy Week at Home: A Building Faith Resource

Here's a resource I created for a website I do content for. It’s free for all; use however you wish! (Added Tuesday, April 7, 2020)

Easter Season at Home: A Building Faith Resource

The Easter packet takes you from Easter through Pentecost with simple practices that are geared for all ages. Feel free to share it or use it however you find helpful. (Added Tuesday, April 14, 2020)

From Talashia Keim Yoder, an MA in Christian Formation student from Goshen, Indiana, and a pastor at College Mennonite Church in Goshen

WEBINAR: Planning Easter and Good Friday worship: Fostering meaningful interactions while physically separate

This AMBS webinar explores ways to create engagement and ritual action in online Good Friday and Easter services that encourage worshipers to connect with God and one another with their whole selves, even at a distance. (Added Tuesday, March 31, 2020)

From Rebecca Slough, Ph.D., Academic Dean Emerita and Professor Emerita of Worship and the Arts; Michelle Curtis, Master of Divinity 2018; Melissa Atchison, Master of Divinity Connect student; Deb Coates, Master of Divinity Connect student; Joyce Peachey Lind, Master of Divinity Connect student
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Youth

 

PODCAST: Lament in the Bible (Covid Sabbath – Episode 8)

In this interview, I share about the role of lament in the Bible, how it shapes our relationship with God, and how we can use it now. Lament is about having an honest relationship with God. Three steps in Biblical Lament: 1. Cry out and complain to God. 2. Remember God's goodness in the past. 3. Praise God. Covid Sabbath is produced by Daniel Yoder, pastor of Christian formation – youth at College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana, and sent to junior and senior high youth and their parents. Listen to all the episodes on Anchor. (Added Thursday, April 9, 2020)

From Bob Yoder, D.Min., Advancement Associate
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