Circle of Congregations

The Circle of Congregations for Teaching and Learning is a project of the Church Services division of All Belong that is supported by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. It is a cohort of congregations from around the U.S. already using innovative practices to include people of all abilities. Each congregation is participating in the following ways:

  • Two representatives from each congregation attend a 2 1/2 day consultation event in Grand Rapids, MI filled with networking, training, inspiration, and discussion.
  • Each congregation commits to learning with and from one another throughout 12 months. Engagement in the Circle of Congregations consists of:
    • Partner membership with All Belong. This provides access to All Belong’s Member resource library as well as the Together curriculum for use within the participating congregation. Member partners also benefit from training, consulting, and other support from All Belong.
    • Interest groups where a focus topic unites discussion and innovation, leading to the group compiling and creating resources in that topic area (such as those featured on this page, below).
    • Presentations and resources provided by All Belong on specific topics at the fall events and online throughout the year.
    • Sharing best practices for building belonging for people of all abilities. This sharing begins with one another at the fall gathering in Grand Rapids and continues through online opportunities, conferences, and other platforms beyond this Circle.

Each congregation comes with a unique perspective, background, cultural experience, and setting. This fills the circle with richness. It is our hope that this circle fuels the innovative inclusion of persons of all abilities in congregations everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out the story behind this sermon series and the 10 Dimensions of belonging in this blog post, “Inspired by Belonging: A Sermon Series” and this interview with CICW “Moving from Inclusion to Belonging”.

For more insight on how and why to use this sermon series, see this article, “Sermon Series and Study Guide on Belonging for All Abilities”.

Utilize this sermon series in your congregation, with your youth group, or in another setting. We’d love to know what you used, how it went, and what you added!

The series is available in a set of web pages so you can explore the overview and see each sermon outline along with accompanying resources and ideas:

a graphic in blue with the words "the family table the plae we all belong" and an image of a tableClick on the image to go to the series landing page.

To download or print the entire sermon series in one document, click here.

This resource is in development.

Thanks for your patience as we develop it.

Here is our Spotify list of songs used in this event.

We are working to provide custom recordings of these songs, with ASL signing, activities, and much more!

This resource is in development.

Thanks for your patience with us!

This resource is in development.

While it is being polished for public use, see our guide to Best Practices for Building Belonging in Congregations!

This series is designed to be a 7-week educational opportunity. This is a great way to bring in community experts as well as allow someone in your congregation to share a personal experience, all within the context of your community learning together how to better support mental health and those who have mental health challenges.

These sessions are engaging for people with varying abilities with video, conversation, discussion, prayer, and handouts. If you would like to talk with one of our consultants about adapting this for people with specific needs, please reach out to us at vwhite@allbelong.org.

Download the PDF of the entire series here.

This sample flier can be used as a template for hosting the series at your church.

The series will be available as a set of web pages (similar to the sermon series on belonging) soon!