Rhythms of Grace

Worship and Faith-Formation For Children

Audrey Scanlan & Linda Snyder

Jul/2010, 140 Pages, PAPERBACK, 8.5 x 11

ISBN-13: 9781606740552

Rhythms of Grace is a unique and innovative program resource designed to meet the spiritual needs of children and families living with autismspectrum disorders. Participant families gather monthly with program leaders and volunteers for sessions that are a hybrid of worship and faith formation. Rhythms of Grace helps children and their families feel at the center of a worship/formation experience that is specific to their needs and circumstances, rather than merely at the margins of a more conventionally “inclusive” program of worship or faith formation.

Rhythms of Grace consists of scripture-based session plans, as well as the supporting material needed to establish a successful program. The program includes 12 monthly sessions (Sept. to Aug.) and 6 feast sessions, plus background material.

The Rhythms of Grace Program
To learn more about the Rhythms of Grace program that inspired the Rhythms of Grace resource, visit here: http://www.rhythms-of-grace.org/

 

Audrey Scanlan is co-founder and director of Rhythms of Grace at Church of Our Saviour in Plainville, Connecticut. She has a background in Christian formation and experience working with at-risk children.

Linda Snyder is co-founder and director of Rhythms of Grace at Trinity Episcopal Church in Torrington, Connecticut. In addition, she serves as missioner for children and adults in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

From Episcopal Teacher, Summer 2010

Rhythms of Grace, by Audrey Scanlan and Linda Snyder, is a Eucharist-centered, gospel-based learning experience for children with special needs, especially those on the autism spectrum. Developed in the Diocese of Connecticut, it is an innovative resource designed to meet the spiritual needs of children and families living with autism spectrum disorders.

Participant families gather monthly with program leaders and volunteers for sessions that are a hybrid of worship and faith formation. Rhythms of Grace helps children and their families feel at the center of a worship/formation experience that is specific to their needs and circumstances.

The Rhythms of Grace curriculum distinct scripture-based session plans for a three-year cycle, as well as the background material needed to establish a successful program. Each year of the program includes 12 monthly sessions and 6 feast sessions.

While the program was designed specifically to support children on the autism spectrum, the creators have encouraged children with other special needs to attend. The program began at Trinity Episcopal Church, Torrington, in 2003 by the curate, Audrey Scanlan, and Christian education director, Linda Snyder. It spread to additional churches in Connecticut and other dioceses in the intervening years.

The program is described as “a church experience for those who don’t feel comfortable in a traditional worship setting.” It invites families to come one Sunday afternoon each month “to hear a Bible story, interact in therapeutic arts and crafts projects and share communion in a child-friendly environment.”

The authors note that Rhythms of Grace takes a full-bodied approach to worship and faith formation: “full-bodied in the sense of engaging children from the top of their heads to the tips of their toes; full-bodied in the sense of inviting lively and involved participation from each person, and full-bodied in the sense of welcoming the whole community—the whole Body of Christ.”

Volume 1 contains a single year’s worth of session plans (18 sessions total), plus background material. Each session includes a theme, scripture passages, volunteer roles, and materials for each segment of the program. The information is presented in a graphically appealing format.

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