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Spend the year with Forward Movement

Spend the year with Forward Movement calendar GRAPHIC

Explore our offerings for every season of the church year

Each season of the year brings new opportunity to inspire your small group or congregation, or to find that inspiration on your own. We invite you to spend your program year with Forward Movement.

We’ve organized a 12-month path for you and your congregation to follow from fall discipleship courses through summer reading groups.  Take as little or as much as you need for your community.

View this as an interactive booklet:

Spend the year with Forward Movement


Autumn provides an excellent opportunity to grow and learn as a community.

It’s the perfect time of year to start one of our free discipleship courses: Exploring the Bible, Practicing Our Faith, or Celebrating the Saints. Each is designed for all-ages and comes with everything you’ll need to run the program, though you can purchase companion books if you’d like. Most content is available in both Spanish and English.

Living Discipleship Courses

Your church might also want to begin RenewalWorks, which helps churches discover and explore their unique characteristics and helps chart a path to focus on the spiritual growth of their community.

Grow Christians LogoLooking for ideas for children and families, or an inspiring community practicing faith? Grow Christians is our community blog focused on families practicing faith at home. With regular posts from a broad community of writers, this group blog inspires generations to come together as they celebrate the presence of God through the Christian year.

This is an excellent season to get your lay leaders refreshed through the Revive program, especially in this time of upheaval. You can run the complete course for the whole program year or do part of it this autumn.

Finally, if you offer a program for new members, you might find Transforming Questions helpful as a free course for new Christians and seekers.



Promise and Praise CoverA season to slow down and reflect on the gift of Jesus in our world, Advent is a powerful time to read a daily devotional with your congregation or small group.

Our newest Advent devotional, Promise & Praise, corresponds with AdventWord, a global community of prayer that invites people to read and respond to a single word each day. The words are drawn from the weekly scripture readings and prayerfully selected as a way to help us ready our hearts and our lives for the coming of the Christ child. Learn more about AdventWord finding a new home at Forward Movement.

2021 Advent CalendarAdvent calendars are a popular way of marking the season. Get your whole church involved with our popular poster Advent calendars, Slow Down! Quiet. It’s Advent.

With illustrations by Jay Sidebotham, these colorable posters suggest ways to mark the days through the Advent season; ideas for prayer, helping others, and being thoughtful about the true meaning of Christmas. They come in packs of 25 for easy bulk ordering for your entire congregation.

The start of the liturgical year is also a great time to introduce people to the habit of daily prayer through the Daily Office. You can pray it with our website or free app, individually or in groups. Visit the App Store or Google Play store to download the Forward Day by Day app.



We have books and devotionals that make excellent gifts for your loved ones, including gift subscriptions to Forward Day by Day.

As the calendar approaches the New Year, we also ask you to consider donating to our ministry that provides prayer resources to those in need. Click here to learn how you can help.

Twelve Days of Grace is a campaign on social media over the twelve days of the Christmas season to remind us that we’re grateful not just for presents under the tree, but for the gift of God’s love in Jesus Christ and in our own lives. Share your gratitude on social media with hashtag #graceupongrace every day of Christmastide!



The Good Book Club LogoWith partners from around the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion, Forward Movement celebrates the Epiphany season with a new round of the Good Book Club. Join people around the world in reading the Book of Exodus using free materials from our partners.

The second book of the Bible, Exodus recounts the journey of the Israelites from slavery to freedom. We hear the great stories of Moses, from his discovery by Pharoah’s daughter on the bank of the river to the burning bush to his presentation of the Ten Commandments. Along the way, we encounter God’s covenant and explore the grand theme of redemption.

This year, we have a bonus time of scripture engagement: the Good Book Club will dive into the first twenty chapters of Exodus from Epiphany, January 6, to Shrove Tuesday, March 1. For those who want to keep reading, we’ll offer a daily reading guide and an overview of the second half of Exodus. That reading period will conclude on Easter.

ChurchNext LogoThe new year may bring a renewed desire to deepen knowledge and spiritual disciplines. Our online courses from ChurchNext bring talented and passionate instructors directly to you. Courses cover a variety of subjects and are available for individuals or groups; from church leadership and finances to personal growth and holy habits, and everything in between.

Looking to take up a practice of daily prayer in the new year? We suggest starting with our website prayer.forwardmovement.org or downloading our app on the App Store or Google Play store. Both the website and app integrate our daily podcasts, making new spiritual practices more accessible than ever.



The Pilgrim Way of Lent CoverLent is a season to refocus our lives on Jesus. Churches might like to encourage their members to read a daily devotional, and Forward Movement has several from which to choose.

New for 2022, we are offering The Pilgrim Way of Lent, meditations by staff of the Washington National Cathedral.

The popular Join the Journey colorable calendar poster will help families remember their Lenten journey at home. Illustrated by Jay Sidebotham, the calendar calls to mind daily activities or reflections. (link coming soon)

Lent is a wonderful time to engage with scripture, and Forward Movement has many courses and books to help. During Lent, the Bible Challenge series might be especially timely. For congregations who traditionally offer Lenten programs, many of these can be adapted to work over the five weeks of Lent, whether your groups are meeting in person or online.

Lent Madness LogoFinally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Lent Madness, where online competition meets saintly devotion. Learn about saints, have some fun, and discover how Christ’s light shines through all kinds of people.



Holy Week

Walk In Love CoverFor those congregations who keep vigil with the Blessed Sacrament on Maundy Thursday, the free Holy Hour devotion could be useful.

If you are teaching about the liturgies and the meaning of Holy Week, Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs & Practices has several chapters that will help prepare people for this most important week of the year. The full book walks through the liturgical year, the sacraments of the church, habits of daily prayer, and the teachings of Anglican Christianity.



Easter Sunday might be the biggest Sunday of the year, but it’s also the beginning of a season that lasts 50 days. The 50days.org blog features a reflection every day of the Easter season.

Journey Through ActsLike Lent, Easter is a fitting time to dive into scripture. We hear from the Book of Acts on Sunday mornings, so why not use the A Journey Through Acts: A 50 Day Bible Challenge or Acts to Action?

We have several other 50-day Bible Challenge books, including all four gospels!


Season after Pentecost

This long green season sets our minds on flourishing. Grow Christians is blog for families who are raising children in the faith. You can encourage people to read and act on what they read to bring faith into homes.

Revive Logo

Similarly, this is another good time to consider Revive, a program to engage lay leaders and help them thrive.


Summer Reading

Book ideasWhy not organize a summer book group? Many of Forward Movement’s books come with reflection questions or free courses.

Check out some suggested titles that work well for individual and group reading.

Some of our books have a companion course from ChurchNext. Speaking of ChurchNext, churches can offer group courses or encourage individual exploration with our online Christian formation by video.


This is NOT Sunday School

Brought to you by ChurchNext and Forma.

Even if we can’t physically worship and learn together, we can still draw closer to Jesus Christ.

That’s the aim of a new learning experience called “This is NOT Sunday School.” This free, weekly online resource is intergenerational, making it a perfect tool for families and people of all ages.

“Being away from church doesn’t mean we can’t continue learning about God at home,” said Melissa Rau ECF’s Staff Liaison to Forma and co-organizer of This is NOT Sunday School, “This is a dynamic opportunity for families to grow together in faith, especially around this terrific, weekly offering.”

This is NOT Sunday School is coming from the Faith@Home team, which is a collaboration between Forma and Forward Movement to offer free Christian learning resources.

Free sessions of This is NOT Sunday School will launch weekly starting September 16, and you can sign up on the ChurchNext website today. Each week’s session features video teaching by a professional from the Christian formation network, Forma, as well as downloadable lessons and readings.

Sessions use Forward Movement’s Exploring the Bible curriculum, which includes many of the most famous stories in the Bible. It’s part of Forward Movement’s free Living Discipleship series for all children, youth, and adults, available in English and Spanish.

The sessions are hosted through the online learning platform of ChurchNext, a leader in offering online Christian formation. “We’re excited to develop and share this much-needed resource,” said Chris Yaw, founder of ChurchNext. “Families can pick the time and space that works for them to come together, learn about the Bible and one another, and draw closer to Jesus Christ.”

This is NOT Sunday School can be used at home by families or online with groups from congregations. Each session takes about one hour to complete and can be completed at a time convenient for individuals or groups. Some of the teachers for This is NOT Sunday School include Victoria Hoppes, Roger Hutchison, and Miriam McKenney.

You can learn more and sign up at ChurchNext.tv.

ChurchNext offers online Christian learning for individuals and groups, and is a ministry of Forward Movement. Forma is the network for Christian formation, a ministry of Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF). Faith@Home offers free Christian learning and discipleship resources and is a collaboration between Forward Movement and ECF.

Q&A on Instrument of Peace with Alan Yarborough

Last week, The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations and its Department of Faith Formation—along with ChurchNext, a ministry of Forward Movement—released Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse. This 5-week course was designed to help us bridge the divides that keep us from moving forward and offers effective strategies to bring people together. Today, we hear from Alan Yarborough, Church Relations Officer of the Office of Government Relations.

What inspired you to create this course?
The first inspiration is perhaps obvious: the U.S. has been experiencing growing divisiveness over political issues, and my faith calls me to work toward right relationship with others. Reflecting on my personal experience growing up in the Church, I remember multiple examples of how our Church has held people together in disagreement—from the tension over electing an openly gay bishop to maintaining a purple parish in a Southern college town. Generally, Episcopalians place great importance on both communion and intelligent reflection. So I asked myself, how can we leverage that to help our communities not just heal, but do better seeking justice.

The second source of inspiration comes from our work in the Office of Government Relations, where we are tasked with representing the Church’s policies. We carry out our work in a political reality in Washington, D.C. That reality has Republicans and Democrats, with members of Congress whose views span the political spectrum. Our own Church population has a range of political views as well, and many Episcopalians disagree passionately about political issues. Whenever we have very different views, we need to engage with people across political differences – to better understand them, to share our perspective, and to have an impact on shaping our country’s policy and legislation. We are at our best when we listen and respond to people who have a host of perspectives. In some ways, this curriculum is about sharing with the wider Church the gift that I’ve received being on staff in this office doing this work.

Why is it important?
Understanding different perspectives is healthy for the development of our own. Through civil discourse with one another, we can challenge our own understandings of what is and is not just, what is and is not right. We may change our views or we may not. We may learn how we have been blinded by privileges or we can share our own perspective to others who may not have heard it before. Civil discourse is a tool, or an instrument, that helps us build relationships with those who have different views than our own and helps us to avoid demonizing and de-humanizing them. Bringing our ideas together into a sacred space for discourse will give us the best chance to address the toughest problems in our communities.

What is the biggest misunderstanding about civil discourse?
The biggest misunderstanding about civil discourse is that it means nothing other than being polite or nice to people. However, we view it as the opposite in some ways! We think it means to care enough about someone to challenge them, but also to listen to them.

Civil discourse does not mean you must abandon your point of view. We also do not believe engaging in conversation to enhance understanding is about silencing others or is an excuse to water down or weaken one’s principles. The staff of the Office of Government Relations practice civil discourse all the time—we meet with lawmakers and policymakers who have different views than the positions of the Church. We are passionate and informed advocates about the issues we are speaking for the Church on, but we also do our best to listen, to understand opposing perspectives, and to bring that knowledge back to the Church. Also, civil discourse does not promise freedom from discomfort or protection from truth. Those who claim civil discourse as justification to silence voices are not practicing civil discourse—they’re just contributing to the further marginalization of others.

What is your hope for this course?
My hope for this course is to both raise the profile of civil discourse and help people become better equipped for it. It is not a media-worthy or glamorous way of sharing one’s views or seeking to understand others’ perspectives. Civil disobedience, public witnesses, marches, and protests—legitimate means of political engagement—often get more media coverage and attention, because that is the goal. Civil discourse is quieter. It is harder to help others understand the transformative impact it can have on our relationships. It is daily work – rooted in listening and understanding, humility and openness. We must reinforce our ability to have difficult conversations, expressing gratitude for the diversity of perspectives we can bring together if we try.

What was your favorite part of developing this course?
Bringing something positive into a climate that is so negatively charged. Again, it is not that civil conversations are happy and comfortable and always feel good. But I do believe that through more intentional interactions, with deeper listening, with more honest sharing, we will have a much better chance at reversing the trend of division. We may not come to more agreement, but we will be able to see those who disagree with us as our neighbors, fellow parishioners, and fellow humans.

What else would you like readers and participants to know?
In approaching this work, I want readers and participants to take a step back and challenge themselves to think in a more expansive way. This work is not something new, and division and disagreement are not something new. I understand how people are discouraged, and I understand how in one year people view this work as anti-Democrat while the next year others view it as anti-Republican. But the practice of civil discourse work is far deeper and long-standing than this. Work on the original version of this curriculum began before the 2016 election, and two years before that, Presiding Bishop Katharine Schori led an event on civil discourse. You can go way back to the Protestant Reformation and Anglican via media to find roots for our institution’s engagement with civil discourse. We must think more expansively about the humanity of those with whom we disagree. We must recognize the complexity of counter-arguments and opposing views, and move beyond simplified arguments and demonization.

Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse is available for individuals and groups

Video: Stations of the Cross Online Course on ChurchNext

Artist Kathrin Burleson, who created the gorgeous Soul’s Journey: An Artist’s Approach to the Stations of the Cross, is hosting an online course on the Stations for Lent on ChurchNext. Here’s a preview of this great offering:

The course is designed for group study and wonderful for both those new the Stations, and those who have experienced praying this way. We encourage you to sign up on ChurchNext today!

And just a reminder that our new study guide and liturgy for Soul’s Journey are now available for download—free!—on our site.