“The great need in the Christian church is for a Sunday school curriculum for children that does not equate faith with having a pre-modern mind. ProgressiveChristianity.org has produced just that.  Teachers can now teach children in Sunday school without crossing their fingers.  I endorse it wholeheartedly.” ~John Shelby Spong, Author, Jesus for the Non-Religious
“The most common question I’m asked in my speaking engagements these days is this: What do we do for our kids? On the one hand, people don’t want to give their children the same kind of overly literal, superficially moralistic, or doctrinaire approach to the faith they were given. On the other hand, they do want their children to get a rooting in the way of love taught and exemplified by Jesus. I’m so grateful for the pioneering curriculum work being done by A Joyful Path. I can’t wait to see the outcome as kids who grow up with this curriculum face the world of the future. ~Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker/activist.
“This book is a giant step forward in teaching real and thoughtful lessons of the Christ path to youngsters.  It is so good in fact that sometimes, on reading it, I wished adults were also reading over my shoulder.  The instructions are rich in practices the children can engage in while processing the teachings—clearly the authors have lots of experience interacting with kids.” ~Matthew Fox, author of Confessions, Revised and Updated: The Making of a Postdenominational Priest
“Children’s spirituality thrives on playfulness. It demands respect. And it overflows into the lives of others bringing gifts and abundant inner riches. Not surprisingly, then, we were delighted when we had a chance to immerse ourselves in A Joyful Path. Whether you are a parent, a Sunday School teacher, a preacher, a spiritual seeker, or just someone who likes to look at ideas from a child’s point of view, this one’s for you.” ~Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat, Spirituality & Practice
“At last, Sunday School lessons for which no apology is necessary.” ~James R. Adams, Author of So You Think You’re Not Religious and From Literal to Literacy.
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Click here to purchase A Joyful Path, Ages 6-10
“The innovative Christian Curriculum ‘A Joyful Path‘ endorsed by Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat and John Shelby Spong is a fabulous progressive Christian curriculum for those modern Christian parents who are wise to cherish the work of Progressive Christian movement. Such curriculum will help promote and foster perennial religion of universal Sufism among young Christian students. Sufism or perennial philosophy in Progressive Christianity will unite all world religions, all beings and all communities irrespective of creed, color, caste and ideology. As a Sufi observer and commenter, I endorse A Joyful Path’ progressive Christianity curriculum for progressive Christian children. If possible, it should be promoted globally. I give you my full morale support. I am with you, ProgressiveChristianity.org. I support your curriculum because of the its key specifications including Interdependence, Self- Awareness, Stillness, Forgiveness, prayer, meditation (most important) and Integrity. Congratulations.” Wong Weng Hon
“I have now used A JOYFUL PATH for 2 years with children who are just now turning 6 years of age.  I have been able to easily adapt the lessons to a younger child’s world.  As they mature, so will the curriculum, therefore this guide will be most effective for a couple more years.  The children, the parents and the teachers are enthusiastic about the program and we all heartily endorse it!  The principles taught in this curriculum are REAL, they are HONEST and they are DO-ABLE!!! Our teachers find the preparations for the lessons very worthwhile…..as they prepare themselves for the lesson, not just the gathering of materials. Thank you for all the obvious work that went into the creation of this wonderful work……and know that it is making a difference in the lives of children, their parents….and their teachers!!” ~(Mrs.) Jimmie Harris, First Congregational Church, Hendersonville, NC
“We use A Joyful Path and love it.” ~Rev. Roger Ray, Community Christian Church
“In contrast to the fear-based approach of both the evangelical and mainline curricula, A Joyful Path lives up to its name and nurtures the kind of carefree, faith filled attitude that we find so evident in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.  Using a theme driven curriculum rather than a lectionary based curriculum, the designers of A Joyful Path have based their lesson plans on a set of spiritual values rather than an arbitrary list of bible stories that have no coherent message.  The central idea for each lesson is expressed as an affirmation and a verse from the Bible.  Each lesson illustrates the main learning with a story, gleaning from the Bible, biographies, legends of saints, and folktales from a variety of cultures.  The illustrations are beautiful and inclusive in their depiction of race and socio-economic differences.  Evangelical Discipleland offers to build obedient children. Seasons of the Spirit offers to create informed children. But only A Joyful Pathoffers children the opportunity to learn the core values of following the way of Jesus as they grow into an understanding of what that means at each stage of their lives.  It is fun, interactive, hope-filled, and encourages children to see themselves as interconnected to all, preparing them for a lifetime of compassion and love for others. It is a “breath of fresh air” ~Rev. Madison Shockley
“I enjoy the curriculum especially because it is scripture based and uses the spiritual essence of scripture, not the literal, which is easy for young minds and hearts to comprehend. I am especially impressed with how it teaches children deep respect for all faiths and all of God’s creations including our precious mother earth. It is also easily adapted to all types of learning styles and a variety of age ranges and can easily be facilitated by teachers with a lot of or very little classroom experience.” ~Rev. Lauri Gist, Senior Minister, Unity of Citrus County
“We have used the material for an entire year and now we’re starting over again!  It’s so easy to teach Sunday School with such detailed and thoughtful lessons.  As the Christian Education representative for our church, I love having Sunday School material that the teachers can use effectively.  As a Sunday School teacher, I love that it provides the teacher with ample space for reflection.  You are really able to think and embody the lesson prior to teaching it.  As a parent, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the progressive/joyful/inclusive/nature-inspired/loving message that my children are hearing in Sunday School.  There is no other material out there that compares – I’ve looked!  Thank you for your dedication to our children.  It is so important to me that they learn a new message – one that is filled with the ideas found in A Joyful Path.” ~Tara Flannery, Plymouth United Church, Spring TX
“Congratulations on a terrific job done with A Joyful Path, Yr 2. We received our copy the other day, and on first glance it looks like a fine piece of work. At our last Pathways gathering a long-time adult participant who’s been involved in alternative children’s education for years remarked, “I feel as though I need to go back to Sunday School and start over as a progressive Christian.” I’ll be entrusting the curriculum to Michelle to see how we will best use it. Thanks. ~John Bennison, Rel. D., Pathways

Testimonials and Quotes

“I have the curriculum–purchased it 3 years ago–and have been delighted with how well these lessons have transferred to our online Zoom meetings. Thank you!” ~Jessica Kahler
“This morning I took advantage of my inability to get to the post office to mail the curriculum to my daughter. I opened the package and when it was time for lunch, I could not put the book down. I loved LOVED. LOVED IT! It is attractively designed, thoughtfully written, beautifully illustrated. it helps children’s faith journey to be interesting and fun. We thank you and all your staff for your making this series available, I think it is an amazing accomplishment.” ~ Sheila Moriarty
“I bought A Joyful Path part one for our Quaker children’s meeting in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, UK. I’ve used several of the session plans to run enjoyable, uplifting and thought provoking sessions.  I really like it. I use stories most of all and encourage children to act them out. I’ve used affirmations successfully too, using guitar to create simple repetitive songs. I really like the way it’s written to encourage a sense of equality between us – adults and children – it fits well with our Quaker values. Our group is quite small and children don’t come every week and the ages are varied, so it doesn’t always fit and sometimes we just play and build our friendship and understanding. Our group is a bit reluctant to use ‘God’ language – in trying to be inclusive, we’re getting a bit confused about what we think is ok. I’ve mostly used sessions which don’t focus on God, but I think you deal with it all very well. It makes me think and reflect and connect.” ~Rev. Tom Taylor

“We absolutely loved the Year One A Joyful Path. Our Church is a growing and dynamic church and we were recently interviewed by the United Church Observer (a pretty major magazine in the United Church up here in Canada). As a Sunday School co-ordinator I was interviewed and made sure I talked about your Curriculum and how vital it has been in our program. I hope it is mentioned when the article comes out in December because I know there are a lot of progressive United Church congregations that would benefit from using this program.” ~Barb

“Downey Avenue Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN loves your curriculum. I have been using “A Joyful Path” and find it to be rich, wise and spiritual. I love how it is integrated in story, literature and history”

“We are a small parish in a town full of fundamentalist churches with few other ‘out’ progressive churches in the country. One of our two parent denominations is completing the lengthy process of legislatively entrenching a ban of lesbian and gay ministers. However we have just discovered the “A Joyful Path” curriculum and will buy it to help us re-form our Girls Brigade (as 7/8 of the leaders and 40/60 girls have left in response to the church calling a gay minister).” ~Rev Martin, New Zealand

“Hello there! I am writing first give huge kudos to you for creating A Joyful Path! We love it here at First Congregational UCC Vancouver.Thank you so much for all the great things you are doing to change the world, one child at a time!”

“Yes, we have enjoyed using the curriculum with its God Centeredness and Wisdom Images!  It matches our worship and lived theology as community!” ~Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church

“I purchased your Sunday School curriculum several months ago, to use with my (homeschooled) children, and we all love it! Thank you for providing such a wonderful program!” ~Jaimie

“Some feedback about how “A Joyful Path” has been working thus far at the Eliot Church in Year one- great!  The activities have been experiential, holistic, centering, diverse, and age-appropriate.  The stories are great, and the activities deep and meaningful to our children.  What a gift to finally have a curriculum for youth that finally resonates fully with the adults teaching it!  Thanks so much for your hard work in making this curriculum available.” ~Matt
“My oldest son, Jacob, used to be very fearful, worried about the future and all the “what ifs” in his nine-year-old world.  We struggled with how to help him grow in this area.  But the Joyful Path lesson on “Letting Go and Living in the Moment” became instrumental!   Something about the story of Frederick and the Gift of Solomon just clicked for him – The idea that he “only has this moment and the choice of how to use it” has completely changed our son!  He recognizes he can choose!  He can control the way he responds to the things that happen in his life.  Jacob’s confidence is growing and his ability to see past his own circumstances almost surpasses my own!  I feel like the curriculum gives us a language for what we are trying to instill within our children.  Thank you, thank you, Thank you!!”

“We at First Congregational Church in Tacoma are slowly finding our way to a new site. We continue to use your Sunday School Curriculum which we’ve had for 2 1/2 years. ..and, as each of we three teachers have our own view of what’s in the book, the children are getting a pretty fine intro to all that is there. We look forward to the newer publication later.”
“We love A Joyful Path and have had a wonderful first year using your curriculum in our Children’s Ministry program.  Thank you for providing this excellent resource!” ~Lynn, Director of Worship & Music, Holy Wisdom Monastery
“The Curriculum is wonderful!  We at the Pitt St Uniting Church here in Sydney, Australia are proud to use it. Best of all to you and your dear dedicated team- for 2011 and beyond- we look forward to more of the marvelous teaching material over the next while.” ~Isobel
“I direct Children’s Ministries  at Lord of the Mountains in Silverthorne, Co. I and 7 other teachers are all raving about your year 1 of this series.” ~Darlene
“I’ve got my church using your children’s curriculum and I hear it’s going really well. I love it, personally. And we also love the ButterflyFish albums we found through your website.” ~Shannon
“We are using the new children’s curriculum this fall and my teachers are thrilled. They love the affirmations, stories and activities but most of all the theology.” ~Sue, Christian Ed Director in NE
“I have read the curriculum and have found it joyful, inspirational and insightful. How I wish I had been taught these lessons when I was a child! Blessings.” Linda Sorrell, Director of Children’s Ministry
“Many thanks for your wonderful children’s curriculum. I’m in the process of reviewing it for the St Francis College – Roscoe Library, in Brisbane, Australia. I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience and wanted to know more of what you do! Cheers.” ~Fiona
“We started using this at our Quaker Meeting this year and love it. It’s beautiful, engaging, and healthy. I’m so grateful and hopeful for more to come in the future.” ~Sheila
“Just heard from folks in my church using your new Sunday School curriculum.  They love it!  Not only is the theology great, but it is structured to make it easy for volunteers to use it.  Congrats!”  ~Tom
“I am really excited about the Sunday school curriculum that we just got. I must be, as it woke me up at 6am on my day to sleep in! I woke up thinking about the affirmations. I’d like to see us share these with the rest of our community. That way the adults in our community can… think about the affirmation, maybe meditate or journal about it…” ~Tory
“I’ve been teaching children for many, many years.  My teaching style is open, loving, flexible – a combination of many influences, Rudolf Steiner, Bev Bos, Miss Frizzle.  I rarely find faith curriculum that is not condescending, stifling and controlled.  I generally create my own lessons/activities, taking bits and pieces from various places.  A Joyful Path is different…  loving, smart, uplifting, inspiring.  Thank you! Love and light” ~ Jodie,  Minister to Children and Families
“I had a terrible experience in church on the first Sunday in Advent, and it threw me into a tailspin about “what and how am I teaching my kids about faith?”  As a progressive christian, I was stumped about how to *translate* the 8 points and Elnes’ 13 Affirmations into something to tell kids.  I wondered if there was anything out there and googling “progressive” “christian” children” “teach” (or something like that) I found news of TCPC’s Children’s Curriculum project.  Hallelujah!  Thanks so much.  Is it available for individuals?  I will suggest it to our church, as well.  Thanks.” ~ S. Borrett
“I teach children at Bryant Memorial Uniting Church in Busselton Western Australia (250kms south of Perth on the coast)  I am really looking forward to this curriculum.  I have been struggling to develop ideas of my own with a group of primary school aged children who come from mainly very at risk backgrounds.  So, I am waiting with a great deal of anticipation for this new curriculum.” ~M. Hodge (Community Minister – retired)
“I am thrilled you are developing a progressive Christian curriculum for our kids.  I am currently chairing our Family Live Ministry and a program like the one you are developing would be awesome! Any information about what you are doing would be very welcome.” ~ A. Colby”
“Please keep me updated on the creation and availability of the inclusive children’s curriculum that you are producing.  I am often lamenting that there is not enough resources out there to teach our children and youth a more progressive and open form of Christianity.  Why wait until we’re adults?  Thanks so much!” ~B. Steiner
Click here to purchase A Joyful Path, Ages 6-10
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