A Joyful Path
Progressive Christian Spiritual Curriculum
for Young Hearts and Minds Ages 6–10
Available at ProgressiveChristianity.org. While Westar is not affiliated with and does not formally endorse this resource, it may be of interest to Westar associates and friends.
Is your community searching for a way to connect children with an authentic spiritual experience that is inter-spiritual, creative and multi-layered? A Joyful Path is truly progressive Christian curriculum that is inclusive, joy-full, compassionate, and intelligent. This behavior-over-belief curriculum connects children with their own inner wisdom. It teaches interdependence, self awareness, respect for nature, stillness, forgiveness, prayer, meditation, and integrity. Using the Bible and other wisdom stories, A Joyful Path helps children learn how to follow the path of Jesus in today’s world. Look inside Year 1 and Year 2, and see a list of Year 2 lessons. More samples are available at Progressive Christianity.org.
Two-year curriculum for ages 6–10
Praise for A Joyful Path:
“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. The Center for Progressive Christianity has produced just that. Teachers can now teach children in Sunday school without crossing their fingers. I endorse it wholeheartedly.” —John Shelby Spong, author of Jesus for the Non-Religious
“ProgressiveChristianity.org has ... provided congregations and parents with two years of relevant and imaginative curriculums for the 21st century. They have taken the lead in reframing Sunday school teachings and made them into invaluable resources for 'equipping the saints' as they head out on the sea of our culture. 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 Frederik Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
Lorna Knox is a minister and teacher at the Ananda Temple and Teaching Center, in Portland, Oregon. Lorna taught at the Living Wisdom School in Beaverton, Oregon and she and her husband have homeschooled their three children. She is the author of two books for parents and teachers: I Came From Joy! Spiritual Affirmations and Activities for Children and Scary News: 12 Ways to Raise Joyful Children When the Headlines are Full of Fear.
Carol Malnor is a published author and educator. After 20+ years in the classroom, she became an instructional designer writing Master’s degree graduate courses for teachers. She teamed up with her husband, Bruce, to co-author six books in the Sharing Nature Teacher Guide series and two books in the Earth Heroes series for middle school students. Additionally, Carol has written five picture books for 5-9-year-olds. One of her greatest joys is being a workshop facilitator, helping adults find inspiration and well being through experiences and personal reflection in nature (www.natureportals.com).
Susan Usha Dermond is the Co-Director of the Education for Life Foundation and director of the teacher training at Ananda College of Living Wisdom near Portland, Oregon. Having taught at the elementary, secondary, and college levels, in 1997, she founded Portland’s Living Wisdom School for grades pre-school through grade 7, and directed the school until 2012. The author of Calm and Compassionate Children, she has worked with children in the education field for 40 years. Susan loves gardening, yoga, and universal spirituality.
Deshna Ubeda joined the ProgressiveChristianity.org team in 2006 and is currently the Project Director of the Curriculum Project. She wears many hats at PC.org, but she spends most of her work day managing and building the website, directing the Children’s Curriculum Project, and Publishing/Creating the eBulletins and eBlasts. She has worked with children for the last 23 years, in a variety of settings. She has been an Early Childhood Home Visitor, an elementary school Spanish teacher, a professional nanny, a youth group leader, a camp counselor, and a yoga instructor for children. Deshna graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara, with honors as a Religious Studies major and a Global Peace and Security minor. This led her to be a part of the Global Reconciliation Service in New York doing some work with the United Nations. She is a certificated Post-Partum Doula and a Yoga Instructor and a writer. She co-authored a novel with her mom, called Missing Mothers.
Fred Plumer is the President of ProgressiveChristianity.org. He earned his M.Div. degree at the Pacific School of Religion while doing work in an inner city community center. In 1984 Rev. Plumer was called to the Irvine United Congregational Church in Irvine, California to lead a UCC new start church. The church became known throughout the denomination as one of the more exciting and progressive mid-size congregations in the nation. In 1990 he received a Humanitarian Award from ECCOPAC one of California’s oldest LGBT Political Action Committees. Rev. Plumer served on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC) for five years, and chaired the Commission for Church Development and Evangelism for three of those years. He became a member of the Executive Council for The Center for Progressive Christianity in 1995 and has written The Study Guide for TCPC’s “Eight Points.” In September of 2004 Rev. Plumer retired from the Irvine church so he could devote more time to writing and his passion – reclaiming the message of Jesus. In January of 2006 after Jim Adams, founder of TCPC retired as President, Fred was elected as the new President. He has published hundreds of articles, does workshops around the world on growing progressive churches, and has been at the forefront of many groundbreaking evolutions in the progressive Christian arena.
Lisa Mundorff is an artist, web and print designer, and illustrator living in Portland, Oregon. She has shown her artwork in galleries in both Seattle and Portland and is currently focusing on illustration projects for childrens’ books. When not creating artwork, Lisa enjoys raising and spending time with her two children. She is also an accomplished musician — studying and performing classical violin for years, and playing fiddle in a Portland, Oregon-based Bluegrass band. In 2013 she recieved the grand prize in the SCBWI Western Washington portfolio show and is currently represented by Red Fox Literary.