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Online Book of Congregational Memories

Engaging the Past - Activity (PDF)

Making use of online tools (such as Google Docs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), people will share memories and experience the memories of others who have shared. 

A similar activity is the Online Catalog of the Congregation’s Impact on its community and the world. You may want to read/review both activities before deciding which one would best fit your congregation. You might also consider combining these two activities in some way.

Time needed for activity

about a month, but could be ongoing

Group size

any number of current members and regular visitors   

Steps for Activity 

  1. Create a dedicated website/space for people to post memories related to the church. This could be a Facebook page, a Google site, etc.
  2. Encourage church members, regular visitors, and others who have been affected by the church’s ministries to submit pictures, written records of memories, audio files, videos, etc. that can help others experience the memories they value.
  3. Appoint a curator to review all submissions for appropriateness, organize them as needed, and ensure a fruitful user experience.
  4. Make the site available to all so that people can use contributions as prompts to individual or corporate praise, thanksgiving, confession, lament, etc.
  5. Decide when to “close” the opportunity for making contributions.

Option: Keep the material posted for a designated period of time.

Option: Create a paper timeline map that corresponds to the online timeline map, and place it in a prominent location in the church building.

Facilitator’s Questions

As you work on the online book, consider some questions like these:

  1. What values/virtues/passions do you see in your past that you can carry into the future?
  2. Which people or groups from your past do you need to honor?
  3. What mistakes, misuses of power, and conflicts should you acknowledge and/or confess together?
  4. With whom do you need to reconcile?*
  5. What hardships do you need to lament?*
  6. What do you need to thank God for?
  7. What are some key moments when you saw the Holy Spirit lead you into something you wouldn't have been able to do yourself?
  8. How has your community been transformed in big or little ways because of God’s work in and through you? 

*If this question leads to a sense that there is work to be done in the areas of reconciliation and/or healing, then the group should feel free to seek assistance from Pastor Church Resources.