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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

How to Host a Church Motorcycle Blessing

blessing of the bikes 4

This past Pentecost Sunday, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Kasson, MN, celebrated a Blessing of the Bikes. After the recessional hymn we followed the Cross outside to the front of the church, where we gathered for a prayer together before blessing the riders and their bikes. After another prayer together the riders started up their bikes and revved the engines – the sound was like church bells.

How a Florida Teacher Was Called to Mission in Africa

Lisa computer

Lisa Gustinelli may seem like an ordinary Floridian. She is a mother; she teaches middle school; she goes to church with her family. But recently, Lisa returned from a life changing trip to South Africa. Life changing for her, and also for the students of St. Camillus School in Mandela Village.

Here at Building Faith, we know that mission always involves formation. We caught up with Lisa to ask about her work and her faith.

How to Make a Palm Cross – Video!

Palm Cross Video

By folding the palms into crosses, we underscore this drastic reversal, and the fickle human nature which brought it about. We recall how quickly triumph gave way to shame and suffering.

This is a powerful way to enter Holy Week, and if you have never made a palm cross, here is our video to show you how. This is a high definition, easy to see, and easy to follow tutorial featuring our own Charlotte Greeson. Enjoy and share!

Choosing a Children’s Curriculum for Faith Formation

child heart

As springtime rolls around for Christian educators (even in the midst of Lent), thoughts turn to reviewing curricula, especially if your church is feeling the need for a change or what you have been using is about to be discontinued. Now is the time to begin the research, as it really takes a concerted effort to evaluate what you’ve been using, what’s been working, what’s not been working, what direction you want to go (or continue on), and how the needs of your church (and its families and children) have changed.

With that in mind, springtime has meant a time for me to update the curriculum overview charts that I’ve been doing for 10+ years. Most of the time, each year I simply need to make sure the website address for each resource is correct and update the prices (which inevitably go up a few dollars and cents every year). There’s always a program that is no longer being published or a new one making its debut.

All that remains true for the 2014-2015 program year, with a few additional changes I’ve discovered as I updated, added, and subtracted from my 2013 charts:

Painting Our Way Through Lent with Roger Hutchison

praying painting table

“One of the most freeing spiritual exercises I have ever experienced! I am so very grateful for this sacred space, especially now, during Lent.”         Painting Workshops in Lent The supplies are simple: tubes of paint, paper, tables, chairs. Invite God’s children of all ages; add prayer, conversation, and fellowship. The results […]

How to Reinvent Your Easter Egg Hunt *For Good*

Plastic Easter Eggs

Like many churches, we have a tradition of an Easter egg hunt for children. It’s one of those things that we just always do, though no one knows when it started. Also like most churches, our attendance doubles on Easter morning, and we have many folks joining us for the first time, but for some reason we cancel Sunday School, and all we show visitors about our church is an egg hunt, which does nothing to tell the Christian story. So last year some of us started wondering aloud about how to send a better message on Easter.

Praying, Obviously! – How to Help Children Pray

labyrinth girls

They had bowed so low that their hair was over their faces that I wasn’t exactly sure what they were doing. After about two minutes, they rose and came back down the steps of the stage. I asked, “What were you doing bent over like that?” One of them looked up at me, and in the tone of voice only girls approaching their teenage years can produce said, “Well, praying, obviously!”

Make a Resurrection Set: Hands-on Easter Learning

religious Easter craft for kids

How to download, make, and use a resurrection set to teach children about Good Friday and Easter.

Spiritual Direction – Everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask

Magic Eye

Now as a spiritual director myself, I have the honor and privilege of accompanying people on their journeys. Almost always I am in a heightened state of awareness, eager to see how God’s presence is being manifest in another’s life. I always pray to be a channel for God’s words and a container for the expression of the person’s soul. It can be joyful. It can be truly painful. Sitting with another during periods of great sorrow and grief is a much an honor as hearing joys. Holding the container when there are dark nights of the soul, or deserts in the relationship with God, is difficult. It is also amazing.

A Youth Curriculum That Works – Youth Emmaus

Teens and Youth fun active

  “That was fun!” “That was a great lesson!”   I had always hoped to hear comments like these from the youth of the church where I serve. But I only began to hear them when I implemented a curriculum that is barely known in the United States. I can’t remember where I found it […]

Children’s Stations of the Cross – What, How, When, Why

Childrens Stations of the Cross St. Marys Tom Winter

Practical advice and suggestions for offering a stations of the cross service for children and families.

Listen Up – When Children Teach Adults about God’s Love

faith boy child happy

Tina Clark is the Family Minister at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Denver, CO. This article is based on a sermon which was written and delivered with help from the children and youth of St. Barnabas.         “So listen. Close your eyes and listen now. Hear the sound of your name, spoken in love, […]

Children’s Prayers and Bible Verses for Lent

child hands prayer

The season of Lent is a perfect time for children to take on the challenge of learning a prayer by heart, or memorizing a Bible verse. Here are some suggestions.

Hand it Over – Why Giving Something Up for Lent Matters

cake pastry hand food sweet

The purpose of Lenten discipline, I have discovered, is to draw closer to Jesus Christ. Full stop. Growing deeper into Christ’s love is the compelling reason to give something up for Lent; and it is no coincidence that this is also the only way to succeed in doing so.

March 9th – A Double Dose of Sunday Happens

Sunday Happens 4x6

This week we are blessed to have two reflections! Katie Young is the youth ministry intern at Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene, Texas. Debra Quintana is the Director of Christian Education at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Larchmont, NY.     What went right today? Katie: We had a wonderful discussion about mission and what it […]

An Invitation to a Holy Lent

church lantern purple Lent flickr

Matthew and Charlotte invite you to a holy Lent with the words of the Book of Common Prayer, set to music.

Vacation Bible School 2014: The Reviews are In!

I Love VBS

“If you run a Vacation Bible School with these goals in mind, it doesn’t matter what VBS curriculum you choose. But to help you along, the Center for the Ministry of Teaching offers a full set of reviews each year.”       The Joyful Purpose of VBS Every summer, churches around the world do […]

Top Lenten Resources from Building Faith

Cross On Heart love

Some of the most popular Lenten resources are right here on Building Faith. Here are some of the top posts you need for Lent, along with a few extra goodies. Whatever you do for Lent, remember that it is not about “self-improvement,” it is about drawing closer to Jesus.

Sunday Happens – Butterflies and Transformation in Erie

butterflies inside craft

There aren’t too many sure things in life, but we can be sure that every week, Sunday will happen. In churches around the world, Jesus Christ is proclaimed, and people of all ages grow deeper into him. Today’s reflection comes from Merideth Paff, a Sunday school teacher at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Erie, PA. She lives in […]

Pancake Supper Survival Guide (BTDT)

Jesus Pancakes

You agreed in a pre-pageant haze to take over this year’s Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. Lent seemed so far away…

Now it’s around the corner. You know people will show up, hungry. You know you have volunteers. What you don’t know is how to turn on the church oven.

Breathe. You can do this. We can help. Here at Building Faith we have BTDT experts to offer wisdom for just such occasions. BTDT, of course, stands for “Been There, Done That.”