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Posts Tagged ‘Service’

Reverse Advent: A Spiritual Discipline of Reaching Out

A Reverse Advent Calendar encourages households to think about others’ needs during the season of giving. One congregation comes together to reach out to their community.

How to Plan an *Unbinding* Youth Mission Trip

Youth mission trips offer opportunities to serve others and transform participants. A new book offers advice for creating and planning such trips.

Love and Serve – A Youth Group Learns Compassion in Visiting Aging Adults

My favorite youth program design of all time comes from First Presbyterian Church in Kilgore, Texas. It pairs middle school youth with adults; and together they make monthly visits to various senior adults in the church.

The youth are given conversation starters and a devotional to offer during the visits. Skills are developed, faith is shared, multiple relationships are built.

While I am no longer at this church, the program is still “up and running.” The visitation week is the best part, and by far the favorite part for the youth and adults alike. Why was it their favorite part . . . because they know what they were doing makes a difference!

How a Florida Teacher Was Called to Mission in Africa

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 Fundraise for Youth Ministry Mission: 11 Ideas

I have been collecting and occasionally devising creative youth fundraising ideas, which I want to share with you. But before I handing over my crib sheet, I want to stress the importance of thinking local when you do fundraising.

Go and Do Likewise: Superstorm Sandy One Year Later

During my homily, a six year old asked if we could pray for her neighbor’s daddy who had died during Sandy—when a tree fell on him. We prayed and I invited the children to always look for the helpers and the good neighbors. All of his life, Mr. Rogers demonstrated—both in word and action—what it meant to be a good neighbor, but he wasn’t the only one.

Reaching Out with Backpacks

While most schools are closed for the summer, churches can still plan ahead for when the schools bells will resume in August or September. This summer, why not put together an Outreach program, similar to one that Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park, Illinois now has underway?

Service for the Sake of Serving

Children seem to be fascinated by the idea of serving. Whether it’s a tea party and someone is offering tea or mud cookies… Or it’s play at a little service station… At one of those little service stations in the sandbox, you’re likely to get offered lots of service and amenities you’d never find in today’s automated, self-serve gas stations.

Discerning Ministry with Teens: Part 2

We often think of participating in God’s dream by volunteering at homeless shelters, stocking food pantries and donating money to agencies that help the poor. And these are important and necessary. Ministry does not stop there. Our very career choices are ministry too.

What Leads to Volunteerism?

Graduates of Protestant high schools out-volunteer peers from Catholic, secular, public, and home schools—all by significant margins.

Washing Dishes

The sea of voices around me rises up like a symphony, instruments that I do not recognize, yet long to understand and know. I hear sounds of laughter and joy. So much unrestrained laughter and joy . . .

Go and Do Likewise: Living Stories and Sharing Lives

I want to tell a story about story-sharing and the community changing potential that it creates. I want to share a story about neighbors and that urge “to go and do likewise” that good stories foster in us. With an urge to do something to help Sandy devastated communities on the South Shore, we did just that and formed some enduring partnerships.

Coats of Kindness

Many congregations have worked with the parable of the talents and have encouraged members to take a small amount of money and make it grow. Few results have been more spectacular than Coats of Kindness, which has grown from seed money of $50 from All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, Minnesota All Saints member […]

One Pilgrim’s Progress . . .

If I’m going to take ten teenagers on a trip, charge the parish (through fundraising) and their families a large chunk of change to do it, and call it a pilgrimage, I’d better decide what that’s going to mean to us.

Meeting in the Middle

For the past two years it has been great fun for the youth from the synagogue down the street to gather with the youth of our church for what has become our annual Cookie Bake. This weekend we just finished rolling out dozens of cookies, cut into various shapes and baked for the cocoa and cookie treat that will be offered next week.

Supporting Sandy Recovery

As the cold weather approaches, churches are seeking ways to help those in need in hands-on as well as through financial means.

Intergenerational Christian Formation

A faith community that practices intergenerational ministry will use the gifts of every generation in order to create frequent opportunities for generations to come together to minister, worship and serve together.

How to Design a Mission Trip Project

Though many groups sponsor one-time work camps, these isolated projects are not as effective for young people to learn about society as are on-going projects where lasting change – for all involved – is possible.

When Waters Roar and Winds Blow

This past week has seen massive destruction and hardship in the eastern part of the United States as well as the Caribbean. Many are now homeless or still without water, electricity and heat. Faith communities and neighborhoods have risen above the flood waters and wind to reach out to those in need.

Christmas at Sea – Knitters Outreach to Mariners

All year long, around four thousand knitters across twelve time zones have been hard at work creating beautiful hats and scarves to present to mariners working at Christmas.