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Why We Need Christmas Pageants

I think our pageant captures some of the complication of the trip to Bethlehem. The Holy Family were compelled by law to travel, despite Mary’s pregnancy. They found a place to sleep that was most likely even more uncomfortable than a fold-out-sofa in a cramped guest room. It was inconvenient, uncomfortable, and travel was probably the last thing they felt like doing. As adults, I know we can relate.

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Book Review: Room at My Table by Evelyn Bence

Room at my Table may seem, at at first glance, like light reading. Indeed, the lively prose and entertaining anecdotes make for quick page turning. But after digesting a few reflections, one finds a volume that is expertly written, and carefully crafted through and through. On a personal note, I was thoroughly impressed with the writing and the spiritual exposition displayed in this inspiring book.

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Board Game of the Christian Life

These two aspects of our life create fertile ground for creative Christian formation. For Lisa Kimball and Patricia Lyons, this took the shape of an Epic Game during their keynote addresses at the 2014 Forma Tapestry Conference. We’ve linked directions for the game below. We invite you to explore it, tinker with it, create new conversations and possibilities for ministry with it.

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

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.

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St. Martin of Tours: A Lesson for Class or Chapel

In addition to being a very popular saint, St. Martin is also the patron saint of veterans – men and women who served their country in the military. Martin’s day, November 11th, is also Veterans Day. It is a time to honor and remember veterans, people who still serve in the military, and their families. It is also a time to remember what we can do to make peace and share as Martin did.

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Warming Up Children’s Voices

Please let’s stop encouraging the notion that louder is better. I’ve seen weeks of work to empower children to sing freely vanish in one rehearsal where some director says “Louder!” to the children. They cannot share what they’ve worked on and there is no accomplishment in yelling. Yes, I know there are those in the congregation who complain they can’t hear the children, but is the potential shaming of the child on his or her musical journey worth pleasing that person?

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