Forma 2017 was a huge success with professional educators, formation and worship leaders and researchers celebrating together in worship and workshop time.
Let's celebrate! Building Faith has exceeded one million all-time page views!
Susan and Lucy find the stone table empty and Aslan alive! The great resurrection scene of Narnia is a metaphor of the resurrection of Jesus.
Buy these olive wood crosses from the Holy Land in bulk in use them for many purposes. A Christian couple in Connecticut sells olive wood crosses, at cost, as their ministry.
Debbie Levy's picture book, We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, traces this song of faith in God's justice from the 1800s to the current day. Using the well known lyrics, Levy shows how the words of this spiritual have served as a beacon of hope to people around the world who are suffering from oppression and intolerance.
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.
Brene Brown's work on shame and vulnerability points to three important themes for Christians: imperfection, authenticity, and wholeheartedness.
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.
"Faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal, trusted relationships – often in our own homes." 5 statements summing up Faith Formation.
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.
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.
Young people are not looking for the easy path in life. They don’t mind a challenge – it is too often us who fear the challenge. They are not looking for the path of least resistance.
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.
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?
Song and singing is a cornerstone of Church School and Children’s Chapels. Singing is a noble expression of the human spirit. Through our breath and voices we are in the moment and through our songs we are brought to possibilities.
And while we sit carving our jack o'lanterns, we remember these words of St. Paul: Your attitude must be that of Christ. Though he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself... Because of this, God has exalted him. (Philippians 2:6-9)
While Soul Cakes were originally a type of shortbread, it is said that a clever medieval cook wanted to make Soul Cakes designed to remind people of eternity, so she cut a hole in the middle of round cakes before frying them, thereby inventing donuts!
Do we read the historical research and realize that they were not all very nice people and that their arrival was not necessarily a hit with the native peoples? What about all the other people who arrived on these shores at different times and in different places?
I keep upping the pageant ante, and the year will come when I have to backpedal. But I’m here to say that it’s all worth it when you sit your children down and they vehemently defend the pageant as an offering to their parents, the congregation, and to God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I never did like Halloween, even before I had any spiritual reservations about celebrating horror, occult imagery, death and dismemberment. I recall when I was about three, my well-meaning dad tried to abate my fears by showing me a monster mask, then putting it in front of his face to demonstrate that it wasn’t real.