I wanted to share something my parish is doing that is breathing a lot of life into our adult formation. It is easy to do, and the congregation is loving it. Also, in terms of planning, I am not having to create new and topics every week. It is based in Bible reading, but has some advantages over the Bible in a Year challenge.
The Painting Table is a book by Roger Hutchison, which has inspired workshops during Lent and other seasons. Here he describes how he used his practice of painting with the spirit and your fingers to create a Lenten series.
Home baked bread has been part of my life ever since I can remember. On Sundays my mother would take out the Joy of Cooking, turn to page 603, and…
Seven million grandparents are living with a grandchild and roughly 39% of them serve as their primary caregiver.
We may not be able to describe scientifically what happens to children who attend church Sunday after Sunday, but I believe something deeply and profoundly formational happens.
September 15th marks the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The explosion at the African-American church, which killed four girls, marked a turning point in the U.S. 1960s Civil Rights Movement and contributed to support for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Whether gathering with children, youth, or adults sometimes you just need an ice-breaker to get folks warmed up, moving, or engaged with each other.
Xers, brought up in a commercial-saturated culture where everyone is selling something will always be asking, "What's the hidden agenda? What's in it for the one telling me this? What is this really about?"
Imagine that instead of coming to church, listening to a sermon for [insert your churches sermon length] ending with a few questions which no one talks about (except maybe a brief mention over coffee), the congregation listened to the sermon before coming (it could even be a famous preachers sermon or the pastor could record one).
There is a new resource, accessible via the web that brings the voices of three of the Abrahamic traditions, sharing the story of the Exodus. As we enter the core events of the Jewish and Christian faiths - Passover and Holy Week - this conversation is worth participating in, especially as many congregations will be holding a "Christian Seder" which I believe denigrates both faith traditions.
Over the years, I have seen churches of all sizes compel the “Easter Crowd” to return the following weekend and eventually become part of the congregation. With some pre-planning and strategic intent, you can improve your odds at getting back the people who, otherwise, you might not see again for another year.
We place before you the plight of many of God's children who everyday lives are threatened by the systematic push out of classrooms into the prison system. Schools across the country have adopted Federal Zero Tolerance policies, the War on Drugs and the No Child Left Behind Act to create the School-to-Prison Pipeline that disproportionately affects children of color.
If we are going to be present to Jesus' real presence - and not just virtually present - we need to find practices for "being there," living life as an ongoing invitation from God. Lent can be a great help to retrieve, recover, redeem what is most important to us, yet may have gotten lost along the way.
I had always responded to this by saying we were all hypocrites, weren’t we? But now the level of cruelty and politics was more than I could stomach. And I knew too much. Was I hitting that wall myself? Was it time for me to leave?
With the beauty and power of art by John August Swanson and the insight from Emory University's Candler School of Theology about the sacred text for the gospels, you can journey alongside Jesus as he journeys to the cross.
When the classic question in a conversation “What book would you bring to a desert island?” is asked, the Bible seems to be the number one answer. How do we read this collection of 66 books without outside information? How do we make the contents worshipful, relevant — even inspirational?
A Church School Teacher is a person who rocks our babies while we attend worship; who is willing to sleep in a sleeping bag on the church dining room floor with 30 teenagers in the confirmation class.
Normally Sunday School happens during our main service; leaving parents to worship without the distraction of their children’s presence. They like it that way. And like any congregation the support from non-parenting adults ranges from “Let the children come,” to “I survived sitting silent through church every week why shouldn’t they?”
Do I nip at the hand that is feeding me, loving me, nurturing me, providing me sustenance on many levels? Do I tempt that hand, seeing if it will indeed go away?
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.