Copy

How Faith Can Improve Mental Health and Reduce Stress Levels

Life today is as stressful as it has ever been, and this is reflected in the fact that anti-depressants are being prescribed at a higher rate than ever before. However, there is one age-old method that can reduce stress levels for free and without a prescription. People around the world rely on faith to see them through hard times. Faith and spirituality are abstract concepts, but they can lead to concrete results in mental health improvement and stress reduction.

Continue Reading

Why Sunday School Still Matters – And Why it Still Works

Here is the question: Is Sunday school still valuable in building up the next generation of Christians? Or is it a tragic hindrance to the overall goals of the Christian community? The answer must take into account a full view of faith formation. But in short: Yes Sunday school is valuable. And yes, a traditional model of parish-based Christian education can still be effective is nurturing children and offering them knowledge, skills, and values to grow into adult followers of Jesus Christ.

Continue Reading

How to Reinvent Your Easter Egg Hunt, for Good

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.

Continue Reading

“Praying, Obviously!” 7 Ways to Help Children Pray at Church

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!”

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Reflection: Have we Turned God into Superman?

It is my fear that we have turned God into Superman. We are so quick to call on God to rescue us, to save us from the evil villain, to appear, cape and all, only when we need Him . . . and then, when something goes wrong, or when we feel that God has failed us, we take Him and angrily throw Him back into the toy box and pull Him out again when we are ready to play.

Continue Reading

Giving God a Whole Day: The Importance of Retreats

I always thought retreats were a good idea, but had trouble pulling them off. The first time I tried it, I was a depressed teenager longing for the peace and joy that was supposed to come with one’s faith. I read some spiritual heavy-hitter who talked about how the desert fathers took off for days of fasting and solitude, and figured that was what I needed to overcome my sense of distance from God.

Continue Reading
Close Menu