All of this helps us see Baptism as an important beginning, both for Jesus, and for us.
What does Christmas Eve look like in the home? Simple rituals like creche blessings, songs, and Bible stories draw our attention to Christ's birth.
A new ipad app for children, based on the philosophy/pedagogy of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Children meet Jesus through Scripture and respond.
A creative way to journey through Holy Week with kids. Read scripture each day, and build a Lego scene to portray the story.
Wondering how to engage children in Biblical stories? This process, using Lego, digital pictures, and powerpoint, is perfect for Sunday school or home.
Young or old, lay or ordained, what are the four qualities needed to be a great minister in the church? Bishop Shand tells us the four questions he asks, directly or indirectly, to every minister.
Lisa Brown shares more of her wisdom on talking with teens about sin, grace, and forgiveness.
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.
This item in the British Museum is the earliest known narrative portrayal of the Crucifixion. It is a panel from an ivory casket from around 400 AD.
The Wednesday in Holy Week is called Spy Wednesday for Judas' betrayal of Jesus. Amy Montanez asks us to reflect on betrayal, and God's faithful call.
Carolyn Brown offers this brilliant way of using visual props to make a Holy Week service (Tenebrae) come alive. For children and intergenerational groups.
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.
Whatever you choose - adding or subtracting - the point is to do something that feeds your soul without draining your energy or making you resent the time. Be realistic, keep it simple and enjoy!
Does your church offer a Christmas pageant? Whether you worship in a large or small community; lots of kids or just a few - there is an option out there for you. Not all Christmas pageants need to be full-scale productions. In fact, there are many ways to dramatize the Nativity story with a handful of costumes/props and willing set of actors.
"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.
And as the title of this post suggests, the most important point is that we don't recruit volunteers. On the contrary, we call volunteers. This may seem like semantics, but the language underlines a crucial distinction. To recruit is to fill spots. We have a gap; we need a warm body to put in there. In this way of thinking, filling the spot is more important than the person who fills it.
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.
Greetings in the name of the Lord! I write to you, having just completed another inspiring, exciting, boisterous, reverent, and one-of-a-kind day at Christian summer camp. I am serving as a chaplain for a session of 89 middle-schoolers here at Shrine Mont Camps, in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. We just came from an evening Communion service in the outdoor chapel, surrounded by candlelight, with guitars and voices rising to the darkened sky. And the kids are LEARNING. The messages are sticking. The group is coming together. The answers (and questions) are getting more deep and honest. When I ask, "What did we talk about on the second day?" a dozen hands go up, and the correct response "Jesus is reliable," comes without delay.
Here at Building Faith we know that Christian Formation occurs in many other places besides church and Sunday school. The home, the school - the car! What about the hospital? We caught up with Kristen Pitts, who is completing her Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in Grand Forks, North Dakota. This means she serves a chaplain intern, meeting with patients, family members, and hospital staff. Does Christian Formation occur in CPE - you bet it does. Read Kristen's reflections below.
Last week, hundreds of teenagers from around the country gathered at Villanova University. Fellowship, workshops, presentations, service projects, worship... The gathering was The Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) - held every three years. What happened - and what was the purpose? Take a look at what several teens said for themselves: