The Joy of Singing with Children

In 2013 Brook Packard wrote a series of articles for Building Faith about singing with children. She shared wisdom from her many years of experience as an educator, musician, and Christian formation leader. These articles are rich with practical tips, overall advice, and ways to keep the joy of singing alive. If you or anyone you know works with children, these articles must reads!

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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.

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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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A Creative Mindfulness Retreat

The intention of the weekend was that it might provide resources to people who didn’t think of themselves as having spiritual resources - the folks who say, “Well, I don’t pray every day, and I don’t know that I have a spiritual life.” I hoped to introduce them to things that they already did, or things that they could do, and draw spiritual meaning out of them.

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Digging Deeper: The “O” Antiphons

The seven “O Antiphons” originated in the daily monastic prayer of the eighth and ninth centuries. They are short, scripture-based prayers invoking various titles used for Christ. They express the deep longing for the Messiah’s coming that is a characteristic of Advent. The ninth century hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is based on one of the antiphons.

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