A Reverse Advent Calendar encourages households to think about others' needs during the season of giving. One congregation comes together to reach out to their community.
Youth mission trips offer opportunities to serve others and transform participants. A new book offers advice for creating and planning such trips.
My favorite youth program design of all time comes from First Presbyterian Church in Kilgore, Texas. It pairs middle school youth with adults; and together they make monthly visits to various senior adults in the church.
I have been collecting and occasionally devising creative youth fundraising ideas, which I want to share with you. But before I handing over my crib sheet, I want to stress the importance of thinking local when you do fundraising.
For the past two years it has been great fun for the youth from the synagogue down the street to gather with the youth of our church for what has become our annual Cookie Bake. This weekend we just finished rolling out dozens of cookies, cut into various shapes and baked for the cocoa and cookie treat that will be offered next week.
A faith community that practices intergenerational ministry will use the gifts of every generation in order to create frequent opportunities for generations to come together to minister, worship and serve together.
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.
All year long, around four thousand knitters across twelve time zones have been hard at work creating beautiful hats and scarves to present to mariners working at Christmas.
It took me a long time before I realized the Confirmation process, at least in my experience, was such a sham! Every year mothers dragged their 8th graders into the Confirmation class, kicking and screaming. Then, I, as the priest would speak to them about the Church, God, the Bible - stuff of which they had no interest.
Mite boxes are one of the many wonderful traditions of Lent. They engage children in the values of compassion and charity through the daily act of praying and giving; and the funds collected help the most vulnerable in our communities.
When we involve young people in mission, we help nurture them into discipleship by teaching them to care for others and by providing them with opportunities to serve. Congregations often find ways to do this with older youth, but how about our youngest brothers and sisters in Christ? What are we doing to further their heart for service to others?
Teaching compassion and justice can begin in a classroom but gradually opens to wider realms as the learners awaken to their wider world. Moving beyond the church begins first in our personal and family life, then moves to churchwide reflection and action.
Christian formation not only promotes the knowledge of the faith, educates about liturgy, helps with moral formation and teaches prayer, but it also prepares the Christian to live in community and to participate actively in the life and mission of the Church.
Finding small ways to continue the Easter celebration helps proclaim the importance of Easter in the Christian life.
As the world prepares to commemorate World Malaria Day on April 25, we call on the Church to pray for those suffering from this deadly disease and take stock of those things done and those things left undone.
Ah mission trips . . . just the thought brings up conflicting emotions for those of us who do youth ministry. The drama of close quarters, varied temperatures, and sore muscles treis but fails to dilute the joy of truly serving Christ next to our brothers and sisters in different places
He’s my milk delivery person and I see him (maybe) once a week for (possibly) two minutes at a time and we have a relationship where we care for one another. Can we say the same about the children and youth in our churches?
On January 17, 2011 we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the holiday recognizing one of America's greatest heroes - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.