‘Service and Outreach’

Rhythms of Grace: How One Church Feeds Special Needs

Rhythms of Grace is relatively simple, affordable, and adaptive and can be effectively used to bring the Gospel to people not currently being served. Designed for those on the Autism spectrum, it is also very welcoming to individuals with other diagnoses like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ADHD, Down Syndrome, and neuro-typical children with ordinary wiggly squigglies, as well as youth and adults.

Building Faith Does Thanksgiving: 7 Helpful Posts

From at-home activities, to the history and meaning of Thanksgiving, you are sure to find something helpful: a round-up of Building Faith articles

9 Ways for Churches to Stay Connected with Parishioners Over the Summer

Most churches see attendance decline in the summer, but here are ways to buck the trend, and build spiritual connection throughout the season.

Formation with Young Adults: How Churches Reach 20s & 30s

Emerging adults are a special kind of moving target. How can churches meet them where they are, supporting them in their transitions without condescension? Practical considerations for engaging young adults and the whole of the Christian community.

Finding Jesus in Egg Hunts and Easter Baskets

Two posts to help families and churches add Christian depth and teaching to Egg Hunts and Easter Baskets.

The Best Vacation Bible School Kits for 2016

Our top 5 Vacation Bible School kits for 2016 from a variety of Christian publishers.

Campbell’s Food Drive: A School Chapel Inspires a Generous Five-Year-Old

At St. Stephens and St. Agnes School, a chapel program on hunger inspired a young student to start his own food drive. With a chaplain’s impact and support.

Timely Topics: How our Church Became a Hub for Social Discourse

One church uses a non-traditional time for adult education book study to capture a community’s need for civil discourse.

Christmas Comes to Children of Incarcerated Parents

Incarcerated parents and their children receive the joy of giving and receiving gifts through this Diocese of New Hampshire program.

Go Ahead: PLAY with Your Nativity Creche

Five ways your family can use your nativity creche to incorporate a deeper understanding of the Christmas season.

St. Nicholas’ Day Celebration at Church

Learn how one church celebrates St. Nicholas’ Day with prayer and song, crafts and chocolates, for families and those in need. Liturgy included.

Church Offers Drive-thru Prayers on September 11th

Church offers prayer to-go for morning commuters on the anniversary of 9/11.

3 Takeaways from Seeing the Pope in D.C.

On Wednesday I stood with thousands at Catholic University to see Pope Francis and hear him say Mass. My thoughts on Francis, a “true celebrity.”

Build a Creation Trail to Connect your Church or School with Nature

A creation trail can be built in any community. Create markers to draw attention to the beauty of nature and God’s creation.

Driving Your Youth: A Planning Tool

Offering transportation allows all children to attend acolyte or choir festivals, day-long service and educational opportunities. Furthermore, traveling together allows youth to bond with one another in life-changing ways. Arriving at your destination safely should be a planning priority.

Celebrating Ascension Day at Home

It is no small thing that Christ – even in his resurrected form – chose to spend his last days walking on terra firma with his friends and family.

We Shall Overcome: MLKjr Day, Scripture, and Children

Debbie Levy’s picture book, We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, traces this song of faith in God’s justice from the 1800s to the current day. Using the well known lyrics, Levy shows how the words of this spiritual have served as a beacon of hope to people around the world who are suffering from oppression and intolerance.

Coffee to Go – A church connects with the community, one cup at a time

A church decides to hand out free coffee in the community. The result “Coffee to Go,” and it is a blessing all around.

Love and Serve – A Youth Group Learns Compassion in Visiting Aging Adults

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.

The youth are given conversation starters and a devotional to offer during the visits. Skills are developed, faith is shared, multiple relationships are built.

While I am no longer at this church, the program is still “up and running.” The visitation week is the best part, and by far the favorite part for the youth and adults alike. Why was it their favorite part . . . because they know what they were doing makes a difference!

How to Get Church Volunteers: Stop Recruiting Them

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.