Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

Why Christians are Excited about Brene Brown

Brene Brown’s work on shame and vulnerability points to three important themes for Christians: imperfection, authenticity, and wholeheartedness.

Book Review: Room at My Table by Evelyn Bence

Room at my Table may seem, at at first glance, like light reading. Indeed, the lively prose and entertaining anecdotes make for quick page turning. But after digesting a few reflections, one finds a volume that is expertly written, and carefully crafted through and through. On a personal note, I was thoroughly impressed with the writing and the spiritual exposition displayed in this inspiring book.

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.

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.

How to Make a Palm Cross – Video!

By folding the palms into crosses, we underscore this drastic reversal, and the fickle human nature which brought it about. We recall how quickly triumph gave way to shame and suffering.

This is a powerful way to enter Holy Week, and if you have never made a palm cross, here is our video to show you how. This is a high definition, easy to see, and easy to follow tutorial featuring our own Charlotte Greeson. Enjoy and share!

“The Painting Table” in Lent

The Painting Table is a book by Roger Hutchison, which has inspired workshops during Lent and other seasons. Here he describes how he used his practice of painting with the spirit and your fingers to create a Lenten series.

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.

Praying, Obviously! – How to Help Children Pray

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!”

A Youth Curriculum That Works – Youth Emmaus

  “That was fun!” “That was a great lesson!”   I had always hoped to hear comments like these from the youth of the church where I serve. But I only began to hear them when I implemented a curriculum that is barely known in the United States. I can’t remember where I found it […]

Hand it Over: Why Giving Something Up for Lent Matters

The purpose of Lenten discipline, I have discovered, is to draw closer to Jesus Christ. Full stop. Growing deeper into Christ’s love is the compelling reason to give something up for Lent; and it is no coincidence that this is also the only way to succeed in doing so.

That Empty Feeling: What to do when nobody shows up for Sunday School

You know the feeling. You’ve spent several hours reading the coming week’s curriculum session, putting together a lesson plan, gathering materials, and arriving early to make sure everything is in order before your class arrives. They might be children, youth, or adults. You’re ready for them. And then… one or two participants show up – or no one does.

Sunday Happens – Butterflies and Transformation in Erie

There aren’t too many sure things in life, but we can be sure that every week, Sunday will happen. In churches around the world, Jesus Christ is proclaimed, and people of all ages grow deeper into him. Today’s reflection comes from Merideth Paff, a Sunday school teacher at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Erie, PA. She lives in […]

Pancake Supper Survival Guide

You agreed in a pre-pageant haze to take over this year’s Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. Lent seemed so far away…

Now it’s around the corner. You know people will show up, hungry. You know you have volunteers. What you don’t know is how to turn on the church oven.

Breathe. You can do this. We can help. Here at Building Faith we have BTDT experts to offer wisdom for just such occasions. BTDT, of course, stands for “Been There, Done That.”

Inquiring Minds Want to Know: A Recipe for Confirmation

Home baked bread has been part of my life ever since I can remember. On Sundays my mother would take out the Joy of Cooking, turn to page 603, and begin gathering the ingredients. By evening our family was gathered around the kitchen table for warm bread topped with melting butter. I use that same […]

Rejoice! Building Faith Continues

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace. The mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. -Isaiah 55:12     Greetings and blessings to you, whether you are a long time reader or new to this site.  […]

Leaving the Church

Most people want to grow spiritually, and it’s hard to do that in churches that spend an inordinate amount of time catering to the spiritual lowest common denominator.

Young Adults: Seeking Authenticity & Relevance

Young people are not looking for the easy path in life. They don’t mind a challenge – it is too often us who fear the challenge. They are not looking for the path of least resistance.

8 Activities for All Saints’ Day

On November 1st the church remembers the saints of God – all faithful servants and believers. The day is seen as a communion of saints who have died and of all Christian persons. All Hallows’ Eve, October 31st (from which our Halloween traditions come); All Saints’ Day; and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd – the Day of the Faithful Departed), are connected by tradition and are often celebrated together.

Life in a New Apostolic Age

America is profoundly divided. Trust has eroded. For many people, there is a sense that the modern Western myths of technological progress and mastery have run their course. A new spiritual hunger has emerged as people seek meaning, purpose, community, and sustainable ways of living on this earth together amidst global diversity.

The Spiritual Guidance of Children

Two questions need to be asked about every expenditure and program in the church: How will this action impact the spiritual guidance of children? How can children be involved in an appropriate way? Both questions are about children, but they also involve adults. They open up opportunities for adults to mature in their own spirituality by working with children and thinking more carefully about their place in the community.