Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Training Teens for VBS: 16 Things They Need to Hear

Teens make valuable contributions as VBS volunteers. But they need clear and direct training. Here’s what to tell them to keep everyone safe and having fun.

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.

Take Out Church: A Summer Tool for Home and Traveling

Take Out Church is for families to take with them over the summer. Inside a take out box are many ways to build God’s Kingdom at home or when traveling!

What I Did at Theological Debate Camp

SUMMA is a summer camp that deepens campers’ understanding of faith through theological debate, while building community, and offering plenty of fun.

The 30 Minute Summer Sabbath

Does your summer include rest and a chance to recharge? Jerusalem’s tips and ideas will help you and your household keep summer sabbath.

Bricks of Faith: Creating a VBS Labyrinth

“Whenever I walk the labyrinth, I will remember children making this beautiful sacred space – with hearts, question marks, joy, and a baseball field – and see the passion behind their creativity. Their bricks represent the fulfillment of God’s promises.”     Walter Brueggemann’s Narrative of “Making Bricks” The Vacation Bible School (VBS) program at […]

7 Keys for a Transformational Mission Trip

Church mission trips can be transformational for youth and adults, but there are intentional choices that leaders must make. Read these seven tips before you head off.

Flat Jesus Summer Project: St. Ann Style

As church members travel in the summer, “flat Jesus” is a fun an interactive way to stay connected with the church and build community through social media.

‘Safe Church’ Practices for VBS

Churches have “safe church” protocols to keep children safe from abuse. But what about summer programs such as VBS? The author describes how to be vigilant.

In Case You Missed It: Best of the Summer 2014

This summer was full of helpful at inspiring articles at Building Faith. But we realize that with travel, time off, or just taking a break, you may have missed some of these terrific posts. Today we are posting the best of June:

Summer Camp Formation: Why Does it Work So Well?

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.

Summer Nurture – Talking and Listening with Children

Children are on a mission: God is working in, through and with them. what might be our role as parents – or caregivers in any capacity? How do we celebrate their noticings, attend when they are joyous or sorrowful, and offer creative paths from boredom into engagement?
Listening comes first: fully listening to the child – not distracted by our busy schedules and mobile devices. It helps for us to be thinking in terms of of leading questions that engage, instead of just seeking the right answer. For example, “What do you think about that?”

The Good Book Club – An Intergenerational Sunday School Offering

The Good Book Club is summer Christian Formation for all ages at Grace & Holy Trinity Church. We’re an urban church in Richmond, VA, where many of our parishioners are gone on summer weekends. With reduced numbers, and wanting to encourage inter-age Bible study, we don’t offer traditional age-graded Sunday School. Instead we do the inter-generational Good Book Club. It meets at 9:00 a.m. between our two services, and lasts for 45 minutes. With continental breakfast, including Starbucks coffee (very important!), and we gather around the table to talk, study, eat and be together.

Mission Trip vs Pilgrimage: What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

Planning a church youth trip this summer? Defining the purpose and character of the journey is key. Mission Trip or Pilgrimage? Each has unique benefits.

The Call to Ministry in Early Pentecost

Summer is a time for the harvester of the kingdom to be preparing for the harvest rather than to be dozing under an old oak tree!

When is VBS not VBS? Arts Camp at St. B’s

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Denver likes to dance to our own slightly different beat, even while we embrace the scripture and deeply rooted traditions of our faith. So, not surprisingly, we have a weeklong summer day camp every year. Also not surprisingly, it’s not Vacation Bible School.


I am thirsty, God. I am dry and parched and thirsty. My yearning for the water, for hot water and cold water, for still water and water that beats on me is a sign of my deep thirst. Bathe me, wash me, soak me in your refreshing love, I thought to myself.

A Teachable Moment

Can you remember sitting in a classroom trying to comprehend a lecture on long division and finding you mind floating out the open window into the deep blue of the crisp autumn sky? Suddenly, a flock of migrating geese grabs your attention!

Summer Sabbatical

Be still. Stop. There is no rush to get to the end, because we are never finished. Take time to rest, and eat, and drink, and be refreshed.

Creating a Summer Rhythm for Households

People of all ages often enter the summer exhausted from the “year.” Finding ways to honor sabbath and create ‘blank space’ is the key to a healthy summer.