INFANT BAPTISM BOX OF PROMISES

When there is an infant or child baptism scheduled, ask a children’s Sunday school class or children’s church to decorate a baptism box to give to the baby, filled it with baptism symbols, and write a promise to the baby. Promise Example: “I promise to pray for you and show you where the good cookies are at coffee hour.”

During the baptism, parishioners are invited to add their own promises (written on slips of paper provided) to the box, which is then given to the parents following worship.

Some of the baptism symbols/gifts for the box could be: sea shell, dove, Water Come Down (book by Walter Wangerin), baby’s blanket, a list of parent prayers for their children, etc.

Purchase a supply of nice white gift boxes and pretty ribbon to have on hand for this.

This idea came from a blog article “A Disciplined Experiment on Changing Worship” by Theresa E. Cho. http://theresaecho.com/2013/03/06/a-disciplined-experiment-on-changing-worship/

IS DISCIPLESHIP THE GOAL? TRY ENGAGE CURRICULUM

Is discipleship the goal?   Take a look at this curriculum from Presbyterian Mission Agency.

This curriculum could be used for an adult Lenten study, with session members or by individuals.

ENGAGE CURRICULUM – from Presbyterian Mission Agency

Organized in 3 studies with 7 sessions in each study.

Engage: Gospel

Engage: Discipleship

Engage: Mission

There is a simple disciple-making inventory at the beginning of the Engage: Discipleship study that uses the four essentials of worship, fellowship, learning, and serving.

Worship – In what ways is worship challenging and equipping you for discipleship?  How do you engage in prayer, both personally and within the community?  What spiritual disciplines do you practice that help draw you closer to God, and are you contemplating others?

Fellowship – In what ways are you involved in supporting and enjoying the church’s fellowship? Where in the church do you receive support, encouragement, and guidance for your discipleship?

Learning – In what ways are you rooting your life in Bible study and other Christian education offerings?  What are the educational settings where you are growing in faith and understanding?  Are there some significant insights you have come to learn about yourself and your call to discipleship?

Serving – In what ways are you using your gifts in serving through the ministry of our church?  Is there a current ministry or new ministry in which you would like to serve?  Where is God calling you to serve?  What is a gift you offer in serving?

Contact me kayebledsoe@presbycc.org to preview the curriculum or order from the Church Store –                              http://store.pcusa.org/Browse-Categories/Engage

Connecting Technology & Worship

Here are 3 simple ways to begin embracing the technology of smart phones, e-readers, and tablets without choosing to overhaul the worship liturgy and music during a Sunday morning worship service. Imagine…
Getting a Bulletin: Instead of receiving a paper bulletin from an usher, post a QR Code on the wall in the narthex or door of the sanctuary. Scan the code with your smart phone, e-reader, or tablet, and BAM- The worship bulletin is on your device with easy access to the bulletin all week: to refer back to the announcements, check the calendar, and pray for the people listed under the Prayer Concerns and Celebrations.
Processing the Sermon: “Live tweet” or share thoughts via Facebook. If the church uses a specific hashtag (#ChurchName), then a conversation can begin among worship goers and continue all week as people ruminate on the sermon. This invites the congregation into a discussion that has the potential to go deeper than just hearing the sermon.
Offering: Instead of putting cash or a check into the offering plate, pick up a card from the pew rack and scan a QR code which takes you to a webpage for online giving, or to a website for giving to a special offering. All of this is done from the pew while the offertory music plays.

Find more ways in a blog “Masterin’ the Pastorin’ by Rebecca Chancellor—http://masteringthepastoring.com/

Real Kids, Real Faith

The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina was blessed to have Karen Marie Yust, Professor of Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary provide leadership at our Equipping the Saints event.

Karen Marie shared information and practical ideas for promoting faith formation in intergenerational settings. 

Her book titled “Real Kids, Real Faith” is chocked full of insights and practices for nurturing children’s spiritual lives. In her chapter on storytelling, she shares 5 aspects of story-linking. Here is a snippet from that chapter: 

“We can invite our children to create a mural for their bedroom or playroom wall that includes scenes from their favorite Bible stories. Older children might create comic strip renditions of stories or trading cards containing an image or note worthy fact about various biblical characters.  Washable window paints or markers turn glass surfaces into storyboards on which children can tell the stories of their tradition to the neighborhood, especially around religious holidays, then wash one set away and begin again.”

Another idea for sharing stories at home is to mount a dry erase board in the family eating area.  At the end of each meal, invite family members to draw images of stories, and of ways they are living faithfully.

Members of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina can borrow Karen Marie’s book from Presbytery’s Resource Center.  kayebledsoe@presbycc.org

dark days & the light of christ

Does the lack of light from the shorter days of winter affect your mood? Read how Melissa Sue Shults uses the Liturgy of the Hours to beat the gloom.

Vibrant Faith@Home Blog

PrayerInSadnessA couple weeks ago, on a dark, gloomy Friday afternoon, I found myself in a terrible mood. It has not been a rough winter here in Western Montana. In fact, it’s been a little disappointing with the lack of snow and warm temperatures. But even with mild weather, the short days get to me. I find myself longing for light. I know there is a lot of winter ahead and I hate being in a bad mood, so this one afternoon prompted me to try a little experiment to help me get through these next winter months.

I have long been intrigued by the Liturgy of the Hours and the rhythm of pausing every few hours to pray (Resources on this ancient practice can be found at: divineoffice.org, commonprayer.org, commonprayer.net). So I have utilized the technology of my smart phone and set an alarm for the hours: 6am, 9am, noon…

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