Linnae Peterson Shares Thoughts for Parents during Advent & Christmas

Linnae Peterson shares suggestions and ideas for parents to consider during the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Thoughts are shared on the following topics at the link below.

  • Family Traditions
  • Space
  • Christmas Preparations
  • Advent & Anticipating Christmas
  • Christmas Stories
  • Light
  • Living Faith


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A Christmas Pageant for All Generations

Reposted from article by Liz Perraud at Oct 20, 2016

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Several years ago Carrie, a young mom and “child of our church” brought an idea to our pastor. She wanted to direct a traditional Christmas pageant with a bit of a twist—the cast would be intentionally intergenerational. Prior to coming to our church in middle school, she attended First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland, Maryland where her father was the pastor, now retired. She had great memories of participating in this pageant there and wanted the same for our church and her family. And so began a new every-two-years tradition at Christ Memorial Presbyterian!

As the pageant opens, a young child asks two adults, “Why is this such a season of wonder and excitement?” One of the adults responds, “Because of the coming of God’s love at Christmas; because of the birth of God’s son; because of how people received Jesus Christ into their lives.” And then instead of being told the story of Christ’s birth, the adults say they’ll show the story.

There is narration throughout so no lines to memorize. There is room for any number of sheep, shepherds, and angels with a purposeful invitation to people of all ages. A special song for the kings is included but otherwise, all singing is from the congregation’s hymnal with all participating. How often do we bring the generations together not just to worship, but to lead in worship? 

We (I speak from experience of playing an angel) are able to pull it off with a Saturday morning rehearsal and a lot of prayer and fun! Very few props but plenty of simple costumes! There’s always excitement about which baby will play Jesus and we remember who that young actor/actress was for years.

I hope you will consider this pageant or something similar to involve people of all ages in bringing the story of the birth of Christ to your community this Advent season.

Here’s the script with thanks to Carrie and First Presbyterian Cumberland.

Also, check out GenOn’s “All God’s Children: The Church Family Gathers for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany” for intergenerational events through the season.

Poise of the Soul: A Yoga Worship Service

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Reposted from Key Resources –

This past year, St. Alban’s Parish in Washington, DC, conducted a bold experiment in liturgy.

Associate rector Jim Quigley and I, with the support of parishioner Sally Craig, piloted a yoga worship service. We called it A Poise of the Soul: Yoga as Liturgy, and strung a large banner outside to advertise the monthly Friday-night offering. People of all ages showed up for six months to move, pray, and connect.

As Jim explained in a Facebook post, A Poise of the Soul is not “yoga next to liturgy or near liturgy or in the parish hall before or after … [but rather] a new way to pray.”

Why should we want explore a new way to pray? Well, anyone who spends much time in yoga studios sees the spiritual hunger in urban Millennials. Studios support their spiritual stirrings with yoga classes that align movement with breath and that frequently involve meditation, chanting, and short homilies aimed at spiritual centering and uplift.

Jim, Sally, and I set out to address these growing ranks of the spiritual-but-not-religious. We also reached out to churched folk interested in exploring new ways to practice their faith.  

Read the entire article at 


Judy Urban: Bringing New Life to Your Congregation

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Reposted from Alban at Duke Divinity School. They share an article by Judy Urban about engaging our current members and new members in our church’s vision.


Many congregations are struggling to keep existing members and attract new ones. Today’s faith communities are reexamining everything in an effort to more fully engage existing members and draw in potential new members.

The understanding is growing that congregational leaders need to focus more on engaging the gifts and passions of their members in the ministries and mission of the church. In fact, this must be a main focus of all leadership in church work — namely, to equip the people of God for ministry. We, as congregational leaders, affect how ministry gets accomplished by the way we invite volunteers into ministry, by the way we encourage, support, supervise, thank, and celebrate volunteer ministers.

Read the entire article at 

A Ploy or a Promise: Inclusive, Open-Minded, and a Home for Your Soul

How do you gather with those who might not believe the same as you?
What space is opened for reflection and conversation in your congregation?

Rev. Jordan B. Davis
Church Relations, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA

Read Rev. Davis’ post about her visit to  Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Greensboro, NC.

As I pulled up, I noticed their sign right away. “Inclusive, Open Minded, and Home For Your Soul: A Progressive Community.” Having gone to college only two blocks away, I smiled and figured that had to grab the attention of the students walking past on their way to and from campus. I also worried, wondering if this was just another ploy to reach out the students but didn’t actually match the congregation at all. I am so pleased to tell you that this is no ploy– this IS Church of the Covenant!

Read the entire article at  .

All Saints Day Activities

Children’s Sermon for Nov. 6, 2016 – Year C from Faith Formation Journey –

You Are a Saint of God! All Saints Sunday, Nov. 6th, 2016 Year C

Ask, “How many of you have grandmas, or grandpas? Do you see them all of the time? (Some will, some won’t.) If you don’t see them very often, (or at all) are you still their grandchild? (Yes!) I have grandmas and grandpas but my grandma (or grandpa or other relative) has died. That means that they no longer live here on earth, they are with God now and I don’t see them anymore but I know that I will someday! We know that God promises that we will all someday be together and with God. God created us to be together. We have families, friends, church community, all kinds of places where we are with people. When we’re together, we can teach each other about Jesus. What would you want to tell these people here about Jesus?” (Have the children turn and face the congregation and say what they think is important about Jesus.)

*Then invite up a parent and a baby, a teen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety (if you have one present!). Say, “All of these people are part of our community. Even if we don’t see them every day know their name, can they still teach us something about Jesus? Can a baby teach us about Jesus? Yes! A teenager? A grandma or grandpa? YES! Can you teach them about God too? YES!”

Find the rest of the article at .

Opening Our Church to Children and Youth

From a blog post by Dr. Chris Denny

Luke 18: 15-17

People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”

it is hard to imagine
your disciples trying to prevent
children from coming to you.

But I am afraid we disciples still do.
We make church an adult activity.
We build separate buildings for children and youth.
We hire experts to handle children and youth
while the pastor ministers to adults.

Read the entire post at – 11/04/2016 edition