The Best in Youth Confirmation in a Nutshell

If you are interested in some of the latest, comprehensive research on youth confirmation, Sharon Ely Pearson has posted a blog sharing what she has gleaned from a recent study. For the past couple of years, the ecumenical Confirmation Project has been studying the aspects of confirmation. Youth, mentors and parents have been interviewed. Practices and programs have been studied.

Sharon’s post includes four dimensions of confirmation: Design, Leadership, Ecology and Curriculum.

Please take a look at what she shares on her Rows of Sharon blog – .




7 Ways to Welcome Visitors on Christmas Eve

wreath outside church Christmas

Posted by Carolyn Moomaw Chilton on the Building Faith web site.

“There is no better time than Christmas Eve to warmly welcome your church visitors…Invite people, especially new members, to be greeters for this one service.”

At the link below, you’ll find a Church Visitor Checklist for Christmas Eve
Hospitality takes planning for our Christmas Eve services.  Here is a quick and easy check list:

Decluttering Your Home, Mind, & Soul

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 Ruth Soukup, author of Unstuffed.

Although it is still a couple of weeks before Christmas, I’m going to share a resource that can help us find balance and order in our lives after the new year has arrived and we find ourselves overwhelmed with stuff.

The 4 session, DVD study titled Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul could be a start to a better way of life. Ruth Soukup, the presenter, is a blogger, wife, mom, and New York times bestselling author of Living Well, Spending Less.

If you’ve ever wished you could get rid of all the STUFF weighing you down, once and for all? Do you long to find balance and order? Are you unsure of where to even start?

Ruth uses personal stories, biblical truth, and practical action plans to inspire and empower you to finally declutter not only your home but your mind and soul as well.

The DVD includes a free introduction video as well as a printable study guide for groups or individuals. It is designed to be used with the Unstuffed book, sold separately.

The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina’s Resource Center has the DVD study for member churches to borrow. Call 910-862-8300.

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