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 https://congregationalcorner.wordpress.com/  .

All Saints Day Activities

Children’s Sermon for Nov. 6, 2016 – Year C from Faith Formation Journey – http://faithformationjourneys.org/

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  http://faithformationjourneys.org/ .

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 http://almostdailyprayer.com – 11/04/2016 edition

Faith Formation for Every Adult in Your Community

Image result

View the video (1 hr. 26 min.) presentation by John Roberto at the link below on how faith formation can reach all adults while embracing their diversity.


– Be sure to download the slides that accompany the presentation. The slides for this session are available at http://www.eformationvts.org/workshop…

Planning Youth Sunday

Youth Sunday Resources

On Sunday, August 21, congregations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are invited—as a response to the Lord’s Day emphasis of “Youth in the Church and World“—to be led in worship by the youth and adult youth workers of their church.

The Presbyterian Mission Agency, through the Office of Ministries with Youth, is pleased to offer a free resource entitled, “Out of Many We Are One,” that provides a detailed outline of a “Youth Sunday,” youth-led worship service. It vividly illustrates passages in Paul’s letters to the Roman and Corinthian communities that focus on the relationship between being individual parts of a body versus the body as a whole. The resource contains a complete worship service with leader notes, hymn suggestions, and even instructive photographs for interactive prayers of the people. The service is a perfect and fun order of worship for a specific Youth Sunday, for a “Youth in the Church and World” emphasis, or any worship opportunity led by youth any time of the year. “Out of Many We Are One” was written by Rev. Jeremy Wilhelmi and first led by Wilhelmi and the youth of Salisbury Presbyterian Church, Midlothian, Virginia.


Out of Many We Are One” is a part of the Quicksheets resource family. Quicksheets are fast, fresh, and relevant downloadable resources created by youth workers for those active in youth ministry. Quicksheets are free and available online at: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/youthministry/ .


What to do with Old Hymnals

  1. Reuse: Find a New Home for your hymnals!
    1. The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada will post a notice in their widely read newsletter the Verse regarding donated hymnals. Please send all pertinent information to info@thehymnsociety.org(link sends e-mail).
    2. Check with other churches in your area— those who continue to use the previous Psalter Hymnals may need to replace hymnals that are in poor condition.
    3. Donate them to the library—your church library, the local public library, school libraries, etc.
    4. Donate them to a retirement community or nursing home in your area.
    5. Donate them to Goodwill or another thrift store. However, it might be wise to make sure that they are not inundated with hymnals… Our best guess—no thrift store is going to want 300 copies of the same book on their shelves.
  2. Repurpose
    1. Use the pages of the hymnal for craft projects:
      1. Christmas ornaments (shred pages of a hymnal and put them in glass ball ornaments)
      2. Candle decorating
      3. Frame your favorite hymn
      4. Pinterest(link is external) has many fun ideas! Simply search “hymnal” and you will find more than you know what to do with…
    2. Keep them as a “resource” book instead of the main book.
    3. Send them home with the congregation, and encourage them to also purchase “Lift Up Your Hearts.”
  3. Recycle
    1. Contact a local recycling center and see what their policy is regarding books.
      1. The 1987 Psalter Hymnal (gray) is smyth sewn and case bound—you will need this information for recycling.
      2. Having only a small number of hymnals to recycle can cause problems for some recycling companies. We recommend Mission Centers work together to help congregations locate brokering opportunities for recycling.
      3. Anyone who throws away large quantities of paper or books might know of local recycling opportunities. Contact paper mills, paper companies, or publishing companies.
      4. Ask the recycling center if there is a charge.
      5. Cellulose insulation companies are a good source to contact for recycling the hymnals.
      6. If the community has curbside recycling, check their FAQ sheet to see if they accept books.

Soul Feast An Inspirational Coloring Book

Many of you many be familiar with Marjorie Thompson’s, wonderful book titled “Soul Feat: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life”.  There is a new improved edition of the book and also this new COLORING BOOK to accompany it.

Designed to give you both peace and inspiration, Soul Feast contains 25 illustrations for coloring in along with 25 quotes and prayers for reflection. Exploring important spiritual practices such as “Coloring as Prayer” and “Spiritual Reading,” this adult coloring book is perfect for meditation and relaxation. Find more information about the coloring book and the new edition of “Soul Feast” at Westminster John Knox Press. http://www.wjkbooks.com/AdvancedSearch/DefaultWFilter.aspx?searchTerm=Soul+Feast