Many areas around the United States are cautiously reopening following months of city- and state-mandated quarantines during the coronavirus outbreak. Congregations, their pastors, and church workers are struggling to find the right balance between enthusiastically welcoming people back to in-person worship and education programs, providing programs that adhere to local health requirements and ordinances, and offering ongoing support for individuals and families who simply can’t return in-person just yet. It’s a tough balancing act, and much patience and grace are needed as we figure out what things like Sunday School and confirmation and youth group continue to look like during a pandemic.
Many families are beginning this new school year with some version of distance learning taking place in their homes. How can we make this challenging situation a little bit easier for busy parents and help encourage our kids to grow in their faith at the same time? Here are a few ideas to help you set a daily routine for your distance learners!
Easter is always a special celebration of Christ’s victory. This year is no different. Jesus still died on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven—and that’s worth celebrating. It will likely be a different kind of celebration this year, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t exciting.
Full transparency; this is my first year married. When holidays come around, my husband and I have to create our own traditions—traditions that we will hopefully share with our children someday. We both come from families that celebrate holidays in BIG ways. Merging our two families’ traditions has been a great joy! As we look ahead to Easter and how our celebration will look different, I am planning to try some new activities. Some of which can be found in the free Easter activity guide that is linked at the bottom of the article.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
More than anything, I want my kids, throughout their lives, to know how loved they are. I want them to savor the beauty of God’s creation, to know His peace, and to pour out His love. With recent school closures and social distancing guidelines, reorienting myself and my family to the new normal has added complications to my already messy life. I’ve also wrestled with what to share, how to share it, and what to omit for my kids’ protection to anchor my family more intentionally to Christ instead of fear. While our regular schedules have been upended due to the current pandemic and worldwide angst, we’ve also been given a unique opportunity to go back to a lifestyle that was commonplace before the 19th century—a time of embracing familial tasks and sharing with our neighbors and loved ones in an intimate way.
Being a teacher involves patience, dedication, passion, lots of hours, and above all, love for your students. In these times of uncertainty when so many don’t know when they will be returning to school, how schools may look in the future, or if students are hearing the loving words of Jesus that they desperately need, be certain Jesus is with us as our guide.
’Tis the season of pumpkin spice and apple pie. As the epitome of this cozy and delightfully smelling season approaches, some of you may be looking forward to a day of glorious eating. Of course, others of you may stress about the preparation of the meal. Or you may find yourself in a different place this year, not able to enjoy the traditional American festivities of turkey, potatoes, and pie. For this moment, however, see if you can push aside any stress or hard feelings toward this holiday and let your imagination dwell in the comfort of a delicious meal enjoyed with someone you love. It’s on days like this that our eyes often seem too big for our stomachs as we are overwhelmed with the number of options on the table available to fill our tummies. How can we possibly give all of the foods proper justice?
What is vocation and how do you teach children about it? Vocation is a word used by the church to mean the work God does through you. He has called you to the vocation of wife, husband, mother, father, child, sibling, church worker—just to name a few. But do children understand they too, play an important part in God's family?
Their vocation as child of God and child in this world is a beautiful and an important lesson to teach. 1 Corinthians 12:4–6 says, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of activities, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” God does not need our help, but he uses our gifts and activities to help those around us. Each of us and each child around us has important vocations. Below are some discussion points for teaching children about vocation at home, school, church, and out in the world.