• On Christmas Pageants...and Chaos
    Vital Posts
    There’s no stink in most Christmas pageants. There’s none of the droppings from the sheep and cattle that were lowing, as we romanticize in song. If you’ve been in a barn lately, you know that they’re stinky, dirty, cobwebby places. Even …
  • Social Media Campaigns
    Vestry Papers
    In the first of a two-part series, “Social Media Campaigns” by Charis Bhagianathan shares how Episcopal congregations and dioceses are using Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to educate and engage both parishioners and those in the wider community…
  • Five Ways to Teach Kids Financial Stewardship in the Digital Age
    Vital Posts
      A Grow Christians blog post by Nancy Hopkins-Green The other day, I was sitting at a table with a group of parishioners when a mother asked, “How do we teach and model stewardship with our kids in a digital age?” Speaking specifically…
  • Hands Off: Letting Teens Take the Lead
    Vital Posts
    Our youth group’s revival started with a half-century old confirmation bulletin. A member of the church brought in his confirmation bulletin to share with the priest. As he looked at it, he noticed an interesting addition. In the listing of c…
  • Back To (Sunday) School
    Vital Posts
    I’m writing this on the day after Labor Day, also known in our household as our daughter’s first day of third grade. In our community, most school-aged children have been back in school for a while now (my daughter’s school does things a bit …
  • On Starting New Things
    Vital Posts
    I’m writing this post from Lion’s Camp Merrick, a beautiful camp set along the picturesque shores of the Potomac River – looking west about a mile to the Virginia shore – in far western Charles County, Maryland. This is where our diocesan s…
  • Nostalgia and Remembering the Why Behind Change
    Vital Posts
    Facebook can stir some intense nostalgia with its memories feature. I logged on the other day to see a picture of our church’s Vacation Bible School from three years ago, the last one we held. The kids were so sweet and little, and I was awas…
  • #PokemonGo, Cultural Phenomena, and Evangelism
    Vital Posts
    This past week you may have noticed herds of people wandering around neighborhoods, staring at their phones, and searching for something. Those somethings were Pokémon, and those people were trying to catch them in the mobile game Pokémon Go. …
  • Pokémon And Pilgrimages
    Vital Posts
    CNN calls it “the 90s fad that never died,” [1] and in fact Pokémon is on another upsurge. Nintendo’s new smartphone-based app / game, Pokémon GO, has been released in the US, New Zealand and Australia – topping the US iOS and Android cha…
  • VBS for the Community!
    Vital Posts
    We thought we were going to have to cancel it, just like another local congregation did for theirs. This summer’s Vacation Bible School, held at St. George’s and sponsored by both Church of the Ascension, Lexington Park, and St. George’s, Val…
  • Beloved Children of God
    Vital Posts
    Her response was plaintive and clear: I think the bishop would be mad at you if the kids weren’t there, if the whole family didn’t come to dinner. I had asked my 14-year-old if she wanted to stay home (or go out with friends) on Saturday night…
  • Too Young to Lead?
    Vestry Papers
    Finding people to fill leadership roles can be a challenging. One approach is to provide opportunities for members, including youth and young adults, to develop leadership skills - as helpers, assistants, or committee members. As a young teenager, …
  • Kid's Corner
    Vital Posts
    Sunday School is a tough challenge for smaller churches. There are Sundays with no kids in church. There are Sundays with one baby, two toddlers, an 8-year old, and a middle schooler. Neither scenario lends itself to an easy classroom scenario, eve…
  • Grow Christians: Practicing Faith at Home
    Vital Posts
    I haven’t been intentional about bringing my kids to Ash Wednesday services. To be honest, I couldn’t fathom the idea of the priest—their father and my husband—crossing ashes on their forehead and saying, “Remember you are dust and to dus…
  • Let the Children Lead
    Vital Posts
    Jesus is still encouraging us to let the children come to him, not least because they can explain the new features of an iPhone. The Church as a whole has a mixed record when it comes to fully embracing children as equal participants in the bod…
  • Planned Giving in Your Episcopal School
    Webinars
    Planned gifts made to your school could be transformational in securing funds for scholarships, building endowments and new facilities, and empowering your future. However, many Episcopal schools find it difficult to get started due to a lack of unde…
  • Advent Wreath Making and Prayers
    Your Turn
    Originally developed for children and their families, these Advent prayers and reflections were soon shared throughout the congregation.
  • Parachute Drop
    Vital Posts
    What an image: A parachute dropping from the sky towards a new suburb still growing into farmland on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Who is this parachutist so intentionally aiming for this community? It’s a priest! Meet the Gray Lesesn…
  • Youth Events, Plus A Youth Group
    Vital Posts
    I’m a few days late submitting this blog post because I spent the day I was supposed to be writing, fearing for my life while riding roller coasters with names like “Intimidator” and “Dominator” – names which are merely metaphorical to …
  • From the Mouths of Babes
    Vital Posts
    Few things can pull a teen girl’s eyes from the allure of a smartphone. But enter a wiggly toddler or shy kindergartner, and the phone finds its way to the back jean pocket. A colleague offered some insight: the young teens can play. It’s…
  • In Community
    Vital Posts
    The sun slid down the mountains, and the game was on.    Cornhole, a very Midwestern pastime, kicked into high gear. A father and son played on one team, a high school freshman and a thirty-something on the other. The cheer team packed the picn…
  • There’s Something About Sunday School
    Vital Posts
    We’re getting ready to celebrate our Sunday School kids and families and teachers this Sunday. At the later service, the children will get their certificates, the families will get their photo ‘op,’ and the teachers will be honored, as well. …
  • God Called. We’ve Got Work to Do
    Vestry Papers
  • Spiritual Resources Online
    Webinars
    Motivated by busy schedules, declining participation in institutional life, and changing patterns of individual religious practice, congregations have an increasingly rich opportunity to support the faith lives of members outside of church. Thankfull…
  • The Body of Christ, Heavenly Bread
    Vital Posts
    This article has been translated from Spanish. Read the Spanish language version here. Each year the Diocese of Eastern Massachusetts organizes spiritual retreats for boys and girls of all ages. With great enthusiasm the leadership of the …
  • Hybrid Faith Formation: Learning As We Go
    Vital Posts
    Since I last wrote about our intrepid group of hybrid faith formation innovators, we’ve gotten to see network-based learning get off the ground in several congregations as well as in our leader’s group. The cohort continues to share an energeti…
  • Millennials: Our Next Greatest Wave of Givers?
    Vital Posts
    Last night my best friend and I finished reading “The Fault in our Stars.” This instant classic was recently made into a box office hit as younger people, millennials, enjoyed its rich vocabulary, tender but teenage angst filled romance, and it…
  • All Hallow's Eve
    Vital Posts
    Oversized spiders hanging on front porches and cobwebs strewn across shopping aisles remind me that Halloween is just around the corner. I’ve never been a big fan of this holiday, myself, although I’m equally keen to re-claim it as a Christian …
  • Best Pentecost Present. Ever.
    Vital Posts
    This year for Pentecost, God gave me a basketball team. I don’t usually ask for much for Pentecost. On Christmas and Easter, I will go so far as to ask for a little extra in the way of attendance, a little special spark in the music and the d…
  • Lego My Bible
    Vital Posts
    Summertime is here, and it feels so good. Vacations, BBQs, swimming pools. Empty pews, VBS, a break from Sunday Schools. But just because it's summer doesn't mean we stop talking and teaching about God and our faith. We just need to be cre…
  • Speaking Frankly
    Vital Posts
    I need a frank case. I told my husband and fully expected him to offer assistance. Instead, he asked, bewildered: “What’s a frank case?” I explained that it’s a small bag in which you pack shampoo, toothpaste, and medicine. He i…
  • Doing Brunch at Church
    Vital Posts
    I'm not at all certain that church is competing with soccer, as I’ve heard it argued, or any number of Sunday activities (where, once upon a time, nothing was open or scheduled). Church, especially Sunday morning Christian worship, especia…
  • Soccer-field Best
    Vital Posts
    They came in their baseball jersey and pants, cap tucked into the belt. They came with soccer shorts underneath the choir robes, and they processed with hair primly pulled into a bun for an afternoon recital. One wore riding boots for an afternoon …
  • Resource: Congregations with a School
    Tools
    Does your congregation also have a school? Here are links to resources developed by the National Association of Episcopal Schools and other resources related to church-school partnerships. https://www.episcopalschools.org/about-naes/mission-purpose
  • Five Loaves of Garlic Bread
    Vital Posts
    Like young children are want to do, our daughter belted out the song during the Vacation Bible School program. Not old enough yet to care about the risk of embarrassment in public, she tapped her foot almost to the beat, and her blue eyes sparkled.…
  • Lent Madness
    Vital Posts
    The brackets are due. If you haven't yet labored over which saint should win the Golden Halo, you have a few mere hours to complete your bracket. Voting begins today. We’ve written about Lent Madness before but here’s a brief recap: Lent …
  • Sunday School in a Box
    Vital Posts
    I’m a big fan of out-of-the-box thinking, but a new way of doing Sunday School at our church has me thankful for in-the-box preparation. Our congregation is program-size, with an average Sunday attendance of 200. But we’re not quite at th…
  • Can Children Understand Worship?
    Vital Posts
    The answer came to me a decade ago. I was sitting in a circle of very young Episcopalians, listening to them explore a dark patch of felt in the parable of the Good Shepherd. They were so interested in the “places of danger” on the story-tellin…
  • Mentoring High School Students
    Vital Posts
    This blog post is a translation of this article. The last two years of high school are extremely important for all young people in our communities, not least in Latino communities. Regardless of their social class, cultural or ethnic values t…
  • Daily Cake
    Vital Posts
    Have your faith and eat it too. That’s the premise of a cool blog committed to supporting young adults in The Episcopal Church. Founders of thedailycake.org gathered in Cincinnati this past weekend to review the past year and to plan fo…
  • Feeling Valued
    Vestry Papers
    Making people feel valued and welcome is key to building community. In “Feeling Valued,” high school senior Ariana Gonzales-Bonillas invites congregational leaders to reflect on the ways youth are valued – or not – in their congregation.
  • Praying In Color Resources
    Vital Posts
    Have you heard of praying in color? It was something unfamiliar to me until a few months ago when a friend on twitter, The Rev. Lori Johnson, posted about a caim prayer she had done as a drawing. I loved the prayer, and thought it would be a gre…
  • Advent: Meet Them Where They Are – Even When They Keep Moving!
    Vital Posts
    My predecessor was an artist and incredibly creative. She put together lovely evenings for families with young children on Palm Saturday and Advent. We made Advent wreathes and bracelets with colored beads for the days of Holy Week, we painted palm…
  • Ask Not What Your (Church) Can Do For You
    Vital Posts
    Last year, about this time, I was walking around the downtown square of our County seat with Jason Evans, our diocese’s new young adult missioner. He was new to the diocese and had just come down to spend a few days in St. Mary’s County, to get…
  • Young People: Not Merely the Church’s Future
    Vital Posts
    "The youth are the future of our church!" I have heard these words preached, whispered, shouted both desperately and joyfully, and cried throughout my time in the Episcopal Church. While I cannot doubt the passion behind this statement, it always lea…
  • An Authentically Anglican Halloween
    Your Turn
    How does celebrating the Day of the Dead fit our Episcopal faith?
  • Creepy or Cool?
    Vital Posts
    Apparently, Trunkk or Treat* is so yesterday. I’ve noticed for the first time a whole new crop of Halloween-themed events at Episcopal churches. One church held a children's event at the Old Episcopal Burying Ground. Children were ask…
  • Involving Youth in Giving
    Vital Posts
    There’s an adage that says “If you ask a person for a dollar you`ll get their opinion. If you ask a person for their opinion, you`ll get an opportunity for a contribution.” When thinking about youth involvement for giving, ECF Capital Cam…
  • Hunger Games
    Vital Posts
    Katniss has a few other tricks up her sleeve, if we’ll play. Our youth group participated yesterday in a Hunger Games program at our cathedral. If you have a tween, then you know all about Katniss, the main character of the Hunger Games tri…
  • i-care, We Care
    Vital Posts
    I was cruising around the Internet the other day when I stumbled on a site that inspired me. The Anglican Diocese of Wellington, in New Zealand – way across the world from my little hometown of Fort Thomas, Ky., exhibited its care and compa…
  • Homegrown Communion: Faith, Land and Neighbor
    Webinars
    Many of our faith communities are experiencing a movement that is grounded in our spiritual and physical hunger for food, community, justice and relationship with God. This movement is manifesting itself in church gardens, faith-based farms, feeding …
  • Candy Crush for God
    Vital Posts
    I’ve finally stopped playing candy crush. Truth be told, it wasn’t rock-star self-control that pulled the plug but rather a program error in one of the 300 levels that kept freezing the iPad, despite a few (hundred) attempts. Eventually, even I…
  • Moral Instruction
    Vital Posts
    When the invitation came, I was skeptical. Moral instruction? Isn’t that my job? Do I really want to enroll my kid in this type of program? Well, yes. And yes. Our school district has an unusual partnership with a collective of…
  • Photo Release Form
    Your Turn
    When you post photos, especially of children, it's important to have permission. Sample photo release form - in English and Spanish
  • Chrysalis
    Vital Posts
    When I was in middle school, my dad refused to let me join the youth group mission trip. He was worried, I think, about my safety, a young, suburban girl thrust into a week of poverty, in a neighborhood of crime. His heart was with me, …
  • Being Schooled
    Vital Posts
    With the enticement of pizza and pop, the youth group gathered to talk with us about how to support and strengthen the Latino community.    We learned a lot – the need for bilingual materials, desire for resources on the sacraments and saints,…
  • Hunting Season
    Vital Posts
    I like Easter egg hunts and I play to win. Actually, I haven’t been allowed to participate in one for quite a number of years, which is clearly a form of age discrimination. Just imagine the number of plastic eggs I could amass competing against …
  • Walking the Stations with my Seven Year Old Son
    Vital Posts
    I’m the pastor of a medium-size congregation in Madison, Wisconsin, St. Dunstan’s Church. On Thursday evenings in Lent, we’ve been walking the Stations of the Cross at 6:00 pm, before our potluck supper and Lenten program. It's always a small…
  • Elixir for Church Growth
    Vital Posts
    In the middle of the science fair/book fair/fine arts fair, time to visit the school night, we ran into a couple from our church. I was surprised. Their kids are grown and in master’s programs around the country. They don’t have grandkids…
  • Building Young Adults Networks
    Vestry Papers
    Some congregations don’t know what they can provide to attract young adults. Mary Cat Young offers a different approach for congregations.
  • Reclaiming Relevance
    Vestry Papers
    How could St. Andrew’s welcome its Brazilian neighbors? Lori Mills-Curran shares how a ‘boot camp’ leadership experience spurred new ideas and connections.
  • The Church that Plays Soccer
    Vital Posts
    El Iglesia Episcopal Buen Pastor is a Latino mission in Durham, North Carolina. As the mission grew, many of the young people were looking for a place to play soccer. The front lawn of the church was very small and dangerously close to the road and…
  • 70 Mosaics
    Vital Posts
    Our season of Bountiful Abundance for our church school began with a Creation Day where 70 children and adults each created a personal mosaic. It was an amazing undertaking and took our artist-in-residence and our children’s program director’s …
  • Raising PK’s
    Vital Posts
    I want a village to help raise my PK’s (priest's kids) – as long as they’re not defined by their parents’ profession. I’m sure this is an issue for families of a variety of occupations, but there are some peculiar expectations place…
  • The End of the Search
    Vital Posts
    I wrote earlier this summer about the search process for a new Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries at St. Andrew’s Church. I am happy to report we have just hired a fabulous young woman who is perfect for the job. Even though t…
  • Let’s Move: Olympic Fun Day
    Vital Posts
    Growing up, we were taught not to plan our lives around a television program. It is advice I follow to this day unless it is an Olympic year: Watching the opening and closing ceremonies is required. Television schedule in hand, I map out the events…
  • Sunday School Memories...
    Vital Posts
    We have begun to receive resumes for our next Director of Children and Youth Ministries. It made me think back to my own experience as a kid in Sunday School. I was confirmed in 1967 as a seventh-grader at William Street United Methodist Churc…
  • Calling a Call Committee
    Vital Posts
    I have put together a screening committee to help me select a new leader for our children and youth ministries. At St. Andrew’s we are coming to the end of a seven-year period where our children and youth ministries have been directed by a fun, g…
  • Examples of Commissioning Services
    Your Turn
    Ken Garner, Director of Communications and Stewardship of Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, PA, shares examples of their commissioning services.
  • Why Serve?
    Vital Posts
    This past Friday I headed to Virginia Theological Seminary to take part in Why Serve 2012, Vocational Discernment for Young Adults of Color. Upon my arrival, I immediately regretted how short my visit would be; I loved meeting everyone who had gath…
  • What Gives You Hope?
    Vital Posts
    Pssst. Have you heard? Great things are happening in the Episcopal churches every single day. This weekend I reviewed survey responses from subscribers to ECF Vital Practices. While there was a lot to review, I was particularly struck b…
  • Welcoming Young Adults
    Vital Posts
    Editor’s Note: Guest blogger Chris Yaw’s passion is healthy churches. His ChurchNext ministry puts the spotlight on a diversity of ministries that are flourishing. He records and shares interviews with faith leaders so others can …
  • Quiet Kids
    Vital Posts
    If you went to church camp, you may remember it fondly – friends, games, singing in chapel and swimming in a pool or lake. Or, like me, your feelings about camp may be mixed. You loved the singing in chapel, enjoyed some of the games, but the fir…
  • The Fifth [Meatless] Friday of Lent
    Vital Posts
    Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others. Amen.  -The Blessing of a Marriage, the Book of Common Prayer I grew up thinking only nuns could be married to God. Now I think t…
  • The Hunger Games
    Vital Posts
    The highly anticipated movie The Hunger Games opens this Friday in theaters across the nation. Based on a series of young adult novels by the same name, this movie reflects on scarcity, individualism, and an ethos of distrust. In this blog post from …
  • The Fourth [Meatless] Friday of Lent
    Vital Posts
    I have always had an interest in the faith practices of the Amish community, and find certain aspects of the culture surprising and even counter-intuitive. The degree of freedom offered to Amish children—both in decisions surrounding marriage and…
  • Youth on Vestries
    Your Turn
    This brief post points to General Convention legislation passed in 2009 encouraging youth leadership on vestries and bishop's committies.
  • What's Your Next Step?
    Vital Posts
    What are you doing after graduation? Do you remember this question? Did you dread it like I did? I confess that 15 years ago I was one of those college seniors who had no idea what I was going to do with my life after leaving the safe confines o…
  • Saints Among Us
    Vital Posts
    By the end of the baptism, confirmations, and receptions, Martha leans like a book against a shelf. She has stood this whole time, while 10-day-old David enters into the household of God. Her walker sits in the aisle, and she clutches onto th…
  • Talking to Kids about Faith
    Vital Posts
    It was hard to choose which class to take of the three offered this fall at our Center at St. Andrew’s. Dr. Ann Redding who was defrocked by Bishop Wolff of Rhode Island for becoming a Muslim is offering, “Making Peace with Islam: An Introducti…
  • What a Relief!
    Vital Posts
    The new youth minister is finally arriving! I know it can feel like such a relief when the new person is starting after your church has spent months, and in some cases more than a year, searching for the perfect youth director. But before you ha…
  • Why Young Adults Leave Church
    Vital Posts
    Does your congregation welcome doubt? What’s being taught about sexuality from the pulpit and in formation classes? Do your youth and young adult groups explore the deeper questions of faith, or do these tend toward superficiality? While many Ep…
  • The Youth Minister Left. Now What?
    Vital Posts
    Many volunteer youth workers are left with this question when their youth director/minister has been fired or has resigned unexpectedly. This time of transition can be sad, confusing, and frustrating. It’s often a time for grieving. And though ev…
  • What's in a Name
    Vital Posts
    Some stories we hold close, keeping them in our mental keepsake drawer. Others we keep in the wings, waiting for the perfect moment: meeting of the daughter’s first boyfriend, revenge when she’s acting like petulant teen. This story h…
  • A Children's Place
    Vital Posts
    Episcopalians aren’t the only people God trusts to take the summer off. At our church, the nursery attendant goes home from college, and the kids join the congregation for the whole service. During the program year, the nursery is staffed…
  • Wanted: Authenticity
    Vital Posts
    Summer is novel reading time. Trapped by the heat, I try to stay as still as possible, book in-hand, under a tree or nestled up to my AC wall unit. Two weeks ago I survived one of New York’s hottest days by reading Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from th…
  • Filling the Void
    Vestry Papers
    As they tried to shake my hand, the father turned to me and quietly said, “see you in five years.” That was almost two years ago and I have not seen them since.
  • Multigenerational Reading Camp
    Vestry Papers
    In the first year of his episcopacy, Bishop Stacy Sauls was assessing the gifts and challenges facing the Diocese of Lexington. He saw the problems plaguing the Appalachian region: high levels of poverty and rampant illiteracy.
  • Adopt-A-Family Bikes
    Vestry Papers
    About ten years ago, parishioners noted that many families requested bicycles for their children and themselves. For many, bikes served as their primary transportation to school and work.
  • Back to the Garden
    Vital Posts
    When we picked a theme for our Vacation Bible School this summer we naturally gravitated to Green. Our parish has made ecology a major theme during my five years in charge, so it was only natural that we took our young people down that path this su…
  • Mambo Sawa Sawa
    Vital Posts
    (All is well…..I have goodness in my heart.)   Today, I want to share the story of Grace Art Camp, a ministry offered by Grace Memorial Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon.  For me, growing up, summer meant camp. Among my earliest memori…
  • Work Hard, Play Hard
    Vital Posts
    I am writing from New Orleans where I am chaperoning a youth mission trip through the Beacon of Hope program founded by St. Paul’s, New Orleans. It is my fourth trip to the city to help rebuild after Katrina. Once again this incredible, tragic, b…
  • The Story that Lives
    Vital Posts
    Did you sense it? This past weekend marked the end of an era. I admit I didn’t notice at first. But as I sat around the kitchen table with our convent/farm interns last Thursday night, I began to realize that the release of Harry Potter and the D…
  • Editor's Letter July
    Vital Posts
    One of my earliest memories of church is of the kindergarten room in the basement of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Wakefield, Mass. It is Epiphany, and there is a large felt board on the wall with figures representing the Magi’s visit to the baby Je…
  • The Wander Years
    Vestry Papers
    What does life after youth group look like?
  • The Diaconate of Young Adulthood
    Vestry Papers
    Young adults are not big churchgoers generally. Our lives are hectic and often unstable.
  • Youth Comes Knocking
    Vestry Papers
    We often fail to include our youth in one of the most central aspects of our faith, the governance of our church. Until they come knocking, that is.
  • Letting Our Light Shine
    Vestry Papers
    On Sunday June 5, close to 600 people from the community of Medford, Massachusetts turned out for Let’s Move! Medford.
  • Giving Church the 'Super 8' Treatment
    Vital Posts
    I want to Super 8 the church experience of my youth. J.J. Abram’s cinematic homage to Stephen Spielberg relishes in nostalgia without overdoing the saccharine. We caught the flick on date night, and it prompted many a tale over dinner about t…
  • Led by Children
    Vital Posts
    The nursery renovation began with a 5-year-old. Our church is nearly 200 years old, and some of the toys in the nursery surely witnessed the first service. We even considered carbon-dating. But to be honest, our attention was on the adu…
  • Marketing 101
    Vital Posts
    Guess who is running Vacation Bible School at my church this summer? Yours truly. It gives me the opportunity to get back to basics on marketing that I used to advise other churches to use when I was the Missioner for Communications Ministry at the…
  • Ginormous
    Vital Posts
    When I saw Ephraim taking pictures of Ms. Scott, my heart just melted,” said Lisa, the organizer of my congregation’s second annual “Ginormous Flea Market.” We were standing by a tree in the small garden watching a neighborhood boy run the …
  • Raising PKs
    Vital Posts
    My daughter was only four months old the first time I truly understood the challenge of raising PKs – priest kids. I held her in my arms as we waited by the door for my husband to lock up the church. Her little face peaked out from a caterpil…
  • The Cacophony of Children
    Vital Posts
    I’m a firm believer: Children should be seen and heard in church. About eight years ago, we started an Episcopal church in a fast-growing area with few community buildings. Our only option for a meeting site was a small, one-room township h…
  • Giving our Church to our Children for Easter
    Vital Posts
    My earliest church memory is from Easter 1960: I sang in the Cherubs’ choir at both the 9:00 am and 11:00 am services at William Street Methodist Church in Delaware, Ohio. I remember distinctly the musty smell of the basement room where moms hand…
  • Where are the Young Adults?
    Vital Posts
    Maybe it was the lemon cake, but by the end of Friday’s dinner at Julian House in Chicago the constant hand wringing about young adults and the future of the Episcopal Church seemed a distant memory. Where are young adults in the Episcopal Church? …
  • Fat Tuesday
    Vital Posts
    The Church instituted Ash Wednesday and the people responded with Mardi Gras. The church established All Saints Day and the people offered up Halloween. Easter is the church’s highest holy day but the people love Christmas even more. Who’s in c…
  • A Tapestry of Ministries
    Vital Posts
    It was a week of snow, ice, wind, and rain. Numerous flight cancellations and airport closures laid havoc across the country. Add to this job layoffs, pay cuts, and budget struggles. Not to mention planning for Lent and preparing a Sunday sermon. …
  • State of the Union, State of the Church
    Vital Posts
    The State of the Union address is a yearly snapshot of where our president thinks our nation stands. The State of the Episcopal Church report published every three years is a snapshot of where our church stands. In his address, President Obama …
  • Talkin’ About My Generation
    Vital Posts
    Around this time last year the Pew Research Center published a major study called Religion Among the Millennials. I downloaded the report and read it the instant the news flashed across my computer screen. My interest comes from the fact that I…
  • Discerning for Young Adult Ministry
    Your Turn
    A tool kit for exploring the calling and possibility of ministry to young adults (18-30).
  • Campus Ministry Talking Points
    Your Turn
    A document highlighting the importance and impact of intentional ministry to students on college and university campuses.
  • Jesus and Santa
    Vital Posts
    Playing Santa helps me understand Jesus a little better. This isn't a debate about the commercialization of Christmas or whether we’ve spoiled our kids beyond all hope.And I know there’s so much more to my relationship with Christ than un…
  • Child's Eye View of Church
    Vital Posts
    We are one of the lucky Episcopal Churches to be blessed with an abundance of children. So far this fall over 150 kids have visited our Sunday School. This means we find 100 roles for children in our Annual Christmas pageant. The buzz around th…
  • Statistically speaking...
    Vestry Papers
    Some 50 percent of all Protestant teens attend church weekly, participate in Sunday school or in a religious youth group, pray and attend a religious summer camp or retreat, though less than one-third read the Bible each week.
  • Editor's Note
    Vestry Papers
    In preparing this issue, we put out a nationwide call to those working with youth: clergy, youth ministers, vestry members, etc.
  • New ways of reaching youth
    Vestry Papers
    As we shape and direct the mission of our parishes, young people should be at the front of our agendas.
  • The spiritual life of teenagers
    Vestry Papers
    Would you consider the youth programs in your congregation "spiritual?"
  • For youth, it's all about relationships
    Vestry Papers
    Six years ago, when I took on the position of Youth Minister at Grace Episcopal Church, I didn't have the slightest idea of where to begin.
  • St. Nicholas: Connecting the Past and the Present
    Vital Posts
    St. Nicholas stopped by our church last night. Although today is the feast day for the bishop, our church celebrated his vigil on Sunday evening with crafts, cookie decorating and lots of young kids squealing and chasing each other around the t…
  • Journey: Daily Meditations for Advent 2010
    Your Turn
    Daily reflections and artwork from young adults (18-30) across the church to lead us together through this holy season.
  • Back to basics
    Vital Posts
    The first semester of our experiment ends tonight. My church is a typical county-seat congregation in the foothills of Appalachia. If only Christmas Eve were our typical attendance on Sunday mornings, we’d be a packed 150. Instead, most Sun…
  • What Can One Person Do?
    Vital Posts
    A lot. Ask Eric Hillegas, former associate minister at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Upham’s Corner. Today’s new Fieldwork posting begins the story of how Eric is bringing his vision of free tutoring programs to an inner city neighborhood.…
  • And the Gold Goes to ...
    Vital Posts
    E-mail addresses are gold. By Olympic award standards, the bronze medal goes to snail mail addresses. Cell phone numbers snag the silver. But e-mail addresses rise to the top of the podium. Managing the database for a congregation…
  • Hollow me out
    Vital Posts
    When he didn’t win the pumpkin contest, I felt the tears sting. For most of Saturday, we worked on Cinderella’s coach, pulling the slime out of the pumpkin, carving windows, fashioning a door (that really opened!) and decorating the coach as…
  • GodSquad met at our house.
    Vital Posts
    The church van picked up the dozen or so students from the elementary school and brought them to our backyard, the kids starving for mid-afternoon snacks and a place to run off their energy.    After several tries to settle the group, we starte…
  • Discerning Youthful Calls
    Vestry Papers
    When asked, “When did you know you were called to ordained ministry?” I always begin with the story of Mrs. White.
  • The Good Earth Farm: Beginnings
    Fieldwork
    The language of abundance is everywhere in the Bible and at Good Earth Farm. In the summer of 2008. Paul Clever and his wife, Sarah, were seeking support and guidance concerning common living. Their focus was how to structure their lives to serve Chr…
  • An Uncommon Video from the Common Friars
    Fieldwork
    Who are the Common Friars and what is the Good Earth Farm?
  • Hybrid Faith Formation
    Webinars
    Many churches are struggling to identify models for faith formation/Christian education that take into account changing patterns of Sunday attendance, weekday availability, and new member religious background. Parishioners are hungrier than ever for …
  • Stewardship in the New Millennium
    Webinars
    Demographic and social changes are affecting giving to religious institutions nationwide. This workshop will walk you through these changes and show you how to apply this knowledge for stronger, more effective stewardship programs. Presented by Erin …
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