Holy Week for Children

Many people around the web seem to be searching for resources to help explain the core stories of our faith, celebrated during Holy Week, to young children. In their inquiries I hear a fear and reluctance to talk to children about death and resurrection. Sometimes we hide this fear in metaphor by talking about dogwood blossoms or butterflies, but metaphors are confusing for most children. We will not scare children by talking about death. It surrounds them in the natural world. They play it dramatically in their games. Many see it within their families and community. The fear is more on the part of adults trapped in the cultural taboo of not discussing death, than it is in the minds and hearts of children. Continue reading

Burying the Alleluia: A Lenten Spiritual Practice

Another Lenten practice to either think about for next year or if you are doing this already to live more deeply into this practice

Journey into Faith - Learning, Loving, Leading at Faith UMC

Burying Alleluia SanctuaryFaith’s worship and spiritual formation staff is introducing our congregation to the Lenten spiritual practice of Burying the Alleluia this Lent. While the practice of Burying the Alleluia might be new to Faith UMC, it is an ancient Christian tradition practiced in many faith traditions. Read on to learn more about this Lenten spiritual practice.

Alleluia is a word heard throughout the Christian world regardless of language. Alleluia is the Greek and Latin form of the Hebrew word Hallelujah, a word meaning praise the Lord. In the Western world, Alleluia came to be associated with the celebration of the most important season of the Church year, Easter. The association of Alleluia with Easter led to the custom of intentionally omitting it from liturgy during Lent.  It’s a kind of verbal fast, not with the intention of depressing the mood of our worship services, but instead to create a sense of anticipation…

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Holy Week Box

This is a wonderful idea for sharing the story of Holy Week with young children. Thank you Camille LeBron Powell and Linda LeBron.

Camille LeBron Powell

This is an idea that my mom, Linda LeBron (a fabulous retired church educator), came up with a few years ago. We’ve used it with our moms’ Bible study group. It’s something that families could make together at home, in a class, or even as part of a worship service with interactive prayer stations.

Our family made one with my daughter when she was 3 1/2 years old. It led to some great conversations about communion and ultimately to her taking communion for the first time that Easter.

Here it is:

All of the supplies can be found at a regular craft store: cardboard box with lid (approximately  2″x2″x3″), marker, white fabric, green paper, scissors, simple wooden doll (they came in a bag of 12)

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Cut the green paper to resemble 2 or more palm branches. Shout “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna!”…

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Lent through Easter Family Devotion Booklet

A Garden of Devotion, Conversation and Reflection for Lent and Easter: 2015

The special seasons of preparation for the church Smit Post 2-10-15offer congregations the opportunity to support families in the developing and maintaining of good practices for faithful devotion as families at home. Parents are very clear that they believe that they ought to be the primary teachers of faith to their children, but often struggle with how they might do that. Parents want to share their faith with their children, but they often simply don’t know how to do it. Research also affirms that children learn faith best from their parents. So, the best thing that the church can do for our children is support and resource their parents in the ways and means of passing on their faith with those they love so much.

Here is one resource that congregations can give to families to help them do just that. Continue reading