Category Archives: Blog

Faith Formation in a Post(ish) Pandemic World

How are you feeling?

Are you feeling overwhelmed as you consider the reopening of your Sunday school, youth group and/or mid-week programming for the fall?

I hear from many church leaders that they are.

This is absolutely to be expected given all that our churches have weathered over the past two and a half years as we have strived to provide all the programming and care we can during this pandemic.

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Presbyterian Music Camp Celebrates 50 Years of Harmony

Congratulations to Presbyterian Music Camp!

50 years of music ministry is a wonderful reason for celebration.

The Presbyterian Music Camp would love to share with us all a taste of this transformative ministry. And, there’s no better way to do that than through the pictures and sounds of music camp over these last 50 years. Thank you to the Music Camp Board and to Rev. Angus Sutherland, a long-time camper, for sharing this wonderful video with us to enjoy and join in the celebration.

If you would like to learn more about the Presbyterian Music Camp and even join in the fun check out their website HERE.

Announcing Two Zoom Workshops for Educational Ministry

Thank you to Mike Fox and unsplash.com for this image

Hooray!!!!!

Our churches have reopened and are now beginning to consider their educational ministry options for the fall.

In light of this good news I’ve been getting lots of phone calls and emails asking for help in two specific areas in particular.

The first has to do with Sunday school curriculum.

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Let’s Take A Story Journey

“We’re doing a Story Journey tomorrow to go along with our church’s yard, garden and bake sale. We’re featuring Laura Alary’s book, What Grew in Larry’s Garden. We’re so excited.”

My good friend, Laura Duggin, minister at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newmarket, Ontario dropped this into a conversation the other day. We weren’t talking about Story Journeys or garden sales at the time, so when Laura burst forth with this comment I needed to know more.

“Tell me all about it”

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A Simple But Significant Tweak For Your Pre-School Sunday School

All Saints Church, Fulham

If there is one thing we’ve learned as Christian educators during this pandemic, it’s that many of our parents were ill-prepared to take on the role of being faith-formers at home when our church buildings closed and our church programmes were shuttered.

And, it wasn’t their fault!

When asked, most parents say that they ought to be the primary influencers of faith with their children, and they are absolutely right. Yet, these same parents also tell us they have no idea how to do this because they haven’t been shown how. Sadly, with our decades-long emphasis on forming faith with children within our church buildings through Sunday school, mid-week groups and summer programming we’ve inadvertently left our parents in the dark on how to talk about and practice faith at home as a family. 

As we look to rebuild our educational programmes this fall we can’t ignore what we’ve learned these last couple of years; we must not cut our parents out of our faith formation plans and in fact we need to make families the centre of our approach going forward.

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Are You Making Plans For Sunday School This Fall?

What will Sunday school look like this fall?

Churches are beginning to talk about restarting in-person Sunday school after a two and a half year hiatus from offering regular children’s programming. Leaning into the hope that our churches will be able to gather safely and with a deep desire to get children back to Sunday school before our youngest generation misses out completely on a Sunday school experience, churches are anxious to do the best they can to restart well this fall. 

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We Are Many Members, But One Body

This past Saturday the Synodical of Central, Northeastern Ontario and Bermuda hosted a talk with Ms. Nora Carmi, a woman who has spent the last forty years working with the YWCA, Sabeel, and Kairosto bring about peace and justice in Palestine and Israel. Nora shared stories of the courageous leadership of women from each of the three monotheistic religions during her time with us, and in particular challenged the news we hear through the media with her alternative experiences of hope.

If you were unable to attend this wonderful and informative gathering, or if you’d like to view it once again, click HERE to view this presentation by Nora Carmi

Many Members – One Body: A Zoom Event With Nora Carmi

For many Palestinians, efforts to fight off COVID-19 have presented unprecedented challenges, as closed shops have robbed them of their livelihoods, adding to the already long-standing, deep injustices of illegal Israeli occupation. 

 “The situation in Palestine is alarming. On the economic side, people are desperate, many without work and having difficulties feeding their children.”

Nora Carmi is a Christian Palestinian who has worked for peace and justice her whole life.

She was born in 1947 in Jerusalem into a family of Armenian survivors from the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire. She experienced becoming a refugee, and since then she has faced the worsened situation for the Palestinians since the illegal occupation of the territories in 1967.  

Everyone is invited to register for this Zoom event where Carmi where talk about the role of Palestinian women and their efforts to shape healthier and more just communities.

To register please email Katherine Allen by April 14 at kathanne5219@gmail.com

An Interactive Google Slide for Holy Week

There are so many stories to read and hear during Holy Week; from the excitement of the crowds on Palm Sunday to the quiet of the garden where Jesus went to pray, from the shock at Jesus’ arrest to his undeserved death a day later and finally to the extreme joy of the resurrection on Easter Sunday. Each day builds on the previous day revealing God’s deep and grace-filled love for this world.

For younger ones many of the stories we tell during Holy Week can be difficult to understand and even scary. Well-written children’s bible story books help us to share these stories from scripture with children in ways that are more accessible and appropriate for their age. For this reason this interactive Google Slide has been loaded with videos of wonderfully written and told stories for Holy Week. It is here for you to upload onto your churches website or Facebook page so families can visit each day throughout Holy Week to hear these stories together.

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Won’t You be My Neighbour?

Thank you to Paul Hanaoka and unsplash.com for this image

Happy Mr. Roger’s Day!

It is not only a beautiful day in the neighbourhood, it is a beautiful day to go out and meet our neighbours.

Mr. Rogers was above all else a good neighbour; more important than being a teacher and entertainer of children (and even their parents), Fred Rogers sought to show us how to be the very best kind of neighbour we can be in the communities in which we live, work and worship. 

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