Introducing this year’s Advent Devotional Booklet for Families, Journey to Bethlehem.
On Sunday, November 27, 2022 we begin the season of Advent; the first season of our Christian year. And, as we anticipate the coming of Christ the Messiah into our world anew, it is good to prepare a way for our Lord to come into our homes and our lives. Daily devotions are a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus as we read the prophesies and stories that lead us to Jesus’ birth.
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.
If you missed the Zoom gathering on Curriculum Selection last night, were there but would like to review what was presented, or are wanting to think about your Sunday school curriculum options for the fall, here’s a video for you.
In this half hour recording you will hear about a process for narrowing down your curricula options from a curated list of wonderful Sunday school materials.
“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.
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.
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.
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