Opinion: You can prevent abuse

Apr 10, 2017 by and

For many of us, church feels good and safe. We were loved there as children and respected there as adults. In fact, we often describe our churches as “families” or caring communities where all are...

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Conference seeks faith formation for all ages

Oct 17, 2016 by , and

ELKHART, Ind. — Do Christians have the resources to pass on their faith to their children? The Deep Faith conference was organized to help promote faith formation for all ages. More than 100 people from...

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When to stop praying for our kids

Sep 13, 2016 by

“I’ve quit praying for my kids,” she said. “It’s no use. God hasn’t answered my prayers, so there’s no use in keeping on. If I’m honest,” she continued, “I have to say that I’m kind of...

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Problematic drive-thru stickers

Jun 1, 2016 by

With me in the van last August when I pulled into the drive-thru lane at our credit union were three grandchildren. “Ask for pretty stickers,” demanded the oldest, age 7, in back with her 4-year-old...

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In support of children’s violent play

Feb 25, 2016 by

“This is a bad girl, and this fairy is killing her with a sword,” my daughter explains about the picture she has drawn. “Oh,” I remark. “That’s interesting.” “I’m going to pick up a stick and...

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Children preaching

Nov 3, 2015 by

Every year our church participates in Children’s Sabbath, a worship service dreamed up by the people at The Children’s Defense Fund. Communities of worship from around the country invite children to take...

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Children’s home a Fortress of Hope

May 29, 2015 by and

In 2008, members of Maple Grove Mennonite Church in Hartville, Ohio, turned $1,000 into $13,000 — and it launched a new mission trajectory. According to Myron Weaver, the pastor at that time, each family was...

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The test question for your church

Apr 16, 2015 by

We tend to measure the “success” of a church by numbers. I propose in A Fellowship of Differents another way of measuring whether or not our church measures up to the kind of success that the Bible...

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Holy Week is hard

Apr 2, 2015 by

I love involving children in our Palm Sunday worship — letting them parade around and wave palms while the adults sing our Hosannahs. And I really love to celebrate Easter with children — with baskets and...

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Empowering children to combat sexual abuse

Dec 31, 2014 by

As one of two staff members who works to implement a sexual abuse prevention policy for our church, I have an enormous and difficult task. We have a good policy. We train, screen and keep in regular contact...

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Why we don’t have children’s church anymore

Dec 2, 2014 by

I’ve had a couple of conversations with parents over the past weeks about children’s church and its demise at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham, N.C., where I am the minister of...

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“Cute” kids in church

Sep 18, 2014 by

A few weeks ago our children created a banner during worship to represent the part of the Lord’s prayer that says “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” I asked them to draw the kinds of things that they...

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Waiting with the stories

Jul 31, 2014 by

My daughter and I looked at our garden each day, peering closely into the dark earth. “Do you see anything yet?” she asked, her voice hopeful. “Not yet,” I replied. “How about you?” Each day in...

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Making the Bible less boring for kids

Jul 7, 2014 by

“Thank you God for your love. Thank you for your kindness. You are good and gracious. Alleluia.” Now imagine that sung in a faltering monotone and you get the gist of our every meal grace. My...

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Faith formation with children

Jun 17, 2014 by

Last week was Pentecost, that time each year when we remember the Holy Spirit coming upon those first believers with a rush of wind and “tongues, as of fire.” Talking with a 3-year-old about the Holy...

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Our beautiful children

Apr 3, 2014 by

There seem to be moments where my reality is struck by sentimentality, and the world around me carries with it a deeper, emotional meaning. I have come to value those moments as divine. It is as if God is...

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