Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?

Julie HesterAPCE

Where have we been? Where are we going? How are we doing? Who’s doing the doing? With far greater eloquence and far less brevity, these are the questions that the Special Committee to Study the Reformed Perspective of Christian Education in the 21st Century is being asked to consider. This committee was created out of the 222nd (2016) General Assembly of the PC(USA). You can read more about our work and our charge here. As … Read More

The Gameful Church

Ken Evers-HoodGames

Do you like games? Chances are the people you serve do. When I ask church groups to tell me their idea of what a “gamer” looks like, folks invariably guess a teenage boy playing videogames alone in his room. The reality is quite different. Even if we just talk about video and computer games the average gamer is much older than most people expect. In 2016 nearly half of gamers were over the age of … Read More

The Educator as Artist: Transforming the Worship/Learning Environment 

Carmel TinnesThe Artist as Educator

Designing education or worship is an opportunity to bring together many elements and create a gestalt where each included element adds a layer of meaning and builds something not otherwise included, making the result greater than the sum of its parts. The content of education or worship is important, but that is only the beginning! Once content is determined, an education or worship event is built by exploring the following elements: space, color, image and … Read More

The Artist as Educator: Making Art in Your Bible

Lisa Nichols HickmanThe Artist as Educator

Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God on the Pages of your Bible began with a prayer. After the death of Rich Gordon, his family entrusted me with his Bible. I quickly learned he was a margin writer. For years I thought about the notes and prayers he had written into scripture.  I began to wonder how this scriptural discipline he loved, and was shaped by, might be shared with others so they could learn … Read More

Art: the Act of Creation and Invitation 

Theresa ChoThe Artist as Educator

For many of us, considering the use of art in worship and in ministry can illicit two emotions. We may feel inadequate or incompetent to produce good art. We may also imagine art in worship and in ministry to be like a craft store blowing up in our sanctuary space. However, art is merely the act of creation and invitation. As artists, we are mediators between what is and what could be. Art is a … Read More

Inheriting and Tweaking Rituals

Tammy WinchipRituals and Transitions

When we inherit things it not only means the fine china, it also means the expired #10 cans of green beans. What we inherit can be a case of the good, the bad, and the ugly…or a case of the good, the not so good, and the fabulous. It takes some care and planning to re-shape or polish a valued ritual. In my most recent call I inherited a fourth grade Catechism Class. Here are the steps I took in approaching this ritual.

Step 1: Treading Lightly

When I am new at a church, I try to be open to the history and practices of that congregation. During introductions, casual conversations often lead to the sharing of personal opinions. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Anne and I have been a Sunday School teacher for 16 years. I have taught children to youth, but don’t ever ask me to teach that Seniors Class [insert eye roll here].”