Finding Space and Time through Confirmation Retreats

Jacob Sorenson Camp Ministries, Faith Formation

Too often, people think of confirmation as a class. Those in the Reformed traditions seem to have a particular knack of reducing confirmation ministry to a transfer of knowledge. When lessons come after busy school days, it reinforces this notion. If confirmation is a class, it is something we have to complete rather than a lifelong process. It is knowing the right information rather than getting to know the Savior of the world. We don’t … Read More

Finding God at Camp

Julie HesterFaith Formation

What is it about getting away from our normal routines and into a camp setting that makes it easier to hear the voice of God? The Advocate will explore that question and others like it over the next few weeks as we share stories of faith formation in camp settings. We’ll hear about a mission camp, a camp focused on faith and sexuality, confirmation camp, a family camp, some reflections about how congregations can connect … Read More

Toolkits: Resources Your Church Can Use  

Karen DeBoerEducators Making the Future

My church meets in a community center. We sit on folding chairs most often arranged in a semi-circle but occasionally placed around tables so that we can talk and pray together during worship. We have more babies and toddlers than floor space in the nursery so families are encouraged to bring their wee ones with them into worship. I once saw a baby lovingly passed from one person to another down the row, across the … Read More

Even a Little Card Game

Jason Brian SantosEducators Making the Future

Imagine for a moment that you’re standing in the expo hall of the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium, an event that boasts an attendance of close to 5,000 teenagers from all over the country. The atmosphere is charged with the drone of several hundred teenagers as they travel among the various booths. Like bees buzzing from one flower to the next, they hover at each table for only a moment, because they too are on the … Read More

Word Teasers

Michelle Thomas-BushEducators Making the Future

Year after year, young people entered Confirmation without a vocabulary to talk about faith. It is not unusual. At the first meeting, I would empower the parents to have deeper faith conversations. Like most good educators, I would give them questions on card stock to place on their dinner table. At the parents’ meeting a few years ago, the blank looks on parents’ faces indicated a lack of their own faith vocabulary. I knew if … Read More

I Love to Tell the Story

Krista LovellEducators Making the Future

“I love to tell the story, ‘twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.” Raised by Christian parents who were Baptist-Presbyterians, I was offered many opportunities to share God’s story with others in a variety of ways—from flannel-graph to flip-books to puppets to clowning and more! Yes, the sharing of God’s story has been a central theme of my 35 years of educational ministry.  I love … Read More