"Comfort, comfort my people..." says your God." Advent starts Sunday, December 1, and comfort is what Advent brings. In Advent, we have comfort food of Christmas cookies, fruitcakes, and candy canes, the comfort of warmth with fireplaces and cozy blankets, and the comfort of family and friends to share our cookies, warmth, and prayers with while … Continue reading A Comfortable Advent
"You've Got Mail!" is what comes to mind with this free holiday devotional for families. Each devotional is written as a letter based on a holiday word and how that word relates to scripture. Of course, you will find biblical words and themes like "light" or "manger," and there are words that follow the secular … Continue reading P.S. Season’s Greetings: A Family Devotion for the Holidays
Teaching confirmation is one of the highlights of my week. Confirmation students are mind-expanding - they ask great questions as well as give great answers. Because of this, we have started a new way to interact with students with a worship photogram. What's a worship photogram? It's a worship photo! Using their phone or a … Continue reading Worship Photogram
I did a little surveying on Facebook about recruiting volunteers to serve in Children, Youth, and Family Ministries. Here is what I learned from the collective bee-hive: Ask everyone! As people register, ask each household if they can pitch in somehow. This blanket question gives everyone the opportunity to participate. Ask your team! Let your … Continue reading Why Ask?
My congregation, St John's Lutheran Church, in Lakeville, Minnesota has been trying new things. Just this year: we have entered in the Narrative Lectionary, aligned education and worship with a storytime model, and on Wednesdays in the Fall, there will be a new casual worship service. It's been a full year! But we still old … Continue reading Old School – Door to Door
Church #47. Meet Dan Brown. He is the current council president at St John's Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN, and he is the creator and writer of Everyday Bible Conversations (EBC). What is EBC? Everyday Bible Conversations are a self and/or small group devotional to explore how the Sunday morning Bible stories are relevant to … Continue reading Everyday Bible Conversations
There are reveal parties these days for baby gender, for the newly engaged, and for anything, really! So why not with prayer partners for the church's mission trip? In June, 14 people from St John's Lutheran Church went to Wilderness Canoe Base in the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. We did a Hybrid Trip - … Continue reading Prayer Partner – Reveal Party
One of the things I love to do is ask people about the names of their children. When I served as a missionary in Madagascar, a Malagasy friend of mine named her child, Aina [pronounced I-Nah]. It is my favorite Malagasy name, and it is quite common. But the reason why I love it is … Continue reading What’s in a Name?
It's kind of tradition in many churches in the summer to host a Vacation Bible School. Often the routine runs from 9 am to 12 noon. So to change things up, a few years ago, I started offering an after VBS Service Day Camp, 12 noon to 3 pm. Camp is structured different than VBS: … Continue reading Service Day Camp
Starting with Ash Wednesday, people were encouraged to write prayers through Lent. Each week, prayers around the theme of service and hunger were collected. People wrote prayers on hunger in our schools, communities, and world. People wrote prayers for changed hearts and for a love of service. People wrote prayers of love for life and … Continue reading Prayer Paraments