- The feast of St. Francis is October 4th, and The Blessing of Stuffed Animals can be used as a stand-alone event, as part of worship, or integrated into a Blessing of the Animals event.
- These take-home bags for the fall and upcoming holidays include saint days, devotions, calendar of events, and sabbath note cards adapted from the Book Faithful Families by Traci Smith.
- In All Things Give Thanks is a collection of resources with discussion starters, questions, prayers, and scripture references on gratitude. These resources include a napkin ring holder with discussion starters for meals and a table tent centerpiece with prayers on each side.
- Stewards of God’s Love is a year-round stewardship emphasis from the ELCA and an invitation to join the Stewardship Leader’s Network.
- Following Jesus is a new curriculum by Rick Lawrence, Executive Director of Vibrant Faith Ministries. The 40 lessons are interactive experiences suitable for youth, young adults, and mixed age groups.
- An alphabetical listing of Advent resources is provided by Practical Resources for Churches. The collection includes ideas for carols, wreaths, pageants, games, and the Jesse Tree. There is an outline for a Blue Christmas worship service.
- “8 Ways to Celebrate All Saints’ Day” by Lesli White at Beliefnet.com shares creative ways to lift up all the saints at church and at home with ideas for both Halloween and All Saints’ Day.
- “The Freedom of a Christian” Case Studies from Reformation 500 resources are a series of short videos and essays by Lutherans of diverse backgrounds exploring what the freedom of a Christian means to them in their different contexts. Among the topics explored are migration, systematic racism, colonialism, creation, and others. While developed for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, these are still valuable resources to explore what it means to be a Christian in the 21st Century.
- “When the Table is Central to Mission” by Timothy Bowman is an article at Faith + Lead Luther Seminary which describes how one church reimagined their ministry as a dinner church, breaking out of the Sunday morning construct.
When the Table is Central to Mission - Faith+Lead (luthersem.edu)
- “Five Favourite Children’s Picture Books” by Rev. James M. Potts gives guidance on how to evaluate children’s picture books to separate the great ones from the mediocre ones. Looking for relevancy and inclusiveness is key. Potts also includes his own current favorites and places to find other recommendations.
Five Favourite Children's Picture Books - Association of Partners in Christian Education (apcenet.org)
- “A Different Spin on Inclusivity” by Rick Lawrence, Executive Director at Vibrant Faith, contends that to truly embed inclusivity, we need to shift how we see the people we are serving.
A Different Spin on Inclusivity (activehosted.com)
Rally Day Resources
- Link to “God’s Work. Our Hands” Resources for a Day of Service on September 11, 2022. Reach beyond your congregation to be God’s hands in your community. Look for publicity items, worship pieces, and a toolkit of ideas to make an impactful event.
- Mission: Possible is a fun intergenerational Rally Day event that promotes the endless possibilities to use our talents to serve God and others. Can also be used at other times of year.
- This Blessing of the Backpacks demonstrates to children and their families that God is not bound to one area of their lives but accompanies them everywhere they go. The link to the original resource is below, but the hymn, set to the tune of “Morning Has Broken,” is available below in a pdf. Permission is granted to use the music in a congregational setting as long as the copyright citation is included.
- The Generosity Project has been lifted up previously, but is worth revisiting to help families practice boundless generosity in response to God’s love. Visit the Facebook Group The Generosity Project ELCA | Facebook to join the conversation and the website https://www.thegenerosityproject.net/ to learn more about resources.
- Link to “Church Stewardship and Giving”, a resource from Faithward with links to articles about different aspects of giving for both church and families, including how giving has changed since the pandemic.
Expanding Ministry to Others:
- Link to Adult Milestone Ministry. Many churches provide milestone celebrations for important events in the lives of children and youth. Consider this year expanding the recognition to life-changing occasions in the lives of adults in your congregation. Milestone Ministry provides 12 Adult Milestone resources ranging from first job and becoming a parent to retirement and the loss of a loved one.
- Link to “How to Organize for Justice” by Kayla Gilchrest, an online class through ChurchNext. This course is for those interested in learning what it means to organize, what it means to do justice, what congregation-based organizing looks like and what our Biblical call as people of faith to do this work entails. The four-part series, also available as a podcast, can be taken as an individual or as a group.
- Link to the ELCA’s Disability Ministry Resources helps congregations broaden their ministry to meet the needs of those people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
- Link to Everybody Belongs, Serving Together is a comprehensive guide to church accessibility and inclusive ministry will help your church embrace people with disabilities, not only as recipients of God’s love, but as partners in ministry. This resource from the Reformed Church in America is available as a download or can be ordered in a print edition.
Everybody Belongs, Serving Together | Inclusive Ministry Guide (faithward.org)
- Link to “The Wondering Together Project: A Simple Tool for These Hard Times” by Sally Thomas at BuildingFaith provides a way for families or others in relationship to connect each day through wondering questions.
The Wondering Together Project: A Simple Tool For These Hard Times (buildfaith.org)