Three Promises for Vacation Bible School Week

This is the last article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. Vacation Bible School is up and running, and my head is about to explode with all the details! Even with decorations finished and an excellent volunteer staff, I still feel like I have a dozen spinning plates to maintain. How will I get through the week and still hold on to my faith and […]

Summer Planning for the DRE

As the weather gets warmer, the students are not the only ones who are restless! I love my ministry with passion, but the summer provides a wonderful opportunity to renew my programs as well as myself. During the year, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, I often cannot find time to discern what God is calling me to create in my ministry. I look forward to the summer for time and space to […]

Setting the Stage for Evangelizing Parents

I recently came across a good article from a good Web site written by a good resource (someone you should know). The article, “Setting the Stage for Evangelizing Parents,” is written by Patrice Spirou, the Assistant Director of Religious Education for the Office of Formation and Discipleship in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. I had the pleasure of meeting Patrice when I was in Atlanta not too long ago and even had the opportunity to enjoy sitting […]

Four Tips on How to Survive Vacation Bible School and Still Have Fun

While Vacation Bible School is one of the most high-energy weeks of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful. Lots of volunteers you may or may not know well combine with dozens of children of all age groups bouncing around and being kids in organized chaos. Here are a few tips to help you keep your head when it seems like everyone else in the room is losing theirs. Remember that […]

Need a Speaker for First Communion Parent Meeting? Try the Parents!

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of facilitating a First Communion Parents Meeting at St. Cajetan Parish in Chicago. While I did do some presenting about a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the primary speakers for the evening were—drum roll please—PARENTS! The Director of Religious Education, Deb Breakey, recruited four parents of children who recently received First Communion to comprise a panel, sharing their experiences of walking with their children through […]

Four Ways to Keep the Faith in Vacation Bible School

This is the third article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. By this time, initial planning for this summer’s Vacation Bible School is underway, and the countdown has begun. We’ve selected a program, scheduled the date, and begun recruiting leaders for the many activities required for a successful program. An enthusiastic team of volunteers is busy brainstorming ideas for games, snacks, decorations, and skits. Whether […]

The Gifts of the Community in Vacation Bible School

This is the second article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. After I’ve selected my summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) program, focus, and theme, it’s time to center my efforts on the gifts of the community of people who will make it all happen. The promotional materials I’ve been previewing for months are full of vibrant, happy artists creating eye-popping décor, professional musicians leading enthusiastic […]

Stories, Not Labels

I work in the Office of New Evangelization for my diocese, and I remember a phone call from an 86-year-old woman named Gladys. She wanted to find out more about the “coming home” programs the diocese was offering for Catholics who had been away from the Church for a while. After a period of active listening and some gentle questioning, it became clear that Gladys herself wanted to return to the Catholic Church, but she […]

Choosing a Vacation Bible School Program

This is the first article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. We start by looking at choosing a Vacation Bible School program. I’ve been looking at Vacation Bible School (VBS) flyers and previewing Web sites since Advent, when summer seemed a distant date on the calendar, something I could put at the very bottom of my ever lengthening to-do list. By early March, I’m still […]

Keeping Advent from Getting Lost in the Holiday Shuffle

The parish is abuzz with questions already: “Have you started your baking, shopping, planning, list-making, wrapping…?” No sooner has Halloween moved on than we find Christmas bursting onto the scene in every grocery store, department store, catalog, and flyer. It is a cycle that encourages us to be always thinking of and preparing for “the next thing,” rather than taking time to stop and become aware of the blessings and graces our God is trying […]

1 6 7 8 9