Reentry into Children’s Ministry

by Ruth Ideen-Sall It is time for reentry to church for families and children after the interruption of the pandemic. The experiences of the past year have marked all of us forever, and perhaps most of all, it has altered the lives of our children. When I think about all the children of my congregation, I have moments of joy for the ways we stayed … Continue reading Reentry into Children’s Ministry

Mental Health First Aid: A Course You Might Not Know You Need

Statistics show that mental health has worsened significantly over the pandemic, with cases of depression and anxiety in youth and adults on the rise. In the context of church ministry, Christian education directors, youth ministry leaders and pastors may find themselves in the position of needing to provide support to children, youth or adults who are suffering from mental illness. In a Mental Health First … Continue reading Mental Health First Aid: A Course You Might Not Know You Need

Offering Support for Pandemic Grief

by Joy Hensel On the Road to Emmaus  Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16 NRSV) … Continue reading Offering Support for Pandemic Grief

Grief, Loss and Care Through a Pandemic

by Mark Jackson A few weeks into the pandemic, I received the call no youth leader wants to get: “One of our teens died in a car accident last night. So did her mom.” Returning from a Memorial Day weekend trip, a mom, her daughter and the family’s beloved dog died at the scene. Another daughter was airlifted to a trauma center with life-threatening injuries … Continue reading Grief, Loss and Care Through a Pandemic

Hearing BIPOC Young People During Times of Crisis

An Interview with Rev. Priscilla Paris-Austin: Connect Journal: We’ve been living in a pandemic for over a year, accompanied by uprisings, protests, and heightened awareness of and actions against systemic racism. How do you think ministry leaders can be tuned into the ways COVID-19 is intertwined with the lives of BIPOC people? Rev. Priscilla Paris-Austin: The first thing about this question is to reframe our … Continue reading Hearing BIPOC Young People During Times of Crisis

Hate Speech: Praying Against the Enemy in the Old Testament

by Dr. Michael Chan The Old Testament contains numerous poems in which people ask for help, protest their suffering and plead with God for intervention. Some of these poets even ask God to act violently against their enemies and oppressors. Biblical scholars call these “imprecatory” poems. “Imprecatory” refers to calling down evil upon a person. Here are just a few examples:  Contend, O Lord, with those … Continue reading Hate Speech: Praying Against the Enemy in the Old Testament

Planting and Watering

by Dr. Scott Cormode Someday this pandemic will cease. Someday we will emerge from our sheltering in place. Someday our youth groups will meet again. What then? What do we do? At the ECLA Extravaganza in February, Scott Cormode spoke about what comes next. He offered insights on how to innovative in the face of change. This article, taken from his book “The Innovative Church” … Continue reading Planting and Watering