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The Daily Voice
Author: host Created: 10/13/2008 6:48 PM RssIcon
The Daily Voice blog explores Christian education in progressive congregations. Archives of our daily email newsletter will be posted here each weekday morning. Use the various tools to the left to see posts older than 2 weeks.
By host on 5/29/2009 7:00 AM

The image or metaphor of a Bible as a lamp for one's feet makes complete sense for a ancient world where darkness is dangerous, scary, and a daily reality when most activity ceases. That image, powerful as it is, is less vivid for today's readers. Each of us carries around—consciously or unconsciously—an image of the Bible. Sometimes, these images came to us from literal, physical actions we witnessed in a worship or other church setting, and they affect the way we think about and interact with the Bible.


Some grow up in congregations where the Bible is held above the head of a worship leader as he or she processes into worship. The image communicates a message that the Bible is 'above' us, that it contains a 'higher' wisdom.


By host on 5/28/2009 7:00 AM

book coverToday let’s talk about stewardship! And to make things more interesting, let’s talk about teaching stewardship to children! In the minds of many adults, the word stewardship has become linked to “asking for money”. Many churches discuss stewardship once a year, when asking people to make a pledge to support the church’s financial needs. Not many children have financial resources of their own, and therefore, with this narrow definition of stewardship, children are often not involved in stewardship programs.

Let the Children Give: Time, Talents, Love, and Money by Delia Halverson reminds us that stewardship is a broader concept than simply raising money to meet a budget. A steward is one who manages the affairs of others. As Christians, we are all (regardless of age) called to be caretakers of God’s creation by using the talents God has given each one of us.

By host on 5/27/2009 7:00 AM

A siren
A baby crying
A teacher handing out a test
A fork

Seemingly unrelated items, each one of these things could be a prayer cue. Prayer cues are reminders to pray. Teaching children about prayer cues encourages them to make prayer a part of their everyday life.

By host on 5/26/2009 7:00 AM

In the first edition of this series, I named 5 of my favorite places to go for downloadable videos for youth ministry and Christian education settings. Here are six others I would suggest checking out...

SermonSpice is chock full of video clips appropriate for sermons and talks; unfortunately, it's also got plenty of clips with less-than-desirable theology, so be prepared to search a while. Most clips cost $10-20.

WingClips offers clips from Hollywood movies that can be used in any church setting, even if your church does not have a CVLI license. The free subscription just gives you a very small video; to get the bigger sizes, you'll have to pay $139 a year. Still, if you use a lot of video clips in worship or CE settings, it could be a bargain and very convenient.


By Different Voice on 5/25/2009 7:00 AM

tombstonesMemorial Day is not a “religious” holiday. Sunday School teachers (and churches as a whole) sometimes struggle with the question of whether to acknowledge secular holidays. I have seen both ends of the spectrum. There is the teacher who will discard the lesson on the Sunday closest to February 14, and have children spend the entire time making Valentines. And then there is the teacher who ignores Halloween because it is not a religious holiday, even though the children are bursting with excitement thinking of the costumes they have chosen this year. As is often the case when dealing with extremes, there are difficulties with either approach.

By host on 5/22/2009 7:00 AM

I have previously reviewed the music of Bryan Sirchio. One of Bryan’s songs that has stuck in my mind since I first heard him sing it is “Follow Me (87 times)”. The question that has persistently stuck in my mind from this song is, “Are we following Jesus, or just believing in Christ?” Of course, this question begs a follow-up question, “What does it mean to follow Jesus?” How would you answer that question?

My weekly covenant group is in the process of a Bible study using the songs on Bryan Sirchio’s CD, J-walking: Songs for Justice Walkers. (I am in the process of writing this study and it will be available from Different Voice soon!) As a part of this study, the group wrote a creed in response to the above question. I share it with you here.

~Sally Hoelscher

By host on 5/21/2009 7:00 AM

Book CoverI often reread books, sometimes multiple times. For me, rereading a book is like eating comfort food. The familiarity is soothing. I often notice things I had either missed the first time or forgotten.

During the last month, on three separate occasions, I was reminded of Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos, a book I read for the first time a couple of years ago. Taking the hint, I dug it out and reread it.

By host on 5/20/2009 7:00 AM

Summer is an ideal time to look at the toys in your church nursery or other classrooms and to evaluate if it's time for them to stay or go. You'll obviously want to dispose of any toys that are broken, unsafe (e.g. potentially made with lead paint), or used for play violence (e.g. toy guns). Additionally, it's a great time to clean and wash all of the toys (though we're sure you're already doing this regularly!)

However, another thing to look for is whether or not a toy is open-ended or closed-ended. An open-ended toy is one that is open to a child's imagination. Blocks are great for making a castle, creating obstacles for toy trucks, or even learning some basics of mathematics through counting games. Soft and squishy balls can become food items, game accessories, or pet turtles. Art supplies (at least those that don't come in a 'make an item that looks like this' kit) are tremendously versatile. Open-ended toys make imaginative and purposeful play more possible.

By host on 5/19/2009 7:00 AM

Bloggers around the world have been weighing in on a common theme, "The Inconvenience of Change," sponsored by a great Gen-Y blog called "Life Without Pants." To help encourage people to take part, the great folks at Cool People Care are giving away copies of their book, New Day Revolution. It's not too late for you to take part! After you read my thoughts, write your own blog entry on this topic. Join the conversation, encourage your congregants to do so too...and be a creative force for change!   ~ Tim

Unless you read a lot of tech blogs, you likely missed this nugget a couple of weeks ago: Microsoft is discontinuing its Encarta product. Encarta was the first computer encyclopedia produced for a mass audience, but it's about to go the way of cassette tapes and station wagons. Encarta never quite took off as expected (I'll admit that a copy of Encarta I got with a new laptop was not used even once) and now Google and Wikipedia are the first stops a student makes when working on a research paper. According to Tom Corddry, a former senior manager at Microsoft, "The ["Encarta"] editors overestimated the way students would say, 'This has been carefully edited! And is very authoritative!' "

By Different Voice on 5/18/2009 7:00 AM

I am always amazed by the school handbooks which my children bring home each fall. It seems as though there is a policy for every possible situation. Although I am not advocating for churches to have as an extensive of a handbook as schools, a few policies and guidelines can make a Sunday School teacher’s job easier. One example is an illness policy. Does your church have guidelines for when a child should not attend Sunday School due to illness?

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