Blog

I thank God for grandchildren

I thank God for grandchildren.  They must be our reward for not abandoning our own children during their teens.  For having raised our kids through the terrible twos, moody adolescence, and know-it-all college years, we now get all the joy, love and rewards of parenthood without the sleepless nights, endless worry, and constant second-guessing of […]

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Letting Christ’s light out into the World

By Alice Lonoff When the designers of our new Chancel area told us a few years ago that there would be a screen between the windows and the Sanctuary, I was not pleased.  Our windows are already small, and we would be putting them behind a screen?  How would that work? But now I enjoy […]

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Sunday School Focus: process over product

For Baptism of the Lord Sunday, our PreK-3 class and our 4-5 grade class began making an art project using our initials as we learned about Jesus’s baptism. The watercolor paints remind us of the waters of baptism through which we claim our identity (like our initials) as beloved children of God. This project is […]

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On Prayer and Resolutions

As we enter the new year, I find myself thinking about personal resolutions that would help me to live a healthier, happier life. I want to grow as a person, but  recognize that I have a limited amount of time. I am wary, yet hopeful, that I can find realistic ways to nourish my mind, […]

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The Fullness of Joy

I have a picture by my bed with a quote from Julian of Norwich, “The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything.”  The picture is of a sweet young girl smelling a flower, imposed upon a sunny backdrop.  And on a sun-drenched day, surrounded by flowers and light, I can be with that […]

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From Busy to Engaged: Best Practices for Faith Formation

“Children should be seen and not heard.” This cliché is often used as a measure of success when it comes to children in worship. But, at Northbrook UMC, our mission isn’t busy (or quiet) kids. We are nurturing engagement; with worship, with our community, and with God. Instead of measuring decibels, we look at best practices. The […]

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Why We Worship Together

Did you notice the dozen or more children and youth in worship on the first Sunday of advent?  I was sitting on the floor with them and almost forgot they were there, they were so quiet. Many youth and children stayed up front after the Advent wreath lighting. We had two activities that related to […]

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Darkness to Light

At my most recent Chicago Red Line show, we performed the song, “Flashlight,” from the movie, “Pitch Perfect 2.” The film ends with the characters performing the song and the audience lighting the night with flashlights. A similar thing happened during our show: lights illuminated the stage as we began the song. But when our […]

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Advent Anywhere: new opportunities for 2016

As the Children and Youth ministry teams began planning the Advent season, it became clear that this year was an opportunity to try something a little different. Christmas falling a Sunday and the usual celebrations (Thanksgiving, pageant, cantata, and Communion) meant that there was only one Sunday available for 10 a.m Sunday school. Advent is […]

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