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How do you have the

I don't want to worry you, but if you haven't started planning your summer events, you might be running a little late.

Between Vacation Bible School, Mission Trips, personal vacations, and planning for the next school year, summers are rarely restful for those of us in children & youth ministry. What are you doing to take care of yourself this summer? Who are you working with to make sure you share the work load? How can your friends around the diocese help you out?

In April the office of Faith Formation will begin a monthly series of Zoom calls for everyone to be able to virtually meet and talk about children & youth ministry (without having to sit in traffic).

On Sunday, April 7th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm we will chat about Vacation Bible School - best practices, curriculum choices, volunteer training, how to adjust the snacks so they're not just sugar-coated sugar, and other important topics related to VBS. RSVP for this call HERE.

On Sunday, May 5th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm we will talk about Mission Trips - including how to do a trip with neighboring churches, chaperone management, what release forms you need, how to make sure middle schoolers take at least one shower that week, and everything else you might want to know. RSVP for this call HERE.

I hope you can join us for one or both of these great opportunities.
- Caren Miles
Amy Cook
Working Group Head for Faith Formation
Caren Miles
Associate for Faith Formation

Upcoming Events

We have some great events planned for 2019
For more, check out the DioCal Calendar.

Youth Ministry Symposium - The Confirmation Project

This year, CDSP’s annual Youth Ministry Symposium will examine confirmation and formation practices that support youth, intergenerational groups, and the mission and spiritual growth of congregations. The event, which is open to all, is designed for youth ministers and volunteers, clergy, camp leaders, and directors of education and formation.

Keynote speakers Dr. Lisa Kimball, an Episcopalian, and Dr. Jacob Sorenson, a Lutheran, serve on the leadership team of The Confirmation Project, a multi-denominational study of confirmation practices in congregations and camps funded by the Lilly Endowment. In their presentation, they will report on the findings of the study with a special focus on Lutheran and Episcopalian confirmation preparation and its potential for energizing congregational life.

The Youth Ministry Symposium is co-sponsored by Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, the Episcopal Dioceses of Northern California, California, El Camino Real, and San Joaquin, and Province VIII of the Episcopal Church.

Province VIII may support travel for Episcopalians coming from anywhere within Province VIII; please contact for more information.

When: Saturday, March 16, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 2451 Ridge Road, Berkeley
Cost: $25 ($15 for current CDSP students)

EcoConfirmation - Saturday, May 4 - Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland 

An outdoor service, participants at EcoConfirmation will uphold their baptismal vow to “cherish the wondrous works of God, and protect the beauty and integrity of all creation.” Together, the community will recommit itself to the fifth mark of mission: “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”

This year's EcoConfirmation will be at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, nestled within the Port of Oakland. The service will include a reflection on our relationship to the bay, the fossil fuels that power the cargo ships in the port, and a dedication for those who havve taken the Pledge to Care for Creation

Registration forms should be filled out by the congregational confirmation leader, not individuals. 
Register your confirmands HERE

When: Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m. 
Where: Middle Harbor Shoreline Park (click for directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Caren Miles,

Godly Play Teacher Training

Trinity Church in Menlo Park is hosting two more Godly Play teacher trainings this year.

To Register:
Parables - Saturday March 16, 2019 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM - 
Liturgical Action - Saturday April 27, 2019 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM- 

From the Resource Center

Heading to summer ----- VBS Ideas
The 2019 VBS Reviews are here!  Each year, Lifelong Learning at VTS reviews kits and programs for Vacation Bible School. They carefully examine each program. They open the kits, pour through all the materials, listen to the CDs and watch the videos...and then share the strengths and weaknesses of each program.
The top three 2019 VBS programs are:
Cokesbury: To Mars and Beyond   - You might want to consider coordinating this with the 50thanniversary of the landing on the moon, July 20. 
MennoMedia: Who Is My Neighbor?We purchased a copy as we have always been impressed with MennoMedia VBS programs.   Click here for Other programs we have from MennoMedia.
This would be a nice accompaniment for the VBS program --Who is my Neighbor? By Amy Jill Levine and Sandy Sasso, 2019.  Here are others.
Levine and Sasso also wrote The Marvelous Mustard Seed in 2018.  
Other ideas-
Building Faith Brick by Brick ll: An Imaginative Way to Explore the Parables by Emily Slichter Given. Follow-up to first volume with 32 new stories with lesson plans. 
Building Faith Brick by Brick: An imaginative way to explore the Bible with Children by Emily Slichter Given. Offers the methodology as well as 30 Old Testament and 24 New Testament stories with lesson plans.

The Best VBS Workbook Ever! By Lisa Brown. Offers direction and suggestions on theme, structure, logistics, program, activities, staffing and promotion.

Arts Camp: A Creative, Customizable Alternative to Vacation Bible School and Beyond by Christina Clark. Provides practical, concrete instruction that a church needs to plan, organize, staff, and conduct an annual five-day Arts Camp.  

Planning Vacation Bible School or a Summer Camp for your congregation?
Email Caren with details and we'll put it on 

Other Upcoming Events

16 | 2019 Youth Ministry Symposium | Berkeley
16 | Godly Play Training - Parables & Honoring the Spirituality of the Child, Trinity | Menlo Park
25 to 28 | New Episcopal Community Leadership Discernment Retreat | Los Angeles

7 | Formation Zoom Call - VBS | Online
19 | Good Friday - Diocesan Offices Closed 

Save the Date - November 16, 2019

This will be a magical day as Grace Cathedral turns into the Hogwarts school and children ages 6 and up (and their parents) come together to explore the roots of Anglican faith found in every chapter of the seven books. Bring your friends in the Potter fandom and have your wands ready for a spectacular day.


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