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Practicing Hospitality at the Christmas Service

One of the very clearest times of hospitality we are called to practice is at the Christmas services. 

Almost all churches have visitors at these services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day... visitors who only go to church on this day each year. Perhaps because they are visiting family members who attend. Perhaps out of some emotional call to be in a church at this time.  Perhaps because they are intrigued by the spiritual life and Christmas seems the easiest entry point.

Whatever the reasons, they will be there... adults older and younger, and children and youth.  Many of these children will not be familiar with a church service.  They don't necessarily have the listening and sitting quietly skills that your regularly-attending kids usually have. For the younger children, this might even be a bit frightening to be among so many strange adults in tight little pews.

Strategize to make visitors (and very occasional members) feel welcome.  Ask someone not from your congregation to take a look at these areas with fresh eyes and see how you are doing. 


Amy Cook
Working Group Head for Faith Formation
Caren Miles
Associate for Faith Formation
Christmas Vacation Schedule:
DioHouse and the Faith Formation office will be closed on December 25th and January 1st.
Also, the Formation staff will be taking some vacation time from December 19th through January 4th. We will be occasionally checking email, but not in the office. 

From the Resource Center

How about a new Epiphany book from Sharon Pearson --

Faithful celebrations: making time for God from Advent through Epiphany edited by Sharon Ely Pearson. 2018
Included are plenty of activities to learn more about each of the sacred seasons or days in a church setting, at home, camp, or anywhere in-between. These abundance of ideas allow you to create meaningful celebrations within a faith context throughout the months of December, January, and February. Each event to be celebrated includes key ideas, a cluster of activities to experience the key ideas, materials needed, full instructions for implementation, background history and information, music, art, recipes, and prayer resources to use in a small, intimate or large multi-generational group. For children, youth, adults, or any combination of ages any of these activities can take place in any setting. 

AND, some intergenerational activities to try. 
Hands & Hearts: intergenerational activities throughout the church year by Lois J. Johansson.
Useful for Advent, Lent, Epiphany, Pentecost.
Includes easy-to-follow instruction for activities for multiple ages, based on the liturgical year.

Seasons of faith: teaching the Christian year: for intergenerational use by Marcia Stoner
Contains information, crafts, and activities that will enhance every holiday of the Christian Year for all ages. 
For additional books on Epiphany check out the online catalog for the Resource Center. 


Our Picks for the busy Formation worker in the coming months
For all events around the Diocese check out the DioCal Calendar.


Trinity Church in Menlo Park is hosting a three part Godly Play training this winter. Please register ASAP. These trainings fill up quickly and space is limited. 
If you would like to apply for a partial scholarship from the Diocese to participate fill out this form

Registration for each module can be found here:
Module I: Growing as God's People: Sacred Stories & Supporting the Circle of Children

Module II: Engaging God's Playful Word: Parables & Honoring the Spirituality of the Child

Module III: Building Holy Rituals & Spaces: Liturgical Action & Creating Sacred Environments

MLK @ Grace 
January 20-21, 2019

MLK @Grace is an overnight sleepover and service event at Grace Cathedral.  Join youth from around the Diocese and Northern California for fellowship, fun, discussion, and action. There will be facilitated community building, active and contemplative activities, art, music, and prayer. We will march together Monday in the San Francisco MLK day Parade. 

Program begins at 5 pm on Sunday and ends at 1 pm on Monday.

Cost is $10, and there is ample scholarship available. All youth must be accompanied by a designated Adult Leader.

Youth Registration HERE

Adult Registration HERE

Beloved Community Training Day - Saturday, February 23, 2019

Bring your Vestries, lay leaders, Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, and anyone else for training in the ins and outs of church leadership and vitality. Registration and workshops will be posted in January. 

Other Upcoming Events

15 | Winter NightWatch | Peninsula
22 | Holy Hikes at Muir Woods | Mill Valley
25 | Christmas Day — Diocesan Office Closed

1 | New Year's Day - Diocesan Office Closed
20-21 | MLK@Grace | San Francisco
23-25 | Forma Conference: Formed to Proclaim | Indianapolis


Faith Formation Webpage
Episcopal Resource Center
Forma Facebook Page
Forma Website

Copyright © 2018 Episcopal Diocese of California, All rights reserved.

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