Welcome to Spring, Formation Friends!

How in the world we have survived a year in a pandemic compounded with political and social unrest is in itself miraculous. To be honest, it seemed like Lent 2020 was an entire year that just bled right into Lent 2021. Here we are, on the cusp of the other side. This seemingly year long Lent is ready for Easter. To be honest, I am too!

At the beginning of March an article in the New York Times caught my eye, "Teens on a Year That Changed Everything". Even if you aren't a teenager, don't have a teenager at home or at church, I encourage you to read it. The images and words shared, chosen out of over 5,000 submissions from across the country, are an incredible window into what we have all shared in this year. It was powerful and devastating and hopeful all at the same time. Just like Holy Week and Easter.

In a year where I didn't do so well with my Lenten discipline, I realized in years past I was so focused on the right practices for Lent and the right things to do for Holy Week, that I missed the point. I missed living through the power of the Palm Story narrative when we yell "Crucify Him!" I missed the feeling the real heartbreak of Good Friday. Missing these things, for me, tempered the true hope and real joy of the empty tomb on Easter morning.

Just like the power and hope that comes from the Resurrection, new life can and will grow from the dark time of a historic pandemic. This new life isn't just lived in one day either. In recent years the 50 days of Eastertide have taken on more meaning in the Episcopal Church. I hope you will think about observing Eastertide this year as way to not only grow in the hope of the season, but in a coming post pandemic life. 17 year old Haven Hutchinson said this in the New York Times article "All summer, my Instagram feed was filled with people throwing their own proms and finding fun ways to make this summer the best despite the pandemic. Finding a way to be happy in hard times is essential to making it through." We have been changed by this time, no doubt, having found glimmers of hope in the darkness. Now we are on the cusp of being in the light.

God's Peace,

Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation
For All Ages

Though posted as "Holy Week Journal Activity for Kids" this printable download ($6 available here) can be used by anyone who is looking for a creative outlet to engage a walk through Holy Week. Designed by The Littles & Me.

The Way of the Cross in Nature from the Rev'd Mia Kano of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Wellesley, MA offers excellent guides, one for children and one for adults. "These guides provide... a way to discover that the story of Good Friday and the cross is written into the natural world about them if they only know where to look!"

Make a Paschal Candle for Home If you are celebrating the Easter Vigil at home this is a simple way to bring traditional symbolism into that experience. Though this is a Roman Catholic resource, you can find more HERE about the symbols and their meanings.

For Families with Teenagers

Holy Week Activities For Families With Teenagers is a resource from the National Catholic Register, however most of the ideas and practices are similar or can modified for an Episcopal family.
For Children

Easter Egg Hunt at Home from Episcopal Relief and Development is part of their One Thousand Days of Love campaign that seeks to globally improve the lives of children up to age 6.

For Families

Understanding the Cross: A Home-Based Holy Week Devotional on Jesus’ “Seven Last Words” from SALT. This resources explores seven different ways of looking at the cross using Jesus's seven last words as he hung on the cross on Good Friday. There is a downloadable file for printing at home and can be purchased for personal use or there is tiered pricing for congregational use.


5 Ideas for a Renewed Worship During Holy Week is a resource from Explore the Bible. This is NOT an Episcopal Resource, however these ideas might help you approach Holy Week in a new way.

Stations of the Cross for Global Justice is a resource provided by The Episcopal Church. Each station provides a narrative, prayers and reflection linking to global justice focused initiative.
For All Ages

from the curators at Building Faith, this post offers different of ways you can more fully experience this part of the liturgical year

Alleluia! 50 Days and 50 Ways to Celebrate Easter Illustrated byJay Sidebotham this calendar is for downloading and printing 25 copies. Enjoy daily reflections as well as the chance to color the all along the way.

For Families

 Fifty Days of Spiritual Practice from Traci Smith designed this as a faith-at-home practice congregations can purchase to share with families. Each week has a different theme and families can choose from the included activities.

A Journey through Acts: The 50 Day Bible Challenge edited by the Rev'd Marek P. Zabriskie this study takes you through 50 days of scripture reading in Acts following apostles Peter and Paul. Great for individuals or for group study and available for purchase form Forward Movement.

For Parents, Youth & Adults

Living Compass, though not specific to Eastertide, however the season would provide enough time to engage in this program Living Compass has tracks for parents, youth, and adults that focus on finding spiritual wellness through balancing 4 areas: Heart•Soul•Strength•Mind. Though non-denominational, many Episcopal clergy and lay professionals write and have consulted on programmatic aspects.
What are Rogation Days?

In Rogation Days: Holy Neighborness from Episcopal Relief and Development you an learn more about these days traditionally celebrated Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the sixth week of Easter preceding the Ascension.

All Ages

Abundant Life Garden Project from Episcopal Relief and Development is a 6 week interactive scripture-based curriculum that can be used with all ages. It can also be used as a Vacation Bible School program. It explores five key themes: Water, Seeds, Soil, Animals and Harvest and ends with a celebration of St. Francis.
Earth Day
A Prayer for Earth Day from Interfaith Power & Light

• Use this LINK above to register to receive Earth Day Sunday resources from Creation Justice Ministries

52 Ways to Care for Creation a varied list of ways that can make simple changes to be a better steward of God's creation.


Make your Own Wildflower Seed Bombs Try your hand at making these to grow flowers that attract much needed pollinators like bees and butterflies. Supplies can be found at home and garden stores and craft stores.

Scavenger Hunt This post from Playdough to Plato has ideas that could be used to create litter pick-up scavenger hunt or a nature scavenger hunt.

Society of St. Andrew's Gleaning Network of North and South Carolina Though there are not any posted opportunities right now, check back frequently. Gleaning is a way to serve both farmers and help fight hunger.

Care for Creation Youth Manual Developed by the Anglican Church of Souther Africa this curriculum is divided into the 3 sections, Spirituality, Lifestyle and Activism. The lessons may need tweaking for context.

Awakening to God's Call to Earthkeeping From our ELCA siblings, this 4 week small group study explores our call to be better keepers of God's creation.

For the Beauty of the Earth: Daily Devotions for Exploring Creation Illustrated by Kathrin Burleson with various Episcopal contributors this book offers a way for you spend 365 days with a daily focus on creation.

Written by Douglas Wood Sometimes called "Lessons from the Old Turtle:" this beautifully illustrated fable that intertwines ecology, faith and peace. Though primarily seen as a children's book, it has been a favorite of all ages since its was published in 1992.

This is a true story sharing how one person can really make a difference. Written by Miranda Paul, she tells the story of Isatou Ceesay's quest to find a way to recycle plastic bags in Gambia.

Published by Rabbit Room Press, this second volume offers liturgies and prayers primarily focused on times when we are grieving or experiencing loss.

Written by the Rev'd Amelia Richardson Dress, a United Church of Christ Pastor, this is an excellent resource that explores nine spiritual practices to empower parents to connect with their children and their faith. Each chapter features questions for both person and group reflection.

Though we are nearing the end of Women's history month, this is a great book to explore women and their impact on the Bible. Author and Episcopal Priest Lindsey Hardin Freeman writes about every woman who spoke in the Bible. Each chapter includes study questions for small group or individual reflection.
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