Innovative Practices in Children’s Ministry

As educators, we are thirsty for new ways to nurture faith. Yet, we would also like to know that the ideas we hear about have been tested and refined. We want to understand how a practice works and the reasons behind various components. And we wonder how to make sure a practice is a good ‘fit’ for our setting. This workshop, led by Children’s Spirituality Hub staff from Union Presbyterian Seminary, invites participants to drink from our wellspring of innovative practices. We’ll teach you three practices (Holy Listening, Embodied Prayer, and Questions?) designed and tested in multiple settings through the Hub. Holy Listening is a one-on-one practice with young children that uses a finger labyrinth, symbol stones, and a hand blessing to explore centering, emotions, and spiritual connections. Embodied Prayer involves movement-based prayers designed to help children experience spiritual connection with self, others, the natural world, and God. We tested a set of six themed prayers (Connection, Empowerment, Wonder, Awareness, Empathy, Justice) with groups ranging in size from 6 – 100+ kids. Questions? uses a set of infographic cards to help parents recognize the types of spiritual questions children are asking and guide families in exploring those questions together. You’ll learn how the practices work, as well as the child development and education theories that shaped their design. We’ll also show you how to integrate these ideas into existing ministries, as well as create new components (your own embodied prayer scripts) and approaches (using holy listening with groups) to fit your needs.



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