It’s not too late to practice Lent at home?

This Lent did not start out in the controlled manner that I would have liked. I’ve been tired, so very tired, caring for my husband who had emergency surgery and is now Rehab(ing) at home.

On Shrove Tuesday’s pancakes were eaten for desset at dinner (nothing wrong with that) but our families tradition had been pancakes for breakfast each Shrove Tuesday, but by the time bathing, dressing and physio happened. Dinner it was.

Usually I’d head to the Ash Wednesday service, but the morning routine was still going and it was a face to face service only, and I could not leave the patient/husband.

I started to get the feeling that this was going to be a very different Lent.

Yet looking back over the years, though I have settled into a pattern, I realised it had not always been this way.

There were years when I had babies and post natal depression.

When we were travelling.

When I was mourning.

Yes there had been plenty of tough times, when the Lent routine got lost.

The season of Lent doesn’t go away just because the going get’s tough.

We started this years Revised Common Lectionary readings for Lent with a story about challenges, of being in the desert, of being tempted.

What a reminder that no matter what we are experiencing, and this year I am very aware of those being displaced at the start of Lent. Lent is here, and it’s worth acknowledging that it is, and turn the mis/adventures of the faith practice for Lent into THE practice of Lent.


No matter what is happening around me, whether I can make it to a face-to-face church service or not. My Lenten journey is between God and me.

When we live in families, be that a family of 1, you, or a tribe of kids, grandparents cousins is still Lent.

Lent is still the season of preparation. There is more to be done than just attending services each Sunday or heading to church for the annual visit come Easter. I personally understand that, because that was basically the pattern of my experience of Lent as I was growing up.

So why would I want to encourage families to adopt Lenten practices when I grew up with few in a Christian Household?

What has changed in me, that I now feel that this opportunity for spiritual development and community building should be embraced and practiced by the whole Christian community, and especially by family groups?

This is the list I came up with

  1. Practicing at home extends the experience of Lent into the lived experience, and beyond the church door.
  2. It extends the opportunity for children to learn and use the concepts and words of faith, away from the Church buildings, especially when faith practices are being discouraged in the wider communities and in our schools
  3. It unifies the Christian community, Catholic and Protestant.
  4. Gives an opportunity to deepen our spiritual practices of Biblical Study, Prayer and Action.
  5. Allows us to share intergenerationally, grandparents, parents and children.
  6. Faith Transmission appears to be stronger in families where faith practices are encouraged in all family members in their daily life. Youth studies show the influences, and John W. Westerhoff III”s Will our Children have Faith (Harrisburg, Moorehouse, 2012) explores this idea to.
  7. United Nations Convention of the rights of the child to spiritual expression

8. As well as my own personal experiences as I have opened my life up to Lenten practices and what I have observed in the children of the Families I have ministered to.

Lenten practices do not have to be complicated. This year my Lenten plan is very simple. So if you have never experienced a Lenten preparation may I make these very simple starting practice suggestions, and encourage you to find time this Lent to be intentional and share it with your family. Even if you are running late for the start of Lent.

Mark the time.

I have found young children find it a very long season, it helps if they can count it down. The very young or the very tired or time poor can use the Lenten Calendar from Praying in Color

OR try a Lent scripture chain, for the very young you could omit the bible verses.

OR The Jesus Story Book Lent Guide also uses a chain activity. The draw back with this one is that though free, you must sign up to recieve the guide and you need to have The Jesus storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones It is wonderful though for busy families.

You may not have thought of this as a Lenten practice, suitable for all ages, try Picture Lent

FOR a study that is about to begin( so you are not late for this at all) Try the Lego Lent Challenge great for all ages

Something outdors? How about these Wonder Walks for Lent

For a small payout, Ideal for a child who loves colouring try Illustrated Ministry


You might like to sing it out, it could be changing what you do such as listening to a Christian radio station, or search Lent songs on Spotify.

Listen to Lent by Litrugical Folk

For someone new try Dan Warlow


Or do Lent with a good cause see

OR Lent Event can give you some ideas of things to give up for Lent.

Give it a go.

And no it’s never too late to start.


Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.


Sunday Reflection: Epiphany 2: Bridegroom to faith formation, Children at a wedding.

Two of this Sunday’s readings (Isaiah 62:5, John 2:1-11), use a bridegroom motif to expand our understanding of God. Jesus’s first miracle the act of a good bridegroom, supplying wine, not just any wine but good wine, better wine, enough wine as the festivities go on, and in Isaiah we have the joy of God’s union with us portrayed as that of a bridegroom on his wedding.

These motif’s came to life for me this year, when my eldest daughter married, a miracle amongst lockdowns in itself, but my new son-in-law showed me excitment and keeness for all to participate in and enjoy the day. Within, my family of origin, weddings were solomn affairs, everything must be just so and the weightiness of what we were taking on, all my siblings experienced this weight, it’s heaviness was well known, so that joy is possibly not a discription I would have used for a wedding, and therefore when we reach these readings every 3 years, until this year I had not taken hold of the excitment in the bridegroom motif of God’s love for us.

With weddings over the last 2 years, defered or restricted in their pagentry, along with the increase in the numbers getting married rather than living together. I wonder how many children listening to these readings this week may also miss the joy in the Isaiah reading and only hear of the responsibility in the John reading? Though as more children are attending their parents marriages these days maybe they may understand this motif fully. As I am writing this the bells of the church behind my house are ringing for another couple as they exchange vowels.

My son-in-law took it upon himself to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves, he took that side seriously but not at the expense of the joy for the day. In doing so he opened my eyes to God’s excitment in being reconciled to us.

Sharing this excitment with our children is as important a lesson as any, but they may need to find it in another motif, something they do understand, like a birthday. That is ok, because like me, one day they may be shown deeper insights into these readings, they just need a starting place. So open up those old wedding albums or photos of weddings from the past and talk about the joy they may have been experiencing that day.

In my meditations, I started to wonder what else we miss out on because we are not ready. Who did we leave behind during the pandemic, did we care for our families spiritual needs or languor in the decision that if we can’t have Sunday School what else can we do for them. But what now? Do we still see our Children’s spiritual formation in terms of returning to what we did prior to the commencement of the Pandemic or have we moved too and are looking at the new things we learnt and which we still need to make new (like the wine). After the Spanish Flu, in Australia anyway, Sunday School teachers went from paid workers to volunteers. The Sunday School movement itself is only 250 years old. Martin Luther was extolling the importance of home faith formation 500 years ago, and in the first centuries we have example of all age worship breakfasts. Different ages, different interpreations of Children’s Faith Formation. New wine, tastier wine, where is this pandemic taking our Children’s Faith Formation?


Wendy L

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

Advent ideas for Family and Church

It’s that time of the year again.

The time of the year for lists, shopping lists, present lists, todo lists, and Advent idea lists.

So here is mine for 2021

I like my ideas to be free, preferably; downloadable if possible; and often child centred (well it is that season after all – we are awaiting a birth). No matter where you are in the world, I hope you and your community or family will benefit from preparing your hearts and home for Christmas.

Advent starts next Sunday.


Listen to this Advent album by Liturgical Folk

Downloadable from Word and Wonder The Songs of Christmas; Advent Worship Guide, and you can also download the Colouring in book to match


The Episcopal Church of Arkansas have produced this Lego Advent prayer countdown using this years Lego city Advent calendar. Even if you can’t buy or afford the lego kit you could make or find the type of person/vehicle etc mentioned in the prayer and use the prayers each day.

(I will be doing this as my personal Advent practice so follow the Facebook page and see what insights come out of it for me, I would love to hear yours)

Family Project (actually if meeting together you might build one week by week during the sermon, or as a joint community project) If Zoom meeting, everyone can build one and then all show and tell in a special service or on Christmas Morning.

You might like to build a nativity set from Lego such as this one from Frugal Fun for Boys

or this one I found on someone else’s Advent list (when I remember I’ll let you know who it was)


Always love the Praying in Color templates, these can be a visual journey of your own Advent prayers or you can use a more guided Advent study and use these templates as your visual prayer response to it. Suitable for all ages. She has some suggestions on how to use these on the linked pages.

Sunhats and Wellie boots have a dfferent take on an Advent Colouring-in calendar.

Advent Studies

This is one for all the family from the Presbyterian Church of Canada

Either for home or church use from INTERGEN there is a colouring in downloadable too


Love this trail idea from Sun Hat and Wellie Boots

This one has lots of choice for families of different aged children by the Uniting Church In Australia South Australia Synod

This is one for the Community and is a Northern Hemisphere idea but could easily be adapted to the Southern Hemishpere using coloured plants(new growth/new birth) could be used instead of coloured lights and would suit a situation where social distancing and outside worship is required.

Especially for Families at home

Here is a downloadable one from CandlePress

Mainly Ministries have produced this one

Try this I wonder series from Muddy Church


I look forward to this each year though it does require a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones with illustrations by Jago. Downloadable

I’m going to sneak this one in, you need the book “Twas the Season of Advent by Glenys Nellist and there is a lovely activity pack download available that expands on the book.


Either at home or in Community instead of using the eternal circle to place your Advent Candles each week you could place them on the Southern Cross,(note the links do do work on this page, but the Biblical connects are worth reading). (I have a liturgy I’m working on at the moment when it is finished I will add a link to that here.) Any liturgy could be used with this idea though.

A watery Advent from Engage Together 2020(sorry it’s an old one but you get the idea) from p.13

There are many more wonderful resources out there. I hope I have not added to your confusion. Pick one and use it for the whole of Advent and if that isn’t working for your family change to something else. The important thing is that you find a practice that brings your family closer to God and helps them wait.

May you have a blessed Advent

Wendy L.

Please check local guidlines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowedge this page if you find it useful. Thank you.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

Sunday Reflection: Parenting

Today is my eldest daughter’s birthday. Halloween. When I attended church in early labour, I was concerned that I would not make it through the service. I felt safer sitting in the service, than I did at home. And as it was I still had 24 hours of labour to go before she made her appearance, waving at the world, she entered the world hand emerging first, as I was to find out her father had years before. Our congregation had a few nurses and a few parents so I felt more comfortable at church realising that many people in our multi-age congregation would know what to do, rather than me wondering what would happen at home. Anyway it seemed completely natural to me to be worshipping. I had prayed over and for my developing child throughout her pregnancy.

 We were part of, not just a congregation but a community, most people living within walking difference of our church, my Paster was around the corner with his school age family, my prayer partner and her brood lived opposite them. There were a few other new mums or mums to be and we would pass each other in the health centre, at Nursing Mother’s meetings, the supermarket, the doctors. I felt that I was in a community that would support us and we would be a part of as she grew, a blend of faith and secular.

What I wanted more than anything was for her to come to know God and be a part of this wonderful nurturing community.

I asked everyone, how do I help her to know God? Most did not have an answer for me, one informed me that it was like introducing her to any friend. But that statement, though true didn’t help me, so I continued praying for and with her, we continued the tradition of attending church together, we prayed at meal times, but we did not read Bible stories, we read secular books, it did not even occur to me that faith books for children even existed. 

With the congregation, she was dedicated, we moved to the front for the children’s talk and sat at the back so we would not disturb other’s in the congregation, eating treats to keep her quiet during the sermon. When the time came for her to join, Sunday School with the other children she left the service to learn. When she was old enough we started evening devotions when she went to bed, a bible reading some questions, which she didn’t enjoy at all. What helped her more was the Christian meditation we practiced.

She went to a Christian school, and I felt that I had done my best, but I was so disappointed when in her teen years she refused to come to church anymore, and I started to question, what I had done wrong to not show her God in a way she wanted in her life. It led me to question so much, to ask questions, to look closely at the gaps in my teaching her about faith. Yes, we could have read story books, watched videos, played computer games with a stronger faith focus. Did she not learn in ways that were appropriate to her learning styles?

God is not a stranger in our home. She still prays, meditates when stressed, she has accepted some of the things we did as a family such as Ski, and rejected others. She is not a part of a faith community other than within our family. I am the only one who is connected to a Church, yet each Christmas and Easter, she comes to church with me, not to please me, but because these events do not have any meaning for her without attending Church. 

As parents, we can not guarantee the faith choices our children make. We can only try our best, and leave the rest to God. Always keep the doors open for that conversation, or the opportunity, but respect their wishes, they like everyone else we come across must be free to open their ears to hear, and shape the faith process for themselves. We do not fail when our children don’t stay in the church, if they know God we have done our job.


Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

Sunday Reflection: Beyond Words

Somedays the words don’t make their way to the paper, even though I am still being influenced by this weeks readings.

It is weeks like this that I think of children with their limited vocablaries, those through illness or accident with limited capacity to verbalise or write. Sometimes in our lives our emotions overide our capacity to express ourselves in a verbal or written sense. I know that like me, when words fail, we have other ways of praising, sharing, expressing ourselves.

And 10% of us are dyslexic. I remember my own daughter’s struggle to find God was frustrated by worship material only being available in written format, where Sunday School meant reading aloud from the Bible and then responding to written question. She was not alone, I struggled too in trying to find material that she could relate too. Messy Church has only been around for a decade and though Godly Play has been around for decades, a product of the Berryman’s own search to find a good way of teaching children, especially their own daughter, it was not until after my daughter had walked away from the church that my studies introduced me to this method.

This is one of the reasons I often suggest play, singing, colouring-in, or craft as a response to the RCL readings in this weekly blog. Why I move away from wordsearches, written responses to questions, or private reading when I make suggestions for All-age or Family based worship.

As a teacher, I have always used multi-sense methods of teaching, never one method alone.

Like Godly Play I am influenced by the work of Montessori, but also Steiner, even though I teach and have been educated through the mainstream channels, where more theorists are using multi-sensory models now.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram some of what is below you willl have seen.

Everything was a response to the Bible readings either this week or last week.

They were as much an outpouring of my response as a production for other’s consumption, that is they were my spiritual response. I hope they spark a response in you.

This was my response to Ephesians 6:10-20, every one is putting on protective gear these days, so I extrapolated away from the idea of Roman war attire as appropriate to the time of writing and thought about our present day situation

I created a game board for the same reading. You need to print 2 then cut one up and then match up the protective garment pictures.

At the start of the week, I created some inspiration to bring a spiritual dimension into our 2 hour exercise walks(where I live we are in lockdown due to the rising presence of th COVID-19 infection, delta varient, and the lack of innoculations). This had been inspired by Ephesians 5:15-20. Use the ideas each day to find Biblical references or to spark prayer.


Wendy L.

If you would like to use any of these please acknowledge my work, thank you.

Sunday Reflection: Grief, a new creation and lockdown.

In the last week, I have been watching as Melbourne, Australia where I live, has opened up again from lockdown. I have also watched as Sydney refused to lockdown, in spite of its growing Covid numbers. I prayed and held my breath as my parents decided to drive from their Melbourne home to their winter rental in Queensland where my sister and her family including their great grandkids live. For about 15 years prior to Covid, they drove their caravan up the Eastern Coast to spend our Winter month’s, with the northern family.  Last year they were unable to make this trip as Queensland were locked down to our state. This year I was the chief cheer leader as I watched numbers and locations and spreading incidents change. And they made it. 

This morning 1 state and 1 Territory face lockdowns and 2 other states and another nation have imported cases from NSW, as they dithered over closing down.

I live in Australia, and though it is subject to its second colonial takeover through media, having been initial physically taken over, the idea of mateship still resonates somewhere in our thinking. I like to think that we still care about others not just our selves, that the Biblical image of the good Samaritan resonates on the Simpson and his donkey ANZAC story.

CoVID is changing our lives, our practices our churches, but it is time to move beyond the fright of our churches being suddenly closed or the idea that we return to “normal” when we are allowed to practice even in a revised manner.

No, we need to have a debate over what it is to be the church? And not just on if it is a “real” service if it is broadcast or presented on some other media platform other than face to face.

As Christians

Did we stop being Christian because the church was not open?

Did we not pray, or meditate or read our Bibles because we were in lockdown?

Did we stop sharing our faith with our families because we couldn’t go to church?

Did we stop believing in the one true God and the son that He sent?

Hopefully the answer is No, we continued to do these things?

As someone who through these pages has found her faith mission, some might say hobby to encourage parents and the congregations that support them to strengthen their family faith practices, this time of CoVID, definitely seemed to vindicate our call. Just look at the vast number of resources that became available to families over the last 18 months.

But if this time of “wilderness testing” has been to coral us back into our churches, with enhanced media options? I don’t think we have thought about what it is to be Christian, to be church, to have faith, deeply enough.

My children, my adult children, because here in Australia, our children generally live with us through their University years, and into adulthood, we get to see them struggle and grow, we see the late night drunken footsteps, we get the calls to pick them up from some dodgy night club, we hear the tears of rejection and the joys when relationships are doing well, and the confusion when work isn’t going well. We also live with the sting of their rejection of our life choices, but we also get moulded and changed by them in the same way that they have been doing to our lives since they were born.

Well I have been learning from my unchurched children. I have learnt that they still pray, possibly the first faith practice I did with them. They can explain what faith is, what our denomination is about. They have decided that Christmas, and Easter needs to be spent with a congregation because that helps them make sense of events. They choose not to be part of a church community. They still talk faith over the kitchen table at dinner with us. I have discovered that I actually have a “faith community” in my home. It might not always be nurturing, or comfortable? But then neither is a Church community. It actually feels a lot like my understanding of faith communities from Paul’s letters.

It took CoVID lockdown to open my eyes to the faith community I live in, my family, I don’t get locked out of them. We live 24/7 in community. We have ritual, it doesn’t look like the liturgies in Uniting in Worship 2, we eat, drink coffee and talk faith instead of having communion by the church’s elective representative. But faith at home, lives.

We don’t all live in this stage of family model, and because of that we still need Christian community around us.

But does it need to be a Sunday Morning service?

Does church look more like small groups who meet when convenient to pray of and for each other and study the scripture, through what ever sense, makes sense? Small groups who might fit better into CoVid restrictions, outside meeting groups, small house gatherings or small church gatherings might be a better alternative and one unchurched people like my children feel better being a part of? 

Should our church money be spent better on comfy chairs, small spaces, better (professionsal ) cleaning, and better media profile and access, and mission?

We are not angry enough yet, in our grieving of the cultural changes Covid is bringing we still cling in disbelief, mourn for what we can’t do, delight in what we can (ie Zoom meetings, and services), hold to hope ( a Covid  vaccination), but maybe Church is not about faith transmission, home is, and maybe church is not about corporate weekly events but small groups. Maybe it really is time to go back to first century community practices as our way forward.


Wendy L

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

Something made me mad

This week in Australia we had women protesting in every captial city including the Capital, Canberra. Now I am only just starting to walk again after 2 foot operations so I did not participate. But just becasue I was not physically there did not mean that I withheld my support. No I prayed for and applauded all the women who were there.

Women who may have experienced the same injustice as the woman who sparked this controversy, women who the Law Courts of our country have left without justice or a voice to express their story.

Teenagers who may have or fear that this behaviour may happen to them.

Those men who supported partners, children or just saw the injustice of the situation.

Women who have supported friends or aquitences, feeling thankful but concerned that it may be them next.

The Elderly who have kept secrets all their lives, and still find the only expression open to them is to protest rather than share their stories and unravel a lifetime.

But it’s not enough to pray when words and actions are needed. But sometimes the weight of the past and the sercrets it holds pull at our tongues and we stay silent and away, when we should stand up and be counted.

I stayed still, frozen, in unother time and space, locked in my own secrets.

Then after the shock came the anger.

Why are we still having this fight? This has been a fight since I was a young adult. Why are we not done with it? Why has interenerational chnage not happened.

When I lived on campus, we would be organised into groups to walk home from the library to the residences. We were given self protection classes, but the one thing that we did not do, was talk about the danger of living in residence. Did we just assume that as our home we were safe in it. That we didn’t need protection there in the same way that people closed there eyes to Domestic Violence in the homes we had come from.

I have nothing but personal expereince, no stats to back up my claim that walking home from the library had much lower odds to being raped then in our residences. We shared bathrooms, it was not unknown to be joined in a shower behind a locked cubicle door. Staying too long in someones room, or leaving the door open for air, seemed justification enough. I have seen the clean up of the academic system in my lifetime to reduce inappropraite use of power sexually, but not in residences.

In leaving this space, and living alone, the problem did not cease, those invited into my space failed to realise it was a home and being safe in your home and requesting permission in your home was important and not to be disregarded, but I did feel I had the skills to articulate this even though my name is followed by numerous letters.

What sparked this massive march of Australian women also happened in a house, a different type of house, Parliment House, our nations legal heart. A place we want to think is above reproach. Another illusion shattered.

Over the years I have tried to have these discussions with my daughters. A conversation they neither wanted nor took seriously, it took a couple of attacks on women walking home for them to start to pay attention, but not to me. They had believed the rehtoric that society was a safer space for women.

So why am I sharing all this on this page.

Because I set this up with the aim of helping families share faith together it’s important that we have these conversations in the home, as well as the broader community, whether or not our children want to listen. Beacause if they don’t hear about it in terms of a faith context the influences will come from other places. But neither do I see faith converstions around rape, pornography, respect and self worth as a pancea. It’s not, our stories are devisive, particullary the Old Testament stories. We need to remember they were told to spark discussion, open debate about much braoder issues than the obvious and so they should be used that way today. But there is a chance that someone will not see the same worth in them as we do. Which opens us to learning how to have safe and respectful discussions, the very crux of the issue.

But equally, we will not hear the feminine voice in the Revised Common Lectionary. Too often they are cut out and silenced so until these stories and their lives can be validated in the pulpit we need to speak about them in the home.

How many know of the story of Tamar, (2 Samual 13), Jethphah’s daughter (Judges 13) and the imagery of Jeremiah, and many more, let alone would discuss it in their homes, with their children, not ever having respectful discussion modeled from the pulpit. Most Minister’s working along side Child and Family workers get fidgety everytime the Story of Abraham and Isaac appears in the Lectionary.

WE need to chanllenge the stories, we need to hold the Old Testament stories up against the standard of the cross in the New Testament, and WE need to have these converstions starting in our families but also in community.

Our families need to be supported by the church to enable them to have meaningful discussions at home.

They need modelling, they need information, they need a church that preaches about the real community in which it stands.

So if this weekend you don’t hear something about this this weekend.

You need to make a stand.

You need to ask for it and you need to be assured that your family is supported by your community.

And if your congregation doesn’t have any children and families, then that’s no reason not to talk about what is happening, they hdave grandchildren, children, friends and above all have lived lives of silencewaiting for permission to open their mouths.

References: Battered Love by Renita J. Weems

Brave Girls Bible Stories by Jennifer Gerelds

Forgotten Bible Stories by Margaret McAllister


Wendy L.

Resources that could be helpful for sharing faith at home

Here is a list of Sources that might be useful for families looking for Faith Formation Guidance. It is not definative and has been erred toward sites that offer free or predominately free resources for Families


Growing Faith at Home

Growing Faith at Home

What’s available: Growing Faith at Home worksheet resource, Worship notes, Talk time cards, articles

Form available: reflection sheets, articles, handouts

Covers which Stages: Families of all stages, from couples to grandparents.

Price of Resource: Annual subscription: $40, some resources are free

Media Platforms: website, Facebook, You tube, Pinterest,

Languages other than English: None

Mission: a weekly lectionary based resource for households to live, share and celebrate faith together weekly and daily. A resource for parents and grandparents to share faith in their homes.

Created by: Lutheran Church of Australia

Country of origin: Australia


Scripture Union Queensland

What’s available: Known as Family Space, this has a collection of resources for different stages and institutions, Children, Church Matters, Parents and Carers and Teens and Young Adults.

Form Available: articles

Covers which Stages, children, teenagers, parents and care givers and congregations

Price of Resource: free

Media Platforms: website, can sign up for monthly emails

Languages other than English: none

Mission: To equip, empower and nurture family households and congregations

Organisation: Scripture Union Queensland

Country of origin: Australia, Queensland

Here 2 stay

What’s available: An 8 pillar, 2 Foundational principle scaffold to help families and churches to find a life long discipline for faith formation.

Form available: articles, videos, downloads

Covers which Stages: families and congregations

Price of Resource: free

Media Platforms: Website, Facebook, You Tube

Languages other than English: Family Chatmats are available in 11 other languages with another 12 due soon 

Mission: To develop lifelong active followers of Jesus

Supported by: Bible Society, Compassion, Focus on the Family Australia, Scripture Union Queensland, Willow Creek Australia

Country of origin: Australia,

Notes: Great resources list, easy website for families to negotiate, ie. Specific family’s resources page

Max7 at Home

What’s available: Topics named Family Fitness, (physical and theological engagement for the whole family, great for Kinesics learners)

Songs to Sing Together, Bible Story Video’s, At Home Activities

Form available: Video’s, pdf’s, songs, games, downloads

Covers which Stages: child and youth and families

Price of Resource: Free

Media Platforms: Website, Facebook, twitter, Linkedin

Languages other than English: 20 Languages

Mission: Family, youth and child resources for use in the home

Created By: influenced by the Laucerne Agreement

Country of origin: Australia

Notes: Easy for Families to find the things they need,

 You can search for resources that best fit a chronological age suitability, or for Biblical Book resources. Personal Love, the Chatmats

Cross in my Backyard

What’s available: A weekly collection of ideas to help share the Revised Common Lectionary with Children

Form: Blog and Facebook pages

Covers which Stages: Birth- end of Primary School, Parenting resources

Price of Resource: Free

Media Platforms: Facebook, Blog and Twitter

Languages other than English: none

Mission: To help parents/guardians and those in paid ministry positions to share the faith at home and during structured worship

Created by: Wendy Lewis

Country of origin: Australia, Melbourne



What’s available: Resources for congregations and families, Links to resources including Grief and Bereavement, Disaster and Trauma, mental health and Anxiety, to share with families. Family on Mission Journal

Form available: Links, articles and video’s and podcasts.

Covers which Stages: Families with children and the communities in which they worship.

Price of Resource: free

Media platforms, website, Facebook, Pinterest, you tube,

Languages other than English; some Moari

Mission: Equipping congregations and families in faith formation

Operated By: Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia 

Country of origin: New Zealand

Notes: primarily aimed at church leaders to enhance their family faith formation, building on 5 areas of ministry, Kingdom Pilgrimage, Strategic Faith Formation, Partnering with Families, Intergenerational, and Whanau (build community connections). The Families, faith formation link is easy for parents to use


What’s available: Together Apart, weekly Revised Common Lectionary resources for congregations or families, as well as resources for Assembly, activities, prayer.

Form available: downloadable work sheets and suggestions

Covers which Stages: all types of learning and ages.

Price of Resource: free, donation requested.

Media Platforms: Website and Facebook

Languages other than English: None

Mission: The author believes everyone should have access to free resources for community or family devotions

Created By: Fay Rowland

Country of origin: UK


God Venture

What’s available: articles and suggestions for 3 stages, 4-7, 5-8, 8-11, Faith at home magazine

Form available: Website, articles and downloads, magazine

Covers which Stages: Ages 4-7, 5-8, 8-11

Price of Resources: Mostly free, Magazine £4.00

 Media Platforms: Facebook, twitter

Languages other than English: None

Mission: Finding creative ways to share God with Children

Created By: Victoria Beech

Country of origin: UK, 

BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship)

What’s available: 6 programs across the ages, 

Parenting for Faith, equipping parents to raise children and teens.

 Messy Church,

Holy Habits, Missional discipleship as a way of life

 Living Faith, Resourcing your spiritual journey

 Barnabas in Schools, exploring Christianity in schools

Anna Chaplaincy: Spiritual Care in later life

Ideas Hub, free resources for groups and all age services

Great ideas for parents to use for Bible studies at home at home with their children.

Form available: website,

Covers which Stages: All ages and stages in life

Price of Resource: free

Media Platforms, Facebook, twitter and Instagram

Languages other than English: None

Mission: To enable all ages to grow in faith and understanding of the Bible

Created By: An Anglican congregation in 1921, people presently involved include Canon Richard Fisher, Jane Butcher, Lucy Moore, Rachael Turner

Country of origin: UK, Abingdon


Parenting for Faith

What’s available: podcasts, course – Parenting Children for a Life of Faith

Form: video’s, articles and podcasts, DVD and Handbooks available for purchase.

Covers which Stages: For Families and Churches (including parenting as a church leader)

Price of Resource: Free, DVD and Handbooks can be purchased in the UK

Media Platforms: website, Facebook, and twitter

Languages other than English: none

Mission: “equipping parents to raise God-connected children and teens”

Created by:  BRF, person of note, Racheal Turner

Country of origin: UK, Abingdon

Notes: Site easy for parents to negotiate.

Faith @Home

What’s available: Structure, to focus your home life faith formation on.

Form: Webinairs, website, and books

Covers which Stages: Mums, Dad’s, Teenagers, Grandparents, Couples and Singles

Price of Resources: Webinairs are free, books vary in price

Media Platforms: Website, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and You Tube

.Philosophy:  The Scriptures are clear that the home is the primary place where faith is nurtured and passed from generation to generation. (Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 2 Timothy 1:5).

Country of origin: USA, Minnesotta based, with International representatives in New Zealand and Singapore

Created By: Mark Holman, Brian Siewerd, Dr Mark Smith,

Country of origin: USA, Minnesotta based, with International representatives in New Zealand and Singapore

Notes: Areas of website were still under construction on the 15/8/2020

Grow Christians,

What’s available: great articles on Parenting, reading suggestions

Form available: emails, articles

Covers which Stages: Grow Christians is for parents  ”practicing faith at home”, 

Price of Resource: free

Media Platforms: Website, Facebook, Twitter

Languages other than English: none

Mission: Grow discipleship in all ages and stages. Grow Christians is aimed at supplying reflections, stories, images and recipes for discipleship within the home.

.Created By: Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church

Country of origin: USA, Ohio



What’s available: Splink: a weekly devotional for families, magazine, blogs, books, podcasts 

(conference and marriage mentoring). Resources also available for congregations

Form available: Splink is sent each week to your inbox

Covers which Stages: Families with children

Price of Resource: Splink is free.

Media platforms: website, twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Pinterest, Instagram

Languages other than English: None

MISSION: A family ministry movement connecting Church and home

Created by: Randall House, publishing arm for the National Association of Free will Baptists.

Country of origin: USA, Nashville, Tennessee.

Notes: Family resources are easy to access.


What’s available: Resources, for the faith education of all, programs such as Frolic (for Babies and Toddlers, including boos and playgroup resources)

 Sunday School Resources Spark (2 yo –Grade 6),( Whirl, (pre-K –Grade 6) Holy Moly,(Grades K-4) Connect,(grades 5-6)

Re:Form, (empowers youth to explore faith and question, to go deeper into the backstory and history, including specific resources, for Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed traditions)

Echo the story, (creative, student centered learning)

 Colaborate, specific denominational learning

 T.B.D.,Think Do Believe, for Grades 9-12, small group programme

 Wholeness and Holiness, Purity, wholeness and Holiness, discussions

 Animate (small group discussion, faith practices and perspectives in 7 sessions) and 

Dialogues On (dialogues for faith communities) $US 9.99-24.99 some free

Form available, books, video’s, downloads, webinair

Covers which Stages, from birth to old ages, specifically early childhood, children, youth and Adults for parents, and Sunday school educators 

Cost: many items free, 

Does not ship to Australia, Koorong stocks some Bibles, eg. Spark, Whirl Bibles @ $36.99, and Holy Moly resources from $4.50-75.00. Echo the Story resources from $14-99 – 85.00. most programs available as digital download from $US49.99-179.99 annually

Media platforms: Facebook, website, twitter and Instagram, 

Languages other than English:

Mission: Faith formation resources for each stage of life, both at home, corporate worship and education, across many denominations

Created By: A division of 1517 Media, the publishing ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Country of origin: USA, Minneapolis

Notes: very USA colloquial, website is easy to navigate, aged products are clearly defined.

Refocus Ministry

What’s available: Articles on practical discipleship at home for parents, Book suggestions, Splink newsletter, website suggestions. For ministry, articles, website, and Facegroup  and book and leadership recommendations.

Form available: articles

Covers which Stages: Intergenerational and families at all stages, including grandparents.

Price of Resource: free

 Media Platforms: Website, twitter, Facebook, 

Languages other than English: None

Mission: Resource, encourage and support for Intergenerational and Family Focused Ministry

Created By: Chrisitna Embree

Country of origin: USA, Kentucky.

Notes: None

            Building Faith

What’s available: Inspirational articles, Resources to grow faith, predominately for an adult audience.

Form available: Blog, webinars, 

Covers which Stages: all ages and stages

Price of Resource: free

Media Platforms: Website, Facebook

Languages other than English: none

Mission “To equip and inspire churches and individuals for the ministry of Christian Education and Faith Formation”

Created by: Virginia Theological Seminary, and including the work of  Sharon Ely Pearson ( who commenced it), Sarah Bently Allred, Charlotte Hand Greeson, Keith Anderson, Christine Hides, Matthew Kozlowski, Dorothy Linthicum and Santi Rodriquez

Country of origin: USA, Virginia

Notes: Best for those involved in Ministry

Faith @ Home

What’s available: Resources for Intergenerational worship and reflection both weekly and daily, based on the Revised Common Lectionary

Form available: downloadable resources, 

Covers which Stages; Faith @Home, provides lectionary based resources for use at home,

Price of Resource: free

Media Platforms, website, twitter and Facebook

Languages other than English: Spanish

Mission. Faith @Home, provides lectionary based resources for use during the week in an intergenerational environment.

Created by: Forward Movement a mission of the Episcopal Church

Country of origin: USA, Ohio.

Faith Practices Project

What’s Available: Ideas based on 12 faith practices to engage families with children.

Form: Monthly Faith Practice suggestions with links to more ideas including a link specifically for Families.

Covers Which Stages: Families with children, Individuals and groups.

Price of Resource: free

Media Platforms: Website, Facebook, twitter and email

Languages other than English: Spanish

Mission: Helping Churches grow faith for Life

Created By: Christian Reformed Church of North America

Country of Origin: USA: Michigan

Notes: aimed at those in church ministry 


Seeds Family Worship

What’s available: Memory Verse Songs, 

Family Bible study Plan (The 10 minute Journey)

Devotional Dippers (Prayer tool)

 Interactive Children’s Worship Service

20 Verses in 2020, Family Memory verse challenge

Streamed Music

Scripture Backgrounds

Downloadable Memory Verse Cards

Family Worship Boxes

BLOG, shares practical family advice re faith formation

Form: Downloads, mp3, CD, DVD, You Tube, Books, Blog

Covers which Stages: Birth to Adult

Price of Resource: 

FREE: Interactive Children’s Worship Service, 20 Verses in 2020, Family Memory verse challenge, streamed Music, Scripture Backgrounds, Downloadable Memory Verse Cards, Chord Charts.

Albums or individual songs, download –CD, $US11.97

10 Minute Bible Journey $US16

Book Indescribable $US11.97 Other books from $US 9.00

Bible Dippers $US 9.95

Media Platforms: Website, You Tube, Facebook

Languages other than English: None

Mission: to see God’s Word, the Bible, planted in as many homes and hearts as possible around the world. 

Created By: Jason Houser, Josh Hauser and John Majors

Country of origin: USA, Idaho

Notes:  BEST For: Families who enjoy sharing their faith through music

Sean W Smith

What’s available: Songs, Video blog (Winning with Kids)

Form available: Download, CD, video

Covers which Stages:  Winning with Kids is for Parents, and aims to equip and empower parents of children

Price of Resource: Music $13.99 to $18.99, vlog – free, Books from $18.99

Media Platforms: Facebook, website, twitter, Youtube, Soundcloud, Instagram

Languages other than English: none

MISSION:  to equip parents in raising counter cultural word based children

Country of origin: Australia

Notes: Best for visual learners and those who live out their faith through music


Guardians of Ancora

What’s available: Game, parental advice, including suggestions for Family Faith Formation 

Form available: downloadable app for tablets and smartphone

Covers which Stages: School age children from 8-11 years old

Price of Resource: free

Media platforms: Downloadable app for tablets and smartphones, twitter, and Facebook, website

Languages other than English: Welsh, Serbian, and Albanian, 

Mission: A creative game where children can discover and engage with the Bible

Created by: Scripture Union 

Country of origin: UK


Aetherlight Chronicles

What’s available: Computer Game, parent information pack and reading plan, Bible and extension packs.

Form available: Downloadable Game, Android tablets, ipad, windows and MacOs

Covers which Stages: Preteens and families

Price of Resource: Season 1 (family Pack) access for up to 5 players $US49.99, Individual Access $US24.99 Family reading plan available through You Version, free. Also, free companion levels for download 

Media Platforms: You tube, Instagram, twitter and Facebook

Languages other than English: None

Mission: To create an allegorical Bible presentation that was entertaining, educational, formational.

Created By: Scarlet City Studios

Country of origin: New Zealand 



You Version 

and Bible App for Kids

What’s available: Bible downloads, and The Bible App for Kids, children’s story book Bible for personal electronic devices.

Form available: iOS, Android Apps, webpage

Covers which Stages: all ages.

Price of Resource: free

Media platforms, Apps, webpage, twitter and Facebook

Languages other than English: 60 available, (55 for the Bible App for Kids)

Mission: To encourage a daily rhythm of seeking intimacy with God  

Created by: Life Church

Country of origin: USA, Oklahoma

Notes: resources for parents on the website, also 2 year church curriculum.

D6 App

What’s available: Family Fun Questions, Splink – family devotional, Parent Pages – background devotional information, Family Fun Night suggestions, podcasts, D6 information and products

Form available: App

Covers which Stages: All stages and ages of Faith Formation

Price of Resource: free

Media platforms: website, app, Your Tube, Facebook

Languages other than English: none

Mission: that parents are the primary, disciplers of their families.

Created by: Randall House

Country of origin: USA, Tennessee

Notes:  very Parent friendly


Wendy L

(if you have foudn this useful please mention where you found it)

Sunday Reflection: AS we move out of our buildings, who will we leave behind?

I have watched great organisations, and local congregations scrambling to produce on-line material over the last couple of weeks. Many will admit it’s stretched them, but from my observational position they have all risen well to deal with the situation as best as they can, given the constraints of technology, knowledge of its capabilities and use by both ministerial teams and congregations.


Many are trying to include those without technology. Also, bigger questions are being asked as to whether recreating what we had in the pre-covid world is replicable on line, and if there are different ways of doing community or faith on line? Great question. How do we deal with the children? How do we educate parents in the transference of faith? a question that those involved in Child and Family Ministry have been asking for over a decade but which has been unimportant to the wider church until now. Braden wrote a great open letter on this theme.


But there seems to me to be one other group that we are not addressing. And that is the “single” faith parent, and no I don’t mean, the socially single family, I mean the family who attend our congregations without the other spouse. Two parent households that do not share the same faith convictions.


These are the families who will not be gathered around the livestream service together. These are the families where the differing beliefs of the partners would have been evident in the formation of their relationship or where one parent has come to, or fallen away from faith during their partnership. Each family would have made their own decisions regarding the spiritual formation of the children, but they would be renegotiating this issue, along with all the other negotiations that have been happening in homes around the world.


This can lead to increased tensions in these families, OR they could lead to the advancement of faith discussions and decisions. How are you helping these families deal with either situation?


As we race to supply services, have we addressed how we deal with those who are searching for faith?

Do you have strong pastoral care, or communication lines that stay in touch with all your families?


And what about the child who is searching for faith? What are you offering them and how are you making that a safe on-line environment?


I have asked more questions but not solved any. Because the answers are also situational.


Assuming that all your efforts will be acceptable in a multifaith environment, is to fail those families that are in that situation. Find out what they will need, ask the questions rather than assuming that you have the answer, or solution. If there is one thing I have also noticed it’s that the consultation process has been lost as congregations try to move their physical activities on line. The wrong people are leading and those who are familiar with “living online” such as the ill, the travellers, those with disabilities are again being overlooked by those in the “physical congregation”. Let this new opportunity to be church be an inclusive one, or maybe one with multi access points. We are so use to the spiritual model of the labyrinth, one entry and exit point that maybe now is the time to explore faith formation as one of multiple entry and exit points. We have the technology.


With a background in the Wesleyan tradition, I’m encouraged by the story of being refused the capacity to preach in the Church of England, John took his preaching beyond the constraints of the buildings and took it into the fields. Christ saw the ill, those outside of society, the shamed and oppressed. As we enter this brand-new world, may we see the opportunities to not let anyone be left behind.


Wendy Lewis

Sunday Reflection: Advent in the home

I was steadfast that I wasn’t going to do one of those posts where people list their favourite or the top 10 Advent ideas/calendars. I gave in. I have tried to create the Cross in my Backyard facebook page as a sort of easy access point for those Down under, that are time poor but want to be well informed in the field of Child and Family Worship in a culturally appropriate way. Where both families and those who minister to them can find information that will encourage and inform their home and communal worship.

So I am wadding in.

I hope you will be encouraged to make the Advent season one of importance that counters the culture norm at the moment to remove Chris form Christmas. I strongly encourage Grandparents to practicing  Advent at home, as they may be the only contact their grandchildren have with the real reason for Christmas. The grandchildren that may never set foot in a church because of their parents choices, may be in your home and notice that your home, what you do and what you listen to may influence them in seeking their own faith.

Also Advent practice in the home, allows parents to find the balance that the “silly season ” may be lacking. A few minutes each day to slow down and connect with your family not  only brings God into the centre of your day, but gives the opportunity for family togetherness when the academic year is closing and all the events at the end of the year, ballet performances, graduation services, end of  year parties and assemblies crowd into the day.

Advent Calendars


Click to access Advent-calendar-for-families2.pdf

2019 Advent Calendars

Advent Paper Chains  I love this as you can enlarge each bauble to colour in and add to a Christmas tree the guide is free but you will need to purchase the Jesus Storybook Bible if you do not have a copy

Requires some materials

Need to pay for–Sold-in-lots-of-5/

Printable Advent Countdown Calendar For Catholic Kids

Multi Lingual

Multiple suggestions for both home or corporate worship–christmas.html?fbclid=IwAR0vbR3lou-QO8iq9hjB-NIRvJs9uS66YTamARdl1Jr47tcQn1u28QszKcQ

Advent study for Families

Digital LiFE Packs

An Illustrated Advent for Families: In Light and Darkness


Okay so this is too late to start Advent on Sunday. Just make a start as soon as you can and don’t use being late to begin an excuse for not celebrating Advent in the home.


Wendy L.