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Prior to the pandemic, the only time a family may have experienced the stories of Holy Week was during the hour or two they spent inside the walls of a church building on Palm Sunday and Easter weekend. And even then, families may not have heard them together as adults sat in the sanctuary, teens volunteered in the nursery, and children were tucked away in another corner of the building until the service ended and the details of the story became lost in the Easter afternoon shuffle of visiting, egg hunting, and the eating of chocolate. 

During the pandemic, many of us jumped at the opportunity that at-home worship gave us to partner in fresh ways with families as they nurtured the faith of their children at home. We became intentional about providing them with ideas, pointing them to resources and cheering them on with “you’ve got this!” notes of support.  

This year, although our church buildings have re-opened, not all of our families with children have returned to worship. But we’re still here! This Easter, we have a new opportunity to creatively encourage and equip both the families with children who are coming to in-person worship and those who are not. 

God’s Big Easter Story: A Holy Week Journey for Families is a free, downloadable resource made available to you by Faith Formation Ministries. (Because we really, really care about helping you nurture the faith of families at home.) Over the past two years the resource was viewed more than 17,000 times! If you aren’t familiar with it, check it out today.

If you gave your families with children ages 5 to 10 a copy of God’s Big Easter Story last year, now’s the time to find out if they’d like fresh copies of the colored story symbols, the black and white version (for coloring in) or a new copy of the entire resource if they didn’t save it last year.  (By the way, we’re hearing from ministry leaders that grandparents also love having resources to share with the kids in their lives so you may want to make it available to them too!) 

And whether you are sending families with kids this resource for the first time or providing them with fresh copies, now is also the time to consider if there are additional faith nurturing items you might include. Here are some ideas which could be added to an Easter bag (given in-person at church), slipped into an Easter envelope (sent in the mail) or tucked into an Easter basket (dropped off at home):  

  • An Alleluia to colour and hang in the window on Easter. I purchased this Alleluia butterfly last year from Illustrated Ministry and invited children to bring them along to our Zoom worship gathering on Easter. A simple packet of markers or colored pencils might be fun too. 

  • A simple recipe for hot cross buns to make and enjoy as a family. Better yet, a package of fresh buns along with a packet of icing so kids can add the crosses themselves. #busyfamilies 

  • A devotional resource to help families continue the practices they’ve experienced at Holy Week. My favs are God’s Big Story cards, which follows the pattern used in God’s Big Easter Story and looks lovely in an Easter basket; and Everyday Family Faith, which helps families make space for God in everyday life and fits perfectly inside an Easter envelope. 

  • A copy of the free downloadable resource for parents, 5 Ways to Retell a Bible Story with Kids

The stories that bring us hope for a future haven’t changed. Just the context in which each family may be hearing them this year. Help parents dwell in those stories with their kids by encouraging and equipping them to tell them well at home using God’s Big Easter Story. 

PS: Now is also the time bookmark God’s Big Pentecost Story so that you’ll be ready to get it into the hands of your families too! 

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