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DWELLING  |  November 2022

Dwelling is an e-newsletter created for children’s ministry coordinators, leaders, and teachers like you! You have the amazing privilege of nurturing kids’ faith and showing them what it means to be a follower of Jesus. This e-newsletter gives you the resources to do just that: helpful articles, creative tips, and more.

Follow DWELL on Facebook for ongoing updates and ideas. Join the DWELL Leaders Facebook Group to connect with other leaders, share ideas, ask questions, and suggest changes for improvement.

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How to Help All Households Grow in Gratitude at Thanksgiving (and Beyond!)

It’s beginning to look a lot like (Canadian) Thanksgiving where I live. The color of the leaves is changing, there’s frost on the ground most mornings, and the local market is stocked with freshly picked apples. I’m so grateful for those visual reminders that, along with the changing seasons, the whole world is in God’s hands. 

Last year in this space, I shared with you an idea for helping people of all ages practice gratitude by providing them with a fun, simple tool to use at home (inspired by this Thankful Jar idea). This year I’m tweaking that idea slightly and adding a new resource suggestion to the list: a wonderful booklet on Faith Practices. I love this resource for its user-friendly approach to helping ordinary people (like me!) develop “holy habits that help us love God and our neighbor, listen to the Spirit, and become more like Jesus.” To find out how to encourage all ages in your congregation to grow gratitude and explore faith practices, read on. 

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5 Ways Families Can Explore Waiting and Hope this Advent Season

In my first Advent season working in children’s ministry I brought new meaning to the word “busy.” Not wanting to miss a single memory with my kids, who were 1 and 3, I said yes to everything, desperate to treasure the years when my kids were little. In my eagerness not to miss out on anything, I missed out on the actual meaning of Advent: waiting.

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Two Super Simple Advent Ideas for Families

I’m always searching for faith-nurturing ideas that busy families can actually do and I'm thrilled at the way in which the two ideas below tick that do-able box. Got rocks or blocks? Then you’re ready to roll.

1. Simple Stone Advent Calendar Nativity Scene
This Simple Stone Advent Calendar Nativity Scene provides a handsome and faith-nurturing Advent display for your home. It’s also a hands-on way to build anticipation about the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Some additional ideas for using it:

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Confessions of a First-Grade Sunday School Teacher

This may come as a surprise to you, but Jonah wasn’t really swallowed by a whale. In spite of what children’s story Bibles, coloring books, Veggie Tales, and — gulp! — your Sunday school teacher may have taught you, it was a fish that swallowed the runaway prophet, albeit a big fish — a huge fish, as the Hebrew (Jon. 1:17) and Greek (Matt. 12:40) terms imply. But we can’t say with any amount of certainty that the fish was a whale or, as one of my 6-year-old Sunday school kids once hypothesized, “a shark because they have really wide mouths.”

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Monthly Tip for Using your DWELL Children’s Resources

Share this tip with your congregation to encourage them to use their Dwell Children’s Resources. You can easily paste this into your bulletin, post it on social media, or email it to families.

Schedule it! Life with kids is busy. One way to make sure you’ll get to something is to add it to the family calendar. Schedule a “Dwell review night” on a particular day each week so that this time becomes a part of your regular routine. Work around this night when you structure your week. Plan a simple crockpot meal or leftovers for dinner so you have more time to talk about what your kids explored in Sunday school or children’s ministry.

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