A View from the Pew: 5 Ways to Spiritually Prepare for the Back-to-School Season

Loading up on school supplies and restocking closets aren’t the only ways to prepare for back-to-school. For those of us in church, this annual event can provide meaningful opportunities to establish or reset our approach to faith.

Strangers: A Meditation for Teachers

They walk, run, tumble, and drag into your room on the first day of school—complete strangers. At the beginning of the year they all seem to look alike.

Guilt: A Meditation for Teachers

One unfortunate thing we often learn as small children is how to fling guilt at other people. We find that guilt is a sticky substance that seems to attach better to some than to others.

Putting the ‘School’ Back in Sunday School

I ask my children weekly during out drive home for church, “What did you learn in Sunday school today?” I know, it sounds really old fashioned when I do it, but the basis of the question is the assumption that Sunday school is an educational activity. It is called “school,” after all.

Bells: A Meditation for Teachers

Telephone bells, doorbells, school bells, and fire alarms all alert us and prepare us to go into action. Our modern use of bells is totally different than one hundred years ago. Church bells rang the hour of the day and told of a death.

Formations 02.11.2018: Old School

Today’s passage lies at the intersection of rest and discipleship. Ironically, rest is something that disciples have to strive for. It isn’t automatic, anymore than it was automatic for the wilderness generation that refused to listen to God’s voice.

Satisfaction: A Meditation for Teachers

Concluding a school day is a lot like finishing a meal—you know immediately whether or not you feel satisfied. When the day is over and we close and lock our door, we know immediately whether we feel full or empty.

Formations 08.09.2015: Who Is My Neighbor?

Before joining the Smyth & Helwys Publishing team last month, I was an elementary teacher and Teach for America corps member in the Mississippi Delta for two years.

In Pursuit of the Spirit: The Search for Sabbath in a Busy Life

I recently started working at a local church as their Church School Coordinator, and while the job will soon be just ten hours a week, for the past three weeks it has been closer to forty hours a week.

A View from the Pew: “Back to Church” Season

As a child, the most dreaded words uttered every July on the commercials interrupting TV reruns were “Back-to-school sale.” Like the first few bars of “Jingle Bells,” heard nowadays in late September, that phrase was the harbinger of homework, research papers, and exams.