Monday, January 28, 2019

DIY Empty Tomb

Our neighbors gave us this pop-up tent years ago for the girls and I to sleep out in the back yard. We used it once for that. But in children's ministry I use it at least once a year. Next to duct tape and a kiddie pool, it is one of the most versatile tools I have used in ministry.


It has been the inside of a cave.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

For the Love of Camels and Rebekah


After spending one year in the New Testament, I find myself back in the old with a whole set of new children. I have visuals from some of these lessons, but the children are younger now, so I am finding that I have to change things up.

I always start to prepare by reading the Bible story first. As I read, I try to visualize the story happening in my mind's eye. When I read this story of Abraham's servant going to find Isaac's wife, I was struck by the fact that he took ten camels. The Bible is very specific to mention that. It is also very specific that Abraham's servant watched closely as Rebekah drew water for those ten camels. Why? That was a lot of work! A camel can drink 20 to 25 gallons in 10 minutes and up to 40 gallons in one session. And there were 10 of them. The camels are key in understanding the story.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Musings from the Laundry Room


The laundry room, in a children's blog, really? Well, this musing is for everyone, children's workers included. And it is free, so it fits the frugal part of this blog.

Most hometown papers have several columns written by local contributors. Ours has one called, "The View from Hickory Hill" written by a woman whose home is located on, well, Hickory Hill. She shares her viewpoint on all manner of things from class reunions to haying to hand-me-downs.


One day this past summer, while we were in North Carolina on a medical leave of absence, I was inspired to write my own column...in the laundry room. So I thought, if Miss Hickory Hill can write a column about the view from her home, I can write one about my view from the laundry room. I have named it, "Musings from the Laundry Room," just in case I ever get inspired to write another post while in the laundry room.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

I Quit!

National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA

OK, be honest, how many of you have a letter of resignation hidden away in a drawer somewhere? I have been in the ministry long enough to know that almost every pastor out there (lead, senior, youth, kidmin or otherwise) has seriously wanted to quit at least once in their lifetime (for some it might be every Monday morning).

Every once in awhile I come across this file in my documents entitled, "Letter of Resignation." Hmmm, what's that I wondered the first time I saw it. So I opened it. It was a letter I had hurriedly typed to our governing board. It was only a rough draft, but there it was, typos and all. "Wow." I thought as I read it, "Did I really feel like that?" And so I decided to keep it, just to remind myself when I get down, that I have been down before, and kept on.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

To Have Children's Church, or Not To


Hamlet's famous line, "To be, or not to be:" rings through the ages. As a children's director in a small church, one of my biggest questions is, "To have children's church, or not to: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler to make workers suffer the slings and arrows of a work force already stretched thin, or to take up arms against the congregation and subjugate them to noisy children in the service." OK, I confess, that is a totally wrong view of ministry to children for either side of the argument, but it was fun to write.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Pentecost DIY Pins


This was a fun, simple craft for the kids to make for Pentecost Sunday and yet it had a big impact. After a lesson about Pentecost, we made these lapel pins from craft foam.


I made some cardstock templates. The older kids helped trace. Adult helpers cut. Younger kids peeled the sticky back off of the fun foam and placed the yellow flame on the red ones. Some pins had 2 flames, and some 3.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Keeping God at the Center


Keeping God Central from Joan Eppehimer on Vimeo.
Years ago we had homemade tables in our church. Someone had screwed threaded steel pipes into flanges which were screwed onto 4 x 8 pieces of plywood. The church fellowship hall was in the basement of our parsonage and my husband and I were sometimes tasked with unscrewing the pipe legs so the tables could be stored. One day we attempted to remove a pipe and it would not budge. I decided we needed some more muscle and found our neighbor, who also could not budge it. But he had this wonderful invention called a pipe wrench. In seconds the pipe was out. He told me sometimes you just need the right tool. This is a lesson about tools for keeping God central in one's life.