Most of the Lenten resources listed below are found in the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery Resource Center (Catalog). The materials in the Resource Center may be borrowed by churches and individuals. You can visit the Resource Center (4701 Park Pl W, North Charleston 29405) or make other arrangements for borrowing the materials. If you want to purchase copies, most of the resources are available from PCUSA Store or Amazon. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Pie Mikell (email@example.com; 843-766-4219).
ADULT FAITH FORMATION
The Presbyterian Outlook and Presbyterians Today both provide Lenten devotionals for congregations. These are not available at the moment. Watch the CHAT Line for an update. To sign up for the CHAT Line (weekly presbytery enewsletter) go here
A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent by Saah Parsons- The book encourages readers to clear space each day and observe God’s action in that space, inviting them to explore themselves and their lives in order to make room for God to enter more deeply. Each week explores a stage in a unique Lenten process of self-opening, and it offers individuals activities, reflection questions, and group sessions to engage readers in deep personal work.
Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word– Year C edited by Kathleen Long Bostron- Each day of the week contains Scripture passages for the coming Sunday from the Revised Common Lectionary, excerpts from the commentaries for reflection, a response, and a prayer. Additional material is provided for each Sunday. This is a year long devotional beginning with Advent and concluding on Christ the King Sunday.
40 Days, 40 Prayers, 40 Words: Lenten Reflections for Everyday Life by Bruce Reyes-Chow- The author encourages readers to pause in the bustle of their daily lives to reflect, engage, and share during the Lenten season. Forty devotions are each framed around a word inspired by the daily lectionary readings and include a short scriptural passage, inspirational prayer, and reflection. Readers who feel too busy for daily engagement with God will appreciate Reyes-Chow’s ability to speak to the blessings and burdens of everyday life in a concise, lively manner. Moreover, readers also have the ability to connect with others through interactive elements like QR codes that link to social media and provide access to additional reflections, graphics, and prayers. This unique resource expands the ways we can connect with God, and with each other, both during Lent and at any time along our journeys of faith. Follow along using the hashtag: #40wordprayer.
God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter by Dietrich Bonhoeffer- These forty-seven devotions will guide and inspire readers as they move thematically through the weeks of Lent and Easter, encountering themes of prayerful reflection, self-denial, temptation, suffering, and the meaning of the cross. Passages from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letters and sermons provide special encouragement as readers prepare themselves spiritually for Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Supplemented by an informative introduction to Bonhoeffer’s life and a Scripture passage for each day of the season, these daily devotions are moving reminders of the true gift of Christ on the cross.
Holy Solitude: Lenten Reflections with Saints, Hermits, Prophets, and Rebels by Heidi Haverkamp- While most of us can’t take weeks or even a few days-for private retreat, This book offers readers thoughtful inspiration and practical ideas for quiet reflection and deep devotion to experience God more powerfully this Lent. Daily reflections introduce readers to figures in both Scripture and Christian history whose stories of discernment and discipline are a guide for our own spiritual practices as we seek to know God more fully and follow Christ more faithfully.
The Journey to Jerusalem: A Story of Jesus’ Last Days by John Pritchard- In this imaginative retelling, John Pritchard explores the Gospel of Luke by looking through the eyes of the disciple John. The book follows Luke’s account from Luke 9:51, as Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem.” It provides weekday readings for Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday, along with a poem for each Saturday. Questions for reflection and discussion are also included.
Lent for Everyone: Luke, Year C- A Daily Devotional by N. T. Wright- This resource provides readers with an inspirational guide through the Lenten season, from Ash Wednesday through the week after Easter. The author provides his own Scripture translation, brief reflection, and a prayer for each of the days of the season, helping readers ponder how the text is relevant to their own lives today. By the end of the book readers will have been through the entirety of Luke, along with Psalm readings for each Sunday.
Lent of Liberation: Confronting the Legacy of American Slavery by Cheri L. Mills- This Lenten devotional invites readers to learn more about the brutal institution of slavery and its impact on Black people in America and recognize how its evolution and legacy continue to harm their descendants in the United States today. Each of the forty devotions includes the testimony of a person who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad, a Scripture passage, and a reflection connecting biblical and historical themes to challenge modern readers to work for liberation. Reflecting on Lenten themes of exodus, redemption, discipline, and repentance, readers, both Black and white, will be empowered for the work of racial justice.
You can access free digital resources, which include a group study guide, sermon series guide, and images for use during worship or study and to promote your outreach, at www.wjkbooks.com/LentofLiberation.
Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar edited by Kerri Allen and Donald McKim- Readers will contemplate Scripture, the Belhar Confession, and the meanings that emerge as the Confession is studied phrase by phrase during the season of Lent. The devotions were written by a variety of Presbyterians, reflecting on a portion of the Confession in relation to Scripture texts that are associated with the Confession. The forty-seven devotions cover the days of Lent, plus Sundays.
Meditations on the Cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer- The cross and the resurrection were central themes for Bonhoeffer’s theology. These excerpts from sermons and letters contain his personal and faithful words about the crucifixion and the power of the cross for all Christians. Meditations on the Cross is ideal for devotional reading and personal reference.
Meeting God in Paul: Reflections for the Season of Lent by Rowan Williams- The author explores the essential meaning and purpose of Paul’s letters in this beautifully written resource for the Lenten season. Williams places a special focus on the social world of Paul-and the “dangerous newness” that was Christianity-and the specific ways that the behavior and language of the Christian community was being molded and shaped in Paul’s time. Easy-to- read and packed with illuminating spiritual insights, Questions for reflection or group discussion are provided for each chapter. The book also features a reading guide that includes a reflection and prayer for each of the seven weeks of Lent.
A Pilgrim’s Way: Meditations for Lent and Easter by J. Barrie Shepherd- Based on the Common Lectionary, the author presents a Lenten prayer diary with forty-seven days of morning and evening prayers. The prayers are derived from suggested lessons of the scripture. Themes include suffering, repentance, and joyful welcome of Christ’s resurrection.
Resurrection Rain: Meditations for Holy Week by Arthur Fogartie- The author brings an insightful collection of meditations for the Easter season. Presented in a story sermon format, each tale is designed to offer pause for daily reflection during Holy Week.
The Road to Emmaus by Helen Julian- Eight companions from the past bring wise counsel for today’s spiritual pilgrimage. Daily readings, scriptural reflections, and prayers lead the reader from Ash Wednesday to Easter. At the end of each week’s readings, there is a suggested exercise called “Performance” for expanding on the readings.
Season of Ash and Fire: Prayers and Liturgies for Lent and Easter by Blair Meeks- In addition to prayers and liturgies for Ash Wednesday through Ascension Day, this book includes suggested theme and symbols for the Sundays of Lent, daily Scripture readings for Lent and the Fifty Days of Easter, household prayers for Lent and Easter, and an order for Lenten study groups.
A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent by Walter Brueggemann- Lent recalls times of wilderness and wandering, from newly freed Hebrew slaves in exile to Jesus’ temptation in the desert. God has always called people out of their safe, walled cities into uncomfortable places, revealing paths they would never have chosen. Despite our culture of self-indulgence, we too are called to walk an alternative path-one of humility, justice, and peace. Walter Brueggemann’s thought-provoking reflections for the season of Lent invite us to consider the challenging, beautiful life that comes with walking the way of grace.
Were You There? Lenten Reflections on the Spirituals by Luke Powery- The African American spirituals provide profound insights into the human condition and Christian life. Many spirituals focus on the climax of the Christian drama, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the ways in which those events bring about the liberation of God’s people. In these devotions for the season of Lent, the author leads the reader through the spirituals as they confront the mystery of Christ’s atoning death and victory over the grave. Each selection includes the lyrics of the spiritual, a reflection by the author on the spiritual’s meaning, a Scripture verse related to that meaning, and a brief prayer.
Writing to God: 40 Days of Praying with My Pen by Rachel Hackenberg- Designed for use during any 40-day period, this book relieves you of the self-consciousness of trying to pray “the right way.” Ideal for Lent, the book includes a special section of prayers and prompts for Holy Week and Easter.
An Acceptable Feast: An Adult Lenten Study by Patricia Tull- In this six-week study the author begins each session by locating the biblical verses in their original context and then exploring a key Lenten theme related to the text. Themes include: voice gratitude, take the long view, choose well, accept responsibility, welcome the future and trust God in times of conflict. Each session ends with a meditation on how the text speaks to our modern situation. A leader’s guide accompanies each handout and assists a facilitator in leading a 45-minute class utilizing the week’s handout. A take-home question for reflection is also provided each week for participants’ home Lenten meditation.
Easter from the Backside: A Different Look at the Story of Christ’s Resurrection by Ellsworth Kalas- The author opens up new possibilities of insight into the biblical Easter story. The author looks beyond the traditional gospel scriptures to connect the story of Christ’s resurrection with other stories and scriptures throughout the Bible, including both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Chapter titles and Scriptures include: “Why We Need Easter” (Genesis 3:1-7, 22-24); “Easter from an Ash Heap” (Job 19:13-27); “Easter for the Disillusioned” (Ecclesiastes 2:14-26); “Ezekiel Celebrates Easter” (Ezekiel 37:1-10); “Easter Is a Love Story” (John 20:1-18); “Late for Easter” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11); and “Forever Easter” (Revelation 21:1-4).
Final Words from the Cross by Adam Hamilton- This study explores Jesus’ final words as seen and heard through the eyes and ears of those who stood near the cross. This kit includes a 6-session DVD with a guide, and a book.
Forgiveness: A Lenten Study by Marjorie J. Thompson- In six brief chapters, the author addresses such questions as the following: Is forgiveness a Christian duty under all circumstances? Are there situations when Christians do not need to forgive? Is forgiveness a matter between individuals, or is it meaningful only in the context of communities? Is forgiving the best route to healing for the injured? How do we get past emotional barriers to real forgiveness? Using biblical examples and real-life situations, Thompson illustrates each chapter’s theme in an informative and engaging way. A study guide is also included at the back of the book.
Give Up Something Bad for Lent by James Moore- During Lent each year, Christians give up something as an act of sacrifice and spiritual discipline. Often it is something like chocolate, knowing that after Easter Sunday they can once again enjoy what they have given up. James Moore challenges readers to take it further―to give up something spiritually that they would be better off not doing. He invites all to seek God’s help to focus on eliminating one habit or attitude that is destructive. Imagine giving up envy, jealousy, self-pity, apathy, procrastination, gossip, resentment, or negative thinking, how much better life would be. The study includes seven sessions, one for each Sunday in Lent and Easter Sunday. Each session features a Scripture reference, a personal reading, questions for personal reflection or group study, and closing prayer.
Hosanna: A Spiritual Journey Through Holy Week by Carol Miller- This study invites participants to explore the main texts in all four Gospels and Paul’s writings that deal specifically with the last week of Jesus’ life and with the resurrection. Paul’s writings are also crucial to this study as a witness to the resurrected Christ. There is a leader’s guide and separate participant’s book.
Illuminating Lent by Donald K. McKim- This study will provide learners an opportunity to deepen their faith and knowledge through the exploration of the Lord’s Prayer. Each session examines a part of the prayer, its theological understandings, and what it means for Reformed Christians in practical ways during Lent. This study has a participant’s book and separate leader’s guide. (from Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding curriculum series)
Interpreting Silence: God’s Command to Speak Out by Walter Brueggemann- This book illustrates that the Bible is filled with stories where marginalized people break repressive silence and speak against it. Examining how maintaining silence allows the powerful to keep control, Brueggemann motivates readers to consider situations in their lives where they need to either interrupt silence or be part of the problem, convincing us that God is active and wanting us to act for justice. The themes explored through eight chapters are a unique Lenten study experience. Questions for discussion are included for each chapter.
Lent in Plain Sight: A Devotion Through Ten Objects by Jill Duffield- In this devotional for the season of Lent, the author draws readers’ attention to ten ordinary objects that Jesus would have encountered on his way to Jerusalem: dust, bread, the cross, coins, shoes, oil, coats, towels, thorns, and stones. In each object, readers will find meaning in the biblical account of Jesus’ final days. Each week, readers encounter a new object to consider through Scripture, prayer, and reflection. From Ash Wednesday to Easter, this book reminds Christians to open ourselves to the kingdom of God. You can access free digital resources, which include a group study guide, sermon series guide, and images for use during worship or study and to promote your outreach, at www.wjkbooks.com/LentInPlainSight.
Living Into Lent by Donald McKim- The author encourages readers to set aside time during the Lenten season to reflect on their Christian identities, listen to God’s Word and will, and engage in practices that deepen the Christian experience through discipleship. Whether used for congregational study or personal reflection, each reading features Scripture, devotion, theological quote, response, and prayer. Theological quotes, drawn from the history of the Reformed church, will help readers better understand God’s Word and its implications for the Lenten journey. Readings are enhanced by a seven-session study guide and questions for conversation in the back of the book.
Looking at the Cross by James D. Miller- This six-session study explores New Testament themes associated with the cross-forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace. This study offers ways the cross directly affects our faith and daily lives. There is a separate leader’s guide and participant’s booklet. (from Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understandingcurriculum series)
Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer: An Adult Study Pack for Lent by Carol Wehrhiem and J. Ellsworth Kalas- Lent is an appropriate time to consider the prayer Jesus taught us to pray in a careful way. Participants will enjoy the many reflections and information the author provides. Each of the six sessions concentrates on a major theme or phrase of the prayer in the hope that we will be renewed in our reflections during Lent and intentional as we pray this familiar prayer. The Leader’s Guides provide a structured session plan, complete with prayers, activities for all learning types, and teaching alternatives so that leaders can customize the session for their group. The ultimate goal of this is is that participants will pause to think as they speak this prayer, allowing them to experience a more significant meaning in the Lord’s Prayer.
Seeking the Intercultural Church: An Adult Lenten Study by Samuel Son- This six-session adult Lenten study pack examines the biblical foundations for seeking the intercultural church and helps congregations understand the challenges many may face along the way. Ultimately, participants will spend the Lenten season working toward discovering and discussing the cost and joy of the spiritual discipline of repentance, and what it can look like for a congregation seeking intercultural transformation. Included in the download is a leader’s guide and participant’s page.
Seven Days to Glory: Holy Week by Blair Monie- The last week of Jesus’ life encompassed some of Christianity’s most significant events. Based on the Gospel of Mark, this study looks at each of these days to describe the importance of Jesus’ actions at the time, and what they mean for Christian living today. There is a separate leader’s guide and participant’s booklet. (from Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding curriculum series)
The Sign and the Sacrifice: The Meaning of the Cross and Resurrection by Rowan Williams- The author presents the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection as viewed through the eyes of those who witnessed them. The book explores the meaning of the cross and the significance of Christ’s resurrection, discussing what these events meant to Jesus’ followers in the early years and what they can say to us today. Questions for discussion are included.
A Time to Grow: Lenten Lessons from the Garden to the Table by Kara Eidson – This study encourages readers to slow down, move through the painstaking process of growth, and end together with great feasting and celebration of the resurrection. Themes of soil, water, light, time, fasting, feasting, and more guide the way from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Readers will explore the intricacies of how faith is required to produce food and how that faith can lead us all to feast at the table on Easter morning. Additional elements are included to enhance communal spiritual practice for small groups or the entire congregation during Lent. These elements include sermon prompts, liturgies with communal responses, art ideas for decorating worship spaces, and prompts for children’s time in worship.
24 Hours That Changed the World by Adam Hamilton- In this book, Adam Hamilton guides participants through the last twenty-four hours of Jesus’ life. This seven-session kit contains a book, DVD, leader’s guide, and “$0 Days of Reflection” devotional guide. Each chapter is designed to help the reader experience and understand the significance of Jesus’ suffering and death.
Temptation in the Desert by Craig Barnes- The story of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness after his baptism offers important instructions for us as we consider our Christian life. This study discusses ways the temptations that Jesus faced are still real for us today. An excellent study for the Lenten season or any time in the church year. There is a separate leader’s guide and participant’s booklet. (from Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding curriculum series)
Walking with Jesus Through the Old Testament: Devotions for Lent by Paul Stroble- Readers are invited to embark on the journey to Emmaus with Jesus through the Lenten season. The author images what Jesus would have said to his companions and guides readers along the way with 46 devotions referencing the Old Testament. At the end of each chapter there is a short section called “Dig Deeper.” There are some questions and other ideas for ways to minister in your community.
What Wondrous Love Is This: Holy Week in Word and Art– This 6-session DVD presents the powerful story of Holy Week as told in the four gospels. Each passage of scripture is illustrated by the stunning artwork of John August Swanson, along with a commentary by members of Candler’s faculty.
The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene by Liz Curtis Higgs- These three Marys had a life-changing encounter with Jesus. There is a study guide to help with discussion of each chapter.
Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems- In a powerful and creative way, the author brings new insight into the Lenten season by providing seventy-one poems of inspiration. With her intuitive and heartening poems, Weems takes the reader on a pensive journey through Lent and Easter.
Thank God It’s Friday: Encountering the Seven Last Words from the Cross by William Willimon- The subtitle for this book gives the reader an idea of the book’s contents. The author has written a series of sermons that could be used during Holy Week on the last words of Jesus. Each chapter begins with a prayer and Scripture passage. The sermons follow with Willimon’s own theology of the cross.
We Have Seen the Lord!: The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ by William Barclay- This book draws on the wisdom of the Gospels to trace the last days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, from his entrance into Jerusalem to his resurrection and appearances to his disciples. Barclay conveys the continuing power of scripture in engaging readable prose.
YOUTH FAITH FORMATION
Forgiveness (from Faith Questions curriculum)- This six-session study explores the questions: “What Motivates God to Continue Loving Us?,” “Why Did God Make Humanity So Sinful?,” “If We Are All So Bad, Why Doesn’t God Just Start Over in Another World?,” “Is Anything Unforgivable?,” “Why Should I Forgive?,” and “How Do I Forgive?”
Holy Living: A Youth Lenten Study by Brian Coulter- The purpose of this six-week Lenten study pack for youth is to guide participants on a Lenten journey where they flesh out what it means to be holy and how they might discover a sense of identity, belonging, and purpose along the way. Youth will examine Scripture and their calling to a life of faith in order to better understand how holy living is a call to be set apart: set apart from all that is not holy, set apart with all who are holy, and set apart for all that is holy. Included in the download is a leader’s guide and participant’s page.
Preparing for the Wilderness: A Youth Study Pack for Lent by Kathy Wolf Reed- This six-week study invites youth to explore various Scripture passages that are connected to nature and discuss the themes found within them. Each session uses one of the following Bible stories: Jesus’ experience of temptation in the wilderness; God’s promise to Noah following the great flood; the relationship between Sarai and Hagar; the story of the Israelites complaining in the wilderness; the role of the Psalms in Scripture; and the story of the Samaritan Woman. Each lesson has a leader’s guide and participant’s page.
Salvation (from Faith Questions curriculum)- Our study of salvation will center on four significant themes: deliverance, healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation. God’s salvation is the central plot of the Bible. The story begins with the exodus; God delivered the Israelites, the descendants of the covenant, from slavery in Egypt and revealed his holy name. The exodus interpreted their past and defined their future. At the heart of the deliverance story is salvation in Jesus Christ. Another way salvation is defined in the Bible is through God’s gifts of healing and wholeness. As disciples of Christ, we are called to cooperate in salvation as part of God’s healing team. Salvation is God’s gracious act. We are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. The good news is that in Jesus Christ our sin is forgiven; it is not something that we have earned. Jesus saves and we are embraced in God’s grace and love. Finally, the death of Jesus upon the cross is God’s supreme act of reconciliation. The mystery of salvation is that God’s love is known through the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus; God’s power is revealed in weakness. In Christ we are reconciled to God. And so we are called to the ministry of reconciliation.
7 Deadly Sins and Holy Virtues: A Youth Study Pack for Lent by David Maxwell- This playfully engaging, yet deadly serious seven-session youth study explores the famous list of seven deadly sins, or vices, and their corresponding heavenly virtues that Christians should aspire to practice: lust/chastity, gluttony/temperance, greed/generosity, sloth/caring, wrath/patience, envy/love, and pride/humility. The study may be used during any time of the year, but it is particularly appropriate for the Lenten season. Each session examines one vice/virtue and defines the terms through biblical examples and case studies. Youth are challenged each week to look for examples of both the vice and virtue in their world and report back the following week. In addition, a time is given for personal reflection about how to address the vice and nourish the virtue in their lives of faith. There is a participant’s page and leader’s guide for each session.
Temptation (from Faith Questions curriculum)- This six-session study explores the questions: “What Is Repentance?,” “Does Baptism Really Change Anything?,” “What’s the Big Deal with Turning Stones to Bread?,” “Can I Really Trust God?,” “Shouldn’t Faith Make Things Easy?,” and “Are Angels Real . . . Really?”
D365.org – This is a year-round daily devotional for youth that contains scripture reading, reflection, and prayer. There are special Advent and Lenten themes during those liturgical seasons.
CHILDREN’S FAITH FORMATION
Before and After Easter by Debbie Trafton O’Neal- A wealth of ideas and specific activities, including crafts, service projects, reflection ideas and suggestions for family worship, are included for each day in Lent and through the weeks of Easter to Pentecost. The book also includes a daily Bible passage for reading together.
The Easter Garden: A Lenten Experience for Children by Dphna Flegal- This resource is done as a preparation for a congregational meal and worship experience. Children will create a garden setting for the meal filled with symbolic meaning, banner symbols for worship, and table decorations for the congregational meal. There is an opportunity for service included as part of each session.
Ideas A-Z: Easter by Phyllis Wezeman, Anna Liechty, and Judith Chase- This resource offers a balanced variety of methods for experiencing the story of the resurrection. For every letter of the alphabet, there is a different theme and a unique way of exploring that topic such as puppetry, music, drama, games, or storytelling.
Last Things (from Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible Curriculum)- Wonder about Holy Week with the unit Last Things. Help children celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Help children consider why we need rules and what role they play in our society as you learn about the greatest commandment that Jesus teaches. Reflect on how important it is to help others and how that helps us see Jesus. Look for ways we can help others in our own community. Explore the Passover meal what you eat, what it meant for Jesus and his disciples, how communion is connected to this meal. Children hear the story of Jesus’ death, in an age-appropriate way, to understand that we can only know the joy of the resurrection if we know that he died and was buried. Sessions included in this unit: Jesus Visits Jerusalem (Luke 19:29–40); Remember to Love! (Matthew 22:36–40); Seeing Jesus (Matthew 25:31–46); A Passover Meal (Luke 22:1–20); and Jesus Dies (Luke 23: 1–49). Last Things has an at-home kit guide as an accompanying download found at the bottom of the page (here) . This guide helps you put together a kit of supplies and activities from this unit for families to do at home.
Lessons for Lent: Learning About Jesus Through His Names by Anna Leichly and Phyllis Wezeman- This book could be used as a six-session children’s or intergenerational Bible study during the season of Lent. There is a variety of activities that could be used for church school sessions, midweek programs, retreats, or even as curriculum for a Vacation Church School.
Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter by Laura Alary- This unique book teaches children to experience Lent with all their senses, and to see it as a special time for creating a welcoming space for God. Simple activities like cleaning a room, making bread and soup, and inviting a neighbor for supper become acts of justice and kindness, part of a life of following Christ.
Programs and Celebrations: Special In-Church Presentations for Children, Teens, and Adults by Judy Gattis Smith- The purpose of this book is to help those responsible for church programming–planning and carrying out events. For children there are suggestions for Thanksgiving, Easter, Summer, Christmas, and worship. Programs for teens include mission, graduates, and Valentine. For adults there are ideas for Teacher Appreciation, Newlyweds, Christmas, Retirement, and displays.
Seasons to Celebrate: God’s Children the Year by Mary Albing- This resource provides a description of the church seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost; several craft ideas based on an appropriate seasonal symbol; and suggestions for celebrating that season with litanies, songs, and drama. Also included are creative intergenerational projects based on key events in the Christian story.
Sharing the Easter Faith with Children by Carolyn Brown- The author helps congregations and families share the Easter message with their children and include the children meaningfully in Lent, Holy Week, and Easter observances. The book provides teachers and parents with practical ways to help children observe Lent and Eater, includes materials for children from birth to age 12, and includes a reproducible booklet for parents.
Surprises (from Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible Curriculum)- Wonder about the stories of Easter and Eastertide in Surprises unit. This unit begins with the story of the women finding an empty tomb in the early on Easter morning. Reflect on how great surprises can be in our own lives and how Jesus’ surprise was the greatest surprise ever! Wrestle with the story of Thomas and his doubts about Jesus overcoming death. Let children ponder what questions they would have for Jesus if they were Thomas. Explore the story of The Road to Emmaus and how the breaking of bread together plays a role in our relationships. Sessions included in this unit: Women at the Tomb (Luke 24:1–12); Memory and Surprises (Luke 24:13–35); Mary Finds Her Friend (John 20:11–18); Thomas Wants to See (John 20:19–31); and Jesus Gives Peter a Job (John 21:15–19). Surprises has an at-home kit guide as an accompanying download found at the bottom of the page here. This guide helps you put together a kit of supplies and activities from this unit for families to do at home.
The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story by Jan and Mike Berenstain- Some Sunday school students tell the cubs about Jesus’ resurrection and show them that salvation is much sweeter than candy. The book includes some activities and questions for children.
Easter A to Z by Lisa Flinn and Barbara Younger- Beginning with Jesus’ last supper with the Apostles, the Easter story is told using verses from the gospels. Important words from the verses are arranged alphabetically along the page, and the art that accompanies the text is historically accurate.
Good News Travels Fast: An Easter Story by Lisa Flinn- Good news does travel fast as Sarah learns that Jesus is alive! She tells her friend, who tells another, who tells another. And each time, the news bearer shares a lesson learned form Jesus’ life. Soon everyone in Jerusalem knows the good news of the Resurrection.
It Looks A Lot Like Easter by Peg Augustine and Pedro Lopez (English and Spanish)- After a long winter, the first blooms of spring remind us that God never forgets us. From crocus flowers to Easter lilies to Easter eggs, the images of Easter are tied to the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Tthis storybook is appropriate for children ages 4-8.
Sing Allelulia!: An Easter Story for Children bu Daphna Flegal- Through poetry, this book tells the story of Jesus, the king who came to earth as a tiny baby and grew up to tell God’s promises to all people. A tone of celebration is carried through the book with a song until Jesus is arrested, but the song comes again when the women discover the empty tomb.
Sunlit Morning by Peg Augustine and Pedro Lopez (English and Spanish)- This is the story of a worship experience at a community sunrise service. Each page of the book includes Scripture and biblical art that tell the story of Easter.
Take Time for Easter by Peg Augustine and Emmanuel Vargas (English and Spanish)- This story asks children to “Stop, Look, and Listen” as they discover signs of the traditional Easter story all around them. Each page invites children to “look” at the signs of new life appearing all around them and to discover the meanings of various symbols of the season. They are invited to “listen” to the sounds of spring and recall the message that Jesus offers us new life.
Three Easter Journeys by Ro Willoughby- This book includes the story of Jesus’s ride into Jerusalem, the story of the two Marys as they approach the cave where Jesus had been buried, and the story of the disciples waiting for Jesus to join them in Galilee. The paper sculptures make this a beautiful book.
INTERGENERATIONAL FAITH FORMATON
The Drama of Easter edited by Rhonda Wray- This anthology of royalty-free Easter plays for all ages includes contemporary and traditional dramatic approaches. Included are twenty scripts for Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter that could be used in a variety of settings: Tenebrae service, sunrise service, children’s programs, readings, and monologues
Faithful Families: For Lent, Easter, & Resurrection by Traci Smith- This resource features meaningful practices, activities, and prayers for the Lent and Easter seasons that will engage children of all ages.
Growing Together: Six Intergenerational Celebrations– Volume 2 (spring and summer) by Kathy Finley- This book contains resources, planning pages, and a wealth of experiential learning activities–everything you need for 6 intergenerational celebrations, suitable for spring and summer including Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
Let Us Break Bread Together by Michael Smith and Rami Shapiro- This Passover guide provides a complete guide (plan and script) to a meaningful seder experience. The authors share a deeper knowledge of the great themes of the Exodus story, in combination with Christian insights, and opportunities for a better understanding of Lent and Holy Week.
Practice Spiritual Disciplines (from Follow Me: Biblical Practices for Faithful Living)- God’s central invitation to followers of Jesus is to draw near to God in Christ and to allow God, through the Holy Spirit, to transform us into Christ’s image. Christian spiritual disciplines and spiritual practices are ways in which we do that. Spiritual disciplines are usually thought of as those things that help us draw near to God and might include different forms of prayer, meditation, study, and service. Spiritual practices are seen as those things Jesus did, said, or embodied; we as Jesus’ followers try to do so as well. Many of the spiritual disciplines covered in this unit have emerged over the centuries as Christians have experimented with ways to make space in their lives to be with Jesus and to allow Jesus to transform them. This curriculum provides session plans for ages 3 through adults. The Congregational Guide provides worship helps, an intergenerational session, and much more.
Simply Easter: Simple Dramas, Speeches and Recitations for Children– Eight short plays and five readings for Holy Week are included in this book. They can be used for children’s time or for programs during Holy Week and are appropriate for all ages.
Things to Make and Do for Lent and Easter by Martha Bettis Gee- The creative activities in this book are designed to help put children in touch with the Easter story. At the heart of the creative process is the working of the Holy Spirit, moving and shaping and transforming everyone engaged in the act of creation.
The Lenten Tree by Dean Lambert Smith- Designed for children and adults, this Lenten book has a devotional for each of the forty days of Lent. Each day’s reading includes a symbol, a memory verse, questions, prayers, and songs to sing.
Creative Worship Ideas: 70 Meaningful Ways to Involve Teenagers in Worship edited by Lois Keefer- Youth leaders from all over the country have contributed their very best worship ideas–ideas they’ve used successfully in their youth groups and congregations. Ideas include prayers, scripture reading, music, dramas, and complete worship services on themes such as God’s love, Easter, and Christmas.
Worship For All Seasons: Selections from GATHERING for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter edited by Thomas Harding- Worship planners will find resources to support faith communities for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, as well as the Great Fifty Days. This volume offers suggestions for prayers, intergenerational worship suggestions, hymn and anthem ideas, music resources, and poetry and drama selections.