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Posts tagged "children"


When the World Calls Them Otherwise, God Calls Them Good

It is a scary time to be raising children. But boys come with their own narrative of misbehaviors. Boys are deemed too intense, too loud, too active. They misbehave earlier and more demonstrably than most girls. They have a much higher rate of diagnosis for challenges like ADHD and mood disorders. They spend more time […]

NOW AVAILABLE: StoryMakers – Adventure Two: The Flood!

Big news: we are pleased to announce that StoryMakers’ next kidzine has arrived and is available through our online shop! After the adventure of Creation, children will now explore the biblical Flood with prompts, striking visuals, shadow puppets, and more.

When we give kids stories that spark the imagination, we aren’t giving them distractions to tide them over until they can handle “the big stuff.” Stories are the entry into God’s ultimate account of love and mercy. StoryMakers offers kids a fresh approach: helping them to discover God’s redemptive narrative within their own story.

“Spiritual formation” can feel like the heaviest responsibility we carry as parents or church leaders. For generations, the church has confused the role of savior, and often grown-ups are left feeling they are completely responsible for their children’s salvation. When we take on this burden, the most impossible task, we leave no room for fun, freedom, and creativity. Grown-ups are left with the expectation of “getting it right,” which perpetuates worry, measurement, and, in the worst scenarios, disconnection from the children we are hoping to form.

StoryMakers recognizes that kids and grown-ups need GRACE first, recognizing our role as creatures, not creator. In that recognition, freedom, love, and discovery can begin to take root in our lives. So, how do we help young people connect to God’s grace? We tell them the stories of the Bible, even the hard ones. Our job simply becomes guide, one who points our children to a person, not moralism or a list of rules.

Through our zines, we are inviting ninos to delve into the stories of the Bible, even the hard and dark stories, using their imaginations, play, and creativity. We guide them to connect to the ultimate StoryMaker, our Creator. So, as they grow and encounter their own Flood accounts, they can know for certain God is there in the midst of every storm we encounter.

Jump into Adventure Two and discover how God is active, just, and merciful in the midst of the Flood. Ninos will discover that God covered Noah in an arc, just as he covers us in Jesus. They will also learn that God’s promises are ones we can count on, and he is actively reaching down to us.

  • Zine Two explores the story of the Bible over 12 weeks and includes art, fun facts, shadow puppets, and social-emotional connectors. There are plenty of fun details to dig deep. You can also order 5+ zines at a discount of 75% off!
  • The Guide helps grown-ups navigate the deep waters of the Flood. Sometimes it feels impossible to know where to begin. Our guide is here to support parents and church leaders. The Guide include: Field Notes, Thoughts to Ponder, History, and Activity instruction.
  • The Memory Cards are visual prompts to turn memorization into a fun game. Scripture is meant to encourage us and carry us through the challenging moments of life. Order this set of memory cards and get to know the Flood account and the visuals that prompt hope in the midst of chaos. Each card is visually compelling with cues to help your StoryMakers internalize God’s story.
  • The Playbook is tailored to help children enjoy Adventure Two by playing all the characters in the story. You can use your puppets, or jump into costumes and play all the parts to get to know this old story in a new way.
  • Adventure Two can be purchased in a set. Each kit includes a zine, a guide, memory cards, and a playbook. Every pieces enhances the StoryMaker experience and will bring Genesis to life.

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ORDER YOUR CHILD’S NEXT ADVENTURE TODAY!

From Losers to Lovers: How It: Chapter One Takes Us to Church

In gleeful preparation for the upcoming “It: Chapter Two,” this essay comes to us from Leigh Hickman.  In 1990, Tim Curry scared audiences in a TV miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 horror opus, It. While Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Dancing Clown has cultural staying power, the adaptation as a whole hasn’t aged well, […]

Super-Moms, Über-Dads, and Other People Who Don’t Exist

Another peek into the Family Issue, which is available now. If you’d like more to sample, there’s Ethan’s Opener here, and the special episode of The Mockingcast, here.  This article was adapted from Chad Bird’s newest book, Upside-Down Spirituality, available wherever books are sold.  Gathering dust in the far western portion of Texas is a […]

This is How 30 Preschoolers and a Friend Helped Me Through a Crush and an Existential Crisis

Ruby slouched in a corner, bottom lip bulging. The droves of other 2- to 7-year-olds ignored her, since a distressed child was more common than a calm one. I hesitated to speak, anticipating the melodrama that was about to erupt. Then it began: Me: Ruby, what’s wrong? Ruby: I want that toy. M: What toy? […]

Pressing the Mute Button Underwater

I’m just old enough to remember Greg Louganis’ dive in the 1988 Olympics, when he cracked his head on the diving platform and suffered a concussion. I’m too chicken to google it, but, given the speed that divers exit the platform and the proximity of their skulls to the hard surface, Greg Louganis can’t be […]

What I Stand On: Wendell Berry’s Collected Catechisms

The closer he got to Henry County, Kentucky, the more nervous he became. He had been invited by Wendell Berry to visit his home — the Wendell Berry. When his rental car pulled up outside their house, the late Nobel-Prize-winning Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, thought, “This man is too good for me, and it’s going […]

A Gift on Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, my three children gifted me a bird feeder in the shape of a log cabin. Now, as they joyfully run amok in the playroom, I am reflecting on the gifts of fatherhood itself. Fatherhood has taught me that children are actually verbs. Also, that Legos multiply through their own procreative process. Yesterday […]

From The Onion: New Parenting Trend Involves Just Handing Children Bulleted List Of Things To Accomplish By 30

An inspiring new report from America’s Finest News Source. Visit here to read the entire thing…

NEW YORK—Several family experts confirmed Friday that the latest parenting trend involves just handing children a bulleted list of things they need to accomplish by the age of 30. “An increasing number of moms and dads are taking a more direct style of parenting that involves simply printing out a list of life achievements, handing it to their child, and telling them to get it all done before they turn 30 years old,” said Parents magazine editor Mallory Schneider, adding that the new technique encourages independence and has a built-in flexibility, as parents can customize their lists according to whatever specific expectations they have for their child. “These lists often span multiple pages and contain a variety of personal and career benchmarks… It really puts the power in the hands of the child—typically around the age of 10 or 11, when they receive the list—by allowing them to figure out how to achieve all the goals in the allotted time.” Experts also confirmed that many parents are giving their children a supplementary list of less-preferred, but still suitable, backup plans should they fail to complete the original set of accomplishments.

The Tyranny of Summer Expectations

For the first time in recent memory, my kids are at loose ends this summer. As a parent who works full-time, with children who aren’t ready to stay home all day by themselves, I’ve relied on a complex network of expensive day camps and summer activities to keep them supervised and occupied. My parents moved […]

Children Are Horribly Needy People: And Other Reasons Why Jesus Loves You – Sarah Condon

Incoming! Continuing on with videos from this year’s phenomenal Mockingbird conference in Tyler, TX, themed “The Future of Grace,” here’s the Rev. Sarah Condon discussing fighting in school, early puberty, Curious George, the hardships of growing up in the world, and the child inside all of us.

Children Are Horribly Needy People: And Other Reasons Why Jesus Loves You – Sarah Condon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

NOW AVAILABLE: StoryMakers – Adventure One: Creation

Pleased to announce that StoryMakers’ first kidzine has landed and is available through our online shop and StoryMakersNYC.com!

When we give kids stories that spark the imagination, we aren’t giving them distractions to tide them over until they can handle “the big stuff.” Stories ARE the big stuff. And the story of our rescue by God is the biggest story of all and for all. StoryMakers offers a new approach to drawing kids into this ultimate story—and helping them find their own stories within it.

Many of us remember getting a heaping dose of LAW as the first part of our early spiritual formation as children. In fact, the church has confused generations of children by leading them to believe that Christianity is all about following the golden rules of life in order to earn God’s favor. When young people come out of their church experience associating the Christian faith solely with moralism, two types of adults emerge—pharisees or burnouts.

At StoryMakers, we recognize that kids (and their grown-ups) need GRACE first and foundationally. So how do we help young people connect to this grace? We tell them the stories of the Bible, all of which are ultimately the love story of Jesus, the one who created us, loves us, and is actively redeeming us! We introduce them to a person, not a list of rules.

And by giving our kids the chance to engage the stories of the Bible through imaginative creation and play, we tap into their developmental forte. Kids don’t need to take a giant leap of faith to envision the stories of the Bible, so we use their natural curiosity, creativity, and imagination as the pathway into a lifetime of being known and loved by God.

Our first Adventure is an immersive experience all about Creation. Children will discover that God is the Creator of all, the ultimate StoryMaker, and faithfully shows mercy to us from the very beginning. Through our visuals and activities, StoryMakers will experience the progression of Genesis and will be given a glimpse into God’s promises to Creation.

  • The zine explores a story of the Bible over 12 weeks and includes art, fun facts, interactive play, and thoughts to ponder. Every chapter includes a 6-page spread, so there is plenty of detail to dig deep. ($20, or save 25% on 5 or more)
  • The teacher’s guide helps grown-ups use the kidzine with their children and students. Sometimes it is hard for adults even to know where to begin teaching the old stories with our little ones. Our Creation guide is available to support our StoryMakers along the way. It includes: Fun Facts, Deeper Thoughts, and Activity Instruction. The guide is perfect for any grown-up hoping to connect and discover God’s love and mercy alongside children. ($15)
  • The memory cards use visual prompts to turn memorization into a fun game. Order this set of memory cards and get to know Creation and God’s words of hope in the midst of the Fall. Each card is visually compelling with cues to help your StoryMaker internalize God’s story. ($12)
  • The playbook is tailored to help children enjoy Creation by playing all the characters in the story. You can use your puppets, or jump into costumes and play all the parts, to get to know Genesis in a new way. ($10)
  • You can purchase the entire creation zine set together. Each kit includes a zine, a teacher’s guide, our memory cards, and the playbook. Every piece enhances the StoryMaker experience and will bring Creation to life. ($50)
  • Last but not least, you can also download 12 printable posters, drawn from the beautiful zine illustrations. ($5 each)

ORDER YOUR FIRST ADVENTURE TODAY!