Holy Week at Home

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


It’s hard to believe it is almost Palm Sunday.  I have been looking for ideas for us to celebrate Holy Week as a community–but Holy Week at Home.  I came across a fun idea of making a Holy Week centerpiece (thanks to Traci Smith  from Treasure Box Tuesday).  Click the link below to find the supplies and directions. Each day, starting with Palm Sunday, there is an activity/response you can do on your own or with your family to retell the story of Jesus’ last week of life. The centerpiece is similar to an Advent Wreath but works in reverse.  You start with all the candles lit on Palm Sunday and Monday, and then you extinguish a candle each day so it is dark on Saturday.  Then all candles are re-lit on Easter!

If you participate, comment below or post a picture on your social media with a link to this faith formation website.

Holy Week at Home

Practicing Faith at Home

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


We know that these are stressful times, and we are saddened that we are not gathering with our community for worship and education.  However, God is always with us!  Here is a great list of resources that will help you and your families focus on faith at home.  Plus, at the bottom of the post there are a few links to articles to help parents and kids during these times.  We may not be gathering in person, but we are gathering in spirit!

Let us know if you try any of the resources by using the comment section at the bottom of the page. Click the link below to check out the resources.

Practicing Faith at Home

Coloring through Lent

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


Last year we did a Family Night on “Praying in Color”–it’s a different way of praying through drawing, coloring, doodling, etc.  We enjoyed it so much that we decided to incorporate it into our Lenten Midweek Worship Services last year.  This year, why not bring the idea into your home?  Click the link below for a free resource from “Praying in Color” for Lent 2020.  Download your favorite template and print it out.  Then follow the directions. There are examples as well.

Let us know if you try this with your family by using the Comment section below.

Coloring through Lent

Transfiguration of Our Lord

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


Matthew 17:1-9
1 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Ben’s Bells

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


I read a quote by Amelia Earhart the other day.  It read, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”  I love that image!

Kindness can be a very simple act, but it can have profound effects on all who give and receive it.  That’s why I’m excited about our event Wednesday, January 22 at 5:30 pm at our Gilbert Site.   A speaker from Ben’s Bells is coming to talk to us about kindness at our Family Night.  Ben’s Bells is an organization that started in Tucson and promotes performing simple acts of kindness.  You’ll find a link to a video below that provides more information about their mission.  Since this video was created, they’ve added a site in downtown Phoenix.

The talk Wednesday evening will be “A Conversation on Kindness,” an in-depth discussion of the challenges and opportunities we encounter in every interaction as we strive to create a kinder community.  They will discuss the emerging body of research on the science of kindness and the power of kindness to transform people and communities.  

This is a great intergenerational event.  Pastor Andrea has mentioned several times the idea of Desert Cross being neighborly.  In her newsletter article this month, she wrote, “Together we will find new ways to partner with our community to bring the peace and love of Jesus into people’s hearts and lives.”

I hope you will join us Wednesday, January 22 at 5:30 pm at the Gilbert Site.  We’ll have pizza and salad before the presentation, so please RSVP to me at so that we have enough for all.

Please click the link below to watch the video from Ben’s Bells.

Ben’s Bells

Take Your Kids to Church

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


January is usually a time of resolutions and setting goals.  But what if we gave ourselves some grace?  Instead of adding to our to-do list, let’s look at something we are already doing and make it a bigger focus.  A friend of mine sent me this beautiful article titled Take Your Kids to Church.  I found myself smiling and nodding my head in agreement through the whole thing.  Yes, parents, you are doing a HUGE thing by bringing your kids to church.  All of us involved in Children’s Ministry are so grateful that you share your awesome kids with us!  Thank you for your commitment to bringing your children to worship and education.  If you have struggled with that commitment, the door is always open.  We’d love to have you join us!

Click the link below to read the article.  Use the comment section below to share your thoughts with us.

Take Your Kids to Church

Advent Wreath

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


Do you know that the tradition of what we know now as our modern Advent Wreath began in 18th century Germany in the Lutheran church?  It is a sign for Christians to use as they wait for the celebration of Christ’s birth.  The evergreen wreath is a sign of God’s faithful promises to us.  Each candle is a reminder of the light of Christ.

We are exploring the themes of the four candles this Advent season:  Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.   During Education time the kids are putting together their own colorful paper advent wreath.  They’re bringing them home on Sunday, December 15.

Below is a link to some Advent prayers you can use at home.

Advent Wreath

God Sightings

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


The weather is finally cool enough to go hiking again. This is an activity I really enjoy, and it can be a great family outing!  There is something about being out in nature, connecting with God’s miracles that surround us.  On a recent hike I found the perfect heart rock…I seem to find heart shapes in nature a lot, and I feel it’s God’s way of saying, “Love is all around us, just keep your eyes and heart open to it.”

At VBS in the summer we talk a lot about “God Sightings”–ways we see God at work in our daily lives.  These God Sightings can be a heart-shaped rock, a beautiful sunset, a flower growing in the crack in a sidewalk, birds chirping, a smile from a friend and more.

Click the link below for a great article on “Seven Ways to Share the Joy of Creation with Your Kids.”  Enjoy the fall weather and see what God Sightings your family can find together!

Share what you discover in our comment section below.  We’d love to hear from you!

God Sightings

What Do I Tell my Kids?

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


As parents we want so much for our children.  We want them to be happy, and we want to protect them.  But the reality is sad things happen, and events we don’t understand will take place.  So how do we talk to our kids about these things?

Sesame Street has been using their educational program to teach and empower kids for 50 years.  This mission has been very intentional with research on “how to make the most vulnerable among us smarter, stronger, and kinder in the face of difficult realities.”  This podcast is a conversation with Kate Bowler and Sherrie Westin, the President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at the Sesame Workshop.

You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript by clicking the link below.

Comment below on something that resonates with you.

How Do I Tell my Kids?

Kids in Worship

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


Here at Desert Cross, children, youth, and family are important to us! We want to help our families live out their Baptismal Promises. We believe the “passing on of faith” is done in community.  There are HUGE benefits to having all generations praying, learning, and growing together.  EVERYONE is welcome in worship, big or small, short or tall, come one, come all!!!  It is important to us to have children in worship.  Just by sitting in worship the kids get to see, hear, and experience prayer, offering, communion, music, traditions, baptisms, Gospel readings, and more!

The article below has some great tips on how to help your children fully participate in worship.  I especially loved her idea under the “Listening” section, where you can have your children squeeze your finger every time they hear a certain word in the sermon or throughout the service.  This year we have a specific word/theme for each Sunday, and they will be listed on your Education calendars. So grab a calendar and be ready to go word hunting within worship!

Also, check the pews for a new Family Pew Card.  It has some extra tips for children in worship, as well as a coloring side for the kids.  They could even tally how many times they hear the word of the day on this card!  Let us know if you try any of these tips or if you have any of your own to share by commenting below!

Kids in Worship

A School Blessing

Shannon Fossett, Director of Children’s Ministries


Kids have been back in the classroom for a few weeks.  The projects, tests, and presentations may be piling up.  Students and teachers need our prayers throughout the school year.  Use this school blessing as a prayer with your child, grandchild, or neighbor.  Tell them you’re praying for them as they work hard in school.  Tell them you love and support them through their struggles and successes.

Click the link below.  Watch the video.  Share it with a student or teacher.  Post your experience in the comment section.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. I love this idea of listening for a specific word! It reminds me of the times that James has heard his name during the sermon and the amount of joy that it brings him.


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