Beth Fender

Beth Fender is the Coordinator of New Streams for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference

Blog Posts

Office Hour - Minecraft Camp, FAITH5, Come and See Groups

During my May 21 office hour, we discussed three exciting new possibilities: a Minecraft VBS/summer camp type experience, a family faith formation model from Faith Inkubators called FAITH5, and a spiritually-formative small group model called "Come and See." None of these require the pastor to take on one more thing, and all will be pilot-tested soon - I'll be leading the last two myself!

A Cure for Loneliness?

A recent article in AARP Magazine suggests that loneliness is a widespread problem that might have medical implications. But could the church have a role to play in curing loneliness? (Article 1 of 6)

GC2019 - Holding It Together

These words were initially posted on the day after the conclusion of GC 2019 in St. Louis. Seeing them again a year later, I felt compelled to add them to this blog in these days leading up to GC 2020.

Friendship Matters

Scouting Sunday intersects with a tragic event in the life of a friend, prompting reflection on the importance of small groups in the life of the Christian community.

Flowering Trees

I saw the trees first. As I was driving between Fairfield and Wayne City on Highway 15 yesterday morning, enjoying the early morning sunshine and the flowers in bloom in various front yards, my gaze was captured by two rows of trees covered with white flowers. Even from a distance, it was evident they had been planted on purpose. Then I saw the sign . . .

Advent, Christmas shaped by traditions

People of all ages respond to the rituals of Christmas in ways we don’t fully understand. Ritual has a way of forming us, and involving many people in your church in Advent and Christmas rituals expands the rituals’ potential for impacting people in a new way. For instance, many churches include families or people of different ages in the lighting of the Advent wreath during worship each Sunday.