SBC DIGEST: LifeWay free family Easter resources; Texas chaplains extend crisis hotline hours
LifeWay offers free Easter resources for families
By Joy Allmond
NASHVILLE (BP) -- As churches have adjusted rhythms to facilitate ministry amid various stay-at-home orders from state and local governments, a new reality has set in: Easter is going to look different this year, and ministry leaders are wondering what to do.
"The Gospel Project for Kids" is rolling out the "2020 Family Easter Event," an eight-day experience with five opportunities to connect kids ministry leaders with children and families online as they explore Jesus' death, burial and resurrection as it happened during the week.
Participants will begin with the triumphal entry the Sunday before Easter, April 5. After celebrating the Lord's Supper on Thursday, ministry leaders and families will walk through the crucifixion, resurrection and appearances of Jesus in the order they occurred.
"The historical resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of our faith," said Chuck Peters, director of operations for LifeWay Kids. "These five media-enhanced sessions give families a wonderful opportunity to experience Holy Week together in a new and special way as they watch the videos and use the activity pages provided by 'The Gospel Project for Kids' resource."
Visit the 2020 Family Easter event page at GospelProject.com/2020-family-easter-event for instructions and more details.
Another free eight-day resource LifeWay is making available is the "Easter Devotional Guide for Families." This download creates a space for parents and kids to interact with stories from Scriptural accounts of Holy Week and pray together. The daily devotions cover:
-- The Triumphal Entry
-- Jesus washing the disciples' feet
-- The Last Supper
-- Jesus praying in the garden
-- Peter denying Jesus
-- Jesus's trial and death
-- Jesus's burial
-- Jesus's resurrection
"Leaders share the guide, families print it and kids read it," said Peters. "This is a super easy way for leaders to equip families to guide their kids through the Easter week, keeping their focus on Jesus, our resurrected Lord."
In addition to these special Easter resources, "LifeWay Kids at Home," rolled out in March, includes the current "Bible Studies for Life" Easter sessions. To access these lessons:
-- Go to digitalpass.lifeway.com.
-- Log in or create an account (free).
-- Click the LifeWay Kids (or Preschool) at Home icon on the main page of Digital Pass.
Church leaders and parents may also access current sessions from all three lines of LifeWay kids curriculum -- "Bible Studies for Life," "Explore the Bible," and "The Gospel Project" at curriculum.lifeway.com.
SBTC chaplain prayer hotline hours extended
GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) -- Chaplains with Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief are helping people like Darlene navigate through the emotional stress brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Trained chaplains from across the state are operating a toll-free hotline (1-800-921-3287) for people to call for the purpose of receiving prayer and encouragement. The hours have been expanded as the hotline is now open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voicemail is available for after hours.
Chaplain Dennis Parish relayed the story of his visit with Darlene, a middle-aged woman from north Texas.
"With the health issue she had been dealing with, her great fear was that she was going to get the virus," Parish said.
Parish, a pastor in the Houston Metro area, said Darlene was feeling overwhelmed.
"I prayed that the peace that passes all understanding would just become so real to her."
Darlene concluded the call by responding, "You don't understand how much this phone call means to me."
The hotline will remain available for as long as the crisis remains active.
"We are so grateful to be able to provide this service for those in need," SBTC DR director Scottie Stice said.