Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

“I am the true vine.” John 15:1 Growing up in New Jersey, I didn’t have a lot of experience with vineyards, although the wine industry is really taking off there now. However, moving to the heart of Washington wine country has taught me a lot about agriculture in general and given me a new insight …

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“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 Praying the Stations of the Cross has always been one of my favorite Lenten practices. One of my earliest school memories was gathering in the auditorium on the Fridays of Lent to pray through the stations together. As we walked from station to station, …

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“I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25 The last few years have been filled with a lot of loss in our family- my father-in-law, a dear friend from grad school, my husband’s aunt, my friend’s daughter, two friends from our parish, and a much hoped for baby. Many times in the last two …

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“I am the good shepherd.” John 10:11 When I was in college, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Salamanca, Spain. One morning, super early, I woke in my dorm room in an old Carmelite convent to a very loud, very unfamiliar sound. When I made it to the window, I saw something I …

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“I am the gate.” John 10:7 This is the I am statement of Jesus that I probably know the least, and in my research for this post, I realized/learned that this I am statement is very connected to tomorrow: I am the good shepherd. They both come from Jesus’s words to the Pharisees immediately after …

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“I am the light of the world.” John 8:12 Right now the world is very dark. We feel alone, anxious, afraid. Some of us have been home for weeks, some for days, and some head out into the darkness each day, performing essential jobs under new and difficult circumstances. As I read the news each …

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“I am the bread of life.” John 6:35 Happy Palm Sunday! Like me, many of you are probably spending this Palm Sunday in semi-isolation, away from your worship family. In our town, this will be our fourth Sunday without the ability to go to mass in person, our fourth Sunday without the gift of the …

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Somehow, in the Lentiest Lent I’ve ever had, Holy Week snuck up on me. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been able to go to church in person for several weeks. Maybe it’s because my “classroom” is currently whatever portion of the dining room table isn’t covered with playdoh tools and watercolor supplies. Maybe it’s because …

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As promised, I want to share some of my favorite online resources for middle school aged kids. Many of the amazing resources floating around on Facebook right now seemed aimed at younger children or for other academic subjects than religion. So here’s what I’m going to be sending to my students in the days ahead. …

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One of my coworkers loves to retell the story of his first year at our school. After a jam-packed Advent season, I jokingly remarked to him, “Just wait- Lent is Advent on steroids!” While the two seasons are incredibly different, in the life of our school community, they follow a similar pattern. During Lent our …

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