Building Faith Brick by Brick II

An Imaginative Way to Explore the Parables with God’s People

Emily Slichter Given

Jan/2019, 112 Pages, Paperback, 8.5 x 11

ISBN-13: 9781640650916



Building (no pun intended) upon the success of Building Faith Brick by Brick, Emily Slichter Given has created more lesson plans to tell Bible stories in a relevant, hands-on way for a broad range of audiences. Children of all ages have reached into the stories of God while also digging deep into enormous bins of little plastic blocks and miniature people. This second book offers the original methods, discoveries since the first volume was published, and thirty-two new stories with lesson plans based on Jesus' parables. Christian educators, parents, grandparents, godparents--anyone who desires to engage in sharing faith with children and families--will enjoy the creativity and grace of this interactive approach.

Emily Slichter Given is the Director of Christian Formation at St. David's Episcopal Church. She has a deep love for sharing the story of God with God’s youngest people—in as many different ways as possible—and has worked on both the congregational and diocesan levels for over fifteen years. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"For generations, we have heard the adage that those who 'pray together, stay together.' But a tidal wave of compelling and catalytic research in the last decade on gaming, design thinking, and digital story-telling has proven that communities that stay together, play together. Congregations are finally realizing that God has given an imagination, as well as a mind, to every person. And that imagination must be named and nurtured so that both liturgy and life are an experience of 'the seen and the unseen.' Emily Given has written an essential text to help anyone who wants to engage divine truths through holy play for all generations. The word lego is, in fact, the Danish word for 'play well.' Read this book and let Emily Given show you how playing well can teach all ages to pray well too."––Patricia M. Lyons, Missioner for Evangelism and Community Engagement, Episcopal Diocese of Washington and author of Teaching Faith with Harry Potter

“Once again Emily Given has invited us in––young and old alike––to wonder through the gifts of story, imagination, and play at what it is that God is saying to us in both ancient and present ways. Through rich and engaging lessons, Building Faith Brick by Brick II offers children and adults the opportunity to truly connect their story to the story of God, creating a lasting formation experience.”––Jerusalem Jackson Greer, Formation Minister and author of A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together

"Parables are for everyone, as are LEGOs®. Using LEGOs® to respond to Jesus' parables will profoundly deepen and expand the faith of students and leaders. All ages are blessed when they are involved in using LEGO® bricks to build and to explore the kingdom of God. Emily's versatile new book is like going back for a second helping of dessert––you want more of a wonderfully good thing!"––Gail M. Jackins, M.Ed., Faith Formation Coordinator, St. Cuthbert Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas

"No one in the Episcopal Church messages as well about our faith and the meaning of it as Emily Given. Having devoted much of her career to the spiritual formation of children, she has learned to shape her words with great care and how to convey the Gospel in the most inclusive, welcoming manner that I have ever encountered. I have been privileged to serve in ministry with her and listen to her make many insightful comments about the Sunday lectionary in our staff Bible studies as well as to hear her preach. Anything that she says, does, or writes is a gift to the wider faith community. Emily Given makes the Bible come alive."––Marek Zabriskie, rector of Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut and author of The Bible Challenge

"Building Faith Brick by Brick II is a wonderfully creative resource whereby you, literally create an encounter with God! Emily Given's out of the box approach to breaking open the Word is not only creative and easy to follow, it also has revitalized our faith formation sessions. Our annual tradition of 'Building the City of God' has become an event the entire parish looks forward to. Attendance during these sessions is better than any other time of the year. The children enthusiastically dig deep into the scripture stories to glean a better understanding of the parable, key characters, geographic location, and physical terrain. Working as a team, they create a 3-dimensional representation of the story and are able to articulate the passage! Our entire community then gathers to celebrate the creations. Not only are the children becoming intentional disciples by proclaiming the Word of God, but also are learning how to work as a team to build their Bible story brick by brick."––Vici Armsby, Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation, The Catholic Community of Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Snow Mission, Troy, New York

"Emily Given's 'Brick by Brick' method is perfect for presenting the parables of Jesus to children! While other curricula may opt to explain a parable and distill a 'moral of the story' for children, this approach allows children to make their own meaning, in their own time. The Building Questions help us (children and adults alike) to look at each parable from different angles, uncovering for ourselves the deep truth that lies inside for each of us. While preserving mystery and wonder, this curriculum helps children build their own religious language, with which to shape their own thoughts and feelings about God, and about their place in the big story of God's people. When this is our approach to Christian education – sharing our stories, nurturing the wondering process, and providing opportunities for child-directed creative response – we walk alongside our children in their journey of faith without getting in the way, and we allow the spirit to move where it will."––Catherine Montgomery, Director of Children's Formation and Family Ministries, Christ Episcopal Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

"Poets use words. A chef uses food. Composers use music. Artists use paint. There are countless ways we tell the stories of our lives...of our faith. Emily Given is a creative genius in offering children and children-at-heart a way to enter into while becoming a part of the parables of Jesus using LEGO® bricks. Building Faith Brick by Brick is a visual and sensory experience––one that challenges and inspires the participant to think out of the box. It's also great fun! Ideal for churches and other religions institutions, both Brick by Brick books are also wonderful resources for experiencing faith in the home.––Roger Hutchison, Director of Christian Formation and Parish Life, Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas and author of Jesus: God Among Us

"Imaginative, formative and practical! Building Faith Brick by Brick works because it teaches the Bible story-by-story in an interactive way that children love and understand. The lessons are detailed and easy for teachers to prepare. The building questions make it very comfortable to engage children with the lesson, especially for new teachers. It checks all the boxes for children's formation and is user friendly. A Christian formation director's dream!"––Lyn Merchant, Director of Children and Youth Ministries, Grace Episcopal Church, Anderson, South Carolina

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