Journey to Easter: Part 1: Passports

UPDATE: 2015 Journey to Easter details are now posted here, too, (including a blank 2015 passport for you to fill in). Check out this year’s HERE.
Lent is my favorite part of the church year.  For some reason, the idea of stripping things down, reflecting on life, finding ways to reconnect with self, others, Spirit, is something I look forward to every year. It’s like spring cleaning for the soul.
As a children’s pastor, I want to help children and their families experience Lent and Easter in meaningful ways every year. This year, especially, we are really being very intentional about engaging families from Fat Tuesday’s Pancake Supper to a “What Next” dinner on the Sunday AFTER Easter.
The first part of this blog series on Lent and Easter with Children’s Ministries is to introduce to you our Journey to Easter Passports.  Inspired by this blog with passports used for just holy week, with KidCentral, we’ll be using them during the entire Lenten season.

Beginning with our Fat Tuesday Pancake Breakfast this coming Tuesday and running through the Lenten Season, including Ash Wednesday, Sunday mornings, weekly at-home activities, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Easter Sunday, children will earn “passport stickers” for various KidCentral activities.  I’ve added links to the PDFs of both the cover and inside pages.  The inside pages need to be printed back to back and then cut in half and folded into a booklet.

On April 27, the Sunday after Easter, all of the children and their families will head to a local restaurant for a “Passport Celebration” Party.  We’ll recognize children for earning various numbers of stickers in their passports (and yes, everyone will earn some type of recognition.)

I am hoping that this experience will help boost attendance and create some momentum as we head into summer, but more importantly, we are doing this because it’s important.  It’s important that our children begin to understand at a young age what Easter means—sure, the Easter eggs and bunnies are fun and good, but more importantly, I want children to be able to tell others about the events of holy week.
So, here we go….we’ve created an app through YAPP so that parents can keep up with the events, we can share photos, and kids can upload answers to weekly at-home activities (to earn another passport sticker). I felt pretty techie-awesome when I put the app together…but seriously, it took about 15 minutes to make and it was free!
PDF sample available here
PDF sample of inside pages available here
Read the whole series:
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27 comments

  1. This is awesome! I would love to hear more about the particular activities mentioned in the passport. Will you be describing the different activities on your blog?

    Also, thanks for the heads up on the app creator. That could be very helpful in the future.

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  2. Lindsey-Thanks so much! Yes, I am planning to share all of the activities…our plans are pretty ambitious, but I am SO excited about it all! Tomorrow, I'll have a post about Fat Tuesday and on Wednesday I'll have a lite and preview of all of our upcoming activities.

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  3. Nice! Check out my Pintrest. It lists some activities. I also posted a few on my blog from other sources, and check out Vibrant Faith stuff. (The @ home section has age appropriate materials.) You may also want to take something from the Global Ministries passports. If you have a version of this to share with others next year, I would love to help. (I may even find ways to get you money… a whole lot, I am sure!)

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  4. Very nice. We've been using the Lenten Passport created by Dr. Evan Armatas at St. Spyridon in Loveland Colorado and used throughout the United States for the past several years. Yours looks exactly the same except for your cover design. Hope this isn't a copyright issue.

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  5. Bonnie…

    Thanks for your comments. I patterned mine after the example cited in my blog post above where there was a free PDF download given. I have never seen nor heard of the example you are referring to. Any similarities are coincidental as many classrooms and churches have used the idea of the passport.

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  6. Hello! I’d love to use this wonderful idea. Would you be willing to share a Word doc version so I can update the dates for 2015? Thanks in advance.

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  7. I LOVE this idea and will be doing something similar for 2015. I cannot get the passport attachments to open. Is there anyway I could possibly ask you to email them to me? I am so sorry for the hassle!

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  8. I love the idea of the Passport and would like to use it for this Easter. Will I be able to receive blank template? Thanks in advance !! ^^

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  9. Kristin, could I please get the 2016 passport too when it is ready. Not sure if I can access Publisher documents, so could you also send Word and PDF file! Thanks so much.

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