The most asked about bridge between the Sunday morning “box” and home is the Church on the Go bags. Families of all sizes, with all different age groups, have taken, used, and loved these kits.
Based on the belief that we are the church wherever we are, Church on the Go kits build a bridge between families traveling or vacationing to their home parish. These kits include everything needed for the family to build an altar, worship together and have fun. Activities included are not just for Sunday worship. Included are suggestions for decorating the altar, family activities, children activities, and different types of prayer. Some activities can be done solo, like a finger labyrinth and coloring pages, while others encourage group and family time.
I put the bags together and have them in a designated spot (we use a back table) every Sunday for vacationing families. Anyone can pick up a bag, before they go on vacation, for use while away. I replenish the bags as needed through the summer.
By using a photo of our altar (5” x 7”), the altar the family builds reminds them that, even though they are not physically with us, they are a part of our family. Other items included in altar bag (1 gallon bag) are tea candles, green altar cloth (Season after Pentecost) and instructions for making an altar.
The larger, Church on the Go bag, contains the altar bag, two Morning Prayer services (from the BCP), with all the choices removed (so the Venite, one psalm only, one canticle after each reading, one suffrages, and two prayers chosen.) It also contains themes to decorate the altar and a list of readings that follow that theme (printed out so a Bible is not needed). There are easily sing-able hymns included, too.
In addition to the Sunday worship service, the kit contains a trifold of Graces for Meals, Finger Labyrinth, coloring sheets, children bulletins with puzzles and mazes, ideas for talking and sharing points, stickers, crayons, and coloring pencils.
Instructions included are:
Church on the Go
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Instructions for Altar & Service
- Look over Service & choose a theme.
- Put together your altar
- Green cloth for the Season after Pentecost
- Candles on each side.
- Put up your picture of St. Paul’s altar (for the cross & to celebrate with us!)
- Decorate your altar by placing objects from theme suggestion.
- Take a picture of your altar (with family members & send to us).
- Pick one person to be officiant for service (they get their own book) & someone to do the readings (that person picks two readings from the theme.)
- Do the service following the instructions in the Service Pamphlet.
- Two hymns are included on sheet if you would like to use them.
Other ideas to keep each year fresh is to change out the hymns, children’s bulletins and color pages. For bags geared towards family with youth (older children) include mazes, decoders, car games, family trivia (have some fun and base the trivia questions on your clergy and known activities) and other resources to keep families engaged at any age.
Ask the families to share their experience or use of the bags. We asked the families to post their altars on social media and tag the parish.
Click on any of the highlighted items to see what I used. Any items purchased through this link helps to fund this site: