Shopping

I find this the best time to pick up little bits and pieces for the children’s worship space.

And if you are a parent this is a great time to pick up some items that you can use with your little ones at church during worship and still have at home, to reinforce the service message during the week.

I love shopping, or rather browsing at this time of the year in Australia. The holiday’s are over and I find this the best time to pick up little bits and pieces for the children’s worship space. All those crowded spaces are easy to move around in. The shopping centres are cool and inviting on a hot day and so I  want to encourage you to shop. Yep. Shop. It’s also a great time to pick up genuine bargains after the post christmas sales. And don’t forget that there is nothing nicer than internet shopping after a long hot day out and about either.

About this time last year I posted on how to set up the basics for a Church worship space, so recheck that blog  Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! As some of those places have since closed down, I will be changing some ideas and adding to that first list.

By the way I have now set up 3 church children’s worship spaces and am more than happy to help you out with yours. Just contact me here.

Please note that it is also important to include items that are significant to the area or culture of your congregation.

My general rule of thumb is, 1) no noisy toys, toys that make sound themselves, these toys are for use in worship and should not distract other worshippers from their worship.

2) They should be able to be regularly, hygienically cleaned

3) made of as natural and non-toxic materials as possible.

4) the aim is for spiritual play. Not entertainment.

I am educationally influenced by Montessori, Piaget, etc.

I love Ikea, they are well tested, recall when needed and most toys are built to last. Most products can be washed and even tumble dried. Also Ikea is a very family friendly place to shop. If you find things like I’ve suggested elsewhere then please feel free to buy those. The idea, not the product is my aim here.

There are still some heart cushions available, great for expressing the idea that God is Love, and God loves you

Definitely heart bears: reason as above. https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/70215530/

play food: this one has loaves and fishes so perfect for “feeding the crowd”, communion, “https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/20262005/

Lion, perfect size for small hands, great for story of Daniel or Joseph and faith  symbolism https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/00402846/

Other animals in this series are great for general play and respond to ideas of how to act as a community. And for parents they easily fit in the back pack for church. https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/00402846/

This Lion is super large and makes a great cushion or faith statement in the Children’s worship area, https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/60402834/

Pigs, https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/30298004/ the prodigal son, or https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/40260449/

Little People https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/30242615/ Great for imaginative play, crowds, people, retelling stories.

Boat https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/40260393/ Great for stories of Jesus and the disciples on the water, or fishing or Jonah or Paul.

Building Blocks https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/40260393/  Ideal for free expression, building walls, or cities, even the tower of Babel.

Idea’s you won’t find in Ikea

Play mats, such as a city landscape

Safe mirror like this one in Target https://www.target.com.au/p/bright-starts-sit-see-safari-floor-mirror-trade/61541412 Theme: God loves You

Duplo’s creative play -my first emotions https://www.target.com.au/p/lego-reg-duplo-reg-creative-play-my-first-emotions-1-861/61172708 Good for emotions of psalms or a recreation of a Bible story. Might be useful.

Nesting sets, especially the blank ones. Great for recreating faith stories, or imaginative play.

drawing figurine, great for showing emotions, so, good for interpreting Psalms, and the emotions in Bible stories.

Rainbow jigsaw puzzle. God’s promise.

Noah’s ark

Nativity set

Baby dolls, especially mixed race and gender.

Battery operated candles

CRAFT Bits and pieces

Thick coloured paper

Paper plates

Drawing paper or scrap books

Crepe paper, i love this for texture and for it’s ability to break easily, and that it can be purchased in rolls or longer pieces.

My preferred drawing implement is washable textas’, They can be easily wiped off skin or pews. Not all washable texta’s are well washable, i love Crayola.

Crayons don’t, in my experience wash off, and pencils always need sharpening at the wrong time and seem to become an easy weapon.

I love felt, especially stiffened felt, as they make good backgrounds on which to stick felt pieces,

Felt pieces, or squares of many colours great for recreating Bible stories with.

I stay clear of foam as it breaks and becomes a chocking hazard.

Musical Instruments

Buy handkerchiefs to sway to the rhythm

Buy or make soft shackers

Anything else that does not have an overpowering sound ( it does not need to compete with the organ or band)

Have fun setting up your worship space or buying things to take in their church bags. Your enthusiasm will be infectious and encourage your little one to find an expression for their spiritual development.

Let us know what else you find useful so we can share our ideas.

Blessings

Wendy L.

 

 

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Epiphany 6: Ideas to help parents and guardian’s engage the 3’s and under with this Sunday’s RCL readings.

Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

You have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

FIRST READING: Jeremiah 17:5-10

READ: it from any Bible, preferably a Children’s version or https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Jeremiah%2017:5-10&version=ERV

DRAW: Verses 5-10

PRAY: Draw a tree with deep roots and lots of branches, Name each root or limb with the name of someone you know and pray specifically for that person.

PSALM 1

READ:

Happy are those who choose their path –
I will follow Jesus.
Be careful where you put your step –
God will be your guide.
I will be a tree growing by a stream –
God’s Spirit like fresh water. 
I will grow good fruit and grow strong
and God will watch over me.

By http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-1-the-two-ways.html

SING/LISTEN: https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/seeds-of-character-vol-6/# Number 5 Delight

DO: If you can make a path for your child to follow in the area where you are sitting.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

READ: The Lion Picture Book, p.370 A New Heaven and a New Earth 3rd paragraph

PLAY: with Russian stacking dolls, or a stacking toy.

DO: Show pictures of the life cycle of a plant print this page out and cut out the four pictures then ask your child to organise them in stages of development. https://www.education.com/worksheet/article/plant-life-cycle/

GOSPEL READING: Luke 6:17-26

READ: https://ministry-to-children.com/preschool-lesson-the-beatitudes-from-luke-617-26/amp/ Though this is a Sunday School Lesson the activities can easily be done during a church service Start reading to your child where it says BIBLE READING and finish before CLOSING. DON’T forget to prepare the activities in advance.

Colouring-In: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2018-2019

PRAY : Help me God to choose

To Be KIND

To Be Loving

To be Humble

To be Gentle

Amen

Blessings

Wendy L.

Epiphany 5: Ideas to help parents/guardians relate Sunday’s RCL readings to their 3’s and under.

Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

You have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

FIRST READING: ISIAH 6:1-8(9-13)

READ: The Jesus Story Book Bible p.144 stopping at the start of the 2nd last paragraph.

DRAW: Things you can do to help others.

PRAY: Dear God:

The only thing you find small (open up your hand as if holding something very tiny)

Is our understanding of you. (Fling your arms wide open)

Amen.

PSALM 138

READ: http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-138-thank-you-for-your-love.html

DO: When you hear the words heart or Love make a love heart with your hands

When you hear the words power or strength show off a muscle in your arm.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

READ/WATCH: https://youtu.be/QGbAE-KS8LM Remember Me by Cecelia Meng

As suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-february-10-2019/

PLAY: with nesting dolls, or building cups that grow larger out of each other.

MAKE: Cut out paper dolls, showing how by cutting one we can grow to be many.

https://www.origami-resource-center.com/paper-dolls.html

GOSPEL READING: Luke 5:1-11

READ: The Lion Story Book, by Sophie Piper, Jesus and the Fisherman pp148-149

OR My First Read a loud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff, Peter Goes Fishing pp. 156-157.

Colouring-In: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2018-2019

MAKE: a picture Use blue paper or stiffened felt, make a simple boat out of brown paper, or brown felt, such as a simple rectangle. Collect the net around lemons or limes or oranges and use it to make a net from the boat into the water.

Blessings

Wendy L.

Epiphany 3: Ideas to help you and your 3’s and under enjoy church and relate to the RCL readings.

Sorry everyone for both the lateness and change of form as I had a fall and concussion. So am on a technology light diet while I heal.

Hope this is still useful.

Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

Remember that you have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

Older children might enjoy https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/illustrated-worship-resources-winter-2018-2019

img_3346-2.jpg

Day of Mourning for the Uniting Church in Australia: Ideas to help you and your children fully participate.

For those Worshipping in Australia in a Uniting Church in Australia Day of Mourning Service this week there is a suggested liturgy which your congregation may or may not be using. If they are using it, here are some suggestions to use with your little ones. You will find the suggested liturgy here day-of-mourning_worship-resource  

And my ideas for inclusive worship are in italics below.

If you are in Australia and do not want to attend the Uniting Church in Australia and would like to attend a Prayer Service for January 26 please see https://www.commongrace.org.au/jan26_prayer_services?utm_campaign=jan26auntyjean&utm_medium=email&utm_source=commongrace for a service near you.

Please feel free to use by families or small cngregations without a Child and Family Worker, Please note that this work is not endorsed by the Uniting Church in Australia

If your congregation uses the Call to Worship,

Call to Worship

Our land is alive with the glory of God;

desert sands hum and gum trees dance.

Brown grasses sing

and mountains breathe their stillness.

All created things add their rhythms of delight

and even stones rap out their praise.

Let our voices mingle with those of the earth;

may our hearts join the beat of her joy,

for our triune God is with us:

the Source of all being surrounds and upholds us. Christ Jesus walks beside and before us.The Spirit moves within and between us.Blessed be God, our wonder and delight.

 

Ask your children to draw an Australian landscape as described, gum trees, desert sand, mountains etc.

Or bring with you pieces of native trees, sand, stone (not to small so they can be swallowed, and a strict no throwing policy) To look at or to use to make a picture or a three dimensional project maybe in a shoe box.

 

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

Today, as we gather to worship, we acknowledge the
the first inhabitants of this place from time beyond remembering.

We acknowledge that through this land, God nurtured and sustained
the First Peoples of this country,
the Aboriginal and Islander peoples.
We honour them for their custodianship of the land on which we gather today.

We acknowledge that the First Peoples had already encountered the Creator God before the arrival of the colonisers;
the Spirit was already in the land, revealing God to the peoplethrough law, custom and ceremony.

During the Acknowledgment of First Peoples you might like to read WELCOME TO COUNTRY BY AUNTY JOY MURPHY AND LISA KENNEDY, by Walker Books it is currently on special here https://www.booktopia.com.au/welcome-to-country-aunty-joy-

murphy/prod9781922244871.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&s=stocked&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6ZGMgoHx3wIVkiQrCh2USg4gEAAYASAAEgLIvfD_BwE

 

Or Watch it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEKUyht_fs8

 

  OR WATCH Aunty Joy Murphy do a welcome to country here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeBWuItrpW8

 

Make sure to emphasise that God was always in this Land.

 

GREETING listen to the greeting

 

PRAYER:

Prayer of Invocation LISTEN

Invocation

Abba, Father,
Bäpa God,
source of all life,
answer our call,
as a mother responds
to the cry of a child in the night.

Jesus Christ,
brother and friend, Liberator,
stand beside us
as bearer of our humanity, and sharer of God’s grace.

Creator Spirit, giver of new life,

purposeful guest,

prod us to praise,

calling us to be a people

of hope and faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Bäpa means father in the Yolŋu languages of NE Arnhemland and in Bahasa languages.

 

LAMENT AND CONFESSION

This is too long for children

My suggestion is that they pray as they continue working on their picture or three-dimensional project or just look again at the leaves and rocks and pray, eg.

 

Great God,

Thank you for the (stone, rock , plants, mountains etc, name each in turn after the statement Thank you for)

Help me to share this land

And to learn from those who you first gave this land too.

Help me to not forget past wrongs to the first people

And not to repeat them

Amen

 

Listen to the Declaration of Forgiveness.

 

Declaration of Forgiveness

This is the best of all:

When we are empty,

God fills us;

when we are disheartened,

God is compassionate;

when we are wounded,

God brings healing;

when we confess our sin, God forgives.

In Christ, through Christ and because of Christ, our sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.You refill the cup of life, O God.

In Christ, we find refuge, strength and hope. Amen.

 

Bible Readings

 

There are quiet a few suggested. Only a few will be used. I don’t know which ones your individual congregation will use. You could ask your Minister or Elder or go prepared with a selection. Or use this at home to reinforce the service you have just attended with your children.

Psalm 85:7-13

READ:

Psalm 85: Good gifts

Lord, you are so good to us!
You forgave our sin and gave us a new beginning.
You sent your Word, and you pour out your Spirit.
Love is your message and Kindness is your style
Peace greets Patience with a kiss
Gentleness walks hand in hand with Self-control
Joy bursts up out of the ground
Right-ness goes ahead to show the way
and Generosity showers us from above.
These are the gifts of God for the people of God.
(Galatians 5:22)

by Rev. Purdie http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-85-see-what-god-is-doing.html

ACTION: Make a heart card with a beautiful picture of something from Australia on it

 

Micah 6: 6 – 8; 

 ReAD/Watch Tina the tree

ACTION: use the free downloads or former to do buy the activity pack

OR Read/Watch the Little Golden Book The tawny Scrawny Lion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoZKbkD83sk

suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-sunday-february-2-2014/

ACTION: colouring in sheet https://ministry-to-children.com/kindness-coloring-pages/

John 14: 15 – 24; 

ReAD/Watch Tina the tree

ACTION: use the free downloads or  buy the activity pack

HOW MANY ACTS OF LOVE DID THE TREE DO?

HOW MANY ACT OF LOVE WERE DONE TO THE TREE?

PLAY WITH  nesting dolls.

Acts 2: 1 – 21;

READ; The Rhyme Bible storybook by L.J. Stattgast last page

OR My first read aloud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff, The Holy Spirit pp.234-235

ACTION: Fire races through Australia, if fire was love what would it look like. Draw your idea.

Romans 8: 19 – 27;

WATCH  for aboriginal creation stories you might like to watch red pixels on You Tube eg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDl5QwAR8DI or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y3Ta5xcKV4

ACTION: Pray by groaning, eg,

God waits for us to love him, and it hurts God Groan

God waits for us to love others and it hurts God Groan

God waits for us to take care of his world and it hurts God Groan

OR continue drawing or making pictures of Australia  or You can find colouring in sheets for Australian animals here https://www.wires.org.au/kids-pages

James 2: 14 – 26;

READ/Watch All these things by Susie Poole https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm5EUrLP9zY

PLAY: community play, doll house or cars or animals anything where being kind can be played out.

1 John 4: 7 – 21

Listen/Sing: https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/the-character-of-god-vol-7/# no.3

Prayers of the People

Suggested Actions in Italics

Prayers of the People

Give us the courage to
(show your muscles)

accept the realities of our history (look behind you)

so that we may build a better future for our nation. (clench your fists and place them one on top of the other as if building a tower)

Teach us to respect all cultures.
(hold your fists together)

Teach us to care for our land and waters.
(pretend to plant a tree)

Help us to share justly(pretend to hand someone a piece of cake)

the resources of this land. (spread your arms out wide)

Help us to bring about spiritual and social change (place your hands in a prayer position)

to improve the quality of life
(skip)

for all peoples in our communities, (touch the tips of your fingers with both hands)

especially the disadvantaged. (stretch your hand up as if helping someone up)

Help all young people to find true dignity (stand tall)

and self-esteem by your Spirit.

May your power and love
(make a love heart)

be the foundations on which we:
(touch the ground)

walk together as First and Second Peoples; and (walk)

build our families, our communities and our nation. (entwine your fingers)

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prepared by the Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group, Amended September 2018 Assembly Resourcing Unit

 

Prayers of the People

Actions in Italics

Prayers of the People

Give us the courage to
(show your muscles)

accept the realities of our history (look behind you)

so that we may build a better future for our nation. (clench your fists and place them one on top of the other as if building a tower)

Teach us to respect all cultures.
(hold your fists together)

Teach us to care for our land and waters.
(pretend to plant a tree)

Help us to share justly(pretend to hand someone a piece of cake)

the resources of this land. (spread your arms out wide)

Help us to bring about spiritual and social change (place your hands in a prayer position)

to improve the quality of life
(skip)

for all peoples in our communities, (touch the tips of your fingers with both hands)

especially the disadvantaged. (stretch your hand up as if helping someone up)

Help all young people to find true dignity (stand tall)

and self-esteem by your Spirit.

May your power and love
(make a love heart)

be the foundations on which we:
(touch the ground)

walk together as First and Second Peoples; and (walk)

build our families, our communities and our nation. (entwine your fingers)

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prepared by the Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group, Amended September 2018 Assembly Resourcing Unit

Participate in the rest of the service

TOY BOX ADDITION: If your toy collection does not have first nation dolls in it you might like to add to your collection. A place you can do that is here http://www.gofairtrading.com.au/product/aboriginal-doll/ OR https://www.teaching.com.au/catalogue/mta/mta-aboriginal-dolls

Blessings

Wendy L.

Epiphany 2: Ideas to help you and your 3’s and under enjoy church and relate to the RCL readings.

Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

Remember that you have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

Older children might enjoy https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/illustrated-worship-resources-winter-2018-2019

First Reading: Isiah 62:1-5

READ/WATCH: NOW BY ANTOINETTE PORTIS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP_Xnl-h0To

PLAY: a choice game. It can be as simple as placing 2 or 3 favourite toys in front of your child and adding them to pick one. Or it could be a card game like Fish

How do you show being excited? Draw or show what it looks like.

Psalm 36:5-10

adapted from http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-36-far-reaching-love.html stanza 3 removed

Your love, O God, reaches up, up beyond the sky, (reach up to the sky)
Your goodness goes higher than the clouds, (hands above your head and flutter the like moving clouds)
Your power is bigger than the tallest mountains, (make a point with your hands above your head)
Your truth goes deeper than the ocean. (crouch down very low)

O God, we treasure your infinite love. (make a love heart with your hands)
All people can hide in the shadow of your wings. (interlock your thumbs and flutter your fingers)
O God, we celebrate your mighty river of joy. (snake one arm across your body like a river flowing by)
All people can feast together in your house. (make a bowl with one hand and use the other to eat out of it)
O God, you are the fountain of life. (fling your arms up and away)
All people can find light in your light.(shelter your eyes as if looking into the sun)
Your love, O God, reaches up, up beyond the sky, (reach up to the sky)
Your goodness goes higher than the clouds, (hands above your head and flutter the like moving clouds)
Your power is bigger than the tallest mountains, (make a point with your hands above your head)
Your truth goes deeper than the ocean. (crouch down very low)

Hold us in your amazing love, now and forever. (give yourself a hug)
With loving hearts we will live in you. Amen. (make a heart shape with your hands)

Draw a picture of all the wonderful things God made that are mentioned in the Psalm eg mountain, river, clouds etc

Second Reading: 1 Corinthian12:1-11

READ/WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIbGioTNs4M Mixed a Colourful story by Arree Chung as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-january-20-2019/

Use your texta’s to make new colours, then draw something with the “new” colour.

DO: POINT to all the different parts that make up one you ie arm, eye, ear etc. or you might have a jigsaw puzzle of the parts of the body.

Gospel: John 2:1-11

READ: My First read aloud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff; Water into wine pp.158-159

WATCH: https://www.max7.org/en/resource/06b36097-df08-4d22-8359-3a8f510d7be2 This is a power point presentation, great for retelling the story or for your child, if old enough, to tell it to you. Older children might enjoy writing their own script to go with the pictures.

Colouring-In: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/illustrated-worship-resources-winter-2018-2019

Dear God,

Jesus first poured out (tip one hand as if pouring into a cup in the other)

his gifts from you (Pretend to pass a present)

at a party (dance)

where people show commitment and love (pretend to put a ring on your wedding finger)

I am glad (smile)

that you are committed to loving me too. (make a love heart with your hands)

Blessings

Wendy L

After Epiphany: Baptism of Jesus: Ideas to help you and your 3’s and under enjoy church and relate to the RCL readings

Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on.

Remember that you have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

Older children might enjoy https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/illustrated-worship-resources-winter-2018-2019

LOOK for the colour change. We have entered a new season, known as After Epiphany.

FIRST READING: Isiah 43:1-7

READ/WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuT5e1C_5NY HELLO HELLO by Brendan Wenzel

as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-january-13-2019/

Play: Name your the teddies and other soft toys, name as many of the congregation as you know. Or bring an extended family photo, and ask your child to name everyone.

PRAY: God you wanted me

I am your child

I am precious

I am Loved

Thank you

PSALM 29

READ: http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-29-the-hurricane-psalm.html

ACTIONS: You will need a toy boat and a blue tea towel. Toss the boat around on the rough tea towel sea, or make it “plain sailing”.

How would you feel? Make a face to show how you might feel after each verse.

SECOND READING: Acts 8:14-17

READ/WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozSeUrYEPxU BE KIND by Pat Zietlow Miller as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-january-13-2019/

as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-january-13-2019/

PLAY: with baby dolls (if child baptism is practised), use a paper bowl of blue shredded crepe paper or with other dolls, baptising  in the blue tea towel “water”.

PRAY:

Dear God

In Water I’m Baptised

But by your spirit I am saved

thank you.

GOSPEL READING: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22.

READ: The Beginners Bible pp.304-307

OR My First Read aloud Bible by Batchelor and Bashoff  John Baptises Jesus pp150-151

Watch: the Bible for kids https://www.bible.com/kids

Colouring-In: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2018-2019?variant=13700704632930

Make: Spinner

You will need

straw

sticky tape

template https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0RweH-3RyI0Qkc4MWJGSTZUSnM/view

texta’s

from http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2016/01/printable-baptism-of-jesus-spinner.html

You might need to print:

https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2018-2019?variant=13700704632930 IF purchased this week (about $15 Aus ) it will supply you with colouring in sheets for the next 8 weeks)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0RweH-3RyI0Qkc4MWJGSTZUSnM/view

Down load this App. https://www.bible.com/kids

You might need

straw

sticky tape

texta’s

blue tea towel

baby dolls or other toys (depending on the type of Baptism your church practises)

toy boat

Blessings

Wendy L.

 

A Christmas Revelation

I had a revelation of my own during last Sunday’s service.

The First RCL reading (1 Samuel 2:18-20,26) and the Gospel reading (Luke 2:41-52) were very child centred narratives. And I had missed it, caught up in all the silliness of the season as well as the business of the season I managed to not see what should have been obvious to me. That these 2 narratives contained very strong stories of the “child in the centre”. Both Samuel and Jesus as children, were the centre of the narratives. Both had very strong faith experiences as well as leadership opportunities as a child. In fact, from the 25/12 till the 6/1 we were reading very child centric texts. Not only was Christ born to fulfil God’s plan but his existence was God’s plan. He was not waiting for it to come to a spectacular end but he was living his faith confident of who he was from the beginning.

Contrasting the older story of Samuel with Jesus shines a reminder that children’s participation in faith is not new, it has always been at the heart of God’s purpose. Looking back, we see that like a child, these stories connect past with present with future, even as we hear them in our own time. And that while we also hear at this time of the year the usual themes and stories, that there is still much to explore in the narratives today. For example, the “Jesus was a refugee” theme has been picked up loudly this year, even in Children’s literature (https://www.lostsheep.com.au/stories/jesus-was-a-refugee/). But have we also forgotten that these stories are child centric, and that we need to hear that message too.

The Child Theology Movement, in raising the awareness of the child in our literature and the significance of placing the “child in the middle” (as per Matthew 18:3), asks not just that we read the scripture through this lens but that we apply this understanding in a practical manner. In Matthew, we have a child leading the discussion, in Samuel a little later on (1 Samuel 3:1), he is setting the initiative. Both children are confident in themselves and their faith. We are being given practical examples of how to be inclusive in both narratives, If we do not pause in this busy Christmas time, to not just adore the thought of a baby, to consider the gift of a child, but to render practical application as the Innkeeper did by finding room, then there is plenty of inspiration in these stories to remind us to be that “innkeeper” for a child, from making space in our hearts to making space in our congregations so that all may witness and use their gifts as Samuel and Jesus did as a child.

This week, such a special Sunday, as the Epiphany is celebrated on a Sunday; a child is still the centre of the story, and this time we are shown the practical response of wise men bringing their gifts, gifts that suit what is to go ahead in his life. The practical aspect of this narrative is to discover and use what “gifts” we can bring to the children of our congregations, and all that we encounter, to guide and enhance their life experiences.

God placed a child in our midst

Blessings

Wendy L.

 

 

Epiphany of the Lord: Ideas to help you and your 3’s and under enjoy church and relate to the RCL readings

 Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on.

Remember that you have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

Older children might enjoy https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/illustrated-worship-resources-winter-2018-2019

FIRST READING: Isaiah 60:1-6

READ/LISTEN: When God made Light by Matthew Paul Turner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq7tscmPF7U

MAKE: you will need a black and a white or silver sheet of A4 paper. Glue the perimeter of the black sheet over the white (or silver )sheet. Now tear a hole in the middle, of the black sheet to let the white/silver sheet through. (like a star shining in the night sky)

MEDITATE: Turn on a battery operated candle. Ask the child to sit quietly looking at the candle  for (how ever long the child can sit still, for some children it will be 5 sec for others it might be 30sec.

PSALM 72: 1-7, 10-14

READ: http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-72-long-live-the-king.html

How does this Psalm make you feel? Draw how it makes you feel or show it on your face.

DRAW a King

OR MAKE a crown. CUT out from crepe paper and stick “jewels”(sticky jewels from Spotlight or Riot).

SECOND READING: Ephesians 3:1-12

READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones p.340 PAUL  starting from the sentence “Paul got a new job” until the “stars in the sky”.

 

PRAY: Like Paul did not for individuals but for everyone to know God.

eg. Dear God,

May everyone know how good you are

Amen

 

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 2:1-12

READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones THE KING OF KINGS p.192-198 (Rather a long version but if you already have it with you use it, just break it into small sections and when their attention wains, let them Play.

OR MY First Read aloud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff pp,144-145 The Wise Men

COLOURING IN: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2018-2019?variant=13700704632930

PLAY: with a nativity or make your own http://www.catholicicing.com/diy-printable-nativity-for-kids/ (Hint if you print on heavy paper you do not need the toilet rolls. For hygiene reasons if sharing with others use cardboard rolls.)

You might need to bring

MY First Read aloud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

crepe paper

stick on Jewels

A battery operated candle

nativity that children can play with

black paper

white or silver paper

glue

You might need to print off

https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2018-2019?variant=13700704632930 IF purchased this week (about $15 Aus ) it will supply you with colouring in sheets for the next 9 weeks)

http://www.catholicicing.com/diy-printable-nativity-for-kids/

If you are a small congregation please feel free to print these pages and hand them to parents/guardians as they arrive.

Blessings

Wendy L.

 

Christmas 1C: Ideas to help you and your 3’s and under enjoy church and relate to the RCL readings

 Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on.

Remember that you have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

Older children might enjoy https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/illustrated-worship-resources-winter-2018-2019

FIRST READING: 1 Samual 2:18-20, 26

READ:  The Beginner’s Bible Timeless Children’s stories Hannah’s Prayer pp.156-159

OR  My first read -aloud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff  God Answers a Prayer pp.72-73

Make: a Prayer Jar Draw or write something to pray about and put it in a box ( a decorated chocolate box or a tissue box work well)

PRAY: from your new preyer Jar.

PSALM 148

READ:

Hey, you! Give praise to God! (Flap hand as if calling someone over)
You angels in heaven, sing out glory. (point to the sky)
You stars, sun and moon, shine bright with praise! (twinkle your fingers)
God dreamed you and called you and here you are! (put both hands together like a pillow to put your head on, clasp hands around your mouth like a megaphone, point down at yourself)
You fish and whales and squid, sing praise in the deep. (make a fish with your hands willing in the water)
You elements of nature, fire, rain, wind, (burst your hands apart, wiggle your fingers down, blow)
cold and heat, stone and mountain – praise! (shiver and fan your face with your hand)
God dreamed you and called you and here you are! (put both hands together like a pillow to put your head on, clasp hands around your mouth like a megaphone, point down at yourself)
You plants and forests, praise God as you flower and fruit. (form 2 fists then unfurl your fingers, and the reach up as if picking a piece of fruit from a tree)
You mammals, insects, reptiles and birds – praise! (Wiggle your hand like a snake, then entwine your hands and flutter your fingers)
God dreamed you and called you and here you are! (put both hands together like a pillow to put your head on, clasp hands around your mouth like a megaphone, point down at yourself)
You people, Presidents and nobodies, rich and poor, (waggle your pointer finger)
women and men and girls and boys,
in every corner of planet Earth,
God dreamed you and called you and here you are! (put both hands together like a pillow to put your head on, clasp hands around your mouth like a megaphone, point down at yourself)
So listen out for the Name that is above every Name,
sing out with all the love and joy you can find
for all you are is made by God,
all you have is gift from God.
Calling all creation – come and be found in praise! (flap hand as if calling someone over)

http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-148-calling-all-creation.html by Rev. Purdie actions by me.

Make a face to show how this psalm makes you feel? Maybe Excited, or bored?

A lovely book to read in conjunction with this Psalm is When God made you by Matthew Paul Turner

SECOND READING: Colossians 3:12-17

READ/LISTEN https://his-israel.com/2014/09/28/the-hardest-word-read-by-keren/ The Hardest Word by Jacqueline Jules (This is a long read so don’t expect them to sit through it in one sitting, break it into small section and let them play for a while, or do something else.)

AS Suggested BY http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-december-30-2018/

SING/LISTEN https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/seeds-of-character-vol-6/# NO. 9

PLAY: with paper or timber dress up dolls, or dolls or teddy’s with different outfits or https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/make-and-decorate/crafts/how-to-make-paper-dolls-with-downloadable-patterns.

GOSPEL READING: Luke 2:41-52

READ: The Beginner’s Bible Timeless Children’s stories Jesus is Lost pp.296-302

OR My first read -aloud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff pp. 148-149

COLOURING IN: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2018-2019?variant=13700704632930 IF purchased this week (about $15 Aus ) it will supply you with colouring in sheets for the next 10 weeks)

OR https://ministry-to-children.com/boy-jesus-coloring-page/

PRAY: Help me God

to know like Jesus did

that I belong to you

Amen

 

You might need to bring with you

The Beginner’s Bible Timeless Children’s stories

OR My first read -aloud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff

When God made you by Matthew Paul Turner

chocolate or tissue box

stickers or paper to decorate

paper dress up dolls or dolls or teddy with changes of clothes

To print off

Bible Story Coloring Pages: Winter 2018-2019

OR https://ministry-to-children.com/boy-jesus-coloring-page/

https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/make-and-decorate/crafts/how-to-make-paper-dolls-with-downloadable-patterns.