Sunday Reflection: Easter Sunday C

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All week something has been stirring in me. And no, it’s not the usual Easter Reflection.

When I wrote last week’s blog I had been thinking that it was important to get families to engage with Holy Week even if they had not managed to do a complete Lenten effort, and had suggested they do that by sharing the Bible stories. But that is only the start, it is the lifetime engagement with these stories that grows our faith.

So, it is the deeper engagement that we really are striving for not just the sharing of the stories. Nor is to too late now that we have officially entered the season of Easter to consider ways of engaging the family in the faith stories?

It is what we do with the stories of our faith that becomes important from here on in. Like the disciples found after the resurrection, now was the time to start making sense of all that had happened, time to start revisiting Jesus’s stories and life experience to consider what they meant in the shadow of the cross.

Easter is the time of encounter of the risen Lord, it seems the perfect time to go beyond just story telling and start to fashion a framework in which your family can process the stories and carry their faith with them for life.

So how do you do that?

Some of the worship programs with children in mind might give us some hints.

Godly play is thought of as a great way of story telling, and many churches just use the stories in worship, but that is not the Godly Play practice, it has been set up to involve participation through the Wondering Questions, and response in the craft, and worship in the sacrament or meal. These are easy to do at home.

  • After reading a Bible story ask some simple wondering questions such as a) I wonder what part of this story you like the best?
  • b) I wonder where you are in this story, or what part of the story is about you?
  • c) I wonder what you could leave out of the story?

Berryman explains “There is no predetermined answers to a wondering question. — trust the searching of the children to find what they need with God and the scriptures”[1]

Craft,

  • Let them respond in a non-verbal manner, by letting your child make, draw, create a response that stems from them.
  • Worship
  • Then finally by Sharing a drink and something to eat together, you not just parody communion but give some close non-structured time for any further responses.

 

OR maybe your child is ore active or requires direction then perhaps the Messy church method, which allows play and structured activities to lead into or reinforce ideas and themes may suit your child.

 

An older child might respond by reading a section of the Bible, learning a Bible verse, drawing a response, writing the passage in your own words, if a structured response suits your child. This can be done weekly or each element done on a different day.

OR follow one of the many programs written especially for families, here are some suggestions by Liz Perraud. https://www.genonministries.org/blogs/blog/talking-about-faith-at-home?fbclid=IwAR3LxdiC42IBuOwITsUt3zox01h3aK9zrV-H9sN7lz6CNvbh2b4FYon7yU0

and https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/assets/fyi-files/Engaging_the_Bible_Together.pdf

https://fulleryouthinstitute.org

StarandZ has this great list https://www.strandz.org.nz/families.html

Hopefully you will find something that suits your family.

Blessings

Wendy L

[1]Berryman, Jerome W., The complete Guide to Godly Play Vol. 1, (2006, Moorehouse Education Resources, Houston), p.56

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EASTER 6 YEAR C: Ideas to help you share this weeks RCL readings with the 3’s and under.

How wonderful that you have bought your young child to church, don’t waste this opportunity to share the faith stories and experience the wonder of worship.

If you are a parent or Guardian

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.

Sing or sway during the Hymns

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. Don’t throw these out when you leave the church. Keep them at home in a special box, and bring them out to remind your child what has been happening or use as future prayer points.

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.

If you are a small congregation without a Child and Family Minister have an area available near the front for parents/guardians to worship with their children, and print off this information so that it is readily available or direct them to this site. Set up an area with books and toys in it that will enhance their spiritual experience. (Ie not just toys for “keeping them quiet”).Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! andMake the books appealing

If you would like these ideas as a PDF file sent to you each week, please contact me.

 

FIRST READING; Acts 16:9-15 Lydia and Paul in Macedonia

READ: My First Read aloud Bible by Batchelor and   pp.244-245

OR Brave Girls Bible Stories pp.178-181

Colouring In https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-spring-2019 PURCHASE IS DOWNLOADABLE  AND IS IN AMERICAN DOLLARS FOR 14 WEEKS (11WEEKS IN)

PLay: Can you reenact this story with your toys.

 

PSALM 67 Everyone Praise

God, our God, be good to us and bless us (hold your hands in prayer)
make your face to shine upon us (trace your face with your finger)
make your ways known in all the earth (hold your hands as if they were a book)
show your saving power in all the nations. (shield your eyes as if looking into a bright light

God, our God, has been good to us and blessed us (Hold your hands in prayer)
God is blessing us now and will keep on blessing. (point to an imaginary watch)
All you peoples – praise our God! (hold your hands out at about head level)
All you nations – be glad, sing for joy! (make a happy face)
For God rules with justice and peace ( point your finger)
and guides all the nations (hold your hand out with the palm up)
God brings forth goodness on the earth.
All you peoples – praise our God! (hold your hands out at about head level)
To the very ends of the earth – (look into the distance)
honour and rejoice in God! (look very happy)

Words from Rev. Purdie http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-67-all-you-peoples-praise.html actions boys me

How does this Psalm make you feel? Make a face, Happy or Sad?

 

SECOND READING: Revelation 21:10,22-22:5 New Heaven

READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible pp.246-247

DO: look at all the lights in your church, candles, windows, roof lights, etc, look at your phone light, show the sun and the moon, (don’t look directly at the sun. Now look at things that aren’t light, pews, books, people. Talk about how God can shine out of these things. Don’t expect them to understand this concept yet. This “game” is about starting to hear about Christian ideas and terms. 

PRAY

Let your Light

shine out God

Amen

 

GOSPEL READING: John 14:23-29

READ/WATCH: Llama Llama misses Mama https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xB6i1ReuT8 as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-may-26-2019/ read the exploration to see why this is a good fit for this reading.

DRAW: Fold an A4 paper into thirds.

Draw a heart on the first third

Draw a Peace sign on the Second third

Draw a cross on the third third.

Let your child colour them in, or copy the shapes if they are closer to 3 years old.

PRAY

with your sheet from the above Draw suggestion.

Point to each drawing in turn

saying

Help my heart to be yours God

My we live in peace

With faith in you

Amen

OR John 5:1-9

Read/Watch: https://ministry-to-children.com/healing-at-the-pool/ Very long for this age group so you might want to watch the video in small time bites. You could stop the video at 4.30 minutes mark for the little ones. Perfect for mid-to senior primary school kids.

CRAFT: for 3.95US$ you can down load this craft from https://www.daniellesplace.com/html/bible-themes-bear-burdens.html#lesson

PLAY: act out the story using your toys.

Blessings

Wendy L.

Sunday’s Reflection: 19/5/2019 Stats, Stats and ??

Not only does the Northern hemisphere seem to be warming up with conferences interesting anyone involved in Child and Family Ministry. In the past few weeks we have had Orange, http://orangeblogs.orgin the USA, though generously available to anyone “upside down” who is able to be sleep deprived with live internet sessions; Messy Church,https://www.messychurch.org.uk in the UK, and InterGenerate 2019 http://www.intergenerateconference.com

USA, about to start. Such a collection of people and ideas involved in Children’s or Intergenerational ministry, is indicative of how important Ministry with children is now.

 

But there is something else emerging with the warming weather, a collection of long needed statistics.

MessyChurchhttps://churcharmy.org/Groups/319979/Church_Army/web/What_we_do/Research_Unit/Playfully_Serious/Playfully_Serious.aspx?redirected=1

were the first stats out of the northern winter, followed by the publishing of a paper in the Journal of Research on Christian Education on the Impact of a Paid Children, Youth or Family Worker on Anglican Congregations in England ://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10656219.2019.1593267?journalCode=urce20, and then the publishing of the data from the Gen On questionnaire completed by congregations, worldwide.https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0177/8392/files/Faith_Formation_in_Churches_Research_Report.pdf?160

https://www.genonministries.org/blogs/blog/update-experts-help-genon-envision-future-of-intergenerational-church?fbclid=IwAR2IMzaJsi70qPTOZqDRVYX5IdS5eDex-ydsqMn1XKnrne185HZDnFV4D-Y

 

Before we hurry, and we should with great excitement, towards the statistics, we should also stop and ask a few questions. It is important to be aware of the aims of the studies and where they are from. Does data coming from the Northern Hemisphere reflect the social realities of the Southern Hemisphere? What of these statistics is universal, and what are cultural? really must be one of the first questions we ask ourselves in the Southern Hemisphere. Also, we should ask ourselves Who produced the statistic? under what conditions? and we need to ask ourselves if we believe we would get similar results in our own culture.

Unfortunately, Australia lags with statistical research around Child and Family Ministry and there would appear to be several reasons for this. The first is that getting research trials involving children through values committees is harder, more complicated than in any other time in Australian history. Second, We don’t have access to data banks with the types of statistics required, though you can put in a request to https://cra.org.auor https://mccrindle.com.au/about/ to see, but as many Uniting Church in Australia have not replied to their questionnaires, there is little, especially Victorian data available. Also, to access what is available requires money.

When we combine with the Northern hemisphere our data is minute and makes no difference to the statistics. For example, only 32 Australian churches and 5 New Zealand churches are represented in the Gen On data, less than 3 %.

But it is Data, and I have been asking for data for a few years now, primarily because Ministers and congregations have been asking for proof of the need to move away from the Sunday School model that most church council members grew up with. Until now, all I and others involved in Child and Family Ministry, have had available to us is Theory, primarily borrowed from educational and spirituality theorists, and Biblical basis grown out of the Child Theology Movement. A form of theological analysis not encountered in the traditional form and structure exegesis.[1] and Child Theology a Theological Response by Francis Young in  Anvil Vol.35 Issue 1 https://churchmissionsociety.org/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/Anvil_Complete_Volume_35_issue_1_2019_low_res.pdf

Asking congregations to trust, to have faith in a new structure has been difficult for many. It has worn out many involved in Child and Family Ministry. I am not saying that the incoming statistics will solve our capacity to sell change, but that it is another resource available to congregations to help guide social and structural changes in the education of our young. But we also need to be wary of using data without due consideration and which may not reflect our cultural experience. And may I encourage more garden variety data of our own. And we have had some https://theconversation.com/new-research-shows-australian-teens-have-complex-views-on-religion-and-spirituality-103233

Dr Vivien Mountain, Children’s Prayer: Multi-faith Perspectives (2016, Christian Research Association, Nunawading)

 

Blessings

Wendy L.

[1]Bunge, Marcia J. (ed), The Child in the Bible, (2008, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids)

EASTER 5 YEAR C: Ideas to help you share this weeks RCL readings with the 3’s and under.

How wonderful that you have bought your young child to church, don’t waste this opportunity to share the faith stories and experience the wonder of worship.

If you are a parent or Guardian

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.

If you are a small congregation without a Child and Family Minister have an area available near the front for parents/guardians to worship with their children, and print off this information so that it is readily available or direct them to this site. Set up an area with books and toys in it that will enhance their spiritual experience. (Ie not just toys for “keeping them quiet”).Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! andMake the books appealing

If you would like these ideas as a PDF file sent to you each week, please contact me.

FIRST READING: Acts: 11:1-18

READ: Who is my Neighbour by Amy-Hill-Levine and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso https://www.amazon.com.au/Who-My-Neighbor-Amy-Jill-Levine-ebook/dp/B07NZ81MK8/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=Who+is+my+Neighbour&qid=1557820492&s=gateway&sr=8-5 available to purchase as a KInDle Book

Colouring-In: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-spring-2019 PURCHASE IS DOWNLOADABLE  AND IS IN AMERICAN DOLLARS FOR 14 WEEKS (10 WEEKS IN)

PLAY: let them play with the food toys or tea sets, Who will they invite? Who would God invite?

PRAY:

God made a wonderful

Good Food

Good People

To share

Amen

PSALM 148

Psalm 148: Calling all creation!

Hey, you! Give praise to God! (make a motion with your hand as if you are calling someone over) 
You angels in heaven, sing out glory. (Open your mouth wide as if to sing)
You stars, sun and moon, shine bright with praise! (hold your hands up and wiggle your fingers)
God dreamed you and called you and here you are! (stamp your feet)
You fish and whales and squid, sing praise in the deep. (place your palms together and wiggle your hands like a fishing darting here and there)
You elements of nature, fire, rain, wind, ( wiggling yours hands as you move them from your head to your waist)
cold and heat, stone and mountain – praise! (wrap your arms around your body as if keeping warm)
God dreamed you and called you and here you are! (stamp your feet)
You plants and forests, praise God as you flower and fruit. (place your hands together then open out your finger tips like a bud opening )
You mammals, insects, reptiles and birds – praise! (crawl you fingers up your other arm like a bug crawling)
God dreamed you and called you and here you are! (stamp your feet)
You people, Presidents and nobodies, rich and poor, (wiggle you pointer finger as if calling someone over)
women and men and girls and boys, (point your finger as if counting a lot of people)
in every corner of planet Earth, (make a circle with your fingers)
God dreamed you and called you and here you are! (stamp your feet)
So listen out for the Name that is above every Name, (cup your hand around your ear)
sing out with all the love and joy you can find (make a heart with your hands)
for all you are is made by God, (stand tall)
all you have is gift from God. (point to yourself)
Calling all creation – come and be found in praise! (clap your hands)

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

A lovely book to read/watch with this is When God made You by Matthew Paul Turner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spwy5Ig4sPw

DRAW: all the things that God made.

SECOND READING: Revelation 21:1-6

READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones pp.346-347

OR The Beginner’s Bible p.507

OR My First Read-aloud Bible  By Batchelor and Boshoff p.253

PLAY: Build with blocks, build a wonderful city and then how would the people behave in that wonderful city.

PRAY: As you place a block, pray a prayer of Hope for a future with God, you could name certain people or name certain things you want God to make new.

GOSPEL READING: John 13:31-35

READ: The Lion Storybook Bible, A New Commandment, p.205

PLAY: play with your toys. A great place to practice being a loving community.

DRAW: a love heart on a piece of paper and draw all the people you love in it.

PRAY: God you told us

To love (make a love heart)

Everyone.

Please help me (point to yourself)

To do that

Amen

Blessings

Wendy L.

 

 

Sunday Reflection Acts 9:36-43

For some of you that read Tuesday’s blog overnight or early in the morning Melbourne time, you may have noticed that I made a mistake in the first version, which I adjusted later. In the original version, I was concentrating so much on the Good Shephard motif that it had slipped my mind that the first Reading on the Revised Common Lectionary for this Sunday Easter 4 was the story of Tabitha. If you were looking for a more appropriate seethe into the concept of Mother’s Day. There it was. But initially l overlooked it.

I wonder how many will also have looked at the later readings giving precedent to the shepherd theme?

But we would all be missing out. What a story, do we have in the first reading, and not just because Peter was coming into his powers and like Jesus was continuing with the use of them for all in the community.

This is also a story of community, of intergeneration’s, of how one member can encourage the whole community to work together.

Tabitha, also known as Dorcas. Living under two names was not unusual in Diaspora communities where the birth or community name would also have a name that is appropriate for the Greek’s in which wider community she is living. In Australia, it is still such a common situation that we see migrant communities where the given name and the commonly used name are different. Though I have noticed that thankfully this is changing. But this story is already reaching across time to today’s Australia due to this small detail. We see a little later in Acts how Paul uses name to disassociate from his pre -Christian persona by changing his name from Saul. A tradition that is still practiced in some Christian communities. When women become mother’s, we gain another name, a very common one that is shared by everyone else in that situation. My eldest child learnt before she went to school, that if she called out that generic name, she would get the attention of most women around her at the time, so she took to calling me by my given name when she wanted me in public. Our name defines us.

Tabitha/Dorcas was a woman significant enough to name, significant enough to describe and significant enough for her community to summon the great man Peter. We do not know if Tabitha was a mother, or even a wife as the most important descriptor, of her is as a disciple. And this is where I see the seethe into today’s other event, Mother’s Day, because it was not what Tabitha was known for in her community but rather that she was first and foremost a disciple. So though today we acknowledge mothers in all their complexities, the greater title, the one we all want, is Disciple. We are not missing out, by not having children, or being male. We are unified by our faith, by our common descriptor, disciple.

If we look deeper into the description of Tabitha/Dorcas it is about her good works and acts of charity, today we would expect to find a description of how she looked or what she wore. But no, it’s about her contribution to community, and as Disciple is the first descriptor these actions flow from that faith. This descriptor reminds me of something I had read about women’s faith development “for most, spirituality was rooted firmly in the everyday, mundane world of work”[1], Slee, moves on to say that much of what women do in their faith, goes unrecognised, and yet here it is these very elements of her discipleship that define and elevate her.

Tabitha/Dorcas had her faith, in all elements of her life and thus her story fits comfortable in the shepherd motif as a description of faithful servitude, even in death. But it still has much to tell us independently. Do not overlook the faithful Tabitha’s in your community, regardless of their age, or gender. This is a wonderful story worth sharing on its own.

 

For a children’s version, you can find Tabitha retold in Brave Girls Bible Stories by Jennifer Gerhelds (2014,Tommy Nelson, Nashville)

OR Forgotten Bible Stories  By Margaret Mc Allister illustrated by Alida Massari, ( 2016 Lion Children’s, Oxford)

[1]Slee, Nicola, “Women’s Faith Development, Patterns and Processes” (2004, Ashgate, Surrey ) p.170

EASTER 4 YEAR C: Ideas to help you share this weeks RCL readings with the 3’s and under.

How wonderful that you have bought your young child to church, don’t waste this opportunity to share the faith stories and experience the wonder of worship.

If you are a parent or Guardian

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.

If you are a small congregation without a Child and Family Minister have an area available near the front for parents/guardians to worship with their children, and print off this information so that it is readily available or direct them to this site. Set up an area with books and toys in it that will enhance their spiritual experience. (Ie not just toys for “keeping them quiet”).Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! andMake the books appealing

If you would like these ideas as a PDF file sent to you each week, please contact me.

FIRST READING: Acts 9: 36-43 The story of Tabitha and Peter

READ Brave Girls Bible Stories,  Love in Action pp.183-187

Colouring-In: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-spring-2019 PURCHASE IS DOWNLOADABLE  AND IS IN AMERICAN DOLLARS FOR 14 WEEKS (9 WEEKS IN)

MAKE: Make Mum or a special women in your life a Mother’s day card. A simple card, can be made  by folding an A4 sheet in half , drawing on the front page and a simple I love you Mum/Grandma etc on the inside facing page.

Take the authors description of Tabitha as a guide and draw those things you really appreciate about your Mum or a special woman.

PRAY

You are wonderful God

Now try and draw a continuous line from a spot at the centre of the page until it spirals out to fill the page.

PSALM 23

READ/WATCH: https://www.lostsheep.com.au/stories/cecil-and-psalm-23/

Colouring_in free download when you scroll down, also the buttons make a great sequencing game as a way of retelling the story

OR you can buy an activities book to download which will have more than enough activities.

SECOND READING: Revelation 7:9-17 Sheppard motif

READ: The Jesus story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones middle pages of A Dream Of Heaven

Sing: https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/seeds-of-praise-vol-3/# number 3

PLAY: with toy sheep, pull out the blocks and make paddocks let them move the sheep around. Let them be the shepherd.

GOSPEL READING: John 10:22-30 Are you the Messiah?

Today’s reading comes after the Good Shepherd paragraphs, but précised  and with an important spin on who Jesus is. I suggest that you retell the story of the Lost Sheep.

READ/WATCH: https://www.lostsheep.com.au/stories/cecil-the-lost-sheep/

Colouring In: Buy and Down load the activity book that comes with this story, you will have lots of activities for old ad young.

PLAY: with toy sheep, pull out the blocks and make paddocks let them move the sheep around. Let them be the shepherd.

 

Blessings

Wendy L.

Reflection on Easter 3 Readings

Rarely do we get four readings that are so full of imagery and story that they equally delight old and young. We have the story of the Conversion of Paul, a wonderful rejoicing Psalm,

(which for what it’s worth, reminds me of the single Head above Water by Avril Lavigne), a snippet from Revelation and the story of the third sighting of Jesus after the resurrection as recorded in the Book of John, a wonderful set of images of fisherman. Today is not a day I would like to be responsible for the leading of the congregation, no, I lie, it is the day I would love to have that responsibility.

Regardless of whether you are using a traditional or more experimental form of worship, there is one overriding detail, most in ministry may overlook, and that is that these readings require a degree of imagination to process them.

Dripping with metaphor, these readings use everyday images to tease out a thought, so it goes beyond what is written. Thus, we have the light, blinded and blinding Saul, so that in his blindness he may truly see the unseeable. Psalm 30 juxtaposing negative with positive images, so strongly that it sounds like a modern day mental health advertisement.  Revelation, written entirely in metaphor, shouts a cacophony of sound through this passage, as we imagine the singing. Then in the third sighting of Jesus, we have the metaphor of baptism in Peter’s action, an image of nakedness that recall Genesis and beginnings, the recounting of the three denials in Peter’s response to Jesus’s questions, and the metaphor of fishers “of men”. The words all building up a picture beyond the word as written. Stretched by our imagination.

But all of this starts in the concrete, in the things we have around us, that we can feel see and touch. As children, we learn about the concrete world around us through our senses, we become concrete thinkers, before we start to understand metaphor. This view is also expressed in the work of Montessori, where she used play with everyday objects, to teach children, who inoculated their learning back into their families in the ghetto in Rome.

In our congregations, we have all these thinkers, those who are learning from the concrete and those who can jump immediately to the metaphor, some will be happy with the images in their head, other’s will be inspired by a visual or a physical response from those wanting to have the swim, to those creating verbal or visual images. How much permission we give people to explore in or beyond worship is important to their faith development because without imagination we fail to grow, in this case in our faith.

 

For further reading try Godly Play An Imaginative Approach to Religious Education by Jerome W. Berryman Chap.6 (1991, Augsburg, NY)

And Beyond Literal Belief: Religion as Metaphor by David Tacey (2015, Garratt Publishing, Mulgrave)

Blessings

Wendy L.

EASTER 3 YEAR C: Ideas to help you share this weeks RCL readings with the 3’s and under.

How wonderful that you have bought your young child to church, don’t waste this opportunity to share the faith stories and experience the wonder of worship.

If you are a parent or Guardian

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.

If you are a small congregation without a Child and Family Minister have an area available near the front for parents/guardians to worship with their children, and print off this information so that it is readily available or direct them to this site. Set up an area with books and toys in it that will enhance their spiritual experience. (Ie not just toys for “keeping them quiet”).Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! andMake the books appealing

If you would like these ideas as a PDF file sent to you each week, please contact me.

FIRST READING: Acts 9:1-6 (7-20) The Conversion of Saul

READ: The Beginner’s Bible, A Changed Man, pp.488-493

OR The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones pp. 337-338

OR My first Read aLoud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff, Jesus speaks to Paul, pp.240-241

COLOURING -IN https://ministry-to-children.com/pauls-conversion-sequenced-coloring-page/

PLAY: use your toys to retell the story of Saul meeting Christ and being helped by Ananias.

PSALM 30

Psalm 30: Joy in the morning

The night was dark, but joy came with the morning.
I was so sick I thought I would die,
but you healed me, you helped me, you saved me!
You turned my sadness into dancing!
You took off my weeping and dressed me in joy!
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.

from http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-30-joy-in-the-morning.html

How does this Psalm make you feel? or use https://e2epublishing.info/posters/ (scroll down a long way to find them) 

SECOND READING: Revelation 5:11-14

READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible By Sally Lloyd-Jones pp.344-345 the 2 middle paragraphs.

SING a song, sing it softly if you are going to affect others nearby.

DRAW: a wonderful place that makes you feel so happy you want to sing.

POINT OUT all the times you will sing during the service.

The image of the lamb is used in this passage, you might want to have a toy lamb with you to play with. Explain that it is one of the images we use for Christ. ( your child will not understand now but in time this will start to make sense to them, especially as the imagery reoccurs during the church year.)

 

GOSPEL READING: John 21:1-19 The third sighting after the resurrection.

READ: Peter and the Big Breakfast by https://www.lostsheep.com.au/stories/peter-and-the-big-breakfast/

OR The Beginner’s Bible, A net full of fish pp. 462-465

DO: You might like to purchase the downloadable activity book that goes along with the Lost Sheep story Peter and the Big Breakfast.

OR Print off the freebie bookmarks and use them to retell the story.

Colouring in:https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-spring-2019 PURCHASE IS DOWNLOADABLE  AND IS IN AMERICAN DOLLARS FOR 14 WEEKS (8 WEEKS IN)

CRAFT:  make a three dimensional picture of the fishing boat and net

You will need 1 paper plate

2 different blue colours of paper, cut one larger than the other in a wave shape

I small bamboo serving basket https://www.partysavers.com.au/products/wooden-boats-14cm-50pk?variant=12164402249842&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&gclid=Cj0KCQjwh6XmBRDRARIsAKNInDGJK0wc0iRXqSVlE4iWlDqdHVrTA5Hbv3Ae_aUpok1yU2gzn5mc0T0aAkbZEALw_wcB

1 fruit net, Usually found around lemons or limes

Glue, paper as waves onto paper plate, glue the bamboo serving basket in the middle of the plate.

Cut out and colour in simple fish shapes, then place them in the “net”

You could even make peg people/disciples to your 3 D picture if you want to.

(sorry at present my camera is not working so no picture – send me pictures of your wonderful creations)

Blessings

Wendy L.

Sunday Reflection Easter 2 Year C How do we learn?

As a child, I was fascinated by the imagery of Thomas putting his hands into the holes in Christ hands, it was vivid and gruesome and made me happy that I wasn’t Thomas, that I didn’t have to satisfy my faith with such a tactile expression.

As a teacher, the story of Thomas reminds me that we all learn in different ways and that some children will learn by doing. They are the Thomas’s of the world. But the thing with learning styles is that we don’t just stop being a tactile, or kinesetic learner just because we are, well, more elderly.

So, what do we do with our “Thomas’s” in our congregations, the ones that need to act on their faith or test it. Most congregations put these handy people to good use, in making things for the community, in tasking them with collection, greeting duties or making cups of tea. But what of the children?

They are equally handy at doing these many tasks, and in doing so they become Christlike and offer Christ in their expression of action.

It was only 20 years ago that I could not get resources to help my severely dyslexic daughter explore faith. But things have thankfully changed and very few resources use only one learning style in their programs. Sadly, she was never encouraged to participate productively in church community. It is not surprising that she shuns formalised worship, associating it with things she can’t do rather than finding faith is more than that. (She did though surprise me this Easter by attending a worship service near her home,)

I don’t know where the statement “Faith is belief in things we do not understand”, comes from, but it flies in the faith of how I understand some people learn. They do need to see it, participate in it to find it.

These days there are many varied resources, using different learning methodology for our children to participate in.

One I’m particularly fond of is the Flame Creative Kids blog http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com, which uses, many kinesetic methods. The prayers that come out of this blog are wonderful for all ages and would satisfy all “Thomas’s” in your congregation old and young. If you thought prayer was a verbal conversation with God, this blog will have you thinking again. http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/search?q=Prayer

A path prayer which is no longer on the site, is one of my all time favourites, where the 80 year olds seemed to appreciate it even more than the children! A physical prayer, standing on different surfaces.

I have taken my thoughts in a direction very different to the usual interpretation of this passage, and I can understand how many would prefer to dwell on the more traditional element of doubt and belief, I am not denying that it is a strong, if not the major motif in this passage. Just that I can see something else too.

Blessings

Wendy L.

EASTER 2 YEAR C: Ideas to help you share this weeks RCL readings with the 3’s and under.

If you are a parent or Guardian

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.

If you are a small congregation without a Child and Family Minister have an area available near the front for parents/guardians to worship with their children, and print off this information so that it is readily available or direct them to this site. Set up an area with books and toys in it that will enhance their spiritual experience. (Ie not just toys for “keeping them quiet”).Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! andMake the books appealing

If you would like these ideas as a PDF file sent to you each week, please contact me.

FIRST READING: ACTS 5:27-32 WITNESS

READ: The Early Readers Bible pp.467-469

DRAW: Can you draw a picture that tells a story?

PLAY: with sequence cards or blocks to make up a story. You could use the bookmarks from The Lost sheep website to retell the resurrection of Jesus https://www.lostsheep.com.au/stories/mary-and-the-gardener/

PRAY:

Let me be your witness God

Amen

 

PSALM 118:14-29

READ/WATCH: I WILL REJOICE by Karen Wilson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmSUgxqOHAE

COLOURING-IN :https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/lent/products/psalms-coloring-posters?variant=5702410895392 You may have bought this series last year so check your download folder.

SING: https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/when-you-lie-down-lullabies-scripture-songs/# NUMBER 4

 

OR PSALM 150 PRAISE HIM

Psalm 150: Everything praise!

Have you heard? Our God is great! (spread out our arms up and away from your body)
Galaxies – spin with praise. (turn around in a circle)
People – dance and sing. (do a dance)
Play the music, louder, louder! (pretend to play an instrument or if you can make a noise pick up a musical instrument)
Trumpets, organ, cymbals, guitar. (pretend or actually play these instruments)
Creatures, everything that lives – (pretend to pat an animal)
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (spread out our arms up and away from your body)

Thanks again to http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-150-kiwi-praise.html actions by me

SHOW/FIND: a VERY happy face.

SECOND READING: REVELATION 1:4-8 Beginning and the End

READ The Jesus storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones read the second last page from “It was hard to squeeze ——-perfect home once again”

MAKE: fold a piece of ribbon or a paper strip into an infinite loop. Instead of joining the ends the same way up, join them up and down putting a twist into the paper or ribbon.

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Let them draw a continual line around the loop to see what happens.

 

GOSPEL READING: JOHN 20:19-31 TALE OF DOUBTING THOMAS

READ: The Lion Picture Bible, He is alive.340-343

OR My First Read -a -loud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff, pp. 230-231 Thomas Believes.

COLOURING-IN: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-spring-2019 PURCHASE IS DOWNLOADABLE  AND IS IN AMERICAN DOLLARS FOR 14 WEEKS (7 WEEKS IN)

DO: this is a great story to retell using their toys or by making a felt board using stiffened felt as the back board and cutting out characters from felt. So they can retell the story.

Blessings

Wendy L.