After Pentecost 9B: Ideas to help the 3’s and under connect with the RCL readings for this Sunday.

These are suggestions only to help parents engage their children in services that use the Revised Common Lectionary. They can be used by parents or those who help out in small congregations that can not afford to pay Child and Families Ministry. Some congregations use all 4 readings in their services others only two. 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.

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

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

You might need to prepare these in advance, and place them in a special Church Bag ready to go for Sunday Morning.

COLOURING-IN:  https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-summer-2018 Will get you 14 colouring in pages, that is 14 Sundays worth and I will  refer to them over the coming weeks.

http://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/651817/Human-Body-outline.pdf

teaxta’s

paper or Journal

The Jesus Storybook Bible

Building blocks

toys that can be individual pieces, ie puzzles, or take apart toys ie. teddy with a jumper or shoes etc. (no small ingestible parts for the under 3’s).

 

FIRST READING: 2 Samual 7: 1-14a

READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible p.130, The Good Shepherd don’t read last paragraph

OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iqu0Aj0zKac Where does God live by Holly Bea thanks to http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-december-24-2017/

DRAW: all the places God lives

PLAY: If you were to make a home for God, what would it be like? Use building blocks to make it. 

PSALM 89:20-37

 Who do you think is talking in this Psalm? 

Are they proud of David? DRAW a proud face.

DRAW something from one of the verses.

Who is steadfast/always there always dependable in your life? DRAW them.

SECOND READING: EPHESIANS 2: 11-22

PLAY with any toy/s that come apart but need to be there to make it work, eg a puzzle for the older ones in this age bracket, wooden take apart toy for the younger ones

Colour in: a person, http://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/651817/Human-Body-outline.pdf

paying attention to the different parts, head, feet, arms, etc.

PRAY: Block Prayer

As you build something pray with each block ie block 1 for mum and Dad, block 2 for those who are ill, block 3 for those who are alone, etc

GOSPEL READING: Mark 6: 30-34, 54-56

READ/WATCH: The Jesus Storybook Bible p.236 The Captain of the storm leave off the last paragraph. OR p.228 The Singer OR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA3blQB1psU FIVE MINUTES PEACE BY  JILL MURPHY from https://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2015/06/year-b-proper-11-16th-sunday-in.html

COLOURING-IN:  https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-summer-2018 

PRAY: Lord Jesus 

Like you I need to rest (put your hands to the side of your head and rest your head on them)

So I have the energy to help others (bounce up)

Amen

Blessings

Wendy L.

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COMMUNITY

As it is naidoc week I should put a post on inclusiveness or the best Aboriginal faith sites I am aware of, something! But I’m choosing not to write anything, because my voice is truely unworthy during such a significant week.

I will say that I appreciate the strength of stories, my faith stories have great power, they are an important intergenerational teaching tool. It is one of the premises behind the Tuesday posts on engaging the 3’s and under in the RCL readings. For the same reasons  the stories of our first nation people, those they choose to share as well as the ones that they especially keep for themselves, have power. It is our loss if we fail to listen to these stories, both those over time, and the newer stories.

What I do feel lead to share this week is my thoughts on community, stories are a part of that, but so is song. This is where I really should begin. After a day of flights, it was another airport and another half day, at least till I was near home. I had gone through another security point, and I was feeling tense, when I heard a young women’s voice, with unmistakable Aussie accent, I looked around and there was a Mum singing to her preschooler. The smile immediately went back on my face, and I hope she saw it, and interpreted it favourably. I noticed that people ahead of me in my queue must have also heard it, as the general body language appeared to change. This Mum was creating a shared response, a feeling of community.

To me it was a typical playgroup moment. I wondered if they had learnt the song at a playgroup, christian or otherwise. It started me thinking of the very important place our playgroups have in creating community. Often a Child and Family ministry requires a playgroup, often it is seen as outreach or church building, and it definitely has that role, but often when measured against that role it fails. Very few playgroups flow through to increased church numbers. Though some congregations have found the “formulae” that makes it work. But what if we are measuring their success inadequately? What if the value they add is community, and the creation of the community beyond the church fence is the outcome. Does the presence of the playgroup add goodwill from our neighbours to us?

These were some of my thoughts as I whittled away the hours til I was home. My favourite place in the world. But for a moment I felt “home” in a strange country, for a moment by the familiar sound of an accent singing, and like that child I was transported to a feeling of security by a song, and I felt a part of a broader community, not alienated in it.

Blessings

Wendy L

After Pentecost 8B: Some ideas to help share the RCL readings with the 3’s and under

These are suggestions only to help parents engage their children in services that use the Revised Common Lectionary. They can be used by parents or those who help out in small congregations that can not afford to pay Child and Families Ministry. Some congregations use all 4 readings in their services others only two. 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.

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

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

You might need to prepare these in advance, and place them in a special Church Bag ready to go for Sunday Morning.

The Lion Story Bible https://www.koorong.com/search/product/the-lion-story-bible-sophie-piper-ruth-rivers/9780745964003.jhtml

The Beginners Bible for Toddlers https://www.word.com.au/The-Beginners-Bible-for-Toddlers/Kathryn-De-Vries/9781859857410

http://www.hazelmitchell.com/activity-pages DOWNLOAD and PRINT  2nd item on first row

COLOURING-IN:  https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-summer-2018 Will get you 14 colouring in pages, that is 14 Sundays worth and I will  refer to them over the coming weeks.

http://www.hazelmitchell.com/activity-pages DOWNLOAD and PRINT  2nd item on first row

Building Blocks

plain paper, paper plates or Journal

texta’s

handkerchief, or 15x15cm of material or 15cm strip of crepe streamer

FIRST READING: Samual 6:1-5, 12b-19

READ: The Lion Story Bible p.10 David’s city

and The Beginners Bible for Toddlers p. 49 helps explain what an ARK is in the context of this reading.

DO: encourage your child to dance or move to the Hymns today if your congregation is concentrating on this Reading. At least give them a small handkerchief or 15cm square of material, or a 15cm strip of crepe streamer, to wave in time to the beat.

MAKE: Build with blocks all the places we find God, Houses, churches, bus stops, stables, the list is endless i;m sure they’ll add to it.

Psalm 24

COLOURING-IN:  https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-summer-2018

HAND PLAY: Entwine your fingers so they are hanging down.

Form the thumbs into a steeple

Say: Here is the Church

and Here is the steeple

Open the doors and let in the people.

SECOND READING: EPHESIANS 1: 3-14

READ/WATCH If you can not find Toby by Hazel Mitchell. Here is an excerpt on You tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TgIF-6Yo1o talk about how difficult it can be to fit in, but God loves us so much like the little boy in Toby he patiently helps us be a part of His family 

suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-july-15-2018/

COLOURING-IN: http://www.hazelmitchell.com/activity-pages DOWNLOAD and PRINT  2nd item on first row

OR DRAW your own view of what it is like to be part of God’s family

PRAY: Thank you Lord

That you want me

to be a part of Your family

Amen

GOSPEL READING: MARK 6:14-29

READ: NO modern children’s book I checked had the story of John the Baptist’s Death.

Usually I would suggest a children’s story book or a video about promises, but for me, that just muddies this story. We tell the Easter story of Jesus death, so I suggest you retell this reading, very simply like this

Jesus’s cousin John, died, when an important, but weak man made a bad promise, that he kept even though he knew it was wrong. This made Jesus sad.

You could then read http://www.hazelmitchell.com/activity-pages DOWNLOAD and PRINT  2nd item on first rowor watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrhbrxcGEBM

DRAW: a picture of a Sad face, or make a sad face on a plate.

or make a black and white picture of something that makes you sad.

PRAY:

Help me to make promises that You approve of God, Amen

Does being Intergenerational mean some topics are off limits?

Looking ahead at the lectionary I noticed there are a few difficult topics coming up in the next few week.

How do we deal with the difficult issues or stories when there are children in the congregation. Do we put the ideas or stories aside and fail to address them because they are not socially acceptable or may be disturbing for some members of the congregation.

Or do we plough on indiscriminately. And what do we do if there are children listening in?  If we do not address, unsavoury issues, unsocial or difficult issues than whose voice will our children be hearing about these topics?

With all the buzz about intergenerational and worshipping with children, do we only deal with the “kid friendly” topics when we are being intergenerational?

Or by discriminating between child and adult friendly topics and ideas are we all ready distorting the concept of intergenerational worship?

With all the talk about protecting our children, surely what they are listening too becomes part of that area of protection.

As is often the case there is no easy or one size fits all answer. Having worked in a fully integrated traditional intergenerational worship situation, my experience has told me that children will hear what interests them, and very successfully screen out the rest of the service. But this does not allow us to discuss all topics freely. We, as adults, also need to be discriminating when we talk with children around us.

We know that children can become desensitised, or stressed easily and it is not in anyone’s interest for that to happen. The age and stage of the child makes a huge difference too in knowing what to say. The under 3’s are learning language and are not ready yet to understand the pro’s and con’s of a situation.

While it may be important that a teenager or young adult has the space to explore new ideas and disturbing content, but never without the consent of their parent or guardian.

Nor do we want our young to feel that morality does not have a faith component.

As we tip toe through this fast running current of ideas and stories, it is difficult not to be splashed by the fallback of opinion surrounding our decisions. We have to be confident that we have not closed doors that should be open or disturbed or distressed unnecessarily, those we need to care for. Being able to explain your reasons is a small outcome for the privilege of sharing deeply our faith, and the rules of conduct and child safety are scaffolding necessary to protect us all and guide our decisions.

Blessings

Wendy L.

After Pentecost 7B: Ideas to help the 3’s and under connect with this Sunday’s RCL

Hi I’m back, this is a little late but then it is here, unlike the glitch that left you without this page over the last month.

It might be handy to prepare a special “Sunday bag” in advance with everything ready for Sunday Morning.

You may need to prepare in advance

The new season of https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-summer-2018 Will get you 14 colouring in pages, that is 14 Sundays worth and I will  refer to them over the coming weeks. To reduce the cost further, you could share with other families or ask your church to purchase them for you. Note this is a USA publication so the season  for them is Summer, and the price is in US$, so it will cost a little more and possible attract international transaction charges depending on whom your credit card is with)

The Lion Picture Bible https://www.koorong.com/search/product/the-lion-picture-bible-sarah-dodd/9780745963037.jhtml

The Lion Story Bible, https://www.koorong.com/search/product/the-lion-story-bible-sophie-piper-ruth-rivers/9780745964003.jhtml

Toys,

cardboard or crepe paper,

texta’s

plain paper or Journal

 

FIRST READING: 2 Samual 5: 1-5, 9-10.

READ: The Lion Picture Bible pp.138-139, stop at the end of ist sentence at the top of p.139.

MAKE: a crown, use paper or crepe paper, pre cut a crown shape, and let your child add “the jewels” by drawing or sticking shapes on the crown. (Note for this age, sticky “jewels” as can be found in $2 shops and the like, might prove a chocking hazard)

PRAY: A King needs more than a crown (point to the crown you made. possibly on your head)

He needs God to guide him.

Amen

I have used Him as we are talking about David, but if you would prefer this prayer could easily have Queen and Her/she substituted for King and Him/HE

PSALM 48:

COLOURING-IN:  https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-summer-2018 Will get you 14 colouring in pages, that is 14 Sundays worth and I will  refer to them over the coming weeks.

THIS IS A POEM OF STRENGTH: YOU COULD LOOK FOR ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE STRONG AROUND YOU.

SECOND READING: 2 CORINTHIANS 12:2-10

READ/WATCH https://vimeo.com/50342561 Crocodiles are the best animals of all by Sean Taylor. thanks to http://storypath.upsem.edu

QUESTION: What gifts did God give you?

DRAW: the gifts you have or you want

GOSPEL READING: Mark 6:1-13

READ: The Lion Story Bible, Rejected, pp.144-145

PLAY: send your toys off to do God’s work, two by two.

PRAY:Put your hands together

Two Thumbs to serve God

Two Pointing Fingers to show others God

Two tall fingers to stand firm for God

Two weak fingers to help those in need

Two little fingers to remind us that we are not to small for God

Amen

Blessings

Wendy L

Engaging kids

I’ve been making an effort to travel with my husband both for business and pleasure. Travelling can be hard on a partnership but so can the separations. So a note to those caring for couples that experience separation due to work commitments, there really is no “one size fits all” solution. Both situations have their advantages and disadvantages for the families and those of us caring for this increasingly common situation need to be mindful that caring for a family in the midst of any crisis is what our calling is about. We need to love more, judge less.

But that’s actually not what I feel called to write about. I have taken more interest in the ways that the different countries value and interact with children. Now that I am no longer travelling with children, I have the luxury of observing. How can I judge. I have my fair share of cranky, overtired, out of routine and time zone episodes. Mmm unfortunately I’m not just talking about the children!!

I’m noticing more children’s play area’s in the world’s airports. In Portugal last year I even discovered children’s toilets at a train station. Museums, art galleries and classic arts such as music and theatre are making more effort to engage children in the exhibits or performances. Interactive displays at children’s height has almost become the norm. But I can’t name one church that I have visited lately, either at home or abroad that makes any effort to engage the younger visitor outside of worship services.

What is the artwork about, how is the stained glass used or what are the stories they’re telling? What are the buildings used for? How do we use them? What happens when people aren’t allowed to wonder around them? Why is the cross like this here and like that in the church down the road? If we fail to engage our youngest visitors, educate or excite them, will the museums and galleries be more significant to people of the future, than our churches have been in previous centuries? Do we really believe these monuments will continue to speak to future generations?

It is not just worship that is changing. How we engage, outreach and treat our faith monuments are also up for review.

Let me know what your church is doing to engage children outside of worship.

Blessings

Wendy Lewis