WELCOME: Everyone is welcome here.
While designed to be used during a Sunday service at church or by zoom, these readings can also be used during the week to help you remember and build on what you experienced on Sundays. My objective is for faith to be a lived experience and for children to learn how to worship and explore the Bible and pray by participating in Worship. The goal here is not for them to learn names or facts though they may want to do that for themselves, but rather to find ways of connecting with the text and sharing that with others.
Today is the FOURTH Sunday after Epiphany. The Liturgical colour is GREEN.
If you are worshipping from home you may like to set up a worship area
You can do this by setting up a candle, then add the things that remind YOU of God, a Cross, a Bible that everyone likes to read from, a special object, even something from one of the readings.
If able to worship in the Church buildings pack a special backpack, as well as filling, it with your Covid Safe equipment, add the books or materials required to help your young ones relate to today’s readings.
For adults and older students, you might like to use a journal with which to record anything that grabs your attention during the service. This could be a special, bound book or use your ipad or iphone. You could write a precis of the message (traditional words or pictures), draw, keep a record of emotions and hymns that you did or did not like. You could use a template like this free download. Remember, this is for you, you do not have to show anyone what is in it unless you want to, and you feel safe to do so.
CONGREGATIONAL USE: Though parents are the best at sharing their faith with their children. If you are a small congregation where children are a very small, or rare part of your congregational life, please feel free to make these suggestions available to your congregation. I am very happy for you to copy and paste ideas from here into your own Order of Service or for you to supply a link to this page. An acknoledgement though is always appreciated.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF COUNTRY
If you are in Australia and attending a Uniting Church in Australia, in many cases an Acknowledgment of Country will be said. You can teach your young ones to do this too.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
I love this rewritting of the Second Reading as a prayer by Carolyn C Brown It works beautifully as a Prayers of the People. I would have one person read the “Love is” lines and the Assurance of Pardon, everyone else the response
Love is patient and kind:
Lord, it is hard to be patient when there is so much we need to do and want to do. When other people slow us down, it is easy to forget to be kind.
Love is not jealous or conceited or proud;
But we are, God. We look at some people and think we are better than they are. We look at others and feel jealous of what they have and can do. Forgive us.
Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable;
But we often blurt out rude, hurting names and accusations, almost before we know what we are saying. Help us learn to think before we speak.
Love does not keep a recording of wrongs;
But we remember even those wrongs we have really tried to forgive. We remember them and bring them up when we are angry or when we want our own way. We use them to hurt even the people we love. Help us to forgive and forget.
Love is not happy with evil; love is happy with truth;
But it is hard not to take secret delight when people get what they had coming to them. Teach us compassion, God.
Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.
But we give up easily. We give up on other people. We give up on ourselves. We give up on making a difference. We lose hope that anything will ever be any different. Forgive us, for we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: Hear this about God’s great love! God is patient and kind. God does not keep a record of our wrongs. God does not remember our failings at loving, but is happy about every one of our successes. God never gives up on us because God’s love is forever!
FIRST READING: Jeremiah 1:4-10
READ: Whirl Story Book Bible, God Calls Jeremiah, pp.118-121
OR READ When God Made You by Matthew Turner
Point to your Ear I hear you father God
Point to your Eyes Let me see for you
Point to your Feet Let me follow you
Point to You For you planned and made me
Psalm 71: All our lives long (first 2 verses) (actions by me)
(for a child and an old person to read – child’s voice in bold)
In you, O Lord, do I live
In you, O Lord, I grow
You are our God, our rock and refuge (form 2 fists, bang 1 on top of the other)
You are my rock, like a rock to dive off into the river (hold your hands as if to dive into water)
You are my rock, like a home well fenced and protected (make a roof with your hands and put them over your head)
Hear us when we call, O God, lift us into your arms. (give yourself a hug)
All my life long you have been with me (point to yourself)
When I was born and took my first breath,
you held me (pretend to cradle a baby)
All through the years I have leaned on you (put an arm out as if to lean on something)
Through all the years ahead I will lean on you. (shade your eyes and look into the distance)
When I was young you taught me (wag a finger)
When I grow old you will bless me (bend over and shake)
I remember all you have done for me (tap your head gently)
I will tell everyone how great you are! (make a megaphone with your hands around your mouth)
How does this Psalm make you feel? Point out an emoji that shows how you feel or show how you feel or draw how you feel.
OR chose a rock that makes you feel secure, or that will remind you of how secure you are with God
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
READ: Spark Story Bible, Love Is…, pp.432-435
OR Young ones might like to READ All These Things by Susie Poole,
MAKE: Get a stack of stick it postal notes in a heart shape: Younger children can draw what love is to them,older children can draw or write a verse of the reading, When each verse has been completed stick them in a cross pattern on a plain piece of paper?
I wonder how many are things you do?
Love can be three Greek words in teh Bible the one used in this passage is about helping in community. It is an action not an emotional word.
PRAY: The prayers of the people above
GOSPEL READING: Luke 4:21-30
READ:The Spark Bible Story Book, Jesus Goes to Nazareth, pp.228-229.
PLAY: play out the reading, or OLDER children might like to create a Play based on a modern example of this story.
Please check local guidlines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowedge this page if you find it useful. Thank you.
I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.
I have qualifications in Education, Theology and Children’s Spirituality, and have worked as a Children and Families Worker in a city church. I use simple and easily found ideas to help you share the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) readings. This is a ONE STOP SHOP where I have done the sifting for you to find theologically and developmentally appropriate material for your congregation or family saving you time from sifting through many websites, facebook , pinterest, instagram, and blog posts.