After Pentecost 4B: ideas to engage the whole family(especially the youngest) in the set RCL readings for today



They are for use by parents, grandparents and carers and for small congregations who do not have a Child and Family Ministry.

You have found a page that uses easily found ideas to help you share the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) readings with children. Instead of sifting through many websites, facebook , pinterest, instagram, and blog posts; 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.

These ideas can be used in a church setting as you parent in the pews or in your own home while connecting to a broadcast service or for your daily family devotions.

Though you will find simple ways into the text here THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THOUGH THAT YOU CAN DO IS SHARE YOURSELF AND YOUR FAITH. I firmly bleive that it is in the relationship, that the Faith formation of the next generation truely starts.


If worshipping at home. You may want to set up a space/alter/focal spot, to bring out when you worship or to keep out everyday.

You can do this by setting up a candle, and what ever else helps you focus on the season.

We are now in the longest liturgical season, the season after Pentecost. This season takes up half or the year, and it’s liturgical colour is green. There are no major celebrations during this season, and some refer to it as Ordinary Time. For me it is a time to celebrate everyday joys, to see God in the ordinary, in the everyday, and to hear the everyday stories of Jesus.

This is the time to add the things that remind YOU of God, a cross, a word, a special object, even something from one of the readings

If able to worship in the Chruch 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 readings.

For adults and older students you might like to take a journal with which to record anything that grabs your attention during the service. Write a precis of the message (traditional or sensory word), draw or write a response in and keep a record of emotions.





You might like to start with the Lords prayer if at home, or say the Lord’s Prayer within a set place if following along in a service.

If looking for a version with ACTIONS OR

Or if you are looking for a more contemplative version

Or for a more Intergenerational approach try Number 1 on the Table Settings album by Liturgical Folks


Find a dry leaf that has fallen from the tree, or a flower.

look at the leaf or flower, notice how it is made up, the viens, the petals, the colour.

Now pray for those who are aging around you if you have a dry leaf, or pray for those who are in the bloom of life like the flower and looking after many people.

OR you could draw a flower and draw or write the name of people you want to pray for on each petal.

FIRST READING: 1 SAMUEL 17(1a, 4-11,19-23) 32-49

READ: CHILDREN OF GOD by Rev Desmond Tutu, David and Goliath pp.44-45

OR SPARK STORY BIBLE, David and Goliath pp.130-135

OR THE BEGINNER’S BIBLE, David and Goliath pp.173-180


SING Colin Buchanan New Testament Big Bible Story Songs No. 7, God is the Biggest of All

PSALM 9:9-18

Psalm 9: With all my heart
With every bit of me I give you thanks, O Lord (stand tall)
With every breath I tell how good you are(blow)
With all my heart I love you.( make a love heart)

Another Psalm adaption by Rev Sylvie Purdie, actions in italics by me.

DESCRIBE those feelings, Show how these feelings look like in your body or draw it, or point out what it feels like from a set of emotional cards or you can make your own using paper plates and draw a picture for each emotion.

2) FIRST READING: 1 SAMUEL17:57-18:5

This is a great reading to talk about Domestic Violence and staying Safe with children, so don’t miss out on this wonderful opertunity to use it either in corporate worship or at home. Here are some resources if you want to go down that path,, statement to children

3 Posters

Available in 9 other languages

Tools for Listeneing may also be useful

Don’t forget the Kid’s Helpline

For the Adults

A useful resource for discussion

and one for the Adults

READ: THE BEGINNER’S BIBLE, Best Friends pp.181-185



Let your love shine through (make a heart shape)

In all that I do( point to yourself)

in all those I meet(look out)


In everyway

If we are afraid

are are with us



READ: Snuggle Time Psalms by Glenys Nellist, One Family

DESCRIBE those feelings, Show how these feelings look like in your body or draw it, or point out what it feels like from a set of emotional cards or you can make your own using paper plates and draw a picture for each emotion.


READ:Dumpy La Rue by Elizabeth Winthrop


A suggestion by Storypath look here to see why.

DO: Write or draw with your least favourite hand, or use your feet. When would or did you give up? What keeps you trying?


Hi God,

I have trouble staying on task

loving you is hard work

Please help me to follow you

all my life



READ: THE WHIRL STORY BIBLE, Jesus Calms the Storm, pp.226-229




CRAFT ( NB: if you don’t have corrigated cardboard use crepe paper or just plain cardboard)

BLESSING: Deeper Water: Resources for Immersive Worship by Dr Craig Mitchell A Blessing for Unchartered Waters (this fits beautifully with today’s Gospel reading and lends itself to actions that can mirror the words. If it is too long for your small children, read a couple of stanza’s each week night)


Wendy L.

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.


Something made me mad

This week in Australia we had women protesting in every captial city including the Capital, Canberra. Now I am only just starting to walk again after 2 foot operations so I did not participate. But just becasue I was not physically there did not mean that I withheld my support. No I prayed for and applauded all the women who were there.

Women who may have experienced the same injustice as the woman who sparked this controversy, women who the Law Courts of our country have left without justice or a voice to express their story.

Teenagers who may have or fear that this behaviour may happen to them.

Those men who supported partners, children or just saw the injustice of the situation.

Women who have supported friends or aquitences, feeling thankful but concerned that it may be them next.

The Elderly who have kept secrets all their lives, and still find the only expression open to them is to protest rather than share their stories and unravel a lifetime.

But it’s not enough to pray when words and actions are needed. But sometimes the weight of the past and the sercrets it holds pull at our tongues and we stay silent and away, when we should stand up and be counted.

I stayed still, frozen, in unother time and space, locked in my own secrets.

Then after the shock came the anger.

Why are we still having this fight? This has been a fight since I was a young adult. Why are we not done with it? Why has interenerational chnage not happened.

When I lived on campus, we would be organised into groups to walk home from the library to the residences. We were given self protection classes, but the one thing that we did not do, was talk about the danger of living in residence. Did we just assume that as our home we were safe in it. That we didn’t need protection there in the same way that people closed there eyes to Domestic Violence in the homes we had come from.

I have nothing but personal expereince, no stats to back up my claim that walking home from the library had much lower odds to being raped then in our residences. We shared bathrooms, it was not unknown to be joined in a shower behind a locked cubicle door. Staying too long in someones room, or leaving the door open for air, seemed justification enough. I have seen the clean up of the academic system in my lifetime to reduce inappropraite use of power sexually, but not in residences.

In leaving this space, and living alone, the problem did not cease, those invited into my space failed to realise it was a home and being safe in your home and requesting permission in your home was important and not to be disregarded, but I did feel I had the skills to articulate this even though my name is followed by numerous letters.

What sparked this massive march of Australian women also happened in a house, a different type of house, Parliment House, our nations legal heart. A place we want to think is above reproach. Another illusion shattered.

Over the years I have tried to have these discussions with my daughters. A conversation they neither wanted nor took seriously, it took a couple of attacks on women walking home for them to start to pay attention, but not to me. They had believed the rehtoric that society was a safer space for women.

So why am I sharing all this on this page.

Because I set this up with the aim of helping families share faith together it’s important that we have these conversations in the home, as well as the broader community, whether or not our children want to listen. Beacause if they don’t hear about it in terms of a faith context the influences will come from other places. But neither do I see faith converstions around rape, pornography, respect and self worth as a pancea. It’s not, our stories are devisive, particullary the Old Testament stories. We need to remember they were told to spark discussion, open debate about much braoder issues than the obvious and so they should be used that way today. But there is a chance that someone will not see the same worth in them as we do. Which opens us to learning how to have safe and respectful discussions, the very crux of the issue.

But equally, we will not hear the feminine voice in the Revised Common Lectionary. Too often they are cut out and silenced so until these stories and their lives can be validated in the pulpit we need to speak about them in the home.

How many know of the story of Tamar, (2 Samual 13), Jethphah’s daughter (Judges 13) and the imagery of Jeremiah, and many more, let alone would discuss it in their homes, with their children, not ever having respectful discussion modeled from the pulpit. Most Minister’s working along side Child and Family workers get fidgety everytime the Story of Abraham and Isaac appears in the Lectionary.

WE need to chanllenge the stories, we need to hold the Old Testament stories up against the standard of the cross in the New Testament, and WE need to have these converstions starting in our families but also in community.

Our families need to be supported by the church to enable them to have meaningful discussions at home.

They need modelling, they need information, they need a church that preaches about the real community in which it stands.

So if this weekend you don’t hear something about this this weekend.

You need to make a stand.

You need to ask for it and you need to be assured that your family is supported by your community.

And if your congregation doesn’t have any children and families, then that’s no reason not to talk about what is happening, they hdave grandchildren, children, friends and above all have lived lives of silencewaiting for permission to open their mouths.

References: Battered Love by Renita J. Weems

Brave Girls Bible Stories by Jennifer Gerelds

Forgotten Bible Stories by Margaret McAllister


Wendy L.

Sunday Reflection: Domestic Abuse

Early this week I penned a reply to an article my church printed in their newspaper and social media about Domestic Violence. All in all, it was a comprehensive piece that covered many salient points. But the ending of the piece did not live up to the promise at the beginning. I felt it was too easy an answer, too filled of hope and that was neither my experience or my understanding of domestic Violence, but still suffering jet lag I replied concisely and I was surprised that no-one has questioned or asked for more information.


I was not to know when I penned that reply that Australia would once again erupt in anger and surprise at another domestic violence case that saw the loss of 5 lives. Last night I noticed that a family of 4 were killed in an act of Domestic Violence in America.

It is sad and it is difficult that there are no easy answers and yet if the church is truly serious about the safety of Children we can not just look at our own perpetrators of violence we must be able to stand up and wonder what we do, or how our practices may be perpetrating offenders wider than the church.

How do we teach Christians to be protective and not harmful, is there a message in our preaching that inflames the thoughts of the domestically violent or silences the victims?

Are we looking the other way when married couples put down their partners instead of building them up?

Are we following safe church practices including the custody arrangements for each family, and are we strong enough to follow the law on this issue rather than be swayed by teachings of love and forgiveness, in the first instance.


The reason I felt I had to reply to the article was because what I knew about the ending of marriages was that it is the most dangerous time for the family, for violence to manifest. We still believe that legal intervention orders are enough of a deterrent, or that counselling might help, both admirable in themselves but it is not doing enough to safe guard families. We are told that Domestic Violence is about control and the loss of control, and that the controlling nature of one partner over the other will have been manifesting itself in many ways for a long time.

It is foolish to think that these families do not attend our church or our playgroups. They do. In forming community, we have many ways of observing. And many questions we should be asking, like

Why can’t they attend single sex functions?

Instead of asking for money for the plate or for mission, how about finding why a person can not give? Used correctly it can be a great pastoral tool.

But sometimes our observations can be counter intuitive.

And that’s when it helps to have an employed Child and Family Worker or a Social Worker or Counsellor as part of your community. But we all know this is not a feasible scenario for many congregations.

When I trained as a Couples Counsellor with Relationship’s Australia, I remember hearing the statistic, it takes 7 attempts to leave a Violent relationship. I thought then, but kept it to myself. Gee that figure seems low, how long were those relationships, did the statistic change with longevity and what about the ones who don’t leave?

I still have not seen answers to these questions. From my own observations, people do stay in Abusive relationships because the fear of ending the relationship is more terrifying than staying in that relationship, that the type of abuse/s experienced also determine the choice to leave. That financial loss or loss of access can make the bar to leave too high.

Nor do I believe that it is masks that we wear while in the Church community that prevent people from seeing “the real situation”. It may very well be that the Church Community offers a space to escape from the abuse, for someone to practice the skills of the person they want to be, and to learn of a love and a self worth that are separate to the everyday they experience. A space for healing.

A past lecturer of mine, Beth Barnett, encouraged those who had some experience in this area to speak out. I am adding my voice and my ideas to that debate. What I don’t have is a solution.


Wendy L.