LENT STARTS This WEEK  with ASH Wednesday. 

 

If your church does not do an Ash Wednesday service try to mark this special day at home.

Kick it off by eating pancakes on Tuesday. A Traditional way of preparing for a fast, but a fun way to mark the start of this important season.

If your faith community does not have a Lent practice, be it fasting, giving up something, having a family time of prayer of Bible reading or singing, or 40 days of goodwill acts. This might be the time to find something to mark the Lent days. http://sacraparental.com/2016/01/08/lent-with-kids-how-to-create-a-household-lent-plan/?fbclid=IwAR14kc_3deU8PAqC_3mSbnaRb8qh53hGLfqxUTSlpjN2xdxpuPG2Zl8c3LI

or https://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2014/03/weekly-lenten-disciplines-for-households.html?fbclid=IwAR2QbPdmXAC5gVNNmK7g7vedzu_Mpjo3ZCSDdFu0yqcxB0PpixAdPprat-4

OR https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/93773350/posts/2586325834

OR sign up to get the free Lent study for the Jesus Storybook Bible https://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/newsletter-sign-up/?fbclid=IwAR2Li8E7AnG3khWd6dxpdfJVoRDlAxRTou4yqsBP7LQL7UyMLsX7vtCcVjU

all have great suggestions.

Then make time for a special prayer time on Wednesday. If you have had your Palm cross on your door since last year, you could burn this and make a drawing of a cross with its ashes to hang on the fridge this Lent as a reminder that it is a special time.

OR https://buildfaith.org/singing-in-the-dark/?fbclid=IwAR1e1myT_SgWHQtpdGFYwYLIu4StQv5DXAJN_CcYxsZHASJttdORsrXUoac

offers another option.

So why would you have a Lenten practice?

I definitely didn’t when i was growing up, in fact i was the downright annoying cousin who made it clear that when my Catholic Cousin started fasting for Lent, well, that i didn’t have to. We marked the start of Lent with pancakes for breakfast and family much coasted in until Good Friday.

I was such the loser.

From young, my cousins learnt something I had to gain later, that the spiritual practice of recognising Lent has very positive affirming benefits.

I made this discovery way to late to share it with my own family as children, though they all got an annoying message from Mum to enjoy a pancake today because Lent starts tomorrow.

At some time in my Theological Studies, I started taking the practice of Lent seriously.

I have enjoyed Mardi Gras in Merida, and then the still ness of the next mornings as Mass is rung out in the city square, and the excited sound of people interacting is hushed.  The darkness of the interior of the church only helped to shift the pace, though maybe it was the knowledge that this was built by stolen Inca temple stones also added to my unease. IN this experience I learnt the respect for contrast and the importance of finding silence in the season, so continued a meditative practice for the 40 days, till I celebrated it with my home congregation.

I walked a labyrinth in San Juan to mark the start of Lent one year and finished the season walking another, in another hemisphere. That season I deliberately worshipped away from my home congregation through out Lent, and learnt to appreciate their differences more, but used the time specifically to selfishly seek guidance for a heart call. Which was actually answered.

I have tried to do too many studies, and discovered it is best to choose one, and see it through.

I look forward to seeing Christine Sines Lent garden, and keep promising one day i will also make that my Lenten practice. 

This time of looking at the life of Christ, of making time of standing still with my Father has become incredible important to me.

I wish I had shared it with my children when they were young, but while I am here, I can still share with my adult children now. Maybe my grandchildren (not yet here) will get it and come to understand the power of Lent.

May you find a practice to share with your children.

Blessings

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.https://crosslight.org.au/2020/02/17/exposing-the-hidden-cost-of-domestic-violence/?fbclid=IwAR0d-wJPGnijMPxbFSAZ5c3z2Y_jBB0u-Va0qnfgSYP1gw_Ux419ihEEmiU 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.

Blessings

Wendy L.

 

Year A: Transfiguration. Ideas to help 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings

Here are some ideas to help you share the Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary with your under 3’s.

Note that the Church season is changing. This week should see churches dressed in White. What colour will we see next week?

You can find some ideas here https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/910 as to where to sit and what to bring.

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

THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

FIRST READING: Exodus 24:12-18 Moses encounter with God

READ: The Lion Picture Bible p.86 only

DRAW: Those people that are special to you?

How do they make you feel?

PSALM 2

Psalm 2: You are my child

Hear God’s word to you:
“My dear, my beloved, you are my child
and I am your Father.
I will give you more than you could ask or imagine.
You can trust me completely.”

from http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-2-wrath-on-a-hill.html

How does t his make you feel?

OR Psalm 99

Psalm 99: If you shake us

​(as a prayer of confession)

O God, how incredible you are! (hold arms out wide)
How ordinary we are. (look down)
The earth shakes with your power (shake)
and we tremble, afraid (tremble ( note how it is different to shaking)
that if you shake us we’d fall apart. (fall down)
We see your brilliance (shield your eyes)
and we hide in the dark. (make yourself very small)
We know how pure you are, pure love, (make a love heart)
and we know that we are a mess. (look around yourself as if you had made a big mess)
Forgive us, God. (hold your hands together)
We stuff up. (kick the ground)
We forget to live in your light. (Shield your eyes)
Words from http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-99-if-you-shake-us.html Actions by me

Point out or draw everything that shines (like God makes the world shine).

SECOND READING: 2 Peter 1:16-21

READ: You are Special by Max Lucado https://www.koorong.com/product/you-are-special-max-lucado_1581342195?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.koorong.com%2Fsearch%2Fresults.jhtml%3Fw%3Dyou%2Bare%2Bspecial%26af%3Dtab%253Aproducts

WATCH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15QuHygLwFU

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

SING: https://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/songs/all-about-jesus/

PLAY: How special are your toys. give each a hug and tell them.

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 17:1-9

READ: The Early Reader’s Bible God Talks about his Son, pp.387-391

COLOURING IN: https://store.illustratedministry.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2019-2020?variant=31032290738274 This resource has colouring in pages until the 23rd of February 2020. And costs about $A20.

PRAY

Wiggle your fingers

Let me hear about the glory of God

And help me share

the Wonder

Amen

 

LENT STARTS ThIS WEEK  with ASH Wednesday. 

If your church does not do an Ash Wednesday service try to mark this special day at home.

You can eat pancakes on the Tuesday. A reminder to eat up up before the start of Lent before the traditionally 40 fasting days of Lent. If you do not have a Lent practice, fasting,    giving up something, family time of prayer of Bible reading or singing. This might be the time to find something to mark the Lent days. http://sacraparental.com/2016/01/08/lent-with-kids-how-to-create-a-household-lent-plan/?fbclid=IwAR14kc_3deU8PAqC_3mSbnaRb8qh53hGLfqxUTSlpjN2xdxpuPG2Zl8c3LI

or https://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2014/03/weekly-lenten-disciplines-for-households.html?fbclid=IwAR2QbPdmXAC5gVNNmK7g7vedzu_Mpjo3ZCSDdFu0yqcxB0PpixAdPprat-4

OR https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/93773350/posts/2586325834

OR sign up to get the free Lent study for the Jesus Storybook Bible https://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/newsletter-sign-up/?fbclid=IwAR2Li8E7AnG3khWd6dxpdfJVoRDlAxRTou4yqsBP7LQL7UyMLsX7vtCcVjU

Then make time for a special prayer time on Wednesday. If you have had your Palm cross on your door since last year, you could burn this and make a drawing of the cross with its ashes to hang on the fridge this Lent as a reminder that it is a special time.

OR https://buildfaith.org/singing-in-the-dark/?fbclid=IwAR1e1myT_SgWHQtpdGFYwYLIu4StQv5DXAJN_CcYxsZHASJttdORsrXUoac

 

YEAR A: After Epiphany 6: Ideas to help 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings

I hope you and your children enjoy spending time together in Church this week.

Here are some ideas to help you share the Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary with your under 3’s.

You can find some ideas here https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/910 as to where to sit and what to bring.

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.

THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

FIRST READING: Deuteronomy 30:15-20

READ/WATCH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRiyWntDEdA  The Magic Word by Mac Barnett  as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-february-16-2020/

Do: make choices, help your child choose, between a choice of 2 texta’s, between 2 biscuits or pieces of fruit, between 2 toys.

PRAY

Lord help me to choose well,

Help me to choose you.

Amen (one clap)

PSALM 119:1-8PSALM 119:1-8

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+119%3A1-8&version=ERV

Great blessings belong to those who live pure lives!
    They follow the Lord’s teachings. (walk you fingers up your arm)
Great blessings belong to those who follow his rules!
    They seek him with all their heart. (make a love heart with your fingers)
They don’t do wrong.
    They follow his ways. (walk your fingers up your arms)
Lord, you gave us your instructions
    and told us to always obey them. (waggle your pointing finger)
How I wish I could be more faithful
    in obeying your laws!(Look sad)
Then I would never feel ashamed
    when I look closely at your commands. (smile)
The more I understand how fair your laws are,
    the more sincerely I will praise you.(put your arms out high)

I will obey your laws,
    so please don’t leave me! (put your arm out as if putting your arm around a friend)

Draw it or show it or point out the emotion from a set of emotional cards https://innovativeresources.org/resources/card-sets/bears-cards/ or the Bears App https://innovativeresources.org/resources/digital-applications/bears-app/

 

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

READ/WATCH: CITY GREEN by by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-bABEjMMy4 as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-february-16-2020/

MAKE: Make your own garden, use patty pans as flowers, colour in  or paste green paper as stems and leaves, colour in the sky and grass.

PRAY

May be you have chosen me to water, or to tend,

but help me to do everything for you

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 5:21-37

Do: I suggest you draw what it feels like to forgive. To say sorry for something you have done that has hurt someone. did you poke the baby or did you walk away form grandma? This reading asks us to do, not follow rules or read so instead of reading a lot of words i suggest doing this. 

You might also like to do your usually feeling exercise. How does it make you feel when someone says sorry to you?

Draw it or show it or point out the emotion from a set of emotional cards https://innovativeresources.org/resources/card-sets/bears-cards/ or the Bears App https://innovativeresources.org/resources/digital-applications/bears-app/

COLOURING IN: https://store.illustratedministry.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2019-2020?variant=31032290738274 This resource has colouring in pages until the 23rd of February 2020. And costs about $A20.

Blessings

Wendy L.

 

YEAR A: After Epiphany 5: Ideas to help 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings

I hope you and your children enjoy spending time together in Church this week.

Here are some ideas to help you share the Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary with your under 3’s.

You can find some ideas here https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/910 as to where to sit and what to bring.

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.

THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

 

FIRST READING: Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)

READ/WATCH: Best Friends for Frances by Russell Hoban https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU4548Pao-0 as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-february-9-2020/

COLOURING IN: https://store.illustratedministry.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2019-2020?variant=31032290738274 This resource has colouring in pages until the 23rd of February 2020. And costs about $A20.

PRAY

Help me to want to be your Friend God

and may good things come from that

Amen

 

PSALM 112:1-9 (10)

READ:

Psalm 112: Welcome to the good life!

(Read Romans 12:9-21)

Welcome to the good life!
Come, follow Jesus, you won’t regret it!
Life will be an adventure, guaranteed!
You will stand strong and do great things.
You will know much joy, that’s a promise.
You will be rich, that’s for sure,
but it’s not for you, it’s to give away,
and it might not be in money.
You’ll be rich in love and rich in friends,
you’ll be rich in peace, so you’re not afraid,
not afraid of what people think of you,
not afraid of what happens around you.
Strong inside, you get to be who you are made to be!
Life with Jesus is a wonderful life.

How does this make you feel? Describe that feeling, or draw it, or point out what it feels like from a set of emotional cards https://innovativeresources.org/resources/card-sets/bears-cards/ or the Bears App https://innovativeresources.org/resources/digital-applications/bears-app/

 

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 2:1-12(13-16)

READ/WATCH: Douglas you need glasses by Ged Adamson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuWf5Wmy8F8  as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-february-9-2020/

Do: Help your children to see the spirit in the everyday? Bring bits of trees and scrubs, battery operated candle or your phone, different coloured Cellophanes. A kaleidoscope. such as https://www.kidstuff.com.au/kaleidoscopes-dinosaurs/, crystals But not so small they can be swallowed. A magnifying glass.

MAKE: buy black thick paper. Cut out shapes, leaving a gap of at least 1 1/2 centimetres then glue different cellophane to make a “stained glass window” Look through it to see the different colours.

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 5:13-20

READ: https://www.bible.com/bible/1359/MAT.5.13-20.ICB

DO: what do things taste like when you add things, ie plain chips salted chips; plain rice, coconut rice; plain ice cream, flavoured ice cream, or milk; dim sim, soy sauce with it. etc,

Dear God

Life is better with you

Amen

Blessings

Wendy L.

 

 

YEAR A: After Epiphany 4: Ideas to help 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings

Some congregations may be using the Candlemas readings this  week.

If possible check with the congregation you will be worshipping with. You will find ideas for Candelmas here https://thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/2020/01/30/candelmas-year-a-ideas-to-help-3s-and-under-relate-to-this-weeks-rcl-readings/

You don’t have to stop attending worship with your children just because the school term has begun. You can choose to worship together instead of attending Sunday school. Work out what is important to your family, is it shared worship or learning about Bible Stories?

If you continue to worship with your child you can find some ideas here https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/910 as to where to sit and what to bring.

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.

THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

FIRST READING: Micah 6: 1-8

READ: Little Golden Book The Tawny Scrawny Lion  by Katherine Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz7VuwoQ8Yg  as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-sunday-february-2-2014/

 COLOURING IN: https://store.illustratedministry.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2019-2020?variant=31032290738274 This resource has colouring in pages until the 23rd of February 2020. And costs about $A20.

PRAY

God help me to do the three things you ask

  1. to be fair to other people
  2. to love kindness and loyalty
  3. to  humbly obey you, Amen Adapted from Micah 6:8 Easy to read Version

PSALM 15

Psalm 15: Truth telling

If you want to walk tall in the ways of the Lord
you have to hold on to what matters the most.
The truth is the truth, there’s no getting round it,
the truth can’t be twisted, invented or fudged.
If you want to be trusted, admired and respected
then do what is right and say what is true.

thank you to Rev. Purdie http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-15-be-do-ers-of-the-word.html

How does this Psalm make you feel?

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

READ: The Big Brag in Yurtle the Turtle and other stories by Dr Suess https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwZHaoKZZBU as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-february-2-2020/

SING: Our Help https://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/songs/our-help/

PRAY:

Thank you God

That you will use me as I am

for your glory

Amen

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 5:1-12

READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible

OR The Beginners Bible

SING: https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/seeds-of-faith-vol-2/#

DO: http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2013/04/beatitudes-cards-explaining-beatitudes.html

Blessings

Wendy L.

Candelmas Year A: Ideas to help 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings

This week your congregation should be following either the RCL Candelmas service or Week 4 of Epiphany. If you can find out in advance which readings are being used  it will reduce your pre-church preparation time.

You don’t have to stop attending worship with your children just because the school term has begun. You can choose to worship together instead of attending Sunday school. Work out what is important to your family, is it shared worship or learning about Bible Stories, If it differs to the way your congregation chooses too educate children in your community you might need to change communities, which is quicker than trying to change your community.

If you continue to worship with your child you can find some ideas here https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/910 as to where to sit and what to bring.

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.

THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

 

FIRST READING: Malachi 3:1-4

READ: The Mallee Sky by Jodi Toering, https://www.readings.com.au/products/26139045/mallee-sky

This is one of my favourite books at the moment, and it fits right in with the seasonal waiting for rain that is known too many children in Australia. It is hopeful and realistic and suits the optimism of this Malachi Reading. Unfortunately it is not available as a ebook  nor has anyone read it on You Tube. The idea of looking outward, looking for the signs of change and knowing that change will also be difficult but bring new life.

OR TRY:  DESERT LAKE by  Pamela Freeman, written about the filing up of the often dry Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, bringing life to a barren environment. https://www.qbd.com.au/desert-lake-big-book/pamela-freeman-liz-anelli/9781921977091/

COLOURING-IN: https://www.lamontbooks.com.au/media/142137/publishers-notes-mallee-sky.pdf P.7

PRAY:

Today is called candlemas as we contemplate the light in the world. Our life can light up in many ways, such as the Lake waters returning or the rains coming.

Turn on a battery operated candle and list all the things that bring you light.

PSALM 84

READ: Snuggle Time Psalms https://www.koorong.com/product/snuggle-time-psalms-glenys-nellist-cee-biscoe-illus_9780310749257?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.koorong.com%2F

OR http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-84-how-lovely-is-your-house.html

How does this Psalm make you feel?

Can you draw a safe place?

 

OR Psalm 24:7-10

Lift up your heads, ye gates! (look up)
Lift up the ancient doors! (fling your arms wide from the body)
– that the King of Glory may come in – (pretend to place a crown on your head)
Who is the King of Glory? (put your hand under your chin)
The LORD – Father, Spirit, Jesus – (make a triangle with your fingers)
magnificent in power, Lord of all, (show your muscles )
He is the King of Glory!( place a pretend crown on your head)

Abridges from http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-24-lift-up-the-ancient-doors.html Italics are mine.How does this Psalm make you feel?

SECOND READING: Hebrew 2:14-18

Play: With a nativity set. Share the things you looked forward to when they were born or came into your life.

Draw: Draw all the things you would show Jesus if he was a child like you today?

Play: with your toys. Children learn through play, so let them play and enjoy being alive and in God’s presence.

 

GOSPEL READING: Luke 2:22-40

WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leN-xNrkjbo

COLOURING IN https://www.rootsontheweb.com/media/17023/r93_colouring_sheet_candlemas18.pdf

PRAY:

Simeon and Anna (hold up your pointer finger on your right hand and then your left)

Saw you (shelter your eyes as if looking into the distance)

as God promised (hold your hands in prayer)

May you light up (fling your hands from your head)

My life too (point to yourself)

Amen (one clap)

YEAR A: After Epiphany 3: Ideas to help 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings

Wherever you are this Australia day long weekend, be prepared to help your littles enjoy worship with you.

You can find some ideas here https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/910 as to where to sit and what to bring.

For older children you might like to purchase Jillians Life Packs https://feedmyfamilyblog.com

OR https://store.illustratedministry.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/illustrated-worship-resources-winter-2019-2020?variant=31032325210210

Or use a Sermon Note pages such as https://paththroughthenarrowgate.com

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.

THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

FIRST READING: Isaiah 9:1-4

READ/WATCH Sun Bread by Elisa Keven https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UkuJdIsRCc    as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-sunday-january-26-2014/

COLOURING IN: https://store.illustratedministry.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2019-2020?variant=31032290738274 This resource has colouring in pages until the 23rd of February 2020. And costs about $A20.

DO: play with light, use your phone or a battery operated candle or a torch to shine light into dark spaces

PSALM 27:1,4-9

My God is my light (hold your hands in front of you and twinkle your fingers)
My God is my savior (look longingly)
Why be afraid? (shake)
My God is my safety (hug yourself)
My God is my home (make a roof with your arms over your head)
I won’t be afraid! (shake your finger)

Some days are bad days – that’s OK.
Some people say nasty things – that’s OK,
because I am hidden with Jesus
in the safest place,
in the arms of God,
like sleeping in a tent,
like standing high on a tall rock
where nothing can get me.

With God’s care around me
I will sing and dance
and shout for joy!
With God’s face shining on me
I will be patient though bad days.
I will be strong.
Take courage, my heart,
lean on God.
abridged from http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-27-take-courage-my-heart.html actions by me

How does this Psalm make you feel?

Draw it or show it or point out the emotion from a set of emotional cards https://innovativeresources.org/resources/card-sets/bears-cards/ or the Bears App https://innovativeresources.org/resources/digital-applications/bears-app/

 

SECOND READING: 1Corinthians 1:10-18

READ/WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld2FG4gfRWE

 

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 4:12-23

READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible p.212 starting “Peter, Andrew ,James —— and follow him”

COLOURING-IN: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/2884399/posts/8450 for an annual fee of $25 or encourage your church to have a subscription.

MAKE: You will need a pieces each of 2 different colour blue A4 sheets or thick paper. Cut one sheet out making a wavy oval. Glue on top of the first sheet.

Then make a paper boat, as simple as a patty pan or as fancy as you would like.

Next you will need some fruit netting or old fishnet stockings cut out a net to throw from the boat.

This was a common everyday scene. That Jesus disciples were in when they were acknowledged Him. You might like to draw a scene from your everyday.

Day of Mourning 2020 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 https://assembly.uca.org.au/day-of-mourning

And my ideas for inclusive worship are in italics below.

Please feel free to use by families or small congregations without a Child and Family Worker.

Please note that this work is not endorsed by the Uniting Church in Australia

Suggested Actions in Italics

Call to Worship

Our land is alive with the glory of God; (Jump and throw your arms up high)

desert sands hum and gum trees dance. (put your hand to your ear then loosen your fingers and wave your arms around)

Brown grasses sing ( cup your ear with your hand as if listening hard)

and mountains breathe their stillness. (stand still and breath deeply)

All created things add their rhythms of delight (tap rhythm sticks (or two small gum tree limbs), hit gum nuts with a small branch, whistle using a gum leaf or blade of grass.)

and even stones rap out their praise. (tap two stones together)

Let our voices mingle with those of the earth; (pretend to syphon dirt from one hand to the other)

may our hearts join the beat of her joy, (make a heart shape with your hands and move it away from and then towards your body)

for our triune God is with us: (make a triangle with your hands)

the Source of all being surrounds and upholds us. (give yourself a hug)

Christ Jesus walks beside and before us.(extend your arm as if putting it around a mate, then extend your arms as if placing your hands on someones shoulders)

The Spirit moves within and between us. (wiggle your arm across your body)

Blessed be God, our wonder and delight. (Hold your hands up high in the air)

 

CRAFT: 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

There are two I recommend the second one for children

We acknowledge the Clan/Nation

the sovereign First Peoples of this place.

We honour their elders past, present and emerging

together with all descendants of this Nation,

for their care for these lands and waters since creation.

and gave them particular insights into God’s ways:

and so we rejoice (hands out wide above your head)

In the reconciling purposes of God (gives yourself a hug)

Found in the good news about Jesus Christ (hold your hands open like a book)

 

During the Acknowledgment of First Peoples you might like to read WELCOME TO COUNTRY BY AUNTY JOY MURPHY AND LISA KENNEDY, by Walker Books https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/welcome-to-country-by-aunty-joy-murphy-and-lisa-kennedy-9781922244871

 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.

Greetings Listen

Blessings for a Sacred Place

Leader: Arrawatanha

Ngapala Nguthana

Response: Most High

Our Maker

All: The land you have given us, your children. (pat the ground)

Look on this place … (shield your eyes as if looking to the horizon)

this special place where you live; (pat the ground)

this special place where your glory rests. (cup your hands then pretend to lay your head on your hands as if sleeping)

Look upon this sacred place (shield your eyes as if looking to the horizon)

where your name is honoured. (Look up)

Help us keep it as our (pat the ground)

Ancestors did. (look behind you)

Leader: Althaninda

Response: Happy are you. (smile)

(In the Adnyamathanha

language of the Flinders

Ranges, SA, Arrawatanha

means God/Most High and

Ngapala Nguthana means Our

Maker.

The meaning of Althaninda is

Happy are you)

PRAYERS

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.

Children’s prayer

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 (one clap)

 

Listen to the Declaration of Forgiveness.

 

Declaration of Forgiveness

This is the best of all:

When we are empty, (drop your shoulders)

God fills us; (straighten up)

when we are disheartened, (drop your shoulders)

God is compassionate; (straighten up)

when we are wounded, (drop your shoulders)

God brings healing; (straighten up)

when we confess our sin, God forgives. (put your hands in a prayer position)

In Christ, through Christ and because of Christ, our sins are forgiven.
 (make the sign of the cross)

Thanks be to God.(hold your hands in a prayer pose)

You refill the cup of life, O God.(pretend to pour a drink)

In Christ, we find refuge, strength and hope. (hold hands touching each other over your head)

Amen. ( one clap)

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  buy the activity pack

 

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 has destroyed much of Australia recently, BUT 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://colinbuchanan.com.au/products/10-9-8-god-is-great-cd-mp3-backing-track-sheet-music

As a general overview of the day you may wish to read Sorry Day by Coral Vass and illustrated by Dub Leffler

A beautiful reading is  here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m32cvvJ0tqE but it is long for children dip in and out but start at 2.37min. and finish at 7.03 min  just go back and watch it all yourself though.

Three themes are suggested

Theme 1: Redistributive Justice

READ the Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywelt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZttMDho5HMw

PLAY with toys that encourage practicing interaction with others.

Or draw a colourful picture using all the colours

Theme 2: Self Emptying God

Tell stories of how some has changed or life or how you chawed someones

Play with your toys.

Theme 3: A Destiny Together

One Suggested Bible reading is The Beatitudes try  The Beginners Bible Jesus, Teaches on a Mountain pp.318-321

and Psalm 78:1-8 http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-78-tell-our-story-to-our-children.html

and 2 Corinthians 5:16-19 Try the Little Golden Book the Tawny Scrawny Lion.

Play with toys in a “garden” made from the twigs, leaves etc that you bought with you into worship.

Prayers of the People

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.  

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.

Participate in the rest of the service

Blessing

Bless us therefore, as we depart this place: (point to the door)

give us a generous spirit, a kind heart, (Make a heart shape with your hands)

and the grace to walk alongside our First Peoples, (Put your arm out as if to put around a friends shoulder)

as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Amen. (one clap)

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.

 

 

YEAR A: After Epiphany 2: Ideas to help 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings

Whether you are at your home church, staying safe, or holidaying away from home don’t let this be an excuse not to worship together. If you attend a congregation that uses a traditional  Sunday School during service set up you will find some ideas here to here to engage your young ones with the readings and to enjoy Worship and Lifelong faith formation.

If you are displaced by the fires may the ideas within help you continue your faith practices with your families.

For older children you might like to purchase Jillians Life Packs https://feedmyfamilyblog.com

OR https://store.illustratedministry.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/illustrated-worship-resources-winter-2019-2020?variant=31032325210210

Or use a Sermon Note pages such as https://paththroughthenarrowgate.com

You can find some ideas here https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/910 as to where to sit and what to bring.

THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

FIRST READING: ISAIAH 49:1-7

READ: When God Made you by Matthew Turner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spwy5Ig4sPw

ACTIVITY: Look at pictures of you as a Baby or of your in vitro pictures

Draw a picture of you as baby

PRAY

God you made wonderful things

Including me

Thank you

Amen

 

PSALM 40:1-11

READ:

Psalm 40: Stuck in the swamp


I was stuck, stuck in mud
up to my knees in it, sinking down
Help! I yelled, Hurry!
and help came, strong hands
pulled me out to safety.
Solid ground never felt so good!
What a great God we serve!
You inspire new songs
you multiply your awesomeness!
I love to live your way,
your law is in my heart.
Thanks again to  Rev. Purdie http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-40-the-mud-psalm.html You can also read a short description of the Psalm there too.

SING: https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/seeds-of-courage-vol-1/#

SECOND READING: 1 CORINTHIANS 1:1-9

READ: God’s Dream by Desmond Tutu https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMXULIYojHk as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-sunday-january-16-2011/

SING: https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/the-character-of-god-vol-7/#

Play: with your toys to practice caring for each other.

GOSPEL READING: JOHN 1:29-42

READ: The Beginners Bible, He Chooses His Disciples, pp.308-313 and p.306 (for the first part of today’s reading)

COLOURING IN: https://store.illustratedministry.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2019-2020?variant=31032290738274 This resource has colouring in pages until the 23rd of February 2020. And costs about $A20.

PLAY: the motif of Jesus as the Lamb of God is used extensively in this passage, in an era without sacrifices it is hard to explain the sacrificial element to children, but they are all learning to put others first and sacrifice themselves. So play, with animals or a farm set and just let them explore this idea of what it means to be a good friend.

Blessings

Wendy L.