Faith is portable, we live it and share it, every day. I hope these simple ideas help your family or congregation form their faith.
As many in Australia are traveling this weekend, this is a resource you can take with you, and use as a family, either with or without a service to attend either physically or by Zoom.
Each week I compile a number of resources to help you, your family, or your congregation contemplate the RCL readings. 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 your family’s faith formation.
My objective is for faith to be a lived experience and for children to learn how to worship, explore the Bible, and pray by participating in Worship with others. 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. The idea is to form a lifelong love of Christ, for the Word of God, and to participate in Worship. Faith is portable, we live it and share it, every day. I hope these simple ideas help your family or congregation form their faith.
f you are a small congregation, that suddenly has children in your pews, these can also be used in your services, shared direct from this site, or copied into your order of service. Create an area as close as possible to where the major liturgies of the service occur, for parents/guardians to worship with their children, and fill this area with books and toys in it that will enhance their spiritual experience. (Ie not toys for “keeping them quiet”). You will find some ideas in these posts Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! and Make the books appealing.
Suggest that visiting families pack a special backpack, filled with a children’s storybook bible, other books that speak about ideas in today’s readings, and drawing or craft materials that children can use to respond 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 you can use your iPad or iPhone. You could write a precis of the message (traditional words or pictures), draw, and 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.
You might like to introduce THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w
Today is the last day we see the liturgical colour of PURPLE (closer to the red spectrum, Advent’s purple is closer to the blue spectrum), as it is the last day of Lent.
If worshipping from home you might like to set up a table or space with a purple cloth, a cross, and some things that remind you of your time in Lent, or from today’s readings.
IF worshipping in a Uniting Church In Australia you might like to teach the little ones this way to Acknowledge Country
LITURGY FOR LENT
Lent is 40 Days, (spread your fingers out and push them in front of yourself 4X)
it’s a long long way (shield your eyes and look around the horizon)
but with each step (walk on the spot)
We get closer,
closer to the JOY of EASTER, (star jump)
Closer to God (give yourself a hug)
We learn more about ourselves (point to yourself)
Like Jesus did in his 40 days in the Wilderness,
Today we only have 1 day left (spread your fingers out and count off 1 finger)
We are getting closer
Amen (one clap)
(Some visual learning suggestions, place 40 stepping stones around the church/or home, these can be made from non-slip tiles or mats (try Bunnings or Spotlight for ideas) such as these or if your church/home has cobble stones or timber stepping stones around them, number them and cross off the days. Another option is to use the Praying in Color steps template, especially good for those with small spaces or where you want people to stay connected away from the communal space.)
NOTE: though we say that LENT is 40 days we do not count the Sundays
This Liturgy can be said daily in the home, counting each day down as you say the second last line.
Exodus 12:1-4(5-10) and 11-14
READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones pp.88-91 (part of the God to the Rescue chapter)
PREPARE You might consider a simplified sedar meal like the first one in the link
DO: If you made a Palm or paper cross on Palm Sunday, one tradition is to attach that to your door, where it stays until Ash Wednesday next year when you take it down and burn it ( in a safe controlled manner)
PSALM 116: 1-2 and 12-19 (actions in italics)
God hears me (cup your hand near your ear as straining to hear)
I love God (make a love heart with your hand)
What do I have to give? (Flop your arms down away from your body with the palms up)
I will honour God (Cross your arms across your body)
I will tell others of God’s goodness (make a megaphone with your hands)
God cares about me (give yourself a hug)
I will serve you (pretend to give someone a plate of food)
I come from those who serve you (look behind)
What shall I give you? (place your hand under your chin)
I will tell others of God’s goodness (make a megaphone with your hands)
Everywhere (open your arms wide)
Praise the LORD (arms out wide and above your head)
OR READ God Hears by Stephanie Carmichael
How does the Psalm make you feel?
Describe that feeling, draw it, or point out what it feels like from a phones emoji’s
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
WATCH start from the 3 minute mark then stop at the 5 minute 20 second mark
MAKE a memory box. Decorate a box and fill it with things that hold a special meaning to you. This can be done individually or as a family or as a community. The box can be a simple recycled box or you can make and decorate something fancy.
GOSPEL READING: John 13: 1-17 and 31b-35
READ: Easter Love Letters from God by Glynys Nellist pp.8-11
DO: Young children could wash their washable toys feet, like Jesus did in today’s story
Older family members may help out with something, such as setting the table, folding clothes etc
Or you might reenact Jesus’s example and wash each other’s feet.
Take note of your reaction, positive or negative, and of other people’s reactions. Journal or draw about this and maybe even pray about your reactions or those of others.
Take a wet flannel, wash cloth, sponge
As you wipe your toes
Start with the small toe,
Today God, I would like to remember the children, and name them
Then wipe the toe next to it and say Today God, I would like to remember the ill, and name them,
Then wipe the middle toe and say Today God, I would like to remember the poor and name them
Then wipe the toe next to your big toe and say Today God, I would like to remember those living in war areas and name them.
Then wipe your Big toe and say Today God, I would like to remember those who guide us, and name them.
Please check local guidelines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowledge 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.
If you are in Australia and would like to teach your children to Acknowledge Country here is a video that will help, and a great book to help understand, We love Country. Most Uniting Church Congregations will say an Acknowledgement of Country towards the start of the service.