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.
The liturgical colours for today are black or Red
If worshipping from home you might like to set up a table or space with a black or Red cloth, a cross, a candle and some things that focus your mind on today’s readings, for example, a nail, a crown or a circle of barbed wire( use the crown if you have young children).
IF worshipping in a Uniting Church In Australia you might like to teach the little ones this way to Acknowledge Country
LISTEN Good Friday The End on the Lent Album by Liturgical Folk
READ: God’s Holy Darkness by Sharai Green and Beckah Selnick
WATCH (start 45 seconds in)
FIRST READING: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
READ: A Wrinkled Heart by Tracie Hoexter
SING: Isaiah 53:6 (We all like sheep…) from the Boss of the Cross album by Colin Buchanan (I have included this because not all children, denominations, or families keep a sad tone today, so if this fits your circumstance sing away)
DO: a heart out of paper, draw it by hand or use this template to cut it out, wrinkle it then try to find ways to make it unwrinked.
Psalm 22: The Crucifixion Psalm
OR SING/LISTEN to Psalm 22 by Liturgical Folk
DRAW: how this Psalm makes you feel? Draw it or show it or find an emoji that shows it
SECOND READINGS: HEBREWS 10:16-25
READ I will Love You Anyway by Mick Inpen
A beautiful story of being loved and forgiven. Just like today’s reading
SING: Seeds Family Worship, He is Faithful
PRAY (get a piece of tissue paper or a sponge, cut out a heart shape and drop food dye onto it as you pray for those you find difficult to love or care about.)
OR Hebrews 4:14-16 and 5:7-9
READ: Kitten for a Day by Ezra Jake Keats
See Why it was suggested
SING: Totally God Totally Man by Sovereign Grace Music
When Jesus was a boy,
He played and grew
what it is like to be
a child like me
(tell God something about yourself)
GOSPEL READING: John 18:1-19:42
READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lolyd-Jones and Jago, A dark night in the Garden and The sun stops Shining pp294-309
SING: Is this the King on the Boss of the Cross album by Colin Buchanan
Colouring in There is a free colouring in page on p.20 that is appropriate for today (you do need to submit your email address to receive the download if you haven’t already downloaded the lent edition
MAKE a Gethsemane garden, create your own, using whatever you have ie. lego or bits and pieces or build it in a garden or a pot plant base You could print out these people and use them to retell today’s story.
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.