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For anyone looking for ideas to help share God’s word with everyone including the youngest.

Whether you are preparing traditional worship or an all age or Intergenerational service.

OR you are a parent wanting something for your children to use either in face to face or broadcast services, as you parent from the pews or couch

Or during family devotion times.

I use 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.

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 believe that it is in the relationship, that the Faith formation of the next generation truely starts. You will notice that there are very few prompts or questions on this page. This is to allow your child to do the thinking and to work out what is important to them from the texts. Sometimes they may give you an insight or even ask a question? There are no wrong insights or crazy questions, and you are enough, enough to listen, enough to work it out together, ENOUGH to share your love of GOD with your child.

Here is a great presentation on children’s spirituality, but most importantly from the 40 minute mark on, it speaks about the imporantance of teaching through story and explains the process I recommend you use with children.


We are still 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.


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 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 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 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 could use a template like this free download





You might like to start with the Lord’s Prayer if at home, or say the Lord’s Prayer within a set place if following along in a service. Here are 4 options


A more contemplative version

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

PRAYER OF THE PEOPLE: Praying in Color


READ Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli


a storypath suggestion

(WE finish our readings from Proverbs today but if you would like to read more there is a great book on Proverbs by Andrew McDonough called Proverbs you can read a sample here and also buy it and the activity book)

DRAW: something good that happened in the above story or draw something the womwn in the Bible verse did for others



you made me

You know what I can do

may I be known for the good things I do

(use actions to show the good things you do for others, eg, pretend to mix a bowl, pretend to plant a seed, pretend to wash the dishes or stack the dishwasher, keep making up good things to do.)

Amen (one clap)


READ Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval

READ: Tina the Tree by Andrew McDonough you can read a sample here and buy the book or the activity sheet. There is also great free downloads a maze or some “buttons’ to print out you can use these to retell the story

LISTEN How does this version of the Psalm make you feel?

SECOND READING: JAMES 3:13-4:3, 7-8a

READ: Lousy Rotten Stinkin’ Grapes by Margie Palatini


A Storypath suggestion

PLAY Game 1 Magic Cane, this is a team building game but can be played by anyone, you all must work together . If there is only 2 of you I suggest using a straw, or a shewer (please remove any pointy ends)

Helium ballon sticks work well in this game.



READ: WHIRL STORYBIBLE Who’s the Greatest, pp.230-233.

DO: DRAW a circle, then draw your most important thing in the centre of it

OR build a circle with blocks, rocks, sticks etc, and place your most important thing in the middle of it


Teacher God,

The least important

Is the most important

Help me to understand

so that I can live like that


SENDING HYMN Tell the World by Hillsong Kids Learn the actions here


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.


Reflections on James 3:13-4:3,7-8a and Mark 9:30-37


IN a moment of fancy I can almost see the author of the Letter of James today, walking down the streets of Melbourne.

I picture him getting off the train at Flinders St station, strolling across Fed Square, heading down the stairs to South Bank walk, watching/listening as a small group hang on the words of a person who has every play for the year committed to memory. Someone gets a call and he follows that group as they move a little further down the walk to join another group, where everyone is hanging on the words of man and someone whispers “he should know he’s played local footy since he was 8 ”. Everywhere there is noise, boastful statements are made everywhere he turns. He walks on until he makes it to the G but he can’t get in, sold out game of course, so I imagine my nephew in law offering to take him home. It’s past her bedtime but Miss 4, is in her PJ’s, with Richmond jumper proudly on display and she decides “It’s not worth staying up, because there’s no Dusty and he’s my favourite”. I can imagine the author of James would say today what he said 2000 years ago “for where there is selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable and gentle”. There is nothing peaceable about that walk to the G.

I remember coming home as an adult with my Dad on the train, following a close game, of traditional rivals. Two middle aged men, were more than threatening to take each other out, and this was prior to the day of the PCO’s. Everyone was moving away from them and leaving as we pulled into a station. My dad, a big man, ex police, ex security officer, moved against the crowd until he was next to them. He engaged each in conversation and before long all three were calm and in fact agreeing about the game. Yes, we have all seen the chaos that “worldly wisdom” causes, whether young or old, in the playground we start to see this “worldly wisdom”, emerge, maybe from a senior student who convinces us that they must be right because they are older. I tell this story as an illustration of what I feel the author of the letter of James was trying to achieve in this passage.

My own ego has caused my information/wisdom to be distorted and cause hurt and harm within this community. We don’t have to go as far as to kill to cause disputes and conflicts. It is often agreed upon that the letter of James was written at a time of disputes within the new church.

But it is also here in this congregation that I have seen God’s wisdom outpouring. Lately it’s been working with the amazing people that have made up the Outreachers working party, all have specialist knowledge and wonderful skills, but we have worked together relatively harmoniously seeking God’s hand in all we do, and a few weeks ago in our last Engage day I worked harmoniously in a multiage group, where everyone’s talents were given and received seamlessly. God’s wisdom. Or rather the fruit of God’s wisdom is according to the author of the Letter of James, purity and peaceable.

I don’t think the author would have enjoyed the academic disputes over his identity. Whether it was Jesus’s brother as many seem to historically point to, or one of the other prominent James mentioned in the Gospels, I am fairly confident that he would not approve of any disharmony that scholars seeking the “truth” might cause within the faith community, because what is generally agreed upon is that the author was a Jew, with a strong knowledge of Jewish law and an understanding of God’s harmonious wisdom, who paired wisdom with good deeds.


Now I find it interesting that this week it is paired with a passage that is causing a lot of disharmony amongst faith communities today.


Now I speak of Mark 9: 30-37, one of 6 similar readings, 2 in each synoptic Gospel,  it is such an important narrative, that we have 6 versions that appear in the Synoptic gospels, Matthew 18:1-5and Luke  9:46-48 and then Mark 10:13-16, Matthew 19:13-15 and Luke 18:15-17. And though John, does have a similar statement, as a whole, it uses the term “child of God”, consistently when speaking about Jesus’s followers, thus showing us written within the text that it understands the significance of these  6 synoptic passages.

Some authors talk about them framing passages that teach about the Kingdom of God.


Now, generally it is accepted that Mark is the first source from which the other Gospels reflect, except in this passage where Matthew 18: 3 is often felt to be the prime source. Each of the versions have their own take on the story, but there are some specifics that they all agree on.

The placement of this passage in all the Gospels indicates movement, a progression of the story to the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a watershed moment when the gospels begin to become serious about Jesus’ mission and identification of who He is. We see that clearly in this passage from Mark as they move through Galilee, and Jesus tries to teach them who he is.

It’s clear the disciples are failing to understand, because they are arguing about which one of them is more important. In each of the Gospels Jesus’s way of addressing the disciples and the disciple’s ability to speak freely to Jesus is slightly different, each reflecting a different view of the author. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus asks what they have been speaking about, but they do not tell him. Now Jesus, shows his wisdom, His understanding, not by being critical of them, nor verbally shaming them. No, in response to their argument about who is the greatest, He takes a child and this part is exclusive to Mark, Jesus takes this child, generally agreed to be of preschool age, in his arms, and put’s it among the disciples. “Whoever welcomes one such child, in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not me but the one who sent me”

This child is embraced, and not just physically by teacher, prophet, Son of God, but embraced as being of importance, greater importance, than, the disciples.

It is a confronting image to see the devaluing of those Jesus had hand picked, those that we know, thanks to the value of hindsight who “finally got it”, but at this stage were so naive.

How do we welcome a child, this is not specified it is left to each age, and situation to answer this question for itself? But Jesus placed the child amongst the adults. How do we welcome a child?

I find it interesting that these two reading have been paired together. For almost 20 years, the reciprocal passage in Matthew has sparked a modern day movement, called the Child Theology Movement. This has been causing disharmony around the world in many congregations.

Now we all access the scriptures for our own learning, we might read using our history, or read using our senses, or maybe we follow a formulae, read, draw, or journal then pray. We might follow a guide, or if we come from the Wesleyan tradition, perhaps use the Wesleyan Quadrilateral of scripture, tradition, experience and reason. Academics also use many methods to explore scripture. When I started my theological studies in the early 90’s we were given a formulae to follow, look at the narrative, the form and structure, literary criticsm, language, use of metaphor, etc. A few years into my studies and I started hearing about Liberation Theology, and not long after that it’s love child Feminist Theology, and for the last few years I have been enmeshed in the Child Theology movement, which has grown from the methodology of the Liberation and Feminist theologies. Except that the Child Theology Movement requires both the study of the Word and pastoral application. It takes as its “lens” the Matthew version of the Mark reading we heard today and uses the identifier “ to place the child in the middle” as it’s means of coming to both academic and pastoral work. To welcome a child is to welcome God. Thus from the Child Theology Movement there must be a pastoral response to this passage in Mark. How do we welcome children, unlike some ways of thinking theologically, there is no metaphors involved, it deals with the actual child. The child is not a metaphor for the lowest, the poorest the most needy. It is a living child, and Christ’s example is to embrace it and place it in the middle.How do we welcome children?


All of these methods allow us to think about a piece of Biblical writing, they let us shine a light on a reading in a way that our own reasoning might not. They give us a way of viewing God beyond the constraints of ourselves, because God is so much bigger than anything I could constrain God in, and very importantly according to the Letter of James, wisdom brings peace, not disharmony. How can all these disparaging viewpoints create a state of wisdom. How do we remove our ego’s so that God’s vastness is left in the teachings not the disputes about who is right.

What then would the Child Theology Movement think about the James reading? Children are not mentioned, at all in this reading, but then neither are they excluded, Wisdom, comes from God. The author of James, like the Child Theology movement requires a pastoral response. Age, education, none of the conventional social ideas of Wisdom are mentioned, wisdom comes from God for those who seek Him. Over the last few years working with children in worship at Wesley, I’m left in no doubt that a child seeking God will receive this wisdom. Take a moment to think of a child you know, or who you’ve taught or even think back to your own childhood experience.

Unfortunately James’s word’s could apply in academic circles where the Theories fight for supremacy, as they do in every congregation in town.

How do we welcome a child, this is not specified it is left to each age, and situation to answer this question for itself? But Jesus placed the child in the middle. How do we welcome a child?

Let’s think about this question as we sit in quiet contemplation for a moment, and pray for God’s wisdom as we live in community.

Given at Highfield Road Uniting Church Canterbury Melbourne Australia

For those unfamiliar with Melbourne Life, we watch a strange form of Football said to have an indigenous beginning, called Australian Rules Football, and the Grand Final is this weekend. It is so important to our way of life that we have a state holiday for it. You can find out more here

After Pentecost 18B: Ideas to share the RCL readings with the 3’s and under.

These are suggestions only, to help parents/caregivers engage their children in services that use the Revised Common Lectionary. They can be used by parents/caregivers or those who help out in small congregations that can not afford to pay Child and Families Ministry. Some congregations use all 4 readings in their services others only two. Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on. Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember you have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

You might need to prepare these in advance, and place them in a special Church Bag ready to go for Sunday Morning. THIS IS A NEW SEASON, AMERICAN FALL OUR Spring . For $10 American dollars (about $Aus 16) you have 12 weeks of colouring sheets. Or you can combine with other parents or ask the Church to make the purchase for yourself and the families.

brown, textured paper, crepe paper or felt


green crepe ribbons cut into 4-6 cm long x 1-1.5 cm wide strips

non-permanent non-toxic age appropriate texta’s

A4 plain paper


Battery operated candle

Communal toys such as dolls house, picnic set, trains or cars

The Lion Story Bible


FIRST READING: Proverbs 31:10-31


The Good Kid

A         A good kid is able to do whatever is asked.

B         “Be thoughtful and kind to every person all the time”

is the motto which a good kid follows every day.

C          Clean rooms, clean clothes, clean papers,

and clean desks show the presence of a good kid.

D         Doing what is right all the time is what a good kid

always does.

E          Everyone thinks a good kid is wonderful

and praise comes to the good kid every single day.

F          Football, basketball, baseball, soccer

and all other sports come easily to the good kid.

Good kids are sports stars.

G         Good grades cover the reports of good kids.

They are excellent students.

H         Happy is the word that describes a good kid

all the time.

from This is Caroline’s attempt to adapt the Proverb to children, which have may more resonance than for the Good Woman as originally written.

SING/LISTEN: Number 10


If I try so hard on being good (point to yourself)

I might forget to try to know you God (point around you)




Psalm 1: A tree by a stream

Happy are those who choose their path –
I will follow Jesus.
Be careful where you put your step –
God will be your guide.
I will be a tree growing by a stream –
God’s Spirit like fresh water.
I will grow good fruit and grow strong
and God will watch over me.

by Rev, Sylvie Purdie

OR WATCH /READ: Tina the Tree

as suggested by

MAKE: A picture of Rev. Purdie’s Psalm.

Cut out a tree trunk from brown textured paper or crepe paper or felt,

cut thin strips of green crepe steamer of between 4 and 6 cm in length, 1-1.5 cm in width stick one end only on tree. (This lets the leaves sway like on a real tree)

Draw a river at the base of the tree.

Colour in the background add birds and clouds and the sun if you want to.


SECOND READING: James 3:13-4:3,7-8a

WATCH/READ: The Pain and the great One by Judy Blume

suggested by


When we pray we talk to God when we meditate we listen for God.

Take an electric candle, turn it on, ask them to sit silently, (this can be as short as 2 seconds, don’t make it too long you don’t want them to fail. If they find the time to long do it for shorter until yo have success. I have found that with persistent effort you can grow the length of time they will stay still, and I have seen changes in many children as they learn to meditate. You can ask them what they thought of, or heard, or you can just end this time with an Amen.

DRAW: places where God is.


GOSPEL: Mark 9:30-37

READ: The Lion Story Bible p.172

PLAY: with communal toys such as dolls house, trains, cars, picnic sets etc. With the emphasis on being welcoming.


Invite the children to decorate a child figure cut-out (template) to represent themselves, (try then hold up their self-portrait and repeat after you:

Dear Jesus,
thank you that I am important to you.
Thanks to the Roots team