Lent 5 Year A, 2023: Ideas to share the Revised Common Lectionary Readings with all ages.

Welcome. 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.

If 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

We are now in the season of LENT the liturgical colour is PURPLE (closer to the red spectrum, Advent’s purple is closer to the blue spectrum)

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.


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 12 days left (spread your fingers out and count off 12 fingers)

We are getting closer

(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.

FIRST READING: Ezekiel 37:1-14

WATCH: Don’t forget to answer the wondering Questions.

DRAW: a picture of a person, watch your drawing becoming different from those you have drawn before or that others are drawing around you. (I have included a link if you would like instructions on how to draw) or you could use a person shape and dress them (here are some ideas from RIOT).

ACTIVITY: Have you ever seen a plant you thought might be dead, come to life when it is cared for.

Is there such a plant in your home, that you can care for?

OR have you cooked a cake and it has fallen in the middle, instead of throwing it out what other uses have you found for it?

OR recycle or repurpose something


READ Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval

SING Liturgical Folk Psalm Settings album, Number 8

SECOND READING: Romans 8:6-11

READ: The Biggest Story Bible,


READ: Would you rather be a Bullfrog by Dr Suess


A Storypath Suggestion

READ: The Biggest Story Bible

PLAY: with Babushka dolls, or anything that nests one inside the other.


Creator God,

help me to rest in you

for you are in me


GOSPEL READING: John 11:1-45

READ: The Whirl Story Bible, Jesus raises Lazarus, pp.298-301

OR The Spark Story Bible, Lazarus, pp.354-357

WATCH: Make sure you answer the Wondering Questions

SING: Totally God-Totally Man by Sovereign Grace Music


BENEDICTION/LEAVING SONG Heather Price’s Benediction Song on her Full of the Spirit Album


Wendy L.

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.


After Pentecost 5B: ideas to engage the whole family(especially the youngest) in the set RCL readings for Sunday



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 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. 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.


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.



SING https://www.snackmusic.com.au/songs/you-are-welcome


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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

Or if you are looking for a more contemplative version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NuUo-igXDU&fbclid=IwAR2FasYCU-9mP1PaLQDjweXyhyUnJutt4J28KycjzeUEttWSesipX2jmJxE

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


Sing your prayer, Play an instruement, either conventional or homemade.

Make it about the things that are happening in your home this week.

FIRST READING: 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27

READ Tess’s Tree by Jess M. Brallier


This is a Storypath suggestion find out why here

This might be a good time to talk about grief. Some other resources that might come in useful could be

https://buildfaith.org/saying-goodbye-to-pets/?fbclid=IwAR3QvGzPZwDP0Yqc2fYC58kCKVJVrBOSkm1crCyrVntzf1z30PD3ClTVXYs (not all of this article may be applicable)

The Pond by Nicola Davies




DESCRIBE how this reading makes you feel, 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 https://innovativeresources.org/resources/card-sets/bears-cards/ or you can make your own using paper plates and draw a picture for each emotion.

Create a song that tells the history of an ancestor.


GOD, You heard David’s tear’s

You helped him through his grief

Be with those who grieve too



LISTEN: LITURGICAL FOLK, Psalm Settings, No.8.

DESCRIBE how this Psalm makes you feel, 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 https://innovativeresources.org/resources/card-sets/bears-cards/ or you can make your own using paper plates and draw a picture for each emotion.

SECOND READING: 2 Corinthians 8:7-15

READ It’s Mine! by Leo Lionni


Another suggestion from Storypath

Share: share a piece of fruit, a packet of biscuits, a card. What can you share?


God you give to us

Help us to give to others


GOSPEL READING: Mark 5:21-43

READ: Children of God: Jesus Restores Sight and Raises Life, only the second page.

AND Brave Girls Bible Stories by Jennifer Gerelds The Bleeding Woman – Healing touch pp.153-155

PLAY print and play this matching game on the story of the 12 year old girl.

RETELL the stories from the people involved ie, Jesus, Jarius, Jarius’s Daughter, The woman who touched Jesus, the disciples etc.

OR PLAY out the stories, you can use toys or cut out pictures, or make puppets.


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.

Year A: Lent 5. Ideas to use at home to help your children relate to this weeks RCL readings

My family are now close to the end of the Isolation period imposed by our government on those returning home. But the world is moving at such a quick pace, that it seems the rest of Australia has caught up and we are all doing isolation. As all churches are closed this blog might be helpful to you. I started it to help out those small congregations that could not afford a CHILD AND FAMILY ministry person. But the ideas based on each of the Revised Common Lectionary Readings for this week are also great for Family Faith Formation. It was originally written with the 0-3’s in mind as this was often the least catered for age group, yet studies show that it is also the most important with respect to Faith Formation.

There will be a test Livestreaming by the Uniting Church in Australia this Sunday at 8am (AEST), I recommend joining in if you can https://assembly.uca.org.au/news/item/3158-livestreaming-on-assembly-platforms

If you have older children some of the ideas below are easily adapted or you could try

Jillian’s https://feedmyfamilyblog.com/product/lent-2020-life-pack/ 

OR  Illustrated Ministry https://store.illustratedministry.com/collections/family-resources/products/lent-for-families-prayer or  for your older children

You may also like to check out the resources at https://www.connectible.nz/?fbclid=IwAR1rKcoXotGCLs7-X-_-3i2xbQBOL3OAex7GD2Za8k3m8DNj5qLpecDKIPo

OR do family worship along with https://www.facebook.com/worshipforeveryone/videos/2581231221983147/?__tn__=%2CdkC-R&eid=ARC7PtaZX6ajaPNMsv8TRy0gBvjuBbiMDc62JVs4SjY-vfV0PppZvPu7THFNdCyfy9Z_rCX2pHLcSjCc&hc_ref=ARQckipI5xIRW1cBLNOqxf7kk9BQAcikmlJUsoRJtvKljfELSRz1l3PVYlyhEKxQHqo&redirect=false

OR the wonderful people at Seed https://www.facebook.com/seedsfamilyworship/videos/2574262206171614/

Looking for some fun music to enjoy during the week


OR https://seanwsmith.com/kidsmusic/

If worshipping at home these are some of the things you might want to “stockpile” (have in the home) Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! 

and Make the books appealing

FIRST READING: Ezekiel 37:1-14


This video is too advanced for this age group but it is suitable for any older children, and I have often found that where there are older children the younger ones will also engage.


Psalm 130: Out of the depths
I cry out to you, O God (Shape your hands like a megaphone)
I’m in too deep, I’m out of my depth (Hold your head up high, point your chin to the sky)
Save me! (Hold your arms above your head)
I wait for you, O God (Tap one foot)
The night is long, too long (put your hands on your hips)
and I wait for the light of dawn. (sweep your arm across your body in an arc)
I hope in you, O God (intwine your fingers and raise your arms)
for your love breaks through –(make a heart shape with your hands)
great power to save, (show your muscles)
great power to save! (show your muscles)

With thanks to http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-130-the-dawn-psalm.html

COLOURING-IN: https://store.illustratedministry.com/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-spring-2020?variant=31284510392418 For about $20 Aus you can download enough colouring in sheets to last till Pentecost.

OR https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/620983/posts/2637136139 For a yearly subscription of $US25 

SECOND READING: Roman 8:6-11

READ/WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lJov60zGX0  If a Chicken Stayed for Dinner by Carrie Weston as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-march-29-2020/

PLAY: with Babushka dolls, or anything that nests one inside the other.


Dear God,

sometimes it is hard to do

what You want

instead of what I want

Can you help me

With that?



GOSPEL READING: John 11:1-45

READ: 5 Minute Bible Stories by Batchelor and Boshoff  Jesus gives new Life, pp.148-149

OR The Beginner Bible, Lazarus Lives Again, pp.418-422

WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz-ub3UlhYI&fbclid=IwAR18V0uryEc3rKEVfVST9wmHJWgjsuqNV2R_IrzF9MNwIQJ_Ma-PH6th6mI

,This video is too advanced for this age group but it is suitable for any older children, and I have often found that where there are older children the younger ones will also engage.

SING: https://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/songs/totally-god-totally-man/

PLAY: Can you retell this story with your toys?

What did you like best about this story?

What would you leave out from this story?

Colouring-IN https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/620983/posts/2637136139 For a yearly subscription of $US25 to download


Wendy L.

After Pentecost 12B: Ideas to help the 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings.

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.

https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/coloring-sheets-posters/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-summer-2018 Will get you 14 colouring in pages, that is 14 Sundays worth and I will  refer to them over the coming weeks.


When I’m feeling Sad by Trace Moroney, sold individually at David Jones  https://www.davidjones.com/Product/21636058/When-I’m-Feeling—-Sad or as part of a set at KMART. https://www.kmart.com.au/product/the-when-im-feeling-collection—pack-of-8-books/1125325

food toys

community building toys such as dolls house, cooking set, road or train sets


Drawing paper or Journal

FIRST READING: 2 Samual:18:5-9, 15, 31-33

READ/WATCH When I’m Feeling Sad by Trace Moroney https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrhbrxcGEBM Read or watch in small amount then put it down as it is too long and too complex for most in this age.

DRAW: a sad picture

PRAY: When I’m sad (make a sad face)

I am not alone (shake your head)

Thankyou that you are with me God. (clasp your hands together)




 Psalm 130: Out of the depths

I cry out to you, O God
I’m in too deep, I’m out of my depth
Save me!
I wait for you, O God
The night is long, too long
and I wait for the light of dawn.
I hope in you, O God
for your love breaks through –
great power to save,
great power to save!
by Rev Silvia Purdie   http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-130-the-dawn-psalm.html
DRAW or SHOW: what it looks like if you are very upset.
If you are hopeful.
PRAY:Use the above pictures or actions to say the above words as a prayer. Cross you arms and Tap your feet to show how you wait.

SECOND READING: Ephesians 4:25-5:2

READ/WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh7X8Qask2E Do unto Otters by Laurie Keller Read or watch in small amounts then put it down or close it down, as it is too long and too complex for most in this age.



PLAY: with community making toys, eg. dolls house, road mat ie like this at IKEA https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/10361911/, cooking sets,

Anything that suggests the creation of community. 2+ love this but are not ready yet to play with others they will play alongside them though and this is the start of communal play


GOSPEL: John 6:35, 41-51

WATCH/READ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td2RgD5eNOQ Bread Bread Bread by Ann Morris

OR READ p.102 of The Jesus Storybook Bible

I have deliberately not addressed the issue of People not accepting Jesus’ claimm of who he is. So much but not all of this is similar to last weeks suggestions.

PLAY: with food toys, such as the IKEA https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/20262005/

CRAFT: https://ministry-to-children.com/printable-bread-of-life-craft-booklet/