I use easily found ideas to help you share the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) readings. with 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.
WHO ARE THESE IDEAS FOR?
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. You can include this link or share these ideas in your Church newsletter, in your Order of service or on your media notes. .
OR you are a parent wanting something for your children to use either in face to face or with broadcast services, as you parent from the pews or couch
Or during family devotion times.
Though you will find simple ways into the text here THE MOST IMPORTANT THING 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 importance of teaching through story and explains the process I recommend you use with children.
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 Bible that everyone likes to read from, a word, a special object, even something from one of the readings. Or set up an Advent Candle Countdown like the one above.
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
Or for a more Intergenerational approach try Number 1 on the Table Settings album by Liturgical Folks
Advent is the season where we prepare for the arrival of God’s promise. The Liturgical colours are Purple (on the blue side of the spectrum) or Blue. Each Denomination has a slightly different variant but I will be using A Purple candle this week. With a Pink candle on Advent 3. Each week there is a theme, this week it is LOVE.
LISTEN Let us be known by our love No.10 on Liturgical Fok’s album Crumbs
This year I am giving you the choice of liturgy, one based on the Southern Cross and one from last year.
LITURGY A Week 4- LOVE
You can print this version of the Southern Cross here
Place a candle on the star. Today I use GACRUX as it is the second brightest star in the constellation. ( You can find more information on the Southern Cross here, including the star names, and some information on how The First peoples understand these stars)
OR if you have a flag or piece of clothing with the Southern Cross on it you might use a torch behind, to shine through the fabric. DO NOT place the material directly on any heat source, electrical, battery or flame.
(actions in italics)
We stand under the Southern Cross (Arms and eyes high)
As the First People have and still do.
God you were always in this land (plant your feet firmly on the ground)
We light our next star of Advent (twinkle your fingers)
May it guide us to find our Love in You. (Make a love heart with your hands)
Liturgy B WEEK 4 LOVE
Pretend to be a flame as you say or sing (to the tune of Twinkle twinkle little star) this liturgy. Remember to move like a flame. Today’s candles are purple or blue perhaps you can wear or put on something that is purple of blue
Can’t you hear your people, Lord? Can’t you see the state of things? Great Shepherd of Israel, hear the cry of your sheep. Mighty God of Hosts, see your people’s pain. We are tired of eating the bread of tears We are worn by strife and fear. Restore us with your favour, Lord! Save us in your love.
How does this Psalm make you feel? Can you point out how you feel using an emoji, or can you draw it?
Welcome to the Fourth Sunday in Advent. Remember to light your fourth candle at home.
Little Candle Burning bright (make yourself tall, with a flame- Arms over your head with your palms together in prayer)
Light my path (shade your eyes and look ahead)
and spread your Love (make a heart with your hands ) – Blow out the candles and watch the smoke float out into the world.
School Holidays have started for Australia and New Zealand. So don’t let this be an excuse for those in traditional services where Sunday School has finished not to attend church. Prepare well and easily with this guide and enjoy teaching them the importance of Worship and Lifelong faith formation.
SING/LISTEN: https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/seeds-of-christmas-ep/# Number 3 Call His name Emmanual
PSALM 80:1-7, 17-19
Psalm 80: The Restoration Project
Can’t you hear your people, Lord? Can’t you see the state of things? Great Shepherd of Israel, hear the cry of your sheep. Mighty God of Hosts, see your people’s pain. We are tired of eating the bread of tears We are worn by strife and fear. Restore us with your favour, Lord! Save us in your love. Your home on earth is past repair The walls are cracked and broken The fruiting vine is hacked and burned Your people turn away. Send us a Shepherd, Lord! Send us a Son from your right hand. All your strength is in him All your power to heal. Restore us with your favour, Lord! Save us in your love.
During Advent, many congregations will count down to Christmas using the 4 candle system. Usually they will be Purple or Blue with the Love candle (week 3) often in Pink.
MAKE: your own candle each week, cut an A4 sheet of cardboard in purple or blue (depending on what your church uses) write this week’s word, LOVE in any languages you use or know, or that are used by members in your church community (if you don’t know the right word, ask congregational members to write it for you). Cut a piece of 4cm yellow or orange (or both) of cellophane, crinkle the square, then stuff into the top of the candle.
You can also decorate a paper plate, and place each week’s candle around the plate until Christmas
OR you could read Christmas story today in what ever storybible your child likes or try My First Read-aloud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff pp.138-141 Jesus is born and The Shepherds, explain that this was all told a long time before it happened.
SING/LISTEN https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/seeds-of-christmas-ep/# Number 4
PRAY: Draw a list of all those things you want to thank God for.
OR Psalm 80:1-7
Psalm 80: The Restoration Project (For Advent: The Lectionary Psalm for Sunday 3 December 2017)
Can’t you hear your people, Lord? (put your hands over your ears) Can’t you see the state of things? (put your hands over your eyes)
Great Shepherd of Israel, hear the cry of your sheep. (rub your eyes) Mighty God of Hosts, see your people’s pain. (hold your hands over your stomach)
We are tired of eating the bread of tears (put your hands on your forehead) We are worn by strife and fear. (drop your shoulders)
Restore us with your favour, Lord! (hold your hands up in above your head) Save us in your love. (make a love heart with your hands)
Your home on earth is past repair (shake your head) The walls are cracked and broken (hang your head)
The fruiting vine is hacked and burned (swing your hands from your shoulder to hip) Your people turn away. (turn your face to the side)
Send us a Shepherd, Lord! (drop your shoulders) Send us a Son from your right hand. (fold your hands in a prayer position)
All your strength is in him (Put your arms up as to show off your muscles) All your power to heal. (fold your hands in a prayer position)
Restore us with your favour, Lord! (smile) Save us in your love. (make a love heart with your hands) http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-80-godrsquos-shining-smile.html actions by me.
PRAY: for help. Use the play mat and pray for the cars, people, animals , beach etc as you drive around. Remember to thank God for sending help. Amen