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 somethings that remind you of your time in Lent, or from today’s readings.
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 24 days left (spread your fingers out and count off 24 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: Exodus 17:1-7
READ: 5 Minute Bible Stories by Batchelor and Boshoff, God gives Water pp.52-53
OR The Spark StoryBible, pp.94-95
DRAW/WRITE OR TELL: Who do you relate to in the story? Moses, the Israelites, someone else? Why?
READ Snuggle Time Psalms by Glenys Nellist
OR Psalm 95: Come let us sing for joy
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord! (Dance)
Let us shout aloud to the rock of our salvation! (make a megaphone with your hands)
Come, make a joyful noise! (hands in the air)
Come, bring all your “thank you”s ((bob your head)
For in God’s hand are the mountain tops (make a mountain with your hands)
and the ocean floors. (make waves with your hands)
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord! (Dance)
Let us shout aloud to the rock of our salvation!(make a megaphone with your hands)
Come, bow down and worship (Bow)
Come, kneel and be humble (kneel)
For in God’s hand are all his people (cup your hands together)
we are his sheep and he is our Shepherd (be a sheep)
How does the Psalm make you feel?
Describe that feeling, or draw it, or point out what it feels like from the emoji’s on the phone.
SECOND READING: Romans 5:1-11
READ: Hope is an Open Heart by Lauren Thompson
A Storypath suggestion. Read the reason why they chose this book.
SING Snack Music’s Thank you for Loving me
MEDITATE: A time of sitting quietly to hear God. Turn on a Battery operated candle, sit quietly and enjoy God’s peace. (our little ones won’t sit long, and this is not an endurance test, set a timer, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, whatever they can achieve then each time you try this make it just a little bit longer.)
GOSPEL READING: John 4:5-42
READ: The Spark Story Bible, the Woman at the well, pp.338-343
THINK/LIST/DRAW: Those things that fill you with ___(eg happiness, love, etc)
BENEDICTION/LEAVING SONG Heather Price’s Benediction Song on her Full of the Spirit Album
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. Most Uniting Church Congregations will say an Acknowledgment of Country, very early in their service.