Weekly Devotion Page for February 1, 2015

11 February 1 - Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.pubHere is the devotion page for The Fourth Sunday After Epiphany, February 1, 2015.

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

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Faith + Home Connection February 2015 Mark 1: 29-39

20130822-223520.jpg Gather your household and share these questions together: What troubles you today? What brings you joy today? Pray together for all of your troubles and joys. God is with us in every part of our day!

20130822-223633.jpg Read Mark 1: 29-39 or read from a children’s Bible. In the Spark Storybook Bible read pages 256-257.

For adults and young children alike, it’s easy to think that all we have to do is pray and Jesus will heal us of everything that ails us: the flu, a cold, cancer, heart disease, mental illness, loneliness, etc. Reality is that we live in a world where bodies still get sick and die but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t hear our prayers and isn’t with us! The good news is that God’s promise is for life for us forever with God and God is with us in the pain and sorrow of the reality of disease and broken bodies in this life. As a community we also support, love and pray for each other as well as point out where God is at work when we can’t recognize it ourselves. Be sure with young children to emphasize God’s presence with them.

For children: What do you pray or talk to God about? Do you ever pray by yourself? God wants us to talk to God always! There is not anything that God isn’t ready to hear! How can you show God’s love to others? Do you think when we help someone, give a hug, offer nice words or draw a picture for them that we can make someone feel better if they are sad, sick or hurt?

For youth/adults: Where/when do you most often pray? Do you have a standard prayer, do you simply speak to God or do you sit in silence with God? People in our world are searching for something. We are all searching for happiness, joy, love, security, belonging, self-worth and the list goes on and on. In the Mark 1 story the disciples tell Jesus when he goes to a deserted place to pray that people are searching for him. The good news is that Jesus comes to us and searches for us. Jesus is always there. How can we reveal Jesus’ presence of love, hope, forgiveness and mercy in the world that is so desperately searching for those things? How do we use shopping, food, alcohol and other ways to fill our searching with what only God can offer us?

20130822-223749.jpg Pray for one another’s troubles and joys today. Offer prayers for all people to know that Jesus is with them and loves them. Pray to be filled with the love and compassion of Jesus for those who do not have enough to eat, adequate shelter, are lonely or are in need of healing in any way today.

FaithCross_ServeALT In our Growing In Faith Together-Sunday School for All on February 15th we will be putting together Blessing Bags to keep in your car to hand out to those in need that you may come across in your day. We are collecting the following items: gallon size zip lock bags, juice pouches, band-aids, antiseptic wipes, non-perishable snacks, feminine hygiene products, tissues. We will also be making note cards with an encouraging message to go into the bags. As a household collect those items and make a few notes for the bags.

20130822-223908.jpg +Jesus is with you always+



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Caught in God’s love! Children’s Sermon Mark 1: 14-20 Year B January 25, 2015

ffjChildrenSermonPreparation: Have some netting from fruit or other sources cut into hearts, one for each child at least. Have a large fishing or butterfly net handy.

20130822-223520.jpg Today go through the worship space and personally invite all of the children (or anyone else you want!) to follow you. Bring a fishing (or even butterfly net) with you and pretend to “catch” the children in your net. Be a little quick about it and if the children are in the “middle of doing something” tell them to immediately drop what they are doing and come with you. By the time you arrive at the spot where you normally hold children’s time, some of the children will have been following you for a while.

FaithCrossAsk: “Why did you come with me when I asked you to? (If some child refused and it’s possible ask them why not?)” Accept all answers but hopefully someone will say something around that they knew you, they kind of knew that it was children’s time and wanted to go, etc. “It’s easy to follow someone when you might know where they are going or what they are doing isn’t it? Have you ever had your mom or dad tell you that you were going somewhere that you had never been before? What was that like? Was it a little scary or strange?” Accept all answers. But you know that your mom and dad love you and so you knew it would be ok.

20130822-223633.jpg In our story about Jesus today, Jesus is walking around, sort of like I was walking around the worship space this morning, and was calling people to come and follow him. The people he called in this story were fishermen. They caught fish for a living. But Jesus wanted them to come and catch people for God. Did Simon, Andrew, James or John have any training in telling people about God? No. We don’t even really know if they knew Jesus that well, or had even heard of him! They didn’t really know where Jesus was going but they sensed that Jesus was safe and loved all people. They were caught by Jesus’ love for us all! So they followed knowing that somehow it would be ok.

We, too, are caught in Jesus’ love and Jesus calls us all to share God’s love wherever we are and wherever we go. No matter what else you are doing, even when you’re older and have a job like your mom or dad, your first job in your life to tell others about Jesus! Jesus’ love is like this net that catches us all and connects us all to each other and God. We can catch people with Jesus in the net God’s love! (Have hearts cut out of netting to hand to each child and even adults!)

20130822-223749.jpg God of love, we are grateful to follow you. We are thankful that we are caught up in your love each and every day. May we be nets of you love in the world. In Jesus name, amen.

FaithCross_WorshipHave a large net on a cross for a prayer station. Have 4 x2 (or so) fish or hearts cut out for people to write prayers of thanksgiving for all of the ways that we are caught in Jesus’ love!

20130822-223908.jpg +You are caught in Jesus’ love+




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Weekly Household Devotions for January 25, 2015

10 January 25 - Third Sunday after Epiphany.pubHere is the devotion page for The Second Sunday After Epiphany, January 18, 2015.

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

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Weekly Household Devotions for January 18, 2015

09 January 18 - Second Sunday after Epiphany.pubHere is the devotion page for The Second Sunday After Epiphany, January 18, 2015.

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

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Children’s Sermon Second Sunday After Epiphany, 1 Samuel 3:1-10 and/or John 1:43-51, January 18, 2015

Prepare:  You will need someone to help with this one. The idea is to have someone calling to you from an unseen place. For example, if you have access to a wireless microphone that can be used just outside your worship space, or maybe from behind a screen.

For the worship station you will need a large piece of white paper – like a large piece off an art roll – to make a banner.

20130822-223315.jpg  Invite the children to gather and ask them if anyone has ever called to them – no, not on the phone – but called to them in a loud voice? Like a friend on the playground, or parent calling for them to come inside, etc. As the children are offering ideas, have you partner call to you.  They should keep calling every 10 seconds or so until you find them (so they should be in an agreed upon place to save a little time!), but there needs to be time in between calls for you to talk to the children.

FaithCross  Wait! Did you hear that? I think someone is calling to me right now! Let’s listen. Oh well, what were you saying about being called?

There it is again!  Is it one of you calling me? No? Really? Huh. Well, since we are talking about being called we should talk about the Bible stories for today.  They are both stories about being called – Hey, there is again! Is it one of you out in the congregation? No? hmmmm. . .

Well, in the stories God calls to people. God calls to Samuel as he is sleeping in the temple, and Jesus calls to Philip and Nathanael to follow him. In both stories the calls are unexpected, and in both stories the people being called have to trust and believe in the call, even though they either cannot see the person calling, or don’t know where the call will take them . . . Listen, there’s that call again!  Alright, let’s go find them!

(now go searching for the person, take as longs as you need to find them, make a fun game out if it.)

When you find the person calling, have them ask for help with something simple, like carrying in the communion elements, or with lighting some candles, or collecting offering, etc.

I’m really glad I heard that call, and I’m glad that I could help. Samuel, Philip and Nathanael also answered when they were called and they became some of God’s most important helpers.

20130822-223749.jpg   Loving God, praise and thank you for all the work you do in the world. Teach us to hear your call, and to work every day to be your hands and feet in the world. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg  God calls you by name.

FaithCross_Worship  Either hand the blank banner on the wall or lay it out on a table. Have various colors available (crayons, pencils, etc). Invite people to write where they hear God’s call in their lives on the banner.


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Children’s message January 4th, 2015 Christmas 2 Year B John 1: 1-18      


ffjChildrenSermonPreparation: Have a nightlight, a flashlight, the candle shape printout (click here to download) and some cross or heart stickers to hand out to each child.

20130822-223520.jpg Have a flashlight and a nightlight handy. Gather the kids around the Christmas tree if you have one in your worship space or around the altar candles (wherever you have light!).

FaithCrossTalk about how wonderful the lights are this time of year when it gets dark so early. “Is it nice to have candles and Christmas trees to add lights to your house? Did you put lights on the outside of your house this year? We love lights don’t we! Ask the children if they have a nightlight or a flashlight in their room. Why do they have that? (Accept all answers.) Yes, no one, not even adults, likes the dark. Why do you think that is? (accept all answers: can’t see, trip over stuff and get hurt, kind of scary to not know what is in the same room with you…etc.) Light makes us feel safe, makes us feel not alone and lets us see what and who is around is. Light is good!”

20130822-223633.jpg Say, “Today’s Bible story has a lot of talk of light. It’s kind of confusing, even for adults, but the writer of the story is telling us that Jesus is the light of the whole world! God sent Jesus to let us know that we are not alone, God is always with us and Jesus’ love shows us all of the people in the world that Jesus wants us to love. God shows us God’s light through Jesus. Jesus is sort of like a nightlight for the whole world. When you look at your nightlight or your flashlight you can remember that Jesus is always with you! He is the light of the world! And do you know what? God says that Jesus’ light shines through us! You can light up someone’s life with God’s love! How can you do that? (Accept all answers) Yes! We can love, help and care for people and be Jesus’ light to them.”

*”If you parents say it’s ok, you can put this cross/heart sticker on your nightlight or flashlight to help remind you of Jesus’ love for you!”

FaithCross_Worship Have a table of tea light candles (electric ones are great too!) and have the congregation light a candle and write a prayer for where they would like Jesus’ light to shine or a thanksgiving for Jesus’ light in their lives. Have a candle shape cutout (link here) for people to write their prayers on. You can have a basket at the base of the Christmas tree or the cross for the prayers to go into. *You can also have people write how they will be the light of Christ to others this week and take their candle piece of paper home. You can also find inexpensive candles for people to write on and take home.

20130822-223749.jpg Jesus you are the light of the world! Help us to share your light with everyone we meet. Thank you for being with us always. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg+Jesus’ light shines in you+

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Children’s Sermon Baptism of Our Lord, Mark 1:4-11 January 11, 2015

Preparation: evergreen sprigs that are wet or can be dipped in baptismal font or spray bottles that do a light mist, a candle (if you are doing the worship station you will need several candles and non flammable paint markers or permanent markers)

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children to you and around the baptismal font. Ask for them to tell you what they know about the font and what it is used for.


20130822-223633.jpgShare about baptism and how it is done in your setting. Then move on to talk about how water is a gift not just for life and our bodies and for the world but also for how we remember that God has come to us and made us God’s children. Say, “Today we hear in the gospel of Mark about the baptism of Jesus and that we received the same promise from God as God’s loved children. Each time we use water, we can remember this promise! Also in baptism we are given a candle–a light to help us know that we are called to shine God’s light that has been given to us in the world.”

Lead the children in sprinkling the assembly with the evergreens or spray bottles OR simple take this time to squirt them!


20130822-223749.jpgJesus–you are God’s beloved son and we are also God’s children. Be with us in water and in light and help us to know and show your love. Amen


20130822-223908.jpgUse the baptismal blessing: You are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever +


FaithCross_WorshipLight of the world, Light of Our Lives: As we lit Advent candles in the season of Advent, waiting for Jesus to come, now we celebrate the light of Christ come into our lives. Decorate a white candle and take it home with you as a reminder of your baptism and the light of Christ throughout our next season of faith: Epiphany


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Weekly Household Devotions – January 4, 2015

07 January 4 - Second Sunday of Christmas.pubHere is the devotion page for The Second Sunday of Christmas, January 4, 2015

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

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Weekly Household Devotions – December 28, 2014

06 December 28 - First Sunday of Christmas.pubHere is the devotion page for The First Sunday of Christmas, December 28, 2014

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

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