Children’s Sermon – May 29, 2016 – Luke 7:1-10, Lec 9C

Prepare:  Make two big signs, one that says “faith,” another that says, “trust.”  These can be used for both the children’s sermon and for the worship station.

Even better! Make single really big sign/poster with a Venn diagram of faith and trust!

You may also want a dictionary – or you can use these from dictionary.com

Trust

Faith

20130715-114218.jpg As the children gather around ask them if they know the difference between “faith” and “trust.  Let them wrestle with that a little bit.  Once they have had a few minutes to work on it, tell that in the dictionary (or at least at dictionary.com) the definition of faith includes trust, but the definition of trust does not include faith!

FaithCross_BibleALT Well isn’t that strange? If you have faith in something that means you also trust it, but if you trust something you might not have faith in it.  Maybe one way to think about is that we trust the things that we can see and feel, and we have faith in things that are hard to see and feel.

Well, in the Bible story we hear today, there is a centurion (a Roman soldier) who shows both trust AND faith in who Jesus is and what God can do. He has a servant who is dying and has faith that Jesus can heal the servant, but he also trusts that Jesus is powerful enough that the servant will be healed without Jesus even coming to his house!  This amazes even Jesus!

Let’s play a little game with trust and faith.  I have these two signs, (or one, whichever you did!) and we are going to come up with some things that we trust, some things that we have faith in, and some things that fit into both!  I’ll start – I trust that the building we are in is not going to fall down.  I have faith that Jesus is present with us now, and I have trust and faith in God’s everlasting love. Now you try!

(Give them a little space to come up with some ideas)

That was great!  Think about trust and faith this week as you meet people and play with friends.

FaithCross_PrayALT Loving and healing God, thank you for giving us things to put our trust in, like (add some things from the poster!). Thank you for giving us things to have faith in, like (______________). Thank you for being someone we can trust and have faith in!  Amen.

FaithCross_BlessALT May the Holy Spirit burn in your heart today and everyday!

FaithCross_Worship Simply invite the congregation to participate in the faith/trust/faith and trust exercise with the children!  You can make a big poster that people can come up and write on, or you can have more of an interactive discussion about it with the whole assembly.

Children’s Sermon Dance of God’s Love Trinity Sunday Year C

Preparation: Pick a song that you know well and/or your children knows well and that you can dance to. Some ideas: Lord of the Dance, Dance with Me, Canticle of the Turning, Marching in the Light of God–do the dancing verse!

You will also need two willing dance partners to start.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children up front with you. Say, “Have you ever played the game framer in the dell?” Explain the game. It’s a game with a song that goes “the farmer in the dell, farmer in the dell, heigh ho the merry-oh the farmer in the dell” and all the kids stand in a circle and dance and sing the song. During the verses, one kid at time they are pulled out of the circle until there is only one person left.

Well I have another dance for you today. Invite your partners to stand up with you and hold hand sin a circle. Start singing your song and dancing in a circle together. Sing one or two lines and then take the hands of a few more kids. Sing some more and then invite them all to join you. You may need to drop hands at this point and just dance together. Now invite the congregation to join you by standing and dancing.

(For example, if you use Marching in the Light of God you can sing half the first verse, get a few kids and finish. Then get them to all stand up and say we are singing  in the light of God and then invite the congregation to do the dance verse. You can modify for time or size of congregation. You can also pick a shorter song, like Alleluia-Praise ye the Lord or Love , Love, Love, that’s what it’s all about. )

OR go up front with your dance partners before you invite the children up. Start singing your song and dancing with the other two (so there are three total, cause.. trinity 🙂 Then get some other kids to join you. Then invite the whole group up front to join the song. Then invite the congregation to dance and sing with you.

20130822-223633.jpgWhen the song is over have everyone sit down. Say, “God’s dance is different than the farmer in the dell dance, isn’t it? How is it different?” Take answers and then say, “Yes, see, we talk today about one way we can think about how we see God, as a trinity, a three in one. There are many ways God shows us where God is and who God is and there are three that we talk  in the trinity–God the father or creator, God the son in Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. That is why I started with 3 people dancing. And God does not stop there, because the Holy Spirit wants to bring everyone in to know Jesus, to know God’s love, to know that God is everywhere they go, so it’s kind of like a dance where all are invited to participate with God and that is what sends God’s love out to the world. Just like we added people, the Holy Spirit’s love keeps getting added.

20130822-223749.jpgGod of the dance, thank you for showing yourself to us. Help us to dance with you and bring in more and more people to your love. Amen

 

20130822-223908.jpgMay you know and do God’s dance of love in your heart.

 

FaithCross_WorshipDance of God Footprint Wreath: Have cutouts of a footprint or have people trace their feet and have some done and glue or taped onto a cut out circle or an actual wreath. You will be making a wreath out of the feet. Instructions say: Write a way you can join in God’s dance on the foot and then put your foot on the wreath as you say a prayer to join in God’s dance.

Children’s Sermon – “Light the Fire” Acts 2 May 15, 2016 Pentecost Year C

Prepare: You will need rubbing alcohol, a large sturdy pot and a smaller pot or metal bowl. Fill the large pot with water and place the bowl in so it floats. Fill the bowl with rubbing alcohol and light on fire. This fire will be protected in the pot/bowl but still visible. It will last about 5 – 10 minutes and then go out on it’s own. We recommend you practice first.

20130822-223520.jpgGathering–One way is to gather at the beginning and do your children’s sermon at the beginning instead of in the middle of worship. You can light the fire with them in the back and then lead a processional to the front. Or you can gather at your normal time and have a helper who lights the fire and brings it out. Do not light it close to the children as they may lean in too close.

20130822-223633.jpgooo, we have a fire today! Wow! Not just the candles are lit but there is a fire. Does anyone know what today is? yes it is the day of Pentecost. We hear the story of when the people were gathered for a festival and a great wind blew in and then flames of fire appeared. (The Jesus Storybook Bible would be a great way to tell this story by reading it)

Have you ever heard the phrase… “I feel on fire”–what does that mean? It means that there is a light a passion an excitement for something. The Holy Spirit has an excitement and a passion and a love for each of you here and for the world. The Holy Spirit is here to unite us with others, no matter how different or alike we are, and the fire is one way for us to remember to be excited about sharing God’s love and living as people who are loved by God.

sing together: Light the Fire or This Little Light of Mine

20130822-223749.jpgHoly Spirit, thank you for your excitement for us, for your ongoing time with us and for sending us your love so that we may love too. Amen

 

20130822-223908.jpg+ May you know the fire of love inside you always +

 

 

FaithCross_WorshipSpirit Windsock: Make a Holy Spirit Fire Windsock with these materials to remember that the Spirit is blowing in your life all the time and sending you out with an excitement for living with Jesus.

Have sheets of cardstock paper with the words “Come Holy Spirit” written on them. Have markers, crayons, or those fun dot/bingo paint markers for stamping and decorating the paper. Next roll the paper and staple it closed. Attached string with staples or with a hole punch and then tying the string to make a handle. Next, have red, orange and yellow streamers and a stapler for attaching the streamers to the bottom. Make a sample ahead of time.

 

Children’s Sermon – “Many Parts, One Body” – John 17:20-26, May 8, 2016

Prepare: You will need a LEGO mini-figure for this. Have it taken apart and be ready to put it together.

For the worship station you will need a large piece of poster board or banner paper with the outline of a tree on it, and a bunch of permanent markers and a few washable stamp pads. (more information below!)

20130822-223520.jpg Gather up the children and get out you disassembled mini-figure. Ask if they know what it is (this should cause excitement).

20130822-223633.jpg Yep, it’s a LEGO figure! What can you tell me about it? (wait for a few answers) The think that I like about it is that it comes as a bunch of little pieces, and all these little pieces come together to make a person. Let’s see if we can put it together!

You might have one of the children put it together if you think that will work without too much frustration!

This little figure is made up of a bunch of parts, and I thought of it when I read the Gospel today.  Jesus is talking about being one with God. Jesus and God are like two pieces of a whole!

Even more than that, Jesus talks about us being parts of one whole with God! Without God and without each other we are like the pieces of the mini-figure. We certainly have some value, because we are usable pieces, but we are not complete and whole until we join with the others.

That’s kind of what being part of a church is all about. We are a bunch of pieces that have value, but we really become something special and complete when we are a whole church together!

20130822-223908.jpg + You are one with God+

20130822-224425.jpg God of all things, in you we are made whole. Encourage us to live in community with each other, and help us to live in ways that make those around us whole. Amen

FaithCross_Worship  Yes, this idea is stolen from a wedding idea, but it will work for this, too!  You are going to make a fingerprint tree of your congregation. If you have a big congregation you might need a couple of trees or more.

The idea is to have a bare tree on a big piece of paper, and each member of the congregation gets to use their fingerprint to make a leaf on the tree.  The markers or pens are then used to write a blessing or prayer next to their leaf.

Here is a picture of one.fingerprintree

My Peace I Give To You, John 14: 23-29, May 1, 2016 Easter 6C

20130822-223520.jpg As the children come forward give them a handshake or a high-five and say “I give you peace.” They might think that’s a bit strange but that’s ok!

20130822-223633.jpg Once you’ve greeted everyone say, “Did I tell each of you “I give you peace”? Good! Why do you think I did that? (Accept all answers) Yes, those are all good reasons! In our Bible story this morning Jesus says that he gives his peace to the disciples. Do you think that they were confused by that too? I think so! It’s a strange thing to give someone peace…it’s not the same as giving a sandwich, a toy or a sticker…Jesus knew that he would not always be with the disciples or with us. He would be going to be with God in heaven. Jesus also knew that sometimes the disciples might get scared because there are scary things in the world.

Do you ever get scared? What scares you? (Share something that scares you.) Those things can scare us! When you get scared what do you do? Who do you run to? (Hopefully they will answer, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa or some family/close friend.) Yes! We run to someone who loves us and will help us! Does that make us feel better? It does me! I don’t like to be scared and alone…I think that’s what Jesus means by giving us peace, Jesus reminds us that we have each other to help us remember that we are never truly alone. If we’re scared and our mom, dad, etc. are not around, Jesus is! This makes us feel better! Did you know in church we offer each other peace in our worship service? We call it the passing of the peace and we shake hands or give hugs and say, “Peace be with you.” We do this to remind ourselves that we are not alone! We have this whole community around us! Praise God!

FaithCross_Worship Have strips of cloth cut out from one piece of fabric so that everyone receives the same color. Invite the congregation to write with a fine tip permanent marker the words “I give you the peace of Jesus.” Have them take the strip of cloth with them to their seats. If your congregation has as part of you liturgy the “Passing of the Peace,” invite them to tie this strip of cloth around the wrist of someone as they offer a sign of peace. If not, choose a time to do this in your worship.

20130822-223749.jpgGod, Jesus and Holy Spirit, you are one and we are also connected as one. May we share your peace and love with everyone that we meet. Remind us when we are scared that you are with us and will never leave us. We pray for your peace to reign in our hearts and our world. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +The Peace of Christ be with you always+

Let us walk with you on the journey of faith. Whether your feet are big or small, fresh or worn, running or crawling, God's love goes with you and you stand on holy ground.