Signs of New Life and the nearness of God’s Kingdom, Luke 21: 25-36, Advent 1, Nov.29th, 2015

20130715-113716.jpgHave the children come forward and stay standing up for this time. Say “Look around our worship space. What do you see?” (Accept all answers.) “Yes, we see people, the piano/organ, the font, the table, bread, wine, water, pews, carpet, etc. We see all kinds of things in here that tell a story! What story do you think that all of these things and people tell? They tell the story of God’s love. They are telling us to remember to look around to look for love, which is always a sign of Jesus in our world. Do you ever see things in your day or on tv that scare you? Yes, I do too. But I remember to look for signs of love around me when  I feel scared.

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story today, Jesus says that we will see things in the world that we won’t understand or might even scare us. But he says “stand up! Look for signs of love and hope!” Jesus tells us that when it seems that things are scary or sad, that he is with us forever. Nothing can make Jesus go away. He also says that there is something that we can do to help us to look for signs of God’s love and new life everywhere we go: pray. Praying is not just about asking God for what we need or a friend needs but is also about just talking to God and listening for where God might be telling us to look for signs of love. Sometimes we say words when we pray and sometimes we can be silent when we pray. Doesn’t matter what kind of prayer you say or do, all prayer connects us to God and helps us to see signs of God’s love in the world. Let’s practice that now.

20130822-224425.jpg (Start by saying “Dear God” and then telling the children that we will be quiet for a minute.) Dear God, (silence is kept) we see things that we don’t understand. Open our eyes  to see more of your love, more of your hope and more of your grace. May we stand up to be signs of your love in the world.  Amen. 

FaithCross_WorshipHave someone draw a tree on  butcher paper or use a large plant or indoor tree that you may have in your church. Have leaves cut out for people to write signs of God’s love and new life to tape on the paper tree or have string to hang the leaves on the real plant/tree. Invite people to take their leaves home to place on their Christmas tree.

20130822-223908.jpg + Jesus is near+

Children’s Sermon for November 22, 2015 – Christ the King Sunday

Prepare: Get a big piece of paper to make a banner and some markers.

20130822-223520.jpg Start with a big “Happy New Year!” Wait for a few funny looks from the children then talk about how Christ the King Sunday is the last Sunday of the church year, so this is a good time to sat “Happy New Year!”

20130822-223633.jpg What do you know about the year? Let’s start with the seasons.  If we are talking about the regular calendar, it starts in January, kind near the beginning of winter. Then we move on to spring, them summer, than autumn, and the we start all over again!  It goes in a big circle, and we notice the seasons as they change, and we know what is coming 

The year for the church is kind of the same, except that is starts with Advent. There are seasons in the church year, too, but more than in the regular calendar. We have Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. Just like the regular calendar, we know the church year and we know what is coming next! Next week we start Advent, which leads us to Christmas!

The regular calendar marks out the seasons of the earth going around the sun. The church year focuses on the life and the stories of Jesus. His birth and ministry. His death and resurrection, and the way that we tell the stories of Jesus. On this last Sunday of the church year we celebrate Christ as the king of all creation! By this time in the church year we have heard the stories, celebrated the miracles and mercy of Christ, and look forward to the time when he comes again.

Next week we start over! Next week we are once again waiting for Christ to be born. We are following Mary and Joseph on their journey. We are preparing to start the story of Jesus all over again, so Happy New Year!

20130822-223749.jpg God of renewal and hope, we celebrate your power and grace today! Hear us as we shout praises to you, and proclaim you as the ruler of all creation. Bring joy to our hearts and prepare us for life in your kingdom here with us. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg In Christ you are made new!



FaithCross_Worship The worship station is a time for New Year’s resolutions!  Take a moment to talk about some of the standard New Year’s resolutions – save more money, go to the gym, get in shape, etc. These are not bad things to want to change, but today we are going to focus on Spiritual resolutions!

Have the banner paper and markers out in the worship space. You are welcome to decorate the banner in some way! Invite people to write a spiritual resolution on the banner. Some ideas might be to read the Bible daily or to join a Bible study group, to pray before EVERY meal, to spend one day each month volunteering at a soup kitchen, etc.  Encourage people to think about doing things that help their community or enrich their spiritual life.

After worship, hand the banner somewhere in your building where people will see if throughout the season of Advent.

Are we there yet? Mark 13: 1-8 Pentecost 25B Nov. 15th, 2015



Gather the children together: When I was your age, when we went to see grandmas and grandpas or aunts and uncles, we always drove our car. Sometimes the trip was a day, sometimes two days and sometimes even when we planned for a trip to take a day or two it might take three or four because of things happening that we didn’t predict, such as a flat tire, someone not feeling well or bad weather. I’m not the most patient person, so if it seemed that the trip was taking a long time I would ask my parents, “Are we there yet?” I discovered that if I asked that a lot, they would stop answering me.

How many of you have ever been on a car trip? As you drive down the highway there are signs along the road. What do some of those signs say? (Accept all answers.) Yes, some will tell you where the next gas station is, where a restaurant or a hotel might be, or how far to the next town or rest stop. Does every sign you see mean that your trip is over? No. Sometimes we see a sign for the town that we are going to and get really excited only to find out we have a long way to go. Or we go for hours or days without seeing the name of the place we’re going and so we ask: “Are we there yet?” It’s really hard to not know how much time until we get to grandma and grandpas, or a friends house,  or whatever fun place we’re going. It can be hard to wait for fun things like our birthdays and what’s coming soon? Christmas! We don’t like to wait but to know when things will happen.


Jesus had been telling his disciples, his friends, all about when he would come to see them again. Jesus wanted them, and us, to know that there will be a time when we are all with God forever… but not yet. We don’t know when Jesus will come back and the disciples were wondering if there would be a “sign,” like a road sign that would let them know exactly how long until Jesus comes back to us. But Jesus says that the signs may not help us to know. Jesus also says that we don’t need to worry about if we’re there yet, we don’t need to be scared about anything because God promises to be with us forever. The important thing for us to remember are the signs of Jesus’ love such as water at baptism and the bread and the wine at communion. What are other signs of Jesus’ love in our lives? (Accept all answers: homes, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, friends, sharing, hugs, praying, etc.) Jesus wants us to share these signs of love with the whole world! We are a sign, almost like a billboard of Jesus’ love for the whole world to see!


Have someone with a digital camera take pictures of people. Print them out and place them on a big piece of butcher paper or poster board. Have the title: Signs of God’s Love. You can also have pictures of the different ministries from your community to add to the sign. Or have people write stories or draw pictures  on the butcher paper (poster board)of who shows them signs of God’s love. Place the banner where it is seen as people enter your building or better yet, can be seen by those on the street!


Thank you for all of the signs in our lives of your love, especially your son Jesus. Make us signs of your love and hope for the whole world to see. Remind us to not be afraid but to trust your promise to be with us always. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +You are a sign of Jesus’ love+

Children’s Sermon – 24th Sunday after Pentecost – November 8, 2015 – Mark 12:38-44

Prepare:  See if you can track down a  copy of “Should I Share My Ice Cream?” by Mo Willems (here is a link to Amazon –  You can also probably find a copy at a local library.  If you cannot find this book, look for a book about how fun it can be to share something. The premise of “Should I Share My Ice Cream” is the tension between wanting to share and wanting to keep something for yourself.

For the worship station you will need access to the bread portion of your communion service, a basket of some kind and some small pieces of paper.

20130822-223454.jpgGather the children around and ask them about their favorite flavor of ice cream, or something that relates to the book that you found. Then ask them what it feel like to share that flavor, or thing with other people.

20130822-223633.jpg I have a book for us today, it’s a short book about how sharing can be hard, and how it can also be really fun.

Read the book!

What do you think about the story? Why do you think that it was so hard for Gerald to decide what to do with his Ice Cream?

In the Bible story that we hear today, Jesus points out a woman who is giving a very small amount of money to the church, something like giving a penny. Jesus notices her and says that she is actually giving much, much more than most of the other people. That penny is all that she had to live on, to buy food, clothes, and she gave it all away – she shared it!

The idea of sharing the all that we have is pretty scary, but when we all share together, then we can all have enough, just like Gerald and Piggy both getting some ice cream.

20130822-223749.jpg God of abundance, help us to see and know that there is enough. Help us to share what we have, and accept the gifts of others. Amen


Have the paper ready

Go get the communion bread, or go near it and talk about how this small amount of bread feeds all the people in the room. One person could certainly eat it all, but there is enough to go around, it we all share.

Invite the congregation to think about other things in there lives that can be shared so that all have enough – have them write those things on one side of the paper. Then have them turn the paper over and have them write what it feels like to share something wonderful with someone else.

Gather the papers together and use them as part of the prayers of the church. The whole basket can be blessed, but also pull a few out to read as part of the prayer. Use some for the things we know we should share, and use some to praise God for the gift of sharing.


20130822-223908.jpg You are filled with God’s love and grace.

Take Heart! Jesus Hears You! Mark 11: 46-52 Pentecost 22 October 25, 2015

20130822-223454.jpg Have the children gather in their usual place without you. Walk around the worship space asking them if they can hear you. Sometimes be loud or with your mic on, sometimes have your mic off, whisper and one time just think it to yourself and then ask them if they can hear you. When you reach them, ask them, “Could you always hear me? Was it always easy to hear me? When I didn’t speak at all, you had no idea what I wanted to communicate to you. If we have something important to tell one another we have to be sure that the other person can hear us.”

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story today, there was a man Bartimaeus who was born blind. He couldn’t see anything at all. But he had really good hearing. He heard that Jesus was coming to town and he knew that Jesus would help him. So he called out to Jesus for help. Jesus heard him and helped him. Jesus said that he was healed because Bartimaeus knew that Jesus would hear him. Jesus wants us to know that he will always hear us, whether we talk to God loudly, quietly or just in our hearts without saying any words out loud. Jesus is always with us, sees us, hears us and loves us no matter where we are or what we are doing. (Depending on the size of the group you can ask the following question) What do you want to ask Jesus today? Ask anything because Jesus promises to hear you! Sometimes we can’t always tell that Jesus has heard us and we wonder but that’s ok. We can even ask Jesus if he’s heard us! There is not anything that we can’t tell Jesus!

20130822-224425.jpg Jesus you promise to see us and to hear us always. We are grateful that we can ask you anything at all. We love to share your closeness and love with others. May we be like Bartimaeus, confident to call out to you no matter what. Amen.

FaithCross_WorshipSet up on a table a prayer station with post-it notes and pens. Have a basket to place the notes in. Invite people to ask Jesus anything they want on those post-it notes. They can place them in the basket to be read during the prayers in worship or taken home with them for their own prayer time (or both!). It’s also Reformation Sunday in many congregations. Have a brief reminder of the history and how Martin Luther posted questions for discussion on the door at Wittenburg. You could also have people place their post-it notes on the worship space door. Be sure to close the prayer with words of assurance that Jesus always hears us even when we aren’t sure or can’t see the outcome we desire.

20130822-223908.jpg+Jesus hears you and loves you+

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.