Children’s Sermon Epiphany 4A Micah 6:8 and Matthew 5:1-12 February 2, 2014

Preparation: create blocks either by writing on ones you have, labeling them or using big boxes or shoe size boxes. On the largest ones–the foundational blocks–write words like love, kindness, mercy, blessed, peacemaker, etc (depending on what you want to highlight and how many blocks you want to use) One largest block should say love or God’s love.
On the smaller blocks write action words like ‘serve’, ‘feed’, ‘give money’, ‘help at home’, ‘care for sick’, etc. Decide which scripture or which parts of each you want to emphasize and adjust the children sermon accordingly.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children around you and have the blocks out. Say–“We have just heard two places in scripture where God is letting us know how to be followers of Jesus in the world. Do you remember in key words? (they likely won’t….) Well, what do you think it is that God asks us to DO because we are Christians?” (take answers, when they say a word you have written on a block show it to them.)

20130822-223633.jpgI have all these blocks here because I was thinking of way to show what the scripture is saying. You are right there are many things we can do like (share the examples they have said and/or what you have on the blocks.) These are all good and important things to do. And I also heard words like blessed, happy, mercy, love, (share the foundational blocks). I often wonder about how to be a good follower of Jesus and sometimes I get caught up in the details of all the little blocks and what kind of decisions I should make and how I should spend my time. I heard the prophet Micah ask a question and answer it today–He said, “what does the Lord require of you?” and then the answer is “to do justice, love kinds, and walk humbly with God.” Those are the words on my biggest blocks here. Whenever I am not sure exactly what God is asking of me, I can go back to the big words like love and justice and words like Jesus said to the people that were to be peacemakers and act merciful. If we begin with love and mercy, begin with caring about others and showing them compassion, then we have our foundation for making all those other decisions about how to be in the world.
Build your tower of blocks starting with the foundational words as you are talking to demonstrate–Starting with the one that says love.

FaithCrossMy biggest block says love–that reminds me that God’s love is first and then comes to us and sends us to love others through all the things we do in the world.

20130822-224425.jpgLoving God, be with us today as we love others and walk with you in serving the world. Amen

20130822-223908.jpgGod calls you to love, serve, and care. +

Matthew 4: 12-23 Children’s Sermon Year A January 26th, 2014

20130822-222604.jpg Start from the back or side of your worship space (whatever makes sense but just not from where you usually gather the children). Call the children to come to you. As they come move closer to the doors or area that leads out of your building. (If you have cordless mics you will be able to go further but be aware that you want the adults to hear this as well.)

20130822-223633.jpg Ask the children: “Why do you think we are by the back doors and not up front where we usually are with the altar and the candles?” (Accept all answers) “Well, in today’s Bible story we see Jesus calling people to follow him and to help him tell the whole world about God. Does Jesus tell only pastors or priests to follow him? No, he tells ordinary fisherman to help him talk about God’s love for the world. Does Jesus tell the fisherman to go to the temple or the church in Jerusalem? No, he tells them to follow him out into the world with all kinds of people. This is what Jesus means by “fishing for people.” The fishermen didn’t actually throw nets on people and drag them to Jesus. But Jesus knows that showing love “catches” people  and lights up their lives with God’s love and care.”

“Does Jesus ask us to follow him, too? Should we only tell people here in this church about Jesus and not anyone else or should we tell everyone who is outside of these doors (point to the back doors)? Jesus knows that all of us have a special way to tell others about God and that we don’t need special powers or to have read special books to know how to talk about God. All we have to do is to talk about God in our own words. We don’t need any special powers or classes; God says that God will help us. God’s love lights up our lives and we want that light to be everywhere for everyone. So let’s move our candles by/on the altar to the doors to remind us that we are to take God’s love and light to the whole world every day and in every place that we go.” (Have some adults prepped to help move candles or if your altar candles don’t move have some special candles on the altar this day that can go by the door. Or have some tables by the doors and lots of votive candles for each child to move from the altar to the door.)

20130822-224425.jpg “God of love and light, you ask us to share your love with the whole world. May we share your love at school, work, piano lesson, baseball, soccer, volleyball,____, and all places in our day. In Jesus name, amen.”

20130822-223908.jpg “God’s light is with you always.”


Faith + Home Connection February 2014

20130822-223520.jpgShare your highs and lows of the day. Write them on post-it notes and put them on the refrigerator and pray for each other at your next meal.

20130822-223633.jpgWeek 1: 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31: Do you consider yourself called to God’s mission and work in the world in anyway? Why or why not? Do you think God calls us all or just some? How do you think God can use you in your school, job or community to share the love of Christ?

Week 2: 1 Corinthians 2: 6-16: What are some gifts that God has given you? How have you used them? What do you think it means to have the mind of Christ?

Week 3: 1 Corinthians 3: 1-9: It’s very easy to forget that we belong to God and not to anything else. Paul speaks of belonging to “people” but in our culture we belong to pro sports teams, groups, work places, neighborhoods, gyms, and many other organizations. (Which is not a bad thing.) How can we remember that above all else we belong to God? Who shares God’s love and nurtures your faith?

Week 4: 1 Corinthians 3: 10-11, 16-23: What is your faith foundation? Are there spiritual practice that help to lay the foundation for you? If you are holy and God’s temple how does that change how you are in your daily life? How you treat other people?

20130822-224425.jpgGod of life, we forget that we belong to you. We forget that we and all people are your holy temple. Help us to treat one another as with the “mind of Christ” so that the whole world will know your love. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg(Make the sign of the cross on one another): You belong to Christ and God’s Spirit dwells in you.

FaithCross_ServeALTAsk each week who is in need in your neighborhood or faith community? Find out if a meal, shoveling the walk, house cleaning or babysitting would be a way to bolster someone struggling. Pray for them each day.

Children’s sermon Epiphany 2, Jan. 19th, 2014, John 1: 29-42 Year A

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children around you. Have some sort of treasure with you (maybe a neat rock, or something special that you found). Ask the children if they have ever found something that was really cool and exciting. Maybe it was a rock, a bird feather, or an animal. What did you do when you found it? Did you keep the excitement to yourself? No, you went and told your mom or dad or a brother or a sister. Why did you do that? (Accept all answers) Was it to have that person share in your excitement and to see with you what you found? It’s much more fun to share exciting things with other people than just by yourself isn’t it?

20130822-223633.jpg In today’s story from the Bible, John the Baptist sees Jesus and points him out to other people around him. One of those people is Andrew, a friend of John. Andrew is so excited about Jesus and the first thing he does is find his brother Simon and tell him about Jesus! Andrew tells his brother that he has found God’s son. Simon is also excited and goes with Andrew to see Jesus.

Have you ever told anyone about Jesus? A friend or a family member? What would you tell someone about Jesus if they had never heard of him? Jesus shows us what about God? (Accept all answers) These are all wonderful things aren’t they? These things are exciting enough to tell people about! But it can be hard can’t it? So let’s practice right now (invite everyone in the congregation to join in!) telling people about why Jesus is good news and exciting for our world.

Find someone in the worship space to tell about why you are excited about Jesus in your life.  (Have the kids find someone in the chairs/pews and invite the adults to leave their seats to talk to someone new if they would like.) You can also word it differently: maybe ask how they have experienced the love of Jesus in their week.

20130822-223749.jpg Invite the congregation to join hands as one people of God and pray: Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to show us your love. Help us to share the excitement of your love and forgiveness with the world. In the name of Jesus, amen.

20130822-223908.jpg Make the sign of the cross on each other’s hands and say: May you see Jesus in your life today.

*Thanks to Rob Moss for the idea!

Children’s sermon January 12th Baptism of Our Lord, Matthew 3: 13-17 Year A

ffjChildrenSermon Preparation: You will need several balls of blue yarn or ribbon and a couple of pairs of scissors. Depending on the size of your congregation, you will want to be able for the yarn to stretch down aisles and rows. If you are too large for that, have enough for everyone to make a yarn bracelet. Be sure to have water in your baptismal font as well!

FaithCross_BibleALT Gather the children at the baptismal font if possible. Read the story of Matthew 3: 13-17 from a children’s Bible. Ask them if they know if they were baptized or if they have ever seen a baptism. What happens at a baptism? Do we do a baptism alone or in a group of people? Do we pray? Why do we baptize?

FaithCross_ConversationALTToday we heard the story of Jesus being baptized by John. Jesus went under the water and when he came out God said that this was God’s son and God loved Jesus very much. Jesus came to show us how much God loves us and wants to be with us. We baptize because the water reminds us that just as Jesus died and was raised so we too will be raised to live with God. Water also reminds us that nothing separates us from God and anything that might has been washed away. (Sprinkle them with water!) We baptize in a large gathering because in Jesus we are all connected to God and to one another. This is very important because when we gather together we can pray for each other, we can work together to show God’s love in the world and we can learn from one another. 

I have this big ball of blue yarn (or large spool of ribbon, have several). I want your help! Can you stretch all of this yarn all over the worship space so that everyone is holding a part of the yarn? Ok, go! When the yarn is stretched out and everyone can touch a strand say: “I am going to hand out these scissors. Everyone is to cut a piece of the yarn they are holding and tie that piece around their wrist.” (Allow time for this.)

We are all connected in the waters of baptism to God and to one another. Let this yarn remind you this week that you are connected to this community. 

FaithCross_PrayALT Let’s pray: Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to love us. Thank you for connecting us to you and to each other. Help us to connect everyone we meet to you. Amen.

FaithCross_BlessALT Make the sign of the cross on one another and say: You are God’s beloved child.