Children’s Sermon/Worship Station – March 6, 2016: Lent 4c – Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Prepare: One of my favorite ways to tell this story is to act it out. So your preparation for the children’s sermon can be as simple as just making sure you know the story well enough to tell it, or as complex as having actors and costumes. Up to you!

For the worship station, set up a “voting booth” with a two large jars or containers and beads or small rocks for people to vote with.

20130822-223520.jpg As the children gather ask them if they have a favorite story.  If they do, ask them how they like to tell the story?

20130822-223633.jpg Today’s Gospel story is a really fun story to act out, but first we need to some actors.

OK – from here on you are on your own! But I will tell you what I would do.  I would have a short list of the important characters in mind, and maybe even on a piece of paper in front of me. I would look for “volunteers,” and by that I mean that I would ask, but would ultimately end up choosing some people to play certain parts. Once I had my cast I would start to narrate the story and encourage the actors to act out what I am saying.

One really fun way to do this is to have the prodigal son stay with you, and pretend to walk away while the father and other son back away from you.  Then you can keep the action of the story close by.

To get the two groups back together you can have them kind of meet in the middle.

My simple cast would be:

  • Father
  • Prodigal
  • Other Son

Expansions on that would be:

  • The people the prodigal celebrates and eats with
  • the farmer he works for
  • the pigs that he eats with
  • the people who live near his father
  • his fathers’s other servants
  • etc . . .

20130822-223908.jpg You are God’s Beloved child

 

20130822-223749.jpg Loving and forgiving God, bring us back to you when we wander far from your love and care. Teach us to show your love, mercy and forgiveness in all parts of our lives, and lead us in ways that keep us close to you always! Amen.

FaithCross_Worship For the worship station, ask the question, “where does your pride end?” To keep it simple have two jars:  “I would return to my family when the money ran out,” and, “I would be eating with the pigs.”

Have people vote and see where you congregation ends up!  Make sure that being forgiven for pride is part of your prayers AFTER the worship station, so that the idea of returning to God is part of your focus in worship this day.

Growing in God’s Kingdom Lent 3, Year C Feb, 28th, 2016

20130822-222604.jpgHave a plant to show the children. Gather them around the plant and ask them what plants need to grow and flower or if a vegetable plant to grow vegetables/fruit. Accept all answers. Affirm that plants need water, sunshine, care and oxygen to grow and be healthy. Plants need people to care for them and we need God! We are continuing to learn about the Lord’s Prayer and this week we are talking about how God want us all to be healthy and grow, which is the part of the meaning of “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” God is always at work with us!

20130822-223633.jpg Jesus tells the people a story about a tree that doesn’t seem to want to grow fruit. A man wanted to just cut it down and get rid of it since it wasn’t doing its job of growing fruit. But the gardener asked to give the tree more time, wondered if the tree needed more love, more food, water and sun. Trees want to grow and give fruit, just as plants do, just as we want to grow up taller and stronger so that we can do more and more things! But sometimes, like with the tree, that doesn’t happen exactly how we think it should. It might take longer than we want or we might need to wait, which is VERY HARD! What kinds of things do you want to do when your bigger? *Accept all answers (dangerous here I know!). Affirm that there are MANY things that as children they can do now, but some that need to wait until they are an adult.
God wants you to do ALL of the wonderful things that God gave you talent and ability to do! To play piano, to play soccer, to read, to cure diseases, to love all people. God promises to give you all the time that you need to grow and be healthy! God wants you to grow, learn, make mistakes and try again! You will give to God’s world in so many ways! God’s kingdom and God’s will is all about all of God’s people and creation growing and working together to be healthy and whole.

FaithCross_WorshipJesus used the current events in Jerusalem to point out that God doesn’t punish but that our world and lives are filled with hazards. Jesus reminds the people and us that in all times and circumstances to turn to God. Turn to God in prayer, in actions, in thoughts and in love. Have a table with this week’s current newspapers, weekly magazines (such as Time), scissors, tape, and pens. Have a large poster board cross available. Invite people to cut out a headline or a short article to tape to the cross. They may write a short prayer by the headline or article that offers God’s presence and love into that situation.

20130822-223749.jpg God of life, you give us what we need to grow, learn, pray, love and bear fruit. May we offer this patience to all people that we meet. We pray for all people and places that are in sorrow and wonder why death and suffering occur. May they feel your peace and comfort. Thy kingdom come and thy will be done. In Jesus name, amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Grow and bear fruit!+

 

In the Shelter of God’s Love Feb. 21st, 2016 Lent 2, Year C

20130715-113716.jpgHave a tent or a make shift canopy where you can gather the children under. Ask them if they remember what prayer we talked about last week (or last time you worshiped). Yes, the Lord’s Prayer! The Lord’s Prayer is important not just because Jesus taught his disciples to pray it but because it reminds us that we can talk to God about everything in our lives, even hard, sad or scary stuff, not just happy things. Have you ever been sad or afraid? *Share a time that you were afraid.

FaithCross_BibleALT You just heard a Psalm (or a song) that is all about God being with us when life is sad or scary. We will have times when we are afraid or sad and that’s ok. Life is not always happy but do you know what? The person who wrote this song wants you to know something: God is with you always and forever. Forever! No matter what! Jesus wants you to know that too! There is one sentence in the Lord’s Prayer that says: “Deliver us from evil.” Evil sounds very scary but Jesus says don’t forget that you are never alone no matter how afraid you are. It might sound as if we are asking God to deliver us-as if God didn’t know that we are afraid but Jesus is saying that God knows and will cover you like a tent with God’s love! We are always under God’s shelter no matter what. Even if we can’t feel it or see it. It’s hard to understand that but it’s true! We gather here at church, in a special space to remind us that God is our shelter. We can bring all of our fears, questions and worries here to church and know that God is with us and that all of these people are with us too!

FaithCross_Worship Have a table with a large piece of canvas (tenting type material) and have some permanent markers available. Invite people to write their fears on the canvas and hang it in the worship space in Lent as a reminder that God shelters us in our fear.

20130822-223749.jpgGod you are our shelter and safety. Thank you for delivering us from evil and for your son Jesus who shows us your love. May all people feel your love, presence and shelter. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +God is your shelter+

Children’s Sermon Lent 1C Lord’s Prayer series Luke 4:1-13

This begins a Lent series on the Lord’s prayer. There are elements of the Lord’s prayer in each week of the Lent readings in year C. This first one is on the portion that says ‘lead us not into temptation’. Another addition you could do with the Lord’s Prayer is learn some of the sign language and teach the kid the prayer piece by piece.

Preparation: Bowl or plate, real or plastic foods–healthy mostly and some junk food

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children up front with you. Have the bowl out and the food choices too. Say, ” So I have this bowl and all this food here. What do you think I should pick to make me full? ” Have the kids help some. Go through the choices and pick healthy ones and then be ‘tempted’ to choose the unhealthy as well. Say, “I could just eat the cookies, but not sure how healthy that is, or if they will keep me from being hungry…”

“So why is that we say we should eat dessert last?” Take answers. “Yes, because we know that the food that is good for us will help us grow, be strong and healthy and takes care of our bodies. We do not need cookies for that. So we have this ‘guide’ or ‘rule’ that we tend to follow that says we should first eat the healthy food. It is a guide that helps keeps us on the right track most of the time. ”

20130822-223633.jpg“Each week we pray the Lord’s prayer–have you noticed that? And in that prayer we say this “Lead us not into temptation”.  Jesus taught this prayer to us. And we hear today in the gospel how Jesus was in the wilderness and tempted by the devil to do things that would not honor God, to walk outside of the path that he was walking with God. When we pray this prayer, we are asking God to help us continue to follow Jesus, to make good choices, to stay on a path that keeps us healthy and strong. So it is kind of like our guide for eating healthy, but this prayer is not just about food. It is about how we live and make good choices. ”

20130822-223749.jpgLet’s say this part of  Lord’s prayer up to this part together. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (have them repeat) “Jesus help us to make good choices, to follow you, and to remember you are with us, loving us all the time. Amen”

20130822-223908.jpg+God is with you and guiding you+

 

 

FaithCross_WorshipHave a poster with the words “Lead us not into Temptation” Invite people to share their struggles: “Lead us not into temptation.”  Temptation is part of our daily life.  What are some common things that you are tempted by that you wish you had better control over.  Write them on the poster and say a prayer for God’s leading.

Children’s Sermon – Transfiguration Sunday, Feb 7, 2016 (Luke 9:28-43)

Prepare: You will need a sleeping bag, or a blanket and pillow – or just something that makes it look like you are prepared to just camp out in the worship space. Even better if you can coordinate with someone to interrupt you. If you are going to use the worship station, you will need a large piece of banner paper and a variety of colored markers.

20130822-223520.jpg  Invite the children to gather as you start to set up your sleeping bag.  See if they ask about it, but if they do not then find a way to prompt them to ask

20130822-223633.jpg  Well, I started reading today’s Gospel story and I got to the part where the disciples think that it would be a good idea to just stay on the top of the mountain with Jesus because it is such a great place to be, and I was so excited that I stopped reading and decided to just camp out in the sanctuary because this is a place where I feel close to God!

This is where an interruption would be good – have someone tell you that there is more to the story!  They can finish the story, about how Jesus told the disciples that being on the mountain was great, but that they have to go back down into the valley and spread the good news. If you don’t have a partner – have a Bible handy to show the children the story and then read on to hear Jesus’ words and then continue.

Oh, so maybe I shouldn’t just stay here? Maybe I should come here to be recharged, to find the stronger pieces of my faith in God and go out and share them! Being here, where I feel God most strongly is wonderful, but if I don’t go out and share the gift of God’s love then I’m not really doing what Jesus is asking us to do. I should come here to get charged up, to remember God’s great love, and then do out and tell the story!

20130822-224425.jpg Good and loving God, it is truly good to be here with you! We rejoice in the time that we spend here in this safe place, bathed in your love and mercy. Now send us out to be your lights in the world! Send us out to share your great mercy and love. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg God’s love fills and surrounds you!

FaithCross_Worship Find a place to set out the banner and invite everyone to write the place, or time, or people who recharge their faith. Then hang that banner up through the season of Lent as a reminder that God is with us even when we feel like we are far away from the mountain tops that fill us with hope and joy.