Tag Archives: faith

Children’s Sermon – September 6, 2015, Mark 7:24-37

Prepare: For the worship station you will need some way to vote, like a large piece of paper and post-it notes, or some large jars and some beans or beans.

20130822-223520.jpg As the children’s sermon time approaches find some place in the worship space where you can “hide,” but where everyone can see you.  Work with the other worship leaders to set up a time for the children to search for you. When they find you gather in your usual place.

20130822-223633.jpg OK, maybe I was being a little silly.  I mean, you all know that I was here!  That kind of reminds me of Jesus in our story today. He keeps trying to stay out of the spotlight, but everyone knows where he is! A woman who is not really accepted in the community finds him and asks him to heal her daughter. Anther group of people bring their friend to Jesus so that Jesus can open his ears and let him hear. All this happens when Jesus is trying to have a little quiet time, but everyone know where he is!

People seem to be coming to Jesus for several different reasons, but they all have one thing in common – they have faith that Jesus can do something about it – whatever “it” is. People come who are sick, or who need guidance, or food, or just need to be loved. This story is interesting because the two people that Jesus heals didn’t even bring themselves to Jesus – in fact, one person doesn’t even show up! Family and friends are showing up at Jesus’ feet to get help for the people that they love.

Sometimes we need to show up for our friends and family, sometimes we need to be the ones who have faith when other people cannot. So, I am going to start a prayer and I want you to think of someone who could use a little more Jesus in their life. You are welcome to share that name out loud, our you can just say it silently in your heart when we get there.

20130822-224425.jpgLoving God, sometimes having faith is really hard. Sometimes we want to show up and be with you and we just can’t find the way. Today we offer prayers for our friends who could use your love in their lives, hear us as we pray for _______________ . Amen

20130822-223908.jpgGod’s love shines through you.

FaithCross_WorshipSet up your jars for a game of “Would you rather?” If you don’t know this game, it usually involves having to choose between to disgusting things that no one would ever want to do, but we are going to Baptize it!  You can have as many “would you rathers” as you want. The idea is to ask some hard questions and get people thinking about sharing their faith with the people that they love, and inviting those people to come to church with them. IT should be two options that are both good ideas, not, “would you rather eat a doughnut or invite a friend.”

You should come up with ideas that speak to the needs of your community, but here are some ideas –

Would you rather:

  1. Invite that friend from school, work, or the gym to come check out what you do every Sunday?
  2.  Stand on the corner on Sunday morning and invite complete strangers into the building? or
  1. Would you rather volunteer to visit people in the hospital? or
  2. Work at the homeless shelter for a day?
  1. Make phone calls to new members and visitors? or
  2. Take communion to a homebound member?

 

 

 

Children’s Sermon/Worship Station – June 14, 2015, Mark 4:26-34; 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Prepare: You will need a large piece of banner paper (probably white) and a bunch of crayons of markers.

20130822-223520.jpg Ask the children, “Have you every planted anything? Flowers, or vegetables, or a tree? What did you do to help if grow?” Wait for a few answers.

20130822-223633.jpg I think one of the amazing things about planting seeds is that all of the information that the seed needs to become a plant is inside that little seed! If you plant a pumpkin seed in a good place and give it water it grows more pumpkins with a whole bunch more seeds, it’s amazing!

In the story from Mark today, Jesus is working hard to explain what God’s Kingdom is like, and he chooses seeds and plants to help him explain. Jesus knows how amazing seeds are. It almost sounds like Jesus is just as fascinated as we are! He talks about how just a few seeds can grow into a bounty of food, or how a tiny little seed can become a huge tree (Jesus uses a mustard seed, but maybe we could think of an apple seed growing into a big apple tree!)

Jesus seems to be saying that God’s Kingdom holds more wonders than we can imagine, and more bounty than we can dream of. If a tiny little apple seed can grow into a big tree that can produce maybe hundreds of apples every year, imagine what the kingdom of God could be like!

FaithCross_Worship For the worship station, invite people to gather around the banner paper and create a prayer garden. Invite them to draw a flower or tree, or to write a short prayer on the paper. Find a place around your church where you can keep the banner up for a while with a sign that encourages people to add flowers, trees or prayers throughout the summer season. If you really keep it up, you could make the “harvest of prayer” part of you Sunday School kick off in the fall!

20130822-223908.jpg My God’s kingdom grow in you!

20130822-223749.jpg Bountiful God, We thank you for the wonders of seeds and plants. Help us to grow in faith just as the plants around us grown through the warm growing seasons. Amen.

 

The Peace of the Lord Faith + Home Connection April 2015 John 20: 19-31

20130715-113716.jpg Trace your hands on paper. Write or draw who was the hands of Christ to you today and who you shared Christ with today. Save these for your closing prayer time.

20130822-223633.jpgRead John 20: 19-31 from a Bible or page 492-495. Have people read the different voices in the story.

For children: When was a time that you were afraid? Who was with you? Did having someone with you make you feel better? If you were alone, who did you wish was with you? Did you know that God is with you always? Even if we’re afraid, alone, worried or feeling bad. Jesus promises to be with us always just like he came to be with Thomas and to tell Thomas that he would never leave him!

For youth/adults: What does it mean to be at peace? When have you felt at peace? How can we share this peace that comes from God with others? Is it words, actions, attitudes?
Doubt is not the opposite of faith. Jesus met Thomas in his “doubt,” his wondering, his questions so that Thomas could grow in faith. Our faith is like that too-a journey. When we wonder or question, we explore God in our lives, define and articulate more clearly what we do believe and are able to share that with others. Doubt is how we deepen our faith! What do you wonder about God?

FaithCross_ServeALT Write a note to someone telling and thanking them for the ways that they showed Christ to you in your life. Think of one way to show the love and peace of Christ to someone at work, school or other places.

20130822-224425.jpg You give us your peace to spread that peace all through your world. You reveal Christ to us in so many ways and we know that we are called to be part of that revelation. Be with those who are in distress, who are lonely, who are worried or afraid. May we be your peace to them. In the name of you son Jesus, who is with us always, amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Receive the Peace of the Lord+

 

Children’s Sermon Matthew 21:23-32, 16th Sunday after Pentecost, September 28th, 2014

Preparation: posterboards or white boards, post it notes, markers, examples
optional–random acts of kindness video

20130822-223633.jpgGather the children together with you. Tell the second part of the gospel story or retell it. One idea would be to have some men/boys act it out if you can arrange for that. But retell saying, “Jesus is telling us that what we say and what we do are important but that in the end how we show God’s love and treat others is how we live a life in God. ”

20130822-223315.jpgSo I was thinking about this, about what I say about my faith and what I do about my faith. One thing I say about my faith in God is that I know God is with us all the time. Now how could I show that to people? (take ideas) This week one thing I did to show that is I listened to a friend of mine that I work with who told me how worried she was about her mom who lives far away. I listened to her stories about her mom and I gave her a hug and I encouraged her that she was showing love and care for her mom even while she was far away.

Here on one of my poster boards it says SAY, so I am going to take this sticky note that says I say God is with us all the time and put it here. Now this other board says DO, so I am going to take this sticky note and put Listen on it and put it up here. (If you have time, brainstorm some other ideas with the kids and do a couple more)

OPTION: Here is where you could show the random acts of kindness video or you could have it playing at a worship station.

I have lots of sticky notes and I am going to put this posters in back for our worship station today. I would like you to think of something you say about your faith or about God and something you do and put them up on the boards. You may need to help your parents or people sitting near you do this as well. (distribute sticky notes how is best for you–hand out, have in pews, have at a worship station)

20130822-223749.jpgLet’s pray. Jesus, your love is with us all the time. Help us to say what we know about you to others and help us to act in ways that show your love. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg+ May your lips speak of Jesus and may your actions show God’s love for the world. +

 

FaithCross_WorshipPut up the poster boards with SAY and DO and have sticky notes available for people to write what they Say about their faith and what they Do about their faith.

Children’s Sermon Second Sunday of Easter, John 20:19-31, April 27, 2014

Prepare:  Bring a digital camera or your phone – something that will let you take a picture of the children and show them the picture (a tablet with camera would be ideal).  Also bring a stuffed animal, you will need someone to hold the animal secretly in the background of the picture, so make sure you have that set up in advance, don’t let the children see the animal!

20130822-223520.jpg  Gather the children together and take a group picture, make sure they are looking at you and that you can get the stuffed elephant in the frame of the picture behind them.  Odds are good that at least one of them will want to see the picture, but if no one asks to see it, then start saying how great it is.  As soon as one of them asks to see it, gently tell them no, tell them that it is a great shot, they will just have to trust you.  Then take it over to another adult in the room and show them, and get them to say that it’s a great picture, but still refuse to show the children.  Then put the camera/phone away.

FaithCross  So, do you believe me that it was a good picture?  I even have a second opinion!  It must be good, right?  But you still want to see, don’t you?

That is kind of what happens in the Gospel story today.  Jesus shows up and talks to his friends, but one of them, Thomas, isn’t there.  We don’t really know where Thomas was, but he was not with the others when Jesus appeared to them.  When the other disciples tell Thomas that they saw Jesus he say, “I don’t believe it.  And I won’t believe it unless I can see him with my own eyes, unless I can touch the places where he was injured.”  This is a little different than you trusting that the picture was a good one, it would be like me saying that there was an elephant in the background of the picture I just took.  Would you believe that?  No, you would have known if there was an elephant in the room, right?  And if there had been an elephant in the room, and you told your friends at school they wouldn’t believe you either, right?  They would want to come and see the elephant, just like Thomas wanted to see Jesus!

The good news for Thomas is that Jesus does come back, and Thomas does get to see and touch and experience Jesus.  Then Jesus says, “blessed are those who have NOT seen and still believe.”  Jesus isn’t really saying that Thomas was wrong for what he wanted.  Jesus is saying that Thomas got an amazing gift that almost no one else will ever get – the chance to touch Jesus!  We believe without Jesus appearing to us, we believe without touching Jesus hands and feet.  Thomas was blessed with the experience of Jesus alive in front of him, we are blessed because we believe in the risen Christ without proof we can see or touch.

So, what about that elephant in the picture?  Do you believe that there was an elephant in the picture?

Let’s take a look . . .

FaithCross_PrayALT    Living God, we are blessed with your love for us, we are blessed in our believe and, like Thomas, in our unbelief.  Teach us to trust in your love and grace in all things.  Amen.

FaithCross_BlessALT  Send them out with a traditional Easter greeting!  You say, “Christ is risen!”  They respond, “Christ is risen indeed!”

 

~GB

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