Tag Archives: faith

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

Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Faith+Home Connection Monthly Devo January 2014

20130822-223520.jpgShare a high & low from 2013 or what you are looking forward to in 2014

 

 

20130822-223633.jpgRead Matthew 5: 13-16

MEMORY VERSE: This is the memory verse for this month. :  Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Write the on paper and post it on your fridge or in your bathroom–somewhere you look every day! Memorize this verse together this month!

FaithCrossFor children: Where are places that we see light? Look for lights around the house. What does light do? What do you think it means to let OUR light shine? How do you see God’s light in the world?

For youth/adults: What stands out to you in this passage? What is it about light/salt that would be a good image for us as Christians? Where is the promise or hope in the verses?

 

20130822-223749.jpg

Pray together. Pray for places in the world that need light–look at a newspaper or get out a map and name out loud those places that need God’s light.

 

20130822-223908.jpgMake the sign of the cross on one another and say: + “God’s light is with you and shines through you”

 

FaithCross_ServeALTGo around your house and count light fixtures. For every light donate .20 cents to a local charity like Habitat to help those who needs lights in their homes.

 

Children’s Sermon (Updated!) 20th Sunday After Pentecost (Lec 27), 2 Timothy 1:1-14 and/or Luke 17:5-10 – October 6, 2013

Prepare: Find a broom that can be a used as a horse.  Don’t dress it up!  If you are planning on focusing on the Luke passage you should also bring some poppy seeds.

NOTE:  You could modify this for a different imagination-based toy, but the important part is to make the clear distinction between imagination and faith.

20130822-223520.jpg  Ride in on your broom “horse” and round-up the children as they gather together.  Make this into something fun!  Maybe a little “YeeHaw!” would be good.  Try to get them into the game.  Once you have them all rounded up and sitting down move on.

FaithCross  Wow!  That was fun!  Don’t you love playing imagination games?  I just got to ride a horse in church!  Do you like to use your imagination?  That’s great!  Imagination is fun.  For example, I can imagine that this broom is a horse, like I just did, or it could be balance pole and I could be a tight-rope walker, or it could be a shovel as I dig for dinosaurs, or it could be almost anything!  Now here is the tricky question, what is the difference between imagination and faith?  (Give them a little time to think, maybe even take a few answers.)  Maybe I could say it this way, I can imagine that this broom is a horse, but I don’t have faith that I could really ride it someplace far away.

When we imagine something we know that it isn’t real, that we are just pretending, no matter how real the fun is.  When we have faith in something we know that it is real and true even if we can’t always explain why we know that.  Like our faith in Jesus, we have faith that Jesus loves and came to save us, but sometimes it is really hard to explain why we know it is true, or why we believe it.  (Here is where you can choose between 2 Timothy and Luke, or you can use both!)  We heard part of a letter that is in the Bible today, it was written to a man named Timothy.  In that letter we hear that the faith that we have is a gift from God.  We have faith in God’s love and forgiveness.  There is nothing that we can do to earn more love from God and nothing we can do to make God stop loving us.  We know this is true, but we can’t always explain why we know.

Faith can be a powerful thing, too.  We heard Jesus say today that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed we could tell trees to go jump in a lake and they would do it!  Do any of you know how big a mustard seed is?  Well, I brought some seeds, these are really poppy seeds, but they are about the same size.  Here, take a look, I brought more than enough in this little jar for each of you to have one!  (Had out some poppy seeds).  See how small that is?  Now, I think that Jesus picked something just silly and crazy when we talked about trees jumping into lakes to show just how powerful faith can be.  We don’t really ever expect trees to jump into lakes, but sometimes those kinds of crazy things happen.  And it’s not our actions or even our faith, it is God’s love and grace moving through us and through the world.

So, I can imagine that this is a powerful horse that I can ride across the mountains, but I know that it is just a broom.  I have faith that God loves me and cares for me, and I know that it is true, even when I can’t explain why.

20130822-223749.jpg  Gracious and Loving God, thank you for the amazing gift of imagination!  What fun to be able to pretend to be people and things that we are not and to have things that we don’t.  Thank you also for the gift of faith, to know that you are real and that you care for us, love us and forgive us everywhere and all the time.  Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg  Make the sign of the cross and say, “God be in your head, God be in your heart, God be on your left, and God be on your right.  Amen”

FaithCross_Worship

You will need postcards or something similar and some poppy seeds.  Invite people to tape a (or some) poppy seed to the card. Write “Our faith is a gift from God” on the card.  Then write or draw 3 ways that they can live out their faith this week.  These can be individual cards, or household cards, or cards with friends.

~GB

Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.