Tag Archives: Pentecost

Children’s Sermon Pentecost 7A Romans 8:26-39

Preparation: markers and paper with the words “what If” at the top (or print the whole poem if you like) either to hand out or at worship station

20130822-223454.jpg Gather the children with you. Ask, What kinds of things do you worry about? (take their answers) Yes, I worry about those things too sometimes (or add in your own worries). In fact I have this poem here by Shel Silverstein that lists all kinds of things that might be worrisome.
Read Poem:   Whatif by Shel Silverstein

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear

and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

That is quite a list of what ifs! Sometimes I also think that all these what ifs and worries and things that could happen or event things that DO happen that are sad or scary, what if God does not love me anymore–??? Have you ever thought of that what if?

20130822-223633.jpgDid you hear our scripture for today though? I heard it loud and clear, let me read it to you. “For I am convinced–which means I am very, very sure and certain, that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height , nor depth,(–insert their worries here and say things like not war or divorce or darkness or lost teeth, etc) nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Do you Know what that means–not one single thing will ever make God’s love go away. Not for you, not for me, not for anyone. Phew… that is some good news, to know that love will be with us no matter what happens or does not happen.

FaithCross_WorshipI have these papers for you that say ‘what if’ on the top. I want you to go ahead and write or draw anything that worries you or scares you. Then after you do that, draw a BIG HEART over the top of it and write God’s Love in that heart to help you remember that nothing will separate you from God’s love.

20130822-224425.jpgJesus, help us remember, no matter what ifs we worry about, no matter what comes our way, that your love is with us to stay. Amen

 

20130822-223908.jpg+May you know God’s love is with you always+

 

Children’s Sermon July 6, 2014 Pentecost 4A Matthew 11:25-30

Preparation: picture of a yoke for oxen, yarn or ribbon or paper to connect children together, a rock and other props that might be fun for two hands tied together to try. You can also just have two volunteers for this part
for worship station–paper strips, one per person in congregation

20130822-223633.jpg Our reading from Matthew today talks about being yoked together–do you know what a yoke is? It is not something we see everyday now but in Jesus time it was a familiar thing.” Show the picture and describe how a yoke keeps the oxen together so that they can pull together and work together. “How do you think this feels to the oxen to be hooked together like this? I think it could feel hard and burdensome–but also it could make the work lighter and easier to be together. Let’s try an experiment.”

Option one: have enough yarn or ribbon to tie kids together loosely at the wrists. You will want to use enough yarn so that you can cut it and then they each end up tying a piece of their ribbon to their own wrist
Option two: have two volunteers (or prep volunteers ahead of time–acolytes can be great for this! ) that you will tie together with a ribbon or bandannas or string.

Tie the yarn or ribbon around two wrists and hook them together. Do not make it tight. “Ok, now that you are tied together, let’s see what you can do. Try waving together. Now try clapping! Try writing in the air (or have a pen and paper for them to try). Can you pick up this rock together? (have a small rock and a large rock, see which one is easier to pick up) “What is it like being yoked together? What is hard about it? what is fun about it?”

Jesus is teaching about how some things in life, even things in our faith or our religious practices can become difficult or a burden. He says that what he teaches and what he promises is that even as we are yoked together to him, we are also given rest. Our life in faith and walking with Christ will bring rest to our hearts and we can live connected to one another which makes the walk lighter and sets us free to be one in Christ in the world.

FaithCross_PrayALT Jesus, help us to be yoked to you so that our hearts and spirits can rest and also know you in all we do. Show us how to be connected with one another and share your love with all the people and all the nations.

FaithCross_BlessALT +May you rest in God and Be sure of Christ’s love for all +

FaithCross_Worship For a worship station–you can use this station as a connection to the children’s sermon and a way to broaden it out to the congregation. Take this time to explain how the station works if you have not already. **You can also tie this into July 4 celebrations in saying that God has connected us an our nation to other nations of the world and as we work together as a global community we become connected and we share Christ’s love throughout the world.**

Connected through the Holy Spirit: There are paper strips in the pews, in the back, and available from the ushers. Please take one and write your name and/or a prayer and/or names of loved ones who are not here today. Then use the tape in your pew to bend the paper into a circle and connect it with your neighbor’s paper. We will create a paper chain of prayers and names that will then be draped on the cross up front to remind us of how the spirit connects us to Christ and to one another.

Weekly Devotion Page for June 8, 2014

29 June 8 - Day of Pentecost.pubHere is the devotion page for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, June 1,  2014

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

We have started a new format for our inserts (starting with Pentecost, June 8, 2014).  To learn more about this format read this – Keeping up with what God is Doing,

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Keeping up with what God is doing!

ffjChildrenSermonChange is good! Or at least we hope that you will think so. Beginning June 8th, (Pentecost Sunday) Faith Formation Journeys weekly devotional will have a new look and focus. We will also be making some small changes to the Children’s Sermons. Why you ask? We don’t know about you, but in our congregations (Colorado, USA) the gathering for worship that happens primarily on Sunday mornings is shifting, faith formation opportunities and experiences are shifting and how faith communities are engaging their neighborhoods in which they are located is shifting. God is up to something and we feel that it’s very exciting and we want to walk with you and your faith community on this journey! We recognize that faith practices that are accessible to households of all  configurations is vital and necessary, so some of those pieces in our weekly devotional will be enhanced. How is it that we can live the message from the biblical scripture in our daily lives? How do  we practice thinking deeply about how God meets all of us in our lives, whether we are 8 years old and in the third grade or 80 years old and in an assisted living facility?

We want to equip our readers to really wrestle with what it means to live a life of faith in the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. We hope to help congregations connect what happens on Sunday morning with what happens in people’s lives Monday-Saturday and to what God is doing in their neighborhood. In our “Faith + Connect” section,  ideas for doing just that will be offered.

We also recognize that part of this shift is also about what happens when the community gathers for Sunday (or whenever) worship. The insight that active engagement with the biblical text enhances learning for all ages as well as retention of the message. Opportunities for all ages gathered to interact with one another during worship is a part of this engagement. In our Children’s Sermons, we will be adding a worship station idea or two each week to help you spark ideas for your context for cross generational worship opportunities.

As always, we are grateful for the support and the feedback from those of you who frequent this resource. Please give us your honest thoughts on these changes. We would love to start a dialogue on this site for idea swapping, support and affirmation as we try and keep up with what the Holy Spirit is doing among us all! God is at work in the world and we are blessed in our call to participate. It’s an exciting time to be the Church and we are blessed to be the Church with all of you! In Christ, Brigette, Gus and Leta

Children’s Sermon Luke 16:19-31 Pentecost 19C September 29, 2013

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children up front with you and welcome them. Divide the children in half by something like boys and girls, or by hair color –  something so that they are obviously ‘different’ groups. Talk about what is different. Then have a boy and girl or a couple boys and girls create a ‘bridge’ between the two groups. Have each child go under the bridge to show that they are all in one group now. (an alternative idea would be to show the children pictures of bridges that go across a chasm and describe how a bridge connects two sides)

20130822-223633.jpg Summarize the gospel or read from the Storybook Bible pg. 387.

Say, “Lazarus and the rich man were divided by this big space. What were the things that made them different?” (take answers, getting across the idea that they lived totally different lives, wealth and poverty and that the rich man did not even see Lazarus as a person deserving his help or attention) “Jesus is telling this story to show that it does not matter what kind of differences or chasm is between us and other people we are free to reach out and help anyone, no matter if they are a different person or different religion or different way of living. Also, Jesus is like this bridge. Because he came to show that God has love for all people, Jesus bridges all those things that divide us and connects us together. We are all one through Christ. So just like you came through that bridge from your two different groups, Jesus brings all people together no matter their differences.”

20130822-223749.jpgGod, Thank you for sending Jesus to be like a bridge. Help us to see others who are different from us and be your love in the world. Amen

 

20130822-223908.jpgGod in my head, God in my heart, God on my left, God on my right +

Children’s Sermon Luke 11:1-13 Pentecost 10C July 28, 2013

Preparation: Bring with you at least 3 different phones. One with a cord, one cordless, and one cell phone. Also make a play phone with 2 cans and a string

20130715-114218.jpg Gather the children to you. Welcome them and let them see your play phone. Show them how you love your phone, and especially that you love to talk to your friends on it, but tell them you want to get the best phone possible. And show them the 3 phones and let them help you decide which is the best.

FaithCross_BibleALT Say, “In today’s gospel the disciples were also trying to learn the best way to talk to God in prayer. And Jesus shared a prayer with the disciples in today’s gospel that we say in church every Sunday. Do you know what we call that prayer?” (Wait for the answer) And then say, “But Jesus is clear that it isn’t about having the best prayer. It’s about praying to God and knowing that God hears our prayers.

FaithCross_ConversationALTPoint to the phones again and say, “So Jesus knows that we don’t always know how best to pray. Sometimes we think our prayers aren’t the best kind.” (Hold up the tin cans and string.) “We worry that God won’t listen, but Jesus Promises they are heard no matter what our prayers look like. (Pointing at all the phones)

FaithCross_PrayALT Jesus hear our prayers. Help us to always come to you with our joys, and our struggles and fears. Thank you for listening. Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT May your words be a gift to God and the world. Amen

Submitted by Pastor Michael Stadtmueller

Children’s Sermon Acts 2:1-21 Pentecost Year C May 19, 2013

Scripture Acts 2:1-21

Preparation: optional–streamers or ribbons or pom poms in red/orange/yellow colors like fire.

FaithCross_ConnectALTGather the children–If you have streamers or pom poms, hand them out. Hey kids! Look around, what colors do you see? What colors are you holding in your hands now? Does anyone know why I would pick those colors?

FaithCross_BibleALTToday is Pentecost! It’s a day in the church that we do a little celebrating and remembering of the first Pentecost. Anyone know what happened on the first Pentecost? (take answers or move on if no one answers) When he went to heave, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to be with us. Peter and the disciples had no idea what this would look like, they just knew that Jesus was gone and they were not sure what to look for in a coming Holy Spirit–they felt sad and maybe scared so they stayed all together and they did a lot of praying. Well, Pentecost was a festival day and so they were doing their festival prayers and not sure what to think about Jesus not being there with them and then–the Holy Spirit came! It came as a big wind and flames were dancing above their heads but not hurting them and people spoke different languages but could also understand one another.  Has that happened to you before? No? Yeah… it’s an amazing story that is why we want to remember it each year–but did you know that the Holy Spirit did not just come once and go away? Do you know where the Holy Spirit went?  Yes–it went EVERYWHERE! And it’s still moving and talking to people and the Holy Spirit is here with us and in us.

FaithCross_ConversationALTI think that’s pretty exciting so I thought we could use our ribbons and say a cheer for the Holy Spirit–do you know any cheers? One we used to do a lot when I was in High School and we were cheering for our team at a sport event goes like this–We’ve got Spirit yes we do, we’ve got spirit, how about you? and then the other people in the stand on the other side would yell the same thing back. I am thinking we can change it just a little and say We’ve got Holy Spirit, yes we do, we’ve got Holy Spirit how about you? –Let’s try it.  Try out the cheer. Great job! (or do it again if it wasn’t great!) Ok, so now we are going to try it again, but this time we are going to stand up and look at all those people and see if we can get them to say the cheer back to us. You can wave your ribbons in the air while you are doing this.

Have kids do the cheer and have the assembly cheer back to them!

FaithCross_PrayALTHoly Spirit–we praise you for being here with us and in us. Help us to remember we always have your spirit and that we can share this spirit with others through our cheers, shouts, prayers and actions. Amen

FaithCross_BlessALTGod the Holy Spirit is in your head, in your heart, on your left and on your right. Amen

May 2013 Faith + Home Connection Acts 2: 1-21

20130227-164821.jpg Begin by gathering together as a household and lighting a candle. Open your time by sharing the day’s highs and lows and praying for one another.

FaithCross_BibleALT Read Acts 2:1-21. For households with younger children I would recommend a children’s Bible such as the Jesus Storybook Bible or the Spark Storybook Bible. If someone speaks or reads in a language other than the one spoken in the home, have them tell the story (or parts of the story) in that different language. Or look up a translation on-line.

FaithCross_ConversationALTThis story is often referred to as the “birthday” of the Church. But it is more than that. It is also about how the good news of God’s unconditional and eternal love for all people IS FOR all people.

For children: When you meet a new person do you always understand everything that they say? Maybe they are from another country or even a different part of this country-each place has special phrases and words that have unique meanings. We sometimes have a difficult time understanding someone from a different place but God brings all people together and wants us to listen to each other. Each person, no matter where they are from, has a special gift given from God to share with us and other people. AND we have special gifts to share with people too! What is something that you do that maybe someone else in your family doesn’t? How can you use that gift to show other people God’s love? We don’t always have to use words to share God’s love-our actions of kindness and caring for people are important too!

For youth/adults: Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are filled with the Holy Spirit each and every day of our lives. But God fills us with God’s Spirit that moves us to live as followers of Christ. God fills us and sends us out to be the Church in the world and not just in a building. What are some ways that your family (or congregation) lives out faith in the world? How do people in your neighborhood know that you are there to serve and be in relationship with them? It’s not just about “helping” people but truly living with them and listening to them and letting other people different from us break us open to pour out God’s love and grace on all people that we meet. Tell about a time when someone completely different from you impacted you in a life changing way. How did that person share God’s Spirit with you?

FaithCross_PrayALT God of all nations, continue to pour out your Holy Spirit onto all of your people. Show us how to love one another despite differences and confusion. Open us up to see all people as your people; send us to share radical love and grace; move us call on you every day of our lives. In Jesus name, amen.

20130227-164716.jpgTwo parts: 1) Notice when someone new moves into your neighborhood or comes to your church. Not only greet them and introduce yourself but bring them a simple meal as they settle in, or offer to help with younger children or another need. 2) Print off a map of a foreign country (any one will do) and learn about the people, language, culture, etc. Pray for the people in that country this month and see how you can support your global brothers and sisters.

FaithCross_BlessALT Make the sign of the cross on one another and say: Child of God you are filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Children’s Sermon Day of Pentecost year B Acts 2:1-21

Scripture Focus: Acts 2:1-21

Preparation:  What this story really needs is a fire!  If you do children’s church and can be outside and build a little fire safely, do that.  If you cannot have a real fire, bring in some small sticks and dry grass on a tray so that you can pantomime blowing on a pile of kindling to get a fire going.

Faith+Open:  Set up your fire as the children gather (or set it up early if you can have a real fire).  Talk to the children about camping and building fires.  Ask them if they have ever been at a camp fire.

Faith+Share:  Camp fires are really fun, you might get to cook hotdogs or marshmallows.  Maybe even sing some songs!  Have you ever watched someone light a campfire?  Sometimes it’s really easy, if the wood is dry and the weather is good, but if everything is not just right it can be a little tricky.  One of the best ways to get a fire going is to blow on it, like this.  You get down low and blow at the bottom of the fire.  Lean over and blow gently at the bottom of your fire.  Sometimes this is called “fanning the flames.”  Fires need air, just like us need.

OK, so why are we talking about getting a fire going?  Well, today is Pentecost!  The story of Pentecost talks about tongues of flame over the heads of the disciples as they talk to the people.  The amazing thing about these flames is that they were the first language translators!  The disciples were all speaking the same language, but not everyone who was gathered spoke the same language.  It would be like us sitting here and I spoke English, but you only spoke Spanish, and you only spoke German, and you Japanese – everyone speaking a different language.  But, when the flame was over my head you could all understand me!

I started to wonder where that fire came from, because fire can be so hard to get started.  I read the story again and before the flames appeared above the disciples’ heads there was a big rush of wind, kind of like when someone blows on the base of a fire to fan the flames!  In the story the wind is the Holy Spirit coming to give the disciples the gift to speak to everyone.  The wind of the Holy Spirit fanned the faith of the first Christians, just like our breath fans the flames of a little fire.  Just like our little fires can turn into big camp fires, the faith of the early Christians spread to all the different places of the world, starting at Pentecost with little flames above the disciples’ heads.

Faith+Prayer:  Spirit of God, fan the flames of our faith and give us the gifts to share the amazing story of your love with the whole world. Amen

Faith+Blessing: May the breath the of the Spirit blow through your life.

~GB

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