Tag Archives: worship station

Children’s Sermon – Mark 9:38-50, September 27, 2015

Prepare: Bring a small, clear container of sea salt – even better if you can find something fancy!

The worship station will need a box of unsalted rice crackers, and a box of salted rice crackers (you can use whatever you like here, really, but rice crackers generally avoid most food allergies).

20130822-223520.jpg Have the children gather around you so that they can all see the salt. Ask them if they know what it is.

After a few guesses (right or wrong) confirm that it is salt, and ask if anyone would be willing to try some. Ask what it is like to have salt all by itself? Does it taste good?

20130822-223633.jpg Today, in the Gospel story, Jesus says some very strange things, and most of them are exaggerations to get our attention. Jesus wants us to think about who we are and what it means for us to be following him. One of the things he says is that we should be “Salted with fire.” I’m not sure that I like the sound of that! When I salt something, that means I sprinkle salt on it, I don’t think that I want to be sprinkled with fire. But, did you know that salting something has a different meaning? Salt was, and still is, used to keep food from going bad. People use salt to make sure that meat does not get moldy. Pickles are kept in a salty liquid called brine. 

So we can hear the end of this story a couple different ways. Salt, in small amounts, can add flavor to the foods that we eat. In fact, most of the foods we like have at least some salt in them or on them to make them taste better. Salt is also necessary for baking things! Bread without salt is dry and crumbly, it just doesn’t work. So Jesus might be saying that we need to be flavored with fire – that we are made better when we deal with difficult things and learn from them.

Then there is salt used to keep food from spoiling. Jesus could also be saying that we should be salty so that we can survive the trials of life. We should be salty so that we can preserve the Good News of Jesus and have it ready to feed to anyone who needs to hear it!

20130822-223749.jpgLoving God, preserve us and keeps us so that we can be your “salty” people. Make us ready to share your good news and love with the world around us.

Amen.

FaithCross_WorshipHave a table set out with the two kinds of crackers (or whatever you choose).  Invite people to try one of each and reflect on what they taste.  Which one do they like better? What makes it better?

Find a way to join in prayer – either a pop-corn prayer, or collect slips of paper with prayer requests, etc.  Ask for prayers where about places and people that need a little, or a lot of salt. Things that need to be flavored with God’s love, or preserved from the destructive forces of this world.

20130822-223908.jpgYou are salty, go add flavor to the world!

 

Children’s Sermon/Worship Station, August 16 – 12th Sunday after Pentecost – John 6:51-58

Prepare: Bring an apple and some apple candy, or a banana and some banana candy, etc. For the worship station you will just need the people in the room and maybe a white board or a good computer operator to throw ideas up onto the screen, unless you are an ELCA church that is participating in the ELCA Day of Service on September 13, 2015.  If this is the case, you will need some sign-up sheets!

20130822-223520.jpg As that children gather, ask them what looks better, the fruit or the candy? I imagine that most of them will go for the candy, but you might have a few who want the fruit, ask them why?

20130822-223633.jpg OK, candy tastes really good to most of us, but what does it really do? If you eat to much all at once you get a stomach ache. If you eat candy every day you might rot your teeth. If ALL you eat is candy you won’t be very healthy!

What about this fruit? It tastes good, too. I suppose if you eat too much all at once you might not feel too good either, but that might be because you are full of food! Eating fruit every day isn’t bad for your teeth, really (you still need to brush), and if ALL you ate was fruit you might be OK, certainly better than only candy!

Jesus is talking about food again this week, but this time he s saying things that might make us think about communion. He is talking about flesh and blood and the true food and drink. He has been talking about himself as the true bread from heaven and his blood as the true drink. Which is really why I brought the candy and the apple. The candy tastes like an apple, but it really isn’t an apple. The candy is mostly just sugar. It tastes good and is a nice treat sometimes, but it really doesn’t do us any good. The apple, on the other hand, is sweet, but also full of good vitamins and fiber, things that help us to be healthy!

Jesus is saying kind of the same thing – if you want your spirit to be healthy you need to feed it with real spiritual food, you need to feed it with the words and actions of Christ. Communion is part of that, so is worship, and so is service to others! This whole conversation that Jesus is having today started when he and his disciples feed all of these people with a few fish and loaves, and now Jesus is offering a completely different kind of meal. He is offering a meal for their spirits, encouraging them to listen to the good news, spread the word and to help each other!

20130822-223908.jpg Jesus feeds your spirit today and everyday. Eat and be full!

20130822-224425.jpg Jesus, Bread from Heaven, fill us with your good news, with you love, and with your grace. Send us out to be your hands and feet in the world so that we may find ways to feed those in need of real food, in need of real shelter and in need of real grace. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship ELCA Day of Service – if you are doing a day of service event in September take some time to highlight the event. Maybe even have someone from whatever organization you plan to work with come and talk for a couple minutes. Encourage people to sign up, or put it on their calendar. If you have the means you can even show Bishop Eaton’s video!

If you are not an ELCA congregation, or you are not doing the Day of Service – take a few minutes for a whole congregation brainstorming session! I have found that it is good to have a few “plants” in the congregation when you do this. Talk to one or two people ahead of time about what you are going to do, then have them speak up first from where they are to get the ball rolling. Ask them about needs in your wider community (outside your church), things that the church should be doing, or could be doing. See if you can get a spark going for creating your own service day for you congregation to go out and help in your community!

Children’s Sermon/Worship Station – 9th Sunday after Pentecost, John 6:1-21

Prepare: For the children’s sermon – have some of the wafers or bread that you use for communion. Ideally, refer to what is on the altar for communion for the service that you are in, but if that is not possible, then have enough wafers/bread to serve communion to the whole congregation.

For the worship station – have some information about hunger/homelessness in or near your community. Even better if you have information about a year-round shelter. (Example of this below!)

20130822-223520.jpg Have the children gather around the altar table, or at a table where you have set up some wafers/bread to look a little like communion. Ask them if they know what is set up there and why? This could be a good time to get people talking about communion with their children!

20130822-223633.jpg Today’s story is not about communion, but it made me think about communion. It made me think about communion because of how we celebrate communion. Communion is an amazing feast where everyone gets fed and filled up, but not filled with food. See this little amount of bread? This is enough for all of the people here to have some, and to be filled with God’s good gifts of mercy, grace, love and forgiveness – and there are leftovers!

This story is about abundance from nothing! There thousands of hungry people and just a few small loaves, like these, and a few small fish, and Jesus decided that everyone could just share. Everyone ate, everyone was full and there were leftovers! More leftover than they started with!

Even when we think that God is far away, or that we don’t deserve God’s love, there is always more than enough of God’s love for all of us, and then even more!

20130822-223908.jpg May God’s abundance fill you up!

20130822-224425.jpgGod of abundance, You fill us with good things and raise us to new life. Help us to accept the gifts of you love and to fill up the people around us. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship The worship station could go a few ways. One way would be to have some information out about people who need help. You could focus on homeless in your community, or on people facing drought or war or other natural disasters. Offer a chance for people to do something. It can be as simple as a prayer station, or you can set up a basket for donations, or you could have a sign-up sheet to help at a soup kitchen, or for a habitat build. You could have blank cards out for children (or adults) to make cards for people.

Another way you could go is to show a video, or if that is not possible tell a story, about something that is happening in your community.  Below is an example from my community about an organization here that is helping people get back on their feet. After the video/story, open a chance for conversation about in small groups about what it means to have your needs met, or not met. Create a space for people to offer public prayers.

Children’s Sermon/Worship Station – 6th Sunday After Pentecost, Mark 6:1-13 – July 5, 2015

Prepare: You don’t need to prepare anything specific, but be ready to lead the children’s sermon from a new place, or at a different time, or  . . .

The idea is to do something different so people cannot just be on “autopilot” during the children’s sermon and worship station.

20130822-223520.jpg Invite the children to join you in you new location or time, etc. Ask them how they feel about it. Is it good to be doing something new? Does it make them feel uncomfortable?

20130822-223633.jpg Jesus is changing things around in the story today, too. He goes into his hometown and tries to change how they understand the Bible. He tries to show the people who have known him his whole life a new way to understand the healing power of God. He tries to show them something new and they just don’t like it!

This happens to us, too. Maybe we show up at work or at school and our schedule is not what we thought it was going to be. Or maybe you get served your favorite food but it has a spice or flavor that you are not used to and you don’t like it. It can be really hard to try something different, especially when we like it just fine the old way, and sometimes even more if the NEW way is somehow better!

We like things the way they are often because it is comfortable and safe. We don’t like to take risks and change things. Jesus calls on us to look at the world a different way. Jesus wants us to see the good news and share God’s hope and healing, even when it is difficult to do, and even when people might reject the news we have.  Jesus has advice for that, too! He tells his disciples to spread the good news and offer healing wherever the go. If the people there don’t want to hear what they have to say, then they should just shake it off and move on.

FaithCross_Worship A little church camp mixer! Encourage people (demand?) to get up and move around the sanctuary and find someone that they don’t know very well. Sit down with them and find out something new about them.

Then have those groups of two people join into a group of four people and introduce their new friends to each other.

The last piece is to create a small prayer group from those four people. Invite them to share a prayer request with the group of four and ask them to commit to praying for each other throughout the week.

Ideally, you have these groups of four check in the next week!

20130822-223908.jpg God goes with you!

20130822-223749.jpg God of healing and hope, give us the wisdom to welcome your presence. Give us the patience to listen to your good news. Give us glad and grateful heats for your abundance in our lives. Amen.

 

Children’s Sermon Mark 5:21-43 5th Sunday after Pentecost Year B June 28,2015

Preparation: There are two options here.
A) fill a bag with different things to touch–a soft stuffed animal, baggie of dirt, something prickly (but not too sharp!), silly putty or something kind of slimy or sticky. You can either keep these in the bag and have them reach in and guess or you can take them out one by one to so they can see as well.
B) prepare several small bags with the same items in them, just one per bag so that kids can reach in and try to guess  what they feel.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children with you. Show them the bag you have brought and prepared. “I have brought some things with me today that I want to explore what you think about how they feel.” Proceed to either have one or two children reach into the bag without peeking or bring the items out one by one and have them feel them and talk about what they feel like.

20130822-223633.jpg“I brought these items today because as I heard the gospel read I noticed that the word touch was used quite a lot. Do you remember what the story said about touch?” See what they recall, help them remember the places in the story that Jesus was touched or touched someone. “Touch is one of our five senses, and it’s an important one. Touch helps us know when something is too hot or too cold right? Touch also tells us what something is and helps us know our surroundings. In the Bible today we hear about Jesus and his healing touch–that he is able to heal the woman and the daughter with his touch and his words. This tells me that not only does Jesus care for us in words and by listening, but Jesus also cares for us in all the ways that we feel, either with our hands or with our hearts. You know, when I get a hug from one of my kids or a friend, that is a touch that can warm my heart and make me feel loved. Or when I get to curl up in my bed with favorite pillow that is a sense of touch that makes me feel warm and safe. And when we hold hands to pray or bless one another by putting our hands on one another’s head or shoulder that is touch that makes me feel connected to you and to God. So even though my touch may not make  a disease go away or heal all their hurts, our touch of prayer and blessing and love can bring the presence of God and hope to another person.”

20130822-224425.jpgLet’s pray together this way–let’s hold hands but first look at your thumbs. Let’s make both our thumbs go to the left and then hold hands with the people next to us. When we do this we have one hand supporting one person next to us and another hand being supported, or held up by the other person. (show them this with the people next to you) Lets pray–Loving Jesus, you give us hands to feel and hearts to love. Help us to use kind touch to bring your healing to others. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg+May you know the healing touch of God today+

 

FaithCross_WorshipFor a worship station you can either have the same items from your bag set up at the station and have people feel them and then write something that makes them feel and prayer on paper below each item.
OR
Go to this link from the Still Waters website and scroll down to the station on making hot chocolate as a fun way to have people make a gift for someone they love or who needs a healing prayer.

Children’s Sermon Mark 3:20-35 Pentecost 2B

Preparation: a big chart with two columns for Yes and No

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children with you up front. Show them your chart and say, “So this week I was thinking about things that Jesus taught and how in our life we have lots of choices to make-lots of things and ideas and experiences and people that we can say yes or no to. Now I know that sometimes you have choices between other things too–like maybe mom or dad or grandparents ask if you want broccoli or green beans for dinner or how about this– raise your hand if you would like chocolate ice cream better and raise your foot if you would like ice cream better. So yes sometimes choices are for things but you know you are saying yes to chocolate or vanilla and not to the other even when you have these choices.

So I made this chart thinking about the things, people, ideas, ways to live that we can say yes or no to and I thought I would ask you what you thought. So let’s think deeply together, what are some things or ideas or people that we say yes or no to? I’ll go first. Yes things are things that connect us to love, to God, to other people, to helping the world. I needed help mowing my yard the other day and the neighbor boy came over to help–I said yes to accepting help. Do you have other ideas?

Knowing what we say yes to helps us know what we say no to. Like because I accepted help, I was able to say no to having a lot of pride and trying to do everything all alone. Other ideas?

20130822-223633.jpgJesus today in the Gospel and throughout scripture is saying yes to people, to being in a community, to worshipping God. He is teaching to say no to separation from God, to evil, to being a part of things that do not show love. He tells us that we are all his brothers and sisters when we are saying yes to God. This reminds me of what happens in a baptism. Together we say we renounce, which is a big word for saying No. And we say no to the devil, empty promises, and anything that goes against God. (add these to the chart if they are not there or circle them) And in baptism we say Yes to remembering we are God’s children, helping other people and creation, yes to loving God and loving one another. Jesus promises to be with us everyday and all the ways we try to do this and to love us even we say yes to things that need a no.

FaithCross_PrayALTLet us pray, Jesus-help us  to say yes to living as your children. Yes to loving others. Yes to your promises. Help us to say no to all the things that separate us from you. Amen+

FaithCross_BlessALT+May you walk in the yes with Jesus. +

 

FaithCross_WorshipHave a chart at your worship station for people to add their yes and no to. You could also have smaller pieces of paper with the same columns for people to take home. On this table also have a bowl of water with a  remembrance of baptism or the blessing above. You can also put this station near the baptismal font if your space allows.

New life in Christ John 12: 20-33

ffjChildrenSermonHave some flower seeds, a tulip and tulip bulb, (or a poinsettia,) soil, small pots, and markers, etc. to decorate the pots if you desire as part of a worship station.

20130715-113716.jpg Have a tulip, a tulip bulb (or some other bulb flower) or the poinsettia. Gather the children around the tulip/poinsettia. If using the poinsettia ask the children when they last saw this plant. Christmas! The cool thing about poinsettia’s is that they “bloom” (red leaves) when it’s cold and actually need to stay in a dark closet with no light for much of the year. We bring them out in the fall when there is less sunlight and that is when they thrive. In the dark the poinsettias are renewing and getting ready to grow!

If using a tulip and bulb ask the children if they have every planted bulbs before. Does this bulb look like it could become a flower right now? No. It doesn’t. It just looks dead and pretty useless right now. But we plant the bulb in the fall about 6-8 inches underground so that no sunlight gets to them. All winter they stay a bulb in the ground, dead and not doing much. And then when the weather gets warmer and the ground unfreezes and becomes softer and warmer, the bulb begins to grow a stem. And a couple of weeks later you get these beautiful tulips that grow! This dead bulb will stay just the way it is unless we bury it in the dark and let it sit for a while. Beautiful things can come from the dark!

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story from John today Jesus talks about how new life can come from things that look dead and useless. In nature, tress, flowers and plants have parts of them that die, these become seeds that grow into new life. Jesus was trying to explain to his disciples that he too will die, but it’s not what they think. Jesus will die, they will be sad, but God will bring new life from Jesus’ death-like this flower. Jesus’ death and God raising him to life means that we have new life too! Each and every day God makes us new and we can grow like this flower to share God’s beauty and love with the whole world. When we die, we go to be with God in new life after we die. Jesus gathers us all up in this life and in the next and we are never alone! God brings life from EVERYTHING NO MATTER WHAT! Pretty cool, huh! We have new life and we are never alone.

FaithCross_Worship For a worship station have soil, (small cup for scooping the soil), small terra cotta pots, and seeds. Permanent markers are the best way to draw on the pots so warn parents and have supervision. Have people draw symbols of new life on their pot and then plant a seed. You can have them take them home for the plants to grow during the Easter season, or give them away to an assisted living facility, half-way house or other places where your congregation can share the good news of new life and community forever in Jesus.

20130822-224425.jpgGod, you bring new life from everything around us. You promise that we are with you always, even when we’re in the dark and can’t see the sunlight. Gather all your people so that the whole world will know your presence and love. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Grow in God’s love+

Children’s Sermon Second Sunday After Epiphany, 1 Samuel 3:1-10 and/or John 1:43-51, January 18, 2015

Prepare:  You will need someone to help with this one. The idea is to have someone calling to you from an unseen place. For example, if you have access to a wireless microphone that can be used just outside your worship space, or maybe from behind a screen.

For the worship station you will need a large piece of white paper – like a large piece off an art roll – to make a banner.

20130822-223315.jpg  Invite the children to gather and ask them if anyone has ever called to them – no, not on the phone – but called to them in a loud voice? Like a friend on the playground, or parent calling for them to come inside, etc. As the children are offering ideas, have you partner call to you.  They should keep calling every 10 seconds or so until you find them (so they should be in an agreed upon place to save a little time!), but there needs to be time in between calls for you to talk to the children.

FaithCross  Wait! Did you hear that? I think someone is calling to me right now! Let’s listen. Oh well, what were you saying about being called?

There it is again!  Is it one of you calling me? No? Really? Huh. Well, since we are talking about being called we should talk about the Bible stories for today.  They are both stories about being called – Hey, there is again! Is it one of you out in the congregation? No? hmmmm. . .

Well, in the stories God calls to people. God calls to Samuel as he is sleeping in the temple, and Jesus calls to Philip and Nathanael to follow him. In both stories the calls are unexpected, and in both stories the people being called have to trust and believe in the call, even though they either cannot see the person calling, or don’t know where the call will take them . . . Listen, there’s that call again!  Alright, let’s go find them!

(now go searching for the person, take as longs as you need to find them, make a fun game out if it.)

When you find the person calling, have them ask for help with something simple, like carrying in the communion elements, or with lighting some candles, or collecting offering, etc.

I’m really glad I heard that call, and I’m glad that I could help. Samuel, Philip and Nathanael also answered when they were called and they became some of God’s most important helpers.

20130822-223749.jpg   Loving God, praise and thank you for all the work you do in the world. Teach us to hear your call, and to work every day to be your hands and feet in the world. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg  God calls you by name.

FaithCross_Worship  Either hand the blank banner on the wall or lay it out on a table. Have various colors available (crayons, pencils, etc). Invite people to write where they hear God’s call in their lives on the banner.

~GB

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

Children’s Sermon First Sunday of Christmas, Luke 2:22-40, December 28, 2014

Prepare: For the children’s sermon you will need a nativity set plus two more figures to be Simeon and Anna. Set up a table with blank paper doll cut outs and crayons and/or colored pencils for the worship station. You can also just have plain paper and pencils for people to write on in you don’t have time for the paper dolls.

20130822-222604.jpg  Gather the children around the nativity set and ask them to tell you about the figures that they see. Once they have gotten to everyone there, ask them if anyone is missing.

FaithCross Yep, there are the kings, and the shepherds, the angel (or angels!), some animals, Mary and Joseph and the baby. It does seem like everyone is there, doesn’t it? I think, though, that we could add some people to the story.

Today in the Gospel lesson we heard about Simeon and Anna. These two people had been waiting for Jesus for a long time! God had told them that they would see Jesus before they died and they were very old when he was born, but like the shepherds and the kings, they were some of the first people to see Jesus and to know who he was!

Simeon and Anna were waiting and preparing, just like we all did during Advent. They know that Jesus was coming, just like we all knew that Christmas would be here soon. There was a difference, though, because we all knew that Christmas would be December 25th, just like it always it. Simeon and Anna didn’t know when Jesus would be born, they just had to wait and trust that God would fulfill the promise. They heard the good news, and felt the same joy as the shepherds and the kings, so I think we should add them scene, so I brought two more figures to add to this nativity. Let’s put them in place.

20130822-223749.jpg  Faithful God, we thank you for the witness of Simeon and Anna, and their long wait to see Jesus. Be with us when whenever we wait for news, good or bad, in our lives. Give us patience, faith and courage to be faithful followers of Christ. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Just as we added Simeon and Anna to the nativity set, invite the congregation to add someone of their own to the set. Simeon and Anna were witnesses to God’s promise, and are for us today a witness to faith in God’s good works.  Who in your life has been a faithful witness? Who has been a steady and patient believer in God and in you?

Make a paper doll of that person (or write a little about them) and add them to your nativity set at home!

FaithCross_BlessALT  God’s promises are fulfilled in you!

 

~GB

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

Children’s Sermon Fourth Sunday in Advent, Luke 1:26-38, December 21, 2014

Prepare: You really don’t need anything for the children’s sermon.  For the worship station we are going to make a paper chain with the whole congregation.  So you will need enough 1 inch by 4 inch (2.5 by 10 cm) pieces of paper for everyone to have one, and several rolls of tape.  People will be writing on the paper, so pencils or pens would be good, too!

20130822-223454.jpg  Gather the children and ask them if they have ever done anything scary.  Invite a few responses if you have time.

FaithCross Wow, those are some scary things!  How about this, though, have you ever done something scary that turned out to be a great thing?  Let me give you an example (Please insert your own story!  I will write mine so you get the idea, but please use one of your own.) One time, when I was in college, I was given an assignment that I really didn’t take very seriously.  Part of the assignment was to make a presentation in front of the whole class. Well, I think I am pretty good at talking in front of people, so I decided that I would be fine just going in a talking without really preparing myself, or making any notes. I was wrong! Not only did I get a terrible grade, but the teacher was also really mad at me for not taking the assignment seriously. I really had two choices, I could ignore it and take the bad grade, which would have been the easy thing to do.  Or I could set up a meeting with the teacher, who was a really scary guy, and see if there was any way I could try again.

The first choice, to just ignore it, was easy, mostly because I didn’t have to admit that I did anything wrong. I could just say that the teacher was mean, which everyone agreed was true, and that he didn’t like me. I could just kind of lie about the whole thing.  The second choice was scary because first I had to meet with the mean teacher, and second I had to admit that I had not really tried to do the assignment well.

Well, I met with the teacher, and he was upset about the assignment, but he was pleased that I had taken responsibility. He and I talked for a long time, and he decided to give me a second chance. He and I became friends, and he helped to guide me through the rest of my time at college, and even became one of the biggest influences in my choice to become a musician.

In our Gospel story today, we hear a classic angel phrase, “Don’t be afraid!” The angel is talking to Mary, who is going to be Jesus’ mother! Usually we think about the angel not wanting Mary to be afraid right then, I mean and angel of God appearing right in front of you has to be a little scary! I think the angel’s message is more than that, though. I think the angel is telling Mary to make the scary choice, to go tell Joseph what is happening, to stay with her family and to become Jesus’ mom.  Mary could have tried to run away from the whole situation, like I could have just ignored my bad grade. But the angel tells her to not be afraid, that things will work out and be good! So she does it, and look at the amazing things that happened because she did.

FaithCross_PrayALT   Faithful God, we pray often that you keep us from evil, and we pray also that you keep us safe. Today we also pray for the courage to do things that are difficult, because we know that they are the right and good things to do. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Paper Chains! Have the congregation make pairs and talk briefly about a scary time in their lives that turned out well, or that ended up bringing good things.

After they have had a chance to talk, each person in the congregation is invited to write about a scary time that turned out well on a piece of paper. Then use the tape to make a chain with all the people in their row, then link to the rows in front and behind until the whole congregation is holding one long paper chain.  Hang the chain in somewhere in the church, even on the Christmas tree, if you have one in the your church!

FaithCross_BlessALT  God gives you comfort and courage.

 

~GB

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