Tag Archives: service

Children’s Sermon, October 16, 2016 – Luke 18:1-8; Lectionary 29

20130822-222604.jpg As the children come forward, begin asking each one of them for a pencil (or any item will do! Maybe something you need for worship that day!). Keep asking them over and over and over. Ask them if they are annoyed by your questions yet…Hopefully, one of them will be, will find a pencil or pen in the pews/chairs and give it to you! Ask them how it felt when you were asking them over and over for the pencil. Accept all answers. Say, “Sometimes people do annoy us when they keep asking us for things or to do something.  But when someone asks you for something, especially when you know that they really need it or it will really help them, you also want to do that thing for them or get the item that they need. As people, we really do like to help others when we can and are able!”

FaithCross_BibleALTIn today’s story from Luke, Jesus tells a story of a woman who is all alone, no family and she needs help. A judge in Jesus time was more than a person who worried about laws, but also could help people in all kinds of different ways. So the woman went to the judge for help. The judge thought that it would be easier to not help her, but she kept asking him! Just like I kept asking you for a pencil! Finally, he does help her! Jesus tells the people listening to this story that if people can listen to each other and help one another, then think about how much God listens to you! God wants us to talk to God all the time, about everything. Even if we think that it’s not important, or something your ashamed you did, or who your mad at, or the beautiful flower you saw. God wants us to know that it we’re not annoying when we talk to God. God says, “Tell me everything! Tell me about your bad day! Tell me about the new toy you saw! Tell me when you mess up! Tell me when you help someone! Tell me you love me! Tell me you are mad at me!” God can handle anything we say. Even if like the woman, we say it over and over and over.

What do you want to tell God today? (Write it down quickly and use it for the closing prayer. Depending on the ages, offer to have each child offer a prayer.) Yes! We can tell God anything!

FaithCross_PrayALTInvite the children to pray what they named earlier. End with the Lord’s Prayer if that is appropriate for your context and congregation. Jesus told his disciples that this prayer encompasses everything we need.

FaithCross_Worship For prayers of the people (or prayers of intercession) have a quarter sheet of paper in each bulletin or in a basket accessible for all with pens or pencils. Invite people to write what they would like to say to God today. Depending on the size of your congregation, read them all out loud, or have a large wooden cross where people can hang their prayers to God. You can also offer a time for people to pray the prayers on the cross.

Another option is to have a list of needs from the congregation and community: meals, help with house/yard work, donations, prayer, companionship, etc. Have a place where people can write a need and someone else can offer to fill it.

20130822-223908.jpg+God hears you and loves you always+

December Faith + Alive in the Home Philippians 4:4-7 Advent Year C


20130822-223520.jpgIn this busy season, making time to check in with those in our households or with those whom we are in close relationship is vital. There are many ways to do this! Here is one: Gather your household around the Christmas tree or the Advent wreath (if you have one), or simply light a candle. Where do you see God doing something new in your life today? Where do pray for God’s work to be revealed?

20130822-223633.jpgPhilippians 4: 4-7 (Advent 3C, December 13th, 2015):

This is not a “typical” getting ready for Christmas scripture text. No mention of Mary, John the Baptist, prophets, little town of Bethlehem, a baby or any of the images we associate with this time of year. So why is this part of our Advent reading? I tend to think it has something to do with verse six: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

For children: What are you excited about today? What is it that you are having a hard time waiting for? Presents? Time off of school? Snow? What are you worried about today? Tests? Friends? Brother or sister? Mom or dad? Our Bible reading tells us not to worry about anything but to know that God hears our joys and our worries. Make some colorful strips of paper about two inches by about eight inches to create a paper chain. You can have 24 of them to count down to Christmas. But on each chain each day, write or draw something that you are excited about and something that you are worried about. This will be a daily prayer to God. Each day add a chain (families can create one large chain or each person can have their own prayer chain) and hang it on your Christmas tree as a reminder that Christmas is about God with us!

For youth/adults: Worry has been a primary human emotion for thousands of years. It seems that we are wired to worry about anything and everything. Some worry is good and healthy as it can keep us safe but often our worry goes overboard. Paul and the community at Philippi were not immune from worry. Paul is reminding them (and us!) that worry can crowd out our rejoicing and to offer all of daily lives, each part, to God. What is worrying you today? What brings you peace in the midst of worry? When you find yourself worrying about circumstances you can’t control, write down the worry, (paper, phone or computer) and say a prayer of thanksgiving that God is with us always.

FaithCross_ServeALT “Let you gentleness be known to everyone.” God is gentle and loving with us and we want to show the world God’s gentleness. When someone cuts you off in traffic, in line at the store, or is rude to you, offer them a prayer of grace. When you do those same actions (as we all do!), offer yourself a prayer of grace as well!  For younger children, have a small jar in a prominent place where each time someone (adults too) in the household is gentle, kind, and showing God’s love, a coin (pick which denomination works for you) can go in the jar. At the end of the month, as a household, chose a place to donate the coins. (You can have the children decorate the jar or container if you would like and keep this project going.)

20130822-223749.jpgPray for each other’s worries and joys. Thank God for God’s gentleness and love through Jesus Christ.

20130822-223908.jpg+God’s peace and gentleness be with you+

Faith + Home Connection February 2014

20130822-223520.jpgShare your highs and lows of the day. Write them on post-it notes and put them on the refrigerator and pray for each other at your next meal.

20130822-223633.jpgWeek 1: 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31: Do you consider yourself called to God’s mission and work in the world in anyway? Why or why not? Do you think God calls us all or just some? How do you think God can use you in your school, job or community to share the love of Christ?

Week 2: 1 Corinthians 2: 6-16: What are some gifts that God has given you? How have you used them? What do you think it means to have the mind of Christ?

Week 3: 1 Corinthians 3: 1-9: It’s very easy to forget that we belong to God and not to anything else. Paul speaks of belonging to “people” but in our culture we belong to pro sports teams, groups, work places, neighborhoods, gyms, and many other organizations. (Which is not a bad thing.) How can we remember that above all else we belong to God? Who shares God’s love and nurtures your faith?

Week 4: 1 Corinthians 3: 10-11, 16-23: What is your faith foundation? Are there spiritual practice that help to lay the foundation for you? If you are holy and God’s temple how does that change how you are in your daily life? How you treat other people?

20130822-224425.jpgGod of life, we forget that we belong to you. We forget that we and all people are your holy temple. Help us to treat one another as with the “mind of Christ” so that the whole world will know your love. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg(Make the sign of the cross on one another): You belong to Christ and God’s Spirit dwells in you.

FaithCross_ServeALTAsk each week who is in need in your neighborhood or faith community? Find out if a meal, shoveling the walk, house cleaning or babysitting would be a way to bolster someone struggling. Pray for them each day.

Faith + Home Connection December 2013 Isaiah 9: 2-7

20130822-223520.jpgGather the household around the Christmas tree. Turn on the lights or light candles. Open with prayer: God of light, we gather to hear the promises of your love to us. May we walk in your light and share your light and love with your creation. In your son, the light of the world, Jesus’ name, amen.

20130822-223633.jpgRead Isaiah 9: 2-7. As it is being read have paper, pencils, colored pencils, crayons and markers available. Draw the images that Isaiah offers here as it is being read. Maybe read it through more than once.

For children: (Note: some of the images are hard in this passage. Yet, many of our children are exposed to images of war and destruction. This can be a good time to talk openly about those things.) God wants us all to live in peace. What does the word peace mean to you? What does peace look like? What would you say to God in a prayer for peace?

For youth/adults: The promise of prosperity and peace is the focus of this passage. Yet, we know that those things are elusive in our world and it’s easy to think that tangible, financial prosperity is the true meaning of these promises of God. But prosperity in that sense of the word for people means poverty for others. What do you think God’s prosperity looks like in the world? When is “enough” stuff “enough” for us? How can we participate in God’s promise of everyone living in peace and stability? How can we encourage our neighbor to thrive? In this season of gift giving how can we celebrate the joy in giving gifts (this is not a bad thing!) to loved ones and not get caught up in the extravagance?

FaithCross_ServeALTA great way to give gifts and walk alongside a local or global neighbor is to contribute to a favorite charity in honor of that person. Make a fun card and attach a small ornament or piece of Christmas candy to the card. Or make some cookies or other treats for neighbors without family.

20130822-223749.jpgDear God, your light shines on us and lifts our burdens. You offer us promises of new life, peace and justice. May we rejoice in the gift given to us, your Son who reveals your love for all creation. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg (Make the sign of the cross on one another) May you walk in the light of God.