May 5, 2013: Children’s sermon Acts 16: 9-15 6th Sunday of Easter

20130227-164821.jpgBring the children either to the back of the worship space or another spot but not up front or where you usually gather for the children’s message. Have a simple map (hand drawn is fine!) of the worship space.  Also have a simple compass on the map.

FaithCross_BibleALTWhat do I have here? (a map, guide, picture of the worship space, etc.). Yes, this picture or map shows me what the space looks like and how maybe best to walk around in here. It guides me to where I need to go!

In today’s story Paul and and some of his friends were traveling all over the region. Paul and other early Christians traveled quite a bit to tell other people about Jesus and God’s love and forgiveness for the whole world. God came to Paul in a vision, like a dream, and told him to go to a distant place where people needed to hear about Jesus. Paul went and when these people heard about Jesus and how much Jesus loved them, they believed in God and were baptized to show the whole world that they were a child of God. Paul didn’t go there because PAUL thought it was a good idea-Paul and his friends went because God led them there and told them to go. God was like Paul’s map or guide. Paul wasn’t on his own but had God with him and all of his friends with him. God makes sure that we have people with us so that we are not alone.

FaithCross_ConversationALTLet’s use this map to walk from here the back of the room to the front of the room (or whatever you want to do). On our way let’s see who will join us on our journey. (Weave your way through the congregation and every now and again stop and tell someone “Jesus loves you. Come with us!” Gather the larger group at the front or even by the font.

Wherever we go we can share God’s love and not worry because God will guide us! What are ways that you can share God’s love at school, on the playground or at soccer practice, etc.?

FaithCross_PrayALT Pray: God you guide us everyday throughout our whole lives. Thank you for being with us always. We will tell everyone we meet about you and your love! Amen.

 God is with you always. (Make the sign of the cross on one another.)

Children’s Sermon April 28th, 2013 John 13:31-35

FaithCross_BibleALT Read the children these verses out of a children’s Bible (my two favorites are the Spark Storybook Bible and the Jesus Storybook Bible). Many of the children’s Bibles will incorporate this story with the foot washing scene. Adding those verses is a wonderful idea!

FaithCross_ConversationALT Ask the children, “How can you tell if someone is a good reader? How about a good soccer player? Or a dancer? (Accept all answers) We know when someone can do something when we see them do it right? Just talking about it doesn’t always tell us what a friend can do. We have to experience them doing it don’t we? How do people know that we love God? (Accept all answers) When we do things that help others, are nice to others or stand up for people who other people are not being nice too, right? What if we SAY that we love God but then treat someone not very nicely? Do you think that people will know that we love God? No, maybe not. Jesus says that if we love one another-each person we meet-then the world will know that we follow Jesus. That’s kind of hard though all the time isn’t it? I know that I am not nice all the time to people! Does that mean that I don’t love God or that God doesn’t love me? NO! It means that God loves me enough to say “try again” and “again” and “again” and “again….” You get the point! But we should try every day to let people know that we love God, God loves us and God loves all people.

            We are going to show everyone here that we love them and God. I have little cards printed up that say “Jesus loves you” (see attachment). We are going to give those to everyone here and give them a hug or a high five or give a blessing (see below). You can even take some of these cards with you to give to friends or other family members. (Have enough printed up for all people to take a few with them when they leave.)

FaithCross_PrayALT Dear Jesus, you love us so much. Let us show the whole world how much you love all people. Amen.

FaithCross_BlessALT (Make the sign of the cross on one another)  Jesus loves you and so do I. 

Children’s Sermon Psalm 23 April 21, 2013 Fourth Sunday of Easter

ffjChildrenSermonPreparation: You will need several small bowls that you can dip into the font to fill with water. The more children you have the more bowls you will need.I would make sure that the font is very full this Sunday!

FaithCross_ConnectALTGather the children around the baptismal font.

FaithCross_BibleALTSay: Today one of our stories from the Bible is called a Psalm or a poem or song. We have 150 of these songs or poems in our Bible and they talk about all kinds of things from being sad or mad at God, worrying about the future, praise and saying thank you to God. Today’s poem is about life with God and how much God loves us. The writer of this song says that God’s love and goodness pursue us-chase us down everyday of our lives! God is chasing you with love!  Have you ever played tag? What if when we played a game of tag we were giving hugs! We might have to be careful so that we don’t knock anyone over-that wouldn’t necessarily be loving, but would you maybe want to be caught if you were getting a hug or a high five instead of getting “out” of the game? (Accept all answers-maybe they don’t want to be caught even for a hug!) Just as God chases us with love God wants us to show love too! Maybe we don’t really run after people to attack them with a hug or a high five, but anytime we talk to someone, or are with someone it’s a time to catch them with God’s love. In Psalm 23, God catches the writer by being with them when it is scary, giving them food when they need it and by putting oil on their head which a long time ago was a way to show someone that they were very special. When we baptize some one we pour water on their head to show that they are very special to God and to tell the whole world that they are a child of God.

We have water in this baptismal font and it is where we tell people how God has caught them in God’s love forever. I am gong to make the sign of the cross on each of you with water to remind you that you have been caught. Do you know what else? All people have have been caught in God’s love! We can’t sprinkle water on all the people of the world but we can sprinkle the people sitting here today! Should we gently sprinkle water on all of these people to remind them that just like the writer of Psalm 23, God chases them with God’s love and catches them always? Yes!

(Have some small bowls that you can dip in the font to fill with water. The kids can dip their finger in the water and “splash” people in the congregation.)

FaithCross_PrayALT Dear God, thank you for chasing us with your love! Help us to show everyone we meet that we are all caught by your love and forgiveness. Amen!

FaithCross_BlessALT As the children and youth sprinkle with water have them say, “You are caught in God’s love.”

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 Third Sunday of Easter, John 21:1-19 – April 14, 2013

ffjChildrenSermonPrepare:  Bring some food to share.  Something simple would be best, to mirror the breakfast of bread and fish on the shore.  I would suggest rice crackers or wheat thins (think about food allergies in your own setting!)

Faith+Open:  Greet the children with, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!”  If they do not know the response, teach them to say, “Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

Faith+Share:  I love all these stories after Easter!  This one is really fun because it makes me think of a couple other great stories about Jesus.  The disciples were out fishing at the beginning of this story, and Jesus appeared on the beach, kind of like the first time that some of them met Jesus.  Something very similar happens, they had not caught any fish and Jesus told them to try the other side of the boat and the net fills with fish!  Then, on the beach, they share a meal of bread and fish, like when Jesus feed all those thousands of people from just a few fish and rolls.  It’s like Jesus is trying to remind them of the amazing things that they have seen and been part of, and I think I know why.

After breakfast, Jesus talks to Peter and asks him, “Do you love me?”  Peter says, “Yes, of course I do!”  Then Jesus tells him to, “feed my lambs,” and “tend my sheep” and “feed my sheep.”  What do you think Jesus is trying to say to Peter?  (wait for some answers)  Yeah, those are good answers!  Jesus isn’t just talking about sheep, is he?  He is talking about how we care for each other.  How we feed each other, how we love each other, and how we take care of each other.  Because we love Jesus, we also should love those around us because we are all part of God’s family, we are all God’s sheep!

So, before you go, we are going to share a simple meal with each other.  Each of you take one cracker and then we will pray together.  Don’t eat until we pray, just hold it.

Faith+Prayer:   Loving Jesus, we thank you for all the people who care for us in our lives.  We thank you for the food that you give to us and for the love that you show us.  Teach us to love others as you love us.  Amen

OK, bless each other and you can eat your cracker!

Faith+Blessing:  Say, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” – Let then respond, “Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!”


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