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 16:1-13 Pentecost 18C September 22, 2013

Preparation: a chalice filled with stickers or small candies or something that the kids can have.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children together and welcome them. Hold up the chalice and say: Anyone know what I have here? (take answers) Yes, this is called a chalice, it’s the cup that we can hold wine or grape juice in for communion.

20130822-223633.jpgSo I was thinking about this cup and what we usually put in it. And our gospel story today tells about a master, a rich man with people working for him, who rewarded a manager who was not really honest with this money. **Use the Spark Storybook Bible to tell the story in a simple fashion. “Well, it’s an interesting story because it does not seem like the master should reward the manager; it seems like he should punish him instead. But he offers him what we would call grace instead. It certainly seems like a strange way to show grace–would you show grace if your brother or sister gave a way part of your allowance? No probably not, so that is where the chalice comes in.”

FaithCross“See in this story it’s like God is saying grace is everywhere, really and truly everywhere even when it has no business being there. And this chalice is something that shows us grace every week by being here and being full”–now act like you are going to spill the wine and make show of it and let it start to spill out the stickers or small candies. “Uh-oh, if the wine spills it has no business being on the carpet, what will do, I will be in trouble with… (name janitor or pastor or whoever)”. Then let the other things spill and say, “What, these stickers/candies aren’t supposed to be in the chalice! Well, I guess I am glad that they were instead of wine! Grace shows up in all kinds of ways, even where we think that maybe it should not be and for that we can be grateful because God’s grace shows up for us.”

20130822-224425.jpgGod, thank you for your grace that is surprising and present and for us in all ways. Amen


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

Faith + Home Connection October Luke 18: 9-14

20130822-223315.jpg Share your highs and lows of the day or week with one another.

20130822-223633.jpg Luke 18: 9-14 or the Spark Storybook Bible page 396

FaithCross_ConversationALT For children: What kinds of things do you talk to God about? Did you know that every time you talk to God it’s a prayer? Prayer doesn’t have to be fancy words or at a special time, prayer is anytime you have something to say to God. Even when we might be so sad or upset that we don’t have any words, God still hears our hearts and knows what we need. Trace your hand with some crayons or colored pencils on a piece of paper and write or draw something you want to tell God or ask God about in each finger or in the palm of your traced hand. Keep that “prayer hand” where you can see it and pray to God every day.

For youth/adults: Sometimes we get tongue-tied and think that prayer has to be done in a certain manner or in a certain place. Jesus is using this story to remind the Pharisees and us that prayer is about honesty with our relationship with God. God sees to the core of who we are and trying to pretend that isn’t so, isn’t helpful. Do you have a favorite memorized prayer that you say when you don’t know what to pray to God? Have you ever had a time when you had a hard time praying to God-when words just wouldn’t come? God is most interested in the honest cries of our hearts. What would you pray knowing that God already knows our hearts?

FaithCross_ServeALT This month focus on how our prayer connects to our daily actions. If you pray for a situation or a person/people, make a note of how you might reveal the love of God in that place or with that person/people.

20130822-224425.jpg Keep a prayer journal this week/month. Write or draw your prayers to God and notice what keeps coming up for you. Pray your joys, sorrows, thanksgivings, needs and fears. (For younger children see the “prayer hand activity above.)

20130822-223908.jpg Make the sign of the cross on one another and say: “May God be merciful to you.” 

Children’s Sermon Luke 15:1-10 Pentecost 17C September 15, 2013

Preparation: create a memory game or use one that you have. Either put some simple pictures on index cards or get small boxes you can hid objects under. Have one object missing purposely without a match. You will want to only have 3-5 object sets for time constraints.

20130822-223454.jpgGather children up front with you. Have the memory game ready and welcome them. Say, I have this game with me today–anyone every played ‘memory’ before? Let’s try it.

Have one child help you with the turning the cards or lifting the boxes. If you have a small number of kids they can take turns, a large number you will want them to just point while you or one child turns items over. Play until you have the matches all but one.

20130822-223633.jpgHmm, where is the match for this one? Anyone able to find it? I wonder where it went? Should we look for it? Start looking in places close to you. You can make this as long or as short as you want. Find the match in your pocket or someplace near you. Oh, there it is! I wonder how it got there? I am so glad we found this match! We can finish the game! Phew, the game would have been ruined if we didn’t find the match! I do not like it when things are lost.. do you? Have you every been lost? (take answers briefly).

Jesus tells us a story today about a lost sheep and a lost coin. The people who lost them, looked everywhere until they were able to find them. And the ones that were lost, well they couldn’t do much of anything to be found just like our card (or whichever object you had lost) could make a noise or cry out or move to be found, could it? Well that is what this story is about–that God loves you SO MUCH that even if you are lost or even if you aren’t sure about God or have questions about your faith, God will find you. God promises you are always one of her children and that you are found because you belong to God. And I was pretty happy I found that piece, so I could finish the game. Well God is so happy to have you as a child that God throws a party and rejoices and does a happy dance and promises to never leave you.

20130822-223749.jpgJesus, you are always looking for us and we thank you for your love that finds us. Amen


20130822-223908.jpgGod rejoices over you!

Children’s Sermon Luke 14: 25-33 Pentecost 16, Year C September 8th, 2013

20130822-223520.jpg Gather the children in a circle. Ask them if they know the “Hokey Pokey” song. Maybe sing a couple of verses and have them do it with you. For the last verse sing the “put your whole self in put your whole self out.”

20130822-223633.jpg After you sing that have the kids sit down if you would like. Tell them that today’s Bible story from Luke is kind of a hard one. Jesus says some harsh words about how following Jesus and loving Jesus is not easy and that you may have to give up everything you have to follow Jesus. Say, “Just like the song the “Hokey Pokey” that we just sang, Jesus tells us that the only way to follow him is to put our whole selves in. What does it mean to follow Jesus? How do we act, what do we say, if we are following Jesus? (Accept all answers) So when we are at school do we follow Jesus? Yes. When we are at soccer, baseball, football practice or dance class do we follow Jesus? What if following Jesus, which means loving everyone, even those that other people ignore, means that we get made fun of for being nice to kids that other kids are not nice to? What if following Jesus means that you share the ball in soccer practice or don’t need to be the one who makes the goal? What if following Jesus means giving away part of your allowance to buy food for someone or clothes for someone? Those can all be tough things but Jesus wants our whole selves to follow him not just on Sundays or at church but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and everywhere! Is that easy or hard? Well the good news is that Jesus promises to be with us on all of those days and at every time of our day! We will mess up and not get it right but we get to try again every single day and God says that is ok and God loves us! And that is “what’s it’s all about!”

20130822-223749.jpg God love is what you offer us every day and is what our lives are all about. Help us to put our whole selves into following and loving you. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg Jesus is with you always. (Make the sign of the cross on one another’s forehead.)