“For God So Loves You!” John 3: 1-17, Holy Trinity Sunday, Year B, May 31st, 2015

20130715-113716.jpg Have a piece of chart paper available that you can write on or have the children write on. Have the paper divided into threes (maybe make a peace sign). Ask: “What do you know about God who creates or makes stuff?” Write or have an older child write the answers. “What do you know about Jesus?” Again, write all answers. “What do you know about the Holy Spirit?” Write all answers. Say: “Wow! You know quite a bit! Do you think that this is all that there is to know about God? Who do you think knows EVERYTHING about God? (Yes some  child will say “GOD!” Go with it!) It’s really hard for us to know everything about God isn’t it? We try and explain how God is creator, Jesus who died for us and the Holy Spirit who we talked about last week as wind, breath, or fire. (Or insert however you discussed the HS last week on Pentecost Sunday.) But we just don’t quite know everything do we?

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story this morning we read about a really smart guy named Nicodemus or Nic for short. He knew all kinds of stuff about the Bible, God, rules, and special religious holidays. He didn’t know a lot about Jesus and so he went to talk to him at night so that no one else would know that Nic had questions, there was stuff that even he didn’t understand. Have you ever had something that you didn’t understand, maybe at school? Did you go and talk to someone? Yes? Good! Nic did a great thing by talking to Jesus. Jesus told Nic some things that he didn’t know and it was confusing! But Jesus said to him, you can’t know everything! Only God does! God comes to you with love and healing and that is the most important thing to know! There will always be stuff about God you don’t understand-everything that we wrote on this paper is not everything about God, right? But all we need to know is that God loves us very much, always will no matter what, and always is with us. That’s it! Simple but still hard, huh? Yeah, even for me and other adults we don’t quite get it, but we get to try and just live in God’s love and share it with people every single day. How can you show your love for people and God’s whole world? (Accept all answers.) Great ideas! During Worship Station time, you can take a red construction paper heart, write Creator, Jesus, and Holy Spirit on the three “points” if you will of the heart (see better description below). Then write your own name in the middle of the heart to remind you that you are part of God’s love in the world. Decorate it however you want and take it home! Make some to share (with friend’s or family members names on it)!

20130822-223749.jpg Dear God Creator, Jesus our Savior and the Holy Spirit our Breath, we love you and we are grateful that you love us always. You make us your own and bring us to live into your love for the whole world. You make us new each day and you are at work bringing healing and wholeness all around us. We pray to be a part of your love and wholeness in the world. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Have red construction paper hearts (fairly good size-about 4 ½ X 5 ½), markers, heart stickers and anything else you would like to decorate the hearts. Have a sample made where at the top of the two rounded parts of the heart one side says “Creator” (or “Father” “Mother” depending upon your tradition), and the other “Jesus.” Have the words “Holy Spirit” written on the point of the bottom of the heart. Encourage people to write their own name on the center of the heart and/or write ways to share the love of God with the world. They can take them home or tape them on a cross.

20130822-223908.jpg +God so loves you+

Children’s Sermon Day of Pentecost – Acts 2:1-21 – May 24, 2015

Preparation: You don’t really need to do anything, but the main part of the Children’s Sermon/Worship Station will be a parade, so it would be fun to have a Pentecost banner or streamers that the parade leader could carry.

20130822-223520.jpg As you gather children together, ask if any of them have ever been to a parade or in a parade. What was the parade for? Was it fun to be there?

20130822-223633.jpg  Parades are often to celebrate something, like people returning home from a journey, or a county or state fair, or a holiday.

We are going to have a parade today! We are going to have a Pentecost parade! Today is the day that we remember the story of the disciples with tongues of fire on their heads, speaking to a crowd and telling them all about Jesus.

In the tradition of the Easter Orthodox church they have parades every year on Pentecost. They have a parade all the way around the outside of their church building to remember that they are sent out into the world to tell about Jesus, and that they come back into the church to gather back together as a community. 

(you can decide if the parade will be around your worship space, or longer! This is also the point where you need to decide if this is going to be an activity for the whole congregation or just for the children.)

So, let’s gather up our banner and go for a Pentecost Parade!

20130822-223749.jpg Holy Spirit, enter into our lives and our hearts. Put the Good News of Christ on our lips and in our hearts for us to share with the whole world. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg God’s Spirit fills you up!

FaithCross_Worship The worship station is really just the parade this week, but you can add to that if you want. Part of our identity as Easter people and Pentecost people is to spread God’s love and mercy throughout the world. You can have people spread out to different corners of your church grounds and pray for all the parts of your church. Then have them gather back together to pray for the whole world.

Children’s Sermon Easter 7B John 17:6-19 2015

Preparation: create a photo or picture collage of things that we do with our friends, different activities, etc. Put either a cross or praying hands in the center. OR draw a big scribble and put the name of a friend in one of the sections and then different things about him/her around it–for more details go to the blog Worshipping with With at this link. You will need to scroll down to the ideas for this text. This is to have a visual. The message can be done all orally if you choose.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children. Ask them to name some things they do with friends. Show them your poster and talk about those things (add to it if you can) or Show them your name scribble and talk about your friend in particular.

20130822-223633.jpg“There are many things we can do with our friends. You know Jesus had friends too. He had his disciples and the people who followed him and he did all kinds of things with them. Can you think of any? He walked with them, talked, hung out under trees, went to cities and towns, drank and ate, etc. Do you think he did any of the things we listed like play games? Well today we hear from Jesus who had done all these wonderful things with his friends and we hear that Jesus reaches out to us too and calls us friend, a loved child of God. And what he is doing is praying. Yep he’s ‘thinking about all the things his friends have done and all the things they will need to do even when he is not with them any more to teach about God’s love. He’s thinking about them and about us and he is praying. He prays that all those ways that we live and play and learn are ways that we also show love to others. He prays that we will know what to do when hard things come into our lives. He prays that we will know how to love others and that God will be with us. So Jesus prayed for the disciples and he prayed for each one of you–that you will know how to be friend and love others.”

If you have done the name scribble, tell the kids how to do this and then encourage them to do this during the sermon or at a worship station or at home. Describe how the name scribble shows things about the person that they can pray for specifically. They can make this for their friend, say the prayers for them when they give it them or before, like a blessing of the drawing.

20130822-223749.jpg“One of the ways I have been taught to pray is to hold hands so that both thumbs point left.”Demonstrate by holding hands of the two children on either side of you. “See one hand is underneath, so it is being supporting this person. The other hand is on top so it is being supported. Let’s hold hands in a circle so that we are being supported by our neighbor and offering support to the other neighbor as well pray.  Jesus, thank you for the gift of friends. Thank you for sending us to the world to be a friend. Help us to love them and support them and show them your grace. Amen”

20130822-223908.jpgJesus’ prayer today gives us a promise and blessing that we will also always be held in his love. Let’s say our blessing together while making the sign of the cross. “God in my head, God in my heart, God on my left, God on my right” Amen

FaithCross_WorshipWorship Station: Have paper and markers and sample ‘friend scribbles’. Invite people to pray for a friend or friends by creating this name scribble and praying for each part of their friend’s lives. Another way to do this would be to write different places on the globe or different issues in the spaces of the scribble and pray over them.

Love One Another John 15: 9-17 Children’s Sermon Easter 6B Mother’s Day

20130822-223315.jpg Have the children come forward. Have them stand in a line and join hands. Tell them that they are going to play a game of electricity. You will start it. When they feel their hand get squeezed, they squeeze the hand of the person to their right. So you will stand on the far left of the line. Start the “electric” chain. Have the person at the end of the line say “We love each other!” After a time or two of the game, pull someone out of the middle and leave the gap. Start the game again. What happens? Half of the chain doesn’t get the “electrical” flow. Have the children sit down right where they are.

20130822-223633.jpg In our story from John today, Jesus is talking about how God is with us in our lives and we are also part of God’s life. Because of this, the love of God is in us all and we are to share it with everyone. This is kind of like the game of electricity. It flows from person to person, and we need each other to transmit God’s love. What happened when we pulled someone out of the game? The flow stopped! God needs each and every one of us to spread God’s love! What are ways that we can share God’s love? (Accept all answers) Yes! Those are all good ways!

Do you know what day today is? Mother’s day! We have many women in our lives who show us love! Moms, aunts, grandmas, teachers, friends, SS teachers, pastors, mentors, all kinds of women who love us. We can show all of those women love too! In our worship station this morning we can all make a chain of love! (See Faith + Worship for instructions) We are all needed to show God’s love to one another.

20130822-224425.jpg Loving Jesus, you connect us together with your love. You tell us that love is the most important part of all of our lives. May we show all people your love. Amen.

FaithCross_WorshipHave construction paper hearts cut out and available (about 2×3 inches would be a good size). Have markers and tape available. Invite people to write names of women who they love and show them the love of God on a heart. Connect the hearts together to create a chain of hearts. Have a table top cross to drape the “heart chain” on or find a place to hang it. Depending on the size of your congregation, pray for the names on the hearts or invite people to pray as part of the worship station.

20130822-223908.jpg +Live in the love of Jesus+