Take Heart! Jesus Hears You! Mark 11: 46-52 Pentecost 22 October 25, 2015

20130822-223454.jpg Have the children gather in their usual place without you. Walk around the worship space asking them if they can hear you. Sometimes be loud or with your mic on, sometimes have your mic off, whisper and one time just think it to yourself and then ask them if they can hear you. When you reach them, ask them, “Could you always hear me? Was it always easy to hear me? When I didn’t speak at all, you had no idea what I wanted to communicate to you. If we have something important to tell one another we have to be sure that the other person can hear us.”

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story today, there was a man Bartimaeus who was born blind. He couldn’t see anything at all. But he had really good hearing. He heard that Jesus was coming to town and he knew that Jesus would help him. So he called out to Jesus for help. Jesus heard him and helped him. Jesus said that he was healed because Bartimaeus knew that Jesus would hear him. Jesus wants us to know that he will always hear us, whether we talk to God loudly, quietly or just in our hearts without saying any words out loud. Jesus is always with us, sees us, hears us and loves us no matter where we are or what we are doing. (Depending on the size of the group you can ask the following question) What do you want to ask Jesus today? Ask anything because Jesus promises to hear you! Sometimes we can’t always tell that Jesus has heard us and we wonder but that’s ok. We can even ask Jesus if he’s heard us! There is not anything that we can’t tell Jesus!

20130822-224425.jpg Jesus you promise to see us and to hear us always. We are grateful that we can ask you anything at all. We love to share your closeness and love with others. May we be like Bartimaeus, confident to call out to you no matter what. Amen.

FaithCross_WorshipSet up on a table a prayer station with post-it notes and pens. Have a basket to place the notes in. Invite people to ask Jesus anything they want on those post-it notes. They can place them in the basket to be read during the prayers in worship or taken home with them for their own prayer time (or both!). It’s also Reformation Sunday in many congregations. Have a brief reminder of the history and how Martin Luther posted questions for discussion on the door at Wittenburg. You could also have people place their post-it notes on the worship space door. Be sure to close the prayer with words of assurance that Jesus always hears us even when we aren’t sure or can’t see the outcome we desire.

20130822-223908.jpg+Jesus hears you and loves you+

Children’s Sermon All Saints Sunday John 11:32-44 Nov 1, 2015

20130822-223520.jpgPreparation: You will need a large mirror or several smaller ones. For the worship station you need the mirror/mirrors and markers or dry erase markers.

Gather the children with you and around a big mirror.  Say “look into this mirror, what do you see?” Take answers (the will see themselves and others sitting next to them)   Ask, “Ok, so have you have been told you look like someone in your family? I get told I look like my Dad because our eyes are the same. And sometimes I am told I am like my grandmother because we like many of the same things. So sometimes when I look in the mirror, I do not just see myself, I see my Dad or I see the things my grandmother and I love then I think about my grandparents who have died and the other family members that I have in my family. Sometimes I wish they were still here so I could see how much we look like and so I could talk to them again. Do you any of you have people you love that have died and you wish were still here?”

20130822-223633.jpg“Jesus has a friend named Lazarus and in this story today, Lazarus died and his sisters went to get Jesus. They were very sad and so was Jesus.  Then Jesus did this amazing thing and he told Lazarus to come out of the tomb! And Lazarus did come out and the family had their brother back, he was raised from the dead. Now sometimes, I am sad that this does not happen with the ones I love. I would like to see them not just in the mirror when I look at myself or in a picture. So sometimes this story makes me sad. But other times this story makes me hopeful. Jesus wants us to know that one day we will be with those we love and miss and Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead not just to show his power but also so show us that God’s love and power can overcome all our fears and all our sadness and that when we feel those things God is right there with us.”

20130822-224425.jpg“So Let’s look in the mirror again and say a prayer together. Loving Jesus, thank you for our faces, thank you for our memories of those we love, help us to see them and you in our hearts and to know your promise of eternal life. Amen”

20130822-223908.jpgHave the children look at themselves in the mirror while saying these words. “God in my head, God in my heart, God on my left, God on my right.”

FaithCross_WorshipHave mirrors at a station on a table. Either a big one or several smaller ones. Have dry erase or regular markers (test them first) around the mirrors. Post these instructions: Look in the mirror and notice what memories are there for you or what hopes you have. Notice if you remind yourself of someone you know that has died either by looks or because of the bond you shared in other ways. Write a word or a prayer or draw a memory on the mirrors. Then look in the mirror again and give yourself a blessing: Child of God, you are surrounded in memory and hope +

Children’s Sermon – 21st Sunday after Pentecost Year B, Mark 10:35-45

Prepare: You will need to be near a baptismal font with water in it for the children’s sermon.

For the worship station you will need paper, washable markers and a bucket of water (maybe a towel, too!)

20130822-223520.jpgHave the children gather around the font and ask if any of them remember being baptized, or if any of them remember the last time someone was baptized in your church.

20130822-223633.jpgThe Gospel text for today is about a bunch of things, but I caught Jesus talking about baptism again! Baptism comes up a bunch with Jesus, but this time is just a little different. Two of his friends, James and John, ask Jesus for a very high honor – they wanted to sit with him as he ruled over the world. Well, again, this story is about a lot of different things, but Jesus says to them, “Hey, if you can deal with the same Baptism I am going to go through then that will be enough.” We think of baptism as a beautiful ritual with water and words and prayer. Jesus had that, too, but what if Jesus is talking about something else?

When we talk about life with Christ we often say that we are baptized into his death, or we say in baptism we die to sin and are raised to new life in Christ. Jesus could be talking about what is coming up in his life, his own death and resurrection! He could be talking about the Easter story! When we baptize people, one of the things that we talk about is that we die to sin, and are raised up out of the water as new sisters and brothers in Christ. We are made part of the family of God, pretty cool!

In this story, Jesus  is telling us that we need to let the sinful parts of ourselves go, we need to let them die so that we can be reborn in Christ’s love.

20130822-223749.jpgLoving and living God, we come to you seeking love and understanding. We come to you to live out our baptismal promises. We come to you with joy in our hearts at the new life you give us in the cleansing water of Baptism. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg(make a cross on all their heads with water from the font!) You are a clean and new child of God!



FaithCross_WorshipFor the worship station, set up an area where people can write down something that keeps them from God. It can be a confession, or a doubt, or an illness, or anger, or anything!

Have the bucket (or basin) near by full of water and let them say a brief prayer, then dunk the paper in the water and wash the words away.

You will want to test this BEFORE worship to make sure that your maker/paper combination is going to release the ink into the water.




“Jesus Looks at You and Loves You” Children’s Sermon Pentecost 20B Mark 10:17-31

Preparation: a needle and thread–use a larger one if possible so that they can see, a sign that says Go in Peace, Serve the Lord (optional as you can do this verbally as well) Worship station supplies are a coloring page with cross–click here for a pdf of that page.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children up front with you and greet them. “Well, I heard Jesus saying some interesting things today about camels and needles and other things that sound just impossible. What are some things that you think are impossible?” (take answers, you will likely get some crazy ones like flying, etc) Yes those sound pretty impossible and some of them truly are not things we do as humans (like flying–careful not to encourage dangerous things!)

20130822-223633.jpgToday Jesus talks about it being more difficult for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get their own way into heaven. I brought this sewing needle with me to show you, can you see it here. This is the eye of the needle, the part where the thread goes (put the thread through or did it ahead of time.) Now, let’s use our imagination–how big is a camel? Yep this big, huge (spread out your arms) and how will a camel walk through this needle like the thread? Sounds crazy right? Well Jesus is using some big imagination there! Even exaggeration–talking about something that is not really possible.   There was also this man, who asked Jesus a big question–what do I DO to have eternal life. And Jesus tells him to give away all that he has –everything and then he will know what it is to have eternal life. How do you think the man felt? Yep, he felt pretty gloomy because he just did not think he could do that-it sounded impossible. Does that sound impossible to you? What are some ways that we do give away we  have and share? (talk about some things they do and any project you are working on together)

I also noticed that it says Jesus looked at the man with love–Jesus sees him and us with love! Then Jesus says, it is not possible for you to DO anything on your own but with God all things are possible. You can give things away and you can share with others even when it is difficult. And no matter what you do God’s love is there and Jesus going to the cross and rising again is what gives us eternal life, so there is nothing you can do to make it happen on your own.

20130822-224425.jpgDo this activity as the prayer and blessing:

What we DO matters, how we go out and share God’s love. AND God will be with us and gives us eternal life no matter we have or do not have or do or do not do. So yes we need to care for others and we need to know that Jesus is the one who saves us. We say something at the end of each service-Go in Peace and serve and the Lord. Do you know what that means? Go out of this place, knowing God is with you and do things that show God loves you and everyone else.

20130822-223908.jpgI have a sign here and so let’s have two people make an arch with their hands and I will hold this sign up for you. Now before we go back to our seats you will walk through this arch and sign and hear the words, Go in peace and serve the Lord and you can say thanks be to God as you go to your seat. As you hear these words remember that God goes with you no matter what you do in this world.
Option: Have two kids make these arches as people leave the sanctuary and encourage them to go through that tight space and hear the words that God loves you as you go in peace.

FaithCross_WorshipHave a cross coloring outline on a sheet of paper and the words Jesus looks at you and Loves you (paraphrase of verse 21)–Here is one made for you, click here!   Inside the cross write the things that we struggle to give away to God and need to lay on the cross. Around the cross write or draw the ways God loves comes to you.

“We Are One” Children’s Sermon on Genesis 2: 18-24 and Mark 10: 2-16

20130822-222604.jpgHave a bunch of larger building blocks (foam ones are great!) with you. Make sure that you have enough that each child gets at least one. Gather the children around the blocks as best you can. Ask “do you think that we can build something out of these blocks? Let’s build a house.” Take your block and place it on the ground. Say, “There here’s my piece, am I done? No? My block can’t be a whole building all by itself? We need more pieces? Ok. Here’s one for each of you. Let’s put our blocks together and build a simple house.”  This might get a little chaotic depending on how many children you have! When done, say, “Wow! Look how we built that together! Each one of our pieces is important. What happens if I take a block away especially from the bottom?” Let them guess and then take one away-hopefully it will break or fall a little…if not remove one more! Without all of the blocks we just don’t have a complete building do we?

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story this morning, Jesus is reminding us that we all need each other and how we treat other matters. No one person is more or less important and we need to make sure that we are taking care of each other and including each other so that we can be whole-like our whole building. What happens when we tell someone that we don’t want them around anymore? (Remove a block.) Yes, we’re not whole and we need them. In our story from Genesis we read that God created us to work together, to not be separate blocks doing our own thing but to be like one building. Jesus says that God thinks that we are all important no matter how big or how small to God and so we treat each other how God would treat us. What are some ways that we can show people that they matter to God, to us and that they are not alone? (Maybe try and highlight some service/outreach ministries that are accessible to children and young families in your congregation. But allow all answers of sharing, helping, loving, hugs, nice words, helpful hands, etc.) That’s right! We have so many ways to show God’s love for everyone!

20130822-223749.jpg Dear God, thank you for creating animals, plants, and all people. Thank you for never leaving us alone but being with us always. We want to love everyone as you love us, God. In Jesus name, amen.

FaithCross_Worship have a Jenga type wooden blocks on a table. Have permanent markers on the tables for people to write examples of how we are all one in Christ and/or how we care for each other and creation. Have them place their blocks to “build” the Jenga set. (You may want to have it started and someone there to facilitate.) For a hymn of the day that can be listened to instead of sung while they are doing this, check out the Alternate Routes song: “Nothing More.” Great lyrics for this activity!

20130822-223908.jpg +God cares for you+