Tag Archives: worship station

Children’s Sermon First Sunday of Christmas, Luke 2:22-40, December 28, 2014

Prepare: For the children’s sermon you will need a nativity set plus two more figures to be Simeon and Anna. Set up a table with blank paper doll cut outs and crayons and/or colored pencils for the worship station. You can also just have plain paper and pencils for people to write on in you don’t have time for the paper dolls.

20130822-222604.jpg  Gather the children around the nativity set and ask them to tell you about the figures that they see. Once they have gotten to everyone there, ask them if anyone is missing.

FaithCross Yep, there are the kings, and the shepherds, the angel (or angels!), some animals, Mary and Joseph and the baby. It does seem like everyone is there, doesn’t it? I think, though, that we could add some people to the story.

Today in the Gospel lesson we heard about Simeon and Anna. These two people had been waiting for Jesus for a long time! God had told them that they would see Jesus before they died and they were very old when he was born, but like the shepherds and the kings, they were some of the first people to see Jesus and to know who he was!

Simeon and Anna were waiting and preparing, just like we all did during Advent. They know that Jesus was coming, just like we all knew that Christmas would be here soon. There was a difference, though, because we all knew that Christmas would be December 25th, just like it always it. Simeon and Anna didn’t know when Jesus would be born, they just had to wait and trust that God would fulfill the promise. They heard the good news, and felt the same joy as the shepherds and the kings, so I think we should add them scene, so I brought two more figures to add to this nativity. Let’s put them in place.

20130822-223749.jpg  Faithful God, we thank you for the witness of Simeon and Anna, and their long wait to see Jesus. Be with us when whenever we wait for news, good or bad, in our lives. Give us patience, faith and courage to be faithful followers of Christ. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Just as we added Simeon and Anna to the nativity set, invite the congregation to add someone of their own to the set. Simeon and Anna were witnesses to God’s promise, and are for us today a witness to faith in God’s good works.  Who in your life has been a faithful witness? Who has been a steady and patient believer in God and in you?

Make a paper doll of that person (or write a little about them) and add them to your nativity set at home!

FaithCross_BlessALT  God’s promises are fulfilled in you!



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Children’s Sermon Fourth Sunday in Advent, Luke 1:26-38, December 21, 2014

Prepare: You really don’t need anything for the children’s sermon.  For the worship station we are going to make a paper chain with the whole congregation.  So you will need enough 1 inch by 4 inch (2.5 by 10 cm) pieces of paper for everyone to have one, and several rolls of tape.  People will be writing on the paper, so pencils or pens would be good, too!

20130822-223454.jpg  Gather the children and ask them if they have ever done anything scary.  Invite a few responses if you have time.

FaithCross Wow, those are some scary things!  How about this, though, have you ever done something scary that turned out to be a great thing?  Let me give you an example (Please insert your own story!  I will write mine so you get the idea, but please use one of your own.) One time, when I was in college, I was given an assignment that I really didn’t take very seriously.  Part of the assignment was to make a presentation in front of the whole class. Well, I think I am pretty good at talking in front of people, so I decided that I would be fine just going in a talking without really preparing myself, or making any notes. I was wrong! Not only did I get a terrible grade, but the teacher was also really mad at me for not taking the assignment seriously. I really had two choices, I could ignore it and take the bad grade, which would have been the easy thing to do.  Or I could set up a meeting with the teacher, who was a really scary guy, and see if there was any way I could try again.

The first choice, to just ignore it, was easy, mostly because I didn’t have to admit that I did anything wrong. I could just say that the teacher was mean, which everyone agreed was true, and that he didn’t like me. I could just kind of lie about the whole thing.  The second choice was scary because first I had to meet with the mean teacher, and second I had to admit that I had not really tried to do the assignment well.

Well, I met with the teacher, and he was upset about the assignment, but he was pleased that I had taken responsibility. He and I talked for a long time, and he decided to give me a second chance. He and I became friends, and he helped to guide me through the rest of my time at college, and even became one of the biggest influences in my choice to become a musician.

In our Gospel story today, we hear a classic angel phrase, “Don’t be afraid!” The angel is talking to Mary, who is going to be Jesus’ mother! Usually we think about the angel not wanting Mary to be afraid right then, I mean and angel of God appearing right in front of you has to be a little scary! I think the angel’s message is more than that, though. I think the angel is telling Mary to make the scary choice, to go tell Joseph what is happening, to stay with her family and to become Jesus’ mom.  Mary could have tried to run away from the whole situation, like I could have just ignored my bad grade. But the angel tells her to not be afraid, that things will work out and be good! So she does it, and look at the amazing things that happened because she did.

FaithCross_PrayALT   Faithful God, we pray often that you keep us from evil, and we pray also that you keep us safe. Today we also pray for the courage to do things that are difficult, because we know that they are the right and good things to do. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Paper Chains! Have the congregation make pairs and talk briefly about a scary time in their lives that turned out well, or that ended up bringing good things.

After they have had a chance to talk, each person in the congregation is invited to write about a scary time that turned out well on a piece of paper. Then use the tape to make a chain with all the people in their row, then link to the rows in front and behind until the whole congregation is holding one long paper chain.  Hang the chain in somewhere in the church, even on the Christmas tree, if you have one in the your church!

FaithCross_BlessALT  God gives you comfort and courage.



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Children’s sermon Matthew 25: 1-13, Ten Bridesmaids, Year A, Pentecost 32, Nov. 9, 2014

Preparation: an oil candle  and lighter

20130822-223315.jpg Gather the children with you. Show the children your oil candle that is unlit.  Ask, “does anyone know what this is?” Take answers. “And how does it keep the light burning?” Take answers. “yes the oil we have here keeps the flame going, as long as there is oil in the lamp the flame will go. “ Light the candle.

20130822-223633.jpg  “In our gospel today Jesus tells us a parable—which remember is a story that tries to tell us something about God or about how we are called live as God’s children. This parable is about bridesmaids and back when Jesus was alive and there was a wedding the bridesmaids didn’t stay with the bride like they do today, instead they stayed with groom and carried oil lamps so that everyone could see how well he was dressed and how he would make a good husband who could take care of the bride. Well, these bridesmaids did not keep oil in there lamp so they could not keep the light shining on what they were supposed to. Jesus tells this story to help us see that how we live and shine God’s light matters for showing others about Jesus’ love.”  “What are ways that we can help each other have enough oil in our lamp to shine a light for Christ?” Take answers but come around to the idea that when we pray for each other, read the scripture, sing songs, and remember that we are children of God then we can show that to others.

20130822-224425.jpg For our prayer today we are going to do something different. We are going to sing a song and let it help us remember how we are lights and let it remind the rest of the people worshipping that they are lights as well.

Sing This Little Light of Mine or Give me Oil in my lamp or another  light song

20130822-223908.jpg  +May your light shine bright in the day and night and may you know God’s love in you+

FaithCross_Worship Anointed with Oil: set out small bowls with oil and make small cards that have either the blessing above (+May your light shine bright in the day and night and may you know God’s love in you+) or a baptismal blessing–+You are sealed by the Holy Sprit and marked with the cross of Christ forever+

Create a sign that says: Take a card and dip your finger in oil. Make a sign of the cross with the oil on the card as a reminder to take home. Then go and give the blessing to another person.


Children’s sermon Matthew 22: 15-22, Paying Taxes, Year A, Pentecost 29, Oct. 19, 2014

Preparation: Pictures or objects that show ways in which money given to the congregation goes to support or serve others, children’s offering basket or whatever you use, coins

20130822-223315.jpg Gather the children with you. Bring an offering plate or if you have a children’s offering basket or bucket, have that with you as well.   Show them the offering plate/basket/bucket and ask, “Do you know what this is for?” Take answers. “yes we collect money in it and that is called collecting an offering. We have an offering time in every worship that we do together. Does anyone know what offering means?” Take answers. “Offering is a way we give something in the name of our faith and our worship knowing that what we have comes from God.”

20130822-223633.jpg  “In our reading today from Matthew we hear Jesus get asked about money. He says to give to Cesar or give to the government what belongs to them and give to God what belongs to God. What do you think belongs to God?” Take answers. “We could say that everything belongs to God and that what we have God gives us to  use to care for ourselves and others. So when you give coins or dollars to this offering basket it goes to help take care of others. Does anyone know where the money we give goes?” Take answers but move into showing pictures of ways that the money goes through your church and out your doors or to ministries inside your walls. You may want to show pictures of kids learning or coffee to welcome new people. Also service projects or global missions, whatever you are focusing in on at this time in your congregation. Or if your children’s offering goes to specific places focus in on that and where it is going right now.

20130822-223749.jpg Jesus, you give us words from God. And we are thankful for the gifts we have and the reminder that all we have comes from God. Help us to share what we have to make a difference in the lives of others. Open our hearts to your generous life. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg +May you know your gifts are from God and you are a gift to the world+

FaithCross_Worship  Have bowls of change—do all quarters if you can. You may want to have someone monitor the station or be clear about taking one (or however many you decide) coin. Prepare a sign that says: “Give to God what is God’s”  First pick up a coin and hold it in your hand. Feel the weight of the coin. How does it make you feel…happy, sad, anxious, indifferent? In what ways does money have power in your life? In what ways can you have the power to align your values with how you use money? Reflect on this this week. Take a coin with you and use this coin to make a difference for someone or something else. Be creative in either how you give it or multiply it or put it to use. Take a notecard with you as well and write down how you used this coin. Bring it back and post it on our board for sharing our stories.


Children’s Sermon Pentecost 10A Matthew 15:10-28 August 17, 2014

Preparation: The word for peace or love or hope or a mixture of them in different languages–you can do this visually with a collage that you make or use one of the links below. Prepare a handout or a worship station (more on station below under Faith+Worship)
A list of languages and the word for peace from Columbia University
An image of Peace in different languages

20130822-223315.jpgGather the children with you. Ask them listen to you as you speak the word peace–it will help if they close their eyes (or substitute another word if you like) Say the word peace in english first, then say it in a few different languages. What did you hear? (take their answers, exploring that maybe they are not sure what they heard)

20130822-223633.jpgThose were all different ways of saying peace in different languages. I want to teach this word because our readings today talk about what comes out of our mouths being what is from our heart. And that when dirty things come out of our mouths, which the bible passage called things that defile, it is like our hearts are dirty. What would some of those things be that may be ugly that we say sometimes? (help them think of things like lying, exaggerating, not nice names, teasing that hurts people, etc) And our hearts probably don’t feel happy or kind when we are saying those things, but they feel closed up and hard (make a fist with your hand) So when our hearts are open (open fist) and willing to love, words that are good and kind and peaceful come out of our mouths and those are the kinds of words that help bring different people together. Can you think of some of those words? (take answers)

One way that we start to open our hearts and minds is knowing that others people, no matter how different they are from us, are a part of God’s world and they are children of God too. And when we learn about different people our hearts start to be open and not closed. So I wanted to give you some words for peace today in other languages. (either use the worship station for this or hand out an image or list of words and their languages.) Teach one or two of the words now and then instruct the children in the worship station if you are using it.

FaithCross_WorshipHave the words in different languages available on a handout or at a station on a poster board. Have paper and markers available and have some printed paper with a big word PEACE (or love, hope or all there) Then ask people to write down the different languages around the word peace and take them home and learn them.

20130822-223749.jpgJesus, God of peace, ____, _____, ______ (insert your choice of other language for peace) Help us to see others with open hearts and help us to have words that bring healing and love come out of our mouths. Be with all those who are hurt by words and help our world live in peace. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg+Go with God’s love to bring peace in the world+

Children’s Sermon Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Matthew 14:13-21, August 3, 2014

Prepare: You will need several pieces of paper cut to look like loaves of bread and some crayons that you are willing to break in half or even smaller.  For the Worship Station you will need a jar with enough pennies for every person who comes to worship to take one, and another jar or basket to collect them again.  You can also have snack sized bags for them to take home the extra crayon pieces.

The pieces of paper will turn into a prayer, ideally they should be part of the Prayers of the Church or prayers of intercession.

20130822-223520.jpg  As the children gather, set aside about one crayon for every 2 or 3 children.  You want to set it up so that they need to break the crayons in order to do what you are asking them to do.

20130822-223633.jpg I love the story that we get to hear today!  Jesus does something unbelievable!  He feeds thousands of people with nothing!  Well, they had a couple of fish and 5 pieces of bread, but that’s all.  Let’s think about that for a minute, 2 fish and five pieces of bread.  How many of us are here? (take a quick head count)  Would that be enough food for us?  Maybe we should modernize this a little.  Let’s say that they had 2 sandwiches and an extra piece of bread . . . I think that we would all be still be a little hungry if that is all we had to share between us.  But Jesus is able to make that be more than enough – in fact, there was more leftover than they started with!

This is a story about sharing what we have and ending up with more than we thought there could be, so I want you to think about a place where people need more of something.  If could be people who need more food, or more clean water or more safe places to sleep or more love, you get the idea.  I am going to give each of you a loaf shaped piece of paper and you can write or draw a prayer on it and we will use it later in the worship service.  There is only one problem, I only have enough crayons for half of you, and we need to all work on this at the same time . . . what should we do?  Let’s break them into pieces and see if we have enough then!

Quickly draw or write your prayers and put them in the basket and them you are welcome to take home the crayons that you used in one of these bags.

Give what time you can – then pray to wrap up.

FaithCross_Worship For the worship station, invite people to add their penny (or more if they want) to the basket.  Estimate how many pennies you will collect and how much money that will be, then make a few signs that talk about what can be done with that money.  For example – a church that worships 450 to 500 people on a weekend could buy 2 or 3 meals at a rescue mission like the Denver Rescue Mission.  You could buy 4 or 5 chicks through something like Heifer International, or contribute to a water project.  Find several examples of how pooling a small resource from all the people gathered can make a big change in the community around you or in the world.  Invite people to pray about their donation as they make it.

20130822-224425.jpg   God of abundance, just like Jesus created more than enough out of way to little, stir up more than enough love and hope in us so that we can share your loving word with all the word.  Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg  May God give you more than enough love, more than enough peace and more than enough grace.


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Children’s Sermon July 6, 2014 Pentecost 4A Matthew 11:25-30

Preparation: picture of a yoke for oxen, yarn or ribbon or paper to connect children together, a rock and other props that might be fun for two hands tied together to try. You can also just have two volunteers for this part
for worship station–paper strips, one per person in congregation

20130822-223633.jpg Our reading from Matthew today talks about being yoked together–do you know what a yoke is? It is not something we see everyday now but in Jesus time it was a familiar thing.” Show the picture and describe how a yoke keeps the oxen together so that they can pull together and work together. “How do you think this feels to the oxen to be hooked together like this? I think it could feel hard and burdensome–but also it could make the work lighter and easier to be together. Let’s try an experiment.”

Option one: have enough yarn or ribbon to tie kids together loosely at the wrists. You will want to use enough yarn so that you can cut it and then they each end up tying a piece of their ribbon to their own wrist
Option two: have two volunteers (or prep volunteers ahead of time–acolytes can be great for this! ) that you will tie together with a ribbon or bandannas or string.

Tie the yarn or ribbon around two wrists and hook them together. Do not make it tight. “Ok, now that you are tied together, let’s see what you can do. Try waving together. Now try clapping! Try writing in the air (or have a pen and paper for them to try). Can you pick up this rock together? (have a small rock and a large rock, see which one is easier to pick up) “What is it like being yoked together? What is hard about it? what is fun about it?”

Jesus is teaching about how some things in life, even things in our faith or our religious practices can become difficult or a burden. He says that what he teaches and what he promises is that even as we are yoked together to him, we are also given rest. Our life in faith and walking with Christ will bring rest to our hearts and we can live connected to one another which makes the walk lighter and sets us free to be one in Christ in the world.

FaithCross_PrayALT Jesus, help us to be yoked to you so that our hearts and spirits can rest and also know you in all we do. Show us how to be connected with one another and share your love with all the people and all the nations.

FaithCross_BlessALT +May you rest in God and Be sure of Christ’s love for all +

FaithCross_Worship For a worship station–you can use this station as a connection to the children’s sermon and a way to broaden it out to the congregation. Take this time to explain how the station works if you have not already. **You can also tie this into July 4 celebrations in saying that God has connected us an our nation to other nations of the world and as we work together as a global community we become connected and we share Christ’s love throughout the world.**

Connected through the Holy Spirit: There are paper strips in the pews, in the back, and available from the ushers. Please take one and write your name and/or a prayer and/or names of loved ones who are not here today. Then use the tape in your pew to bend the paper into a circle and connect it with your neighbor’s paper. We will create a paper chain of prayers and names that will then be draped on the cross up front to remind us of how the spirit connects us to Christ and to one another.

Children’s Sermon Year A Pentecost 1 Matthew 28:16-20 June 15, 2014

Preparation: a kite–you can make a kite or buy one or have a picture of a kite
(if you choose to do the worship station you will want a kite and cloth for prayer ties along with markers)

20130822-223633.jpgGather the children up front with you. Say, in our reading from Matthew today we heard Jesus say to Go! Do you remember where we are to go? Yes, Go and tell people about Jesus and about God’s love. And then he also said to baptize them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Have you heard those words before? We say them a lot in worship and they are one of the ways we can try to celebrate how we have seen God in scriptures and in our world. That God created and Jesus came as God to be with people and go to the cross and rise again and that the Holy Spirit is given to us as well.

FaithCrossWhat do you think of when you think of God? How would you describe God? (take a couple of answers) Well there are many ways to describe God and try to celebrate God and it is all kind of a mystery, but sometimes our words and images can help us to connect with God in new ways. Today I have with me a kite because it is a way that I think about God connects us and also how God sends out–tells us to go into the world. See the frame of the kite–the part holds it together is in the shape of the cross which reminds me of Jesus and how Jesus love is big and wide and holds us all. And the string here–it is a part of Jesus too and connects us to the word of God in the bible and it also is the part we hold onto so that the kite can fly. The colorful part here that makes up the fabric of the kite reminds me of God because it is colorful and creative and it is how God made us all and all of creation unique. And then what does the kite need to fly? yes wind! So as the wind moves the kite around I think of the Holy Spirit moving us to be in the world. We are still connected to Jesus and God even as we go and in many different ways through life, up and and down and all around and as we are caught in the Holy Spirit we can tell of God’s love and presence all the time.

20130822-222604.jpgWorship Station: Have colored cloth and markers. Explain that we are connected to God in another way too–our prayers. Invite the whole congregation to write a prayer on a colored piece of cloth and then tie it to the kite string. Another way would be to collect the cloth in a basket at your station time or at offering and the have the prayers on the altar during the prayers of the people–then have some volunteers tie the prayers on after worship.

Addition to worship station–have three kites and ask people to draw or write their images of God, Son, Holy Spirit (you could also do this on one kite) Then add the prayers to all the kites and hang them up from the ceiling in a hallway or worship space!

20130822-223749.jpgGod father, Son, and Holy Spirit–we know you are mysterious in many ways. Connect us to you and help our spirits soar as we share your love. Amen

20130822-223908.jpgGo! and know that you are held in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.