Preparation: Have a piece of red, orange or yellow ribbon (15” by 1” or so) for each member of the congregation. Have a tall dowel about four feet long for the ribbons to be tied on. You will also need an oscillating fan. (A static fan could work too.)
Have some ribbons attached to a fan (clear tape for easy removal). Turn the fan on and let the ribbons blow for a minute. Then remove the ribbons and let them blow wherever the fan takes them. Say, “Wow, those ribbons just took off one they weren’t taped down anymore didn’t they? Look at all of the places that the fan blew the ribbons! Can you all help me collect them? Thank you!” The children can hold on to the ribbons that they collect but make sure that each child has one. Say, “You go to many different places in your week don’t you. Where are some places you go during the week?” (Accept all answers.) Do you remember where you were on Wednesday afternoon? Where were you or where to you think you might have been? We go to all kinds of different places in our daily lives and do you want to know something? God is at all of those places with us! Everywhere you go, God is already there! Today at church we are celebrating that God is with us and that everywhere we go God is there at work. God’s Holy Spirit is what we think of as God being at work in the world and in our Bible story this morning we see that the Holy Spirit is experienced in many different ways! Wind, fire, people talking in different languages, all of these ways remind us that the Holy Spirit can be experienced in lots of ways and places! No one way is the only way and there is not just one place to feel God’s love and power in our lives. Just like these ribbons didn’t all blow to the exact same location so we aren’t all at the same place at the same time. God is at work wherever we are!
Worship station: Everyone will get a ribbon. On the ribbon write/draw where you were on Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. (Or pick another date and time if you want!) Have everyone tie their ribbon to the dowel. During the last part of worship have someone place the dowel at the exit to the parking lot (hopefully it will just stick in the ground or you might need to attach it to something) to remind us all that as we go to our daily lives the Holy Spirit is blowing us there and is with us at work!
Dear God, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to be with us always. May we be a part of what you are doing in the world no matter where we are or what time of day it is. May everyone feel your work and love in their lives. Amen.
“God pours the Holy Spirit into you.” (Make the sign of the cross on each other.)
Change is good! Or at least we hope that you will think so. Beginning June 8th, (Pentecost Sunday) Faith Formation Journeys weekly devotional will have a new look and focus. We will also be making some small changes to the Children’s Sermons. Why you ask? We don’t know about you, but in our congregations (Colorado, USA) the gathering for worship that happens primarily on Sunday mornings is shifting, faith formation opportunities and experiences are shifting and how faith communities are engaging their neighborhoods in which they are located is shifting. God is up to something and we feel that it’s very exciting and we want to walk with you and your faith community on this journey! We recognize that faith practices that are accessible to households of all configurations is vital and necessary, so some of those pieces in our weekly devotional will be enhanced. How is it that we can live the message from the biblical scripture in our daily lives? How do we practice thinking deeply about how God meets all of us in our lives, whether we are 8 years old and in the third grade or 80 years old and in an assisted living facility?
We want to equip our readers to really wrestle with what it means to live a life of faith in the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. We hope to help congregations connect what happens on Sunday morning with what happens in people’s lives Monday-Saturday and to what God is doing in their neighborhood. In our “Faith + Connect” section, ideas for doing just that will be offered.
We also recognize that part of this shift is also about what happens when the community gathers for Sunday (or whenever) worship. The insight that active engagement with the biblical text enhances learning for all ages as well as retention of the message. Opportunities for all ages gathered to interact with one another during worship is a part of this engagement. In our Children’s Sermons, we will be adding a worship station idea or two each week to help you spark ideas for your context for cross generational worship opportunities.
As always, we are grateful for the support and the feedback from those of you who frequent this resource. Please give us your honest thoughts on these changes. We would love to start a dialogue on this site for idea swapping, support and affirmation as we try and keep up with what the Holy Spirit is doing among us all! God is at work in the world and we are blessed in our call to participate. It’s an exciting time to be the Church and we are blessed to be the Church with all of you! In Christ, Brigette, Gus and Leta