Tag Archives: worship station

CHILDREN’S SERMON, 7TH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY (LUKE 6:27-38)

Prepare: Ideally this works best as a little skit. You can set up something with another worship leader, or with one of the children. You can also try to just set it up to happen as you go! The idea is that the other person takes something from you and walks away. It can be almost anything, your cup of coffee, a pencil, your Bible, anything! You can work out what the goal of them taking it was – it could be because they don’t have a Bible, or that they needed something to write with, or that they were just trying to have fun and didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. You decide.

Set your skit in motion as the children gather! Have the other person in the skit walk up to you and take whatever they were set up to take from you. Say something like, “Hey! What are you doing? That’s mine!” They should respond with something typically bully-ish, like, “Well it’s mine now!”

OK – wait a minute . . . I read something about this very situation in the Bible! Even though they just took something from me I should treat them with love. I think it’s today’s Gospel reading! Let me look . . . yes, Jesus says that we should love our enemies, we should treat other people as we would want them to treat us. Ok, that’s super not easy in this case. I need that back and they were just really mean to me. I don’t want to be loving! And I would never just walk up and grab something from someone, so why should I have to be nice back?

I have a hard time with this, too. Jesus is asking a lot of us. It’s hard to be loving when we don’t feel loved in return. It’s hard to be caring when we are afraid we will be hurt. It’s hard to give up the things that we like and care about because someone else might need them more.

And it gets even harder! Being loving and caring doesn’t mean you should put yourself in danger of getting hurt, and it doesn’t mean that you should just let people take anything they want from you. Because when you think about how you would want to be treated, you would probably want to know if what you did hurt someone else’s feelings, right?

This is one of those really hard stories from Jesus. It was difficult for the disciples to understand, and it’s still difficult for us!

So (turn to the person who took you stuff), I don’t think that you really wanted to be mean to me. Is there some reason that you took that? Is there something that you need?

(let the story play out the way you decided when you set it up)

Loving God, you give us some many good things, and so often we forget that the people around us are part of those good things! Teach us to be loving, especially to the people who are the hardest to love. Amen.

God Loves you no matter what!

Make a “ways to be loving” list. Even better if this is part of a congregational idea to think about being loving as a church in the community. Ask people for ideas about how to care for the neighborhood, or for a park, or for the people in your town, etc.

Children’s Sermon Epiphany 5 C, Feb 10, 2019 (Luke 5:1-11)

Prepare: For the children’s sermon you will need some type of need some type of fishing gear. It can be as simple as as toy fishing rod, or it you can go crazy with all kinds of fun things!

For the worship station you will need a large glass bowl, pencils or pens, and enough slips of paper for the whole worshiping assembly. The ideal thing would be paper fish, or even paper with fish on them. But just blank paper will do, too.


Set up your fishing gear as the children gather up for the children’s sermon. Make a little show of going through your stuff. Even better if you can get them to ask you some questions about what you are doing, but if they do not ask – prompt them!


What am I doing?  I’m going fishing!  I was reading the story from Luke that we hear today and I got so excited! Jesus is telling people to go fishing! So I thought that I would get my gear ready, because Jesus said to go fishing. And if Jesus says to do it, it must be a good idea!

. . . the only thing is, I’m not sure that I read the whole story. I got to the part where Jesus tells his disciples to throw the nets out in the deep water and when they do it there are so many fish that the boats start to sink! I figured that since I follow Jesus I could probably just ask Jesus to get me a good catch of fish, too!

. . . But the more I think about the more I think that I should read the end of the story. Hmmm, let’s take a look here. (read the story a little), yep, lots of fish, boats sinking, disciples amazed and a little scared . . . wait, fish for people? How do you fish for people! This story isn’t about going fishing at all! It’s about tell the story of Jesus! After this one there are stories about Jesus and the Disciples traveling all over the place spreading good news and healing people. I like fish, but getting to tell people about God’s love is really great! And I don’t need all this stuff with me, I can just go tell the good news.

I’m really glad I read the end of that, now will you pray with me?


Good and wonderful God, we thank you for the abundance on this beautiful planet that you have created. Help us to serve you and help others through all the good things you have made. Send us out with joy to those who are hungry or cold, sad or worried, to bring them comfort and good news.


God loves and cares for you!


Ask the congregation what they fish for! Do they fish for compliments, for help, for love, for food? Offer each person the chance to write down what they fish for in the world and write it on a piece of fish paper. Then put it in the bowl to create a giant fish bowl.

Use the bowl as part of the prayers of the church, holding the wants and needs of the people of God up.

Children’s Sermon for Pentecost Sunday – Acts 2:1-21

Prepare: Set up for a Birthday party – so that can be lots of different things!  Maybe some streamers and party hats, or maybe cupcakes if you can manage that.  Even noise makers depending on you tolerance for noise!

 As the children gather greet them all with “Happy Birthday!”  Keep it up even if they tell you it’s not their birthday!  Once they have all gathered, ask them to shout “Happy Birthday!” with you.

 Alright, maybe it’s not anyone’s birthday who is sitting here, but it is our birthday today!  Today is the day we celebrate Pentecost, and Pentecost is the Birthday of the Christian church.  Since the church is made up of all the people who worship together, then today is our Birthday!

Pentecost is a festival day kind of like Christmas or Easter.  We celebrate one of the big, important events that happened in the early church.  Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, Easter is the day we celebrate the resurrection, and Pentecost is the day we celebrate the beginning of people spreading the word about Jesus and his good news.

Would you help me celebrate?  (This is where you do your party.  Use whatever you brought to throw a quick party.  Sing Happy Birthday, or a song like “We Are the Church.”  You might even go on a parade around the sanctuary or around your church building! Be creative and have fun!)

 Loving and helping God, we thank you for the chance to be your church in the world.  Lead us to do good works, to live with kindness and mercy, to share in abundance and to love each other the way you love us. Amen.

 The Holy Spirit is with you always.

 

 

 Easy worship station today!  Just invite the whole congregation to your party!

Children’s Sermon, 4th Sunday after Epiphany – Matthew 5:1-12

Prepare: You really don’t need anything for the children’s sermon, but if you want to have something (I find it works better to have something to show), find something that says “hope” on it.

 As the children gather, invite them to talk about what they hope for.  Give them a little time to think, and a little space to enjoy being hopeful.

  Those are fun things to hope for!  I wanted to think about hope today because I hear “hope” in the Gospel today.  The Gospel story that we hear today is often called the Beatitudes.  There are whole books written about this little story in the Bible. People wondering who Jesus was talking about and why.  People wanting to point out who is on each side of the sayings – these people are poor, so Jesus must be talking about them.  Or, when I’m sad I know that I am one who is mourning.

I hear many of those things in this story, too! But I also hear a message of hope.  At different times in my life I think that I have been on both sides of all of these sayings.  I have been merciful, but I have been mean, too.  I have been poor, and I’ve had more than I needed. I have been happy and sad.  I have been put down because of what I believe, and I have put others down for what they believe. When I think about it like that I start to see this a little differently.

No matter who you are, no matter what is going on, there is always room for hope.  Hope doesn’t always mean that you are going to get what you want – hope is more like a sparkling of something that keeps you going. Jesus gives us hope that when we feel like we are at the bottom – under a pile of worry and sadness, we can still rise up out of it.

 God of hope, be with us when everything seems to be going wrong. Give us hope to see a better way forward.  Joyful God, be with us when everything seems to be going right and help us remember your love for the times when we need hope the most. Amen.

 Jesus loves you in the good times and in the bad times.

  What do you really hope for?  Ask the congregation this question and offer a chance to put into prayer.  One way to do this is to have paper handy for everyone, invite them to write their hopes on the paper, then collect it and read it as part of the prayers of the church.

You could also form prayer circles if you have room and time!  Have people gather in groups of 4 to 8 (no more than that!) and offer hopes within the small group.

Children’s Sermon for Advent 2, Year C – Matthew 3:1-12

Prepare:  You will need to create an “obstacle course” of some kind.  If you have a place to make an actual course go ahead!  If not, you can just come up with a wondering or difficult route to get to the children’s sermon place.  Maybe make a few cards that have instructions for how to move, like hop on one foot, crawl, crab-walk, etc.  You will probably want to gather the children in a different place than usual, so that you can travel a little.

20130822-223454.jpg As the children gather, tell them that you are going to be traveling across the sanctuary to the place they can hear about the story.  Tell them that the journey is to “prepare” them, because the story says to prepare the way of the Lord! And that the rest of the story is waiting for them when they get there. Then go ahead and travel by what every way you have come up with.

20130822-223633.jpg Finally here!  That was a tough trip just to go across the room.  Now, the rest of the story!  We heard that we are supposed to prepare the way of the Lord, and Jesus seems like a complex guy, so I came up with a complex way to get here.  Let’s see if I did it right!

The story says, “Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.” 

Straight?  uh oh.  Our path was not straight! Sometimes we do that same thing to Jesus.  We say that we are all set to let Jesus in, but we put up road blocks, and make Jesus do funny walks just to prove that he really wants to be part of our lives.  But in Advent – as we prepare for Christmas – we are told to clean out all the road blocks, to get rid of the rules and restrictions of what Jesus can and cannot do, and make Jesus’ path straight and easy.

We are called on to do some work!

20130822-223749.jpg Loving God, we thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus. We are trying hard to make a straight path for Jesus, but sometimes it’s really hard to do.  Give us courage to keep working, and thank you for sending Jesus, even when we are not ready and the path is not straight. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg God finds you even on the crooked path!

FaithCross_Worship Find something that you congregation is working on – like a long-term service relationship in the community, or having supplies on hand for people in need – and create a list of “road blocks” to getting that done.  Put the list up somewhere in the worship space, or include it in the printed materials. Start a discussion about how to move forward.  What can be done to get the blocks out of the way and move on with the project?

You Are a Saint of God! All Saints Sunday, Nov. 6th, 2016 Year C

 

 

20130822-223520.jpgAsk, “How many of you have grandmas, or grandpas? Do you see them all of the time? (Some will, some won’t.) If you don’t see them very often, (or at all) are you still their grandchild? (Yes!) I have grandmas and grandpas but my grandma (or grandpa or other relative) has died. That means that they no longer live here on earth, they are with God now and I don’t see them anymore but I know that I will someday! We know that God promises that we will all someday be together and with God. God created us to be together. We have families, friends, church community, all kinds of places where we are with people. When we’re together, we can teach each other about Jesus. What would you want to tell these people here about Jesus?” (Have the children turn and face the congregation and say what they think is important about Jesus.)

*Then invite up a parent and a baby, a teen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety (if you have one present!) something up with the children. Say, “All of these people are part of our community. Even if we don’t see them every day know their name, can they still teach us something about Jesus? Can a baby teach us about Jesus? Yes! A teenager? A grandma or grandpa? YES! Can you teach them about God too? YES!”

* Invite each generation to say one sentence that they want the children to know about Jesus. Say, “We need each other to teach each other about God! This is what All Saints is all about! You are a saint when your words and actions teach someone about Jesus. God says that we are all saints to each other! Pretty neat! To remember this today, during the passing of the peace you can make the sign of the cross on each other and say, “Saint (name if you know it), God’s peace be with you!”

20130822-223749.jpg God of all faithfulness, you created us to be in community with each other. Help us to remember that we need each other: babies, children, teens, young adults, middle age adults and our mature adults. We remember today those saints who are not with us but still live in love in our hearts. Thank you for weaving us together in your love now and forever, amen.

FaithCross_Worship A few ideas to do today:

*Have paper clouds cut out and on a table with pens and markers. Invite people to write names of saints living and dead on their “cloud of witnesses,” people who have passed the faith on them. They can either take them home, or place them on a cross.
*Have bowls of water available as people come for communion, in order to remember their baptism. You can also have a bowl of water with a candle lighting station if you do that. Connect baptism to communion, to our daily lives.
*In addition to commemorating those saints who have completed their baptismal journey from you congregation, celebrate those who were born/baptized this year as well. Light a candle for those past and ring a bell for the new lives!

 

20130822-223908.jpg +You are a saint of Jesus Christ+

Children’s Sermon for October 23, 2016 – Luke 18:9-14, Lectionary 30

Prepare: Get a long piece of paper – comically long! – to use as a scroll.  This could be a long strip from an art roll, or several pages taped together.

For the worship station you will need posters, images or objects that reflect concerns in your community or in the world, containers and beads (or something similar).

20130822-223454.jpgAs the children gather tell them that you are going to show them the best way to pray.  Have your scroll ready and start a prayer with the most grand address to God that you can think of.  Something like, “Gracious and merciful God, ruler of all creation, Lord of the storms and sea, Spirit if Truth and understanding,” and so on. Then finish with, “let me tell you all the ways that I am humble!” At this point drop one end of the paper so that it unrolls across the floor.  (Make a big deal of it!  You are going for a laugh!)

20130822-223633.jpgSo, what did you think of my way to start a prayer? Pretty fancy huh? I totally think that Jesus would think this was great.  I bet God can hardly wait to hear the cool stuff I do! Let’s take a look at the Gospel lesson today and see what Jesus says.  I hear it’s about praying . . . 

(take a minute to review the lesson, or maybe read it if they haven’t heard it yet.)

Or, maybe not!  Did you guys even hear the Gospel story today? This is exactly the wrong! Jesus was kind of upset with the guy who was bragging, and he really seemed concerned for the guy who asked for mercy.”

Jesus is calling us to action rather than words. We are called to go do stuff, not to talk about what we have done. We are called to be gracious and merciful, and to be good and just and kind. If we spend out time focused on how our actions make us feel we kind of miss the point. How do your actions, how do your words make others feel? How are you God’s hands and feet in the world?  That is what Jesus is hoping for us.

20130822-224425.jpgGracious Lord, sometimes we forget that our actions tell more about us than our worlds. Lead us to be compassionate, caring, and merciful as we live out our lives. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg+ God is merciful to you +

 

 

FaithCross_WorshipFor the worship station, set up a prayer station with items, images, etc, that call attention to injustice or problems in and around your community. Invite people to offer prayers by dropping beads into baskets or jars in front the the things that concern them the most.

This does NOT need to be a quiet time, you may invite people to talk about what they see and feel!

Children’s Sermon – May 29, 2016 – Luke 7:1-10, Lec 9C

Prepare:  Make two big signs, one that says “faith,” another that says, “trust.”  These can be used for both the children’s sermon and for the worship station.

Even better! Make single really big sign/poster with a Venn diagram of faith and trust!

You may also want a dictionary – or you can use these from dictionary.com

Trust

Faith

20130715-114218.jpg As the children gather around ask them if they know the difference between “faith” and “trust.  Let them wrestle with that a little bit.  Once they have had a few minutes to work on it, tell that in the dictionary (or at least at dictionary.com) the definition of faith includes trust, but the definition of trust does not include faith!

FaithCross_BibleALT Well isn’t that strange? If you have faith in something that means you also trust it, but if you trust something you might not have faith in it.  Maybe one way to think about is that we trust the things that we can see and feel, and we have faith in things that are hard to see and feel.

Well, in the Bible story we hear today, there is a centurion (a Roman soldier) who shows both trust AND faith in who Jesus is and what God can do. He has a servant who is dying and has faith that Jesus can heal the servant, but he also trusts that Jesus is powerful enough that the servant will be healed without Jesus even coming to his house!  This amazes even Jesus!

Let’s play a little game with trust and faith.  I have these two signs, (or one, whichever you did!) and we are going to come up with some things that we trust, some things that we have faith in, and some things that fit into both!  I’ll start – I trust that the building we are in is not going to fall down.  I have faith that Jesus is present with us now, and I have trust and faith in God’s everlasting love. Now you try!

(Give them a little space to come up with some ideas)

That was great!  Think about trust and faith this week as you meet people and play with friends.

FaithCross_PrayALT Loving and healing God, thank you for giving us things to put our trust in, like (add some things from the poster!). Thank you for giving us things to have faith in, like (______________). Thank you for being someone we can trust and have faith in!  Amen.

FaithCross_BlessALT May the Holy Spirit burn in your heart today and everyday!

FaithCross_Worship Simply invite the congregation to participate in the faith/trust/faith and trust exercise with the children!  You can make a big poster that people can come up and write on, or you can have more of an interactive discussion about it with the whole assembly.

Children’s Sermon/Worship Station – March 6, 2016: Lent 4c – Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Prepare: One of my favorite ways to tell this story is to act it out. So your preparation for the children’s sermon can be as simple as just making sure you know the story well enough to tell it, or as complex as having actors and costumes. Up to you!

For the worship station, set up a “voting booth” with a two large jars or containers and beads or small rocks for people to vote with.

20130822-223520.jpg As the children gather ask them if they have a favorite story.  If they do, ask them how they like to tell the story?

20130822-223633.jpg Today’s Gospel story is a really fun story to act out, but first we need to some actors.

OK – from here on you are on your own! But I will tell you what I would do.  I would have a short list of the important characters in mind, and maybe even on a piece of paper in front of me. I would look for “volunteers,” and by that I mean that I would ask, but would ultimately end up choosing some people to play certain parts. Once I had my cast I would start to narrate the story and encourage the actors to act out what I am saying.

One really fun way to do this is to have the prodigal son stay with you, and pretend to walk away while the father and other son back away from you.  Then you can keep the action of the story close by.

To get the two groups back together you can have them kind of meet in the middle.

My simple cast would be:

  • Father
  • Prodigal
  • Other Son

Expansions on that would be:

  • The people the prodigal celebrates and eats with
  • the farmer he works for
  • the pigs that he eats with
  • the people who live near his father
  • his fathers’s other servants
  • etc . . .

20130822-223908.jpg You are God’s Beloved child

 

20130822-223749.jpg Loving and forgiving God, bring us back to you when we wander far from your love and care. Teach us to show your love, mercy and forgiveness in all parts of our lives, and lead us in ways that keep us close to you always! Amen.

FaithCross_Worship For the worship station, ask the question, “where does your pride end?” To keep it simple have two jars:  “I would return to my family when the money ran out,” and, “I would be eating with the pigs.”

Have people vote and see where you congregation ends up!  Make sure that being forgiven for pride is part of your prayers AFTER the worship station, so that the idea of returning to God is part of your focus in worship this day.

In the Shelter of God’s Love Feb. 21st, 2016 Lent 2, Year C

20130715-113716.jpgHave a tent or a make shift canopy where you can gather the children under. Ask them if they remember what prayer we talked about last week (or last time you worshiped). Yes, the Lord’s Prayer! The Lord’s Prayer is important not just because Jesus taught his disciples to pray it but because it reminds us that we can talk to God about everything in our lives, even hard, sad or scary stuff, not just happy things. Have you ever been sad or afraid? *Share a time that you were afraid.

FaithCross_BibleALT You just heard a Psalm (or a song) that is all about God being with us when life is sad or scary. We will have times when we are afraid or sad and that’s ok. Life is not always happy but do you know what? The person who wrote this song wants you to know something: God is with you always and forever. Forever! No matter what! Jesus wants you to know that too! There is one sentence in the Lord’s Prayer that says: “Deliver us from evil.” Evil sounds very scary but Jesus says don’t forget that you are never alone no matter how afraid you are. It might sound as if we are asking God to deliver us-as if God didn’t know that we are afraid but Jesus is saying that God knows and will cover you like a tent with God’s love! We are always under God’s shelter no matter what. Even if we can’t feel it or see it. It’s hard to understand that but it’s true! We gather here at church, in a special space to remind us that God is our shelter. We can bring all of our fears, questions and worries here to church and know that God is with us and that all of these people are with us too!

FaithCross_Worship Have a table with a large piece of canvas (tenting type material) and have some permanent markers available. Invite people to write their fears on the canvas and hang it in the worship space in Lent as a reminder that God shelters us in our fear.

20130822-223749.jpgGod you are our shelter and safety. Thank you for delivering us from evil and for your son Jesus who shows us your love. May all people feel your love, presence and shelter. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +God is your shelter+