Tag Archives: worship stations

Keeping up with what God is doing!

ffjChildrenSermonChange 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

John 4 “The Woman at the Well,” March 23rd, 2014, Year A, Third Sunday of Lent

ffjChildrenSermonPreparation: Have water at different “stations” around your worship space. Station ideas: a small table top water feature, a pitcher and a small cup for each child, a bucket with water in it with a picture of a well, the baptismal font (be sure that there is water in it-maybe have some evergreen branches available). Leave stations available for Open Space time.

FaithCross_ConnectALT Gather the children towards the center of your worship space today. Briefly tell them that they are going to go on water walk.

FaithCross_BibleALT Say: God created water and God works in the world through water in many ways. Let’s go over here and this is our first stop on our water walk. God created rivers, oceans, lakes and waterfalls. Water is powerful isn’t it? What can water do? Do you know? (Water can smooth rocks, create new rivers, make sand, etc.) Water can create and change can’t it? Pretty cool. Ok, let’s keep walking.

Here is our second stop, a bucket and a well. Before people had sinks and bathtubs inside their homes people had to draw water from a deep hole in the ground called a well and sometimes carry the water a long ways home. Who can lift this bucket of water for me? Is it heavy? Would you like to carry it very far? But water is important-what do we use water for in our homes? If we lived on a farm who else would need water? Would only one bucket a day be enough? You would have to walk to the well several times a day! Jesus is at a well in our story today and talks to a woman. This woman is someone who doesn’t have many friends and almost no one speaks to, but Jesus does. He tells her that he is the living water and the water Jesus offers gushes with eternal life. Hmmm. I wonder what that means.

Let’s continue our water walk. Here is a pitcher of water and some cups. We’ve been walking a while, who’s thirsty? (Have a couple of helpers to pour water so that it doesn’t take too long.) Jesus says that those who drink from him will never be thirsty again. Do you get thirsty every day? I do! I don’t think Jesus is talking about our daily need for water. We are made up of mostly water and water keeps our bodies healthy. What do you think Jesus is talking about? (Accept all answers) I think maybe it might have something to do with our last stop on our water walk.

Let’s go to the baptismal font. When we are baptized we are declaring that God has acted first to say that we belong to God, God cares for us and we are part of God’s work in the world. Just like water in a river or from rain, the people of God working together can be powerful to spread God’s love all over the world. We can cover the world with love like an ocean covers a big part of the earth. (Sprinkle the kids with the water from the font.) This is water that is alive with the spirit and love of God, this is water that reminds us that God loves us and the whole world. This is water that we want to share with everyone we meet!

FaithCross_BlessALT Give the kids evergreen branches and have them dip them in the font and gently sprinkle the congregation and to say, “God’s living water for you!” (I have actually done this and yes, people get a little wet. J You can also have small bowls that you dip into the font to fill with water and have the kids use their fingers to sprinkle. )

FaithCross_PrayALT “God, you give us what we need. You know who we are and what we do and love us no matter what. Help us to share your living water with everyone we meet. Amen.”