VBS@Home 2020: Women of Our Faith

Here is the complete curriculum for our four week VBS@Home series in June and July 2020. We pray this resource might be an invitation to engage your faith, with your family, at home!

Week One: Deborah is Wise https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2020/06/08/vbshome-2020-week-1-deborah-is-wise/

Week Two: Hannah Prays https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2020/06/15/vbshome-2020-week-2-hannah-prays/

Week Three: Esther is Brave https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2020/06/22/vbshome-week-3-esther-is-brave/

Week Four: Tabitha Serves https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2020/06/29/vbshome-week-4-tabitha-serves/

VBS@Home Follow-Up: Engage Your Faith Throughout the Summer https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2020/07/01/vbshome-2020-follow-up/

VBS@Home 2020 Follow-Up

VBS@Home:  Engage Your Faith Throughout the Summer

Thank you so much for participating in our first ever VBS@Home!  I pray that it was a faith-forming experience for you and your family.  To extend this learning throughout the summer, check out this list of resources that are perfect for diving deep into important stories and themes of our faith.

–Another idea is to go back through the lists from the past four weeks and pick up some of the stories and activities that you didn’t have time to engage during the past month.  We are looking forward to making prayer pretzels, watching a couple videos, and playing some of the games, for example.  There are enough options to keep you playing and praying together for the rest of the summer!

Spark Story Bible:  Women of Our Faith

Our stories this summer were of important Women in our faith.  The Spark Story Bible is full of other stories of faithful women.  You can use them as bedtime story time, or reading practice, or a quiet time activity.  Enlist grandparents to read them (even over a video call) as well.

Naomi & Ruth pg. 110

Ruth & Boaz pg. 114

Angels Visit pg. 196

Mary Visits Elizabeth pg. 202

Simeon & Anna pg. 226

The Widow’s Offering pg. 342

Mary & Martha pg. 366

Woman at the Well pg. 420

Mary Anoints Jesus pg. 444

Lydia pg. 532

Bible Story Videos:

These three Youtube playlists have trusted content for Bible stories appropriate for our children and families.  Pastor Breen has used many of them at VBS and Confirmation class over the past several years.

Crossroads Kids’ Club:  God’s Story

Saddleback Kids:  Animated Bible Stories

The Bible App for Kids (also a great app for a child’s tablet or other digital device) Here is the link for their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkCrbYfFM-bs4T02ZdrE2Ig/videos

Songs:

Some kids love to sing and dance!  These YouTube playlists will keep them engaged, and learning Bible verses and stories, too!

Saddleback Kids:  Song Motions

Lifetree Kids:  VBS Songs

Mission Bible Class:  Songs (some are in languages other than English)

Mix & Match Bible Stations:

Pastor Breen gets her ideas for crafts, games, snacks, and prayer practices from many different sources.  These are some of the best websites in each category.  Have fun exploring, as the interests and needs of your family allow.

Bible Crafts: Jesus Without Language:  https://www.jesus-without-language.net/make-board/

Bible Games: Children’s Ministry:  https://childrensministry.com/indoor-sunday-school-games/

Outdoor Activities: https://www.ultimatecampresource.com/camp-activities/camp-games/

Bible Snacks: DLTK Kids:  https://www.dltk-kids.com/bible/recipes.htm

Prayer Practices:  Flame Creative Kids:  http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/search/label/prayer

VBS@Home Week 4: Tabitha Serves

Each week, physical resources will be available by 4 PM on Monday afternoon, and a copy of this guide will be sent to your email.  Plan to join us on Zoom at 10 AM on Wednesday this week for an interactive time to kick off the week of learning.  Here is the guide: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/vbs-at-home-2020-week-4-resources-tabitha.pdf

Check out this resource reveal video for a walk-through of the whole resource:   

Zoom Link:  10 AM on Zoom July 1  

Join Pastor Breen each Wednesday morning (Thursday this week) for a kick-off of this week’s Bible School story.  Make sure that you have room to move!  If you miss the Zoom, check out this YouTube playlist:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0V-IJaYUW4J7MxGhv44X27fc_sHYsi4p

Women of Our Faith Theme verse:  Ephesians 3:20 ERV

This is the theme verse for the whole month.  You can find it on the back of your Women of Our Faith Bible Friend Card. Practice this verse, repeat-after-me style, each time you gather to engage the resources.

With God’s power working in us, 

God can do much, much more

than anything we can ask or imagine. 

Women of Our Faith Theme song:  Ephesians 3:20 song Saddleback Kids This is the theme song for the whole month.  This song helps you to learn the verse through music and motions.  Watch it together and sing along.

EXPLORE THE STORY

This is the “meat” of VBS@ Home.  Pastor Breen will introduce the story at our Zoom meeting, and each family is asked to also engage in the story, through reading, devotions, and videos, at home.  Complete this section first, and then choose activities from the Mix & Match Bible Stations below to reinforce the theme.  

Theme Verse:  1 Peter 4:10 ERV

This is the theme verse for the week.  You can find it on the back of your Deborah Bible friend card and on the front of your family devotion.  Practice this verse, repeat-after-me style, each time you gather to engage the resources this week.

God has shown you grace in many different ways. So be good servants and use whatever gift God has given you in a way that will best serve each other.  

Bible Story:  Peter & Tabitha (Acts 9:36-43)

Read this story from your Spark Story Bible as a family.  You can use your Women of Faith Bible friend card as a bookmark, to easily find the story again later.  If you have multiple readers in your family, you might takes turns reading by page, paragraph, or sentence.  Answer the question at the end of the story as a family.

Spark Story Bible page 520

Get your own Spark Story Bible here:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9780806670492/SparkStoryBibleSundaySchoolEdition

Family Devotion:  Tabitha Serves

Each learner will have their own copy of Week 4 Devos.  After you have read the story from your Spark Story Bible, color the provided picture as you discuss the two sets of questions as a family.  In “Understanding the Story,” you can find the answers to the questions by looking back at the story in the Spark Story Bible.  In “God’s Story, My Story,” there are no wrong answers (as long as you are telling the truth 😊   ).  If these questions spark questions that you do not know the answers to, please reach out to Pastor Breen.  She loves to wrestle with hard questions alongside you!

Get your copy of the Devos here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/devos-week-4-tabitha.pdf

Bible Story Videos:

Another way to engage this story is in video form.  You can reinforce what you learned during your family devotion time during the week by offering these videos to your children and youth, or watch them as a family.

MIX & MATCH BIBLE STATIONS

Read through these stations, and decide which ones you would like to engage as a family.  You might choose only one, or a couple, or one each day!  Each activity is intended to reinforce the theme of the Bible story for the week in a concrete, memorable way.

Song:  God’s Work, Our Hands (a song by Pastor Breen)

We will learn this song during our Zoom gathering.  You can use the video to lead you during the week.

Game:  Costume Obstacle Race

Tabitha made clothing for others and worked hard to give everyone what they needed.  Play this game to remember Tabitha’s work, as well as the obstacles we face when we work to help others.

Kids love obstacle races and this one has a Tabitha twist by making them dress up as they go along. After each obstacle (use what you have, like a frisbee toss, baseball bat twirl, tunnel scoot, etc.) place a piece of clothing (hats, gloves and tunics work well) that must be worn. Talk about how we all need clothing and how we choose what we wear to reflect who we are. 

From https://www.jesus-without-language.net/tabitha-dorcas-acts-9-play/

Outdoor Activity:  Blanket Flip

Tabitha made clothing and blankets for others, and her example inspired the community.  This activity is a team-building game that we often do at Confirmation Camp.  It is even more fun if you play it in rounds, making the blanket smaller and smaller to make it more challenging each time.  Encourage everyone to be gentle with one another, and to talk to one another.

Have the group of children stand on a blanket and challenge them to flip it over without anyone stepping off of it. Fold the blanket in a manner that challenges the group adequately. The blanket must be flipped over completely without any of the participants stepping off of it.

From https://fitkidshealthykids.ca/node/41 (there is a helpful video here, if you need help with the instructions)

Snack:  Servant Snack

Tabitha served others; now it is time for the children to serve the adults.  Choose a snack that your children can prepare, from start to finish.  It might be chips and dip, or a veggie plate, or a sweet popcorn mix.  Encourage them to work together to make and serve the snack, complete with dishes, silverware, napkins, and drinks.  While you eat together, talk about how it feels to serve someone else, and think together about ways that you can do this for others.

Craft:  Comfort Cross

Tabitha made clothing and blankets which helped and comforted others.  She loved to serve and share.  Each learner has enough materials two make two comfort crosses; one to keep and one to share.  Think of someone you know who could use the help and comfort of God, and give one away!

Materials needed: 1 square of fleece, 1 craft foam cross, glue (tacky glue works really well), 1 pair of scissors

Step 1:  Glue the foam cross to the center of the square of fleece.  Allow to dry completely (you can stop here and enjoy the cross this way if you don’t want to use scissors).

Step 2:  Cut out the cross, going right up to the edge of it.  One side of your cross will be foam, the other will be fleece.  Enjoy!

Prayer Practice:  Comfort Cross

Tabitha comforted others, especially when they were in need.  This week, we will pray for others.  Hold the cross in your hand as you take turns praying for someone who needs God’s help and comfort. Sometimes, it is easier to concentrate on your prayers if your hands are moving and engaged, so feel free to trace your fingers over the cross, or rub the fleece side as you pray.  In between each prayer, you can say, “God of mercy, hold us in love.”  When everyone has had a chance to pray, pray the Lord’s Prayer together.

VBS@Home Week 3: Esther is Brave

Each week, physical resources will be available by 4 PM on Monday afternoon, and a copy of this guide will be sent to your email.  Plan to join us on Zoom at 10 AM on THURSDAY this week for an interactive time to kick off the week of learning. Check your email for the link.

Here is a copy of the guide: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/vbs-at-home-2020-week-3-resources-esther.pdf

Resource Reveal Video:

Women of Our Faith Theme verse:  Ephesians 3:20 ERV

This is the theme verse for the whole month.  You can find it on the back of your Women of Our Faith Bible Friend Card. Practice this verse, repeat-after-me style, each time you gather to engage the resources.

With God’s power working in us, 

God can do much, much more

than anything we can ask or imagine. 

Women of Our Faith Theme song:  Ephesians 3:20 song Saddleback Kids This is the theme song for the whole month.  This song helps you to learn the verse through music and motions.  Watch it together and sing along.

EXPLORE THE STORY

This is the “meat” of VBS@ Home.  Pastor Breen will introduce the story at our Zoom meeting, and each family is asked to also engage in the story, through reading, devotions, and videos, at home.  Complete this section first, and then choose activities from the Mix & Match Bible Stations below to reinforce the theme.  

Theme Verse:  Joshua 1:9 ERV

This is the theme verse for the week.  You can find it on the back of your Deborah Bible friend card and on the front of your family devotion.  Practice this verse, repeat-after-me style, each time you gather to engage the resources this week.

Remember, I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.   

Bible Story:  Queen Esther (Esther 2:5-18, 3:1-6, 8:1-17)

Read this story from your Spark Story Bible as a family.  You can use your Women of Faith Bible friend card as a bookmark, to easily find the story again later.  If you have multiple readers in your family, you might takes turns reading by page, paragraph, or sentence.  Answer the question at the end of the story as a family.

Spark Story Bible page 152

Get your own Spark Story Bible here:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9780806670492/SparkStoryBibleSundaySchoolEdition

Family Devotion:  Esther is Brave

Each learner will have their own copy of Week 3 Devos.  After you have read the story from your Spark Story Bible, color the provided picture as you discuss the two sets of questions as a family.  In “Understanding the Story,” you can find the answers to the questions by looking back at the story in the Spark Story Bible.  In “God’s Story, My Story,” there are no wrong answers (as long as you are telling the truth 😊   ).  If these questions spark questions that you do not know the answers to, please reach out to Pastor Breen.  She loves to wrestle with hard questions alongside you!

Bible Story Videos:

Another way to engage this story is in video form.  You can reinforce what you learned during your family devotion time during the week by offering these videos to your children and youth, or watch them as a family.

MIX & MATCH BIBLE STATIONS

Read through these stations, and decide which ones you would like to engage as a family.  You might choose only one, or a couple, or one each day!  Each activity is intended to reinforce the theme of the Bible story for the week in a concrete, memorable way.

Song:  It is the Lord:  Deuteronomy 31:6 (a song by Pastor Breen)

We will learn this song during our Zoom gathering.  You can use the video to lead you during the week.

Game:  Xerxes Says

In Persia, the country in which this story takes place, whatever King Xerxes decided was the law.  No matter what he said, everyone had to obey.  That’s one of the reasons why it is so amazing that Esther was so brave and stood up for here people.  To get an idea of what it must have been like to be Esther, play several rounds of “Simons Says,” calling it “Xerxes Says.” 

1.  If the leader says, “Xerxes says,” the whole group must do it. 

2.  If you don’t you must sit out for the rest of the round.  If “Xerxes” gives an order without saying “Xerxes Says,”and you do it, you must sit out for the rest of the round. 

3.  Play until each family member has had a chance to be Xerxes.

Outdoor Activity:  Blindfold walk:  Bravery in the Unknown

Queen Esther was very brave and stood up for her people, even when it was dangerous to do so.  To get an idea of what that might have been like, you will need a blindfold (a folded dish towel works well) and a 2 x 4 or length of rope.  Have each member of your family take turns being Esther, who wears the blindfold and walks across the 2 x 4 or along the rope, and being God’s guiding hand, who carefully leads “Esther” from one end of this sticky situation to the other.  What did it feel like to be brave Esther?  What did it feel like to be God’s guiding hand?

Craft:  Xerxes/Esther Scepter

Xerxes and Esther were the king and queen of Persia.  One of the items that showed people who they were was a scepter.  Items for this craft will be in your paper sack: 

1 wooden skewer, pointy end cut off

1 pipe cleaner

24” Red Heart Boutique Sashay Metallic Yarn, Golden

1 scepter print out from https://papergiftsforestefany.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/esther-freebies/

You will also need a scissors, glue stick, some tape, and a stapler.

1.  Cut out both sides of the head of the scepter.

2.  Thread the pipe cleaner down the middle of the metallic yarn, weaving in and out of the open spaces. Leave about half of the yarn hanging free

3.  Beginning  2” from the top of the skewer, wrap the pipe cleaner around the skewer to the bottom.  Secure both ends with tape.

4.  Using the glue stick, glue one side of the head of the scepter to the other, sandwiching the top 2” of the skewer between the two pieces.  You might also want to staple along the skewer at the base of the scepter head to ensure that it stays on the skewer.

Here is a How-To Video: 

Resource from https://papergiftsforestefany.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/esther-freebies/

Prayer Practice:  Noisemaker Prayers

Jewish people celebrate the story of Esther during the Feast of Purim.  As a part of their celebration, each time that the name of the villain in the story, Haman, is named, everyone blows noisemakers to drown out the name.  To give us a taste of what this celebration might sound like, we are going to use noisemakers in our prayers this week.

For this prayer practice, we once again pray for what we need from God.  One family member begins by offering a prayer to God.  Then, everyone responds, “Amen!  Let it be so!” and blows their noisemaker.  Each person takes a turn doing this, with everyone responding.  Conclude by praying the Lord’s Prayer together, and blowing your noisemaker one more time for the Amen.

Snack:  Simple Purim Cookies

The snack this week is a traditional cookie for the feast of Purim, when Jews celebrate the story of Esther.  They are shaped to look like Haman’s hat, and include a jam filling.  You can find the recipe here: https://www.lifeoverlunch.com/teaching-esther-to-preschoolers/

VBS@Home 2020 Week 2: Hannah Prays

WOMEN OF OUR FAITH:  VBS@HOME WEEK 2:  Hannah Prays

Each week, physical resources will be available by 4 PM on Monday afternoon, and a copy of this guide will be sent to your email.  Plan to join us on Zoom at 10 AM on Wednesday mornings for an interactive time to kick off the week of learning.  Here is the pdf file of this guide:

https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/vbs-at-home-2020-week-2-resources-hannah.pdf

Check out this resource reveal video for a walk-through of the whole resource:

Zoom Link:  10 AM on Zoom June 17, 24, and July 1  (Check your email for the link)

Join Pastor Breen each Wednesday morning for a kick-off of this week’s Bible School story.  Make sure that you have room to move!  If you miss the Zoom, check out this YouTube

playlist:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0VIJaYUW4J7MxGhv44X27fc_sHYsi4p

Women of Our Faith Theme verse:  Ephesians 3:20 ERV

This is the theme verse for the whole month.  You can find it on the back of your Women of Our Faith Bible Friend Card. Practice this verse, repeat-after-me style, each time you gather to engage the resources. Get your Bible Friend cards here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/vbs-2020-scripture-cards-complete-set.pdf

With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. 

Women of Our Faith Theme song:  Ephesians 3:20 song Saddleback Kids This is the theme song for the whole month.  This song helps you to learn the verse through music and motions.  Watch it together and sing along.

EXPLORE THE STORY

This is the “meat” of VBS@ Home.  Pastor Breen will introduce the story at our Zoom meeting, and each family is asked to also engage in the story, through reading, devotions, and videos, at home.  Complete this section first, and then choose activities from the Mix & Match Bible Stations below to reinforce the theme.  

Theme Verse:  Philippians 4:6 ERV

This is the theme verse for the week.  You can find it on the back of your Deborah Bible friend card and on the front of your family devotion.  Practice this verse, repeat-after-me style, each time you gather to engage the resources this week.

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have.  

Bible Story:  Hannah Prays for a Child (1 Samuel 1:9-27)

Read this story from your Spark Story Bible as a family.  You can use your Women of Faith Bible friend card as a bookmark, to easily find the story again later.  If you have multiple readers in your family, you might takes turns reading by page, paragraph, or sentence.  Answer the question at the end of the story as a family.

Spark Story Bible page 118

Get your own Spark Story Bible here:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9780806670492/SparkStoryBibleSundaySchoolEdition

Family Devotion:  Hannah Prays

Each learner will have their own copy of Week 2 Devos.  After you have read the story from your Spark Story Bible, color the provided picture as you discuss the two sets of questions as a family.  In “Understanding the Story,” you can find the answers to the questions by looking back at the story in the Spark Story Bible.  In “God’s Story, My Story,” there are no wrong answers (as long as you are telling the truth 😊   ).  If these questions spark questions that you do not know the answers to, please reach out to Pastor Breen.  She loves to wrestle with hard questions alongside you! Find your copy of the Devos here:

https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/devos-week-2-hannah.pdf

Bible Story Videos:

Another way to engage this story is in video form.  You can reinforce what you learned during your family devotion time during the week by offering these videos to your children and youth, or watch them as a family.

MIX & MATCH BIBLE STATIONS

Read through these stations, and decide which ones you would like to engage as a family.  You might choose only one, or a couple, or one each day!  Each activity is intended to reinforce the theme of the Bible story for the week in a concrete, memorable way.

Song:  Thank You God Litany (a prayer song by Pastor Breen)

We will learn this song during our Zoom gathering.  You can use the video to lead you during the week.

Since it is a prayer song, you can include your own prayers to the same melody.  You can either talk about your prayers in advance and then sing them all together, or you can take turns singing the first line, with your family responding with the second line.

Game:  Balloon Keep-It-Up:  Lord’s Prayer Style

Another way to practice persistence like Hannah is to work together to keep the balloon from touching the ground for a certain amount of time.  Because this is VBS, and our theme is persistence in prayer, you might work together to keep the balloon in the air while praying the Lord’s prayer out loud. 

Outdoor Activity:  Balloon and Spoon Relay

One thing that we know about Hannah is that she is persistent.  Persistence is when we keep trying and working at something and don’t give up, even when it’s hard.  To get an idea of what it is like to be persistent, you and your family can play this game.  There is a balloon in your resource bag, and you will need two spoons from your kitchen.

1.  Decide on a set area for your relay.  Make a starting line and ending line (my family used the shadow of the garage on the yard).

2.  Put half of your family at one end, and the other half at the other.  Blow up the balloon and make sure that there is a spoon at either end. 

3.  Place the balloon on the spoon and carefully walk it to the other side.  Transfer the balloon to the next person.

4.  The next person carefully walks the balloon back to the starting point.  Transfer the balloon again and again, until everyone has had a turn.

5.  If you drop the balloon, you can either start over from the side you started on, or from where you dropped it.  Practice persistence!

6.  If you need to make this a bit easier, you can use water balloons, a golf ball, or even a hard-boiled egg.

Craft:  Prayer Bead Bracelet

Items for this craft will be in your paper sack.  Each learner will have enough beads for a large bracelet.  If your learner’s wrist is on the small size, make the smaller version, and return the extra beads to church when you pick up your new resources next week.

Large bracelet:

1.  Thread the stretchy string through the cross so that half of the string is on each side.

2.  Thread both ends through the small round bead. 

3.  Thread one end through five larger beads; thread the other end through the remaining large beads.

4.  Tie the string using three overhand knots.  Trim the ends close to the knot.

Small bracelet:

1.  Thread the stretchy string through the cross so that half of the string is on each side.

2.  Thread one end through one small round bead; thread the other end through the second small bead.

3.  Thread one end through three larger beads; thread the other end through four larger beads.

4.  Tie the string using three overhand knots.  Trim the ends close to the knot.

Prayer Practice:  Prayer Bead Thanksgivings

One way to work following Hannah’s example of persistence in prayer is by praying with beads.  My husband, Patrick Sipes of The Forming Spirit, prays with beads on a consistent basis while he drives.  I owe the idea of praying beads in this way to him.  We suggest doing this as a group for VBS@ Home, but it can easily be adapted to personal use.  This week, focus on thanksgivings, but you could also pray for different people on each bead, offer confessions on each bead, ask for help, etc.

1.  Make sure that each member of your family has a set of beads to pray.

2.  Tell your family that this week, we are going to focus on giving thanks to God.  We will each take turns telling God something we are thankful for. 

3.  Begin your prayers by holding the cross and saying (repeat-after-me), “We begin our prayers in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.” 

4.  The first person prays their thanksgiving to God.  When that person has prayed, everyone responds, “Thanks be to God,” and holds one bead.

3.  The next person shares their thanksgiving, everyone responds, “Thanks be to God,” and moves on to hold the next bead. 4.  Continue until you run out of beads.  Then, hold the cross while you pray the Lord’s Prayer together.

Snack:  Prayer Pretzels

The shape of pretzels reminds us to pray.  You can buy pretzels for your snack, buy them and dip them in chocolate, or make your own.  My family is going to use this super simple recipe for making bagels, rolling them into a pretzel shape and sprinkling them with coarse salt (or cinnamon and sugar):

https://mcusercontent.com/c0b6f41bbf2c0ee35456a971f/files/d0c4918e-11d9-4c07-a4eb-a4610133b143/Family_Activity_for_Lent.pdf

Ridiculously Easy Homemade Bagels: https://www.adayinthekitchen.com/ridiculously-easy-homemade-bagels/

VBS@Home 2020 Week 1: Deborah is Wise

WOMEN OF OUR FAITH:  VBS@HOME WEEK 1:  DEBORAH IS WISE

Thank you for trying this new thing!  We are so pleased to be able to create these resources for you! 

Each week, physical resources will be available by 4 PM on Monday afternoon, and a copy of this guide will be sent to your email.  Get your copy of the guide here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/vbs-at-home-2020-week-1-resources-deborah.pdf

Plan to join us on Zoom at 10 AM on Wednesday mornings for an interactive time to kick off the week of learning.  Check out this resource reveal video for a walk-through of the whole resource:

Zoom Link:  10 AM on Zoom June 10, 17, 24, and July 1  (check your email for the link)

Join Pastor Breen each Wednesday morning for a kick-off of this week’s Bible School story.  Make sure that you have room to move!  If you miss the Zoom, check out this YouTube playlist: 

Women of Our Faith Theme verse:  Ephesians 3:20 ERV

This is the theme verse for the whole month.  You can find it on the back of your Women of Our Faith Bible Friend Card. Practice this verse, repeat-after-me style, each time you gather to engage the resources. You can get your Bible friends cards here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/vbs-2020-scripture-cards-complete-set.pdf

With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20 ERV)

Women of Our Faith Theme song:  Ephesians 3:20 song Saddleback Kids

This is the theme song for the whole month.  This song helps you to learn the verse through music and motions.  Watch it together and sing along.

EXPLORE THE STORY

This is the “meat” of VBS@ Home.  Pastor Breen will introduce the story at our Zoom meeting, and each family is asked to also engage in the story, through reading, devotions, and videos, at home.  Complete this section first, and then choose activities from the Mix & Match Bible Stations below to reinforce the theme.

Theme Verse:  James 1:5 ERV

This is the theme verse for the week.  You can find it on the back of your Deborah Bible friend card and on the front of your family devotion.  Practice this verse, repeat-after-me style, each time you gather to engage the resources this week.

Do any of you need wisdom? Ask God for it. God is generous and enjoys giving to everyone. So God will give you wisdom. (James 1:5 ERV)

Bible Story:  Deborah (Judges 4:1-5:31)

Read this story from your Spark Story Bible as a family.  You can use your Women of Faith Bible friend card as a bookmark, to easily find the story again later.  If you have multiple readers in your family, you might takes turns reading by page, paragraph, or sentence.  Answer the question at the end of the story as a family.

Spark Story Bible page 107 Get your own Spark Story Bible here: https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9780806670492/SparkStory-Bible-Sunday-School-Edition

Family Devotion:  Deborah’s Wisdom

Each learner will have their own copy of Week 1 Devos.  You can find them here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/devos-week-1-deborah.pdf

After you have read the story from your Spark StoryBible, color the provided picture as you discuss the two sets of questions as a family.  In “Understanding the Story,” you can find the answers to the questions by looking back at the story in the Spark Story Bible.  In “God’s Story, My Story,” there are no wrong answers (as long as you are telling the truth 😊   ).  If these questions spark questions that you do not know the answers to, please reach out to Pastor Breen.  She loves to wrestle with hard questions alongside you!

Bible Story Videos:

Another way to engage this story is in video form.  You can reinforce what you learned during your family devotion time during the week by offering these videos to your children and youth, or watch them as a family.

MIX & MATCH BIBLE STATIONS

Read through these stations, and decide which ones you would like to engage as a family.  You might choose only one, or a couple, or one each day!  Each activity is intended to reinforce the theme of the Bible story for the week in a concrete, memorable way.

CRAFT

Pool Noodle Bible Verse Holder

Items for this craft will be in your paper sack.  Use the stickers to decorate the verse holder on both sides.  You might choose to write each person’s name on the bottom of their holder, to prevent confusion.  Place it in a place where you will see it often (we are keeping ours at our places at the dinner table).  Each week, learners will receive a new Bible friend card to put in this holder.  When the week is up, they can use their Bible friend card as a bookmark in their Bibles at that story.

From:  https://www.daniellesplace.com/html/bible-crafts-prayer.html

SONG

Where Does Wisdom Come From? (a song from Proverbs 9:10 by Pastor Breen)

We will learn this song during our Zoom gathering.  You can use the video to lead you during the week.

Where does wisdom come from? It comes from our God.

Where does wisdom come from? It comes from our God.

The awe of our God is where wisdom begins.

The awe of our God is where wisdom begins.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITY

Deborah, May I?

As a judge, Deborah delivered instructions from God.  This game has been modified from “Mother, May I?” to remind us of Deborah’s role as a judge for the people of Israel.  You can find the rules of the game here:      

How to Play “Deborah May I?”

  1. Choose someone to be the Deborah. If you are playing with a very young group of children, have an adult play this part.
  2. Whoever is designated Deborah stands at one end of the room and faces away from the Children, who line up on the other end of the room, close enough to hear and be heard by Deborah.
  3. Learners take turns asking, “Deborah, may I ____?”
  4. If the answer is yes, the question asker is allowed to make whatever movement they requested.
  5. If the answer is no, the person playing Deborah makes an alternative suggestion, by saying, “No you may not do that, but you may _____.” Deborah uses this answer if the learners are reaching her too quickly.
  6. Learners continue taking turns and the first one to reach the other end of the room wins and becomes Deborah.

Suggestions for making “Deborah May I?” requests:

  • Take ____ steps forward
  • Take ____ giant steps forward (a small number)
  • Take ____ baby steps forward (a large number)
  • Take ____ umbrella steps forward
  • Hop forward like a frog ____ times
  • Run forward for ____ seconds
  • Crabwalk forward for ____ seconds
  • Take open-and-shut steps ____ times (jump forward with feet apart, then bring the feet together)
  • Do a lamppost (lie face down, stretch arms forward, and then bring your feet to the point reached by the fingertips)
  • Other suggestions are Scissor steps, jumping jack steps, karate steps, and jump steps.      

Suggestions if Mother answers, “No, you may not, but you may ______:

  • Take fewer steps (Instead of granting permission for five steps, allow two).
  • Take ____ steps backward
  • Run backward for _____ seconds (Mother does the counting.)
  • Walk backwards _____ steps (Or until Mother says, “Stop!”)
  • Return to the starting line (Can be used in for players who are not observing the rules.)

From https://icebreakerideas.com/mother-may-i-game-rules-and-variations/

GAME

Deborah’s Wisdom (Tricky Questions)

Here’s a fun Bible game for kids that’ll get them scratching their heads!

Say: Deborah was a judge over Israel who was known for her wisdom.   Nothing was too hard for her. Let’s see if we can answer some tough questions.

Ask the following silly questions one at a time, and let kids have fun grappling with answers.

  • Why does round pizza come in a square box?
  • If the earth is round, why don’t people on the bottom part of it feel like they’re upside down?
  • Why is it called a funny bone, when it’s not funny to hit it?
  • Why do people drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
  • What hair color do they put in the driver’s licenses of bald men?

Ask:

  • Explain which of these questions was the hardest to answer.
  • Tell about a time you had a hard time answering a question or knowing what to do.
  • How has wisdom from God helped you know what to do in tough situations?

Say: The Bible doesn’t say what questions the people asked Deborah. They were probably important questions, not silly ones like the ones we just answered. And we know that Deborah was known for being wise, and that people went to her when they needed advice. You don’t have to be able to answer silly questions like the ones I asked for people to see God in your life. When you show wisdom in the decisions you make, people will be amazed by God’s wisdom in you. 

From https://childrensministry.com/bible-games-solomons-wisdom/

SNACK

Deborah’s Palm Tree

The people knew where to find Deborah to ask for advice: under a palm tree!  You can make your own palm tree from fruit, as pictured, or with a pretzel rod and mint gummy slices.  Encourage your family to help you to make the snack, as they are able.

From https://www.stockpilingmoms.com/pinterestpinofthedayhealthypalmtreesnackideaforkids/

PRAYER PRACTICE

Awesome God Prayer in Song (We will try this during our Zoom meeting)

Deborah learned what she needed to know about being wise by listening to God in prayer.  St. Augustine said that the one who sings, prays twice!  What is something that you need from God today?  Ask each member of your family to contribute a prayer request.  In between each request, you might sing the refrain together, or listen to the refrain from the video link provided.

Daily Devos: Ascension Sunday 2020

Bible Story: Acts 1:1-11

Luke Writes Another Book

Dear Theophilus,

The first book I wrote was about everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day he was carried up into heaven. Before he went, he talked to the apostles he had chosen. With the help of the Holy Spirit, he told them what they should do. This was after his death, but he showed them that he was alive, proving it to them in many ways. The apostles saw Jesus many times during the 40 days after he was raised from death. He spoke to them about God’s kingdom. One time when Jesus was eating with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. He said, “Wait here until you receive what the Father promised to send. Remember, I told you about it before. John baptized people with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus Is Carried Up Into Heaven

The apostles were all together. They asked Jesus, “Lord, is this the time for you to give the people of Israel their kingdom again?”

Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only one who has the authority to decide dates and times. They are not for you to know. But the Holy Spirit will come on you and give you power. You will be my witnesses. You will tell people everywhere about me—in Jerusalem, in the rest of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”

After Jesus said this, he was lifted up into the sky. While they were watching, he went into a cloud, and they could not see him. 10 They were staring into the sky where he had gone. Suddenly two men wearing white clothes were standing beside them. 11 They said, “Men from Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? You saw Jesus carried away from you into heaven. He will come back in the same way you saw him go.”

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International, retrieved from biblegateway.com

Questions: ELCA Book of Faith Devotional Questions

What scares, confuses, or challenges me in this story? What do I have questions about?

What delights me about this story? What is my favorite part, and why?

What stories or memories does this text stir up in me? It might be a time when I had to say goodbye to someone, for example.

What is God up to in this story? What is God calling me to do or to be because of this story?

Prayer

Dear Jesus, we thank you for coming to earth to save us, and for returning to heaven to prepare a place for us. Send us your Holy Spirit, so that we may always follow where you lead. In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity: Lord, I Lift Your Name on High

When we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus, it is a great time to tell the whole story of Jesus; to remember where he has been and where he is going. A great way to do that is through the song “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” by Rick Founds.

First, download the file with all the symbols you will need to tell the story. You can find the file here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/ascension-sunday-2020-lord-i-lift-your-name-on-high.pdf

Next, color the symbols and cut them out. You can mount them to popsicle sticks with double-sided tape or glue, if desired.

Then, look up the lyrics to the song. See if you can use your symbols and the words to tell the whole story of Jesus saving the world! You can find a copy of the lyrics here: http://www.divinehymns.com/lyrics/lord-i-lift-your-name-on-high-song-lyrics/

If you want to get your whole body moving, sing and dance along with this video:

A blessed Ascension Sunday to you and yours! If you would like more great ideas on how to celebrate the Ascension at Home, check out this post by buildfaith.org: https://buildfaith.org/celebrating-ascension-day-at-home/

Holy Week Box 2020 Assembly Instructions

Because we cannot gather for Holy Week in person, we are sending Holy Week to you! Take some time to assemble this 2 sheet resource, and you will be ready to tell the story of Holy Week at home!

Materials Needed:

1 copy of the Holy Week Box Resource, preferably on cardstock or heavy paper (https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/holy-week-box-1-sheet-2020.pdf)

1 copy of the Palm Sunday 3D resource by drawn2bcreative, also on heavy paper (http://www.drawn2bcreative.com/40-days-of-free-lenten-printables-palm-sunday-3-d-craft/)

colored pencils or other drawing utensils

scissors

transparent tape

Instructions:

  1. Print out and color both sheets:

2. Cut out all of the pieces, as shown:

3. Crease the box along the lines, as indicated by the arrows:

4. Fold the box, as shown in the video:

5. Tape the triangles to the inside of the box, and add tape around the outside of each corner:

6. Assemble or crease the rest of the pieces, as shown:

Now that you have your box and other resources assembled, you are ready to tell the story of Holy Week! We will include the story using these pieces in another post, coming soon!

Daily Devos: Outcast

PRAYER: 

Dear God, we are glad that you know everything about us and you love us.  Give us your living water.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

COLORING PAGE:

https://sundayschoolzone.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/The-Woman-at-the-Well-Coloring-Page.pdf

BIBLE STORY:  John 4:6-15 NRSV

Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

QUESTIONS: 

  • Tell your partner about a time when you were thirsty.  What was that experience like?
  • Jesus knew everything about the woman at the well.  What is something that most people don’t know about you?
  • What do you think it means when Jesus says that he is the living water?  Does it have to do with baptism and the promises of unconditional love, complete forgiveness, and hope for the future?