Children’s Devotion Time May 2018:  To the Ends of the Earth

One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month.  We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.”  Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time.  It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft.  It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group.  Join us in this new faith formation experiment!

You can learn more about just how we have set this up here:  Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

When [Jesus] had said this, as [the disciples] were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (1).png

Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)

Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn more about the last thing that Jesus said to us.  Help us to learn to be your witnesses, all the way to the ends of the earth.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  Acts 1:1-11

Read about Jesus’ Ascension in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+1%3A1-11&version=ERV

We used the Spark Story Bible for our resource.  It was the story called “Ascension.”  You can purchase your own copy here: https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/8122/Spark-Story-Bible-Sunday-School-Edition

Work in Pairs:

Each child/adult pair has a four-page leaflet to work on which is developmentally appropriate for the child.  They work through the leaflet together, taking as much time as they need.  This month, I made a leaflet with a map activity.  Children identified where they lived on a state, country, and world map, and drew stars where they live and arrows to the ends of the earth.  I also found an Ascension Paint-By-Number Image here: http://www.biblewise.com/kids/fun/ascension-paint-by-num.php  You can also use the children’s bulletin from your church.

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)

Dear Jesus, we thank you that you that you went back home to heaven so that we will have a home there too.  Help us to spread your love to the ends of the earth.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  String Art Arrows

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Supplies Needed
(1) 14” section of 2 x 4 per student
(1) arrow template, printed on cardstock and cut out
(1) ruler
(1) awl
(19) 16 x 1” wire nails with large heads per student
(1) hammer
(1) scissors
crochet thread in multiple colors

Instructions

  1. Center the arrow template on the section of 2 x 4 and tape down, if desired. Mark the nail holes according to the dots on the arrow with an awl.  Remove template.
  2. Drive one nail into each marked spot. Once they are each in securely, adjust the height of the nails until they are fairly even (I left ½” sticking out).
  3. Let the children and youth use string to fill in the design. On the example, I used red to outline, cream to fill in the middle, and red to do a double outline at the end.  I secured the ends of each string around the bottom right nail.
  4. Put it on a shelf in an upright position to remind us that Ascension Day is when Jesus returns to heaven!

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© 2018 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due!

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Children’s Devotion Time April 2018: Thomas Believes

One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month.  We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.”  Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time.  It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft.  It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group.  Join us in this new faith formation experiment!

You can learn more about just how we have set this up here: Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

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Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn more about Jesus’ friend Thomas.  Help us to learn to give and receive peace.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  John 20:19-31
Read about Thomas in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+20%3A19-31&version=ERV

We used the Spark Story Bible for our resource.  It was the story called “Doubting Thomas.”  You can purchase your own copy here: https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/8122/Spark-Story-Bible-Sunday-School-Edition

Work in Pairs:
Each child/adult pair has a four-page leaflet to work on which is developmentally appropriate for the child.  They work through the leaflet together, taking as much time as they need.  This month, we used the children’s bulletin from Spark, available on Sundays and Seasons.  You can use the children’s bulletin from your church.

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you that you give us the gift of believing in you.  Help us to spread your peace to those we meet.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  Peace Doves
Supplies Needed
dove kite printed on white cardstock (find the image on Pinterest here:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/433753007856479485/)
scissors
stapler
drinking straw
white duct tape
hole punch
light weight string
clear tape
white crepe streamers

Instructions

  1. Cut out dove and fold on lines. Staple where indicated (this is important for how the kite will fly).
  2. Cut the end off of a drinking straw and staple to the back of the wings.
  3. Put a small piece of duct tape over the place where you are the punch the hole, approximately at the chest of the dove. Punch hole through all layers.
  4. Tie a six to eight foot length of light weight string through the hole.
  5. Add streamers to the tail with clear tape.
  6. Enjoy!

Dove Kite

© 2018 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due!

Children’s Devotion Time February 2018: Jesus is Transfigured

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One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month.  We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.”  Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time.  It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft.  It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group.  Join us in this new faith formation experiment!

You can learn more about just how we have set this up here: Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn more about how you truly God’s Son.  Help us to learn and grow together.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  Mark 9:2-9
Read about the Transfiguration in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+9%3A2-9&version=ERV

We used the Spark Story Bible for our resource.  It was the story called “The Transfiguration.”  You can purchase your own copy here:  https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/8122/Spark-Story-Bible-Sunday-School-Edition

Work in Pairs:
Each child/adult pair has a four-page leaflet to work on which is developmentally appropriate for the child.  They work through the leaflet together, taking as much time as they need.  This month, we used the children’s bulletin from Spark, available on Sundays and Seasons.  You can use the children’s bulletin from your church.

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you are God’s Son.  Help us to always listen to you.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  Bury the Alleluia
One tradition that our churches practice on Transfiguration Sunday is to prepare for Lent (which begins on the  Wednesday after Transfiguration Sunday) by burying the Alleluia.  We say goodbye to the Alleluia because it is a celebration word that we save until the miracle of Easter.  You can learn more about this practice here:  https://www.buildfaith.org/saying-goodbye-to-the-alleluia/#gref

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Supplies Needed
A small box (we used shiny jewelry boxes)
A print out of the coloring Alleluia or “tracing” Alleluia on cardstock:  Transfiguration Alleluia 18Transfiguration Trace Alleluia 18
Scissors or paper cutter
Tape (we used gold washi tape)
coloring utensils

Instructions

    1. Cut out the individual letters of the Alleluia. Our younger ones will use the “tracing” Alleluia, and the older ones the “coloring” Alleluia.
    2. Tape them together on the back, accordion style.
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    3. Decorate them as you wish.
    4. Once they are decorated, sing a little Alleluia song. Our favorites are “Halle, Halle, Hallelujah” and the “Celtic Alleluia.”
    5. Fold your Alleluia up and place it in the box. Tape the box shut, and write “Do not open until Easter” on the tape.IMG_20180209_095854279_HDR
    6. Hide your box in an out of the way place that you will still remember by Easter.
    7. (I am planning to put jingle bracelets in the boxes and re-tape them just before Easter. We will open them in church on Easter morning!)

© 2018 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due!

Children’s Devotion Time December 2017: Jesus, the Word

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One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month.  We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.”  Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time.  It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft.  It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group.  Join us in this new faith formation experiment!

You can learn more about just how we have set this up here: Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn more about how you are the Word of God, the Lord of Life, and the Light of the World.  Help us to learn and grow together.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  John 1:1-18
Read about Jesus, the Word in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1%3A1-18&version=ERV

We used the Whirl Lectionary Story Bible for our resource.  It was the story called “Jesus, the Word.”  You can purchase your own copy here: https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/19372/Whirl-Story-Bible-Lectionary-Edition

Work in Pairs:
Each child/adult pair has a four-page leaflet to work on which is developmentally appropriate for the child.  They work through the leaflet together, taking as much time as they need.  This month, I developed the resource specifically for our children.  You can access it here (John 1 leaflet), or use the children’s bulletin from your church.

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you are the Word, our Life, and our Light.  Help us bring your Word to those who need Light in their Life.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  Candle Chrismons
Chrismons are Christian Christmas tree decorations that tell the story of Jesus.  They are white and gold to remind us that Jesus is pure and holy, as well as king of all creation.  You can learn more about Chrismons here:  http://www.chrismon.org/chrismons-ministry.html Because we talked about Jesus as the light of the world during this devotion time, I thought it would be neat to do a candle Chrismon for the Christmas trees of our families.  If you make extra, feel free to bring them to area nursing homes, the shut-ins of your congregation, or give them out when you are Christmas caroling this season!

Supplies needed
Candle outline, printed on cardstock (Candle Chrismons)
white craft foam
glue
gold or white ribbon, for hangers
gold metallic Sharpies
white glitter
gold glitter
white glitter glue
gold glitter glue

1. Cut out the candle outline and glue it to the craft foam PRINTED SIDE DOWN, sandwiching the ends of the ribbon in between the two pieces. This will give you both an outline to cut out and a firm backing for your Chrismon.  When the glue is dry, cut out the foam.  I did this in advance.

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2.  Outline the foam side of the Chrismon in gold Sharpie. Decorate with glitter and glitter glue, as desired.

3.  When it is fully dry, hang it on your Christmas tree, or in another prominent spot where you will see it often.

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© 2017 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due!

Children’s Devotion Time October 2017: Wicked Tenants and Fruits of the Spirit

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One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month.  We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.”  Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time.  It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft.  It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group.  Join us in this new faith formation experiment!

You can learn more about just how we have set this up here: Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we are thankful for this time to learn more about being a part of your vineyard and learning to bear fruit.  Help us to learn and grow together.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  Matthew 21:33-46
Read the Parable of the Wicked Tenants in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+21%3A33-46&version=ERV

We used the Whirl Story Bible for our resource.  It was the story called “Whose Vineyard is it?”  You can purchase your own copy here:  https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/19372/Whirl-Story-Bible-Lectionary-Edition

Work in Pairs:
Each child/adult pair has a four-page leaflet to work on which is developmentally appropriate for the child.  They work through the leaflet together, taking as much time as they need.  I get these resources from sundaysandseasons.com, which is a paid subscription lectionary resource that my parish subscribes to.  You could also work through a children’s bulletin for the week from your church.

This month, I developed the resource for the center of the bulletin.  You can find this resource here:  Fruits of the Spirit leaflet 10 8 17

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you give us everything we need.  Help us to remember that it all belongs to you.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  Fruits of the Spirit Fruit Salad
Ingredients:
1 banana, sliced
strawberries, fresh or frozen
1 can fruit cocktail (with pineapple, cherries, peaches, pears)
1 apple, cut in small chunks
1 small bunch of grapes
juice of ½ lemon
¼ seasonal melon, cut in chunks (we will use cantaloupe)

Taking the ingredients one by one, let the children assist you in mixing them up in a large bowl.  Remind them what each fruit means as you put it in.  Serve in small bowls with forks.

© 2017 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due!

Children’s Devotion Time May 2017: Plenty of Room

One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month.  We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.”  Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time.  It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft.  It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group.  Join us in this new faith formation experiment!

You can learn more about just how we have set this up here: Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

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Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we are thankful for this time to learn more about God’s house.  Help us to learn and grow together.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  John 14:1-14
Read about Jesus’ description of God’s house in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14%3A1-14&version=ERV

We used the Spark Story Bible for our resource.  It was the story called “God’s House.”  You can purchase your own copy here:  https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/8122/Spark-Story-Bible-Sunday-School-Edition

Work in Pairs:
Each child/adult pair has a four-page leaflet to work on which is developmentally appropriate for the child.  They work through the leaflet together, taking as much time as they need.  I get these resources from sundaysandseasons.com, which is a paid subscription lectionary resource that my parish subscribes to.  You could also work through a children’s bulletin for the week from your church.

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you always make room for us, and that we always have a home with you.  Help us to learn to welcome others, as you first welcome us.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  God’s House
Supplies
House Template printed on cardstock:  God’s House Template
2 Popsicle Sticks per house
Glue
Scissors
Coloring Supplies

Instructions

  1. Cut out the house template and fold the front doors in.

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  1. Color the outside of the house as a house.

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  1. Open the front doors and draw a picture of yourself.

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  1. Close the front doors again and glue the popsicle sticks to the roof of the house. Allow to dry. (When I made my example, I glued the sticks on first.  I do not recommend it. 🙂 )

Blessings on your time together!  I hope it is a holy time for you!

© 2017 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due.

Children’s Devotion Time April 2017: Palm Sunday

One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month. We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.” Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time. It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft. It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group. Join us in this new faith formation experiment!
You can learn more about just how we have set this up here:  Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we are thankful for this time to learn more about the story of Palm Sunday and Holy Week. Help us to learn and grow together. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story: Matthew 21:1-11
Read about Palm Sunday in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+21%3A1-11&version=NRSV

We used the Whirl Story Bible for our resource. It was the story called “Hosanna.” You can purchase your own copy here:
http://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/19372/Whirl-Story-Bible-Lectionary-Edition?c=285812

Work in Pairs:
Each child/adult pair has a four-page leaflet to work on which is developmentally appropriate for the child. They work through the leaflet together, taking as much time as they need. I get these resources from sundaysandseasons.com, which is a paid subscription lectionary resource that my parish subscribes to. This month, I also included an explanation of Holy Week that I found here:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/05/de/2d/05de2d6ee3abb89529810886d7f1734c.jpg

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for being our king who loves us so very much. Help us to follow you, now and always. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Activity: Palm Leaves
Supplies needed:
Palm Craft Template:
1 sheet green card stock per pair
1 paint stir stick per pair, painted green
Gel Glue
Glue stick
8 – 1”x6” strips patterned green scrapbook paper/card stock
1 – 1”x12” strip patterned green scrapbook paper/card stock
Scissor

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1. Trace around the template onto the plain green card stock. Cut the shape out of the green card stock.
2. Using the gel glue, glue the plain green palm to the back of the green paint stir stick (the side with the words, as it is hard to get the paint to completely cover over them).

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3. Use the glue stick to get the front of the paint stick nice and sticky. Add the short strips of paper, as shown.

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4. Add more glue from the glue stick to the top of the over lapping paper. Use the long strip of paper to cover the stick and the strips, as shown.

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5. Use the scissors to trim the strips. Here is the completed project.

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6. Have a Palm Parade! Shout or sing Hosanna as you wave your palms. Maybe the adults could be the “crowd” as the children play Jesus’ disciples in the parade.

© 2017 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska. https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due!