Children’s Devotion Time: Love Your Enemies

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

Children’s Devotion Time February 2020:  Love Your Enemies

Opening Prayer: (Lead repeat-after-me style.  You can ask one of the children/youth to do this.)

Dear God,
we thank you
for loving us
all the way
no matter what.
Help us to learn
about your love today.
In Jesus name we pray,
Amen.

2.  Song:  (Love Will Never Fail by KidSpring:  https://youtu.be/KS5or9cSLnE)

Play the video of the song with motions and ask the learners to sing and move along.  It is a short song, so you might want to try it two or three times.

3.  Read:  Love Your Enemies (Matthew 5:38-48 )

Read this story out loud as a large group in the Spark Story Bible, page 274. 

4.  Answer:  Answer these questions in pairs as you work together to color the coloring page of your choice (I found some appropriate ones here: https://www.housemixblog.com/2017/05/22/11-bible-verses-to-teach-kids-with-printables/):

  • When is it easy to love someone?
  • When is it hard to love some?
  • Tell a story about a time when you found it hard to love someone.

5.  Do:  Use the large heart punch and strips of paper to make 3 hearts for each person in your group.  (Please help those who are not able to read/write well)

  • On one heart, write the name of someone who you love. 
  • On the second heart, write the name of someone who loves you.
  • On the third heart, write the name of someone who you find hard to love.

6.  Pray:  Have each person hold their three hearts in their hands.  Pray this pray repeat-after me prayer (choose one member of your group to lead): 

Dear Jesus,
We thank you
for the people we love
the people who love us
and even for the people we find hard to love.
Open our hearts to love you
one another,
and ourselves.
In your name we pray, Amen.

Use the push pins to attach your hearts to the bulletin board in the East Room.  If you have time, continue with the “Love Is…”craft: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/love-is-stick-craft-instructions.pdf

© 2020 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: Midwives in Egypt

Children’s Devotion Time:  October 13, 2019

This fall we are using Illustrated Children’s Ministry Compassion Family Devotions to guide our time together. You can purchase a copy for your group here:

1.  Large Group Story:  Read the story out loud with the group, taking time to look at the pictures in the leaflet as you go. (Use Story Time from “Shiphrah and Puah’s Courage” pg. 19 and pictures on pg. 21-23)

2.  Large Group Song:  Saved By Grace (chords: DAGA) Sing the song together.

Sa-a-a-a-a-a-aved by grace (woo hoo, hoo, hoo)
Throo-oo-oo-ough our faith (through our faith, yeah!)

Sa-a-a-a-a-a-aved by grace (woo hoo, hoo, hoo)
Throo-oo-oo-ough our faith (through our faith, yeah!)

G-R-A-C-E e,
we will worship you faithfully e,
we will live eterna-na-nally.
What a life for you and me!

Sa-a-a-a-a-a-aved by grace (woo hoo, hoo, hoo)
Throo-oo-oo-ough our faith (through our faith, yeah!)

Sa-a-a-a-a-a-aved by grace (woo hoo, hoo, hoo)
Throo-oo-oo-ough our faith (through our faith, yeah!)

3.  Leaflet in pairs:  Work in pairs on the activities on the back of the leaflet. (Use Imagining Together from page 19-20 and pictures from pg. 21-23)

4.  Craft Project:  As the pairs finish their work, invite them to work on the craft project.

CRAFT PROJECT—Woven Baby Baskets

For this craft, I was inspired by this recycled plastic bottle weaving craft:  https://www.kitchentableclassroom.com/weaving-for-kids-a-recycled-plastic-bottle-craft/

You can learn how to make the t-shirt yarn used in this project here:  https://www.kitchentableclassroom.com/how-to-make-t-shirt-yarn/

I wanted to make a basket instead of a pencil cup for this craft, so I went to the dollar store, and found a single serve Rice-A-Roni container that was the right size and shape.  One of the flavors was on sale for $1, so that’s the one I chose.  Remove the top and contents, wipe out the container, remove the label, and then follow the instructions from the first post, above.

As you weave, remind them about the story they just learned, and then tell them about how the story leads to Moses.  After Pharaoh ordered the babies thrown into the river, Moses’ mother kept her son safe and hidden in a basket until he was too big to hide.  Then, she put him in the river in the basket, and a princess found him and raised him as her own.  Many people worked to keep the babies safe in that time.

When you have finished weaving, add something soft for the baby to lay in (we used fleece scraps left over from another project), and add a baby (you could use a mini doll or a wooden doll, as shown in the picture).

5.  Large Group Prayer:  Use the provided prayer in a repeat-after-me fashion.

Dear God, thank you for the story
of the midwives in Egypt
and the way that they helped the babies
and moms who were in trouble.
Help us to have compassion
for those who need our help. Amen.

Children’s Devotion Time: Holy Week 2019

Gathering Prayer (Large group, repeat after me style)

Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn more about what happened to you during Holy Week.  Send your Holy Spirit to us, that we may know how much you love us.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

The Story of Holy Week (Do in pairs)

**Learn the story of Holy Week and put together your Holy Week Story Box.

The Story of Holy Week Resource is available here:  http://www.rtcol.com/~kreft/biblestories/docs/Holy%20Week%20Story.pdf

I edited it for length and content, including only pages 1, 3-6, and 8-9 plus copyright information.  I also added circles that indicated which story went to which day of Holy Week, and a condensed paragraph about Good Friday.

Stickers and template for palms is available here: Holy Week Story Box Printables

I printed the palm leaves on green cardstock. I printed the stickers on a full sheet prinatble sticker page.

Palm Sunday

1.  Read the front page of “The Story of Holy Week” (Palm Sunday) with your partner.

2.  Open your box and find 2 green palm papers.  Cut them out along the solid line, and add fringe as indicated in the example.

Maundy Thursday

3.  Read the next three pages of “The Story of Holy Week” (Maundy Thursday) with your partner.

4.  Find the sticker with the white table cloth, loaf of bread, and glass of wine.  Stick the sticker to the lid of the box.

Good Friday

5.  Read the next page of “The Story of Holy Week” (Good Friday) with your partner.

6.  Find the two strips of black paper.  Use a glue stick to stick the strips to the outside bottom of the box in the shape of a cross.

7.  Find the gold pipe cleaner section.  Curve and twist it into a crown of thorns, making sure that it will fit securely onto Jesus’ head.

8.  Find the piece of white cloth.  Set it aside for now.

Easter Sunday

9.  Read the next two pages of “The Story of Holy Week” with your partner.

10.  Find the piece of brown cereal box.  Add a tab to one of the short sides with a piece of tape as indicated in the example.

11.  Find the “Alleluia” sticker.  Stick it to the inside bottom of the box, and then cover it with the cereal box, brown side up.  You are now ready to tell the story of Holy Week with your box and the following song:

Holy Week Story Box (Do as a large group)

**Tell the story with your box, singing the song in between each day of Holy Week.  Here is the Youtube video that accompanies this experience:  https://youtu.be/GwBGwyiQhD0

**Thanks to Building Faith for the idea!  I modified it for our group.  Find the original post here:  https://www.buildfaith.org/holy-week-in-a-box/#gref

Palm Sunday (Jesus with palms)
Were you there when they had a palm parade?
Were you there when they had a palm parade?
Oh, oh, oh, oh. 
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they had a palm parade?

Maundy Thursday (Jesus behind altar box)
Were you there when he gave the bread and wine?
Were you there when he gave the bread and wine?
Oh, oh, oh, oh. 
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when he gave the bread and wine?

Good Friday (Jesus with crown of thorns next to cross on back of box)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Good Friday (Wrap Jesus in cloth, close into box)
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Easter Morning (Open box, Jesus out of box, remove false bottom to reveal Alleluia!)
Were you there when he rose up from the dead?
Were you there when he rose up from the dead?
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when he rose up from the dead?

Closing Prayer (Large group, repeat after me style)

Dear Jesus, we thank you for loving us so much that you died and rose again.  Help us to follow where you lead, and tell the great news of your love to others.

Now, Lord, remember us in your kingdom, and teach us to pray: (Lord’s Prayer with motions) 

Our Father…

Children’s Devotion Time March 2019: JESUS IS TEMPTED

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:  https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/childrens-devotion-time-instructions.pdf

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

Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn about a time when you were tempted.  Help us to learn to follow you.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  Luke 4:1-13

Read about Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+4%3A1-13&version=ERV

We used “A Tempting Time” from the Whirl Lectionary Story Bible for our resource.  You can purchase your own copy here: https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9781451484786/Whirl-Story-Bible-Lectionary-Edition

Pray Dough Mat:

Use the front side of the pray dough mat to retell the story together.  As you tell the story, fill in the shapes with play dough.  Once you have done this, flip the mat over and pray as you use the dough to fill in the same shapes, considering the questions on the mat as you pray.

You can find the mat here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/cdt-temptation-play-dough-mat-19.pdf

I printed it on cardstock and laminated each one so that they were more durable and reusable.

Here is a link to the laminator I use:  https://www.amazon.com/Xyron-608931028515-624632-Creative-Original/dp/B00X3EZ5VO/

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

Dear Jesus, we thank you that you love us no matter what. Help us to stay near to you, especially in tough times. In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  Lenten Pray Place

Supplies needed per learner
purple napkin
clear bowl
decorative sand
red strips of paper
heart paper punch
pipe cleaner
6 black flat-sided marbles (or small stones)

Instructions

I found this graphic on Pinterest, and thought it would make a great activity to welcome Lent:

I added a tealight to this Pray Place so that we can remember that, even in dark times, Jesus is the Light of the World.  Turning the light on and off helps to begin and end our prayer time.

I could not find the original reference, but the pin attributed it to a pastor named Mary Dawes. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/433753007860838996/

© 2019 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 2018: Christmas

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: 

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

Dear Jesus, we thank you forthis time to learn more about the story of Christmas.  Help us to remember the reason for this holy season. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  Luke 2:1-20

Read about Jesus’ Birth in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+2&version=ERV

We used “The Holy Moly Christmas Story” for our resource.  Youcan purchase your own copy of the activity book here: https://www.beamingbooks.com/shop/product/21152/The-Holy-Moly-Christmas-Story

You can get a copy of the video here:  https://www.beamingbooks.com/shop/product/21141/The-Holy-Moly-Christmas-Story-DVD

Practice Christmas Songs:

For our Christmas program this year, our children and youth are choosing four songs from this resource:  
https://www.reawakenhymns.com/christmas-hymns

Nathan Drake is a church musician who makes classic hymns available on guitar with simplearrangements.  Check it out!

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

Dear Jesus, we thank you for coming down to live with us in the miracle of Christmas. We are looking forward to your coming.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  Angel Luminaries

Supplies needed per learner

(1) large clear plastic cup (16 oz.)

(1) copy of angel luminary skirt printed on vellum 

(1/2) copy of angel wings and heads printed on cardstock

(1/2) yellow or gold pipe cleaner

(1-3) LED tea lights

scissors

clear tape

colored pencils

markers

Instructions

1.  Cut out the luminary skirt, one pair of wings, and one head.

2.  Color the wings and head with colored pencils.

3.  Color the back side of the luminary skirt with markers.

4.  Twist the pipe cleaner into a halo.

5.  Tape the luminary skirt to the upside-down cup.

6.  Tape the wings to the back and the head to the top lip of the front.  Add the halo.

7.  Place LED tealights inside the cup to light the luminary.  May the light of Christ be with you during this holy season!

© 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 November 2018: PRAYER

Large Group Gathering Prayer:

(Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus,
we thank you
for this time
to learn more about how to talk to you.
Help us to learn and grow together.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  James 5:13-20

Read the story out loud for the group, and answer the question together.  We are using the Whirl Story Bible for our story time.

Partner Time:  Prayer

Working together in child/adult or youth/adult partners, complete the level-appropriate leaflet on prayer:

CDT Prayer leaflet child November 2018

CDT Prayer leaflet youth November 2018

Activity:  Prayer Dough Mat

I was inspired by this article by Flame:  Creative Children’s Ministry to create a Prayer Dough Mat just for CDT:  http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/search/label/Play%20Dough%20Mats

Prayer Dough Mat 2018

Get your own here:  Prayer Dough Mat Children 18

I printed them on cardstock and laminated them so that they could be used multiple times.  We used Play Doh that I had on hand, though you could certainly make your own.  This recipe looked especially good:  https://theimaginationtree.com/best-ever-no-cook-play-dough-recipe/

Large Group Closing Prayer:

(Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus,
we thank you
for this time
to talk to you
and to listen to you.
In your name we pray, Amen.

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

IMG_20180510_092810352.jpg

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!

IMG_20180510_092617168_LL

© 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 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

Dove Kite.jpg

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

IMG_20180209_095809451.jpg

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

IMG_20180209_095809451

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.
      IMG_20180209_095833783.jpg
    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

IMG_20171130_110238549.jpg

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!