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/

A Brave Queen: Esther

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about a very brave queen.  Help our time together to be holy time.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Esther
For this God Time, we used a Five Minute Devotion from Jelly Telly.  You can find the video here:

Discuss as a family:
More great questions and resources for this week’s God Time can be found on the Jelly Telly blog here:
https://www.jellytelly.com/blog/esther-old-testament-heroes-5-minute-family-devotional

Song:  Brave
For our song this week, we learned an awesome song about being brave.  Here is the lyric video on Youtube:

Activity:  Esther’s Scepter
For our activity this week, we made scepters, which are the sign of a king or queen’s power over his or her kingdom.  Since Esther used her power as a queen to help her people and change her king’s mind, I thought this would work out great.  Because we were on vacation at my in-laws house and far away from my craft room and supplies, I purchased this kit from Target:

WP_20160702_14_16_01_Pro.jpg

Simply follow the directions and enjoy!  If you don’t have access to this kit, you can use a skinny dowel rod and attach a couple of foam stars to the top, with ribbons, string, or even jingle bells hanging from the streamers.  Here is our finished result:

WP_20160702_14_28_42_Pro     WP_20160702_14_29_17_Pro     WP_20160702_14_29_33_Pro

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Can be a repeat after me prayer if you have non-readers in your family)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for holy time together as a family.  Help us to be brave leaders in this world.  In your name we pray, Amen.