Lent in a Dish Week 3: Jesus Washes His Friends’ Feet

IMG_20170320_085031631 (2).jpg

This year during Family God Time, we will be using a resource from St. Cuthbert Episcopal Church in Houston, TX, but with a Family God Time twist.  It is called “Lent in a Bag,” but we will be creating our own “Lent in a Dish” projects.  I thought of the dish because of the beautiful Lenten garden that my daughter created in Sunday School last year, and thought that there could be a way to use both resources to create something meaningful over the course of several weeks.

You can read more about the original “Lent in a Bag” resource here:  http://www.buildfaith.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/in-a-bag-trifold-Cuthbert-4-1.pdf  You can read more about the Lenten dish gardens here:  http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2013/03/mini-resurrection-garden-easter-craft.html

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 how Jesus would do anything for his friends.  Help our time to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  John 13:1-15
Read Jesus washing his disciples’ feet in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+13%3A1-15&version=ERV

We used the Spark Story Bible for our resource.  It was the first two pages of the story “The Last Supper.”  You can purchase your own copy here: http://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/8122/Spark-Story-Bible-Sunday-School-Edition?c=285812

Discuss as a family:
Why do you think that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet?
What job would you really not like to do?  Who would you love enough to do it for?
How do you show others that you love them?

Song:  I Want Jesus to Walk with Me
This is my favorite Lent song for kids.  It gets the somber mood, but has a way to get the wiggles out.  We held hands and walked in place while singing.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Pipe Cleaner Person
Perviously, we gathered all of the supplies we needed for the whole Lenten season Lent in a Dish.  You can find the supply list here:  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/preparing-for-lent-2017/

This week, we need a pipe cleaner.

Jesus was really a human person, and he really cared for his friends.  He showed just how human he really was when he got down on his knees in front of his friends and washed their feet.  To remind us of this, we are going to make a pipe cleaner person to add to our dishes.  See the instructions, below.

Fold your pipe cleaner in half.

IMG_20170320_110858622 (2).jpg

Wrap the middle around an adult’s thumb to make the head.  Twist a couple of times.

IMG_20170320_110951220 (2).jpg

Make two long twists to form the body.

Bend about an inch out of each end to become the legs, as shown.  Wrap the ends up the body again.

IMG_20170320_111038392 (2).jpg

Form the two ends into the arms.  You have made a pipe cleaner person!

IMG_20170320_111107208 (2).jpg

After you are done making your person, add it to your dish.  Place the dish in a place where you and your family can see it all week long, to remind you to use your God-given power to help others!

IMG_20170320_085031631 (3).jpg

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

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn about how Jesus served his friends.  Help us to use the power that you give us to serve others.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Lent in a Dish Week 2: Jesus Feeds 5,000

IMG_20170313_093026574

This year during Family God Time, we will be using a resource from St. Cuthbert Episcopal Church in Houston, TX, but with a Family God Time twist.  It is called “Lent in a Bag,” but we will be creating our own “Lent in a Dish” projects.  I thought of the dish because of the beautiful Lenten garden that my daughter created in Sunday School last year, and thought that there could be a way to use both resources to create something meaningful over the course of several weeks.

You can read more about the original “Lent in a Bag” resource here:  http://www.buildfaith.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/in-a-bag-trifold-Cuthbert-4-1.pdf  You can read more about the Lenten dish gardens here:  http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2013/03/mini-resurrection-garden-easter-craft.html

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 how Jesus uses his power.  Help our time to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Mark 6:30-44
Read Jesus’ words about being ready in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+6%3A30-44&version=ERV

We used the Kids Bible App for our resource.  You can download it for free here:
https://www.bible.com/kids

Discuss as a family:
What do you think Jesus felt like when he was in the wilderness without eating for forty days?
What did the devil tempt him to do?
Did Jesus use his power in this way?
How did Jesus use his power in the story we just read?
How can we use our power to help hungry people?

Song:  I Want Jesus to Walk with Me
This is my favorite Lent song for kids.  It gets the somber mood, but has a way to get the wiggles out.  We held hands and walked in place while singing.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Heart Stones
Last week, we gathered all of the supplies we needed for the whole Lenten season Lent in a Dish.  You can find the supply list here:  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/preparing-for-lent-2017/

This week, we need the stones and with stickers shaped like hearts or a paint marker or glitter pen to add hearts to the stones.

Jesus used his power to make more food for hungry people because he loves us.  We decided to add hearts to the stones that the devil tempted Jesus about turning into bread to remind us that Jesus uses his power to helps others, not himself.  My kids really got into this, as you can see from the picture:

IMG_20170313_093026574.jpg

After you are done decorating, add the stone to your dish.  Place the dish in a place where you and your family can see it all week long, to remind you to use your God-given power to help others!

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

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn about how Jesus uses his power.  Help us to use the power that you give us to show our love for others.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Lent in a Dish Week 1: Jesus in the Wilderness

IMG_20170306_073650720 (2).jpg

This year during Family God Time, we will be using a resource from St. Cuthbert Episcopal Church in Houston, TX, but with a Family God Time twist.  It is called “Lent in a Bag,” but we will be creating our own “Lent in a Dish” projects.  I thought of the dish because of the beautiful Lenten garden that my daughter created in Sunday School last year, and thought that there could be a way to use both resources to create something meaningful over the course of several weeks.

You can read more about the original “Lent in a Bag” resource here:  http://www.buildfaith.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/in-a-bag-trifold-Cuthbert-4-1.pdf  You can read more about the Lenten dish gardens here:  http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2013/03/mini-resurrection-garden-easter-craft.html

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 Jesus in the wilderness.  Help our time to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Luke 4:1-13
Read Jesus’ words about being ready 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 the Whirl Story Bible for our resource.  You can purchase one here:  http://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/19372/Whirl-Story-Bible-Lectionary-Edition?c=285812

Discuss as a family:
Have you ever been tempted to do something you shouldn’t?  Tell the story.
Have you ever been able to resist temptation?
How hungry do you think Jesus was?

Song:  I Want Jesus to Walk with Me
This is my favorite Lent song for kids.  It gets the somber mood, but has a way to get the wiggles out.  We held hands and walked in place while singing.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Sand Pictures
Last week, we gathered all of the supplies we needed for the whole Lenten season Lent in a Dish.  You can find the supply list here:  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/preparing-for-lent-2017/

This week, we need the dish and sand (and a pencil or stick).

My husband decided that glass pie plates would work better for our dishes, because they can be used for other things once Lent has concluded.  Pour sand into each dish and allow your kids to make pictures in the sand with the eraser end of a pencil.  Some suggestions include hearts, crosses, spirals, or hand prints.  You could also ask your kids to tell the story of Jesus in the wilderness using the sand.  We did this in the kitchen, because sand did kind of go everywhere.  After they have had some time to play, remind them that this dish is going to have something added to it each week to tell the story of Lent.  Place the dishes in a place where your family can see them over the course of the week.

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

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn about Jesus in the wilderness.  Lead and guide us in the times when we are tempted to always follow you.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Preparing for Lent 2017

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is March 1 this year.  This year during Family God Time, we will be using a resource from St. Cuthbert Episcopal Church in Houston, TX, but with a Family God Time twist.  It is called “Lent in a Bag,” but we will be creating our own “Lent in a Dish” projects.  I thought of the dish because of the beautiful Lenten garden that my daughter created in Sunday School last year, and thought that there could be a way to use both resources to create something meaningful over the course of several weeks.

img_20170227_135014243-2

Because this project requires a bunch of resources, I thought it might be good to spend our devotion time before the first Sunday in Lent gathering these supplies as a family so that we will be ready to go when it is time.  You can read more about the original “Lent in a Bag” resource here:  http://www.buildfaith.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/in-a-bag-trifold-Cuthbert-4-1.pdf  You can read more about the Lenten dish gardens here:  http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2013/03/mini-resurrection-garden-easter-craft.html

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 prepare for Lent.  Help our time to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Luke 12:35-40
Read Jesus’ words about being ready in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A35-40&version=ERV

You can also find a chant with an easy way to memorize our focus verse for this week here:

Discuss as a family:
What are some special times of the year that you and your family get ready for?
How do you get ready?
Today, we are going to begin getting ready for Lent.  What preparations do you think we might want to make?

Song:  Prepare the Royal Highway
This song is usually sung during Advent, but we also use it in our church on Palm Sunday, so I think it works for Lenten preparation.  This version was produced by a children’s ministry in Hopkins, MN, and I think it is a wonderful way to show what we are singing about as we sing.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Preparing for Lent
Gather the following supplies together as a family.  As you do, you can wonder together about what we might use each of these things for.  I recommend gathering enough supplies for one project for each child in your household, but do what works best for your family.

  1. A wide dish with a low lip.  We are using terra cotta pot saucers.
  2. Decorative sand. I got mine at the dollar store.
  3. A palm-sized rock. You can also find these at the dollar store.
  4. Peach, white, or brown pipe cleaners. We will use these to make stick figures in week 3.
  5. A small candle or LED candle. We will use one size larger than a tea light.
  6. Quick maturing grass seed or sprout seed. You want something that will start to show in 7 days or less.
  7. A small amount of potting soil for the grass seed.

IMG_20170227_135014243 (2).jpg

Gather these supplies together into a box or bag so that you can easily access each part when it is time (we are leaving the potting soil in the garage until we need it).  That’s it!  You and your family are prepared for Lent!  We will begin our journey together next week.

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

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to prepare for Lent.  Lead and guide us as we travel through this season.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Transfiguration: Matthew 17:1-8

img_20170220_100214479-2

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 time when Jesus showed his disciples who he really was.  Help our time to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Matthew 17:1-8
Read the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+17%3A1-8&version=NRSV

Discuss as a family:
Why do you think Jesus brought his friends up the mountain?
What do you think Jesus talked about with Moses and Elijah?
Why do you think Jesus’ friends wanted to stay on the mountain?
What did the voice from heaven say about Jesus?  What do you think that means?

Song:  I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
This song is one of my favorites for the season of Epiphany, which concludes this Sunday.  It talks about how bright our world is because of Jesus.  If it is not a familiar song for you, you and your family can join in on the chorus.

Craft:  Paper Folded Stars
Because we have been star crazy through Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, we thought that we would leave you with one final star.

A big thanks to this site for giving me a great idea:  https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/felicity-quilts-4157993/tutorial-folded-fabric-star-ornaments-3772915437

The original is made out of fabric, but I simplified them for children with scrapbook paper.  Here is what ours look like:

IMG_20170220_100214479 (2).jpg

Supplies needed:
3 different patterns of scrapbook paper
Scissors
Stapler
Craft Glue
Button (We used star shaped ones from a Fourth of July project) or star sticker
Thin Ribbon
Hole Punch

Instructions:
1. Cut the scrapbook paper into 6 inch squares.  You will need one square of each pattern for a single star.

2. Fold each square diagonally one time.

3. Fold each square diagonally a second time.

IMG_20170220_095041866 (2).jpg

4. Stack in the order shown and staple together with one staple in the center.

IMG_20170220_095443320 (2).jpg

IMG_20170220_095541750 (2).jpg

IMG_20170220_095657524 (2).jpg

5. Glue the button/sticker in the center of the star to hide the staple.

6. Punch a hole in the top arm of the star and add a ribbon to hang it.

img_20170220_100214479-2

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

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for your light in this world, and for showing us who Jesus really is.  Be the guiding star of our lives.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Crepes and Candles: Discovering Candlemas

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 celebrate that spring is coming.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Celebration:  Candlemas
A few weeks ago, a great article was delivered to my email inbox from a great organization called Building Faith.  It talked about the origins of Groundhog Day as a religious celebration which included blessing the candles for the new year.  This celebration is called, appropriately, Candlemas.  This was intriguing to me, and I put the information in the back of my head, thinking, “This is cool.  Maybe we’ll try it sometimes.”  Then, I learned that it is also a holiday during which we eat crepes.  I LOVE crepes, and so does my family.  Candlemas instantly became my new favorite holiday.  I called my husband with the idea, and he couldn’t wait to do it together, so we did.

You and your family can learn all about Candlemas here:  http://www.buildfaith.org/candlemas/

Song:  Light of the World
When I told my kids that Candlemas was the celebration of Jesus as the light of the world, they instantly began singing this song from Vacation Bible School last year.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Crepes and Candles
My husband is the crepe maker in our family, and this is the recipe that he uses:

Because it was an impromptu celebration, our fillings were not particularly fancy this year.  We had savory crepes with scrambled eggs, sausage, and grated cheese, and sweet crepes with raspberry jam and chocolate hazelnut spread.  The fillings are limited only by your imagination.

Because of the candle emphasis of Candlemas, we ate by candlelight.  I got every LED candle that we owned, turned them on, and filled the table with flickering light.  It was lovely, and a beautifully relaxing way to celebrate the turning of the seasons towards spring.

candlemas-kids-he-boden

Not my kids, but you get the idea, right? photo by he-boden on flickr.com

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

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for your light in this world, and for the turning of the seasons.  Help us to see you in the returning light of spring.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Salt and Light: Matthew 5

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 how we are salt and light.  Help our time together to be holy time.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Matthew 5:13-16
Read the story of the Sermon on the Mount in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+5%3A13-16&version=ERV

Discuss as a family:
What is your favorite salty thing?
What is your favorite source of light?
How do you think we are salt of the earth (hint:salt is used for seasoning, preservation, and healing)?
How do you think we are the light of the world?

Song:  This Little Light of Mine
This song is probably quite familiar to you.  Did you know the words came right from the mouth of Jesus?  Let your lights shine as you sing this song together!

Activity:  Salt Dough
I thought it would be fun to make something out of salt cough to remind us that we are the salt of the earth.  The basic salt sough recipe is 2 parts table salt and 2 parts flour to 1 part warm water.  I found that my dough was a bit sticky, so I added more flour until the dough was soft and easy to handle.

My idea was to take the “salt” dough and make a heart-shaped tea “light” holder, like this: http://lifeasmom.com/diy-on-a-dime-salt-dough-candle-holders/

salt-dough-candle-holders

However, my kids had other, wonderful ideas.  They played with the dough for almost an hour, and then had me wrap it up tight in plastic wrap so they could use it again.  They have asked for it at least three other times this week, and it is a great distraction to play with at their little table in the kitchen while I have been making supper.  A devotion and a lifesaver, all in one!  No pictures this time, as they smashed their creations as fast as they made them.  I guess that’s the magic of the dough!

My kids and I have skin allergies, so I didn’t add color or scent to our dough.  You could most certainly do that, if you are so inclined.

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

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for making us salt and light in this world.  Help us to remember that you are the one who makes us truly shine.  In your name we pray, Amen.