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!

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Jesus Breathes the Spirit: John 20:19-31

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 breathed the Spirit onto his disciples.  Help our time together to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  John 20:19-31
Read the story of 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 Whirl Story Bible for our devotion.  The story was called “Thomas Wonders.”  You can purchase your own copy here:  http://store.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/19372/Whirl-Story-Bible

Discuss as a family:

Why were the disciples afraid at the beginning of the story?

What did Jesus say to them?

What did the disciples receive when Jesus breathed on them?

What do you think about Thomas?  Would you like to see Jesus for yourself?

Song:  Peace Be With You

During the season of Easter, we sing this simple little song as we pass the peace to remind ourselves of this story.  You can do it too!

Activity:  Breathe the Spirit
I thought it would be fun to practice breathing the Spirit onto one another, so we used that thought to play a game.  Each family member got a party horn (pictured below).  We took turns being a disciple or Jesus.  The disciple closed their eyes and the person secretly chosen to be Jesus breathed the Spirit onto the disciple through the party horn.  The disciple then had to guess who had done the breathing.  Then, the person who had been Jesus closed their eyes as a disciple, and someone else took a turn.  It was a simple game, but girls are still playing it a few days later.  Amazing how a simple idea can get your family to reenact our stories of faith!

IMG_20170501_163622755

 

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 appearing to your disciples, and for giving them peace and the Spirit.  Send your Holy Spirit to us, that we may spread your peace to the world.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Jesus Gives Thomas Peace: John 20:24-29

Do you ever need a little peace in your life?  Our household needs peace so badly at times, that we named our new puppy “Freddie,” from “Fred,” the Norwegian word for peace.  Here is a little activity to practice peace together as a family.  Enjoy feeding your family’s faith this week!

Peace Sign taped

Supplies:  God Time pillows, candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), My First Hands-On Bible or a family Bible with this story, access to the internet, cardstock, crayons or markers, scissors.

Gather:  We like to sit in a circle on the floor for God Time.  Finding some pillows or cushions to sit on makes it even more comfortable.  My kids like to use pillow pets for this purpose!  Once you are in a circle, light a candle (or turn on a battery-operated one; we use an LED tea light in a pretty metal container).

Story:  Read the story “Thomas Doubts Jesus” from John 20 in My First Hands On Bible, your Bible, or you can check out this version: John 20:24-29

Discuss: Who said that they had seen Jesus?  Did Thomas believe this?  Why or why not?  What did he want to do so that he could believe?  What is the first thing that Jesus says to Thomas?  What does Thomas say about Jesus’ appearance?  How does Jesus respond?  Do you share the peace in your church?  Did you know that this practice comes from this story in the Bible?

Song:   Peace Be with You: You can find the tune and lyrics here: https://youtu.be/K3mm0VTfDdI

I wrote this song for the parish I serve.  The first part is call and response, with one group singing “Peace be with you” and the second group responding “And also with you.”  The second part is sung in unison.  It is easy to catch on to, and we have used it as the “peace” during church.

Activity:  For our activity this week, we made a family peace sign to show how we all contribute to the peace of the household.  There are five people in my family, so I cut out the pieces like this:

Peace sign pieces

Each person colored one piece, and then we taped it together, like this:

Peace Sign taped

My daughter was so excited about it, she had me hang it from the ceiling fan in her room:

Peace Sign finished product

If you have too many or too few people in your family to easily divide it, cut out a peace sign and work on coloring it all together, or pass it around so each person can color a little bit of it.  Not very confident with free-hand drawing?  Here is a website where you can find a peace sign coloring page:  http://www.hmcoloringpages.com/free-printable-coloring-pages/peace-sign/

Prayer:  (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability) Dear Jesus, we thank you for being the source of our peace.  Help us to be peaceful with one another, that we may spread your peace to all of the world.  In your name we pray, Amen.