Summer Special: Faith Shapes and Devos to Go

During the summer months, many of our families are not physically present with us, or are present infrequently, due to sports, vacations, county fairs, etc. I wanted to provide a way to deepen faith on the go and still connect to worship when they could attend. The resources are in two parts: Faith Shapes and Devos to Go

Faith Shapes

Faith Shapes is a set of large play dough mat cards that we will use in worship. They include a symbol to fill in with dough, as well as a quote from a gospel lesson from the Sundays in Easter. We are returning to these lessons because the season of Pentecost focuses on growth in the Spirit. As Jesus tells his disciples:

The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

John 14:25 NRSV

I printed each symbol out one-sided on cardstock and then ran them through my Xyron Creative Station laminator two at a time with the symbols facing out. I wanted them to be sturdy for use over and over. I put them together in a booklet, punched a hole, and loosely attached to one another with a zip tie. In the end, they looked like this:

In worship, I provided Crayola Dough (which has a pleasant smell and is less crumbly than other brands) and medium-sized trays to try to keep the mess off of our fabric-covered pews.

Devos to Go

The second resource is Devos to Go. Its goal is to help children and youth (and adults!) to take their faith with them in the spirit of Deuteronomy :

You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 NRSV

Each card has a symbol which corresponds to the ones we are using in worship, an NRSV Bible story, questions to discuss, and a prayer.

I printed this resource two-sided on cardstock and ran them through my Xyron Creative Station laminator. I also put them together in a booklet, punched a hole with an awl, and bound them together with a short zip tie. I plan to give them out at the end of worship every week to those who don’t have them, and make more if needed. They will also receive a baggie of dough or two dry erase markers (whichever one their parents agree to, based on age and level of mess tolerance). I sent them on vacation with my own children, and gave them dry erase markers for the car, and dough for outside on the deck at their grandparents’ house. Here’s what this resource looks like:

Ready to try it out for yourself and your family? You can find both resources here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/faith-shapes-and-devos-to-go-summer-2019.pdf They are intertwined to save paper. God bless your faith time, both gathered and scattered, this summer!

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!