September’s Story: Creation

In September in Sunday School, children will focus on the story of Creation. Did you know that there are actually two versions of the Creation story in Genesis? The first, from Genesis 1:1-2:3, describes an orderly progression of creation, with God speaking a word, and a magnificent world unfolding. God calls everything “good,” including humans, who are created in God’s image. Finally, God rests on the seventh day, setting it aside as holy. The second Creation story, from 2:4- 25, has a different order of creation, and spends more time on the creation of human beings, animated by the breath of God. In both stories, the focus is on a loving powerful God, who is intimately connected with creation. This month, find the Creation story in a storybook Bible, and read it with your child.

Children ask wonderful questions about God, and creation. Here is the advice I gave Sunday School teachers this month:

If kids ask hard questions, give thanks! It means they are engaging with the story! Here are thoughts from one lesson we drew from in crafting this (Sunday School) rotation: “People have always pondered the mystery of Creation. Why do I exist? What is the meaning of life?  How did the universe come into being? Children are especially full of questions. Why is the sky blue? Why did God make giraffes?  And a KEY question that nearly every child asks at some point…. If God made everything, who made God?  (Here’s a good answer for that question:  “Nobody.  That’s who God is – the One who started it all, the One who made you and me and everything! God just is. God has always been. God always will be.”)

We all have questions. We don’t always have answers.…. Accept that we won’t have answers to all of our questions, for God is bigger than we and God’s ways are not our ways. Embrace the mystery! Celebrate the wonder!” (from Kirk of Kildaire rotation lesson on Creation)

Here are some ideas from this month’s Spark Creation Family Page to explore with your child.

  • Family Conversations: What is your favorite thing that God created? Why do we like to create things? What do you like to create? What was the wind like today? Yesterday? How does our family help God take care of creation?
  • For families to do together: Draw pictures or take photos of beautiful things in God’s creation. Make a poster, bulletin board, or notebook of the images. Then have fun pretending that you are Adam/Eve and give creative “new names” to the beautiful creations! Or…Play Creation Charades. Each member of the family writes the name of something God created on a slip of paper. Mix the papers in a bowl. Each person picks a slip of paper and acts out the creation. Family members guess the item, and name two ways to care for it!
  • For younger kids: Go for a walk around your neighborhood and pick up trash to help care for God’s creation.
  • For more great ideas, click on the Creation Family Page link above.

Make the most of your time during worship, with your child.

  • Check out the worship bulletin notes in the margins. There is a Children’s Note each week.
  • Check in the worship bags for a Worship Word sheet for your child. Fill in the worship word of the day at the top and add the date and your child’s name. Below is space for your child to draw something he or she hears today in the sermon, in the music, or in a prayer.
  • Below the drawing space, your child is invited to make tally marks every time they hear the worship word.tally marks
  • On the back is a blank page for your child to make some worship art. Encourage them to draw something related to worship as a gift to God. I would love to see what they create, if they want to share!

Check out our website, and our Facebook page to learn about all our activities for Children and Families here. Start here.

 

The Word for August 31st: Renewed

This week in worship we consider the word RENEWED. The sermon passage is 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1:

16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

5For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Here are some ideas to explore with your child before, during, and after worship.

 

During worship

  • Check out the worship bulletin notes in the margins. There is a Children’s Note each week.
  • Check in the worship bags for a Worship Word sheet for your child. Fill in the worship word at the top (renewed) and add the date and your child’s name. Below is space for your child to draw something he or she hears today in the sermon, in the music, or in a prayer.
  • Below the drawing space, your child is invited to make tally marks every time they hear the worship word.tally marks
  • On the back is a blank page for your child to make some worship art. Encourage them to draw something related to worship as a gift to God. I would love to see what they create, if they want to share!

Before or after worship…..

  • We are taking a brief break from considering the Word of the day, to prepare for a focus on the monthly Sunday School words beginning in September. In the meantime, enjoy an article to read as we prepare to move back to our regular worship schedule.
  • Singing with your Child in the Sanctuary
  • Remember that Sunday School starts next week at 9:45 am. Have you registered your child yet?

Finally, check out our website, and our Facebook page to learn about all our activities for Children and Families here. Start here.

 

The Word for August 24th: Love

love-digital-graphics-template-flascreen-fullThis week in worship  we consider the word LOVE. The New Testament reading is from 1 Corinthians 13.

Here are some ideas to explore with your child before, during, and after worship.

 

During worship

  • Check out the worship bulletin notes in the margins. There is a Children’s Note each week.
  • Check in the worship bags for a Worship Word sheet for your child. Fill in the worship word at the top (love) and add the date and your child’s name. Below is space for your child to draw something he or she hears today in the sermon, in the music, or in a prayer.
  • Below the drawing space, your child is invited to make tally marks every time they hear the worship word.tally marks
  • On the back is a blank page for your child to make some worship art. Encourage them to draw something related to worship as a gift to God. I would love to see what they create, if they want to share!

Before or after worship…..

Finally, check out our website, and our Facebook page to learn about all our activities for Children and Families here. Start here.

 

The Word for August 17th: Body

body-digital-graphics-template-flascreen-fullThis week in worship  we consider the word BODY. The New Testament reading is from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.  All parts of the body of Christ are valuable and needed.

Here are some ideas to explore with your child before, during, and after worship.

During worship

  • Check out the worship bulletin notes in the margins. There is a Children’s Note each week.
  • Check in the worship bags for a Worship Word sheet for your child. Fill in the worship word at the top (body) and add the date and your child’s name. Below is space for your child to draw something he or she hears today in the sermon, in the music, or in a prayer.
  • Below the drawing space, your child is invited to make tally marks every time they hear the worship word.tally marks
  • On the back is a blank page for your child to make some worship art. Encourage them to draw something related to worship as a gift to God. I would love to see what they create, if they want to share!

Before or after worship…..

  • We are taking a brief break from considering the Word of the day, to prepare for a focus on the monthly Sunday School words beginning in September. In the meantime, enjoy an article about finding time for spiritual practices in your daily life as a family.
  • 6 Places Time for Spiritual Practice Might be Hiding

Finally, check out our website, and our Facebook page to learn about all our activities for Children and Families here. Start here.

 

The Word for August 10th: Gifts

giftThis week in worship  we consider the word GIFTS. The New Testament reading is from 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.  God gifts us with a variety of spiritual gifts, and all work together as part of the body of Christ.

Here are some ideas to explore with your child before, during, and after worship.

During worship

  • Check out the worship bulletin notes in the margins. There is a Children’s Note each week.
  • Check in the worship bags for a Worship Word sheet for your child. Fill in the worship word at the top (gifts) and add the date and your child’s name. Below is space for your child to draw something he or she hears today in the sermon, in the music, or in a prayer.
  • Below the drawing space, your child is invited to make tally marks every time they hear the worship word.tally marks
  • On the back is a blank page for your child to make some worship art. Encourage them to draw something related to worship as a gift to God. I would love to see what they create, if they want to share!

Before or after worship…..

  • We are taking a brief break from considering the Word of the day, to prepare for a focus on the monthly Sunday School words beginning in September. In the meantime, enjoy an article about reading the Bible with your children and teens, below.
  • Just Reading the Bible

Finally, check out our website, and our Facebook page to learn about all our activities for Children and Families here. Start here.

 

The Word for August 3rd: Sanctification

This week in worship  we consider the word SANCTIFICATION. The New Testament reading is from 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17.  Sanctification is the process of growing in grace, responding to God’s gift of salvation by following Jesus. It’s what we do, as we seek to respond to what God has already done in Christ.

Here are some ideas to explore with your child before, during, and after worship.

During worship

  • Check out the worship bulletin notes in the margins. There is a Children’s Note each week.
  • Check in the worship bags for a Worship Word sheet for your child. Fill in the worship word at the top (sanctification) and add the date and your child’s name. Below is space for your child to draw something he or she hears today in the sermon, in the music, or in a prayer.
  • Below the drawing space, your child is invited to make tally marks every time they hear the worship word.tally marks
  • On the back is a blank page for your child to make some worship art. Encourage them to draw something related to worship as a gift to God. I would love to see what they create, if they want to share!

Before or after worship…..

  • We will take a brief break from considering the Word of the day, to prepare for a focus on the monthly Sunday School words beginning in September. In the meantime, enjoy an archived article about young children and worship, below.
  • Worshiping with Children

Finally, check out our website, and our Facebook page to learn about all our activities for Children and Families here. Start here.

 

The Word for July 27: Salvation

salvationThis week in worship  we consider the word SALVATION. The New Testament reading is from Ephesians 2: 8-10:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God–not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”

Here are some ideas to explore with your child before, during, and after worship.

During worship

  • Check out the worship bulletin notes in the margins. There is a Children’s Note each week.
  • Check in the worship bags for a Worship Word sheet for your child. Fill in the worship word at the top (salvation) and add the date and your child’s name. Below is space for your child to draw something he or she hears today in the sermon, in the music, or in a prayer.
  • Below the drawing space, your child is invited to make tally marks every time they hear the worship word.tally marks
  • On the back is a blank page for your child to make some worship art. Encourage them to draw something related to worship as a gift to God. I would love to see what they create, if they want to share!

Before or after worship…..

  • It’s difficult to explain the meaning of salvation to a child. They can understand saving something: either because you want to use it later, or to save something or someone from harm. But to be able to translate that into what God has done for us in Christ Jesus, through his life and death and resurrection, is a deeply complex theological task. In our Reformed tradition we emphasize that salvation is something God does. God initiates faith in us, and we respond. Our salvation doesn’t depend on us making a decision to accept Jesus. Our salvation comes from God’s act in and through Jesus.
  • One of my colleagues likes to say this: “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less.” This is a worthwhile message to repeat to children.
  • This is a good word to explore by rereading both the Christmas story and the Easter story from a children’s Bible. Talking about God’s saving love for us in Jesus, without all the distractions of the holidays, can help new insights emerge in old familiar stories.

Finally, check out our website, and our Facebook page to learn about all our activities for Children and Families here. Start here.