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We want to communicate with you in all kinds of ways and so our postings will be many and varied! We do offer a weekly children's sermon and monthly Time Together devotional on a regular basis. You can find those through the archives as well as the Children's Sermons and Resources Tabs. We hope you will leave your comments and contribute to the networking of this site!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Faith+Share Monthly: October



Scripture Focus: Matthew 22: 34-46

Faith+Open: Begin your family/household devotion time by lighting a candle and prayer. Read Psalm 1: 2 “But their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.” God’s law is love! Write on a piece of paper: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Place this on your mirror or on your refrigerator or anywhere where you will see it a few time a day to remind you that God is love, God loves you and we love God!

Faith+Share: Read Matthew 22: 34-46: This passage has two parts to it. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 to the lawyer who asks what the greatest commandment is and then Jesus asks a question back: Who is the Messiah? Jewish tradition held that the messiah would be a descendant of David the response of “son of David” would make sense. Jesus does come from the lineage of David yet is more than just “son of David.” Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1 to explain that he is from the Davidic line but is the Messiah, Son of God. If Jesus were David’s son then David would not call Jesus “Lord” since one did not call a son a greater title than oneself. But Jesus, as the long awaited Messiah, is not David’s son but Son of God. This quieted all the questions of Jesus for the time being! Jesus used the question from the lawyer to not only explain the law but to proclaim the gospel! Jesus is the Messiah from God for the salvation of all!

Adults: Jesus proclaims that the most important facet of the law is that it orients our whole live to God. Questions are a good thing as they deepen our understanding and relationship with God. Jesus’ answer to the lawyer in verses37-39 begs us to ponder what does it mean to love God “whole-lifedly”? To use verses 41-46 to ask this: How do we love God so that everyone we meet knows whom Jesus Christ the Messiah is for us and in our lives? Loving God and loving the neighbor are not equal things but our love for God should overflow to the love of our neighbor. How can we respond when people ask us questions about our belief in God?

Children: Jesus tells us in this story that people will try to ask you hard questions about God but that the most important thing to remember is to love God with your whole self. When you sing, dance, play with a friend, read a story or anything else you can love God! What else can you do everyday that shows you love God? (Pray, share with a friend, tell a friend about Jesus, send a card to someone who is sick, etc.) Jesus wants us to remember that God loves all of us the same and we should love all people as much as we love ourselves, our brothers or sisters and mom and dad.

Faith+Serve: Get a list of the people from your church whom cannot come to church because of ill health or other reasons. (Contact your pastor or someone else who may know this information.) Make (or buy if you want!) cards that tell them that God loves them and so do you! You could also make extra cards and give them out anonymously (or put your name on them, it’s up to you!) to neighbors in your neighborhood. Find out who in your neighborhood could really use some help with some outdoor work (raking leaves or pulling weeds) or other tasks and volunteer to do so. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Children's Sermon Pentecost 16A Theme: Living Out Grace

This children's sermon based on Philippians 2 & 3 can be adapted and used for other texts that focus in on grace as a gift and how that is lived out. For Philippians 2 it focuses on the Christ hymn and the image of Christ come down to us. On Philippians 3 it focuses on grace is a gift and that we have the 'prize' of grace and can live that out. 

 The original concept is adapted from a children's sermon by Pastor Michael Stadtmueller. 

Preparation: A wrapped gift box where you can take off the lid, bread inside the box, a ladder (you could also place the gift box on the altar and 'pretend' a ladder)

Faith+Gather: Have the ladder up front with the gift box on top. Gather the children near the ladder, but in a safe sitting position (especially if your ladder is very tall!)
"Look up there at the gift on top of the ladder. We hear a lot about grace in our Bible and one way to think about grace is as a gift. So I was thinking that sometimes we spend a lot of time thinking about how to get that gift."
Walk over to ladder and get ready to climb.
Ask the children, "What are things that you do to please or serve others?" Get some ideas from the kids or supply your own if they are quiet. Examples could be that we listen to our parents, then climb up one rung. For each example you say, climb another rung but stop before you are at the top.
"So we can do all these things and they are good and look I am getting closer to the prize. But you know what, then other things happen. Like maybe I hurt my brother or sister (go down one rung) or I didn't listen when my parents asked me to do something (go down another rung). Give a few examples that put you back on the floor.
"So now, it's pretty hard to get to the top." 

Faith+Share: "But you know, that is not grace. Grace really is a gift. So we don't really have to go get the prize in order to have grace in our lives." Climb the ladder, get the gift and bring it down to the center of the children.

"See God's grace is not something we have to get on our own. It comes to us. God brings grace to us because it really is a free gift. And we have this gift with us and then we can go out and share it with others and live in service because we know how much we are loved by God."

Open the box and take out the bread. "We know that Jesus told us to remember him through eating bread. And we eat bread at communion. And we can have a taste now (pass around bread). We know that Jesus is with us and we have this prize, this gift of grace that gives us the love and the will to go out and live our lives in grace." 
Place the gift box on the altar as a reminder for everyone during communion.

Faith+Prayer: God, thank you for the gift of grace and the gift Jesus. We are grateful that you are with us always. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Take a big piece of bread and go share with others. Or make sign of cross saying, "God in my head, God in my heart, God on my left, God on my right."

~LB

Friday, September 23, 2011

Children Sermon Pentecost 15A: Matthew 21:23-32

Faith+Open: Gather the children. If they have not heard the gospel story yet, recap it. If they have remind them of what was said along the lines that a father had two children and one said he would do something and didn't and the other said he wouldn't but did.

Faith+Share: Say, "Hhhhmmm... this sounds familiar to me! I think I hear this at home a lot from my own two kids. But you know, I can remember times that I have said I would do something for another person and then either forgot or got busy and didn't do it. One time I told my son that I would help him out by sewing his cub scout badge onto his uniform shirt and then it was time for the meeting and guess what, I hadn't done it yet. Or another time, I told a friend I would pray for her when I got him but then I just plain forgot. Has this ever happened to you? Where you said you would do something but then didn't do it?" Take some answers.
"I am thinking that one of the things that Jesus wants us to know is that what we say AND what we do matter. It is another way for us to think about being in service to one another. Once my daughter told me she WAS NOT going to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and I was pretty tired and didn't want to fight with her so I sighed and walked away. But then I came upstairs and she had done what I had asked. That meant a lot to me. It was a way for her to help me out in a busy day."

Now get quiet and whisper and make a deal out of this being a 'secret surprise"
"Let's think of some kind of act of service you can do at home for someone you live with. Any ideas?"
Get their ideas and then challenge them to go home and do a mystery act of service for someone in their family.

An extra idea would be to have little "mystery service" cards to hand out to them so they could leave the card wherever they had helped out.

Faith+Prayer: God, help us to remember to talk about you and be in service to others, showing them our love and your love. Amen

Faith+Blessing: God in my head, God in my heart, God on my left, God on my right Amen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: My Spiritual Journey

Title: The Dalai Lama: My Spiritual Journey... Personal Reflections, Teachings, and Talks
Compiled by Sofia Stril-Rever
Translated by Charlotte Mandell
Stars: **** (4/5)

This book sets out to convey to us not only how the Dalai Lama came to be in his current position but also the culture, setting, history, and spirituality of the Tibetan people. There has been more recently activity in the United States surrounding the plight of the Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama himself. Krista Tippet through the On Being program has interviewed him as a part of panel and go on to talk with his translator as well contributing to the recent buzz and important education about this man, his role in politics and spirituality, and the message of peace from his part of the world to ours.

This account of the Dalai Lama and the history of Tibet is an important one for westerners to hear. So often that part of the world seems far away and foreign to us and yet we know that we are more connected globally than ever before. The way this book is written with speeches and commentary from the Dalai Lama himself and then background information provided by the compiler makes this a book that is easily accessible to understand, follow the complications of the culture and the history, and open up the mind to seeing how life and spirituality are not only a part of life for Tibetans but how we can learn from their experiences, history, and spirituality.

For those working in ministry settings this is a good book to read to take a closer look through quick read at Buddhism and how it is lived out on the political scene and in daily life. This book offers a way for minds to be broaden and for hearts to be open to seeing how God works across the globe. It is also a way for us to engage in conversation and deeper thought about how we are interconnected as well as what role true peace takes in our world and what it looks like. The Dalai Lama's continued non violent stance, openness to compromise and persistent efforts on behalf of his people is to be commended and upheld. He sees every human being, even those who are directly persecuting him and subjecting his people to terror, with dignity and respect. He is able to see multiple points of few and because he is rooted in a spirituality that lets him know his enemies do not hold power over the core of his humanity or the roots of his spirituality.

Faith+Share Discussion Points/Ideas with Adults/Youth:

Listen to the On Being podcast mentioned above or read the blog in regards to the Dalai Lama thoughts on happiness.

How does the story of how the Dalai Lama was chosen impact you?

The Dalai begins this book with stating that he is 'just a human being'. What does this mean for a man of power and leadership to start out by stating he is just a human? Does that effect how you see yourself in the global community? How?

John 3:16-17 says that God loves the world and came for the world not so people would be condemned, but saved. How does this perspective in Christianity relate to the many faiths, including Buddhism, that are known throughout the world? How do we see God globally?

The people of Tibet have had a long, and recent, struggle with freedom, equality, and survival. How does hearing their story through the Dalai Lama impact your understanding of the Tibetan people and their world?

Do we have responsibility to respond to those who are persecuted or suffering or crying out for freedom in other parts of the world? If we do, what shape does that responsibility take?

Faith+Prayer:
God, we know you are a God who loves the world. Help us to see the world through your eyes and to use our minds, feelings, prayers, and hands to be in service to the people and the world that you love.
Amen

Other books that might interest you: 
Embracing the World: Praying for Justice and Peace by Jane Venard
Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hahn
Martin Luther and Buddhism by Paul S. Chung




Thursday, September 15, 2011

Children Sermon Matthew 20:1-16

Summary: The parable of the labors in the field could be summed up by saying "that's not fair," a familiar phrase in households with children. They will understand the idea of something not being fair so we emphasize living in God's grace means that mercy trumps being fair in the kingdom of God. 

Preparation: a small something to give away (i.e., candy, small crosses, pencils)

Faith+Open: Gather the children with you. Have the line up from oldest to youngest (or tallest to shortest if that is easier. You can also do a just a few kids if you have too many to do it with all of them) and spend some time examining them in this order making sure it's right.

Faith+Share: "Let's see here. We have the oldest/tallest here at this end of the line and the youngest/shortest here at this end of the line. I have here these (candy or small crosses or some small giveaway) to give out but who should go first?" If you don't get kids vying to go first right away then prompt them a bit by asking should oldest go first? Or tallest? Or those who got up her first?, etc.

"Do you have line leaders at school? And what is the line leaders job? So they go first for the day? Hhmmm. Well if this is my line leader then it means the kid at the very end is very last right?" (You may want to have the kids sit at this point, but stay in their line)

"Well we heard/will hear this gospel story from Jesus that there were workers in a field and some worked from the beginning of the day and some didn't work until the end of the day but they all got paid the same. Do you know what the workers who got their first said? Yep, they said, 'That's not Fair!' we worked longer and harder and we should get more. But they were given what they were promised, it was just the same as what the workers who came later were promised. Have you ever had something be not fair? So we know what it feels like think that we didn't get treated the same. BUT Jesus tells this story to teach us about GRACE. See the workers who were hired later still had families to bring home food to and the landowner did not want anyone to go hungry so they were all paid the same. Jesus says that God is like this. God gives us what we need and loves us all so much that we don't get what we deserve, we get GRACE. Jesus said the last will be first and the first last! This might sound unfair to let the last go first but with God we are all included and we are all a part of God's GRACE and we are all God's Children."
"We are going to say a prayer of thanks and then I will hand these out. Can you guess which way I will hand them out? The last shall be first!"

Faith+Prayer: God, you give us grace and love. Thank you for your love for us and for all people. Help us to remember that no matter whether we are first or last we are your children. Amen

~LB

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Philippians Children's Sermon Series #4: Phil 4:1-9

Philippians Children's Sermon Series
Series Note: In the lectionary year A Pentecost 14 through 17 we read through Philippians as the Epistle each week. The letters of Paul can have challenging content to teach to children (adults too!). We have written a children's sermon series based on the scripture verses in Philippians. You can use these as a series or on their own.  The overarching theme is focused on how we are those who walk with and live as servants of Jesus and yet Rejoice that God is with us in all of our daily living as we strive to "let our gentleness be known and remember the Lord is near" (Phil 4:5 paraphrase). 

Preparation: You could use instruments and noisemakers if you choose for this children's sermon. Streamers and ribbons would also make it fun! If you are going to have the whole congregation join in the blessing time then have it printed in the bulletin. 


Faith+Open: Gather the children. Recap what we have been learning in Philippians or sum up Philippians that Paul is in jail and writing to his friends reminding them to tell the story of Jesus, serve others, be kind to each other, and to remember that God is with them all the time.
Say, "Paul says in Philippians chapter 4 to REJOICE all the time! He is in jail and still rejoicing that God is with him and that he knows that God loves him and all of us. We can rejoice and celebrate that this story of Jesus is about us and for us." 

Faith+Share: "What are ways that we rejoice?" "Yes we can make some noise when we rejoice can't we?" I am going to ask you some questions about when we can rejoice and I want you to yell loud the word REJOICE (and shake/play these instruments if you are using them) after each question. Let's practice!"
"Let's get the congregation to join us!" (practice yelling rejoice and making noise)

God is with us...REJOICE!
All the time....REJOICE!
When we are in worship...  REJOICE!
When we are at play...  REJOICE!
When we are happy...  REJOICE!
When we are worried...REJOICE!
When we are at work... REJOICE!
When we pray....REJOICE!
When we tell the story...REJOICE!
When we are lost....REJOICE!
We know God is with us. REJOICE!
All of the time. REJOICE!
We know God loves us....REJOICE!
All of the time...REJOICE!

"Do you remember the blessing we have been saying? Let's bless the whole congregation. We are going to turn towards them and say the blessing together." Gather kids up so that they are facing the congregation to give them the blessing."

Faith+Blessing: 
Say together the words from Philippians 4:5 (NRSV) while doing the following actions: 

Let your gentleness (flat hands palms facing body circle each other)  be known to everyone (open hands and arms out). The Lord is near (hands to heart)***see video below

video


Extended Ideas: 
Teach the song "Rejoice in the Lord Always and Again I say Rejoice." 
Have streamers and ribbons for the kids to wave in the air (or make them if you have a children's church)
Send kids out into the congregation with their instruments and noisemakers to do the litany and have them stay there for the blessing. 
Use the blessing as the benediction this week.

~LB&BW


Philippians Children's Sermon Series #3: Phil. 3:4b-14

Philippians Children's Sermon Series


Series Note: In the lectionary year A Pentecost 14 through 17 we read through Philippians as the Epistle each week. The letters of Paul can have challenging content to teach to children (adults too!). We have written a children's sermon series based on the scripture verses in Philippians. You can use these as a series or on their own.  The overarching theme is focused on how we are those who walk with and live as servants of Jesus and yet Rejoice that God is with us in all of our daily living as we strive to "let our gentleness be known and remember the Lord is near" (Phil 4:5 paraphrase).




Preparation: You will need a children's bible. (Spark Storybook Bible is recommended because it has a nice paraphrase of Philippians)


Faith+Open: Gather children. "Do you remember that if you were hear last week you took some stars home?" Where did you put them?" Get answers. "I hope the stars reminded you that God is with you in all kinds of places. 

Faith+Share: "I want to read you more about the story of Paul who is the one who was writing this letter to the Philippians. While I read notice where Paul is writing from."
Read from the Spark Bible or other children's Bible. The main ideas is to convey that Paul is in jail, he is scared and sad, his friends are worried about him but he even while he is suffering he knows that God is with him.

After you read say, "Where was Paul?  Yes, even though he is in jail Paul still knows that God is with him. He knows that God is with him and his friends as he prays for them. He is trusting God even when it's really hard.  How many different places can you think of that God is with us?"
Refer to the places the kids talked about in opening

"God is with us in all these places and God is with us when we are sad or scared and when we are joyful or happy. We also know that we can be kind and gentle with our friends and family and neighbors because then they know that they are loved by us and by God. That is why we are learning this blessing and doing it each week. It helps to remind us that God is with us, always near to us and that we can live together in community and be gentle with one another."

"Let's say it together..."

Faith+Blessing: 
Say together the words from Philippians 4:5 (NRSV) while doing the following actions:

Let your gentleness (flat hands palms facing body circle each other)  be known to everyone (open hands and arms out). The Lord is near (hands to heart)***See video below

video


Extended Ideas:
Make a mural of drawings of all the places God is with us.


~LB&BW

Philippians Children's Sermon Series #2 Phil. 2:1-13

Philippians Children's Sermon Series
Series Note: In the lectionary year A Pentecost 14 through 17 we read through Philippians as the Epistle each week. The letters of Paul can have challenging content to teach to children (adults too!). We have written a children's sermon series based on the scripture verses in Philippians. You can use these as a series or on their own.  The overarching theme is focused on how we are those who walk with and live as servants of Jesus and yet Rejoice that God is with us in all of our daily living as we strive to "let our gentleness be known and remember the Lord is near" (Phil 4:5 paraphrase). 

Preparation:
1. Find a star pattern, write or type the Christ hymn or the Phil 2:1-13 scripture reference, and make enough stars either for the children OR for the whole congregation. You can google star patterns or just draw one and photocopy and cut out for enough copies. If you plan ahead you can get some older kids to cut these out for you!
2. Get baskets to put the stars in.
3. Recruit 2 (or more) kids to hold the baskets during communion. YOu can also use a stand if that works better. These kids will hand out the stars after people have taken common (or when it works best for you in your worship service)
4. Suggested hymn to sing could be "This Little Light of Mine"

Faith+Open: Gather children. "I want to read to you the Christ Hymn that we hear/heard today in Philippians. Listen as I read this because it is telling you a story." Read or paraphrase verses 5-11. For ideas for actions that can go along with it go to this link at Worshiping with Children.

Faith+Share: "Paul is telling the story of Jesus to the Philippians to help them remember how to tell the story of Jesus to others. What did you hear in this story?" (get at the idea that Jesus came to be with us on earth and that Jesus is also our Lord to be praised)
"How do we tell the story of Jesus?" Get some ideas. Then say, "When we are in worship telling the story of Jesus and our faith in our hymns and prayers and in communion and in listening to the world of God." Get specific, talk about a certain hymn you are singing that day or tie in the actions of communion as a way that we tell the story of Jesus. If you have a baptism today that is a good example as well.

"Paul says that God is at work in YOU. This means that we are a part of telling the story and showing the story of Jesus. God is work in us and we then are like lights for the world. I have these paper stars here because they remind me of how we try to be lights for God in the world which means we can be blessings to other people and show them Christ. On each star is the Christ Hymn (or the scripture reference) on one side and the other side is blank. I would like you each to have a star and do two things. First, while you are listening to the sermon draw or write a way that you can be a blessing and shine this week. Maybe you can help someone at home or a neighbor. Maybe you can visit someone who is lonely or sick. Maybe you can be nice to someone at school that it's hard to be nice to. Second I want you to take this star home and put it where you can remember not only to shine for Christ but that Christ is with you all the time. You can put in on your bathroom mirror or fridge or bulletin boat or in your backpack." 

"In fact, I think everyone can do this during the week. So you get your stars now, but grown ups... (address the congregation) you can have a star too. There will be a basket of stars being held for you to pick up after you take communion. Think about how you are going to shine Christ's light this week and how you are going to remember God is with you. You can put your star on your mirror or fridge or hang in your car or on your bike, wherever you will see it this week." 


"Let's say our blessing together now. I invite everyone to join us." (you may need to teach if you have only done this once or if you are using this outside of the series)

Faith+Blessing: 
Say together the words from Philippians 4:5 (NRSV) while doing the following actions:

Let your gentleness (flat hands palms facing body circle each other)  be known to everyone (open hands and arms out). The Lord is near (hands to heart) **See video below

video


Extended Ideas:
Decorate the stars
Have kids write the verse on the stars
Have an area for people to put their stars in the church--perhaps they make one to take home and one to keep at church.

~LB&BW

Philippians Children Sermon Series #1 Phil. 1:21-20

Philippians Children's Sermon Series
Series Note: In the lectionary year A Pentecost 14 through 17 we read through Philippians as the Epistle each week. The letters of Paul can have challenging content to teach to children (adults too!). We have written a children's sermon series based on the scripture verses in Philippians. You can use these as a series or on their own.  The overarching theme is focused on how we are those who walk with and live as servants of Jesus and yet rejoice that God is with us in all of our daily living as we strive to "let our gentleness be known and remember the Lord is near" (Phil 4:5 paraphrase). 

Preparation: In your context think about or find out what the children or youth specifically or the church together are doing as service in the community or the world. For example, the children's offering in our congregation is currently going to the Kid's Cafe portion of our local food bank. Then find another older youth or adult who is willing to be person number 2. Work together to think of three ways you can give as examples of being in service to the community, family, and/or neighbors. 


Faith+Open: Gather the children with you. "I heard in your Sunday school (or in our church or in our community) we are raising money for (or collecting) __________" So you know I think that is pretty cool--Since I heard you are doing that, I decided I could_______________ (fill in what you are going to do, either contribute or better yet, that it made you think of something you can do in your family or neighborhood).

Faith+Share: Person 2 interrupts (after you have said what you are going to do) "Wow, I think that is a fabulous idea! You know, hearing about how the kids/the church are______________ and that you are __________ I think I can help with those things too but I also know that ________________ needs______________.

Say, "Great idea. That is pretty neat how we have inspired to work together where we are and where we can to be in service in Jesus' name. It reminds of our reading from Philippians today where Paul says, 'Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for faith of the gospel.'" (NRSV Phil 1:27--feel free to paraphrase or summarize). We are serving in the Holy Spirit together even when we are doing different things. AND God is with us in our serving and in our daily struggles and in our daily joys.

"I want to teach you a blessing from Philippians that we are going to use for the next few weeks as we read from Philippians in worship. This blessing is on that reminds us how to serve one another with kindness and reminds us that God is with us always."  (Teach following blessing)

Faith+Blessing: 
Say together the words from Philippians 4:5 (NRSV) while doing the following actions: Let your gentleness (flat hands palms facing body circle each other)  be known to everyone (open hands and arms out). The Lord is near (hands to heart) ***See video below
video


~LB&BW

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Children's Sermon Pentecost 13A: Matthew 18:21-35


Scripture: Matthew 18-21-35
Faith + Open: Welcome the children to children’s time. Begin by asking them how school is going and about their friends.

Faith + Share: (If you have an object that perhaps was damaged by a friend or sibling bring it in to show the children. You can use it to talk about how it reminds you that your relationship with your friend/sibling is more important than the object.) 
Say: “you know one time my friend/sibling broke something that was mine. I really liked this thing and I was so mad when I found out that they broke it! I didn’t want to talk to that person for a really long time. They said that they were sorry, but I didn’t believe them. I even told them back “I forgive you” but I didn’t really mean it. I wanted them to be sad like I was and I even thought about breaking something of theirs! Has that ever happened to you where you were that mad at someone who broke or took something that was yours? Well, even though I felt that way for a while, I began to be sad that I was having fun with my friend anymore. They knew that I was still mad so they did not play with me at school or after school. I wanted to be friends again so I had to really mean the words “I forgive you” and act like a friend again. This is so hard isn’t it?? But have you ever accidently broken a toy of a friend or sibling? Yeah, I have too, you feel really bad don’t you and the only thing you can say is “I’m sorry.” We feel really good when that friend forgives us and still wants to play with us though, right! Right!

God loves us very much and in our Bible story today Jesus says that we are to forgive people over and over to be a good friend and show God’s love to them. God forgives us over and over and over and over….and so we should love our friends and everyone we meet that much too!" (You may need or want to say at this point that if someone is hurting you that you, forgiving them doesn’t mean you have to hang out with them and let them hurt you again.)

When we forgive, we are praying that we want everyone to be the kind of friend who helps each other and not hurt each other. This is very hard and we have to ask God to help us every day! Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s prayer which talks about forgiveness for this reason! We will mess up, which is why we ask God and our friends to forgive us! God does not want us to be hurt or to hurt anyone so we have to talk to each other to get along! This is why learning the Lord’s Prayer can help us with this.

Faith + Prayer:  Lead the children in a short prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer:
Dear forgiving God, we thank you that you love and forgive us when we mess up. Please help us to be kind to one another too! Thank you for sending Jesus to show us how to love people. Jesus taught us to pray…Lord’s Prayer

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blessings of the Bibles

Many of you may be giving Bibles soon or sometime this year to children or youth or adults! Here is a resource to help you out with Blessings the Bibles in worship


Blessing of the Bibles

This blessing was used at Bethel Lutheran Church in Aurora, CO. The congregation gave each family in their school a Spark Story Bible (Augsburg Fortress) as a beginning of the year gift. We had the church council and the school board present the Bibles at offering time and place them by the large cross that was present. An alternate idea is to place them on or by the altar. The pastor and the preschool director lead the congregation in the blessing that occurred after the offering time. A hand written card from families in the church highlighting their favorite Bible passage/story was placed in each Bible that the families received. Please feel free to use and modify to fit your context!

Invite Congregation to read the following blessing of the Bibles:
L: God from the beginning your Word spoke light into darkness and order into chaos. Your Word was on the hearts and doorposts of the Israelite people. You spoke through the prophets so that the Israelite people would remain faithful. You spoke loudest in the coming of your Son Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke words of healing, mercy and love. In his death on a cross he spoke without words but with actions. Then Paul, Peter and all of the apostles preached, wrote and acted on this Word of God for the sake of the entire world.

C: Called through our baptism to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, we now send these Bibles, the Word of God in scripture, out to the homes of the families of Bethel Christian School. We pray that the Word of God will bless their homes, families and communities. May these Bibles sow the seeds of God’s love and grace for all of God’s people and grow the kingdom of God.  Amen