Welcome to Our Site

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!

Friday, December 7, 2012

We're Moving!

We have a new website!  

www.faithformationjourneys.org

Come check it out, we will be posting all of our Children's Sermons, Weekly Devotions, Monthly Faith+Home connections and more on our new site from now on.  Thanks for all your support and encouragement, we look forward to continuing to provide tools and resources for our ministry together.


God's Love,

Leta, Brigette and Gus

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Children’s Sermon Dec. 9th 2012, Second Sunday of Advent Luke 1:68-79


Prepare: This series of children’s sermons in Advent will utilize your Advent wreath in your worship space. Each week the as the candle is lit you will explain what the candle means and then give them a take home. Please see the attached sheet.  The sheet has an ornament to print and the devotion to print on the back of it. The devotion will change each week. Have a copy made on card stock for each child and household.

Faith +Open: Gather the children to the Advent wreath. Say, Last week we talked about the Advent wreath, the color, the number of candles, and what Advent means. Who remembers why we light a candle each week? (Accept all answers) That’s right to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world and that Jesus will come again to us. Last week we lit the candle of Hope, this week we light the candle of Love. (Have an acolyte, or an older child light both candles.)

Faith +Connect: What is love to you? This week in our Bible stories we hear about how much God has loved us-all people from the very beginning of time. When you love someone, some place or something you want to be with that person, that place or that thing (like a doll or blanket) all the time don’t you? Well God also wants to be with us and everyone all the time. And God wants us-all of God’s people whom God loves-love to be together too. We hear in Luke 1 a blessing from Zechariah-John the Baptist’s father-to his son John, and the blessing is that John will tell the world about God’s love and that God will make all of us peaceful with one another.
How can we show our family, brothers, sister, neighbors God’s love and peace?
Each of you will get this candle ornament that you can take home and color blue (or purple if you do purple in Advent). You can hang it on your Christmas tree and each week you will get another one to add to the tree. So now you will have two. On the back is a Bible passage from Luke 1 to read, a prayer and a blessing. You can do this at dinner, in the car or before bed. Let’s practice it now!

Faith +Pray: God of Hope, you free us from whatever keeps us from you. Thank you for being with us always, amen.

Faith+Bless: Have everyone in the congregation turn to one another and say this blessing while making the sign of the cross on their forehead or hand: “Child of God you are free in God’s love.” 

Weekly Devotions - December 16, 2012 - 3rd Sunday of Advent

Here is the Weekly devotion for the 3rd Sunday in Advent - December 16, 2012

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!


Notice something different about on the back page? Dinner Devotions are now called "Faith on the Go!" It's the same great household Bible study, but formatted to work with "Faith Five" from Faith Inkubators.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Faith + Home Connection December 2012

Faith + Home Connection December 2012

Faith + Open: Gather the household around your Advent wreath, Nativity display or Christmas tree. Light a candle on the Advent Wreath, light up your Christmas tree or just light a candle that is near by. Read Luke 1: 39-55. Have someone be the narrator, Elizabeth  and Mary. The words of Mary in Luke 1: 46-55 are often referred to as the “Magnificat” or “Mary’s Song.” These words have been set to music by composers for hundreds of years. Listen to a child sing Marty Haugen’s version from Holden Evening Prayer on www.youtube.comhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMQYIdfj3sk&feature=related

Faith + Share: for children: Was there ever a time when you were so happy that you started singing a song? What song do you like to sing when you are happy? What is your favorite song from church or Sunday school? Make up a song about how much God loves you!
For youth/adults: Music is very much a part of our lives and can help us to express emotions, both joy and sorrow, that just mere word cannot. What kinds of music do like to listen to when you are happy? Feeling sorrow or a bit melancholy? Mary’s song was just not about happy emotion but about what God is doing in the world. It was an expression of justice, hope and solidarity. These words in the Magnificat are not only what God has done but what God will do in the future. When have you witnessed these actions of God in your own life or in the world? How are we to be a part of God’s actions of justice, hope and solidarity?

Faith + Blessing: After each meal time, bed time or other prayer close with the words “May our spirit rejoice in the God our Savior, amen.” You can also exchange the sign of the cross as you say these words in your household.

Faith +Serve: One of the ways that we can participate in God’s actions of justice, hope and solidarity in our community is to partner with other community organizations. Write and/or create Christmas cards to take to an assisted living facility. Maybe even do a little Christmas caroling while you are there dropping off the cards!

Faith + Close: God our Savior, you care so deeply for all of the world. Help our spirits to sing a song of hope, mercy and love to a world that is straining to hear it. We give you thanks for the great things you do for all of your people and pray for the hungry to be full, the lowly lifted up, for all to be looked upon with favor. May our spirit rejoice in the God our Savior, amen.

May be used with permission for nonprofit use or distribution. Intellectual property rites apply.

Children’s Sermon Dec. 2nd 2012, First Sunday of Advent Psalm 25


Prepare: This series of children’s sermons in Advent will utilize your Advent wreath in your worship space. Each week the as the candle is lit (ask an older child to help with lighting the wreath) you will explain what the candle means and then give them a take home devotion. Download it here! The idea is for the devotion to be copied on the back of the candle ornament to be used as a family devotion. Have a copy made on card stock for each child and/ or 
household.






 Gather the children to the Advent wreath. Say, “Does anyone know what day today is in the Church?” Accept all answers. Today is the first Sunday of Advent. We are gathered here at this wreath with candles on it, we call this an Advent Wreath, and we are going to light just one candle today. Each week of Advent we will light another candle until all of the candles are lit. How many candles do you see here? That’s right four! There are four weeks of Advent; four weeks until we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, Christmas. We light a candle to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world!

 Did you know that each candle has a name? This week’s candle’s name is the Hope candle. What is hope? Accept all answers. Hope is expecting something wonderful to happen. We know that something wonderful happened when Jesus was born and also when Jesus died and rose again. This wonderful thing is that God loves us so much and we expect God to be with us always because God promised this to us! Nothing keeps us from God and we are free to love God and everyone around us!
Each of you will get this candle ornament that you can take home and color blue (or purple if you do purple in Advent). You can hang it on your Christmas tree and each week you will get another one to add to the tree. On the back is a Bible passage to read, a prayer and a blessing. You can do this at dinner, in the car or before bed. Let’s practice it now!


God of Hope, you free us from whatever keeps us from you. Thank you for being with us always, amen.


Have everyone in the congregation turn to one another and say this blessing while making the sign of the cross on their forehead or hand: “You are free in God’s love.” 


As you distribute the ornaments with the devotion on the back, have them sing "This Little Light of Mine" as they go back to their seats. 

Weekly Devotions - December 9, 2012 - 2nd Sunday in Advent

Here is the Weekly devotion for the 2nd Sunday in Advent - December 9, 2012

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Notice something different about on the back page? Dinner Devotions are now called "Faith on the Go!" It's the same great household Bible study, but formatted to work with "Faith Five" from Faith Inkubators.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blessing of the Christmas Tree


Blessing of the Christmas Tree
Gather either around or near your tree!

Share where you see God at Advent & Christmas and where you need God at Advent & Christmas.




Read Scripture—Psalm 96:11-13
11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy13before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Talk: This tree is a blessing to our home. It reminds us of all that is beautiful, all that is filled with the gentleness and the promise of God. It stands in our midst as a tree of light that we might promise such beauty to one another and to our world. It stands like that tree of paradise that God made into the tree of life, the cross of Jesus. If you have young children or like good stories you may want to read “The Three Trees” by Angela Elwell Hunt
How can the Christmas tree remind you of the story of the birth of Jesus? How will it bless you in this Advent/Christmas season? How will you be a blessing to others?

Pray: Join in prayer together thanking God for where you see the Holy Spirit active and asking for help in where you need God this year.



Blessing: Loving God, we come with joy to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, whose path of justice and inclusivity lights a path for all who follow him. May this tree, arrayed in splendor, remind us of the life-giving cross of Christ, that we may always rejoice in the new life that shines in our hearts.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Now make the sign of the cross on one another and say, “Child of God, remember that you are a light of God’s love. Amen”

~LB
May use with permission for non profit only. Intellectual property rites apply. "Faith 5" icons from faithink.com used with permission. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Weekly Devotions - December 2, 2012 - 1st Sunday in Advent

Here is the Weekly devotion for the 1st Sunday in Advent - December 2, 2012

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!


Notice something different about on the back page?  Dinner Devotions are now called "Faith on the Go!"  It's the same great household Bible study, but formatted to work with "Faith Five" from Faith Inkubators.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Children’s Sermon for November 25, 2012, Christ the King, year B, John 18:33-37


Scripture Focus: John 18:33-37

Prepare:  Find a fancy crown, a crown of thorns, a wash basin, a towel, and a palm branch or palm cross (if you can find one).  Put everything but the fancy crown in a box or bag to keep it out of sight.

Faith+Open:  Have the fancy crown out as the children gather.  Ask them what the crown makes them think of. 

Faith+Share:  When I see a crown like this, I think of kings and queens, and knights and princesses, too!  And today is Christ the King Sunday, they day that we celebrate Christ as King of everything.  Except, do you think about Jesus when you see a crown like this?  Yeah, me neither.  What about this crown (pull the crown of thorns out)?  What story about Jesus does this make you think of?  Right!  This is a reminder of Good Friday, but that wasn’t really a great day for Jesus, was it?  I mean, he was arrested, he was yelled at and hurt, and things just got worse.  Not exactly the glorious kind of day that we usually hear about with kings.

What about this (pull out the palm branch or palm cross)?  Yeah, I think of Palm Sunday.  That was a much more kingly day for Jesus, don’t you think?  People where lining the street and cheering for him, and putting palm branches and cloaks on the ground in front of him.  He was riding on a donkey, though, not a big powerful horse like I would imagine in a “king” story.

Or what about these things (the basin and the towel)?  Remember when Jesus used things like these to wash his disciple’s feet?  Well that’s not a kingly thing at all!  They should have been washing his feet.

It seems like Jesus is not the kind of king that we typically think of.  He rides on a donkey, he washes other people’s feet, and he wears a really painful looking crown.  His kingdom isn’t really the same either.  In Jesus’ kingdom the special people are the people who serve others.  The important things in Jesus’ kingdom are not wealth and power, but love and mercy.  In that kingdom Jesus makes the perfect king.  Jesus is even the king over death!  Yes, he died on Good Friday, but he was raised to life on Easter!  So, on this Christ the King Sunday we celebrate the Kingdom of God, and the promise of mercy and love for all.

Faith+Prayer:  King Jesus, teach us to serve others as you served your disciples.  Teach us to be humble like you were when you rode a donkey.  Teach us to show love and mercy to all, in Jesus name we pray.  Amen

Faith+Blessing:  May God’s grace and mercy be with you all.

~GB

Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekly Devotion - November 25, 2012 - Christ the King - Lec 34B

Here is the Weekly devotion for Christ the King Sunday, Lectionary 34B - November 25, 2012

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Children’s Sermon for November 18, 2012, Pentecost 25, year B, Hebrews 10:11-25


Scripture Focus: Hebrews 10:11-25

Prepare:  Bring whatever you use to write down (or capture) important information, like your calendar, phone, tablet, etc.

Faith+Open:  As the children come forward, ask them if they have ever had to remember something really important.  Give the example of needing to know your address or phone number if there is an emergency.

Faith+Share:  Sometimes it really helps if you can write something down.  Some people write things that are really important on a calendar, or in a notebook (now give your example – I often tell people that they need to see me put it in my phone or it won’t happen.)

Today we hear a reading form a letter called Hebrews.  In the middle of that reading God says, “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”  Wow, it would be pretty hard to forget something if it was in your heart AND written on your mind, don’t you think?  That’s a whole lot better than making a note in my (your device here!).

But, when I read this, I thought, oh no!  I know that I don’t always do all things that I should do and that sometimes I do things that I should not do!  God’s going to write things in my mind that I know I don’t always do!  Then I kept reading, listen to this, then God said, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”  We are forgiven!

That doesn't mean we should just sit and enjoy being forgiven, though.  The end of the reading tells us that we should go out and encourage one another to love and do good deeds.  In other words, you are free from things that you did wrong, so stop worrying about what you did and go out to share God’s love and forgiveness with everyone you meet.

So, let’s do that!  On your way back to your seat, find someone and tell them that God loves them and forgives them.  You can even make the sign of the cross on their forehead when you do it.  Let’s start with all of you!  After I bless you head back and bless someone else.

Faith+Blessing: Bless each child  with the sign of the cross, saying, “God loves you and forgives your sins.”  You can have people help you if you have a large crowd of children.

~GB

Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Weekly Devotion - Novemebr 18, 2012 - 25th Sunday After Pentecost - Lec 33B

Here is the Weekly devotion for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary 33B - November 18, 2012

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanksgiving Table Faith 5 Devotion


Share this around your family table at Thanksgiving or anytime this month!

Meal Blessing: Come Lord Jesus be our Guest and let these gifts to us be blest. Thanks be to God who is our bread may all the world be clothed and fed.
While you eat…

Share your highs and lows from the year—what you are thankful for this year and what you pray for in your life or in the world.



Read Revelation 21:4-5 “God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Talk:   Families with young children: What is God’s promise in this verse? How does the promise of God’s love help us to live together as family?
Families with teens: What is the promise of this scripture? What do you imagine it would feel like to be where there is no more pain? How do we live this promise at school and home?
Families of Adult(s): What is the promise is this scripture? How do we live this promise in our daily lives? How does this verse connect with your highs/lows and/or lead you into the future?

 Pray: At the end of the meal join in prayer thanking God for your highs and praying for your lows.



Blessing: Share this blessing around the table or before people depart or go to bed. Mark the sign of the cross on their forehead or hand and say, “_________(name) may you know God’s love is for you in your blessings and in  your sorrows. Amen

Friday, November 2, 2012

Children’s Sermon for November 11, 2012 - Pentecost 24, year B, Mark 12:38-44


Scripture Focus: Mark 12:38-44

Prepare:  Get enough pennies for each child to have 2 pennies.

Faith+Open:  As you welcome the children, ask them to think about all the things that they and their household own.  Give them a minute to think and then suggest things that they may not have thought of, like the family car, their bed, the washing machine, etc.

Faith+Share:  Wow, we have a lot of stuff, don’t we!  That makes 
me feel pretty good, except . . .

Today we hear a story about Jesus people-watching outside the temple.  He sees some scribes and talks about how they seem to brag about how good they are.  They wear fancy clothes, get the best places to sit, they even show off when they pray!  Jesus says, that’s not so good, they shouldn’t be showing off like that.

Then, he sees a widow.  A widow was one of the poorest kinds of people in Jesus’ time.  Widows are women whose husbands have died.  It’s still really sad today, but in Jesus’ time there were laws that made it very difficult for a woman to live without a husband.  The widow walked up quietly and put two small coins into the offering (hold up two pennies).  The story says that both of her coins together were worth less than one of these pennies.  Then Jesus says the craziest thing.  He says that the widow gave more than anyone else!  Wait, she gave less than a penny, how can that be more than anyone else?

Jesus says that all the other people gave out of their abundance.  Or to put it another way, that the other people have lots of stuff, like you and me, and they gave just a very small part of what they had, but the widow put all that she had to live on in the offering, she kept nothing for herself.  That would be like you and I bringing all that stuff we talked about to church and putting it in the offering plate . . . which probably wouldn’t work since I’m pretty sure that a washing machine won’t fit in the offering plate.

I brought some more pennies, enough for each of you to have two, so twice as much as the widow had! (pass out the pennies)  As you take your two pennies, think about this being all that you have to live on, to buy food, to buy clothes, to pay for shelter.  Not much, is it?  Today, when we get to offering time, I want you to put one penny in the plate, and keep one penny as a reminder of the story.

Faith+Prayer:  Loving God, we thank you for the blessings that you have given us; food to eat, warm places to sleep, and people who love us.  Teach us to share the amazing gifts that you have given to us with those who need them. Amen

Faith+Blessing:  May the God of abundance give you all you need.

~GB

Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekly Devotion - November 11, 2012 - 24th Sunday after Pentecost - Lec 32B

Here is the Weekly devotion for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary 32B - November 11, 2012

Did you miss a week?  Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekly Devotion - All Saints Sunday, Year B

Here is the Weekly devotion for All Saints Sunday Year B - November 4, 2012

Did you miss a week?  Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

November Faith + Home Connection Mark 12: 28-34


Faith + Open: Gather the household members to a comfortable place in the home. Light a candle and open with prayer. For this prayer, have each person gathered offer a word or a phrase of how they have felt God’s presence this day/week. Have everyone say a loud “AMEN” together!


Faith + Share: This month we have two texts that are related. First read Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, then read Mark 12: 28-34.
For Children: Sometimes it feels like we have a lot of rules in our lives, doesn’t it? But Jesus tells people in the Bible that the most important thing to remember-better than any other rules-is to love God with your whole body and love everyone you meet! When do you like to talk to God in your day? How can you show love to the people in your family, neighborhood or school?
For Youth/Adults: Jesus is repeating in Mark 12 the words from Deut. 6. In Judaism Deut. 6 is call the “Shema” which means “to hear.” These verses in Deut. are so important that they are written down and kept in what is called a mezuzah-a small capsule type object that is fixed to doorways in Jewish homes. Mezuzahs are a constant reminder to love God with all of your existence all day long no matter where you are. What helps you to remember to have God first in your daily life? Prayer? Scriptures? How or when do you hear God in your daily life?
Faith + Blessing: Write down the words of Deut. 6: 4-5 on a large piece of paper and put it on your refrigerator or a prominent place in your home. When you pass by this verse take a moment and read it out loud to hear the words of the Shema.
Faith + Live: This month at LCM we will be putting together 50 Thanksgiving meals to show love for our neighbors who may be hungry. Let’s see if we can do more than 50! Look in the Master’s Voice for more information on this important way to love our neighbor! The Confirmation youth will be making 50 cards with words of God’s love and community to go into these baskets.
Faith + Close: Prayer: God creator, Jesus Christ redeemer and Holy Spirit our sustainer, we pray to love you with our whole lives and our whole selves. Focus us on our community and all of your people in the world so that all will hear your voice of love for your creation. Amen.