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!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekly Devotions for Easter 6B

Here is the Weekly devotion for Easter 6B - May 13, 2012.

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

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Faith +Time for Families May 2012

Faith + Home Connection 
May 2012

Faith + Open: Gather the members of your household to a comfortable place in the home. For this month’s devotion you may want to find some branches with buds to have present. Or if that is not possible find some pictures of branches with buds or fruit; this is particularly helpful if there are young children present. Light a candle and pray: Dear God, with the lighting of this candle we remember that you are always present. May our lives be a light to your world. Amen
Faith + Share: Read John 15: 1-8.  What images jump out at you or capture your imagination?
Adults: Jesus is talking to the disciples here in John. He is clearly stating that it is God alone that makes our actions “fruitful” and life giving. Yet, there are images here of being pruned and even cast off. Jesus knows that there are times when we attempt to go it alone in this life but we need to remember that it is our life in God that gives us direction and allows us to fully blossom into all that God intends us to be. When we blossom for God we are showing the world how the love of God through Jesus Christ makes a difference in our lives and the lives of all in the world. Are there times in your life that you have felt cut off? Or perhaps times when you know that God was pruning you to be “fruitful”? When do you feel most “fruitful”? How will people around you know that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Children: Jesus tells us that we are a part of him and that he is with us always! We can show all of our friends, family and neighbors how much we love Jesus with how we treat them. When Jesus is in our hearts we can do anything! How can we show people that we love Jesus? Did you know that just as plants grow, change and some even grow fruit, you too will grow and change! No matter how big or little you are you have something special (gifts from God) to give to people! What are you good at?

Faith + Blessing: The metaphor of growing and bearing fruit can be talked about as you plant some seeds, a starter in a garden or a planter. Any plant will do, but maybe strawberries or something that provides fruit would be fun! Decorate a planter as a family with symbols of growth-vines, fruit, trees, flowers-and then as your plant grows you can talk about how we too grow in God!
Daily Blessing: Remind each other as you depart for school or work of being in Jesus with the simple words, “bear much fruit.”

Faith + Close: Ask everyone present for a prayer concern. Check in with younger children to see what they would like to talk to God about today. Then pray: Dear God, thank you so much for keeping us part of you. We pray that we may be fruitful and share the fruit of you love with the whole world. We pray for the environment that it maybe clean and healthy and that we as your people learn to care for your creation. We now pray for:                                                               In Jesus, our vine’s name, amen.

Faith + Serve: Find a park, trail or other place where as a family you can clean up the environment. Talk about how a clean environment helps trees, flowers, plants and wildlife to grow healthy. Or offer to help a neighbor with limited mobility to do yard or garden work.

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Children's Sermon Easter 4B John 10:11-18

Scripture: John 10:11-18 

Preparation: Secure a live sheep--Ha, ha! Just kidding! Highly recommended NOT to try this unless you can move kiddos outside whereby it's a really cool idea and I have seen it done it well!

Real Preparation: 
Plant a few people the children might know to say loudly "follow me". You might want to pick a parent of one of the children.
musical instruments or other 'noise makers'

Faith+Open: Gather children to you and welcome them in. Ask, Do you think you can tell what things are by their sound? Ok, close your eyes (this will have to be the honor system!) and I am going to make some sounds and you say what they are: 
proceed to make sounds like a bell, spoons together, clapping, other instruments, kazoo, whatever you can find. Do just a few 2-3.

Faith+Share: Now about people's voices? Do you think you can tell who someone is by the sound of their voice? Close your eyes again and see if you can guess. Have the people you planted shout "Follow me" You can be one of them because they will know it's you most likely even if they don't know you because you will be sitting closest to them.
Jesus says today that the he knows his own and they know him. He calls himself the shepherd and the people the sheep that follow the shepherd. One way that sheep know who to follow is that they know the sound of their shepherd's voice. Then they can follow the person who they know will take care of them and protect them. How do you know who to follow or trust? (take answers) Yes, it might not be only their voice but I bet you know if your parent or grandparent or teacher is calling your name because you have a relationship with them and know that they care for you. Jesus promises that he cares for you too and that he will be known to us because he will never leave us. 

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, help me know you, help me know your voice and your love. Thank you Jesus for your life and your love, for your death and for your rising. Amen

Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Weekly Devotions for Easter 5B

Here is the Weekly devotion for Easter 5B - May 6, 2012.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Children's Sermon Easter 3B Luke 24: 36b-48

Scripture: Luke 24: 36b-48

Preparation: a physical wound or scar you can share about

Faith + Open: Gather children with you. Say, have any of you ever gotten a hurt that left a mark? (Careful, there will be a million stories!) Anyone have a scar they can point to easily? Sometimes the scars we have or the wounds we have show something about us or tell a story. For example, I have this little scar on my small finger that was from when I was small and didn't listen to my mom when she told me not to pick up a sharp knife. (Use your own story or a story from someone you know)

Faith + Share: After Jesus rose from the dead on Easter, do you remember who discovered the empty tomb? Yes the women. Then Jesus did appear a few times to some people like Mary and other disciples. Today in our gospel Jesus appears to the disciples who are worried and scared and wondering what to do now that Jesus has risen from the dead. He comes to see them and one of the first things he does he show them his hands and feet because they had the wounds from dying on the cross. Then they knew it was him! I find that interesting because most of the time I recognize people by their faces. But Jesus showed them his hands and his feet as a way to say who he was and to tell the story of his death and resurrection. Just like the scar on my hand tells a story. Our hands and feet can tell other stories too, like when our fingers turn colors from dying egg or coloring with markers. Or when we get blisters from walking a long time in our shoes. Our hands and feet also help us to tell the story of Jesus because we use our hands to help others and our feet help us go new places. So when we are hurt or when we are with other people who are hurt we can remember that Jesus used his hands and feet to show us how much he loved us by dying on the cross and then rising from the dead to show the whole world God's love.

Faith + Prayer: Jesus, Thank you for your love and for your scars. Help us to use our hands and feet to show people we know your love. Amen

Faith + Blessing: Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +


Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekly Devotion for Easter 4B

The weekly Household Devotion bulletin insert is ready to download!

Click here to get the pdf version to reprint for you church bulletin, or to share with your study groups.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weekly Devotion for Easter 3B

The weekly Household Devotion bulletin insert is ready to download!

Click here to get the pdf version to reprint for you church bulletin, or to share with your study groups.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Children's Sermon 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year B John 20:19-31

Preparation: Prepare an invitation to use as part of this children’s time. See below.

Faith + Open: Gather the children to where you hold children’s time. Tell them to come on up as you have a special invitation to show them. Ask them if they have ever received an invitation to something special: birthday party, confirmation/first communion party, wedding, baptism, Christmas or Valentine’s (whatever!)

Faith +Share:Show them the envelope that holds the invitation. Ask them if you should look inside. (Hopefully they will say yes!) Take the invitation out and read it: “Peace I give to you! Come and see that I am here and believe in me!” Ask the children: “Who do you think this invitation is from?” After accepting all answers say, “It’s from Jesus! In our gospel story today Jesus invites all of the disciples including one named Thomas to see Jesus and believe that God raised him! Jesus also invites the disciples to go and tell everyone about him so that they may believe too! Jesus knew that the disciples had been afraid after his death and not all of the disciples believed Mary when she said that she had seen Jesus risen. But Jesus didn’t mind and came to the disciples to show them that he had risen. But Thomas was not there, so Jesus came again to show Thomas! Jesus comes to us too again and again and invites us to believe, even when it is hard to believe, and to tell others about Jesus being alive and with us always! Jesus invites us every day with his love!

Faith + Prayer: Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your son Jesus who loves us and is always with us. Just as Jesus invites us to believe in him help us to share Jesus with everyone we meet. Amen.

Faith +Blessing: each child an envelope and say to them “Peace to you from Jesus!”

Pleasereference April 15th children’s time supplement for a sampleinvitation that can be printed out.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Weekly Devotion for Easter 2B

The second weekly devotion insert is ready to download!  Check it you here, or click on the "Weekly Devotions tab to see a list.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Children's Sermon Easter Sunday: Letting Our Alleluias Rise to God!

Faith + Open: You may want to change up the service order and do the Children's + Time early in the service. Gather the children around you. Have the boxes that you buried the “alleluias” in nearby and have them decorated with Easter symbols. Ask the children what is different in the sanctuary this morning (lilies, white paraments, etc.) and why we are celebrating today. Jesus is Risen!

Faith +Share: ( Retell as much or as little of the gospel text as is fitting for your service.) This morning we heard the story of the tomb being empty and God raising Jesus from the dead! We know that because of what God did in Jesus that we don’t have to worry about death and we will live with God forever in God’s love. This makes us so happy! When you are happy what words do you use to let people know that you are happy? (Maybe a “woo hoo” or a “yippee” or a “yay”!) In the church, one of the happy words that we say to let God know that we are so thankful for God’s love is alleluia. Can you say “alleluia”? (Have the children repeat it several times LOUDLY! Invite the congregation to participate!!) Remember when we put that word in this (these) box (es)? Well, we have a lot of songs to sing this morning with alleluia in them I think that we should let the alleluias out! What do you think?
Open the boxes slowly, the helium balloons with the “alleluia” pieces of paper from Lent taped to them should (hopefully!) “rise” up to the ceiling.
Say: Because Jesus rose from the dead, our “alleluias” rise up to God to say thank you for Jesus! We can let our happiness go up to God!

Faith + Prayer: Sing "Hallelu, Hallelu, Halleuia, Praise Ye the Lord" song or another song with "alleluia" or "halleluia" in it that the children know before ending Children's Time. 
Prayer: God, we thank you for the empty tomb and that Jesus did not stay dead. We know that you love us and that we will live with you always. We thank you, God, for happy words like Alleluia that you always hear. Alleluia! Amen!

Faith +Blessing: Have the children raise their hands up in the air. Say: God always hears you! Raise your joy to God! Alleluia!

*Note: Depending on the size of your congregation, try to have a balloon for each child present. Put long strings on the balloon to make them accessible. The most cost efficient (as well as to ensure that the balloons have enough helium to float) is to buy a small tank at a party store or even a major retailer. Find a volunteer to do this Easter morning. Alternatively, if you are concerned about the balloons being a distraction… have only a few balloons at Children’s Time but have a volunteer to hand out balloons at the close of service. Balloons should not be given to children 3 years of age and under.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Introducing . . . Weekly Household Devotions!

There is a new tab on the blog!  We are starting a series of weekly reproducible household devotions.  Click on the link at the bottom to download the pdf file.  They are sized to fit into a bulletin as an insert or can be reproduced and handed out to study groups.  Each week has daily readings for adults and youth that respond to the Sunday readings.  Each season has a service project that is broken down into easy steps over several weeks.  The back side to the devotion sheets is a household devotion based on rituals shared, Bible stories and meaningful conversation around the stories.

Check out the insert for the week after Easter!  More to come soon!