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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!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weekly Devotions - 2nd Sunday After Pentecost, Lec 10B

Here is the Weekly devotion for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary 10B - June 10, 2012

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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Children's Sermon Pentecost 1B John 3: 1-21 June 3, 2012

Scripture: John 3:1-21

Prep: For this children’s sermon you will need a blank white piece of paper, a pencil (no pens, markers, etc.) and a flashlight. On one side of the blank paper draw half of a heart. Flip the sheet, hold it up to the light so that you can see where you left off and then draw the other half. When you shine the flashlight from behind you will see a “whole heart.” You can also write the word LOVE with L-O on one side and V-E on the other. This must be done in pencil to be the most effective.

Faith + Gather: Invite the children to gather where you hold children’s time. Ask them about a time when they were looking for something in a dark closet, under a bed, etc. When it was dark could they see very much? What did they use to see better in those dark places? Tell them that you have a story about a man who came at night to see Jesus.

Faith +Share: John 3: 1-17 (18-21): Once there was a man named Nicodemus who was very important with the Jewish people, in fact he was a leader. He had heard of Jesus and wanted to find out if Jesus was God. Nicodemus asked Jesus lots of questions about being a part of God and how we become part of God. Jesus answered Nicodemus with the words of how much God loved all of the world and wanted to save everyone in the world. Even though it was night time and very dark as he and Nicodemus talked, Jesus was the light which shined the love of God to Nicodemus shining God’s love on him. Nicodemus was no longer in the dark about God! Jesus told him how much God loved Nicodemus and all of us! Jesus wants us to shine like lights with God’s love for everyone so that everyone can see ALL of God’s love! Look at this piece of paper I have (hold it so that they cannot see the back at all). What do you see? (Accept all answers, someone may even guess half a heart or half of the word “love.”) When I shine a light from behind what do you see? The whole heart or the whole word.  God’s love is like this in our lives; God’s love shines on us and through us so that ALL can see God’s love! What are some ways that God’s love “shines through” you? Maybe when you give a hug, or help at home…what else? (Accept all answers.) That’s right! God wants love to shine everywhere!

Faith+Prayer: Dear God, your love shines through us for the whole world to see! Help us to share your love so that no one is in the dark about you! Thank you for your Son who is the light of the world, amen.

Faith+Blessing: Let your light shine so that the love of God is everywhere!       

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Faith+Home Connection June 2012

June 2012
Faith+Home Connection

Faith + Open: Gather the household to a comfortable location. Light a candle and pray: Dear God, thank you for this time together. Thank you for your word for us to think about. Most of all thank you for Jesus, amen.

Faith + Share: Read Mark 4:35-41. This story can also be found on page 286 in the Spark Story Bible and on page 236 in the Jesus Storybook Bible. If you have younger children have them act out the role of the disciples.

For children: Have you ever been in a storm, like a thunderstorm or a loud rain storm? If so how did you feel? (Accept all answers-some may like storms!) If you were scared did you go find your mom or dad or another adult that you were with? Did it make you feel a bit safer? Well, the disciples learned that day that Jesus was with them always and looked out for them even if it didn’t seem like it! Jesus is with you too! We may not always know it, but Jesus is with us when we are scared no matter what!

For youth/adults: There are many ups and downs in our lives. Sometimes we may feel as if no one is looking out for us in the storms that happen. Have you ever felt that way or wondered where God is? Even with Jesus right in the boat with them the disciples wondered this too! But Jesus was there and got the disciples through the storm. It didn’t mean that the disciples didn’t get tossed around and wet, but they did come out of the storm with Jesus. Our lives our like that too, we will have storms, that is a fact, and we will get tossed about, wet, and maybe even a little sea sick, but Jesus is right there through it all!

Prayer: You are the God who stills the storm and never leaves us. God we thank you for being with us and loving us even when we are wet and tossed around. Help us to remember that Jesus is with us always and to not be afraid, amen.

Faith + Blessing: Take a note card or any piece of paper and write on it “Don’t be afraid Jesus is here!” Place it on your mirror, door, refrigerator or anywhere that you will see it daily.

Faith +Serve: If you know of someone going through a hard time right now make them a card (and maybe some treats!) and take it to them. Write the blessing from above on the card and tell them that you are praying for them!

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekly Devotions - Holy Trinity Sunday B

Here is the Weekly devotion for Holy Trinity Sunday, June 3, 2012

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

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekly Devotions - Day of Pentecost year B

Here is the Weekly devotion for the Day of Pentecost - May 27, 2012

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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Children's Sermon Day of Pentecost year B Acts 2:1-21

Scripture Focus: Acts 2:1-21

Preparation:  What this story really needs is a fire!  If you do children’s church and can be outside and build a little fire safely, do that.  If you cannot have a real fire, bring in some small sticks and dry grass on a tray so that you can pantomime blowing on a pile of kindling to get a fire going.

Faith+Open:  Set up your fire as the children gather (or set it up early if you can have a real fire).  Talk to the children about camping and building fires.  Ask them if they have ever been at a camp fire.

Faith+Share:  Camp fires are really fun, you might get to cook hotdogs or marshmallows.  Maybe even sing some songs!  Have you ever watched someone light a campfire?  Sometimes it’s really easy, if the wood is dry and the weather is good, but if everything is not just right it can be a little tricky.  One of the best ways to get a fire going is to blow on it, like this.  You get down low and blow at the bottom of the fire.  Lean over and blow gently at the bottom of your fire.  Sometimes this is called “fanning the flames.”  Fires need air, just like us need.

OK, so why are we talking about getting a fire going?  Well, today is Pentecost!  The story of Pentecost talks about tongues of flame over the heads of the disciples as they talk to the people.  The amazing thing about these flames is that they were the first language translators!  The disciples were all speaking the same language, but not everyone who was gathered spoke the same language.  It would be like us sitting here and I spoke English, but you only spoke Spanish, and you only spoke German, and you Japanese – everyone speaking a different language.  But, when the flame was over my head you could all understand me!

I started to wonder where that fire came from, because fire can be so hard to get started.  I read the story again and before the flames appeared above the disciples’ heads there was a big rush of wind, kind of like when someone blows on the base of a fire to fan the flames!  In the story the wind is the Holy Spirit coming to give the disciples the gift to speak to everyone.  The wind of the Holy Spirit fanned the faith of the first Christians, just like our breath fans the flames of a little fire.  Just like our little fires can turn into big camp fires, the faith of the early Christians spread to all the different places of the world, starting at Pentecost with little flames above the disciples’ heads.

Faith+Prayer:  Spirit of God, fan the flames of our faith and give us the gifts to share the amazing story of your love with the whole world. Amen

Faith+Blessing: May the breath the of the Spirit blow through your life.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weekly Devotions for Easter 7B

Here is the Weekly devotion for Easter 7B - May 20, 2012.

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

Children's Sermon Seventh Sunday of Easter Year B John 17:6-19

Scripture Focus: John 17:6-19

Preparation: Bring a small plant that is destined to be planted outside somewhere, like a little flowering plant, or a vegetable sprout.

Faith+Open:  Invite the children to gather around the plant, but be very protective of the little plant.  Make sure the children are being careful around it and remind them how delicate it is.  Make sure they are all focused on how important and vulnerable the young plant is.

Faith+Share:  Now that we are all gathered together I want to tell you about my little plant.  I am planning on planting it outside later today and I’m very worried about.  I’ve been thinking about all the things that could go wrong with this little plant.  It might not get enough water, or maybe it will get too much water.  And it needs sunlight, too, but not too much sun or it will dry out!  Then there’s the soil to worry about, too!  What if the soil doesn’t have the stuff the plant needs?  I’ll have to find the right food for the plant, but I have to be sure not to give it too much food because that could hurt it too.  Even if I get all the water and sunlight and food right, it could still be eaten by a rabbit or squirrel or dug up by a dog or something.

I really just want to keep it inside.  But, if I do that it can’t really grow and be happy, and no one will be able to eat the vegetables (or see the flowers, depending on your plant).

I think that today’s Gospel story might help me with this.  In the Gospel story we hear Jesus praying for his friends, right before he is arrested, right before Good Friday and Easter.  Jesus is asking God to look after his friends after he is crucified.  Jesus knows that they will be in danger because of what they know about God and Jesus, and that the danger will be greater if they tell people about Jesus, but Jesus knows that for them to be happy they have to tell the story.  Jesus knows that his friends will only be able to share the amazing gifts of God if he lets them go out into the world.

Just like my little plants here.  If I keep them inside where they might be safer, they won’t grow food for people to eat (or flowers for people to enjoy).  God sends us into the world, too.  We are sent out to share Jesus story with others and to love everyone the way that God loves us.  It’s a hard thing to do, but we know that God is watching over us and loves us.

Faith+Prayer:   Loving God, thank you for the amazing stories about Jesus and hid friends.  Help us to share the story and to love everyone we meet the way that you love us.  Amen.

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

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Children's Sermon Ascension of Our Lord Year B Luke 24:44-53

Scripture Focus: Luke 24:44-53  (note: this is the Gospel text for Thursday, May 17, Ascension of Our Lord.  Many churches read the ascension texts on the Seventh Sunday of Easter.  There will also be a Children’s Sermon posted using the texts appointed for Sunday, May 20.)

Preparation: Make a “to-do” list with the items: 1) Receive power from God. 2) Go to the temple and pray. 3) Go tell what you have seen.

Faith+Open:  As the children gather ask them, “Have you ever been left with a list of things to do?”  Maybe you get a list at home like, first you need to finish your dinner, then you need to clean up your room, then you can go play with your friends.  Guess what, the disciples got a list like that, too!

Faith+Share:  Today we are celebrating the Ascension of Our Lord.  That’s a big word, don’t you think?  Does anyone know what it means?  Wait for a few answers.  You guys are pretty smart!  Ascension means to go up.  It can also describe when someone gets more power or more responsibility.  Kings and queens ascend to the thrown when they become a kind or queen.  In the story of Jesus’ ascension he really does go up – up into the sky to be with God, but before he goes he leaves a “To-Do” list.

Right before he ascends, Jesus tells the disciples that they are the ones who know what happened in Jerusalem (what we know as the Easter story) and that they need to tell the story to other people.  Get out your list.  First, though, they have a few other things to do.  Jesus tells them to wait in the city until they have been “clothed with power from on high.”  That always makes me think of a super hero suit from God!  Like the disciples become super storytellers for God!  Storytellers who can baptize people, and heal the sick and injured, who can travel amazing distances and tell the story over and over.  Pretty cool, huh?  Then they go to the temple and bless God for the amazing gifts that God has given them.  Then they head out into the world to share the good news!  That story starts next week when we celebrate Pentecost.  So, this is our last chance this year to say this, Happy Easter!

Faith+Prayer:   Powerful God, we thank you for the gifts you give us.  Help us to use our gifts like the disciples did, by going out into the world and sharing the good news of Christ.  Amen

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

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Children's Sermon Easter 6B John 15:9-17

Scripture: John 15:9-17

Preparation: Bring a picture of a favorite pet.  It can be from childhood or a current pet or a friends pet.

Faith+Open:Gather the children and tell them a little about your pet while you show them the picture.  Ask them if they have a pet at home.  Prompt them about how they take care of their pet, feed, water, etc.  Then ask them what their pet does for them.  They may need a little help here.  Offer ideas like how a pet can be a playmate, or can bring you joy or be a companion.

Faith+Share: Pets are pretty fun, aren't they?  Talking about pets makes me think about an important word in the Gospel story today.  Jesus says the word “abide” over and over.  He talks a lot about love, too, when he says abide.  Do you know what abide means?  I looked up “abide” in a dictionary and found a whole bunch of different meanings.  Abide can mean to live in a place or live with someone, it can mean to listen to and follow rules, or it mean to stay with someone.  Like “abide with me.”  I think that all three of these meanings show up in the story, but let’s talk a little more about pets so that we can figure out this “abide” word a little more.  Let’s start by saying that our pets abide with us.  They live at our houses with us, that covers the first meaning.  There are probably rules about your pets, like the cat needs to use the litter box, the dog needs to be on a leash, the turtle isn’t allowed on the table, the fish need to stay in their water . . . you get the idea.  That’s the second one.  The third one is a little more tricky.  I said that it means to stay with someone, but I think that it is more than just staying with someone.  It is staying with someone no matter what!  More than just staying in the same room with them, it is loving them and caring for them.

That gets us to the Gospel story for today.  It’s a story from the Gospel of John, and while Jesus says a bunch of great things in John’s Gospel, it is sometimes a little confusing.  So, let me try to straighten it out a little.  First Jesus says that the Father loves him, and that he loves us.  Then comes that “abide” word, he says “Abide in my love.”  Or live in my love, follow the rules of my love and stay with me no matter what!  He says that if we do that we will have joyful hearts.

Jesus says that if we abide in his love then we can love each other even more, which is the whole reason for the story.  To teach us to live with each other, to listen to what other people need, and to love them no matter what.

Faith+Prayer: Loving God, teach us to abide in your love, to live lives full of love, to listen to the needs of others, and to love and care for them no matter what.  Thank you abiding with us, no matter what!  Amen.

Faith+Blessing: Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +
*permission to use for nonprofit purposes. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Children's Sermon Easter 5B 1 John 4:7-21

Scripture: 1 John 4:7-21 (focusing on 7&8)

Preparation: If you do not know the song you will need to learn it. Having guitar or piano with it is not necessary, it's easily teachable in camp song style fashion. 

Faith+Open: Gather children with you. Say, Have you ever memorized something from the Bible? (take answers if given) Some people know Psalm 23 really well and a lot of people know the shortest verse: Jesus wept. Say a verse that you know. 

Faith+Share: Knowing some verses by heart can help us to remember God's words in our daily lives. It's fun when a bible verse comes to mind when you hear something. Today our 2nd reading comes from the book of 1st John and there are two verse there that are good to memorize, "Beloved let us love one another because love is of God and everyone that loves, knows God. They they love not, know not God." These verses can help us to remember that no matter what happens God loves us and we are to love one another--that is how we show we know God, by acting in love. I think the best way to memorize verses is to learn them with music. Let's learn a song that will help us remember these words from God. 

  D                      A7
Beloved, let us love one another, 

For love is of God, and everyone that loveth
Is born of God, and knoweth God.
They that loveth not, knoweth not God
    G          Em
For God is love.
  D             A7         D
Beloved, let us love one another. First John 4:7 and 8

Here is a link to hear a version of the song: Beloved, Let us love one another

Faith+Prayer: God, thank you for your words of love. Help us to love one another and remember your words each day. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +
*permission to use for nonprofit purposes. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.