Last Sunday we started our new project of learning the Lord’s Prayer! Typically we end Children’s Chapel by saying the Lord’s Prayer, but not everyone knows it. Thus, the Christian Education Committee decided to learn the prayer in American Sign Language. Each week we will learn a few more sentences. Here is an example video of what we are learning (so you can practice at home!):
While numbers were few, enthusiasm was high in Godly Play. We had the lesson on baptism in which we practiced baptizing the baby and, as one child had yet to be baptized, talked about what she might expect when her baptism occurs. The lesson speaks of baptism as the way we all share in God’s light and build light together. So, we talked about how together we light up our church and bring God’s light and love out into the world with us. For the portion of the lesson where the children are able to select their own activity, she chose the dessert box and played with the wooden figures. We used these to re-enact the story of Moses leading the Jews across the Red Sea. We especially liked the part of the story where Miriam dances with her tambourine.
Read: Matthew 5:13–16 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matt+5%3A13-16&version=MSG)
Ask: What is the brightest light in your house? What is the brightest light in the sky?
Discuss: Name 3 reason that the dark is scary. Name 3 ways that light helps us.
We had 8 children in Firelight and focused on the prophet, Jeremiah. We learned about God’s call to Jeremiah to prophesy, and to turn the people of Judah away from idolatry and greed. We learned how the people had turned away from God, and experimented with turning away from our friends in class. We tried to talk to each other, sitting back-to-back, experiencing the difficulty of it. We spoke about God’s covenant with the people, and how we, too, can have a relationship with God. We created construction paper hearts, woven with lace ribbons, symbolizing God’s covenant with us all, and wrote on each heart the passage, Jeremiah 31:33: “And I shall write my covenant on their hearts.”
Read: 1 Kings 19:1–12 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+kings+19&version=MSG)
Play: For this activity, think of a sentence and keep it to yourself. Now, stand on the other side of the room from your friend and whisper your sentence quietly to yourself. Now, move two steps closer to your friend and do it again. Next, move three steps closer and try again. Now, stand right next to your friend and whisper it. Could your friend hear you? Could they hear you from across the room? Next to them?
Discuss: According to the Bible passage we read, how loud does God talk to us sometimes? Like the activity, what would make it easier to hear this voice? How can we get closer to God so that we can hear God’s whispers?
In light of the baptism which occurred during service, we also discussed baptism. First we shared what we know about baptism (i.e., what we’ve been taught), then we shared how we feel about baptism. Next, we asked the question, “How do you think God feels about baptism?” We then discussed three different ways of thinking about baptism: (1) as Rebirth, (2) as a Rite of entry (or passage), and (3) as Mystery. Baptism can be viewed as a cleansing, as incorporating a person into the Body of Christ, and/or as a mysterious interaction between God and Creation. One question this discussion left us with was, “How is God involved in baptism? What changes about a person when they are baptized?”
Read: Romans 6:1–13 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=rom+6&version=NRSV)
Ask: How does this passage talk about death? How do you feel about it?
Discuss: How does this passage make you think differently about death? about baptism?