All God’s Children Sing – Dec. 17

On December 17, Sunday School children will participate in worship, singing the Introit together. The Psalmist said, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”  That’s what All God’s Children Sing is about; all children making a joyful sound to praise and worship God.

Logistics:

  • Sunday School leaders will walk children (groups Faith to 6th grade) directly to the Sanctuary at 10:45 (the end of  Sunday School).
  • After the children sing, they will join their parents in the pews for worship.
  • Front rows will be reserved for families with children in the Moon, Faith, Love and Grace groups so children can find parents easily.
  • Families with children in the Moon group (our 3’s); you received an e-mail with instructions.  If you would like your young one to sing, please pick them up from class and walk them to the Sanctuary.  You are welcome to remain on or near the risers if needed.

If it is not possible for your child to participate, please meet her/him in the Sanctuary before the 11:00 service begins and let their Sunday School leader know prior to leaving.  Thank you.

It will be a joyful day of praising God.

Family Advent Fun: What’s in a Tradition?

Join us December 3 from 3:30-5:15 as we learn how to celebrate the Advent season with our families at home. You’ll have the opportunity to create a fun Advent calendar, an Advent Wreath for devotion time, pre-plan an Advent Family Fun night, and prepare packages for our Room in the Inn guests.

Drop in when it works for your family! Latecomers are welcomed!

A supper of grilled cheese and soup will also be served as we celebrate together the coming Jesus!

There is no cost to attend but reservations are requested to aid our planning

2017 Advent Gathering

Let us know you will join us on Dec. 3, 2017, 3:30-5:15 p.m. for Advent family fun.

 

All God’s Children Sing- October 29

As part of our celebration of the 500th anniversary of The Reformation, Sunday School children will participate in worship, singing the Introit together. The Psalmist said, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”  That’s what All God’s Children Sing is about; all children making a joyful sound to praise and worship God.

Logistics:

  • Sunday School leaders will walk children (groups Faith to 6th grade) directly to the Sanctuary at 10:45 (the end of  Sunday School).
  • After the children sing, they will join their parents in the pews for worship.
  • Front rows will be reserved for families with children in the Moon, Faith, Love and Grace groups so children can find parents easily.
  • Families with children in the Moon group (our 3’s); you received an e-mail with instructions.  If you would like your young one to sing, please pick them up from class and walk them to the Sanctuary.  You are welcome to remain on or near the risers if needed.

If it is not possible for your child to participate, please meet her/him in the Sanctuary before the 11:00 service begins and let their Sunday School leader know prior to leaving.  Thank you.

It will be a joyful day of praising God.

Disaster Response: collection for Hygiene kits

During the month of September you are invited to bring items to help us create hygiene kits for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. These kits offer a way to reach disaster survivors and those in need with the hope of Christ. As parents help children process images of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, purchasing and offering these gifts can be a tangible way for children to put their faith and empathy into action. Children will be assembling these items into gallon-size Ziplock bags during Sunday School.

You may bring any quantity of any of these items over the month.   Collection bins will be available at the 1) Children’s Hospitality desk, 2) Main Church Hospitality Center, 3) Courtenay Hall, and at the 4) top of the OHS C-Wing hallway.

hand towels (approximately 16” x 28”, no finger tip or bath towels)
washclothes
wide-tooth combs (not regular combs)
nail clippers
bars of soap (bath size in wrapper)
toothbrushes (in original packaging)
Band-Aids® or other adhesive bandage strips —  3/4″ by 3″ size.

Please do not donate toothpaste for the Hygiene Kits. Toothpaste which has an extended expiration date will be added to international Hygiene Kit shipments just prior to shipment.

Breakfast for Parents on August 20!

Sunday, August 20, is Kick-Off for your child(ren)s’ Sunday School group.   We ask that parents escort their children to their group’s meeting room on this Kick-Off day and offer a hello/thanks to the great group of leaders who will be journeying with your child for the next 10 months.  THEN…….

Starting at 10:00 A.M. we are hosting a breakfast for parents in Courtenay Hall.   You’ll have time to visit with friends, make new friends, and enjoy Kim’s great cooking.

Groups for ages 3 through 6th grade study the Bible together and grow as disciples as they pray, serve, play, and care for each other.   Babies and toddlers have a fun time in our loving Nursery playing and hearing a Bible story, too.

The Sunday School hour for children is 9:45-10:45 A.M.   Families will receive an e-mail with their child’s group and room assignment prior to August 20.

Relationships matter!  

Faith is caught more than it is taught.  

Creating a Lenten Prayer Space at Home

In a family with small children, how do you create the space to journey through Lent in a developmentally appropriate way? Our family has tried different practices and readings through Lent, but the one thing has been constant in our Lenten practices: creating a collection of symbolic items in a central place in the home (i.e. on the family table or on a stand in a main living area). As my boys grow and our family changes, this sacred space changes.  Items I always include are a candle, a cross, an empty bowl to represent fasting, a scripture passage and/or prayer, and a small Bible. All of these items are placed on a purple cloth. We’ve also included a poem, art postcard or alms tin some years.

These items are helpful as talking points with children. They serve as a guide to other disciplines you choose to take on as a family. As you explore and explain the items, children wonder in ways that also help you to journey through Lent together. A variety of items, and giving room for questions and conversation, allows for differentiation in meeting everyone’s needs and understandings.

Candle: Always a symbol of God’s presence with us. I often say as I light the candle, “We light the candle to remind us that God is with us in this place, at this time.”

The purple cloth: For children who traveled through advent, the purple of lent will be familiar as a color for a time of waiting. Use a circle calendar of the church year to show the children that we are in Lent, waiting for the great feast of Easter.

An empty bowl: Explain that we fast so that we have more time or energy to remember to talk to God during Lent. We are getting ready for the great mystery of Easter. Older children can be encouraged to write down something they want to fast from and place the paper in the bowl.

A scripture, poem and/or prayer: This can be written on cards that can be read liturgically (we’ve found every night at dinner works well for our rhythm). The Good Shepherd of Psalm 23 is a wonderful image to meditate on with young children.

Cross: Take time to look at the cross together and talk about the crucifixion and the resurrection. The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith and Peter’s First Easter by Walter Wangerin Jr. are both wonderful retellings of the events of Holy Week to share as a family as you ponder the cross.

 

Post written by Emily Watkins on February 9, 2015. Shared by Building Faith. Click here to view the original blog post.

Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18th

1. Create a space for your family to gather for your Advent devotions. Set out an Advent Wreath or Christ candle to light when you gather.

2. Sing/Listen to or read the hymn “O Come, O Come EmmanuelYou can find the lyrics of this hymn printed in your family’s Advent devotional booklet. There are many versions of this hymn; here are a few your family may enjoy listening to:

Piano Guys (instrumental)
BYU Vocal Point (Acapella)
Francesca Battistelli
Traditional Choir
House of Heroes; (punk rock flair)

3. Pray, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. We are still waiting for you. (insert the verse for the day) May you, O Lord, turn all sorrow into joy. May our souls rejoice at your appearing. May we magnify you as we sing. And may all the world be glad at the light of your presence. (pray the refrain in unison) Come, Lord Jesus. Be our light in the darkness. And may we come before your presence with a song. For you are our light and our salvation, and to you we lift our voices in prayer and thanksgiving, now and always. Amen.”

4. Prepare for the Week. As a family, choose and review the Acts of Service you have committed to do during this season. Remember and celebrate what you did last week, and then prepare for what you have chosen to do this week. We also encourage you to review the prayers on your gift tags as you gather during the week.

Third Sunday of Advent, December 11th

1. Create a space for your family to gather for your Advent devotions. Set out an Advent Wreath or Christ candle to light when you gather.

2. Sing/Listen to or read the hymn My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful ShoutYou can find the lyrics of this hymn printed in your family’s Advent devotional booklet. There are many versions of this hymn; here are a few your family may enjoy listening to:

Hesston Mennonite Church Choir
Goshen College Chamber Choir
Rory Cooney (Folky Version)

3. Pray, “Open our eyes to both the beauty and the ugliness in our world. Open our ears to the cries of our sisters and brothers in every place. Open our hands to do your work in the world. Open our hearts to feel the pain and joy, the discouragement and hope of all who long for freedom and peace and justice. Open us, today and every day, we pray. “He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good – tears gone, crying gone, pain gone – all the first order of things gone.” (Revelation 21:4) Amen.”

4. Prepare for the Week. As a family, choose and review the Acts of Service you have committed to do during this season. Remember and celebrate what you did last week, and then prepare for what you have chosen to do this week. We also encourage you to review the prayers on your gift tags as you gather during the week.

Second Sunday of Advent, December 4th

1. Create a space for your family to gather for your Advent devotions. Set out an Advent Wreath or Christ candle to light when you gather.

2. Sing/Listen to or read the hymn “Come Now, O Prince of PeaceYou can find the lyrics of this hymn printed in your family’s Advent devotional booklet. There are many versions of this hymn; here are a few your family may enjoy listening to:

Multicultural Version (English & Korean)
All English Version

3. Pray, “Dear Lord, we are grateful that your thoughts are not our thoughts, or that our ways are your ways. (say refrain in unison) Your ways are so much higher than ours. You make the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and they do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater. (say refrain in unison) Your Word goes out and it does not return empty; it accomplishes all that you desire.

Help us to be humble peacemakers who trust in you.  (say refrain in unison) Free us from worry, fear, anger, grief, and other distractions so we can be your joy-filled helpers spreading peace and wholeness in all of your creation. (say refrain in unison)

“For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12) (say refrain in unison). Amen.”

4. Prepare for the Week. As a family, choose and review the Acts of Service you have committed to do during this season. Remember and celebrate what you did last week, and then prepare for what you have chosen to do this week. We also encourage you to review the prayers on your gift tags as you gather during the week.

First Sunday of Advent, November 27th

1. Create a space for your family to gather for your Advent devotions. Set out an Advent Wreath or Christ candle to light when you gather.

2. Sing/Listen to or read the hymn “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” You can find the lyrics of this hymn printed in your family’s Advent devotional booklet. There are many versions of this hymn; here are a few your family may enjoy listening to:
Chris Tomlin & Christy Nockels
Fernando Ortega
The Choir of St John’s College Chapel

3. Pray, “Gracious God, as we wait with anticipation for the birth of Jesus, help us to open our eyes to see your presence and to work for wholeness and healing. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to care, and the strength to work toward your beloved kingdom of grace and mercy. Help us to shout with joy when we see your presence! Remind us, O God, that your kingdom is on the way and will come right on time. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) Amen.”

4. Prepare for the Week. Decide where to hang the prayer gift tags this season (ex. Christmas tree, clipped onto a string on the wall, hung on tree branches used as your dinner table centerpiece, etc.).  As a family, review the Acts of Service opportunities on the enclosed sheet. You may wish to cut them apart, place in a container and choose one action to do whenever you’re gathered. Or, you may wish to select the most do-able ones for your family, and commit to those during the season.

 

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