Friday, January 31, 2014

Love and Acceptance


In my years of working with children as a teacher as well as through my current role at Ascension in Children’s Ministries, I have been privy to children’s thoughts about God and his kingdom as well as witnessing their own spiritual relationship with God blossom and grow as they have come to know him through not only scripture but also through their interaction with others and the world around them. It is a blessing and privilege to be able to watch a child experience God and to see them know and understand God’s love for them in very real ways. In my teaching of young children, I too have become the student and often find myself leaning new lessons from these young stewards of God’s love.  Recently, I again became a student of God’s love from a young child whom I had only just met.

In early January of this year, our family had the opportunity to help prepare and to serve a meal to the families who were guests at our church as part of the Family Promise program. These families are just like you and me and just want a chance to feel “normal” with regular interactions with others such as a conversation at dinner and play dates for their children with other kids. Family Promise gives these families the opportunity to have as much “normalcy” as possible while they are going through homelessness and the process of finding work and homes again.  For whatever reason, I always feel a bit nervous when I come to serve our Family Promise guests. I am afraid I will not say the right thing or that they will perceive me in the wrong way. Although I knew that my fears would soon disappear after meeting the guests, I still felt a bit nervous as we waited for the families to arrive for dinner.
After serving dinner to our Family Promise guests and finding a place at the table, I looked up and realized that my 8 year old daughter was not sitting with us. Emma-Caroline is a very shy child and it takes her some time to warm up and actually talk with others. In my mind, however, I was mortified that she had chosen not to join the families and volunteers for dinner. I mentioned to the guests that she was shy to which a mother smiled and replied, “We noticed when she came in here earlier.” My fear of offending our Family Promise guests was on hyper alert and I immediately set out to find her. On looking for Emma-Caroline, I discovered she was sitting alone and eating on the stage in the Parish Hall. I immediately asked her why she didn’t want to eat with the families and heard myself saying inside my head, “this is rude behavior!” Before those words actually came out of my mouth, a young boy in third grade joined me. Jared sat down next to Emma-Caroline, asked her name and sincerely said, “It’s OK if you’re shy. I’ll sit here and eat with you if you’d like!” Emma-Caroline smiled and accepted his invitation.  Jared smiled back and replied, “And now you have one more friend, me!” As I stood speechless beside these two children, I felt tears in my eyes as I witnessed this loving exchange between two third grade children. This young boy of nine years old offered to my daughter the gift of acceptance and love.  In one simple gesture, Jared taught both of us what it means to truly love your neighbor.
It would be easy to think that the families and children of Family Promise would be the only ones that are the receivers of God’s love through the hands and feet of the volunteers serving them; however, I have found through my involvement with these families that it is more likely that I am the one receiving the greater gift.  This past opportunity to be with our guests of Family Promise left me humbled and in  in awe of God’s love and the ways in which he teaches us to love through one another. This past January, I received the gift of being witness to Jesus incarnate as a child of nine years, with no home for himself and his family to call their own gave the truest and most valuable gift that anyone will ever receive to my very own daughter, the gift of Jesus’ love.  It is a gift I know she will never forget and a gift and lesson I will always cherish.

Friday, April 12, 2013

This Little Light of Mine!

Lately, I have been pondering the idea that the gifts and talents that God gives to us shine right through from the very moment we are born. The cry of a new born child evokes sweet tears of awe as parents rejoice at the birth of God's perfect gift. Through nurturing, encouragement and love those gifts and talents we receive grow and God's light is allowed to shine with an amazing brilliance. So what happens from the time we are born into this world until we become adults and beyond that can cause those perfect gifts to sometimes get locked up and worse still to sometimes never be allowed to shine? Is it the fact that we are born into an imperfect world striving for perfection that an individual's light can get hidden under a bushel in fear that his or her light might not measure up, might not be important enough, or dare I say perfect enough to shine to the whole world?
 To the parents who have just welcomed a new bundle of joy into the world, the idea of hiding their child's light under a bushel is indeed ludicrous. How could one even begin to imagine stifling the God-given gifts and talents just waiting to emerge from the perfect newborn infant? As that newborn grows from infancy to adulthood, however, he or she begins to learn through experience just what gifts and talents that he or she possesses that are "acceptable" and "worthy" to be expressed in this imperfect world. Through these experiences, a child can either learn how to embrace, enjoy, nurture, and use his gifts and talents for God's light to shine through or he can learn to doubt, to suppress, to hide and sometimes to forget about his gifts in an effort to become the "perfect" in the imperfect.
 The irony behind striving to be perfect in an imperfect world is that perfection will never be achieved. So to that end an individual driven by perfection will always come up short. On the flip side, an individual who allows perfection to hinder his effort to use his gifts and talents also comes up short. What also may seem ironic is this; God bestows upon us, who are the imperfect, the perfect gifts and talents. When we stop being a slave to perfection and put our trust in God, allowing him to work through our gifts and talents, He uses our imperfections to do his work and his perfect light shines through. This is what we were created in his image to do. He gives each of us passion for things in which He our maker is passionate about. Through each of us embracing our gifts and acknowledging them as tools for God's glory we fulfill God's perfect plan for our lives and we receive the gift of pure joy.
So what are your gifts and talents? Have you been afraid to use your passions for certain things because you were afraid they would not be "perfect?" What happened when you did let go and allowed God to work through your imperfections? It's time to let your light shine. Embrace your imperfections, trust in God, and He will work through you to shine his perfect light to the world.

Friday, March 29, 2013

New Life in Christ Jesus

      For some time now, I have been feeling a special nudge from God to come to this blog place  that I call, "To Such as These" in order to write about my experiences with children's ministries not only as a teacher but also from the viewpoint of the child, herself. The good Lord knows that when he asks me to do something, I resist with great excuses that I am not worthy of his calling, that surely someone better could come along and write more profoundly than I can. 
 And surely, that is true. But God continues to gently nudge me trough the encouragement of friends and even strangers whom I only know from their very own writings that I need to use this very space to share my experiences that were given to me by the Father so as to bring others benefit from HIM. I am humbled and shaky at this request from our Father. But yet I am taking that first step of faith to allow God to work through me his servant.
 It was in reading a post by  Sibi, the author of Pearls and Grace, that I felt God's whispers become more of a shout that said, " You are my beloved, I need you!" In Sibi's post from yesterday, she so eloquently writes, "If God has given you a blogging platform of any capacity, then your reach is unlimited in so many ways. With the click of a button, people can feel God reaching for them through the power of His love through the words you type on a single post." As I read Sibi's words tears flowed and I came here at this very moment. Please forgive my scattered thoughts as I nervously type away at the keys to form the words of my sentences.
  It is Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus' passion and death upon the cross. He died for all of us that we may have everlasting life through him. But what does that mean if we don't allow ourselves to be his vessel in order for his perfect love to shine? If I deny his love through my feelings of being unworthy, am I not in fact denying the very gift of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus who died for my sake. Another of my blogging friends, Paige posted today this passage from 2 Corinthians, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5.21 This passage brought me to my knees. Yet another one of my blogging friends, Sheri posted this passage from 2 Corinthians 4:7, "We possess this precious treasure in vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves."  Sheri then eloquently says, "God uses frail people to proclaim the power of His gospel. He could send angels to preach the gospel, but He uses plain, ordinary, everyday people to demonstrate His power.  He fills us with divine gifts, inspired and brought to pass by the Holy Spirit, and distributes them throughout His body of believers.  Let us network with God's people today for the greater good, as we work together to accomplish His purpose." These three ladies, of whom I do not know in person, all  have spoken words that I have heard whispered to me from God, words that I believe as truth, words that I have spoken to others, but I have not myself allowed to be put into action.
          As I reflect on the passion of Christ Jesus and his death on the cross, I am awestruck at his sacrifice for me . . . for me! I am not worthy, but yet he died anyway . . . for me and for all of us. I have known his love for me since I was a child. I was broken, but he scooped me up and whispered to me that he loved me and that I was his. I knew his voice, his nudging's to come to him then. It sustained me through some of the darkest moments of my life. The world around me was unkind, but I knew that he loved me, that I was more than the brokenness that I felt. My early knowledge of God's love for me is what I know instilled the calling God planted in my heart at that time to work with children especially in the area of teaching and helping them to develop their own relationship with him. My passion for teaching children comes directly from his own heart, and I know too that he wants for all of us to know him through the same pure heart as that of a child.
 Through Jesus' resurrection we all have new life in him. How then can we be transformed into the new life that we have been given? We first have to accept that gift ,not just of believing in Jesus as God's Son sacrificed for us to have everlasting life, but that he lives in each one of us TODAY, here and now. His resurrection continues on today because of US LIVING NOW! When we accept that he lives in each one of us, we can accept that he can work in and through us to bring about his kingdom here on earth. This is our calling. This is what God has planned for all of us. When we allow our brokenness to be used to glorify him, we fulfill our purpose here. We become a vessel for his love and grace.
 I humbly accept God's call to me to allow him to use any of the gifts and talents he has given me to shine his light to the world. My imperfections are not mine to hide away, but rather a vessel from which God's perfect light may shine. I am his humble servant for whom he has called to his table. Let his glory be revealed as is his will.
         

Monday, August 13, 2012

Forgiveness (Proper 14B)


The Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Kids’ Worship Service

August 12, 2012

I.         Welcome!

a.   Processional/Gathering: Children quietly enter the Kids’ Worship room following the cross from church and find a letter to sit on the gathering carpet. Recognize and welcome visitors.

b.  Opening Prayer: The Lord be with you.”

Response: “And also with you. (Light the Candles)  

We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world, and we are Christ’s light in the world. On our alter table today, we have a green cloth. The green cloth is the color we use for Ordinary Time.

c.   Children’s Collect for the Day:

Let us Pray, “Heavenly Father, we are here to worship and praise you. Open our hearts and minds so that we may hear your words spoken to us through the Bible story today. Give us strength that we may serve you through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen”



II.       Bible Lesson (Proper 14B)

a.   Introduction: How many of you have ever watched the TV Program, Sesame Street? There are many characters on Sesame Street like Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo and more. There is even a character named Oscar the Grouch who lives in a Garbage Can.  He has green fur and a furrowed brow and his face always looks like this (Make a grouchy face.) If Oscar has a grouchy face, how do you think he is feeling most of the time? Yes, he is feeling mad or angry or grouchy. How many of you have ever felt angry or mad or grouchy? I know I have felt angry many times in my life. What did you do when you got angry? We all might get angry sometimes, and that is OK. What is not OK is to stay angry.  Anger makes you feel bad inside, doesn’t it. So I wonder, how do you get rid of anger when you feel that way? Last week we heard a letter from one of Jesus’ followers named Paul. Paul wrote many letters to the early Christians who lived in many different cities and towns all around him. In one letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote to them about anger and how to get rid of it. Let’s listen to what Paul said,

b.  Bible Story Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2

25So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,27and do not make room for the devil.28Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,32and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.



c.   Response:  In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he said, “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” I wonder what Paul meant by those words.  If someone breaks your favorite toy are you going to feel angry? Of course you are. Anger is a natural feeling, but you do not have to act on your anger. If someone breaks your toy, you may get angry and you may want to go and break something to get back at the person who broke your toy. But should you break someone else’s toy just because they broke your toy and you are angry at them? No. Paul tells us we should put away our anger and that we should forgive others for hurting us. It’s not easy to put away our anger, but what will happen if we let that anger stay locked up inside us? We may become grouchy like Oscar the Grouch and have a frown on our face all the time. So how do we put away our angry feelings and forgive others for hurting us? Paul also tells us that God is there to help us. When we feel angry we can ask God to help us to let go of those feelings and to turn those feelings into forgiveness and love as God forgives and loves us. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us the example of forgiveness when someone hurts us and makes us angry. Help us to not let go of feelings of anger that we may have so that we may be loving and forgive others who hurt us.

d.  Activity: We say a prayer here in Kids’ Worship that is called the “Lord’s Prayer.”  In the prayer we ask God to forgive us as we forgive others who hurt us. The Lord’s Prayer is a very special prayer that we say at church each Sunday and maybe at home too. Let’s say it together now. (After prayer say.) Today you will color the “Lord’s Prayer.” You can take it home to keep and say with your family.

III.     Closing Prayer and Benediction

a.   Closing Prayer: Say the Lord’s Prayer aloud and ask children to join in if they know the prayer.

b.  Benediction: “Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord. (all together) Thanks be to God.”

c.   Recessional: Return to Church services: Children line up behind the acolyte and follow silently to return to church.





























Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

Kids’ Worship Service
August 14, 2011
Proper 15 Year A

I.            Welcome!
a.    Gathering – Children find a letter to sit on the gathering carpet. Recognize and welcome visitors.
b.    Opening Prayer: “Blessed Be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed be his kingdom now and forever. Amen”
Children’s Collect for the Day:
“Heavenly Father, we are here to worship and praise you. Open our hearts and minds so that we may hear your words spoken to us through the Bible story today. Give us strength that we may serve you through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

II.          Bible Lesson: Jesus and the Canaanite Woman
 (Proper 15, Year A)

a.    Introduction:  How many of you have a dog? What do you feed your dog? Canned dog food? Dry dog food? Do you ever feed him scraps from the table? Most veterinarians say that you should not feed your dog table scraps. Why? They say that table scraps are not intended for dogs and may not provide what a dog needs. That may be true, but just try to convince your dog of that as he sits by the table watching you enjoy a juicy steak. Maybe the meal was not intended for him, but that doesn't keep him from sitting by the table, begging for a little scrap, hoping that just one small bite might fall on the floor for him. I want you to keep that picture of the dog wanting table scraps in your mind as you listen to our Bible lesson today.

b.    Bible Story: Let us light the candles as we do in church when we read God’s word. (Read aloud from the Children’s Lectionary or Bible found on the children’s alter in Kids’ Worship room. You will also find the Gospel reading below.)
Matthew 15:21-28: Jesus left Gennesaret and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us." So Jesus answered her saying, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." He replied, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly.

c.    Lesson: When Jesus came to earth, he came to preach and teach to the Jews, but that does not mean that He didn't love the other people of the world. When other people saw Jesus healing the sick and lame, they followed him wherever he went. The Canaanite woman was not a Jew, but because she showed that she had great faith, Jesus healed her daughter. Who can tell me what faith is? Yes, faith is having complete trust in God. When the Canaanite woman’s request was not immediately granted by Jesus, she still showed that she had faith that Jesus would heal her child by remaining by his side just as a dog sits at the table waiting for scraps.  Jesus tested the woman with a test he knew she would pass. Jesus treated the people he healed as individuals, and dealt with each person differently based on their level of faith. Some people's requests were granted when they asked; some were healed without asking for it; some were asked if they believed Jesus could heal them before they were healed. Jesus may have done this to teach the woman and the disciples: the woman learned that she could always trust in God's love and mercy, even when her requests were not immediately answered, something Jesus taught the disciples, and the disciples learned that God's love and mercy were given to all people in the world even if they were not Jewish.

d.    Prayer: Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the lesson of Jesus and the Canaanite Woman. Help us to have a strong faith in you just as the Canaanite woman had in Jesus. Amen.
III.       Response Activity:  Today you will all decorate a cross with the word faith and other decorations as a reminder of God’s love for you and as a reminder that you can always come to God in faith and prayer. (Children will decorate a pre-made cross with glitter stickers).
IV.         Closing Prayer and Benediction
a.    “Our Father” Say the Our Father aloud and ask children to join in if they know the prayer.
b.    Benediction: “Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord. (all together) Thanks be to God.”
a.    Return to Church services: Children line up behind the acolyte and follow silently to return to church.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jesus Walks on the Water

Kids’ Worship Service
August 7, 2011
Proper 14 Year A

I.            Welcome!
a.    Gathering – Children find a letter to sit on the gathering carpet. Recognize and welcome visitors
b.    Opening Prayer: “Blessed Be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed be his kingdom now and forever. Amen”
Children’s Collect for the Day:
“Heavenly Father, we are here to worship and praise you. Open our hearts and minds so that we may hear your words spoken to us through the Bible story today. Give us strength that we may serve you through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
II.          Bible Lesson: The Miracle of Jesus Walking on the Water
 (Proper 14, Year A)
a.    Introduction:  While Jesus lived here among us, he performed miracles. Who can tell me what a miracle is? Yes, a miracle is a marvelous and wonderful act that only Jesus who is God can do. Last week we talked about the miracle Jesus performed of feeding the crowd of 5000 with only two fish and five loaves. Today we’re going to hear about another miracle that Jesus performed.  First, I want to show you something. As you can see, I have a tub of water and several other things with me this morning. Some of the items that I have with me will float in water and some of them will sink. I am going to show you an item and ask you to vote as to whether you think it will float or sink. Then we will put it in the water to see if you were right or not. Are you ready? Here is a wooden building block. How many of you think it will float in the water? How many think it will sink? Let's try it and see. Great! Most of you were right. The block is floating in the water. Here is the second item. A metal spoon. How many of you think it will float? How many think it will sink? Well, let's try it and see. You were right again! It sank! Here is another item. A piece of heavy duty foil. How many of you think it will float? How many think it will sink? Okay, let's see. You were right again! It floats! Here is another piece of foil. It is exactly the same as the other one. (Wad it up into a ball.) Now how many of you think it will still float? How many think it will sink? Right again! Do you think if you were put in the water, feet first that you would sink or float. Yep, we would sink, but then we could float by swimming, right. But people cannot walk on water, right? No, we would sink. Remember the story we just talked about in the Bible when Jesus fed five thousand people with just five loaves of bread and two fish? After he had finished feeding the five thousand, Jesus told his disciples to get into their boat and go to the other side of the lake while he went up into the mountains to be alone and to pray. Let’s listen to the next miracle Jesus performed.

b.    Bible Story: Let us light the candles as we do in church when we read God’s word. (Read aloud from the Children’s Lectionary or Bible found on the children’s alter in Kids’ Worship room. You will also find the Gospel reading below.)
Matthew 14:22-33
 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.
And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea.
 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me you to come to you on the water."
He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
c.    Lesson: Who can tell me the miracle that Jesus performed in this story from the Bible? Yes, Jesus walked on the water and allowed Peter to walk on the water too. How do you think Peter walked on the water too? Yes, He had faith that Jesus would let him walk on the water and he was able to do so. Faith, what does that mean? It means that we trust God and know that he loves us and takes care of us in good times and bad, even though we can’t see him. What happened when Peter looked away from Jesus and got scared? “Yes, he sank!” But when he called out to Jesus to help him, Jesus did. We can always remember that Jesus will always be there to help us, even when we are really scared. All we have to do is to have faith and ask, like Peter did, and Jesus is always there to help.

d.    Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for Jesus and for showing us that we can always trust you to help us even in hard and scary times.   Amen.

III.       Response Activity :  Today we are going to make a sea shell boat to remind us of Jesus’ miracle of walking on the water and to have faith in him even in times when we are scared. You will color the sail to place on your boat.
Sea Shell Boat Bible Craft
***Boats will already be assembled. Children will just be coloring their sails. All materials will be ready for you on Sunday.***
Children will be able to take these boats home with them.  
IV.         Closing Prayer and Benediction
a.    “Our Father” Say the Our Father aloud and ask children to join in if they know the prayer.
b.    Benediction: “Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord. (all together) Thanks be to God.”
a.    Return to Church services: Children line up behind the acolyte and follow silently to return to church.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes

Kids’ Worship Service
July 31, 2011
Proper 13 Year A

I.            Welcome!
a.    Gathering – Children find a letter to sit on the gathering carpet. Recognize and welcome visitors
b.    Opening Prayer: “Blessed Be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed be his kingdom now and forever. Amen”
Children’s Collect for the Day:
“Heavenly Father, we are here to worship and praise you. Open our hearts and minds so that we may hear your words spoken to us through the Bible story today. Give us strength that we may serve you through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
II.          Bible Lesson: The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes
 (Proper 13, Year A)
a.    Introduction:  While Jesus lived here among us, he performed miracles. Who can tell me what a miracle is? Yes, a miracle is a marvelous and wonderful act that only Jesus could do. Today we’re going to hear about a miracle that Jesus did with a small amount of fish and bread to feed a large crowd.
b.    Bible Story: Let us light the candles as we do in church when we read God’s word. (Read aloud from the Children’s Lectionary or Bible found on the children’s alter in Kids’ Worship room. You will also find the Gospel reading below.)
Matthew 14:15-21
As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

c.    Lesson:  From Catechesis Lesson and Props (Defer to Sabra Martin for Catechesis Lesson on Feeding the 5000 or The Loaves and Fishes)

d.    Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to teach us how to live in your abundance—generously receiving from you and giving to others. Help us to be aware of his loving presence in Holy Communion and to allow ourselves to be transformed into his presence in the world.   Amen.

III.        Response Activity : Let’s make banners that celebrate the miracle of the loaves and fish. These banners will remind us of how God always gives us what we need.

ACTIVITY: Loaves and Fishes Craft
MATERIALS
  • 5” x 7” or 9” x 12” pieces of felt, craft foam, or construction paper (for the background, one for each banner)
  • small pieces of felt, craft foam, or construction paper in bright and contrasting colors (for the loaves and fish and/or the figures of the boy and Jesus)
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • fish patterns (or have students make their own patterns)
PROCEDURE
1.     Trace patterns of loaves and fish on small pieces of felt, craft foam, or construction paper. Cut them out.
2.     Arrange loaves and fish on the background piece.
3.     Glue pieces in place and let dry.
  1. Children may take these banners home with them. Send pre-printed parent note with children to inform parents that banners may be picked up after church services.


IV.          Closing Prayer and Benediction
a.    “Our Father” Say the Our Father aloud and ask children to join in if they know the prayer.
b.    Benediction: “Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord. (all together) Thanks be to God.”
V.            Return to Church services: Children line up behind the acolyte and follow silently to return to church.