Monday, October 31, 2016

All Saints Day

Children’s Chapel
November 6, 2016
Proper 27C

Theme: All Saints
Bible Reference: Ephesians 1:11-14

I.         Welcome: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.)

II.       Church Practice: (light altar 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 altar table today, we have a green cloth. The green cloth is the color we use for Ordinary Time.

III.     Opening Prayer: 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”

IV.      Introduction: This past Monday, on October 31 we celebrated Halloween. Does anyone know where the word Halloween comes from? It comes from the name “All Hallow’s Eve.”  The word “hallow” means holy, so something that is hallow is holy.  A hallowed person is another name for a holy person or a saint. So the reason we call October 31 “All Hallow’s Eve” or Halloween is because it is the eve before “All Saints Day”, which is November 1. Although today is November 6, not November 1, we are celebrating “All Saints Day” today which is a special day to remember all people who have died and are now with God in heaven.

V.        Bible Reference for Teachers: 
Ephesians 1:11-14
11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

VI.      Response: Jesus’ apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesians telling them and us us that those who are followers of Jesus are marked with the Holy Spirit and that we inherit new life with him now and forever. As we celebrate and remember the saints we recognize that they were people who loved Jesus and shared his love with others. When we think of the saints in heaven, we think of saints who are special to us. Some of these people are members of our family, our friends, and our neighbors, but many, many saints are people who have died that we do not even know their names. The saints too were people just like us who may have felt happy or sad, tired or hungry, excited or disappointed, enthusiastic or fearful.  They were born on earth and grew as children into adults who had families and jobs and participated in all activities. They played and ate and had to do easy and difficult things just like you and me. Just like you and me, the saints also had to trust in God to lead and strengthen them in everything that they did. Paul wrote in his letter that everyone who has lived and died in Jesus’ love is a saint. The good news for all of us as God’s children is that as we trust in and follow the path of Jesus, we are strengthened by his love to be able to live as the saints lived on earth and that one day we will be united with God in heaven together.

VII.    Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for loving each one of us that you gave us your Son Jesus to show each of us how to trust in you so that we may strengthened daily in your love to live as you have called us to live on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Say the Lord’s Prayer together.

VIII.  Response Activity (Crafts, Singing, or another activity will be provided.)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Zacchaeus Receives Grace

Children’s Chapel
October 30, 2016
Proper 26C

Theme: Zacchaesus Receives God’s Grace

Bible Reference: Luke 19:1-10

Welcome: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.)

Introduction to the Bible Story:
Today I am going to read a story from the Gospel of Luke about a man who lived during the same time as Jesus. His name was Zacchaeus and he was a tax collector or someone who collected a portion of other people’s money for the government. Zacchaeus usually took more money than he needed too from the people he was collecting taxes from. He kept the extra money for himself and was very rich. Do you think other people liked Zacchaeus for taking more money from them than he should have? You’re right. Most people did not like Zacchaeus. In fact, they thought he was not a good man. One day Jesus came to the town where Zacchaeus lived. Let’s listen to the Bible story and see what happened.

Bible Story: Read Aloud from the Jesus Storybook Bible pp 264-271
Scripture reference for leaders:
Luke 19:1-10
19He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” 6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” 8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” 9Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

Response: When Jesus arrived in the town there were very large crowds gathered to see Jesus. People had heard that Jesus had healed people and performed miracles and they wanted to see Jesus for themselves. Zacchaeus too wanted to see Jesus. But what happened when Zacchaeus did try to see Jesus? (Allow answers.) You are right! He couldn’t see because he was a very short man so he climbed into a tree so that he could see better. And then what happened? (Allow answers.) Yes! Jesus saw Zacchaeus in the tree and then said he was going to come to his house for dinner! The towns people were upset that Jesus was going to have dinner with Zacchaeus, a tax collector, a man who was known not to be a good man.  The good news for Zacchaeus is that Jesus saw past the wrong things Zacchaeus had done and he loved him anyway. Jesus’ show of love for Zacchaeus changed his heart and Zacchaeus told Jesus he wanted to do the right thing by giving back the money he had taken.  There are times too when all of us may do something that is wrong or hurtful. The good news for all of us is that just like Zacchaeus, Jesus looks past anything that we do wrong and loves us anyway. We too can ask for Jesus’ forgiveness and help to be able to love others as we are asked to do by God.

Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the love that you give to us even when we have done something wrong or hurtful. We ask for forgiveness for our sins and for your help that we may be strengthened by your love to also love others in the world. In your holy name, Amen.

Say the Lord’s Prayer together.

Response Activity (Crafts, Singing, or another activity will be provided.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Keeping the Faith

Children’s Chapel
October 23, 2016
Proper 25C

Theme: Keeping the Faith

Bible Reference: 2 Timothy: 4: 6-8, 16-18

Introduction: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.) Last Sunday we talked about prayer and how Jesus told us to keep praying always even when we have to wait to hear an answer from God. We learned that God is always working in our lives because he loves us so much. Even when we don’t immediately have an answer to our prayers God is listening and always wants to hear from us. Today I want to ask you all to raise your hand if you have ever run in a race or played any kind of game. I think all of us at some point have either ran in some sort of a race or played a game be it a sports game or a board game or any other type of game. Let me ask you another question. How many of you have ever won a race or a game? (Allow answers.) Wow! Lots of you have won a game! Winning a game or race feels really awesome doesn’t it? But what happens when you lose a game? It may feel a little bad. You may be disappointed or you may feel like quitting the race or game all together. If you really enjoy playing that game or running in a race, though, it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. It only matters that you participated in the race or game, right?
      Today in our Bible reading we are going to listen to another letter from Jesus’ follower, Paul. When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy he had been but in prison by the Roman government for spreading the good news of Jesus. Can you imagine how Paul may have felt? He may have felt sad and discouraged and maybe he felt like he wanted to give up. Let’s listen to Paul’s letter to Timothy and see what he says.

Bible Story: 2 Timothy 4:6-8
6As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
16At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Response: In Paul’s letter to Timothy, Paul says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Even though Paul has been abandoned by many of his friends and has been placed in prison for following Jesus, Paul does not give up because he believes in the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He says, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom.” Paul did not lose his faith in God because he had very difficult times and went to prison for following Jesus. Paul continued to pray to God and continued to trust in God to answer his prayers. Just as Paul experienced the good news and promise of new life in Jesus, we too are also given new life through Jesus. There may be times in our lives where we face things that are very hard or sad, but just as we continue to run a race or play a game no matter if we win or lose, we too can have faith that God is always with us, loving us, listening to our prayers, and preparing the way for our lives to be in his heavenly kingdom.

Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who died on the cross and rose again to new life so that we too may have life with you through him. Strengthen us through your Holy Spirit as we continue to trust and follow you in everything that we do in our lives. Amen

Say the Lord’s Prayer together.

Response Activity (Crafts, Singing, or another activity will be provided.)