Sunday, January 31, 2016

Feb 14, 2016 1st Sunday Lent Cycle C



1st  Sunday in Lent   Cycle C

Welcome children to their worship space.
Explain: Today is the First Sunday of Lent.  Does anyone remember anything about Lent? (40 days of preparing for Easter, etc.)  What do we do in Lent?  (we make small sacrifices, we might fast, we think about ways to be closer to God)

Ask:  Did you notice any changes in the church today?  <much less singing, Father is wearing purple vestments or stole>  Does anyone remember what the color purple means in the church?  <sadness or seriousness>
During Lent we try to make our lives simpler so that we can spend more time thinking about God.

Introduce symbol
Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a stone. 

Ask: Does everyone know what a stone is?  <a rock>  What can you tell me about stones or rocks?  < very hard, big or small, smooth or rough, can hold you up>  There are lots of references to stones in the Bible?  How can God be like a stone?  <He is always there for us>  Has anyone ever had a rock in their shoe?  <share a few  stories> Sometimes God is like that, too.  He makes you stop and think about where you are going and what you are doing.
 
Say:  Let’s look at the poster.  What does it say? <Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the old Testament.  Lent is a time when we actively think of ways to become closer to God.

Introduce readings

Say:  Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Words of God.

Say: Today’s first reading is from the Old Testament, the book of Deuteronomy. (Deut 26:4-10)  Today’s reading is about a man that you all probably remember.  He was the one that God gave the 10 commandments to.  Do you remember who that was?  <Moses>

Ask:  What do you remember about Moses?  <discuss>  At the time of this reading, Moses and the Israelites were still in the desert.  Do you remember that they escaped from Egypt?  That God helped them?  And then do you remember that God sent food from heaven to feed them?  Do you remember what that food was called?  <manna>  Let’s pretend that we are Israelite people in the desert with Moses and hear him proclaim our faith in the God who takes care of us.
 
Have the reader read the first reading.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Be with me Lord, when I am in trouble.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke.  (Lk 4:1-13) Do you remember when Jesus was baptized?   Who baptized him?  <his cousin, John>  Jesus’ baptism marked the beginning of his public ministry.  After his baptism in the Jordan River, he needed to spend some time alone get ready to do his work.  So he went into the desert.  While he was in the desert, something really strange happened to him.  The devil came to visit him.  Listen to the Word of God written by Luke and hear what happened next.

Say:  Let’s get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What happened?  <discuss>  Satan tempted Jesus.  What does the word temptation mean?  <to make you want to do something, usually wrong>  Satan tempted Jesus by suggesting that he turn stones into bread. 
What would be a temptation for you?  <maybe your parent bought some candy and hid it and you know where it is and want to sneak some, OR maybe your older brother or sister told you not to go in their stuff and you really want to>  That’s the way Jesus felt.  He COULD have done what Satan tempted him to do, but he didn’t.   He believed in God enough to trust that he would be all right without doing wrong.

Ask children to add their names to the cutouts (stones) provided.  Remind the children that we are making a poster for each Sunday and that they will sign a cutout and glue it on when they are here.

Hand out the symbols to color and cut out. (The symbol is stone). 
 
Explain: Color this symbol of the stone and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about Jesus handled temptation.

If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this graphic in all 3 sizes for all 3 applications



Parent Letter

1st Sunday Lent  C

Today is the First Sunday in Lent.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you heard: Deuteronomy 26:4-10 and Luke 4:1-13.
           
To reinforce at home:
            Both of the readings today take place in the desert.  We tried to help the children visualize a desert… a dry, dead-looking, a place where humans have a hard time trying to survive.  In the reading from Deuteronomy, the Israelites are in the desert and starving.. when they trust in God, they are fed manna!
In Luke, we are reminded of the time that Jesus went into the desert to prepare for his ministry to us.  He fasted for 40 days!  Though he was God, he suffered as a human would, from hunger, from thirst, and most assuredly from the same doubts that try us!  Satan tried to take advantage of Jesus the same way that he takes advantage of us.  Jesus set an example for us of resisting temptation and following his father.  

Activities to do at home:

*Bake or buy fresh bread for dinner.  Enjoy the smell and taste!  Discuss with your child how difficult it must have been for a very hungry Jesus to stand up against Satan.

*Teach your child the first commandment: I am the Lord your God.  You shall have no other gods before me.  Talk about what that means in today’s world.

*Compare Jesus’ 40 days in the desert to get ready to teach us about the Kingdom to the 40 days of Lent where we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection.


Thank you for sharing your children!


Feb 6, 2016 Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C



Welcome children to their worship space.

Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Introduce

              Explain: Today is the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time.

              Ask:  Does anyone remember what we learned last Sunday?   About how we need to read the sacred Scripture just like Jesus did so that we can understand God’s message of love for us.
Introduce symbol
Say:  Today’s readings and all the readings until Lent are about when Jesus started teaching people about love, when He began His public ministry.  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a fish.   What might the fish represent?  <discuss>  It represents the first men who were called to follow Jesus.  Does anyone know who they were?  <Simon Peter, James & John>

Explain:  Let’s look at the poster.  What does it say? <In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the old Testament.

Ask: What could that mean?  <We must always praise God because He is good>

Introduce readings

Say:  Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Words of God.

Say: Today’s first reading is from the Old Testament, the book of of the prophet Isaiah. (Isa 6:1-2a,3-8)  This reading is about a vision that the prophet Isaiah had.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What does it mean to say that one hears the call of the Lord?  <that the person is doing what the Lord asks him or her to do>  Have you ever wondered what to do and had a little voice in your heart tell you?  It’s important to be very still sometimes and trust that little voice because often God tells us the answers.  Often though, life is so busy and noisy that we don’t really pay attention. 

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke.  (Lk 5:1-11)
    Does anyone remember what happened in the Gospel last week?  <Jesus was thrown out of town>  Today we hear how Jesus continued his teaching ministry.  We will hear about some of the first people who heard His call.  Does anyone remember the occupation of the first people who answered Jesus’ call?  What was their job?  <fishermen>

Say:  Now we will stand to get ready to hear the Gospel
Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  Do you think that the fishermen were brave to follow Jesus?  What do you think that their friends probably thought about it? <discuss> 

Hand out the Offertory symbols to color. (The symbol is a fish)  Hand out the smaller poster symbols so that the children can write their names on them.  Collect the poster symbols and glue them to the poster.
 
Explain: Color this symbol of the fish and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about the way God calls each of us.  It is a good thing to pray that we can hear when the Lord calls us and are brave enough to follow.    

If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

While they are coloring, explain how we will go back into the church, up to the front with our gifts and rejoin our families.

Count out the parent letters and hand-outs to go home.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.


Use this graphic in a small size for the communal poster - in a mid-sized version for the banner symbol and a full-sized black line graphic to color for the Offertory gift





Parent Letter
5th Sunday Ordinary Time  C
                                                                     

            Today your children heard readings that are similar to the readings that you heard.  Isaiah 6: 1-2a, 3-8 and Luke 5:1-11
           
To reinforce at home:

We have talked in the last few weeks about praying to God and about recognizing his answers.  Today’s readings remind us to listen to God.

The readings are about being called by God to do certain things.  We hear in Luke about the fishermen on the shore who were called to become fishers of men.  Jesus is calling us to help him “fish for people” too.

Activities to do at home:

*Talk about it.  Who were the fishermen who left everything on the shore?  How do you think they felt about leaving everything and following Jesus?  Why do you think they did it?

*Share Jesus!  We are called to be fishermen too by sharing Jesus with others.  Do something nice for someone today to help them find Jesus in their own lives.

* Draw a simple fish pattern on blue construction paper.  Cover it with laminating plastic to use as a place mat for meals.  When you use it, say a prayer that you can be a fisher or men also and help Jesus “catch” people.  


Thank you for sharing your children!