Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 31, 2016 18th Sunday Ordinary Time C



Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time   Cycle C

Welcome children to their worship space.

Introduce

             Explain: Today is the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
             Ask: Does anyone remember what we talked about last week?  <Hold up the symbol of the praying hands> <the reflection was about praying – Jesus taught us how>

Introduce symbol

Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a treasure chest. 
Ask:  What do you think might be in a treasure chest?  <the children will probably answer with items like money, jewels, etc.>  Where do these treasures come from?  <expected answers are: under the sea, underground, win a lottery, etc.>  But ultimately where do our gifts and treasures come from?  <God>  Why do you think we might put things in a treasure chest?  <expected answers are: to protect them, to save them, to hide them from others> 
Explain: Today we are going to talk about the treasures that God gives us and what Jesus tells us to do with them.  We are going to talk about two different kinds of treasures, treasures of earth and treasures of heaven.
Ask:  What are some treasures of earth?  <money, jewels, gold,etc.>  What are some treasures of heaven?  <expected answers are very literal:  clouds, angels, rainbows> 
Explain: “Treasures of heaven” is another way to say “things that are important to God”  What are some things that we people do that are important to God, that make him happy?  <share, love, be kind, etc.>  These are “treasures of heaven”.

Say:  Let’s look at the poster.  What does it say? <Happy are all who long for the coming of the Lord.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today, a psalm of praise.

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 New Testament letter to the Colossian people. (Colossians 3:1 –4)  St. Paul’s letter tells us to think about “things of heaven”, which would be like “heavenly treasures”, because Jesus is in heaven.  Let’s see if we can understand what he is saying to the people in the early church (and to us!) 

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask: The Scriptures often use the word “dying” to show the difference between the time before someone knew Jesus and the time after.  What do you think St. Paul meant when he said that we died?  <discuss>   Jesus taught us to think in new ways.  He taught us to love and to forgive instead of hating and being selfish.  The difference in our lives is so great that it might seem that the person we used to be is dead and we are new people altogether.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say the words of praise nice and loud:
Happy are all who long for the coming of the Lord.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke.  (Luke 12:16-21)  Do you remember who the Gospel writers were?  <Matthew, Mark, Luke and John>  Today St. Luke tells us about a time that Jesus told a teaching story.  Can anyone tell me what we call those kinds of stories that Jesus told?  <parable>  This parable is about a very lucky farmer.  He had a great crop one year and grew lots of food.  In the parable, the farmer was only thinking about himself.  Let’s listen to what Jesus tells us about the farmer.

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel.  Please stand up.
Say together: Alleluia, Alleluia.

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

Read:  Read the Gospel

Say:  What did the farmer do? <stored all his grain>  What was the message in this parable? <discuss>  Do you think that Jesus meant that the farmer shouldn’t store anything to take care of himself later?  <no, but the farmer should think about and plan to share his good luck>
One thing that is clear is that you won’t need food in heaven.  We spend a lot of time here on earth worrying about things that won’t matter at all in heaven.  Can anyone tell me something that we should think about that WILL matter in heaven? <love, sharing, being a better person, forgiving others>  Those are our true treasures.

Hand out the poster & Offertory symbols to color and cut out. (The symbol is a treasure chest).  Ask the children to put their names on the small poster symbols.
 
Explain: Color this symbol of the treasure chest and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about appreciating and sharing the treasures God gives us.

Ask the older children to write the name of one of their treasures on the chest.
If there is time, review the lesson.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.






Parent Letter

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time  C


Dear Parents,

           Today is the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to the same readings you did: Colossians 3:1-4 and Luke 12:16-21

Symbol:  Treasure Chest

To reinforce at home:
Today we are reminded about the difference between what we value and what God values.  We tend to spend more time hoarding and conserving our earthly treasures than about sharing our treasures of money, time and talent.

Activities to do at home:

        *With your child, think of one special gift or talent that you can share with someone else this week.
*Write a card or a letter to someone who is lonely or housebound.
*Find one hour this week that you can offer your faith community.  Make a phone call to someone who can help you find that one our task.

 

Thank you for sharing your children!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 24, 2016 Seventeenth Sunday Ordinary Time C



17th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

Welcome children to their worship space.

Introduce

             Explain:  Today is the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Does anyone remember how long this segment of Ordinary Time is?  <all the way into October>  The Sunday before the season of Advent (when we prepare for Christmas) is the Feast of Christ the King. Ordinary Time is when there are no feasts and no specific preparations going on.  We are just learning about Jesus and what he came to share with us.

Ask:  Does anyone remember what our symbol was for last Sunday? (hand)  And what did we talk about?  <service> 
Explain: We talked about how serving is sharing Jesus’ love and message with others and that we each have different talents and ways of sharing that love.

Introduce symbol
Say:  Our symbol today is praying hands. 

Ask:  What is prayer?  <talking to and listening to God>  What are some ways that we can pray? <have the children make suggestions>. 

Say: Today’s readings are about talking to God
Ask:  Do you think God wants us to pray, to talk to Him?  Why?
Explain:  God loves us.  We like it when our friends and family talk to us- God wants us to talk to him too.

Say:  Let’s look at the poster.  What does it say? <Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me >  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

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 book of Genesis  (Gen 18:20–32) Today we are going to hear a story about God talking to Abraham about destroying a town filled with really wicked people.  Let’s listen to the scripture reading and see what we can learn about how much God really loves people and listens to them.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask: What happened?   <God was really disappointed with the behavior of these people>  How does this reading show us about God’s love?  < it shows that he really didn’t want to destroy his people – he really wanted the people to listen to him and obey him> It also shows that God listens to prayer.  He listened to Abraham.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke.  (Lk 11:1-11) This reading is about a time that Jesus was teaching the people who constantly surrounded him.  He told everyone – like he tells us today in scripture- to love and praise God.  He talks about God’s love for us and he teaches us to pray.  In this reading, he uses a PARABLE- a story used to teach a message- to show us how much God loves us. Listen for 2 things – to see if you know the prayer Jesus taught us and to hear the PARABLE and see if you understand it.  

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel.  Please stand up.
Say together: Alleluia, Alleluia.

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

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What was the prayer?  <the words are different so the children may not have picked up on the “Our Father”>  What  was the PARABLE?  <about a person who was awakened in the middle of the night by a friend>   What do you think Jesus was telling us?  <he told us to be persistent, to never give up> God always hears our prayers and he will always answer them.  Sometimes the answer doesn’t quite look the way we think it should but it he always answers.

Hand out the poster & Offertory symbols to color and cut out. (The symbol is praying hands).  Ask the children to put their names on the small poster symbols.
  
Explain: Color this symbol of the praying hands and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about praying to God.

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.
 





Parent Letter

Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time  C


Dear Parents,

           The children listened today to the same readings you did: Genesis 18:20-32 and Luke 11:1-10.

To reinforce at home:
Today’s readings are all about prayer and how God listens and answers us.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe this because we like to be in control and don’t always recognize the answers he sends us.  Help your children see the blessings that surround your family in answer to your prayers.
Activities to do at home:
 
Share with your child about a time when you prayed for something specific and things did not go the way you planned for them to go.  Help your child see where God really did answer and how his answer was better than the one you thought you wanted.

In today’s passage in Luke, Jesus taught us to pray the OUR FATHER.  The Children’s Lectionary that we use has simplified language.  Read this passage to your child from your Bible at home so that they can recognize the language we use in church each week. If they don’t already know this prayer, help them to learn it.

Thank you for sharing your children!