Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 28, 2017 Ascension Sunday A

Feast of the Ascension Cycle A

**Some dioceses (including mine) replace the 7th Sunday of Easter with this feast instead of celebrating on Ascension Thursday.  Let me know if you need the 7th Sunday of Easter instead!***

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

Say:  Today we have a special feast.  Did anyone hear what it is?  It is the Feast of the Ascension.  Can anyone tell me what Ascension means?  <when Jesus went back to heaven>

Ask:  Last week’s symbol was a dove.  We talked about a promise that Jesus made to his friends.  Does anyone remember what that promise was?  <that he would never leave us alone, that he would send the Holy Spirit to be with us until he (Jesus) came back to us at the end of time>  One of the things we need to have a successful FAITH COMMUNITY or CHURCH is the Holy Spirit.  We need to be able to listen to the Holy Spirit and let him guide us.

Ask:  Do you remember the other things that we need to keep our church strong?  <we have talked about being Jesus for one another, about participating in Mass and the Eucharist, about asking for help and about forgiveness>

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a cross with a globe on it.  The cross always stands for Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us.  The globe reminds us who Jesus came to save.  Who do you think that is?  <everybody>
 
Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <God mounts the throne to shouts of joy.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.  This is a psalm of praise.

Introduce readings
We have two readings today.

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

Say: Today’s first reading is from the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 1:8-11)  Jesus is talking to the Apostles and telling them to do something.  Then he rose up into heaven.  Listen closely and see if you can hear what Jesus told his friends to do.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did Jesus tell his friends to do?  <to go out into the world and tell everyone about him>  Then what happened after Jesus rose up into heaven?  <two men dressed in white appeared and told the Apostles that Jesus would come back in the same way>  Do you know when Jesus will come back?  <at the end of the world>

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
God mounts the throne to shouts of joy.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew.  (Matt 28:16-20).  Matthew clearly retells the instructions that Jesus left to his followers.  While you listen to St. Matthew’s Gospel, remember that you are one of Jesus’ followers and think about what his instructions mean in your life.

Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What did Jesus tell his followers to do?  <let the children respond>  Is there anything here that you can do?  <tell your friends about Jesus, be kind and show people the love of Jesus>  What can you do today?  <let the children respond>

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a cross so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a cross with a globe).  Have the older children write one thing they can do this week to help spread Jesus’ message of love to others.
 
Explain: Color this symbol of a cross with a globe and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about teaching other people about Jesus.

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 cross in light colors and a small size for the poster


Use this graphic in a medium size and regular colors ( brown for the cross; blue & green for the globe) to create the banner symbol.  Copy this graphic in full size on white paper for the coloring page to use during the Offertory.

Parent Letter

Ascension Sunday  A


Dear Parents,

             Today is the Feast of the Ascension.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 1:8-11 and Matthew 28:16-20.

Symbol: Cross with globe

To reinforce at home:
Today we celebrate the time when Jesus ascended bodily into heaven to be with his father.  Before he left, he gave clear instructions to the Apostles and to his followers everywhere.  He told them to go tell everyone in the world about him.  We are Jesus’ followers too.  It is our job, handed down from Jesus himself, to teach others about him.


Activities to do at home:

*As Jesus’ disciples, you and your child have been given the job of teaching others about Jesus.  Together, think of one way that you can share Jesus’ message of love with someone else.
      Write a letter to someone you haven’t been in contact with in a while.  Have your child draw a picture to go in the letter.
       Help a neighbor with errands or yardwork.
       Forgive someone you are angry with.
*Learn about another country!  Locate a country on the map that you hear about on the news.  Call your diocese and see if there is an outreach project that you and your child can participate in together.



Thank you for sharing your children!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 21, 2017 Sixth Sunday of Easter A



6th Sunday of Easter Cycle A



Welcome children to their worship space.

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

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Review
Ask:  This is the 6th Sunday in the Easter season.  Can anyone tell me what the next feast we celebrate is?  <the feast of the Ascension>  On the feast of the Ascension, we celebrate the fact that Jesus went back to heaven.

Ask:  Can anyone tell me what we talked about last week?  <show the symbol of a person>  We talked about asking for help from others and from God.  We talked about how important other people are to our lives and how important prayer is.

Say:  Does anyone remember what else our church needs?  <each other, the Mass and the Eucharist, forgiveness and love>  If we can keep building with these things, we will come close to building what Jesus wants for us!

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today our symbol is a dove.  Does anyone remember what a dove might stand for?  <let the children respond>  It stand today for the Holy Spirit.

Say:  Jesus promised that he would send an advocate to be with us after he left earth.  Advocate is a big word.  Can anyone tell me what it means?  <an advocate is someone who stands up for or defends someone else.>

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.>  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
We have two readings today.

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

Say: Today’s first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 8: 5-8, 14-17)  This is a story about St. Philip in Samaria.  Does anyone remember anything about the people who lived in Samaria?  The people were called Samaritans.  <probably someone will recall the story of the good Samaritan>  When Jesus lived on earth, very few people liked the Samaritans.  No one would talk to them or be nice to them or even get near them.

Ask:  Do you know anyone like that now?  That others are afraid to be with?  <let the children respond – possibilities are: the elderly, people from other countries, other faith traditions, etc.>  In this reading, we hear about something that happened in Samaria.  Pretend that you are a child in Jerusalem and you are listening to what happened.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask: Did you hear what happened?  <the Holy Spirit came to the people in Samaria>  this reading reminds us that the Holy Spirit is available for anyone who believes in Jesus – even people who are not exactly like us, even people we might be afraid of.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of St. John.  (John 14:15-21).  St. John tells us about Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit to us.  He promised that he would not leave us here alone.  Let’s listen to see if we can hear who Jesus said he was going to send to us.

Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What happened?  <let the children retell what they heard>  What was the promise that Jesus made?  <that when he returned to his father, he would send the Holy Spirit to us>  What else do we need to build our faith community?  <the Holy Spirit>

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a dove so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a dove).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to make time to listen to the Holy Spirit.
 
Explain: Color this symbol of a dove and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about the Holy Spirit being here with us all the time..

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 dove in a small size for the poster symbol and a medium size for the banner symbol



This graphic is used for the large black line coloring page used for the Offertory




Parent Letter

6th Sunday of Easter  A


Dear Parents,

             Today is the 6th Sunday in the Easter season.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17 and John 14:15-21.

Symbol: dove

To reinforce at home:
In the Acts of the Apostles today we hear about a surprising group of people who received the Holy Spirit, the Samaritans.  Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit to give us the strength and wisdom to carry on his work… but imagine how surprised the Jewish people were to hear that the despised Samaritans also received the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit has been promised to all believers.
In the Gospel we are reminded that the world neither recognizes nor values the Holy Spirit.  When we chase after the things the world values, like money or the most possessions, it is hard to her or appreciate the Holy Spirit.  We are encouraged to continue living the way Jesus taught us anyway with the help of the Holy Spirit.


Activities to do at home:

*Watch television commercials together with your child.  Find some things in the commercials that emphasize the qualities of our world that do NOT reflect Jesus’ message (some examples?  The messages in the commercials – you will be happy if you buy a bigger car, you have to have this new toy in order to find happiness, etc.)
*Pray together!  Find a quiet time together to pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom in making a difficult choice.  When your child has a decision to make, remind them that the Holy Spirit can help them make it.




Thank you for sharing your children!