Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 31, 2014 22nd Sunday Ordinary Time A


Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time  Cycle A

Welcome the children to their worship space.

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

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Introduce Sunday

            Explain:  Today is the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.  What can anyone tell me about Ordinary Time?  <it is one of the church seasons, the color is always green>  Does anyone know what the next season will be and what it is called?  <The next season is Advent and usually begins in November>
 
Ask:  Does anyone remember what the symbol for last Sunday was?  <a church on a rock>  And what did it represent?  <It represented Jesus’ church built on a strong foundation.>  Peter was the strong person Jesus chose to lead the church and help build it.  Our job is to carry on Peter’s work.

Introduce symbol


Say:  Our symbol today is a cross.
Explain:  What does a cross make you think of?  <Jesus>  Why does a cross make us think of Jesus?  <because Jesus was crucified on a cross>

Ask:  Here’s what we need to think about today.  Did Jesus have a choice?  Did he have to die on the cross?  What do you think?  <discuss>

Say:  YES!!!  Absolutely Jesus had a choice.  Jesus is God.  Jesus can do whatever he wants.  But he loves us so much that he wanted to know how we feel when we have bad times in our lives.  He showed us how to listen to God and do what he asks us to do.

Say:  Now we are going to practice the Responsorial Psalm, that part between the readings where you get to help.  The Responsorial Psalm comes from the Bible just like our readings do.  Today’s psalm is:  My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord, my God.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

            Ask:  Have you ever been thirsty?  What did it feel like?  <discuss>  What do you think it means ‘to thirst for God’?  <discuss>

Introduce the 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 today is from the Old Testament book of the prophet Jeremiah.  (Jeremiah 20:7-9).  In this reading Jeremiah is not happy about being God’s servant.  He sounds pretty upset with God.  Listen to what Jeremiah prays to God.

Have the reader read the reading.

Ask:  What did you hear?  <discuss>  When Jeremiah did what God asked him to do, people made fun of him and treated him badly.  Why do you think that Jeremiah kept on telling people about God?  <discuss>

Say:  Jeremiah remained open to God’s will.  Jeremiah loved God.  That love was stronger than anything anyone else could do to hurt him.  It is not always easy to do the right thing.

Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.  <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me:  My soul is thirsting for you, my Lord and my God.

Have the reader read the psalm.

Say:  Now it’s time to read the Gospel.  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book of Matthew.  (Matthew 16:21-25:)  This reading tells us about a time that Jesus told his disciples how he was going to die.  Do you remember how that happened?  <met with Pilate, he was turned over to the Jews, he was crucified on the cross, etc.>  Peter could not understand why Jesus would allow such a horrible thing to happen to him.  Peter knew that Jesus was God and that he could stop the people from killing him.  Listen closely and hear what Jesus told Peter.
 
Say:  Now let’s stand and get ready to read the Gospel.
Alleluia, Alleluia.

Read the Gospel.

 Ask:  What did Jesus say to Peter?  <Satan, get away from me!>  Jesus called Peter Satan!  The man he would choose to lead his church, Jesus called him Satan.  Why do you think he did that?  <Peter was tempting Jesus not to follow God’s will.  Peter was trying to get Jesus to save himself instead of listening to God>  Did Jesus really think that Peter was Satan?  <no>  But sometimes even the best people get in the way of God’s will.  People don’t think like God thinks.  And that is Satan’s work.

Ask:  Acting the way that is right is not always easy.  Jesus said that following God’s will, doing the right thing, is like a cross.  We each have crosses that we must carry id we are to follow Jesus.  Think about the crosses that God gave you to carry and try to do a better job of carrying them.

Hand out the large Offertory symbols (crosses) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (crosses) for the children to put their names on for the poster.

Explain:  Color the symbol of the cross and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show what we have learned about accepting the crosses that God gives us to carry.

Ask the older children to write down one thing that they can do this week to look for things in their lives that show God’s love for them.

While they are coloring, go over the procedure for entering the church at the Offertory, how they approach the altar and put their symbols in the basket that the lead child will place at the altar.

Give out parent letters, coloring hand-outs and stickers.

Use this graphic for all 3 symbols.....  cut out in light colors for the community poster, create a mid-sized symbol for the banner out of stiff paper or cardboard, and copy full page-size copies in black & white to color and use for the Offertory gift.


Parent Letter

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time  A


Dear Parents,

            Today is the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you did: Jeremiah 20:7-9 and Matthew 16:21-25.

Symbol: Cross

To reinforce at home:
            Today we talked about how hard it is sometimes to do what God asks us to do.  Jeremiah complained as he prayed to God about all the people who persecuted him when he taught them about God.  He complained about how hard it was to keep on teaching.  But because he was open to God’s will, the need to continue his teaching was very strong.

            Jesus told his Apostles about his impending death and resurrection.  Peter’s reaction was really quite predictable in human terms.  He told his best friend, the man he knew was divine, to stop the process, to save himself.  But Peter, for all his caring for Jesus, stood between Jesus and the will of God.  It is important for us to learn to listen to God and do the right thing – even when it is hard.

Activities to do at home:

            *Together with your child, make a large cross out of posterboard.  Make a list of some hard things you have to do that you know are the right things, the things that God wants you to do.
           
            *Pray about it!  Jeremiah sounds like he is complaining to God.  God is your friend and he loves you.  Sometimes when you are honest with God, it sounds like complaining.  Tell God how you feel and then say YES anyway.

Thank you for sharing your children!




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Last Quarter 2014 Available!

Thank you so much for your patience and support, my friends!

I have the last quarter available which will carry you through until the Feast of Christ the King, November 23, 2014.

I apologize for taking so long!  As always, the plans will continue to be available free on my site for a few weeks.

I ask for a $10 fee for the quarters' plans in advance.  Check out the Page titled "Advance Planning"

Thank you!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 24, 2014 21st Sunday Ordinary Time

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
            Twenty First Sunday of Ordinary Time   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.

Introduce
            Say:  Today is the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a globe.  We talked about God existing for everyone in the world – not just us.

Introduce symbol
            Say:  (Hold up the symbol)  Can anyone tell me what today’s symbol is?  <a church>  What do you think that this church is sitting on?  <rock>  That’s right – our symbol for today is a church on top of a rock.

            Ask:  What do you think that this might mean? <let the children discuss>  Today we are going to talk about our church a little and see what we find out.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <Lord, your love is eternal.>  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 does the word ‘eternal’ mean?  <forever>  So what does the Responsorial Psalm for today tell us?  <that God’s love for us lasts forever>

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 letter of St. Paul to the Romans. (Romans 11:33-36).  St. Paul reminds us today that all knowledge comes from God.  We are simply human and make lots of human mistakes.  When we are trying hard to do what God asks, we are supported by all God’s wisdom.  God makes us stronger than we think we are.  Let’s hear what St. Paul wrote to the Romans.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  Can anyone tell me this?  In the reading, St. Paul said that anything that came from God does something else.  What was it?  <returned to God>

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            Lord, your love is eternal.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matt 16:13-20)  In today’s reading, Jesus is walking along with his disciples. Jesus asked them what the people were saying about him.  Then Jesus pushed a little further and asked the disciples what they thought about him.  One mans answered.  Let’s listen to their conversation and see who answered and what happened next.

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
            Please stand up.
            Glory and praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Read:  Read:
            “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

All respond:  Glory to you, O Lord.

Read the Gospel          

Ask:  When Jesus asked who the disciples thought he was, which man answered him?  <Peter>  What did Peter answer?  <that Jesus was the Son of God>  Then what happened?  <Jesus told him that he was blessed>  Did Peter figure out about Jesus all by himself?  <no – God showed it to him>

Say:  In the first reading, we heard that “everything comes from God”.  God helped Peter to understand just like God helps us to understand.  Jesus called Peter a “rock” and said that “upon this rock, I will build my church”.  What might this mean?  <discuss>

Say:  Peter was a man of strong faith – just like rocks are strong.  St. Peter was the first pope, the first leader of our church who was chosen by God.  Who is our pope today?

Ask:  Like Peter, we are God’s people of faith.  Is your faith as strong as a rock?  What can you do to help your faith grow stronger?  <go to church, talk to your family about God, etc.>

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

Hand out the Offertory symbols to color.

Explain: Let’s color the churches and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about our own faith and that of our church leaders.
           
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to help strengthen their faith.

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.

Give out stickers, parent letters and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this graphic to make the small light-colored symbols for the communal project poster

Use this graphic to make the mid-sized banner symbol with construction paper in various colors AND for the full-sized coloring page to use for the Offertory gift.




Parent Letter

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time A


Dear Parents,

            Today is the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time. Your children listened to two of the same readings you did: Romans 11:33-36 and Matthew 16:13-20.

Symbol: church upon a rock

To reinforce at home:
           
            In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, we are reminded that all of our knowledge and our faith comes from God.  We do not believe all by ourselves.  We need God’s help.

            Matthew recounts a story of a time when Jesus was walking along with his disciples.  Jesus questioned them about who they thought he really was.  Peter spoke up telling Jesus that he believed that Jesus was the Messiah.  Jesus was pleased and told Peter that he had been blessed.  Jesus told Peter that God had revealed this information to Peter.  Jesus then placed the responsibility of leading his church upon Peter.  It was Peter’s faith that gave the Church its initial foundation.  It is the faith of all of us and our church leaders that provide its foundation today.

Activities to do at home:
           
            *Who’s who?  Review with your child the names of your pastor and associates, your bishop and the pope.
           
            *How strong is your faith?  Together with your child, talk about the things that you do to keep your faith strong.



Thank you for sharing your children!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 17, 2014 20th Sunday Ordinary Time

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
            Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time   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.

Introduce
            Say:  Today is the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was water.  We talked about recognizing God in the world and how much easier it is to recognize God if your faith is strong!

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Today’s symbol is a globe.  Can anyone tell me what a globe is?  <the world>  What might the globe represent?  <everyone who lives on earth>

            Say:  Sometimes when we go to church each week and we only see the people we know, we begin to think that God is only for us.  It’s hard to remember that God is available to everyone – you, me, the people down the street, the people across the country and throughout the world.  God is available to people you like, people you don’t like, people who make good choices and people who don’t.  God is the God of everyone in the world.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <O God, let all the nations praise you!>  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 Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah. (Isa 56:1, 6-7).  Does anyone remember hearing stories about how the Jews are the ‘chosen people of God’?  Many of the readings we hear in both the Old Testament and the New Testament mention this.  Traditionally the Jewish people felt that what this meant was that God would ignore the prayers and problems of people who were not Jewish.  The reading from Isaiah gives us a different thought.  Let’s hear what the prophet Isaiah proclaimed.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did you hear?  <let the children discuss>  Who does God call to worship?  <everyone, including foreigners, those from other countries>

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            O God, let all the nations praise you!

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matt 15:21-28)  Today’s reading tells us about a woman who wanted Jesus to help her daughter.  Think back to a time when Jesus walked on earth.  Remember all the things we have heard about the coming of Jesus – how he was of the line of David, how he was the messiah, and how the messiah came to save the Jewish people.  Remember that Jesus himself was a member of the Jewish faith.  Now imagine that you are part of the crowd following Jesus.  You are a Jew and you are feeling pretty special about this wonderful new teacher named Jesus.  A woman from Cana comes up to him asking him to help her sick daughter.  This woman is a stranger, not Jewish.  Let'’ listen now and find out what happens.

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
            Please stand up.
            Glory and praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Read:  Read:
            “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

All respond:  Glory to you, O Lord.

Read the Gospel          

Ask:  What was Jesus’ first response to the woman?  <He said that He was sent to the people of Israel>  Did that mean he wouldn’t help her?  <no>

Say:  Jesus helps everyone who believes in him.  Our God is the God of everyone.

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

Hand out the Offertory symbols to color.

Explain: Let’s color the globes and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about God’s love being for everyone in the world.
           
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to show Jesus’ love to someone they don’t know or like very well.

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.

Give out stickers, parent letters and hand-outs as they leave.
Use this graphic to make light colored circles for the community banner

Use this for both the medium-sized banner symbol and the full-sized Offertory coloring page.



Parent Letter

20th Sunday of Ordinary Time  A


Dear Parents,

            Today is the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Isaiah 56:1, 6-7 and Matthew 15:21-28.

Symbol: globe

To reinforce at home:

            The readings today tell us that God is available to all nations.  God relies on our faith to bring us to him.  It doesn’t matter where you live or who you are, if you believe in God, then God is there for you.

Activities to do at home:

            *Check it out!  Get a globe or a map and choose a country to learn more about.  Draw the flag, eat a dish from that country, learn a few words of the language.  Emphasize to your child that the people in this country are also children of God.
           
            *Watch the news!  There are many events, both good and bad, happening all over the world.  Together with your child, choose a country to say a prayer for.


Thank you for sharing your children!