Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 12, 2015 15th Sunday Ordinary Time B


Children’s Liturgy Instructions

Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time   Cycle B

Welcome children to their worship space.

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

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Ask children to add their names to the cutouts (rectangles) provided.  Explain that we are making a poster for each Sunday and that they will sign a cutout and glue it on. 
Ask: Does anyone remember what we were talking about last week? <how God uses regular people like us to tell about him, how we need to believe in Jesus>  What is the word that means the same as “Believe”?  <Faith>

Explain: Today we are going to talk some more about Faith.  We are going to talk about things that get in the way of our faith.

Ask: Has anyone here ever been on a trip before? <allow a few minutes for discussion>  Did you take a lot of stuff with you?   <discuss>  Did you ever find that you were so busy taking care of your things that you missed some of the fun?
Explain: Jesus sent his friends out to tell everyone about him but... he told them to “pack lightly” so that they could concentrate on others and not themselves. 
Ask: What might that mean to us?  <focus on sharing God’s love rather than spending time worrying about other things, believing that God will take care of our needs>

Introduce symbol
Say:  Our symbol today is a suitcase - so we remember to “pack lightly”, to put our worries about ourselves behind and concentrate on sharing Jesus’ love.

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: Lord, show us your mercy and love, and grant us your salvation.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Introduce readings
Say:  The first reading today is from the Old Testament, from the book of Amos (Amos 7:10-15).  It tells the story of a man named Amos who listened to God and did what God told him to do.  Amos was just an ordinary farmer but God chose him to tell some important people about things that would happen to the Israelites.

Say:  Now we will have the first reading (light the candle)

Ask:  What did God ask Amos to do?  <leave his farm and flocks to preach to the people of Israel>  Why do you think that the king of Israel didn’t want Amos talking to his people?  <because he didn’t want to hear the message>

Have the first reading

Say:  Next we will have the Responsorial Psalm
Your part will be to say:

Lord, show us your mercy and love, and grant us your salvation.  (hold up card with psalm on it)

Have reader read the psalm

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading was written by St. Mark (Mark 6:7-13).  St. Mark tells us how Jesus sent his Apostles out two by two to spread the news about God.  He even talks about how to pack lightly so that they can concentrate on the message and not on themselves and their needs.
Have you ever heard about missionaries?  They are people who go to places, often faraway, to help other people learn about God.  Many times, missionaries also help fix homes and bring food and teach children.  Sometimes teenagers and adults spend time together helping people near where you live get their homes fixed.  When they go on the trip, they have to pack very few items because their job is to think about Jesus and the people they will help. 
Let’s pretend that God has asked us to go out on a journey and we are trying to figure out how to get ready.  While you are listening, try to think of one thing you think that God would like for you to quit worrying about.

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

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

All respond:  Glory to you, O Lord.
Read the Gospel
 
Ask:  What is one thing that you think God would like for you to quit worrying about?

Hand out the symbols to color and cut out. (The symbol is a suitcase ) 

Explain: Color this symbol of the suitcase and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about how to get ready to share God’s love. 

Say: If you have time, write one thing on the back that you would not need to bring with you on a mission trip - either in your suitcase or in your mind.  <like maybe... no curling iron or worries about passing grades.>

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 in light colors for the small symbol
Use this graphic for the banner and Offertory symbols

 
Parent Letter

Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
                                                                             
             Today your children heard simplified versions of two of the same readings you heard: Amos 7:12-15 and Mark 6:7-13.
            

To reinforce at home:
Today we talked about trusting in God.  Jesus sent his disciples out two by two to tell the world about Him.  He instructed them to pack lightly.  We talked about the extra things we carry around with us, specifically worries, that get in the way of our doing the things that Jesus asks us to do.
We touched very briefly on the mission opportunities we all have around the world and here at home.

Activities to do at home:
*Introduce the concept of mission work to your children.  Share with them an article from your Catholic diocesan newsletter or some other news source that tells about mission work. 
*Remind them about recent local natural disasters (like hurricanes or floods) and the great needs that were filled by regular ordinary people.
*Talk a little bit about excessive worry and how harmful it can be.  Our society is crammed full of worries!  It is good for all of us to remember how well God will take care of us if we will have faith in Him.
 
Thank you for sharing your children!


Sunday, June 28, 2015

July 5, 2015 14th Sunday Ordinary Time B


Children’s Liturgy Instructions

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time   Cycle B

Welcome children to their worship space.

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

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Ask: Does anyone know what faith is? 

Explain:  Another word for faith is Belief.  If we have faith in something, then we believe in it. 

Introduce symbol
Say:  Today is the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Can anyone tell me what our symbol for today is? (a heart with an eye on it).

Say:  Another way to explain FAITH is to say that you “see with your heart”.

Ask:  Can anyone tell me something you might believe in that you can’t see?  How about the wind?  Do you believe the wind exists?  Can you see it? No, but you can see what it can do so you know it’s there.

Ask: If Jesus were here today, would you listen to him? <wait for YES>  My real question is: would you even know him or believe that it was really him?

Explain:  We are all called to bring the good news to other people.  God often uses plain people like you and me to spread his word.  We need to believe in God’s goodness to even recognize the way his message comes to us.  We need to believe in God to recognize that the good things that we do are really because of God in us.

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:  Lord, you are good and forgiving.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Introduce readings

Say:  The first reading today is from the Old Testament, from the book of the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:2-5).  It tells about how God asked a simple man to go talk to all the people of Israel when they were doing bad things and how he hoped that the Israelites would listen. 

Say:  Now we will have the first reading (light the candle)

Have the first reading

Ask:  How do you think that Ezekiel felt when God asked him to go talk to the people of Israel?  <discuss>  How do you think you would feel if God asked you to do this job?

Say:  Next we will have the Responsorial Psalm
Your part will be to say:
Lord, you are good and forgiving.  (hold up card with psalm on it)

Have reader read the psalm

Say: The Gospel reading for today was written by the Apostle Mark (Mark 6:1-6)  It tells about how the people from Jesus’ hometown didn’t believe in Him.  They knew Him when he was growing up and didn’t appreciate or understand that He could be the Son of God.  The sad part is that since they didn’t believe in him, he could not help them.
Before the Gospel, we are going to do something a little bit different today. We are going to do something that everyone does in the big church.  We make three little crosses - 1 on our forehead- 1 on our lips - and 1 on our hearts.  This is a kind of prayer where we are asking God to help us understand His words to us (forehead), to help us tell others about His word (lips) and the live His word (heart).  When we do this, we say : Glory to You, O Lord.

Let’s practice this one time.

Now, let’s all pretend that we are the people from Nazareth and Jesus was a little boy you grew up with.  Think about how hard it must have been for them to know Jesus as God.

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

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

All respond:  Glory to you, O Lord.

Read the Gospel

Say:  Look at the children sitting near you.  Pretend that Jesus was a child with you.  Do you think you would find it difficult to believe that someone in this room might be the son of God?  The people of Nazareth knew Jesus as a little boy, and as a young man .. a simple carpenter who fixed things for people.  It was really hard for them to imagine this person, Jesus, as the son of God.

Hand out the symbols to color and cut out. (the symbol is a heart with an eye on it ) 

Explain: Let’s color the hearts  (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about believing in God.
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they believe in that they cannot see.

If there is time for discussion, try to ask questions and reinforce what has already been discussed.  This helps the children to remember what they learned.

Ask:  Does anyone remember the name of the Apostle who did not believe Jesus had rise from the dead until he saw Jesus’ wounds?  (Thomas)
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 for the small communal poster symbol

Use this graphic to make the mid-sized banner symbol and the full-sized coloring page Offertory gift

 
Parent Letter

Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
                                                                             
                                                                             
Dear Parents,                                                   
             Today your children heard simplified versions of two of the same readings you heard: Ezekiel 2:2-5 and Mark 6:1-6.

To reinforce at home:
Both of the readings today emphasize that God works through ordinary people.  It is clear how difficult it might be to recognize the hand of God in the ordinary everyday things.  We talked about how Faith is like believing with your heart - knowing something exists even when you can’t see or understand it.  In the Gospel, Jesus’ friends and neighbors from his hometown of Nazareth couldn’t believe that He was the Son of God.  Since they had no faith, there was not much that Jesus could do for them.

Activities to do at home:
*Talk together about things that we know are real but we cannot see and sometimes cannot understand.  Some examples might be: the wind, electricity, love.  Discuss how we know these things are real.
*Discuss how our belief in God makes us strong and helps us. Those who do not believe in Him do not have the same strength.  It is available to all of us, but we have to take the first step in faith.  There are many stories of Jesus’ healing miracles that emphasize the importance of believing.  Read one together.
 
Thank you for sharing your children!