Sunday, April 25, 2021

5th Sunday of Easter B

5th Sunday of Easter 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 remember what last week’s symbol was?  <a lamb>  What did it stand for?  <to remind us that he is like a good shepherd>
Explain:  So in the last couple of weeks, we learned about 3 things that Jesus wants for his people: peace between each other, reading the Bible to understand God’s message for us and to know how important each of us is.

Say:  Today is the 5th Sunday in Easter.

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a vine with branches. What is a vine?  <a long stem with many leaves>  Do you now if anything that grows on a vine?  <grapes, watermelon, tomatoes, pumpkins>  Can a leaf or a branch live without the vine?  <no>
Say:  Jesus said that he was the vine and we are all branches.  He was trying to tell us that we are all part of his church and that we need the church and each other to grow strong and do good things.  We always need to remember that we are connected to Jesus and to each other through his teachings.  The church represents Jesus here on earth.  It is one of the things he left for us.  By being connected to each other through the church, we are connected to him.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.>  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 again from the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 9:26-28)  The reading today tells about how a man named Saul became a follower of Jesus.  Does anyone here remember anything about Saul?  <let the children discuss>  Saul was a Roman soldier who followed his orders to chase after and kill the people who followed Jesus.  God spoke to Saul and changed his name.  Does anyone know what his new name was?  <Paul>  Pretend that you are one of Jesus’ Apostles.  Listen to the reading and think about how you might feel about the new Christian, Saul.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  How do you think you might feel about Saul?  <afraid, not trust him, etc.>  Barnabas listened to God and believed in Saul.  Barnabas believed even though it didn’t make sense to him.  All people can change if they really want to.  Saul became one of the most important teachers in the early church.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of John.  (John 15:1-5, 7-8). The reading today is a parable.  Does anyone remember what a parable is?  <a teaching story> Jesus compares himself to a vine and us to branches.  He reminds us how important it is that we work hard to keep following him.

Say:  Now we will stand and 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

Say:  Let’s give each other a sign of peace before we sit back down.

Give each other a sign of peace and then sit back down.

Ask:  Why is it important for us to keep following Jesus?  <to stay good, to lead good lives, to get to heaven>  Is it hard to follow Jesus?  <sometimes>  Sometimes it’s just hard to remember to keep praying or to think about Jesus.  When we get busy going to school or playing, we sometimes forget that Jesus is there with us.  Let’s try this week to think of Jesus a little bit more than usual

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

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a vine).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to remember to think about Jesus.
Explain: Color this symbol of a vine and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about how much we need to remember to act the way Jesus did.

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 small graphic for the communal poster

Use this graphic for both the mid-sized banner symbol & the full-sized Offertory symbol

Parent Letter

5th Sunday of Easter  B

Dear Parents,

             Today is the 5th Sunday in the Easter season.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 9:26-28; John 15:1-5, 7-8.

Symbol: vine with branches

To reinforce at home:
Today’s symbol is a vine with branches symbolizing that Christ is a source of all our strength and nourishment.  Help your child understand the concept os how plants are nourished through their stems.

Activities to do at home:

*Grow a sweet potato vine.  All you need is a sweet potato, a wide-mouthed glass jar like a canning jar, three toothpicks and some water.  Insert the toothpicks into the sweet potato just enough to balance the sweet potato over the jar with the pointed end down.  About half of the sweet potato is in the jar.  Fill the jar with water and place in a sunny windowsill.  The sweet potato will begin to send out roots from the bottom and sprouts from the top within a few weeks.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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