Sunday, April 30, 2023

May 7, 2023 5th Sunday of Easter A

5th 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.

Say:  Today is the 5th Sunday of the Easter Season.  Can anyone tell me what we are learning about during this Easter Season?  <building the early church, building a faith community today, what we need in order to build a faith community>

Ask: What was the symbol for last week?  <sheep & gate>  We talked about how Jesus loves and forgives us when we do wrong things.  We learned that love and forgiveness are important things that are needed in Jesus’ church.  Does anyone remember any of the other important things we have talked about for our faith community?  <going to Mass, sharing in the Eucharist, needing each other>

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a person. Today we are going to talk about what happened when the early church grew.

Say:  In the early church, just like now, the Apostles were very busy and overworked.  There was always so much to do.  There were hungry and sick people to help.  There were lots of people who needed to hear about Jesus.  There were letters to write and prayers to say.  And the Apostles still needed to figure out how to get money so they could live.  And in the middle of all this, just like us, they had their own feelings and questions.  God had asked them to do a special job.  How were they going to handle everything?  Today we will hear some readings to help us find out what they did and see if it is something that we can do, too.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <You open your hand to us, Lord; you answer all our needs.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

Say:  The Responsorial Psalm gives us a good clue about what to do when we get confused.  What do you think that you should do when you are confused?  <pray, trust God, have faith>  We need to trust that God will help us.

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 New Testament book, the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 6:1-7a)  When Jesus went back to heaven he asked the Apostles to do a special job, to start his church.  He asked them to continue teaching his message to everyone.  As the Apostles did that, there were more and more people to take care of – just like we talked about earlier.  Listen closely to this reading and find out what they decided to do to handle their problems.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did the Apostles do?  <they asked others for help>  Just like us, the first thing we nee to do is ask for help.  And then we have to let go of the job.  This is even harder to do sometimes.  What that means is letting other people help in their own way (which isn’t always the same way we think things should be done!)

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
You open your hand to feed us, Lord; you answer all our needs.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of John.  (John 14:1-12). When Jesus’ friends found out that he was leaving them alone, they were afraid.  They were worried that they couldn’t handle the job without him.  Jesus told them not to worry, that once he was in heaven, they would be able to do the same things that he did.  Listen to what Jesus told his friends.

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 them?  <that he had to go, that they could never go wrong if they believed in him>  When they talked about knowing the way, they were also talking about knowing what to do.  Sometimes when we are confused, we feel lost.  Jesus said that when we know him and believe in him, then we will know the way (or what to do!).

Say:  The Gospel reading reminds us that we need our faith for our new church.  We need to believe in God.  We also need each other.  We need to ask for help from each other and from God.  How do we ask for help from God?  <prayer>

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

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a person).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to show that they need others to help them in their lives.
Explain: Color this symbol of a person and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about needing others in our lives.

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 same graphic (or one of your choosing) for the small light-colored poster cut-outs, the mid-sized banner symbol and the full-sized Offertory symbol

Parent Letter

5th Sunday of Easter  A

Dear Parents,

             Today is the 5th Sunday in the Easter season.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 8:1-7a; John 14:1-12.

Symbol: person

To reinforce at home:
For several weeks, we have been talking about what is needed to create a strong church or faith community.  We have mentioned faith, attending Mass and participating in the Eucharist, love and forgiveness.  Today we talked about  the fact that we need God and other people.  The readings today remind us to ask for help.  We ask others for help and we ask God for help.  To build our church, today we add other people and prayer.

Activities to do at home:

*We need each other!  Together with your child, brainstorm ways that you need other people in order to live your life the way you do right now.  For example, talk about the people who provide you with food, from the farmer to the owner of the grocery store, or the people who provide you with transportation, from the highway department to the engineer who designs vehicles.

*Who needs you?  Together with your child, make a list of the people who need you.  Don’t forget the elderly person who waits for your smile each time you arrive or the teacher who needs a student.  Emphasize that we are all inter-dependent upon each other.

*What can you do to help?  Other people need your help.  Run an errand for a neighbor.  Buy an extra food item at the store this week to donate to the hungry.  Write a letter together to a relative you haven’t seen in a while.

*Feel like you can’t help?  Never underestimate the value of prayer!  With your child, make a list of people you’d like to help but don’t know how.  Pray together for those people.

Thank you for sharing your children!


Lynn Williams said...

Thank you for offering this. It helped me prepare to lead CLOW at mass tomorrow.

kvanatta said...

I am so glad that it helps!! Please let me know if I may offer any other assistance!