Jesus Prays in the Garden

or, WHAT I DO WHEN I TOOK A MENTAL HEALTH DAY LAST WEEK AND AM NOT SO PREPARED …

So, the usual lesson plan for the stories starts with a QUESTION FOR THE DAY. And, let’s just say that last week – well, I got stuck on the QUESTION FOR THE DAY – so much so that I did not blog. At all.

It’s OK. You’ll have weeks like that, too. And, when you do,

This is my favorite resource – http://www.jesusstorybookbible.com

Like it on facebook and sometimes you’ll even be sent a free video that goes exactly with the week that you are set to teach –

JSB on FB Go now and you’ll get the night in the garden story!!!!

And, just so you know that I was right there with you last week if you were trying to keep up with the syllabus without me, I’m going to tell you all my wonderings …

I wonder when you don’t want to be alone …

I wonder who you call, who you ask to come along and where you go …

I wonder when you cry and are afraid, who do you turn to and how do you decide to keep on …

I wonder when the decision is made and you go forward, whatever the trial … do you ever find that you are brave enough to sing …

JESUS FEEDS 5,000

Jesus Feeds 5,000

Mark 6:30-44; John 6:1-14

Explaining Lent, Year B

ENVIRONMENT AID: What element of this story needs highlighting this Lenten season? The astounding miracle could be that Jesus multiples one lunch to feed thousands with food to spare. Or, the miracle could be that Jesus even cares about something as mundane as feeding a crowd. Why not just stop teaching and send them home? I’ve chosen to create a kitchen scene for my class today.

  • Consider bringing bags of flour, rolling pins, mixing bowls. If you’re brave, bring a cooler of fresh fish! Can you stomach a baking mess on your table, go for it! We’ve assembled “bread in a bag” dry ingredients with instruction cards to take home with our class before – LIKE THIS RECIPE
  • Have a bread machine? Start it early in your room and smell good things!
  • Have enough aprons for every student? Have them put one on at the door.

Ask them as they enter

Have you ever packed lunch for a crowd? What’s the longest camping trip (or biggest picnic or tailgate) you’ve been to …

LOOKING AT THE WORD: Have each student open the bible to the text for the day. Read it aloud. Then ask, the journalist’s  questions

  • When does this story take place? What time of day? Do we know what’s happened before? (Look at the verses above our story.)
  • Who is in our story? Do we know their names? Do we know how many of them there were?
  • Where are we?
  • What happens? What is the conflict or problem in our story today?
  • How do Jesus’ friends try to solve the problem?
  • How does Jesus solve the problem?
  • How do they (Jesus’ friends) feel before, during, and after this situation?

I WONDER DISCUSSION:

I wonder if I had been there, would I have stayed to listen to Jesus for that long…

I wonder if I could see him, hear him easily… I wonder if my stomach was growling…

I wonder if I knew that boy with the lunch, if he was a friend, if he usually shared his stuff, or not …

I wonder what that blessing sounded like, when Jesus prayed over the lunch …

I wonder when exactly people knew that the bread and fish were multiplying … Did they chuckle, gasp, scream and holler …

I wonder how Jesus was feeling as they bagged the leftovers? Pleased, tired, proud …

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD:

Do you have a list of God’s attributes (words) displayed in your classroom? If not, then considering starting one this week. You may want to highlight

CREATOR. PROVIDER. BREAD OF LIFE. TEACHER.

If you have used the Children’s Catechism Q/As for prior memory work, then refer to this one –

WHO MADE YOU? GOD. WHAT ELSE DID GOD MAKE? ALL THINGS.

CAN GOD DO ALL THINGS? YES. GOD CAN DO ALL HIS HOLY WILL.

If you have charted how Jesus shows himself to be both MAN and GOD as you read through Mark, then add phrases or events from today’s passage.

HE HUNGERS/EATS/SERVES/PRAYS? HE CREATES/WORKS MIRACLES?

CREATIVE RESPONSE:

  • Individualized Suggestion: Offer magazines/scissors/glue, pen/paper. List, with words or pictures, every material thing in life that you need.
  • Group Suggestion: Same as above, but on larger canvas (poster board, butcher paper, etc.)

AFTER THE LISTS ARE MADE, REMIND STUDENTS THAT GOD PROVIDES OUR NEEDS. TELL THEM THAT HE DESIRES OUR REQUESTS AND THANKS FOR THOSE THINGS, THOUGH. WE SHOW OUR TRUST IN HIM WHEN WE PRAY, “Give us this day our daily bread.” END WITH THE LORD’S PRAYER. 

PLEASE CONSIDER SHARING A PHOTO OR VIDEO OF YOUR CREATIVE RESPONSES – OR EVEN YOUR DISCUSSIONS!

Mission Project: Cooking for Homeless

Do you know how your church participates in missions?

Encourage your children and families to become involved in those things that already exist.

  • You’ll foster community within your congregation by working together.
  • You’ll have built in help. Ask a ministry leader/participant to join you for the children’s activity.
  • And you’ll create traditions. Everyone (not just the children, but their families, too) appreciate knowing that “we do this at this time every year – or month.”

Church of the Apostles partners with Streetside Ministries to serve a meal to area homeless on Monday nights. CLUB45 (4th/5th grade) has made casseroles, hot dogs, and burritos. Think assembly style food prep. We’ve also made desserts when the entire meal seemed too much to undertake.

See one of my emailed recaps to parents to hear what we experienced during a CLUB45 Mission Cooking Night.

(September 2012)

Parents (and Mission Team,)

What a great time last night at CLUB45!
Thanks to Shannon for sharing with us and directing us in the kitchen. Shannon, you’re made to work with this group. Hope to see you again with them.
Thanks to many of you who sent ingredients – totaling approx $100 in costs.
Here’s a little recap of our night:
1) Gathered in parlor. That’s a nice room! Did not realize how much kids that age talk (especially girls!) Lots of talking.
2) Introduced ourselves and shared a favorite food (since we were going to be cooking.) Some sweet answers. Shannon, remember you promised that you’d forward the “baked oatmeal” recipe to moms.
3) Shannon shared about her experience with Streetside Ministry and Apostles’ relationship with that group and her past experiences cooking for them. She shared some practicalities of why people are homeless, how we can best help the homeless by sometimes giving things like food not money, that the Bible says there will always be poor people, etc. Again, great discussion.
4) We looked at our recipe that we were about to cook and wrote down the approximate cost of making it and talked about how money comes in to play when we decide how we individually – and even as a church – can “do missions.”
EX: I might really want to cook for the homeless but I probably will not be able to cook for them every Monday that Streetside goes out because that would cost $400-$500 a month – even with the good shopping habits that some of you demonstrated. We were blunt about shopping at Piggly Wiggly and buying the store brand, finding things on sale at Publix, shopping at Aldi, using coupons, etc.
We also heard how much time it takes Mrs. Shannon if she is going to cook this meal by herself – how you have to have several pots going at one time to fit the 7 boxes of noodles in to cook – browning the meat if you add meat – basically that it takes her a whole day!
5) We prayed the Lord’s Prayer and I mentioned how it says, “give us this day our daily bread.”
6) We assembled the casseroles in the kitchen. We did. We really did. It was a little chaotic with three groups each assembling a casserole, but I think they had fun.
The casseroles are in the freezer and will be thawed/cooked for distribution on Monday, 8 October.
I think they enjoyed the fellowship and I believe they learned something about the hows/whys/cost in time and money of participating in Streetside Ministries. Children’s Ministry is signed up to do the meal again in February – maybe we will find a time other than Tuesday night to cook so others can participate.
Blessings,  (I was blessed!)
Melanie

The Power of Word and Liturgy

(written in 2008)

It has happened many nights these past few weeks. Andy has asked Ian, “Do you want to say the Lord’s Prayer?” Ian’s answer is always, “Yes.” And, in a surprising venture from our typical toddler “God, Our Father,“ echo blessing, Andy and I will begin to recite King James language on bended knees in a bedroom full of picture books and toy tractors.

Inevitably, I will raise my head and peek at our two year old, seated on the bed, legs dangling into his daddy’s chest, and I will be caught off guard. Our bundle of animation will be transfixed, staring intently into his daddy’s moving lips, trying from time to time to mimic a word at the end of a phrase. In that moment, I will be reminded of a great truth. The Word is powerful. My son’s curiosity is a testament to it.

On one of these nights, a different power revealed itself in me. On Lord’s Prayer nights, Andy will normally add his own prayer at the end, inserting our personal family thanksgivings and requests. But, on this night, we completed our recitation and I found myself continuing …

The gifts of God for the people of God.

The naturalness that this flowed shocked me. This is not part of the Lord’s Prayer, I thought to myself. Where did it come from? Why did I say it? In my own home, I was struck with an almost humiliated panic, feeling as if what I had done made no sense – and I would have to explain it.

But Andy’s prayer interrupted my thoughts, and with relief, I discovered that I had not said these additional words aloud. I went to bed, safe with my secret.

The next day was Sunday and I quickly made sense of my new found connection. You likely understand already. In the liturgy of our church, the Lord’s Prayer is followed by the invitation to Communion. I smiled that day when the priest presented the elements. After a mere 2 ½ years in this Anglican tradition, the liturgy showed it’s power in me.

It was more than the power of habit. It was a power of connection and celebration. I cannot fully describe the emotion that I felt when I uttered those words to myself that night. I can only tell you that while my knees were bent in prayer, my heart leapt at the prayer’s conclusion. In my mind, I was standing, with arms outstretched, ready to accept the gifts of God, ready to believe that in all days in all ways, He is giving good gifts.

It is these kinds of experiences that I pray will happen in the Children’s Sunday School and Children’s Worship times at Church of the Apostles. May curious hearts and minds experience the power of the Word and the mystery of the Liturgy.