Have you ever felt like you got landed the job of doing children’s church or Sunday school because you have young children, or there’s no one else volunteering? And that you feel out of your depth because your day job isn’t being a teacher? That was me fifteen years ago. It felt like I got dropped in the deep end, but when you have your own children’s spiritual wellbeing to think about, and you’re the curate’s wife, you’d lend a hand! Nowadays I no longer find it daunting, just because experience has taught us what works and what doesn’t for our little group of children. In this post, I shall try to tease out some of my methods, in the hope that it may be of some help to those of you who find yourselves in the privileged position of “doing children’s work”, particularly in a small church or small group, or are thinking of starting out. Continue reading “Undeserving Zacchaeus – Lesson for all of us”
I’m always grateful for talented people to post their beautiful creations online for me to find, more so if they explain how to achieve them with step-by-step instructions. Last week, I was looking for a craft activity for our Kids’ Club session to tie in with Pentecost, and I came across this brilliant votive candle on Pinterest:
The Ink and Glue website has a set of very clear instructions of how to make it, so I shall not duplicate it here.
The only difference I made to the design was to make the bottom of the toilet roll centre solid so that when we put a LED tea light in, it would not fall out. So, instead of cutting off the bottom of the toilet roll centre, I drew lines for cutting along, then folding the strips inwards to form a base.
Also, instead of using glue sticks to stick the tissue paper onto the toilet roll centre, we used double-sided sticky tape. This worked very well, and was less messy.
Everyone was happy with their Pentecost flame, and I hope that the children enjoyed making them!
Last week at Kids’ Club, Arthur read to the kids from the Children’s Bible about Ascension Day – when Jesus went up to heaven 40 days after Easter Sunday. We usually ask the children to listen carefully because at the end of the story there would be questions, and if they answered correctly there would be a reward (usually involving sweets). You would have thought that the promise of rewards would help the kids concentrate and listen well, but where the enthusiasm was there and they all raised their hands to answer questions, the responses were often pure guess work. Needless to say, they received a lot of hints from the helpers – God forbid that anyone should miss out on a sweet!
This made me think that perhaps as grown-ups we are not any better. You see, when Jesus was with his disciples, he told them what was going to happen – that he was going to be killed and then raised to life, and that he was going away. Right up to the moment that all these things happened, and even a bit afterwards, the disciples hadn’t taken it in. If they heard what Jesus said, they hadn’t processed it. I imagine that the disciples loved being around their Teacher, and they can be forgiven in wanting Jesus to remain with them forever – life was going to be so good when the kingdom of heaven comes. After all, Jesus did teach about the coming kingdom an awful lot. Perhaps much like we dangle the carrot at Kids’ Club with the promise of sweets if correct answers are given, and the children know that they will be rewarded anyway. Who isn’t excited by that thought?
To me, the Ascension speaks of God being a loving and wise parent. Let me explain – Jesus always carried out God the Father’s plans, which reach far beyond the here and now. He wasn’t there only for his disciples whilst he walked on this earth, as he clearly stated that he had “other sheep that are not of this sheep pen”. (John 10:16) Jesus’ ascension meant that God could send the disciples the Holy Spirit, without whom they would not have been empowered to preach the gospel. Like a good parent, Jesus prepared ahead for the time when his followers would have to cope without him being around physically. He said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) But he also said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7) . Continue reading “What does the Ascension mean for us?”