When I was thinking about what to do for the first Kids’ Club session after the Easter break, several stories in the Bible came to mind. I thought that what follows on from Jesus’ resurrection would be his appearance to his disciples, and I wanted to tell the children about doubting Thomas. As I was churning over in my mind how I might make the short passage in John’s gospel (Chapter 20) more memorable, somewhere in my subconscious surfaced this illustration, and whether it connected the dots for the kids or not, I was determined to use it. It went something like this:
“Hello kids! I’ve not been feeling that well lately, and I thought I should try something new for my diet.” I took out a tin of dog food from my bag and continued, “You know how they always advertise that these branded dog food would give your dog energy and make their coat look shiny and silky. It’s great tasting and full of vitamins… Well, I thought I could do with some of that.”
At this point I opened the tin by pulling on the ring-pull and started scooping up the contents into my mouth. The children gasped and made disgusted noises, even commented that it smelt vile. Continue reading “Kids eat dog food!”
Did you know that the Easter Tree is nothing new? I thought it’s a novel idea, but apparently it’s a European tradition and our American cousins have had Easter Trees for a while. Anyway, that’s the activity Arthur had prepared for us on the last session of Kids’ Club before school broke up for the Easter holidays, but first of all we had to talk about the Easter story. The children were keen to show off their knowledge, so we had a Q&A time.
It turned out that a fair bit of prompting was needed, so we had a quick recap of Jesus’ death on the cross on Good Friday, and then how on the very first Easter Sunday, Jesus’ disciples and Mary Magdalene went to the tomb only to find his body gone. Two angels told them that Jesus was not there. He had risen from the dead! Much to Mary’s surprise, Jesus himself appeared to her in the garden where the tomb was, and her grief was turned to joy. Jesus also appeared to his disciples later, but that’s for another time. We wanted to focus on Easter Day in the session, and what it means to us.
To help with the explanation, Arthur had brought in a willow “tree” from his garden, or rather, a slender branch he had stuck in a pot of compost last year because it looked dead. He looked after it all winter, and a few weeks ago it showed signs of new life – fresh young green leaves sprouted from the twigs. So he thought it would be very apt to use it to illustrate the message of Easter – that of new life.
Talk of Easter to anyone and what excites them about it, and people think of Easter eggs, especially the children. So we asked our Kids’ Club children what the eggs have to do with Easter and with new life. At first they couldn’t move past the thought of chocolate eggs… Continue reading “Kids’ Club joins in new craze of Easter Egg Tree”
I hope that we all had plenty of pancakes on Pancake Day, aka Shrove Tuesday, which was on Feb 28th this year. That, of course, was followed by Ash Wednesday, the start of the season of Lent – the 40-day period leading up to Easter (not counting Sundays). I remember that when I was at school, all the girls were interrogating each other about what we’re giving up for Lent. The answer was usually chocolate or pudding, without really giving thought to why we’re giving up these yummy things. If truth be told, it was just an excuse to go on a diet to look more gorgeous, which isn’t really in the spirit of Lent.
So, what is the spirit of Lent? In order to try and explain that to our Kids’ Club kids, we take a look at Jesus:
Jesus in the desert
After being baptised in the river Jordan but before starting his public ministry of preaching and healing in Israel, Jesus goes into the desert to fast for 40 days and 40 nights. (Hmm… that is so drastic, but I guess that’s where the giving up of food during Lent comes from.) He needs to get away from the crowds and the distractions in order to find out exactly what God the Father wants him to do and say.
There is nothing to do out there in the desert, unless you’re David Attenborough with a camera crew. You’re alone with your thoughts, and you have no one to talk to but God. Perhaps we talk to ourselves, and argue with ourselves. At least there isn’t anyone else we can blame, and we’re forced to face our own demons. Continue reading “Temptations in the Desert”
Having drawn a very rough picture of a house and a wiggly path leading up to it on a flip chart sheet and stuck it on the wall, we played a game of Pin-the-Arrow-on-the-Path (like Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey). The children thought it was hilarious being blindfolded, spun around, missing the picture entirely at first and then some sticking their arrow on a tree instead. However it’s surprising and lovely to see that they were all shouting helpful hints to each other during the game, so they were all winners!
Linking the game to our previous session on St Paul’s conversion, the kids remembered (hurray!) that Saul saw a bright light on the road to Damascus. Well, our conversation went a bit like this: Continue reading “Light of the World”
Welcome to our Kids’ Club website!
I started this blog mainly, but not exclusively, for parents, grandparents, siblings and carers of the children who come to our Kids’ Club sessions. I hope that all the children who come would agree that they enjoy our time together – they sure seem to be very enthusiastic! Sometimes in all the excitement I forget or don’t have time to get across some ideas that I have prepared, or some thoughts might take a bit more time to digest. So the hope is that, if I can put our messages on a blog, then any kids or their parents or carers who are interested can find out what we did in the sessions and what it’s all about, together with some further food for thought.
I hope that you, or anyone who might stumble upon our site, would get as much out of it as I do, because it gives me and all our Kids’ Club leaders great joy when we do these sessions. It isn’t easy with our limited energy and resources, but it is always a privilege to engage with our children. We learn a lot from them and from preparing for the sessions, and are reminded of Jesus’ words,
Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” – Mark 10:14
I hope that you will have a glimpse of this Kingdom of God through our kids too. If you find anything useful here, please feel free to share.
Janice, Rev James, Arthur & Rita
Kids’ Club Leaders
** Kids’ Club dates – If you are looking at our mobile site, please keep scrolling down to find out when our sessions are **
Yes I know, this is a bit late for a New Year post, but the idea of starting a blog for Kids’ Club didn’t occur to me right away at the beginning of the year, so better late than never! I gave up making New Year resolutions years ago because I never see them through. However, the very first session of Kids’ Club this year saw me telling the children about how Saul in the Bible became a whole new person when he met Jesus, so maybe there’s hope for me yet – if he can change, maybe I can change too – be a new me and keep going with this blog! Enough about me, and who’s this Saul you’re talking about, you ask, so in case you’ve forgotten the story, here’s a brief summary…
Saul → Paul
After Jesus dies on the cross, his followers are being picked on and a zealous young man named Saul is breathing out murderous threats against them (yes, that’s what it says in the Bible – not such nice things are recorded in there, but at Kids’ Club we tend to use the child-friendly version). One day, Saul’s on his way to Damascus to arrest Christians to put in prison, when a bright light knocks him down on the ground, and Jesus speaks to him in that light, asking him why he’s hurting his mates. Saul thinks, who the heck are you and what do you want? But out loud he says, “Who are you, Lord?” Continue reading “New Year, New You?”