What happened to December? Well, we gave that over to a Christingle service. January saw us thinking about Epiphany – a big word! But simple really – it is when the Wise Men became aware of a new King who had been born, and the journey they decided to take to find him – following a very bright new star. So they journeyed until they found Mary, Joseph and Jesus. They realised Jesus had come to bring light and God’s love to the whole world – not just the people who lived where Jesus was born (the Jews). And they gave him fabulous gifts. All thanks to a star – so everything we did afterwards was star related – star biscuits, star mobiles and a star treasure hunt. Oh and star goody bags. See the photos here.
We heard about Anna (who was so old, she probably was at least a great grandma!), who spent all her time in the temple (church) doing good things to help others. She probably welcomed people, maybe made tea for them and listened to their troubles. She certainly prayed for people, and sang songs to God. And when the baby Jesus was brought to the temple by his parents, she just KNEW who he was to become – a light to the world, who would love us so much, he would die for us, so we might go to heaven. From then on, she couldn’t stop telling people about him. It was HORRID weather with gales and snow so only one brave family battled through to church, but we had great fun, seeing how helpful we could be, like Anna. We wrote our prayers on helping hands prayer cards, made heart shaped cakes to remind us how much God loves us, and greetings cards to let someone know we were thinking about them. Several photos here.
One of the things Jesus did to get ready for Easter was to have a meal with his good friends, when he shared his food and wine with them and told them how he would die at Easter to pay the price for everything bad everyone (you and me!) has ever done. He did this so we could be forgiven and go to heaven. He did this because he loves us all so much. We lit our candle at the beginning, ready to have a meal the way Jesus would have done with his friends. We wrote thank you prayers on cards shaped like the wine glasses Jesus would have used. We made pancakes – one of the things we do to use up all the fattening stuff in our cupboards (some people give things up in the weeks before Easter!) And we made Easter chicks… Photos here.
(There was a break in April for Easter!) We started a series of stories that Jesus told – this one was all about the two men who each decided to build a house. One built on rock and one on sand and all was well until the rain came down, and the sea rose up and the wind huffed and puffed – and blew down the house built on sand. But the house built on rock didn’t move an inch. We really enjoyed making rain, sea and wind noises! But what we want to remember is that when life’s problems try to knock us down, we can turn to Jesus who is like that rock and nothing can knock him down. We will be a very safe house indeed! We wrote prayers on houses and made collecting boxes in the shape of a house so we could collect money for all the people in Nepal whose houses have been knocked down by the earthquake. Then we made sand castles next to a house made of clay, not sand – we poured water all over the houses and guess what? The sand castles all fell down but the clay house didn’t move an inch. Check out the photos
All about the Shepherd who had a huge flock of 100 sheep, but went to great lengths to find the one that was missing. What does that say about how much Jesus cares for each one of us? Ruth told the story with the help of a sheep that looked more like a llama, but the children loved it. We made our own fluffy sheep, chocolate ‘rocks’ (for throwing at the wolves who chased the sheep!) and it goes without saying, a treasure hunt to find the lost sheep – out in the churchyard. Photos are here.
Everyone probably knows the story of the Good Samaritan, but they may not have heard it told with quite as many sound effects as when Julie told it! With stamping feet (walking along the road) and clip clopping donkey hooves interspersed with several ‘eeyores’, it was all very dramatic and memorable. The whole point was that Jesus wants us to help everyone – whoever they are, and lovely prayer cards gave good examples of helping.It was followed up by making (and decorating) bags for the journey, which were then filled with provisions, which in some cases, were eaten as fast as they went in the bag. And we made donkeys, too – it’s all there on the photos.
All about the biggest picnic you can imagine when Jesus made one little boy’s lunch stretch to feed 5,000. Their picnic consisted of bread and fish all because one little boy was happy to share his lunch, which of course was the big lesson here. Jesus has given us every good gift and he wants us to share what we have with others. We had breakfast (picnic) outside in the sunshine, then we went inside for our story and wrote our prayers on triangles which we made into bunting and hung them on the trees. Well, it was a sort of a party! We rounded it off by decorating fish biscuits and making baskets to carry them home in. It is all there on the photos.
Ruth was on story duty telling of the widow and her lost coin and the effort she made to find it, and the party she threw when she found it. She was so pleased! Jesus told this story to let us know how much he values us and will keep looking for us until he finds us. Chocolate coins figured in a lost coin hunt and we made headdresses such as the widow might have worn – photos.
Sheila B was persuaded to talk this month and how the children loved joining in with her extravagant story telling and actions all about Harvest! The children were thoroughly engaged in creating tractors by gluing shapes together and writing their prayers on them. They modelled beautiful fruits from coloured marzipan—and then had a whale of a time tractor racing! Photos
Extra children visiting today and what a happy crowd they were, all happily joining in with the story of Zaccheus and the ensuing activities. These included making the tree he climbed to get a better view of Jesus and sad/happy mask to show how Zaccheus changed when he met Jesus. And then cake and sandwiches for the tea party we are sure Zaccheus laid on when Jesus came to visit him! Photos