Christian Education Corner

March 21, 2021 Post

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” ~Luke 19:10

Greetings ,

 Happy Spring!  I hope you and your family are doing well on this first Sunday of Spring.  This morning in Sunday School the children will be learning about the “lost coin.”  Through message, a treasure hunt and activities it is our prayer that the children will come to understand that God loves and seeks to save and help all people.

If your child/ren are unable to attend the face-to-face class, please see the lesson that follows.  Simply substitute items with things that are available to you and adjust the lesson to meet the age of your child.  Feel free to contact me with any questions. 

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10) Lesson for Lent

Bible Story: The Parable of the Lost Coin
ScriptureLuke 15:8-10
Learning Objectives:

  • Children will experience the story of The Lost Coin, exploring how we might lose God and how we can find him again.

Introduction:

Nametags: Children find their shoe nametag that they made during the first lesson and put it on.  If there are children without a nametag, provide materials and allow them to make one.

  • Search & Find Picture Books: Provide a stack of search and find picture books.  Two popular series are “Where’s Waldo?” and “I Spy”.  Your local library should carry many of these books!  Children, most likely in pairs, search the picture books to find the things that are “lost” or hidden.

COVID STYLE: Each child has his/her own “search and find”

  • Pray Big: Provide large poster board or mural paper and markers or crayons.  Children can write words or draw pictures of things or people they want to pray for, inside the letters P-R-A-Y written on large paper.

COVID STYLE: Each child will have their own sheet

  • Discussion Questions: What were you doing with the books?  Why?  Do you ever think we lose God?  Does he lose us?  How can we find him?  What things or people can you pray for?  Why should we pray?

Game: Lost and Found Games
 In advance, hide an item for each child. – One child waits outside, while group agrees on a hiding place for an object (plastic egg?).  After it’s hidden, child comes inside and searches.  The group claps louder when the finder gets closer to the hidden object, and softer when they make a wrong turn.
Discuss:   How do you find God when you lose him?  Can anyone or anything help us?
Story: The parable story is taught in this lesson using the following puppet script.  You may also want to read Luke 15:8-10 from the Bible.  Use these follow-up discussion questions after the puppet show:  What happened?  What did Billy do when we found his lost coin?  Do we ever get lost from God?  Does he lose us or do we lose him?  How do we find God?  How does God feel about that?

Parable Puppet Show:  The Lost Coin

Materials: two people, bag of coins, ticket, lots of random stuff

Billy: (holding a bag of coins, jingle pop can with coins for sound effect) That’s it!  This is really it!  I just earned the last dollar coin I need to go to the movies.  Now I can finally go see “Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D”.  Wow!  All that lawn mowing and leaf raking and babysitting is FINALLY going to pay off.  I can’t wait to go to the movies with Jenna.  I hope she gets here soon!
Jenna: Hey Billy!
Billy: Hiya Jenna.  I am so super excited to go to the movies with you!  Lets go, lets go, lets go!
Jenna: Hold your horses, Buddy!  We’ll get there.  My Mom’s outside waiting in the car.  Here’s your ticket.  She bought them for us last night before they sold out.  You owe me $10.
Billy: The money is all right here.  I hope dollar coins are ok.  I just love saving these big dollar coins.  I know I have enough because I just got the last coin this morning from Mrs. Jones after I watered her flowers.  But let me count it for you, just to be sure; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine….WHAT!?!?  Only NINE!??!  There must be some mistake.
Jenna: Here.  Let me try counting.  Kids, will you help me?  One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine….Uh Oh, there is definitely only nine coins here, Billy.
Billy: (crying/sobbing) Oh, no!  This is HORRIBLE!  Now I won’t be able to see “Monsters vs. Aliens” after all.  This stinks.  I worked so hard…and for what?  NOTHING!  THAT’S what!
Jenna: Don’t freak out yet.  Lets try to find your missing coin.  Maybe it’s just lost.  Come on!
(Both start looking and start throwing random props around while they search for the coin…)
Billy: Oh this is horrible!  A stuffed animal, a stick, and Kleenex, but no coin anywhere!
Jenna: Here’s a ball…oh, and a really pretty scarf.
Billy: JENNA!  Concentrate!  We need to find my coin.
Jenna: (Jenna and Billy come back up) Well, I didn’t see it down there anywhere, Billy.  Hey…maybe we should ask the kids to help us look for the lost coin.  It HAS to be around here somewhere.  Can you do that kids?  Look under your chair and see if you see Billy’s missing coin!
(kids look for hidden coin and when someone finds it teacher gives it to Billy)
Billy: Woohoo!  Hooray!  You kids are awesome!  Thank you SO much.  I am so excited!  Now we can go to the movie after all!
Jenna: That’s enough dancing!  We gotta go if you don’t want to miss the beginning of the movie.  Come on!
Billy: Seeya kids!  Thanks again for your help finding my lost coin.  Bye!

Art Activity: Prayer Cube Children color and decorate six paper squares, each with different prayers on them and then glue them to a large block to make a prayer dice to use to help choose a prayer to say.  Consider using mealtime and bedtime sets of prayers the kids can choose from.  I have found inexpensive plastic colored ABC blocks at Big Lots that work well, but you could use a wood, or any other type of cube.  Why should we pray?  How does prayer help us find God?

Prayer: Consider using a “repeat after me prayer” to close each of the Lent lessons.  Pause between every few words, allowing the children to echo what you have said.  Dear Jesus,/You are/so good./Help us/to walk/your ways/and serve others/as you would serve./Amen.

 

P

 

R

 

A

 

Y

 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner

March 14, 2021 Post

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."  ~1 Peter 1:3


Greetings ,

 I hope you and your family are doing well on this beautiful spring like day.  This morning in Sunday School the children will be learning about the “foolish rich man.”  Through message, games and activities it is our prayer that the children will come to understand the difference between a want and a need.  Each child will be making a “needs bank.”  While they continue to save for what they want in their personal bank, they will be challenged to sacrifice a little in order to put some in their needs bank.  Once they have reached their designated goal they are challenged to give it their designated charity or person in need.

If your child/ren are unable to attend the face-to-face class, please see the lesson that follows.  Simply substitute items with things that are available to you and adjust the lesson to meet the age of your child.  Feel free to contact myself with any questions. 

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

Parable of Foolish Rich Man (Luke 12:16-21) Lesson for Kids

Bible Story: The Parable of the Foolish Rich Man
Scripture: Luke 12:16-21
Target Age Group: Age 3 – 12 (U.S. preschool – 6th Grade)
Time: 45 Minutes
Learning Context: Children’s Church

Learning Objectives: Children will experience the story of The Foolish Rich Man, exploring the difference between wants and needs and considering as God’s people how we can help care for everyone.

Introduction:

Nametags: Children find their shoe nametag that they made during the first lesson and put it on.  If there are children without a nametag, provide materials and allow them to make one.

  • Needs vs. Wants Collages: Children cut out magazine pictures of things and work with their table or small group to glue them on large piece of poster board divided into two columns titled needs/wants.
  • Discussion Questions: What is a need?  What is a want?  What’s the difference? Is it ok to get things we want?  Are there people who don’t have their “needs”? I wonder how God feels about people’s needs and wants? How can we help make sure everyone’s needs are met?

Game: This or That Hunger Awareness
Children stand along one wall, and in response to the following questions move from one side of the room to the other- Covid Style: children will go outside weather permitting and be spaced 6 ft apart.  Go stand by the other wall if…

  • You have eaten dessert or a sweet treat this week.  (hungry people in poor countries rarely get dessert)
  • You can drink water many times a day.  (some people are hungry because they have no water to drink or to grow food)
  • Your freezer at home has bags or boxes of food in it.  (people in many places don’t have refrigerators or freezers to keep food fresh)
  • You have to walk a mile to get to the nearest drink of water.  (in many countries people do, and even then the water is dirty)
  • You ate meat today.  (many people eat only grains and never get to eat fish or meat)

Discuss each item as you come to it and end with a repeat after me prayer thanking God for food and asking to help us make no one hungry.

Bible Story: The Parable of the Rich Fool

The parable story is taught in this lesson using the following script.  You may also want to read Luke 12:16-21 from the Bible.  Use these follow-up discussion questions after the puppet show:  What happened?  What was Billy doing wrong?  What does God want us to do with our money and our things?  Is it fair for some people to have a lot and others to have barely anything at all?

Parable Show:  Lemonade For Sale!

An Adaptation of the Parable of the Foolish Rich Man

Materials: one male, two females, cup, lemonade sign, coins

Billy: (shouting) Lemonade $.25, Lemonade $.25, (notices audience) Oh! Hi kids!  My name is Billy.  Do you like my lemonade stand?  I’m raising money for my favorite cause…ME!  I started out trying to get enough money to buy this really cool little airplane I saw at the toy store, but business was really good earlier today and I’ve got plenty of change for that, see (jingles coins). I’ve got even more hidden in a box underneath my lemons.  If business gets any better, I might have to get a bigger box, or bigger lemons?  (scratches his head) Hmmm…Hold it, here comes a customer!

Jenna: Hey Billy!

Billy: Hiya Jenna.  What can I do for you?

Jenna: I want another glass of lemonade.  It’s pretty good!  Can you hurry?  It’s hot out here!  Here’s my nickel.

Billy: Jenna!  Can’t you read the sign?  The price is $.25 a glass.

Jenna: $.25?!  A little while ago I got a glass for $.05?

Billy: Well that was early this morning when I was just getting started.  The price has gone up.

Jenna: Gone up?  But I walked all the way across the street to get some lemonade.  I’m thirsty and it’s hot out here!

Billy: That’s right and the hotter it gets the more people want lemonade, and the more people WANT lemonade, the more it’s going to cost.

Jenna: But Billy, THAT’S not fair!

Billy: THAT’S supply and demand.

Jenna: But I’m thirsty and all I have is a nickel.

Billy: Well, looks like you’re going to be walking back across the street thirsty.

Jenna: That’s not very nice.

Billy: Take it or leave it.

Jenna: Whatever! (Exits)

Billy: Oh Well, that’s just a drop in the bucket.  There’s plenty more customers where she came from.  In fact, I’ve got so much money I don’t even think I want that little airplane anymore.  It’s dinky!  I think I’ll buy one of those flying model airplanes with the remote control, the super-de-duper-deluxe model!  Nobody I know has one of those.  That’ll be so cool!  I’ll be set for life and then if I have enough left over, I think I’ll have a pizza party for…me!  A lovely cheese pizza just for me!  And some soda pop, lots of soda pop!  Pizza…soda pop and party all night long!  Wahoo (dances a little). Well, at least until my bedtime…Oh good.  Here comes another customer.

Julie: Hi Billy.  Whatcha doin?

Billy: Hi Julie!  I’m selling lemonade.  What to buy some?

Julie: Gee, I don’t know.  It sure looks good, but a quarter…that’s kind of a lot, isn’t it?

Billy: What?  No way.  I’ve sold all kinds of lemonade today.  I’ve made a fortune!

Julie: Really?  What are you going to do with all that money?

Billy: Well, first thing I’m going to do is make a bunch more money and then I’m going to spend it on…ME!

Julie: But Billy?  Doesn’t your Mom & Dad give you an allowance?

Billy: Well, ya, but…

Julie: And don’t they get you anything you need?

Billy: Well yes, but I want to be set for life!

Julie: Life!  Billy, you are only six!

Billy: You can never start too early.

Julie: Gee, I don’t know (scratches her head).

Billy: You don’t know if you like lemonade or not?

Julie: Nooo…I don’t know if it’s ok for you to charge so much for your lemonade just so you can have a big airplane and pizza and soda and party all night long.

Billy: Well, why not?  It sounds pretty awesome to me!

Julie: Well, it’s just that you don’t need all that stuff and I know there are other kids who don’t even have the things they DO need like food and clothes and a place to live.  It doesn’t seem fair for you to have so much and someone else to have nothing.

Billy: Hmmm….maybe you’re right Julie.  I’ve been kinda selfish.

Julie: AND greedy too…

Billy: Ok, fine…and greedy too.  I guess I don’t need a super-de-duper-deluxe airplane.  I think I’ll just get the little one and give the rest of my money to someone who needs it more, like the kids who need backpacks of food over the weekend that we are using our Sunday School offering at church to buy.

Julie: I think that’s a great idea Billy!  Way to go!  Wow, I’m really thirsty.  Now, could I have a glass of lemonade?

Billy: Sure Julie.  That’ll be $.25.  I’m saving for kids who need food, now.  (Shakes his money)

Julie: (hits herself in the head) Uhhhggg!!

Billy: Bye, everybody!

Julie: Bye!

THE END

Art Activity: Bank On It! Children decorate a small bank to use to save money to give to others by cutting out magazine pictures of things people need; food, clothing, shelter, love and gluing them on to the bank.  Discuss different places where they might give the money they save; buy an animal, give to Sunday School offering project, donate to food bank, etc.  Small plain cardboard banks can be purchased here or you can use any small container that closes and just add a slit for the money.

Prayer: Consider using a “repeat after me prayer” to close each of the Lent lessons.  Pause between every few words, allowing the children to echo what you have said.  Dear Jesus,/You are/so good./Help us/to walk/your ways/and serve others/as you would serve./Amen.

 


 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner

February 21, 2021 Post

“But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.”

 ~2 Corinthians 8:7 

Greetings!

I hope you and your family had a happy and healthy week.  In class on Sunday we will be discussing grace and forgiveness.  Through drama and hands-on activities we will be discussing the meaning of the Prodigal Son parable

If your child/ren are unable to attend the in-person class, the Sunday School lesson follows.  Simply adjust the lesson to meet the age of your child/ren and utilize whatever materials you might have at home.  I wish you and yours a blessed and healthy week ahead.

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32) Lesson for Lent

 

Lesson Introduction

Begin by inviting each child to create two shoe nametag.  Provide the outline of a shoe on heavy paper or cardstock.  Instruct children to decorate, cut out, and write their name on the shoe.  The shoe nametags will be hung on the big shoe and one will be made into a necklace by adding holes with a hole punch and tying on a piece of yarn or string.

Discuss these questions:  What shape is your nametag? What do we need shoes for? “Walk His Ways” is our Lent theme.  Who is “his” talking about? What are some things we can do to “Walk His Ways”?

 

Game:  “Shoe Are You?” Each child removes one shoe and they are tossed into a big pile.  Everyone picks a shoe that is not their own, finds the owner, learns their name, and shares the answer to a question given by the leader like, “What’s your favorite color?” or “What grade are you in?” etc.  Several rounds may be played.  After last round, have children sit in a circle and put the shoes in a pile again.  The object this time is for everyone to find their own shoe and put it back on, but they CANNOT TOUCH their own shoe.  Debrief/discuss.

COVID CONVERSION: ONE SHOE OF EACH CHILD IS THROWN FROM WHERE THEY SIT ONTO THE FLOOR.  EACH CHILD THEN POINTS TO ANOTHER CHILD’S SHOE (REMAINING IN THEIR SEAT). 

 

Story: The parable story is taught in this lesson using the following drama  script.  You may also want to read Matthew 21:28-32 from the Bible.  Use these follow-up discussion questions after the drama show:

 

Parable Drama Show:  The Two Daughters

Matthew 21:28-32

Materials: two female/one male (Can use 3 females – mom instead of dad)

 

Dad: (holding garbage) uh.  Ugh UGH!?!?!?  This garbage smells horrible and it weighs a ton!  Did something crawl in here and die?  P.U.!!!!  Jenna?  Julie?  GIRLS!  Where are you?
Jenna: Here I am, Dad!  Wanna hear my new song?  (sings obnoxiously and loud, something like “Tomorrow” from Annie or another song…)
Dad: (interrupts the singing) Jenna, Jenna, JENNA!??!?!  Your song is um…ah…..beautiful honey, but I need your help.
Jenna: Help?  What is it, Dad?
Dad: I’m running late for my meeting, but we have to get this garbage out of here before our whole house starts smelling like a toxic waste dump.  Could you just take the bag out to the garbage can in the backyard?
Jenna: What are you, crazy?  Future singing stars don’t do garbage, Dad.  Ewww!  What would that do for my image?  I can’t touch that smelly stuff.  No way!  Besides, I can’t take even a second away from my practice, not even a second! (begins singing again and goes behind curtain)
Dad: OH for crying out loud!  Julie, Julie, JULIE!??!  Get in here please!  Where are you?
Julie: (pops up with a big bubble, either gum or a balloon, and we can’t understand her words because of her bubble) sdakjkdffl;aksdfjakl!
Dad: What?
Julie: (still can’t understand here) arfjdlskafjsdklfj
Dad: (pops the bubble) Enough nonsense!  I need your help.  I’m super late for my meeting, this garbage smells just horrible, and your sister is too wrapped up in her silly singing to be helpful, so would you please just take this outside for me?  I have to go!
Julie: No prob, Bob!  I mean…Dad!  Get outta here.  I’ll take that smelly stuff to the garbage can.  You can count on me.
Dad: Thanks, Dear!  You’re the best!  I’ll leave the bag by the door.  (goes behind curtain) Seeya later!
Julie: Whatever…Now where was I?  I have to top the world’s largest bubble record.  I just have to!  (makes blowing noises, as she disappears behind the curtain)
Jenna: (returns, carrying garbage) Ewwww!  What is this still doing in here?  Maybe I can sing and take care of this smelly garbage at the same time.  Garbage can, here I come!  (sings song about garbage maybe? and moves behind curtain).
THE END

What happened?  Which daughter did the right thing?  Is it better to say you’ll do something or to actually do it?  I wonder how the father felt?  Do you ever say you will do things and not do it?  What do you do to help your family?  How do you feel when you’re helping others?

 

Art Activity: Help children write and draw coupons to give to family members, redeemable for caring, helpful things like: a hug, setting the table, folding laundry, reading a story, etc.  It may be helpful to brainstorm ideas for the coupons as a group before you begin the project.  While working on the project, discuss how these coupons could be walking his ways.  Ask whether the children think it’s more important to give someone a coupon or to actually fulfill what the coupon offers.

Prayer: Consider using a “repeat after me prayer” to close each of the Lent lessons.  Pause between every few words, allowing the children to echo what you have said.  Dear Jesus,/You are/so good./Help us/to walk/your ways/and serve others/as you would serve./Amen.

 


 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner

February 14, 2021 Post

“Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” ~Galatians 6:2

Greetings!

As we work our way through February, I hope you and your family are well.   Despite having to social distance, it is a blessing to be able to meet for Sunday School.   This week we will be discussing “heavy hearts” and our responsibility to help lighten those hearts by carrying one another’s burdens.

If your child/ren are unable to attend the in-person class, the Sunday School lesson follows.  Simply adjust the lesson to meet the age of your child/ren and utilize whatever materials you might have at home.  I wish you and yours a blessed and healthy week ahead.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

Teaching Children To Care For One Another

Introduction:

Call one kid up (small kid is a good idea) and give them an empty back pack. Start to fill it with small books. Talk about how they are normal every day things. Occasionally put really big books in it. Explain that the bigger books are big things in life that happen. After awhile, if you put enough big books the small child won’t be able to hold the bag up. Have them put the bag down and tell them we’ll come back to it later. Talk about how in life we are often burdened by a lot of things. Sometimes those things are so big that we can’t stand up on our own.

TS: Fortunately we have very specific instructions about this very subject in our Bible.

  1. Help each other (vs 1-2)

Exp: Gal 6:1-2

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
NASU

As a body of believers we are too help each other out. If someone is going through some things it is our duty to help that person out (Examples: Grandparent passes, pet dies, parents get a divorce, struggling at school, did not make the team …. Anything that a child may encounter)

Ill: Have the first kid come up and then have a bigger stronger kid come up 2. Have the bigger kid help the little kid pick up the bag. (Use siblings due to Covid protocols)

App:   Now we can help carry each other’s burdens different ways. One of those ways is through doing physical things like this. (Ask the kid if they of any other ways of helping someone who is having problems emotional or physical) One of my favorite ways to help someone is simply being there to listen to them. If you are willing to listen to someone you make them feel special. Which they are! Because God has made them special just like you.

TS: But did you know that helping each other out isn’t just something to do?

  1. It’s the law! (vs 2)

Exp: The law of Christ mentioned here is in reference to:

John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus spent his life serving others.

Ill: Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.

App: If we serve each other then we are acting as Jesus did. When people see us caring for each other they see how big the Love of God is.

TS: Do you know what another reason to help each other out is?

III. Because you’ll need help one day too. (vs 3-5)

Exp: Gal 6:3-5

3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5 For each one will bear his own load.
NASU

Paul warns us here not to act like you don’t need any help. You have to realize that everyone needs help at some point. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help. But helping each other is one of the MAJOR reasons that God has given us Christian friends.

ACTIVITY: Give children small hearts and have them write some burdens and some ways in which they can help to lift them.  In class, the burden hearts will be taped to the Heavy Heart and the ways in which to help hearts will be taped to the Light Heart.

OUTREACH: Children will make cards for Nursing Home.

FUN ACTIVITY:  Children will get Valentine Cards and make a Valentine Truck treat to take home.

Conclusion: Close in Prayer

 


 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner

February 07, 2021 Post

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
~
Colossians 3:14

 

Greetings!

Happy February!  Here we are already a week into February.  Time truly does seem to fly.  As we embark upon Valentine’s Day, the Sunday School children will be learning about love that counts; the kind of love that we experience when we give it away.

If your child/ren are unable to attend the in-person class, the Sunday School lesson follows.  Simply adjust the lesson to meet the age of your child/ren and utilize whatever materials you might have at home.  All valentine cards can be brought to the church by February 14th.  All cards will be delivered to the Applewood Nursing Facility that afternoon.  I wish you and yours a blessed and healthy week ahead.

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

“A Love That Counts” Sunday School Lesson from Matthew 22:34-46

 

Opening Activity – All About Love – Love Messages
In this variation of  Telephone, the kids will send messages 3 different ways.

  1. No Words – Give a volunteer one of the following songs to hum or whistle and see if any of the kids can figure it out.
    1. Jesus Loves the Little Children
    2. I Love You, You Love Me (the “Barney” song)
    3. Jesus Loves Me

Lesson – All About Love
Before we get started, there are a few actions you need to know.  When I say ‘LOVE’ I need you to cross your arms over your chest like your giving yourself a great big hug.  When I say ‘HEART’ I need you to make a heart shape with your hands.  When I say ‘SOUL’ I need you to point both thumbs at your chest.  When I say ‘MIND’ I need you to put your hands on your head.  And when I say ‘NEIGHBOR’ I need you to point at anyone else in the room.  Now let’s get started.

The Bible has a lot to say about LOVE.  It tells you God LOVES you.  It tells you that God wants you to LOVE him.  It tells you to LOVE your NEIGHBOR.
There is so much in the Bible about LOVE that some people call it a LOVE letter.
A long time ago when Jesus was on earth, people thought the Bible was just about rules.  Do this.  Don’t do that.  Say this.  Wear that.  Go here.  Worship there.
Rule after rule after rule.

There was a little bit about LOVE, but there were so many rules that was all people cared about.

But LOVE was all Jesus cared about.  He came here to show each one of us just how much He LOVES us.  He LOVES us so much that even died for our sins so we can live with Him forever and always.

There were a whole bunch of people who really liked Jesus’ message of LOVE, but there were also a bunch of people who really liked the rules.  They thought following the rules was all that mattered, but they forgot that everyone makes mistakes sometimes and disobeys those rules.  And then what?!?  Is that it?  One broken rule and it’s all over?
No way!  Jesus came so that even when we make mistakes, He can save us.  It’s such an amazing way to show just how much He LOVES us.

One day the rule followers wanted to know what Jesus thought was the most important one of all.  If we could only ever follow one single rule, which one would it be?  They expected Jesus to say one of the 10 Commandments; like obeying your parents, or keeping the Sabbath a day only for God.  But Jesus had an even better one.  The best rule of all, and it’s all bout LOVE.

Jesus said, “LOVE the Lord your God with all your HEART and with all your SOUL and with all your MIND.  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: LOVE your NEIGHBOR as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40 NIV

Jesus turned all of those rules into just two simple ones.  LOVE God.  And LOVE others.
When you keep the Sabbath as a day for Jesus, that’s a way of loving Him.  And when you obey your parents, that’s a way of loving them.  Every single rule can fit into one of those two.  It was so simple.

Now what do you think it means to LOVE God with all your HEART, SOUL, and MIND?  It really just means that you LOVE Him completely.  So you can’t just say you LOVE God, or just put money in the offering, or just listen to the sermon; you need to LOVE God all the time and in every way.

And thankfully, Jesus LOVES us so much that forgives us when we forget to LOVE Him and our NEIGHBORS like we should.  Which is great news, because everyone could use a little more LOVE.

Activity  – All About Love

Have children give examples of how they can share/show that LOVE counts with all the parts of their bodies that God gave them.

  • Ears (example: listening when others are talking, listening in church)
  • Eyes (example: paying attention to others needs, reading the Bible)
  • Nose & Mouth (example: singing hymns and praise music, speaking kind words)
  • Mind (example: learning about Jesus, thinking of new ways to help)
  • Heart (example: praying to God, telling your parents you love them)
  • Hands (example: holding the door, cleaning up the sanctuary)
  • Feet (example: going on mission trips, walking with someone to their car)


ACTIVITY:  Have children make and decorate Valentine Cards for Applewood Nursing Facility.


Closing Prayer – All About Love
Ask for a volunteer to pray for the class before leaving, and encourage them to tell God they love Him, and ask Him to help them show that love to others.

 


 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner

January 24, 2021 Post

 

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” ~ Proverbs 21:23

 

Greetings!

As we work our way through January, I hope you and your family are well.   Despite having to social distance, it is a blessing to be able to meet for Sunday School.   This week we will be discussing the “blessings and curses” of the tongue.  For certain, our words matter.

If your child/ren are unable to attend the in-person class, the Sunday School lesson follows.  Simply adjust the lesson to meet the age of your child/ren and utilize whatever materials you might have at home.  I wish you and yours a blessed and healthy week ahead.

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

The Power of Words (Proverbs 18:21) Sunday School Lesson

 

Supply List:  Bibles, word puzzle and coloring page, markers/crayons, slips of paper with the Scriptures regarding words that bring life and words that bring death for students to read during the lesson, copies of ways to pray for our words

Learning Goal:   Students will learn that we need God to use our tongues wisely

Learning Activity #1:  Word puzzle & Coloring page

Learning Activity #2:  After the lesson have students act out scenarios where one student uses unkind words and another chooses kind words to respond.

Take Home:  At the end of the lesson there is a sheet (Daily Prayers to use our words wisely) to help students to pray.

Memory Verse: Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Bible Lesson: Proverbs-The Power of Words

(Begin with prayer)

Play the guessing game ‘What am I’? I can hide or I can show myself. I am made up of many muscles. I am usually always wet. I can hurt people or help people. I can be curled. I help people taste food. I am usually pink. (Ask questions until a student answers a tongue)

God created each of us with a tongue. A tongue is an important part of our body. A tongue helps us to eat our food and speak. When used to speak our tongues are very powerful.

Let’s read our memory verse together: Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Have you ever been hurt by someone’s words? (Allow time to share) Have you ever been helped by someone’s words? This verse is talking about the two powers our tongues have. We can use our power to bring death. Death comes when we use our tongues for evil and harming others. We can use our power to bring life when we use our tongues for good by helping others.

Big Question: Why do we need God? We need God to use our tongues wisely.

  1. Words that bring life

Let’s go to the Book of Genesis to look for evidence that words have the power. Read Genesis 1:3. How did God create light? (He used His words to speak it into existence) The rest of the chapter is filled with God said, ‘Let there be’ and the world and all that is in it was created. God’s Words are so powerful that they have power to create life!

God the Father spoke to God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26) Man was created in God’s image. God made the first man from the dust of the ground and breathed His breath into his nostrils and he became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

Before sin entered the world Adam and Eve walked in the garden and talked with God. Being made in the image of God, Adam and Eve had the power to use their words to speak life and glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Let’s look at Scriptures that show us how our words can bring life (if you made slips of these verses have students read their verse):

Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”

Proverbs 10:11a “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life”

Proverbs 12:18b “The tongue of the wise brings healing.”

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

  1. Words that bring death

In the beginning of God’s creation death did not exist. In the beginning Adam and Eve’s words could only be life giving words. When sin entered the world it brought death and words now had the power of life and the power of death.

Let’s look in our Bibles to see how God describes our tongues:

James 3:3-9 “If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

What did you learn about our tongues as we read this passage of Scripture?  (Allow responses)

Here are some Scriptures that teach us that our tongues have the power of death (if you made slips of these verses have students read their verse):

Proverbs 12:18 “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” When we are not careful with our tongues our words are like stabbing someone in the heart with a sword.

Psalm 55:21 “His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.” Sometimes we pretend to be kind with our words but we are being dishonest and are ready to harm others with our words. (Flattery)

Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” When we choose to use harsh words we stir up anger.

  1. We need God to use our tongues wisely

Our tongues are powerful! The verses in James 3 showed us that our tongues are powerful and cannot be tamed. What a great reminder that we need God to use our tongues wisely!

We learned a few weeks ago that we need to “Keep your heart with all vigilance, and from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Proverbs 21:23 tells us something similar about our tongues. “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”

We need God to save us from sin and change our hearts. Our ‘hearts are deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?’ (Jer. 17:9) When we put our faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sin we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). As a new creation we now have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. He gives us the power to obey what God teaches us so that we can daily walk in wisdom.

We need to spend time reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word so His truth is filling our hearts, guarding us from sin. When our hearts are filled with God’s Word our mouths will speak life because God’s Words are life. (The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45) We will have His power to share the Good News with others so that when they believe the power of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection will save them. (Romans 1:16-17)

Scriptures we can use to help us pray for God to help us use our tongues wisely (if you made copies of the daily prayers for life giving words. Hand them to the students to look at together. There are 7 prayers that you can pray one for each day of the week or all seven every day):

  • Make my words and the thoughts of my heart acceptable in Your sight. Psalm19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
  • Keep me from speaking when what I say could get me in trouble. Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
  • Help me to be committed not to sin with my mouth. Psalm 17:3b “I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.”
  • Keep my words focused on praising You and pointing others to You. Psalm 71:15 “My mouth will tell of Your righteous acts, of Your deeds of salvation all the day,”
  • Fill my heart with your Word so that my tongue will speak your truth in my conversations. (Luke 6:45)
  • Help me to share your Words that bring eternal life. (“Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” John 6:68)
  • Help me speak words that build up others. Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up,”

As we close in prayer let’s take a few minutes to pray silently to the Lord. If He has shown you sin in the words you speak, take this time to confess your sin and turn from it and ask for His help to speak words that bring life.

CRAFT: Have kids make a big tongue and then on a different sheet of paper write and cut out kind and encouraging words.  Have them glue it to the tongue.

(Close in prayer)

Daily Prayers to use my words wisely

  1. Lord, please make my words and the thoughts of my heart acceptable in Your sight. Psalm19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
  2. Lord, please keep me from speaking when what I say could get me in trouble. Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
  3. Lord, help me not to sin with my mouth. Psalm 17:3b “I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.”
  4. Lord, please keep my words focused on praising You and pointing others to You. Psalm 71:15 “My mouth will tell of Your righteous acts, of Your deeds of salvation all the day,”
  5. Please fill my heart with your Word so that my tongue will speak your Truth in my conversations. (“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45)
  6. Help me to share your Words that bring eternal life. (“Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” John 6:68)
  7. Help me speak words that build up others. Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up,”

 

 


 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner

January 17, 2021 Post

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” ~ Ephesians 4:28

Greetings!

I hope you and your family had a great week!  Following all the pandemic protocols, children will have the opportunity to meet for in-class instruction on Sunday, January 17.   While Pastor Schalm leads the morning’s worship service, Sunday School teacher, Candace Poet will take the lead in teaching children (K-6) a lesson on sharing.   All older students will have the opportunity to meet with Sunday School teacher, Lori Rogers.

We will continue throughout the year to gather in person for Sunday School providing no additional, necessary pandemic mandates be set.  This morning’s lesson, “Sharing is Caring,” follows this greeting.

I wish you and your family a very blessed week ahead.

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

Sharing is Caring….What it means to be part of the body of Christ

 

Scripture Story: Matthew 14:13-21
Lesson Opener:  Sharing to get it done… start with a quick team activity…give each student a few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and invite them to try putting it together. After a couple minutes of working alone, invite students to share their puzzle pieces and work together to complete the puzzle picture. Was the puzzle easier alone, or sharing?

CANDACE: WE WILL USE A FOUR PIECE PUZZLE.  EACH CHILD WILL BE GIVEN THREE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE.  YOU WILL HAVE THE OTHER ONE.  ONCE THE CHILDREN PUT THE THREE PIECES TOGETHER YOU WILL “SHARE” THE FINAL PIECE THEY NEED WITH THEM.  THE PUZZLE CAN THEN BE COLORED AND TAKEN HOME. 

 

PARENTS, the puzzle used in class follows the lesson

Lesson and Verses: 

ASK THE CHILDREN: What are some things that we share? Why do we share? Why is it important to share?

CANDACE: READ, A MARVELOUS PICNIC / PAGE 124

PARENTS: READ BIBLE STORY FOUND IN MATTHEW 14:13-21

Ask what the little boy shared?  Ask what Jesus did with what he shared?  Explain and really hit home the fact that Jesus does the same today.  He takes all that we give, whether material, time or talent, and uses it for good.  He turns it into something much bigger or greater than we could ever imagine.

Explain to the children that we share God’s love, not only through words and explicitly telling people about Him, but also by merely demonstrating living the way Jesus would.  We can share things like time, love, and talents. Even if we don’t have money or things that seem like they are worth much, we have much to share and contribute and God can do great things with them.It’s also significant to note for students that nothing is truly ours to begin with. All that we have, including our very lives, belongs to God first and will go back to Him in the end.

MAKE A SHARING CHART: ADD STUDENTS NAME TO THE CHART AND ASK THEM TO SHARE ONE OR MORE WAYS IN WHICH THEY “SHARED” LAST WEEK.  ADD THESE THINGS NEXT TO THEIR NAME.  HANG THE CHART UP AND ADD TO IT FOR SEVERAL WEEKS. 

CANDACE: THE CHART IS ON THE TEACHING TABLE

CRAFT/ACTIVITYMake it to give away… provide each student with two small paper bags and have them decorate them. Also provide each student with two bags of small prizes (candy, stickers, etc.). Invite students to put a bag of prizes into each decorated bag and then have them select another student in class to give one of their bags to.  Instruct them to then take the second bag home to share with a family member or neighbor.  Each child should receive a bag from another child to take home.  Make sure that a child is not given more than one.  Again, talk to them about the importance of sharing kindness and how it makes us feel good when we do.

CANDACE: HAVE CHILDREN POINT TO WHO THEY WANT TO GIVE THEIR BAG TO IN CLASS AND THEN PLACE IT ON THAT CHILD’S TABLE TO GRAB BEFORE HE/SHE DEPARTS FOR HOME. 

CLOSE IN PRAYER

 

 

THE FOLLOWING COLOR SHEET WILL BE CUT INTO FOUR PIECES AND SERVE AS
THE PUZZLE FOR THE OBJECT LESSON.

 

 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner

January 10, 2021 Post

GREETINGS

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” ~ 1 Chronicles 16:34

 

Greetings!

I hope you and your family are doing well and enjoying the New Year.  Now more than ever, it is important to remember that an “attitude of gratitude” is not one to be reserved solely for the month of November.  Each year, every season and each day provide us with numerous reasons to be thankful.  Our God is always faithful and He continues to bless us despite that we may not recognize or acknowledge his blessings.  Let us always go before Him with hearts of gratitude and thanksgiving.

We will continue throughout the year to gather in person for Sunday School providing no additional, necessary pandemic mandates be set.  This morning’s lesson,” Being Thankful While Riding the Covid Current,” follows this greeting.

I wish you and your family a very blessed week ahead.

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

Sunday School Lesson For Kids:

Jeremiah 1, God calls Jeremiah

INTRO:

Ever since you were small children, you parents have taught you a simple courtesy. When someone gives you something, what two words do you say?

“Thank you.” Those two words are drilled into our heads. We learn the words, “Thank you” almost as fast as we learn, “Mom”, “Dad”, and “No.” Saying, “Thank you” is a common courtesy we extend to everyone, from the people who serve us in restaurants to our grandparents. We expect it when we do something nice for someone else. But how often do we mean it? Is saying thanks just something we do out of habit, or do we really mean it when we say, “Thank you?”

When we stop to think about the things we have been given and the givers of those gifts, we have much to be thankful for, and in the next few weeks, we’ll talk about many of the reasons we have to be thankful - and how we can best show our thanks.

One of the most important things we can be thankful for is the God who created us. God made each one of us unique. He gave us the family he did in the place and time he did for a specific reason. God knew each of us before we were ever born, and he planned for us to be right where we are, right now, so that he could use us to show the world his amazing love.

In today’s scripture, we’re going to meet a man who learned first hand how God makes each one of us for a special purpose. The man’s name was Jeremiah, and he was amazed to discover that God had a special purpose for his life. Jeremiah didn’t believe it at first, but with God’s direction, he became one of the most important men in the Old Testament.

READ JEREMIAH 1

MAIN POINT:

Jeremiah came along at a time in history when God’s chosen people, Israel, had forgotten him. God had saved Israel from slavery. He had given them a land to call their own and protected them from all enemies.  Yet the people rejected God and chose to worship false gods instead.

God had warned the people long ago that he would punish them if they ever forgot him. God needed a man to remind Israel of that warning, someone brave and bold who would share God’s message without fear. God chose Jeremiah for that very reason.

Jeremiah didn’t believe he had it in him to be a prophet, but when the judgment for their sin came, it was Jeremiah who reminded the people why they were being punished and showed them the way they could repent of their sin.

God made each of us for a special purpose, just as he did Jeremiah. We need to thank God for the gifts he’s given us, and we need to use our gifts to show the world God loves us.

DRIVE IT HOME:

When we receive a gift, the first words we say after, “Wow!” and, “Just what I wanted!” should always be thankful. As we discover the gifts God has given us, we need to thank him as well. When we discover a talent we have for something, like music or drama, we can thank God. When we discover a passion we have, something we enjoy doing that serves others, we can thank God as well. God loves to hear our prayers, and he really loves when we are thankful.

But saying thank you isn’t enough. If we say thank you for a gift, and we put it in the closet, what good is that gift to us or anyone else? God wants us to show we are thankful by putting our gifts and talents to use. Those who can sing can sing for God. Those who can act can act for God. Those who have a heart for serving should serve. Those with a talent for leading others and teaching should do what God made them to do. And those who have the gift of encouragement should always be on the lookout for someone who needs a pick me up.

It’s worth pointing out that God doesn’t expect us to wait until we are older to use those gifts. Remember when Jeremiah said, “I’m too young?” God told Jeremiah his age didn’t matter. God can use you, even though you are still kids, to bless others. So don’t put off using your gifts for God. God can use anyone, even kids, to show people he loves them!

God didn’t give us gifts for the simple pleasure of seeing us discover them. He wants to use us to be a part of his plan to bring salvation to the world. Just as God used Jeremiah to warn the people and show them the way back to him. God can use us to invite our friends and others to meet Jesus in person. Let us give thanks to God every day in prayer for the things he has given us. And let us show him how thankful we are by putting those gifts to work so others can give thanks to God as well.

Thanks and glory be to God, who gave us his son and so much more.

 


SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (K-2ND)

ICEBREAKER:

What’s the best gift you have ever received for your birthday?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY:

1 Chronicles 16:8

Give all the kids a Bible. Then, after you read the verse, give them the reference and see who can find it first in their Bible.

SMALL GROUP GAME/ACTIVITY:

Give all of the kids a spicy cinnamon candy to put on their tongue. How does the candy feel? How do they think it felt when God touched Jeremiah’s mouth?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Read Jeremiah 1

What did God say to Jeremiah?

What excuses did Jeremiah give when God spoke to him?

How did God answer that excuse?

How did God use Jeremiah to help Israel?

What is one talent or gift God has given you that you are thankful for?

 


 

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (3RD-5TH)

ICEBREAKER:

What’s the best gift you have ever received for your birthday?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY:

1 Chronicles 16:8

Give all the kids a Bible. Then, after you read the verse, give them the reference and see who can find it first in their Bible.

SMALL GROUP GAME/ACTIVITY:

Give all of the kids a spicy cinnamon candy to put on their tongue. How does the candy feel? How do they think it felt when God touched Jeremiah’s mouth?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Read Jeremiah 1

What did God call Jeremiah to do?

What excuses did Jeremiah give when God spoke to him?

How did God answer those excuses?

What is one talent or gift God has given you that you are thankful for?

How can you show God you are thankful by using that gift for him?

SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

Show us the gifts you have given us so we can be thankful and use them for you.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 


 

ACTIVITIES

Children will color attached sheets and decorate a planter and plant seeds

 

coloring page1

 


 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner

January 03, 2021 Post

GREETINGS & HAPPY NEW YEAR

 herefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
~2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Greetings!

I hope you and your family had a blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.  While we may be uncertain as to what awaits us in this New Year, I pray that it will be full of good health, healing, peace and prosperity.

We will begin the New Year, and prayerfully continue throughout the year, to gather in person for Sunday School.  We will kick off the New Year with a lesson and resolution to pray daily.  If your child/ren are unable to attend in person, the morning’s lesson can be found following this greeting.

I wish you and your family a very Blessed “2021.”  I look forward to the return of a full Christian Education activity schedule in the near future.  Until then, let us do our part to keep one another safe and healthy.

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

New Year's Sunday School Lesson For Kids:


BOTTOM LINE: 

Make prayer a priority.

OBJECTIVE: 

Kids will make a New Year's Resolution to pray every day in the coming year.

KEY PASSAGE: 

Luke 11:1-13,    Jesus' Teaching On Prayer

MEMORY VERSE: 

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” - Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

“Give a lot of time and effort to prayer. Always be watchful and thankful.” - Colossians 4:2 (NIrV)

SUMMARY: 

One small change can make a huge difference in your life. This year, follow Jesus' example and resolve to pray every day and see what amazing things God will do.

OBJECT LESSON:

Cell Phone 

When we love someone – family, friends – what are some ways that we can show them we care?

Let the kids offer suggestions.

Those are all good suggestions. We don't always need a grand gesture to show our love. Just being with someone is all you need sometimes. Spending time with him, talking to him.

Now let's suppose that someone lives on the other side of the world. How can you talk to that person?

Have kids answer. Bring out cell phone.

We live in a time when we have the technology to talk to people halfway across the globe. We can just call them up on our phones and have a chat whenever we want. We can even use Skype and see their face on the screen.

Cell phones have only been around for a few decades and video chat is even newer than that. But when it comes to talking to God, we have always had the necessary technology. It's called prayer. Prayer is just talking with God. We just open our mouths and talk to him – whatever is on our hearts and in our minds. We can tell him what we need, or share the things that have us worried. Or we can just shoot the breeze and enjoy the time with him. And we can listen for what he has to say too.

With cell phones, we can talk anywhere, anytime with our family and friends around the world. With prayer, we can talk to God anywhere and anytime. No special calling plan needed

LARGE GROUP LESSON

INTRO

What comes to mind when you think about the New Year? Maybe you think about New Year's parties. Staying up past midnight on New Year's Eve. Watching on television as the ball drops in Times Square, and all the people counting down: 10, 9, 8. . .

 Many people look at the new year as a new beginning. It's a chance to turn over a new leaf and make some positive changes in your life. That's why some people create a list of New Year's Resolutions. Adults resolve to lose weight and get in shape, to learn a new language, to break a bad habit like smoking, or to travel more.

 Grown ups don't have to be the only ones to make new year's resolutions though. Today, we're going to talk about one great thing you can put on your list to do this year. It's prayer. Prayer is communicating with God. It's our way to stay connected with him. It's one of the most important parts of the Christian life, and it's one of those things most of us – kids and adults – don't do enough.

 But we can change that. This year, let's resolve to pray more. But where do we start? How do we pray? What are we supposed to say to God? How do we do it? Jesus' disciples had those same questions, so one day they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Let's find out what Jesus said.

 READ Luke 11:1-13

MAIN POINT

The prayer Jesus gave us is a launching off point for our own communication with God. The prayer starts with, “Father, hallowed be your name.” Hallowed is a fancy word for holy. So we start our prayer be remembering and celebrating who God is. He is our father. He is holy.

 Next is, “your kingdom come.” That's another way of saying, “your will be done.” We might come to God with a long list of things that we want and think we need. But we must always remember that God knows what's going on much better than we do. He knows what is best for us. He knows what will do us good. He wants us to have the best life, and one that honors him. If we say “your kingdom come” we are saying “God I trust that you know what I need and that you love me and will take care of me.”

 Then Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread.” What does that mean? Well, this where we ask for the essentials. We need food, water, a place to sleep at night. We might take those things for granted, but there are plenty of people around the world who never know where their next meal is coming from. But it can mean more than that. What do you need this day? Maybe an extra helping of patience? Maybe some strength to get through a tough situation? Perhaps a little courage? By asking for “our daily bread” we are saying, “God give me what I need to make it through this day.”

Next, Jesus told us to seek forgiveness. We have all sinned, done something wrong in the eyes of God. Jesus died for our sins. When we ask for forgiveness in Jesus' name, God is faithful to forgive us.

Jesus reminds us in this prayer that we also must forgive other people. People do mean things to us sometimes. We must forgive them. By forgiving them, we aren't saying, “what you did was okay.” Instead we are saying, “I will not hold a grudge against you.” God loves us despite our sin, and we can be like him and love people who have wronged us.

Finally, we ask that God would lead us not into temptation. Temptation to sin lurks around every corner. We're tempted to cheat when we didn't study for the test. We're tempted to steal when we see no one is looking. We're tempted to badmouth our parents or teachers. The easiest way to overcome temptation is to avoid it altogether. When we pray, we should ask God to lead us away from temptation and lead us toward good and great things.

DRIVE IT HOME:

That's a lot to remember. But don't let it bog you down. Remember it all boils down to this: prayer is talking to God. Talk to him about whatever you want to talk about: your hopes, your fears, your questions, the things you want.

When we talk to God he will listen. And don't forget to listen yourself. Let some of your prayer time be quiet time. Listen for what God wants to say. You may not hear words, but God is talking to you. He speaks into your heart, and into your mind. Ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you into hearing his voice better.

Now back to the New Year's resolutions. In Jesus' prayer, he asked for daily bread, not weekly bread or monthly bread. That means we need to be talking with God every day. Our relationship with God only gets stronger if we spend time with him.

So this year, make a commitment to yourself and to God that you will pray every day. Choose a specific time – first thing in the morning or right before bed or before meals or all of the above. When you think about things to pray about, say them right then or write them down on a piece of paper to remember later. Start a prayer journal where you keep track of the people and things you pray about. Then you can look make weeks and months later and see how God answered all of your prayers.

Let's make daily prayer our New Year's resolution. Let's start a prayer revolution.

 CLOSE WITH A SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

You are the light that shines in the darkness. Thank you for loving us and giving us Jesus.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

MEMORY VERSE: 

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” - Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

“Give a lot of time and effort to prayer. Always be watchful and thankful.” - Colossians 4:2 (NIrV)

CRAFT IDEA:

Prayer Journal. Place five sheets of copy paper on a piece of construction paper. Create a book by folding the stack of papers in half, then securing three staples along the crease. The construction paper acts as the cover of the book. Have kids design the front cover of their prayer books.

Encourage kids to write down (or draw, for younger kids) their prayer requests or any other thoughts that come to them during their alone times with God.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (K-2ND)

ICEBREAKER:

Who is your favorite person to talk to?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Read Luke 11:1-13.

What prompted Jesus to teach about prayer?

What is “daily bread”?

Why are the two aspects of forgiveness in the prayer?

Why is it important to ask God for what we need?

Why do we need to talk to God?

SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

You tell us to pray for what we need. We need more of you in our lives, God. Be our friend and our guide.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (3RD-5TH) 

ICEBREAKER:

Who is your favorite person to talk to?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Read Luke 11:1-13.

What prompted Jesus to teach about prayer?

What is “daily bread”?

Why are the two aspects of forgiveness in the prayer?

Why is it important to ask God for what we need?

Why do we need to talk to God?

SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

You tell us to pray for what we need. We need more of you in our lives, God. Be our friend and our guide.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 


 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner

December 13, 2020 Post

Greetings,

I hope you and your family are staying healthy and well as we inch ever closer to Christmas and to being able to gather again.

Following, you will find the Sunday School lesson to be offered on December 13th via Zoom at Noon. I hope that your child/ren will be able to join us.  If they are unable to join, I hope you take the opportunity to utilize the lesson sometime during the week.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Peace & Blessings,

Pastor Cheryl Schalm

 


 

Sunday School Lesson: An Angel Appears to Mary

 

Teacher Enrichment

If you’re reading through Luke 1, you find that today’s story of the foretelling of Jesus’ birth to Mary interrupts the story of John the Baptist. At the end of today’s story, Mary runs off to visit Elizabeth. After Mary’s song of praise (Luke 1:46-55), the story of the birth of John resumes.

We’re told very little about either Mary or Joseph in this passage. We only know that they were pledged to be married (a pledge that’s more binding than an engagement today), that Mary was a virgin, and that she apparently was chosen to be Jesus’ mother by virtue of being “highly favored” by God. Of all the Jewish men and women of all time, God chose Mary and Joseph to be the earthly guardians of his Son. These were humble, ordinary people who must have had an extraordinary relationship with God. They were willing to be used by God in whatever way he saw fit. And God used them in an extraordinary way!

Use this lesson to help your students see how God uses ordinary people—like them—who are committed to serving him.

Other Scriptures used in this lesson are Matthew 1:18-21 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Teacher’s / Parent’s Prayer

  • Read Acts 4:13.
  • In what ways did God use these ordinary men? What made them different?
  • How willing are you to be used by God in whatever way he sees fit?
  • Pray: Lord, use me. Help me to be the person you want me to be in the lives of my students so that they will…

Welcome

Before class, photocopy the “Will You Risk It?” handout (see the bottom of this post). Cut the assignments apart. Make enough copies so that each child will have an assignment. Put each assignment with one rubber band in a separate envelope. Seal the envelopes.

Say:  You’re invited to take a risk today. You don’t have to take the risk, but if you do you must agree to do whatever the instructions inside the envelope ask you to do. If you take this risk, you may also be rewarded. I have an envelope for each of you. Who wants an envelope?

Have child/ren open their envelopes, complete their assignments, and then give you their rubber bands. As kids turn in their rubber bands, give each one a treat.

Will You Risk It? Debrief

Ask:

  • What thoughts went through your mind when you took an envelope? (I was curious to find out what was inside; I was afraid it might be a trick.)
  • If you took an envelope, why did you decide to take a risk? (I thought it would be fun; I hoped there was a good reward.)
  • If you didn’t take an envelope, why did you decide not to take a risk? (I thought it might not be worth it; I didn’t care if I got a reward.)
  • What other risks do you take sometimes? (Volunteering to do a job for someone; trying to be someone’s friend.)
  • How was this activity like other risks you might take? (You never know exactly how it will turn out; if you don’t take the risk, you might miss the reward.)

Say: In our activity, you had to take a risk before you got a reward. At first, some of the opportunities we have to serve God may seem a little risky to us. But the rewards of doing what God wants us to do can be wonderful. God uses ordinary people like you and me to do important things for him. Today we’ll learn how God used an ordinary young woman to bring his Son into the world.

Bible Exploration

You don’t have to be rich or famous for God to use you. Listen while I read Luke 1:26‑27. This passage tells about Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Read Luke 1:26-27 aloud. Say: Jesus’ mother, Mary, wasn’t very old—possibly a young teenager. Most people didn’t know Mary or her family. But God chose Mary for the special purpose of giving birth to Jesus.

An angel told Mary she would give birth to Jesus. Read Luke 1:28-29 aloud.

When Mary first saw the angel, she was confused and wondered what was going on. Imagine that an angel just appeared to you.

Ask:

  • What’s the first thing you might think if you saw an angel? (I’d be scared; I would wonder if it was a dream.)

Read Luke 1:30-33 aloud. Then ask the class:

  • How do you think Mary might have felt after hearing the angel’s message? (Excited; happy to be chosen; curious about how it would happen; scared.)

Read Luke 1:34-38 aloud.

Ask:

  • Do you think you would have agreed to do what the angel said as Mary did? Explain. (Yes, I’d do what God wanted me to do; no, I might have said, “Let me think this over first.”)
  • Why do you think God chose Mary to be Jesus’ mother? (Because she followed God; because she was nice; God knew she’d make a good mother.)

Read Matthew 1:18-21 aloud. Then ask:

  • Why do you think God chose Joseph to act as Jesus’ father? (Because he was a kind man; because God trusted him.)

Say: God could have chosen someone famous, someone important, or someone wealthy to bring his Son into the world. But he didn’t. Instead, God chose an unknown young woman who was willing to be his servant. God knew Mary would be a wonderful mother for Jesus and that Joseph would be a good earthly father. God didn’t care how famous or important Mary and Joseph were because God uses ordinary people.

Not only did God choose ordinary people to be Jesus’ parents on earth, but God also chooses ordinary people to be Jesus’ spiritual brothers and sisters. That’s right—Jesus was born on earth so that any ordinary person could become a child of God and have a relationship with him. Jesus loves ordinary me and ordinary you!

Say: We’ve already heard how God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. But how did Mary react to the news? Let’s look at Luke 1:28-29 again to find out.

Say: In these verses, Mary is confused about why God has chosen her and what the angel’s message might mean. Mary might have felt too young or unimportant for such a special task. Tell us about a time you thought you were too young to have something special happen to you. (My sister said summer camp was really fun, but I was too young to go; my brother gets to drive, but it’ll be zillions of years before I can drive.)

Say: God uses ordinary people, and his choices are often surprising. Let’s find out why. Read 1 Samuel 16:7, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then ask:

  • What ideas does this verse give you about why God chose Mary? (Mary was just an ordinary girl, but God knew her heart; she was nothing special, but God can use anyone whose heart is right.)

Say: God uses ordinary people like Mary, and God can use kids, too.

Breaking News Activity

Form teams if possible or have child invent, write and report a news story that could happen to someone their age who wants to make a difference for God.

Have one person on begin with a sentence such as “Today a 9-year-old girl made the news.” Then take turns adding sentences to your story until everyone has had at least one turn to add a sentence. After everyone has contributed to the story, you can agree to change the details if you want. Have the Writer in your group write down the main ideas of the story for the Reporter to present to the class.

Breaking News Debrief

When the “newscast” is over, thank everyone for “tuning in.” Then ask:

  • Do you think the stories you invented could really happen? Why or why not? (No, we just tried to make a good story; yes, people can make a big difference if they try and their hearts are right.)
  • Would you be willing to do something like the characters in your stories did? Explain. (Yes, I’d love to help people in a special way; no, I wouldn’t know what to do; I’m not sure I could do that.)

Say: Like Mary, we may wonder why God would want to use us. We may feel awkward and nervous about doing something like [INSERT: the stories you made up]. But if we’re willing to get involved, God can use us in amazing ways. We know that God uses ordinary people—people like you and me. Let’s explore how God might use ordinary you and me in his plan.

Ordinary People Activity

Have child/ren draw a gingerbread-style person outline on a piece of white paper. Give each child/ren another piece of paper and then have them cut out the person shapes.

Say: God used Mary, an ordinary young woman, to bring Jesus into this world. God uses ordinary people, even ordinary kids, to do great things for him.

You each have an ordinary person—a plain, white paper person. This ordinary paper person represents you, an ordinary person. Go ahead and glue your ordinary paper person to the middle of your piece of paper.

Pause as kids follow instructions. Then say: There you are, an ordinary person in the middle of an interesting world. Let’s add some features to make this ordinary person look more like you. Using any craft supplies you may have, add facial features, hair, clothes, and anything else that would make this ordinary person look more like you.

As kids add their unique features, say: From the minute God created you, you were anything but ordinary. God had plans for the way you would look, act, feel, think, talk, and interact with others. He knows the hairs on your head­—in fact, each one has a number! God made every aspect of you unique.

Give kids time to finish adding their features. Then say: But God has even bigger plans for you than just for your looks, thoughts, and feelings. God wants to use you to do amazing things for him, to encourage others, to help other Christians grow closer to Jesus, and to help people who don’t know Jesus have a relationship with him.

Activity Debrief

Ask:

  • What are some extraordinary ways God can use you in your ordinary life? (God can have me invite non-Christian friends to church; I can encourage people when they’re feeling down.)
  • What is it like knowing that God can use you in amazing ways? (It surprises me; it feels good to know that God is powerful enough to use me.)
  • What are some big things God might be preparing you to do for him in the future? (I might become a pastor; God might be preparing me to go to another country to share about Jesus; God might want me to open a shelter for homeless children.)

Say: On the outside of your person, draw or write ways you can serve God. These can be ordinary ways in your ordinary world, such as at school, with your family and friends, or in your neighborhood. They can also be huge ways to serve God in the future. No one knows exactly how God is going to use him or her, but remember that God can use you in extraordinary ways, so be creative.

Have Children Share What They Wrote or Drew

CLOSE IN PRAYER

 


 

 

Will You Risk It? Handout

Cut on the dotted lines:

——————————————————————————————————-

Your assignment is to tell one person why you’re glad they’re in your family.

Congratulations on taking this risk!

——————————————————————————————————–

Your assignment is to pat one person on the back and give them a big smile.

Congratulations on taking this risk!

——————————————————————————————————–

Your assignment is to say to one person, “It’s a great day to be alive! Gimme five!” and give them each a high five.

Congratulations on taking this risk!

——————————————————————————————————–

Your assignment is to shake hands with one person and say, “It’s a special day, and you’re a special person.”

Congratulations on taking this risk!

 


 

Posted by admin in Christian Education Corner