Pentecost Sunday: June 4th

Beulah Land: Summer Around the Campfire

Over the summer we are using the book, Long Story Short, to review some Old Testament stories. This book is designed for families with children of various ages to use as a devotional. On the first day of the week, it explores a passage, then builds on this passage through the rest of the week. We hope this makes an easy bridge from church to home as you continue to engage your children in a discussion about the Bible. We will also have a memory verse each week!

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Class Campfire

Summary: This week’s story is God Calls Gideon.  We will tell it around our class campfire! You can find this account in Judges 6 and starting on p. 305 in Long Story Short. Even if you simply re-read the story again during the week, that will help build a foundation of Scripture your child can return to throughout his/her life.

I wonder…: why the Israelites disobeyed God? why God called Gideon even though he was the “least”? why God wanted the Israelites to come back to Him?

Memory Verse: Be strong in the Lord and in His might power. Ephesians 6:10

Godly Play I & II: Catechism I

Today we move into our summer rhythm of learning Catechism questions and answers! A few things to know about Catechism:

  • Children will remain in the same Godly Play classes, but instead of having a Godly Play lesson each week, they will learn a set of questions and answers.
  • Older kids will learn more Q&A sets than the younger kids.
  • These classes are taught by our elders in order for them to have an additional opportunity to shepherd our RMC kids, as well as to give our RMC Kids Team a summer sabbatical. RMC Kids Volunteers will help with some doorkeeping roles.
  • The children will bring home a worksheet to help with further study. Please feel free to review it along with the questions at home!
  • To learn more about why we teach Catechism, look HERE.

Catechism Questions This Week

Godly Play I:

  • 29: What is sin? Sin is any lack of conformity to, or transgression of, the law of God.
  • 30: What is meant by lack of conformity? Not being or doing what God requires.
  • 31: What is meant by transgression? Doing what God forbids.

Godly Play II:

  • 109: What is Prayer? Prayer is praising God, giving thanks for all his blessings and asking him for the things he has promised in the Bible.
  • 110: In whose name should we pray? Only in the name of Christ.

 

Easter Sunday: May 28th

Beulah Land

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

Summary: This week’s story is a review of the Apostles’ Creed. Find it HERE. This is our last week before we begin our summer study using Long Story Short. This will also be the last week of our monthly hymns. Please continue practicing them over the summer so when your child remains in the service, he/she will be familiar with them!

I wonder… : what it means to believe in the maker of heaven and earth? who is the holy spirit? who is the father and who is the son?

Additional Followup: The Apostles’ Creed was not written by the apostles, but rather contains a summary of their most core teachings. It is often called the ecumenical creed as those summaries are very brief and very basic tenants of the Christian faith. It is believed to be the oldest creed, dating its oldest form to about 140 AD and is thought by some to have been used as a confession of faith at baptism. Remember, creeds are not scripture, and should not be treated as such. However, they are helpful expressions of what one believes. Learn more about the Apostles’ Creed HERE.

You can practice attempting to memorize it at home if you’d like!

Godly Play

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Summary: This is our last week of Godly Play for the 2016-2017 school year. Next week, we will begin our summer catechism lessons. To close out the year, the storyteller will review stories with the kids, exploring which stories stood out most to them. The kids will help put the stories away to prepare for next week’s Catechism kickoff.

I wonder…: which story from this year you liked best? which story from this year was most important? which story you liked least? what all of these stories have to do with each other? what all of these stories have to do with Jesus? what all of these stories have to do with you and me?

Please make sure to tell your child that if he/she has “work in progress” at church, this is the last week they will be able to take it home!

Easter Sunday: May 21

Beulah Land: Adventures of Paul

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Summary: Last week children learned about the conversion of Paul.  This week they will learn about Paul’s missionary journeys with Barnabas and Silas. You can find the accounts in Acts 13-16.

I Wonder… : why some people thought the Good News was scary? what it feels like to ‘hear the good news and let it change you’? how someone can know and love Jesus if they never met him before he died on the cross?

Additional Followup: Sing songs like Paul and Silas did in prison! Take out a map and see where all Paul went on his missionary journeys. Pray for our church supported missionaries as they seek to take the Good News to the world.

 

Godly Play I & II: Work Day

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8

Summary: Today is a lesson completely devoted to encountering God through the story sets and art supplies. The storyteller will open the story circle by helping the children reflect upon and wonder over the stories they’ve heard in Godly Play. Children will then be given the opportunity to choose either a story set or art materials to work with. Since children integrate their experience and knowledge with hands-on play, this will be a time for them to connect with God and His Word. Sometimes children need to come back to the same story on multiple occasions to “get it”…not unlike us adults! This time gives them a set-apart time to do so. See more HERE about work in Godly Play.

I Wonder…: which story you think of more than others? which one you like most? which one you like least? which story has something to do with Jesus? which story has something to do with you?

Additional Followup: Go ahead and ask what story your child picked to work with! Maybe you could read that story from the bible or even create your own version of it to play with at home.

Easter Sunday: May 14

Beulah Land: Paul’s Conversion

Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Romans 14:11

Summary: Today’s is the story of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, meeting with Ananias, his baptism and his escape in a basket to tell others about Jesus! You can find the account in Acts 9.

Here is a picture of part of the story in case you’ve wondered what Beulah Land stories look like:

Paul escapes in a basket craft idea:

I Wonder… : why Saul was so angry with the followers of Jesus? what it feels like to change? what you think about Paul? why people didn’t trust him? where else you have heard about three days? what made Paul so eager to tell others about Jesus?

Additional Followup: This would be a dramatic story to act out with your family if you wanted to! It would be a great review of the story at home. If you wanted to focus on Paul’s escape, you could build a wall of blocks or legos and make this little craft. I saw it on pinterest and thought it was fun. Not necessary by any means, but if you’re the crafty type, give it a go! There are no instructions, but it looks straightforward enough.

Saul's escape over the walls of Damascus in a basket. They will create a basket that they can move up and down to remind them that the Lord used Paul's changed life to tell others about Jesus!:

Hymn of the Month: Amazing Grace (first verse)

Godly Play II: Missionary Sunday: Alyssa Pfister

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.                   1 John 3:18

Summary: Today’s story is about Alyssa Pfister, a doctor affiliated with RMC who is serving in Burundi, Africa.

I Wonder…: what living in another country is like? what makes people want to go tell others about Jesus? how you can pray for missionaries? how you can be a missionary in your own town?

Additional Followup: Make an effort to talk about missions at home this month! What are missions? How can you pray and support missionaries? Commit to praying for Alyssa and the people she serves in Burundi this month.

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Easter Sunday: May 7th

Beulah Land: Stories of Peter

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

Summary: Today’s is an exciting story as your child will learn about the rapid growth of the church. It is taken from Acts 9:31-12:18 and gives multiple accounts of Peter’s work to spread the Gospel. Equipped by Holy Spirit and commissioned as an apostle, Peter was able to perform miraculous healings, escape from prison and even tell a Roman centurion the truth about Jesus.

I Wonder… : what it feels like to be healed? what it is like to see an angel? what it means to hear the story and let it change you? if this story is still a part of Jesus?

Follow up Ideas: Get out a map! Find where the church started to spread. Where do others Christians live now? How do people hear the Good News of Jesus?

Godly Play I: Paul’s Discovery

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

Summary: Today’s story comes from Acts and multiple other New Testament books. It walks through the life of Paul, taking children through stories of his conversion, missionary journeys and death.

I Wonder…: what your favorite part of the story is? what the most important part could be? if this story has anything do with you? what you think about Paul? what it is like to be in a place where people do not like Jesus?

Additional Followup: Get out a map and trace Paul’s missionary journeys. Find out which New Testament letters are written by Paul. Do you have a favorite?

Fun Facts for Parents: We know from his second letter to Timothy that Paul was probably aware that his time on earth was ending– and that he would be executed for his faith (see 2 Timothy 4). Though we don’t have an exact time, Paul’s death is typically dated during Nero’s rule. Nero hated Christians, blamed them for the burning of Rome and tortured them greatly. He even used Christians as human torches for evening parties. Because he was a Roman citizen, historians report that Paul’s death would have likely come from sword or axe rather than crucifixion or burning. Many legends have popped up surrounding the death of Paul. One claims that after decapitation, Paul’s head bounced three times, leaving behind three flowing springs where it touched the ground. While the manner in which Paul was killed cannot be confirmed, we are confident that Paul was most likely killed for his faith. He was once a man driven by perfectionism and hatred of Christians until he met Jesus and was changed. I wonder how knowing Jesus changes you?

Godly Play II: Story of Dorcas

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18

Summary: This story is taken from Acts 9:36-42. It covers both the spread of the gospel through the mission of Peter as well as how believers, filled with the Holy Spirit, began to serve their neighbors.

I wonder…: why Dorcas was so concerned with helping the poor and the widowed? why the widows were so sad when she died? what Dorcas thought when she sat up and opened her eyes? what people thought when they saw Dorcas alive again?

Additional Followup: Wonder together over who the poor and widowed are. How can you as a family show them the love of Christ?

Fun Facts for Parents: Dorcas is the Greek translation for the Aramaic Tabitha (which means gazelle). Tabitha took seriously the call to care for the poor and the widow. From the text, it seems as though her ministry had far reaches in her community. We see a faithful follower in Dorcas. This account also shows us how the gospel continued to spread through the apostle, Peter. Because people saw Dorcas brought back to life, they believed in Christ.

Easter Sunday: April 30th

Beulah Land: The Apostles’ Ministry

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

Summary: After Jesus’ ascension, Holy Spirit came as a helper for Christians. The Apostles spread the message of Christ in remarkable ways. Two of the ways we will hear about today is through the healing of a paralytic man and an encounter with an Ethiopian eunuch. This is an exciting set of stories as it tells the beginnings of the Church.

I Wonder… : what it would be like to have Jesus’ power to heal people? what happened to the Ethiopian man when he went home to Africa? how someone can know and love Jesus if they never met him in person? if this is still the story of Jesus?

Follow up Ideas: Memorize the names of the disciples! (Acts 1 and Matthew 10 list them off)

Godly Play I & II: Jesus and the Twelve

…those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew, Phillip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brother. Acts 1:13b-14

Summary: Today we will head into the New Testament to learn about Jesus’ Disciples/ Apostles. These men were vital to spreading the Gospel after Jesus ascended into heaven. They also wrote most of our New Testament books. This lesson will review each of the apostles, how they met Jesus, how they continued his ministry, and how they died.

I Wonder…: why Jesus called for these specific men to follow them?  what they thought of Jesus? how they felt when he died and was resurrected? which one you like best? what it is you like about him?

Additional Followup: Today’s lesson uses the Last Supper by da Vinci. Maybe you could pull up an image and ask your child to teach you about the apostles. Try to name all 12 and what you know about each one. Look for passages in Scripture that tell you about each one…even if you have to google search or use your bible index to locate the passages! Here are two to start you off: Matthew 10:2-4, Acts 1:13-14

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From a google search

Easter Sunday: April 23rd

Beulah Land: Easter Week

He has risen, just as He said! – from Matthew 28:6

  • Summary: Today’s story is taken from all four Gospels. It depicts Jesus’ encounters with people after the resurrection. Your children will hear about Jesus revealing himself to Mary Magdalene, Cleopas, the disciples and Thomas.
  • I Wonder… : why nobody believed Mary when she said that she had seen Jesus? why Jesus’ friends did not recognize him at first? how many things we believe without seeing or touching them? if this is the end of the story with Jesus?
  • Hymn of the Month: Abide with Me (Click HERE for practice!)
  • Follow up Ideas: There is a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer that draws imagery from resurrected Jesus’ encounter with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus. Maybe you can use this prayer over the week:

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past. Be our companion in the Way. Kindle our hearts and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture, and in the breaking of bread. Grant us this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Godly Play I & II: The Good Shepherd and Communion

I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me. John 10:14

  • Summary: Today’s story is a remarkable one to witness! I tear up nearly every time I hear it. Your child will hear the words of John 10 and watch the Good Shepherd story connect with the lesson of Communion. The Shepherd figure will lead the sheep from a pen to the good, green grass, which places them at a table surrounded by people from all over the world. The Shepherd will stand with a pastor figure as the storyteller explains that the pastor reads the words of the Good Shepherd and gives us the bread and wine.
  • I Wonder…: if you have ever been close to this table? if those sheep have a name? what the table really is? what the bread and wine really are? if you ever thought about taking this special meal? who all takes this meal? where people who take it are from? how is communion like the good grass and still water?
  • Additional Followup: Did you know a rumor about the early church was that they were cannibals? Onlookers heard they ate a special meal of the “body” and the “blood.” While those early critiques of the church are misinformed, communion is certainly a topic full of mystery and wonder. Explore with your child what it means to take communion. You can also use your worship folder to review our order of communion with your child. They have probably already made some interesting and even profound observations! If you’d like to highlight some of the Good Shepherd passages, HERE is a beautiful version of Psalm 23 (word for word). It might make memorization easier!