Thursday, December 29, 2011

Children's Lesson Plan 1-1-12

Update on Sunday School
We will continue with different aspects and the study of Jesus.
Jesus’ Birth
Jesus was born into a world that was relatively as peace – a Roman peace. This peace was enforced by the Roman legions whose very presence reminded the Jewish people that there were an occupied nation.  This was a constant reminder that God had promised a Savior, a Messiah to free them from oppression.  And the people waited.
The million or so Jews who lived in the Palestine area were simply a reliable source of revenue to one of history’s most extensive taxation systems.  The great works of the Roman Empire that we so greatly admire today were financed in part by the taxes exacted on the lowly peons who lived in the occupied areas.  Provincial governors were periodically empowered to conduct a census to organize the tax rolls.  It was to such a decree authorized by Caesar Augustus that Joseph responded.
So Joseph and Mary, even though she was far along in her pregnancy, began the trip to Bethlehem , Joseph’s hometown.  Since Joseph was a descendant of King David, the most beloved of all of Israel’s kings, his marriage to Mary made it possible for Jesus to be born into the House of David and fulfill the ancient prophecy:  “But you, O’Bethlehem.- - who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel.” (Micah 5:2)
Children know the Christmas story better than any other Bible story because we tell it in so many concrete ways:  Younger elementary children learn best from taste and touch, sight and sound and smell.  The story is repeated every Christmas and forges the message of God’s greatest gift forever in their lives.
Large families, overloaded schedules, and overcrowded schools leave some children feeling neglected and lonely.  They can never seem to find their niche.  Our children are important.  They are special to God.  Affirm them, give them a sense of belonging, and help them see themselves as being special to you, to the church, and to God.  Remember, the extraordinary can come from the ordinary.
In this weeks Bible story, your children will hear the story of Jesus birth.  Children need to know that Christmas is all about Jesus.  Keep Jesus at the center of your family celebration.  Talk with your child about how important Jesus is to you and to your life as a Christian.  Sunday your children will hear about Jesus being God’s greatest gift.  God sent Jesus into the world so that we could know more about what God was like.
Next week we will learn about the Good News, Shepherds.
Our story will be Jesus is Born, the games will be A Very Special Gift, Knock, Knock and we will be making Special Biblemarks.  Please tell the children to place this book mark in their Bible at Luke 2:1-7.  This tells the story of the birth of Jesus.
Bible Verse:
She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrap him in bands of cloth, and laid him in the manger.
Luke 2:7
Bible Story
Luke 1:35; 2:1-7

Lisa Wille
Cell:  770-362-2175

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bulletin, December 18

Good morning and welcome to Christ Church!  I hope you find a warm greeting here and that your experience draws you closer to God.

Our Advent sermon series, Lessons from the Nativity Set, brings us today to the story of Joseph.  In the luster of angelic visits, colorful wise men and shining stars, it is easy to lose sight of this quiet man.  We don’t actually know if he was the quiet type, but we understand him as a humble and unselfish character – willing to be obedient to God even when required to make personal sacrifice.

Joseph agreed to be surrogate dad to the savior of the world, an intimidating task for anybody.  Today we celebrate Joseph’s openness to God’s call and his example to Christians of all times.  Could you be as obedient as Joseph?

Rev. Nancy

Why I’ll Be At Church On Christmas

Christmas falls on a Sunday this year.  That doesn’t happen very often.  Roughly every few years, varying quite a bit due to leap years, the holiday will fall on a day that we will normally go to church.  This leaves us with a decision to make.

Christmas is traditionally a time we spend with families. The better part of the day is spent in pajamas that is until we get dressed to go to Grandma’s house.  We empty the stockings and open the gifts under the tree.  We turn on our video cameras or smart phones to capture the expressions on little faces as the children open their presents.  We enjoy a leisurely breakfast together, then later a feast for dinner.  All the while playing Christmas carols from the iPod.

Spending time at church can really mess with these plans.  But it isn’t going to stop me.  I’m going to be here singing, praying and preaching, and I’ll tell you why (and it isn’t because I’m the pastor and I have to):

  •           Every Sunday, we are called to give an hour or three from the entire week to come to church.  Here, we worship and express our gratitude to the God who made us.  This is our opportunity to draw nearer to God, to rest, to grow.  In this time we celebrate the abundance we enjoy and the beautiful world in which we are permitted live.  Even better, we do this in fellowship with a whole community of believers.  In other words, I hope we would be here anyway. 
  •        You might have neighbors who don’t fully know the reason for the season.  They might know something of the story, but not why it matters.  Your car pulling out of the driveway, or into the church parking lot, could be a witness to those who need to know the very real hope that lies behind the glitter of the season. 
  •         Most obvious, Christmas is Jesus’s birthday – not ours, not even Grandma’s.  We come to church on every Sunday to worship the God who gave us life, and who was gracious enough to send a savior.  I don’t usually stay home from church on Easter.   Why would Jesus’ birthday celebration be a reason not to worship?

 So, I’ll be in church on Christmas Day and I hope you will too.  In fact, I fully expect to see the hordes that surged into the retail outlets on Black Friday.  Surely Jesus means more to Christmas than a sale on electronics at Walmart.

We have great services planned on both Christmas Eve and Christmas.  They will tell again the Christmas story and remind us of the reason for our joy.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Blessings, Rev. Nancy 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sunday School Lesson

Update on Sunday School:

I would like to first finish up on last weeks lesson about God’s Promises:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  John 3:16
If we confess our sings, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9
Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go Genesis 28:15
When the box is seen in the clouds, I will remember me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh Genesis 9:14-15
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us, authority rests upon his shoulders; and his is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Pease Isaiah 9:6.

This Week:

Good News Mary

The promise of the Messiah was always foremost in the minds of God’s people.  When was the Messiah coming?  How would they know this person?  Surely every young women dreamed that she would be the mother of this child.  Perhaps Mary, too, thought about this as she was growing up.  Little did she know that she would be the one whom God chose.

Mary was engaged to Joseph, a carpenter from the village of Nazareth.  Her family had probably arranged this marriage when Mary herself was just a child.  An engagement was a legally binding as a marriage.  For Mary to be pregnant prior to the actual marriage would have been considered a sign of adultery.  When Joseph decided to quietly divorce Mary, he was actually advocating a kinder treatment than the law prescribed.  However, God had a plan for both Mary and Joseph.

The word angel means “a messenger from God”.  Throughout the Bible there are many examples of angels bringing important messages from God to men and women.  Not only did the angel bring the news of Mary’s impending child, but the angel also informed Mary and Joseph what the child would be called – Jesus.  (Jesus is a Greek interpretation of the name Joshua.  It means “the Lord is salvation.”)  In Luke’s account the reader discovers that Jesus was to be born into an ordinary family but with extraordinary circumstances.

The focus of this lesson is on the naming of Jesus-specifically as Son of God.  Names are very important for younger elementary children.  Names provide identity, particularly if the name has a special significance.  You will discover this is true if you accidently mispronounce a child’s name or call him or her by another’s name. 

Because names are so important, name calling is such a demeaning experience for children.  Discourage this whenever you witness it.  As the children learn more about Jesus, they will learn about many different names associated with him.  Each name reveals a little more about Jesus and his important role on earth.

In summary, in the Bible story today, your children will hear how Mary and Joseph heard about the news that they were going to be the parents of God’s only Son, Jesus.   Throughout Jesus’ lifetime, he is called by many names.  But the most important name by far is that of Son of God.  The children will learn that this is the reason we celebrate Christmas.  They will talk about the importance of names, including their own.  If there are reasons why your child has his or name, share that with them, so they may share it with us on Sunday.  Help them understand that names are very special.  Names tell people who we are.

Our Story today will be Good New, Mary.  This will be a bit different as I will be telling a story with the children’s participation with sign language.    The story will be told from Mary, Joseph and an angel.  We will be making an angel ornaments as well as other ornaments to bring home.  We will also do Silhouette Self if we have time. 

Bible Verse

He will be called Son of God
Luke 1:35

Bible Story

Luke 1:26-38; Isaiah 9:6; 11:1-9

Other Ideas

Bird Treats


Dry bread slices, cookie cutters, egg white, bird seed, yarn, toothpicks, pastry brush, plate, scissors

Use a cookie cutter to cut different shapes from the dried bread.  Punch a hole at the top of each shape with  toothpick.  Thread a piece of yarn about six to eight inches long through the hole and tie in a knot, forming a hanger.  Put the birdseed on a plate.  Paint both sides of the bread with egg white.  Press each side of the bread into the birdseed.  The seed should stick to the bread.  Allow to dry.  Hang these bird treats outside during the winter for our fine feathered friends.

By Lisa Wille

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Music Notes for December 11, 2011

And the Grinch with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow stood puzzling and puzzling
How could it be so?
IT came without ribbons
It came without tags
It came without packages, boxes and bags
And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? -Dr. Suess


This arrangement is by Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller fame. Davis did two arrangements: a traditional and modern version. This is the modern version with Steve Musker on trumpet. Carols were originally sacred songs written by the laity based on popular tunes of the time. Many of the tunes were dance tunes and were written for all seasons. Carols disappeared in England when the Puritan Parliament of 1647 forbade all festivals, including Christmas. They were revived under Queen Victoria and this carol was one of the most popular of the 19th century. It was so popular that it is quoted in Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol. “At the sound of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action, that the singers fled in terror.” In fact, this is the Christmas Carol referred to in the title. Perhaps if Scrooge had listened to the words of the carol, he could have saved himself a sleepless night.



No one knows the background of the Three Kings of this carol.  The Biblical account of the three wise men is very sparse. We are told that they are magi but the Bible does not say much more. We don’t know their number. We don’t know their ages or names. We don’t know where they came from except that it was from the “East”. We don’t know what they looked like. We just know the gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. The earliest historical account of the Three Wise men is from the 7th century saint Bede. His description, based on earlier sources, states that there were three wise men: Melchoir who was old with a gray beard and hair offered gold in recognition of Christ’s sovereignty. Jaspar, was young with no beard, and offered frankincense in recognition of Christ’s divinity. Balthasar was a dark skinned Moor who offered myrrh in recognition of Christ’s humanity.


The origin of this hymn is unclear. Some say French, as Noel is a French word. Some say English and the word Noel is a contraction of “Now all is well”. It is clear that the song has been around for centuries and was sung for years before it was ever put into print. It has been tied to the miracle plays of the Middle Ages where the gospel story was acted and sung for the common people. The song tells the story in verse of the visitation of the shepherds and their reaction to the good news. (Another possible translation of Noel is from the Gauls meaning “new light”)


This hymn was composed in 1743 with Latin words. Although the composer was English, the carol was not translated until 1841.  It’s a favorite on Christmas recordings having been recorded by Celine Dion and Twisted Sister. This is probably the only thing those people have it common.


Today’s selection is to honor the children’s music program of the church. The kids worked hard over the past two months to learn their three songs that they are singing today. So listen parents (and congregation) to the children sing. We are saving them a spot in the choir loft. Perhaps in ten years or so, they will be singing this anthem on another children’s choir Sunday.


The lyrics to this carol (#221 in the hymnal) are based on a poem by Christina Rossetti, a British Romantic poet. Rossetti had a gift for expressing profound thought in simple concise words. The poem is short but the message is deep. God left everything to become a child in harsh circumstances. You know the story but Rossetti’s words make it new. Gustav Holst’s melody preserves the simplicity of the words and it seems more like a folksong than a hymn.


Some songs are not expressly sacred but evoke the Christmas season powerfully. O Christmas Tree does have sacred words. However, Christmas Time is Here is just a Christmas song. The Vince Guaraldi version of “O Christmas Tree” and his original song "Christmas Time is Here" conjure up prior Christmases watching “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” and memories of Linus reciting the story from Luke 2 and the poor little Christmas Tree that no one loved- but Charlie Brown. The song may not be liturgically correct but I still hear the Christmas message from Charlie Brown every year.

Childrens' selections 
Sparkling starts shining in the night. Who would have thought they could be so bright?
Twinkle, twinkle dancing in the sky, I want to dance along, but they are much too high
But there in the east is a star so bright; the world is lit by its wonderful light
Twinkle, twinkle beautiful star, How I wonder what you are!
Magi followed the brilliant star
They packed their bags for a journey far
To worship Christ was their intent, with gold and myrrh and frankincense
When they came to the place where the star came to rest they knew they were forever blessed
They worshipped Jesus they leaped for joy for the Savior was just a tiny boy
Twinkle twinkle beautify star! Now2 I know just what you are
Start of wonder sparkling in the night you lead us all to Jesus with your light.

Long ago in Bethlehem there was a special star
Shining brightly in the east, it guided men from afar
T’ward a stable dark and cold where Mary and Joseph lay.
She gave birth to a little boy and laid him in the hay.
Men were trav’ling from the east with gifts for the little child.
There were also shepherds there to see the baby smile.
Mary heard the angel say, “Jesus is his name”
For he is a special boy; no other’s quite the same”.
Every little angel saw the light of a little baby born that night.
In the King of Kings they took delight! Every little angel sang that night.

I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas day in the morning,
And what was in the ships all three on Christmas day in the morning?
Our Savior Christ and his lady on Christmas day in the morning.    

Sunday Greeting

Good morning and welcome to Christ Church

I hope you find a warm greeting here and that your experience draws you closer to God.

Today in our worship service we will look at the journey of the magi.  Based on nothing more than the sighting of a star, these men travelled long distances in order to worship the new king bringing gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.  From the very beginning, Jesus’ influence reached beyond the boundaries of country and culture.  Jesus came to be lord of all.

Have you made a journey like the magi?  Have you searched for the Christ, not even sure what you would find?  Most important, have you given your heart as a gift to Jesus?  Offer it to him as a present in this holy season.
Rev. Nancy

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rev. Nancy's Corner

The Christmas story has a lot of travel.  Mary and Joseph make a hazardous journey to Bethlehem.  Shepherds leave their flock at the advice of an angel and journey to the place where Jesus was born.  Scholars from the east saw a new and momentous star, then loaded camels and took to the road to find the new king.  Nobody sits still at Christmas.

This isn’t usually how we think of Christmas, however.   For many of us, the picture in our mind is as still as the nativity set.  We see the shepherds and magi, together standing to adore the infant Jesus.  Mary and Joseph are fixed in watchful devotion.  The scene is cozy, peaceful and, above all, unmoving.   As we are drawn in to the tranquility of the scene, it is easy to forget that we are called to go.

We may think that we go, already.  Certainly our holiday season is full of action; plenty of shopping, appointments and parties.  December is notoriously busy.  But in all of our activity, the question we should ask ourselves is, “Am I going to see the Christ child?”  Is our rushing around bringing us closer to the side of the manger, and nearer to the celebration of a birth that is still changing the world.

As much as we rightly enjoy the beauty and sweetness of the season, we should never forget that our call - the call of the angels, the call of the star, the call of Christ – is to leave our comfortable places.  We hear a radical summons to get up and to go; to make a journey that may not be easy or secure, but will place us at the heart of service to God and to the world.

This Christmas, there will be people all over the world who are in need; in need of food and shelter, in need of presents, in need of grace.  If we want to find the infant king, we will look among them.  Jesus sojourned into our world for all of these, and we are sent out for the same reason.    When we are willing to sacrifice the pieces of our lives that we hold dear, when we rise up to answer the call, when we take the journey into the world to love and serve in Christ’s name, we will always find ourselves beside the manger with all who have come to adore Him.

 Blessings, Rev. Nancy

Monday, December 5, 2011

Children's Lesson for December 11

Update on Sunday school
For the next 12 weeks we will be studying about Jesus.  We will start with a Savior’s Coming and go through He is the Light of the World.  It will be broken up into three segments which are Jesus is Born, Jesus Begins His Ministry and finally Who is Jesus?  The kids will be learning scripture from Isaiah, Luke, Matthew, John and Psalm. 
I firmly believe each child in our Sunday school is a one-of-a-kind child of God.  Each child has his or her own name, background, family situation and set of experiences.  It is important to remember and celebrate the uniqueness of each child.  Yet these one-of-a-kind children of God have some common needs:
  • All children need love
  • All children need a sense of self-worth
  • All children need to feel a sense of accomplishment
  • All children need to have a safe place to be and express their feelings
  • All children need to be surrounded by adults who love them
  • All children need to experience the love of God.
A Savior’s coming
In Bible times the Jewish people loved the Book of Isaiah because it was a book expected promises about Israel ’s future.  The prophet Isaiah wrote during a time of great moral and political unrest.  The political situation was so severe that it even threatened God’s promise of a continued reign through the lineage of King David.  But Isaiah assured the people that God would send a Messiah and that the throne would indeed remain in the house of David.  A child would be the sign-a child who would share the people’s sufferings and would live among them.  So the people held tightly to God’s promise and watched and waited.  Early Christians look back at Isaiah’s promises.  They believed that Jesus’ birth fulfilled these promises. 
The children will also hear the story of John.  Elizabeth and Zechariah were a devout but childless couple living in Judea .  Zechariah, while lighting incense at the Temple , encountered an angel.  The angel promised that he and Elizabeth would finally have a child-a child destined to bring the people back to God.  This child would prepare the people for the greatest of all births-the birth of God’s only son, Jesus. 
Today the children will hear the Scriptures that tell about the coming of the Savior.  They will also hear the story of John the Baptist, and how his birth was to be the forerunner to the birth of Jesus.  John would prepare the way.  John would get the people ready.
Preparing for Christmas is often as exciting as the actual experience of it.  How children look forward to all the sights and sounds of the season.  They begin the anticipation as soon as Thanksgiving is over.  By the time Christmas arrives, the excitement borders on the manic.  Plan activities that will channel this natural enthusiasm. Engage in meaningful activities that focus on Jesus as God’s greatest gift to all persons.  Acknowledge the unreal expectations that your children may be experiencing.  Try to remind them that we celebrate Christmas because God sent Jesus to live among us and to help us know more about was like.
Help your children discover dependability of God’s promises as you share the special stories of the birth of Jesus.
Our Story will be A Baby Called John, our games and activities will include:  Waiting for the Star, Pass the Promises, Pass the Promises and Keeping Promises. 
God’s Promises are:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  John 3:16
If we confess our sings, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9
Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go Genesis 28:15
When the box is seen in the clouds, I will remember me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh Genesis 9:14-15
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us, authority rests upon his shoulders; and his is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Pease Isaiah 9:6.
Bible Verse
For a child has been born for us
Isaiah 9:6
Bible Story
Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-9; Luke 1:5-25, 57-80.
Make Cookie Ornaments
3 oz pkg of cream cheese, softened
½ c margarine, softened
½ c. packed brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 c all purpose flour
Mix all ingredients, except flour, in a large bowl.  Stir by hand until well blended.  Add flour, stirring until dough forms a ball.  Knead dough on floured surface, adding additional flour until dough is smooth and not sticky.  Shape the dough on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees until edges of cookies are light brown.  (This depends on the thickness of the cookies.)  Cool before removing from sheet.
Special announcement!
I believe Santa will make a surprise visit this Sunday during Sunday school for who want to come.  Please make sure that your children are here for a VERY special day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Children's Lesson for Sunday Dec. 4

Update on Sunday school
The Man Born Blind
In Jesus’ day there were always beggars outside the gates of any city.  Because of physical infirmities they were unable to work and were often sick and without help.  No righteous Jew would pass up these beggars without giving as much as possible to help them out.  In the writings of Isaiah, the prophet claims that the religious fast acceptable to the Lord includes gifts of bread to the hungry, housing for the homeless, and clothing for the naked.  The biblical practice of hospitality includes alms-giving or the charitable provision for the poor.  This is especially true of the hospitality connected with religious feasts and sacrifices.  Jesus often reminded his followers of the importance of giving to those who were in need, and in the early church the first officers were elected because of their alms-giving.
Blindness was seen as a punishment of misconduct, caused by sin.  When Jesus said that he came to restore sight to the blind, he was not speaking only of physical blindness, but of spiritual blindness-the inability to see spiritual truths.  As the light of the world he opened blind eyes to these truths. 
Jesus frequently used different methods for his healing acts, and in today’s lesson he anointed the eyes of the sufferer with a mixture of dust and saliva.  Ancient folklore recommended applications of saliva, preferably from someone who has been fasting so that the alkaline content would be higher.  Too, he sent the blind man to wash in the pool where he would have the advantage of the shade provided by buildings when he first opened his eyes.
Today your children will hear the story about Jesus and a man who was born blind.  Jesus covered the man’s eyes with mud and then told the man to go to the pool and wash off the mud.  When the man washed off the mud, he could see!
Jesus looked at the world through eyes of love.  Using God’s power to heal was one way Jesus showed care for others.  Young children are often capable of showing an amazing sense of caring for others.  It is our responsibility to nurture this sense of reaching out.  Remind your children that while we are not able to heal other people, we can care for others just as Jesus did.  One way we can care for others is by praying for them.
Today our story will be The Man Born Blind, our game will be color hop and I will be showing a short Christmas cartoon video for a special treat to the kids for all their hard work. 
Bible Verse
Sing praise to the LORD; tell the wonderful things God has done.
Psalm 105:2
Bible Story
John 9:1-11
Talk with your child about how to take care of his or her eyes.  Remind your child to:

   1.  Never      look directly at the sun
   2.  Always      keep sharp objects away from your eyes
   3.  Never      rub your eyes with dirty hands.

Prayer Photos
Help your child choose a friend, family member, or church friend to pray for.  Take a photograph of the friend or family member or ask the person to give you a photograph.  Place the photo in your child’s room.  Each day, look at the photograph with your child and help your child say a prayer for the person in the photograph.
Put on your calendars, Polar Express this Saturday at 5 pm comes your way in the annex.  Please come one, come all, what a great way to start your holiday season!  Food and drinks will be included.  Come join the fun!  Please RSVP to Lisa Wille at Lisa11675@gmail.comor 770-362-2175

Monday, November 21, 2011

Children's Lesson for Sunday, November 27

Update of Sunday School
The Man Beside the Pool
Jesus is the Son of God.  When he lived on earth, he performed many acts, called miracles that showed his power.  There were four kinds of miracles:  one kind showed Jesus’ power over nature; another showed Jesus’ power over evil spirits; one kind showed Jesus’ power over death itself; and one showed Jesus’ power over disease and disabilities.  Jesus performed more dealing miracles than any other kind.
Miracles are not magic.  Magic is not real – it is an illusion.  The things Jesus did were much more powerful and more wonderful than any illusion.  Miracles are real and only come about through the power of God.  Jesus did not use his power to attract followers.  Often he cautioned the person he knew that many people would begin to follow him only because of the attention he got from the miracles.  He wanted his followers to come to know him as God’s son and to know God as a loving parent, always concerned for the good of God’s children. 
All of Jesus’ miracles were performed for three reasons.  The Gospel writers tell us that Jesus used his power because he loved people; as signs that what he said was true; and as a sign that he was the Messiah, the Holy One from God.
Three times Jesus made people well on the Sabbath.  Each time he was reproached by the religious leaders of the day because they saw healing as work.  Work, they said, should never be done on the Sabbath.  But Jesus knew that God had sent him to show God’s love and care to all people.  One of the ways he acted out God’s care was by healing those who were sick.  He knew that God wanted him to help people, whether it was the Sabbath or any other day.
Today’s your children will hear the story of Jesus healing the man beside the pool.  The man could not walk.  He lay on a mat beside a pool, hoping someone would help him get into the swirling waters of the pool.  He believed that the swirling waters would heal him.  Jesus helped the man, not by putting the man into the swirling waters, but by healing him.  Jesus told the man to take up his mat and walk!  The man could walk!   The man was glad that Jesus helped him.  We can help people today.
God used people to show God’s care.  Help your children see that we can help other people by praying for them.  Do you have a family member or friend who is sick or hurt?  Say a prayer for that person and help your children send a note to the person.
Our story will be The Man besides the Pool, Mat Ball, and Swirl, Sway and Pray. 
Bible Verse
Sing praise to the LORD: tell the wonderful things God has done.
Psalm 105:2
Bible Story
John 5:2-9
Prayer Pockets
Help your chlld name people they can pray for.  Write the names on 3-by-5 cards or pieces of paper cut into 3-by-5 inch rectangles.  Let your child decorate the cards with stickers. 
Use two paper plates to make a prayer pocket.  Cut one paper plate in half.  Place the paper plate half on top of the whole paper plate to form a pocket.  Staple the plates together around the edges.  Let your child deorate the paper plate pocket with crayons or markers. 
Place the name cards inside the pocket.  Each day, let your child pck a name card from the pocket.  Help your child pray for the person names.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Greeting

This week we officially begin the holiday season.  It is appropriate that we begin with a holiday that calls us to express gratitude for all of the things we will enjoy over the coming weeks.  On the fourth Thursday in November – and I hope on all days – we thank the One who makes the celebration possible.

What are you thankful for this year?  Make your list long.  Joy comes with every item on the inventory when we acknowledge and enjoy how blessed we are.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Rev. Nancy

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rev. Nancy’s Corner

I am a holiday nut . . . and freely admit it.  I am thrilled that Thanksgiving is nearly here and that the Christmas season will begin right after.  I have secretly been playing Christmas music, and will be very ready to put up the tree when the time comes.  While my appreciation for the holidays has deep theological roots, I am a real sucker for all the warm fuzziness that comes along with this time of year. 

I believe that Thanksgiving is an act of faith.  Particularly because we schedule it every year.  No question of when it is or if it will happen.  If you have already bought a 2012 calendar, I’ll bet “Thanksgiving” is already printed on the fourth Thursday in November.   It’s going to happen this year, and the next, and the next, no matter what.   

That’s the faith part.  It says that no matter how bad things get or how weak the economy may be, regardless of what happens to our 401Ks or how many extra jobs we have to take on, we believe that come this time next year, we will have found God faithful and will have much to be thankful for.  A year from now, whatever losses we might have suffered, whatever fears we might have faced, God will still be with us.  We will have a community of family and friends, and a faith that will get us through any hard times.  Thanks be to God.

Start now saying prayers of thanksgiving – for the abundance God provides us, for friends and family and for the work that God is doing in and through Christ Church.  I am praying in gratitude for you.

Rev. Nancy