Thursday, 13 June 2019

Flying Saucer Sweet Prayers

If you grew up in the UK then you are probably very familiar with Flying Saucers- sherbet filled rice paper sweets that do look rather like flying saucers!

I have to admit to being fairly partial to the odd flying saucer and when I last went to the cash and carry I bought an enormous tub of hundreds of the things. It became very clear I was never going to get through all of them, so I took them with me to a great children's ministry residential I was at this week and challenged a group of children's leaders to come up with some creative prayer activities with them. They did not disappoint. 

Here are some of their ideas...

1. Hold the flying saucer in your mouth. Don't bite or chew! Think about something worrying you and offer it to God. Feel your worry 'dissolve' or 'disappear,' then bite into the sweetness released!

2. Flying saucers are out of this world! Think of an amazing experience or encounter. Place the flying saucer in your mouth. Let it dissolve, then chew it. Savour that experience. Offer that time in thankfulness to God. 

3.Each colour could represent something different for prayer. Pray for the colour of your sweet! e.g. yellow- our family, green- our world, 

4. Look at the two sides of the flying saucer. Think about the side you present to the world and the other side which is what is really going on. Break through to the inside and ask the Holy Spirit to come. 

5. Take a bite from the flying saucer- thank God for the good things you have.
Taste the sour sugar inside. Ask God to heal any 'sourness' in you- something you really need to say sorry for.
Eat the flying saucer but replace the circle that it was by holding bothhands with someone else and praying for each other.

We then had to try all of the prayers out!

The next day we used the flying saucers with a different prayer in our closing worship:

 Hold the Flying saucer in your mouth. Don't bite or chew! Ask the Holy Spirit to come and help you or someone you know. Wait as the fizzy sherbet is released and picture the power of the spirit at work.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Pet Blessing Bags

We have a beach in the parish which is always full of dog walkers, so this Sunday we did 'Blessings on the Beach,' giving out printed blessings to humans but also dog blessing bags for the dogs! The blessing bag consisted of a dog treat and a prayer to bless the relationship between the dog and the human.  We blessed about 30 dogs and numerous humans. People really seemed to love it and animals were a great way into faith conversations! 
The prayer could easily be used for any pet, though, and it struck me that it might be a really meaningful activity for children to get involved in- either for their own pets or pets that they know in other homes.  After all, if God made all creatures and saw that they were good, then God must want good things for them!

Thank you God for everything you have created. Bless this pet and the relationship it shares with those who love it. May that love continue to grow. Amen.

You will need: Print outs of the prayer, small bags, dog treats, cat treats and/or treats suitable for other pets (see the selection in your local pet shop!)

Get children think of a pet they know and put a prayer and the relevant treat in a little gift bag. They may even want to write their own prayer of thanks/ blessing for that animal.

Take the bag home or to the pet's home, give the pet the treat and pray the prayer.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Splatter Art Prayers

This is fun way of praying and symbolically giving prayers to God. Plus it produces a piece of artwork as a byproduct! 

You will need: a roasting tin or large tray, elastic bands, paint, water, paintbrushes, paper

Stretch the elastic bands around the width of the roasting tin (5 or 6 elastic bands is a good number) and spread them out evenly. Put a piece of paper into the base of the tin. Water down some paint and use a brush to dab some on to one of the elastic bands. 

  • Think about the things you want to say to God. It might be something you want to ask for, something you want to say thank you for or something you want to say sorry for.  Tell God about them out loud or in your head.
  • For each prayer, flick the elastic band with your fingers and the paint will fly off and splatter on the paper.  Use the flicking as a symbol of giving your prayers to God.

Repeat with different colours for different prayers on the other elastic bands.

Friday, 10 May 2019

'Do not worry' bird feeders (Matthew 6:25-34)

Worry is something that affects us all- no matter how old we are!

In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about God’s care and provision for us, comparing it to the provision he makes for the birds and the flowers of the field. He tells us not to worry. If God can provide for the birds, he will give us everything we need too.  

This craft is something that children can take home (or do at home) and hang outside. Every time they see a bird feeding from it it will hopefully remind them that God has got them covered. Be warned- it can get a bit messy and, if you are using peanut butter, you will need to be aware of any allergies! 

You will need: pipe cleaners or string, Cheerios (or hoop shaped cereal), Toilet roll or paper towel tubes, peanut butter, knives, bird seed, a plate

With a knife, carefully coat the outside of the toilet roll tube with peanut butter.

Cover a plate with birdseed and then roll the tube over the plate so that the seed sticks and completely covers the tube. 

Thread a pipe cleaner or string through the tube, as in the photo, so that it can be attached to a line or bird feeder in the garden. 

An alternative bird feeder if you don’t want to use peanut butter, is to thread hoop shaped cereal, such as Cheerios, onto a pipe cleaner.