Friday, 12 November 2021

Remembrance Sunday Poppy Light

I've often struggled with how to approach Remembrance Sunday from a Christian perspective and I've come to find the beginning of John's gospel really helpful. As the fields were churned up by fighting, unseen poppy seeds were distributed, which meant that the following year the fields were full of bright poppies. Life came where death had been. Life found a way. This always reminds me of the verse in John 1:4-5 describing Jesus, which says: 

In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Just as life persisted in the poppy fields, Jesus' light will never be put out. With God there is always hope that war and death and violence will be defeated. This craft helps to explore this verse and this idea.

You will need: Black paper, a hole punch, sellotape, glue, red paper, scissors, battery operated tea lights.

Cut a roughly A6 size piece of black paper or card and punch lots of holes in it. You might need to fold the paper in certain places so that you can more easily distribute the holes. 

Make the black paper into a tube and tape or glue to secure it.Make sure that the circumference of the tube is big enough to fit over the top of a tea light.

Make a poppy shape by cutting red and black paper. Stick the poppy to the top of the tube.

Switch on the battery operated tea light and place the tube over the top. Switch off the light in the room so that you can see the light shining through the holes in the tube.
Chat about the war and the sadness and grief for those who were lost. Talk about the new life symbolised by the poppies and the fact that death and fighting was not the end for those fields. Link that to the verse from John 1 and look at the light shining into the darkness through the holes in the tube. With Jesus there is always hope and Revelation 21 talks about God's kingdom where there is no more death or violence. What are their hopes for the world and for the places where there is war?

Monday, 31 May 2021

John 3:16 God so loved the World story video

Last week we were looking at the story of Jesus and Nicodemus and I made this short video about John 3:16 to help with the storytelling. It's got a lot of symbols in it and they have led to lots of wondering and questions!

Friday, 9 April 2021

Doubting Thomas Circles into Square Craft

One of the key elements of the story of Jesus and Thomas after the resurrection is that Thomas finds it hard to believe that the resurrection is possible if he doesn't see it with his own eyes. 

Sometimes people tell us things that it's really hard for us to believe and we want proof. This craft is something that seems hard to believe unless you see it. With two cuts you are going to make two circles into a square. 

Give children some strips pf paper and show them how to make them into circles by gluing the ends together. Then ask them to take two of the circles and, with only two cuts, make a square.

When they have struggled for a while and found it impossible, then show them the steps below!

You will need: scissors, two identically sized strips of paper, glue.

Glue the ends of the one of the strips and make it into a circle

Put glue in the centre of the second strip of paper.

Glue the centre of the paper to the inside of the first ring as shown.

Glue the end of the second strip to make a second circle. The two rings are now joined together.

Cut right down the middle of one of the circles and open it out.

You will now have one long strip with a circle at each end.

Cut right through the middle of the long strip and open the shape out.

You have now made a square!

Talk about: Would you have believed you could do this unless you saw it?
How does this relate to the story of what Thomas was feeling?
How easy is it for you to believe something amazing if you can't see it or touch it?
What does Jesus mean when he says "Blessed are those who believe without seeing me."

Dear God, thank you that you can do amazing, impossible things that we could never do by ourselves. When we are sad, afraid, worried or hopeless, help us to believe that you are with us and can help us, even if we can't see you with our own eyes. This wee, may we see amazing, impossible things happening to help us, help others and to help the world. Help us to know that you are there. Amen.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Candlemas: The story of Anna and Simeon video

 If you're celebrating Candlemas or the presentation of Christ in the temple this Sunday, here is a short stop motion video of the story! Click here for the link to the video.