Another Stress Free Nativity Script

Another Stress Free Nativity Script

*Introit O Come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; Come and behold him, born the king of angels; O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord. Opening Hymn – #164, Tell Out My Soul Narrator: On my way into church this morning I got into a conversation with a guy on the bus. I mentioned that today was our children’s Christmas programme. He said he didn’t believe in Christmas, at least not in the way the story is typically told. I said I thought that was interesting because our minister said pretty much the same thing every year. He was intrigued by that and said he might visit our church sometime. I said, “Why don’t come today and see for yourself?” He said he might just drop by sometime. Worship is like a stage play. In worship we act out the story that we then try to live out there in the real world. Sometimes folks would like worship to be entertaining. I would imagine that God might like that as well. But God is not the one to entertain us; we are the actors and God is the audience. If we want worship to be entertaining, then it is up to us to put on a good show. Today we re-enact the story of the birth of Jesus. We are all wearing various costumes. Maybe you’ve always wanted a part in the Christmas play. Now’s your chance. Even if you’re not dressed like an angel, you can...
Youth Bible Study – Future Church

Youth Bible Study – Future Church

Youth Bible Study – Future Church Gathering Activity  What might the future church look like? The film Back to the Future was a classic 80’s film. In the second instalment of the franchise Marty McFly travels forward from 1985 to 2015. The future he finds is one which captured the imagination of millions and one which has proved remarkably prophetic. Save for a few key oversights (the internet, mobile phones) and a couple of over-hopeful punts in the dark (flying cars), the world dreamt up by writer Bob Gale and then brought to the screen resembles our own in strange and uncanny ways. Show the short YouTube video available here. It shows some of the things the film predicted correctly about the future. With your group time travel 10 years into the future… What will the world look like? What will our communities and our churches look like? • What new technology will exist? What will we be able to do that we cannot do now? Bible Reading and Discussion Read 2 Samuel 7:1-17. David is reminded that God has, up to this point, lived in a tent among his people. What does this say about God? In what ways could a building ‘contain’ God—at least in the mind of the people? Why might God not want to be ‘settled’ in the same way that David and his people settled in Jerusalem? Why do you think God begins his promise to David by recalling all God has done for him up to this point (verses 8-9)? If God could give you some guarantees for the future what would you...
Youth Bible Study – Hope

Youth Bible Study – Hope

Youth Bible Study – Hope Gathering Activity Together with your group spend some time looking at George Frederic Watts’ painting ‘Hope’. Do not tell your group right away what the painting is titled. There is a good summary of the work on the Tate website here What’s the first thing you notice? If you were to give a title to the painting what would you call it? What do you think the painting is trying to say/convey? Are you surprised the painting is called ‘Hope’? Is hope the sense of waiting for things to change or about finding something within your present situation that is beautiful/good/valuable to cling to or hold on to? Critics of Watts’ work say his painting would be more aptly named ‘Despair’ but according to the artist himself hope is “the music which can come from the last remaining chord”. Bible Reading and Discussion Read 1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20; 2:1-10 from The Message translation. Hannah is torn apart by her inability to have children. Crushed in her soul she falls before God and vows to set apart her son if God should make her pregnant. When things don’t go to plan some believe that God has deserted them but it’s significant that even in her lowest point Hannah cries out to God. Fast forward the story Hannah becomes pregnant and gives birth to Samuel. She prayed when her soul was crushed and she prays when her hope has been rekindled. She shouts at God in despair and sings for joy when her prayers are answered.  Have you ever shouted at God? Have you ever asked...
Youth Bible Study – Views of God

Youth Bible Study – Views of God

Youth Bible Study – Views of God Using art as a way in this Youth Bible study explores how our own perspectives and view points inform our understanding of god. Preparation You will need a copy of Avril Paton’s famous Scottish painting ‘Windows in the West’ (see image above). You will be able to find larger images of the painting by searching the name of the painting with the artist online. Gathering Activity  Together with your group spend some time looking at Avril Paton’s painting ‘Windows in the West’. What is the first thing you notice? Where and when is the scene set? Church, Youth, Bible Study, Is it a realistic scene? From whose perspective are you looking? What might the people looking out of the window see? When we look at a piece of artwork we bring a lot of our own ideas to it. A person from Glasgow might be familiar with similar style tenements and may view Windows in the West very differently in comparison with someone from America’s mid-West. How we view stories and passages in the Bible  is influenced by our own cultural viewpoint and experiences.    Bible Reading and Discussion  Read Exodus 32:1-14 from The Message. Given that God had led them to safety from Egypt why do you think the people started to panic now? God and Moses had seemingly disappeared. Do you think the people’s worries were justified? What do you think of the picture of God that is being painted in this story? Does God get angry? If so, what do you think makes God angry today? What makes you...
Children’s Talk: What’s in a label?! (Sunday 2nd September)

Children’s Talk: What’s in a label?! (Sunday 2nd September)

Children’s Talk: What’s in a label?! (Sunday 2nd September)Readings Song of Solomon 2: 8-13 Deuteronomy 4: 2-3, 6-9 James 1: 17-27 Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Children’s Talk Before the service use a craft knife to delicately take off the labels from the tins and swap. Have one tin of something sweet and delicious like custard or fruit slices, a tin of something like baked beans, and a tin of something utterly disgusting like dog or cat food. In one of today’s readings Jesus’ disciples are caughting breaking the religious rules by the Pharisees – they were eating with uncleand hands. I wonder if anyone left this house this morning without having breakfast?  If you could have anything to eat right now what would it be? I might be able to help with that with a game this morning! I’m looking for three volunteers who’d like to take part…i(t’s always fun to throw an adult into the mix). I have 3 cans., a set of quiz questions. The winner gets to choose their tin can first..and you have to eat what you win!  Quiz: Person who wins gets to choose which can they get! What letter is located between Z and C on a keyboard?  X Which breakfast cereal is advertised with the slogan “Snap, crackle and pop”? (Rice Krispies). What is the next number in the following sequence: 7, 14, 21, 28, ? (35) What type of dog is Mel from ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ movie? (Pug) Which body feature grows more quickly: hair or toenails? (Hair) The volunteer with the most right answers gets to choose...
How to play Hoop Hop Showdown

How to play Hoop Hop Showdown

A video of 4th graders playing a game called Hoop Hop Showdown has gone viral in recent days amassing over 8 million views. What a great twist on the game of rock, paper, scissors. I couldn’t find the rules anywhere online so here they are. Set up a game board using multiple hula hoops. This should zig zag across your meeting space. Split your group into two teams – with teams at either ends of the hula hoop playing board lined up one behind another. On the first whistle the first member of each team hop from hula hoop to hula hoop until they meet somewhere on the game board. They play a round of rock paper scissors until someone wins.  The winner keeps advancing on the gameboard and the loser goes to the back of their team line. Meanwhile the second player in the losing team becomes active and hops onto to the hula hoop play area until they meet the first player from the other team where to play anouther round of rock, paper, scissors. The aim of the game is to reach the last hoop on the gameboard which scores your team one point. The game can be played for a certain perod of time and the team with the most points is the winner. You can become a patron of Children & Youth through Patreon. In return for your monthly support, we offer first access to a range of youth and children’s work resources. Thank you for being part of the C&Y...

A Collection of Children’s Party Games

Traditional children’s party games are a great way to get everyone in the party spirit. Musical bumps Get the children to dance to the music. When the music stops, all the children have to sit down as quickly as possible. The last one to sit is out. The last child left dancing is the winner. Musical statues The children dance around to music. When the music stops they have to stand absolutely still, like a statue. If anyone moves, they are out. Musical chairs Put out one less chairs than there are children. The children have to dance around the chairs and when the music stops, sit on a chair immediately. The last one left without a chair has to sit out. The last child left in is the winner. Again, you don’t necessarily have to chuck a child out each time; you can just simply play a few rounds and leave it at that. Dressing up dancing Choose 5 types of clothing or prop, and make sure there’s enough for each child to have one: a hat, a badge, a top, a skirt, etc. Then the children dance around. When the music stops, you call out ‘scarf!’ and they all have to grab one, put it on, then dance with it till the music stops and then they go for the next item. And so on until they’re all dressed Pass the Parcel Make a parcel by wrapping up a prize in several layers of paper. Sit the children in a circle, give one of them the parcel and when the music starts, get them to hand it...
Children’s Session: Matters of the Heart

Children’s Session: Matters of the Heart

Children’s Session: Matters of the Heart Before the Service Reflecting God’s Love Gather a collection of mirrors that the children can use to look at themselves with. The idea ois to encourage the children look at themselves and ask God to show them what He loves about them. God sees us differently to the way we sometimes see ourselves, sometimes we can be too negative abour ourselves. It might also be an opportunity for the group to share positive words about their fellow group members. Team Challenge: Protecting the Egg This game works well with teams that are not too large. A good team size is four or five people. Pass out one egg and a limited supply of materials (e.g. four straws, a three foot strip of Scotch Tape, one section of a newspaper, etc.) Explain the rules: the mission is to protect the egg from cracking using teamwork, creativity, and a good design. You will drop each structure at least fifteen feet, and so the goal is for each structure to be able to withstand such a fall. Each team will only be given limited resources, and so they must be wise with what they have. They may not use any other resources other than what is given to them. Threaded Hearts Materials: colourful yarn, thick card stock cut out to the size you want, large threading needle, pencil, eraser, scissors Step 1. Draw a heart shape onto the card with a pencil. Step 2. Punch holes alongside the heart with your needle – about 1cm apart. Erase your pencil marks. Step 3. Thread yarn through the...
Children’s Sermon: Walking on Eggs (Sunday 26th Auguust)

Children’s Sermon: Walking on Eggs (Sunday 26th Auguust)

Children’s Talk: Walking on Eggs Readings 1 Kings 8: (1-6, 10-11), 22-30, 41-43 Psalm 84 Joshua 24: 1-2a, 14-18 Psalm 34: 15-22 Ephesians 6:10-20 John 6:56-69 Idea: The children’s talk focuses in on the Ephesians reading about the armour of God but teases out themes present in all of today’s readings. Namely that God is present and is with us even when things are difficult. He holds fast to his promises but there in an onus on us in terms out how we choose to live our life and respond to God’s grace. Children’s Talk The Christian life isn’t always as easy one…even Jesus himself had people turn away from him and leave him because they thought his message was too hard. But as Jesus said himself his yoke is Light. In Ephesians we read about the equipment needed for our life of faith. A belt of truth Breastplate of integrity Shield of faith Helmet of salvation Sword of the Spirit The Gospel of Peace on our feet Our armour is a life built on truth and lived with integrity; with a sure and certain faith that God is with us by his Spirit as we share Jesus’ message of peace. The armour is to give us confidence in life’s journey. That we are prepared and have all the protection we need. Inevitably life will have its tough and difficult moments but we won’t break under the pressure. Invite a volunteer to the front. Explain that they are going to walk on the eggs but that none of the eggs will break. Despite their reputation for being weak, eggshells...
Children’s Session – Noah #SuperSunday

Children’s Session – Noah #SuperSunday

This is the second post in a series of children’s sessions journeying through the Bible called SuperSunday. It’s ideal for children’s clubs or Sunday School and it’s designed to be quite fast paced with an element of choice built into the session. Before the Servic Animal Masks Print off the masks templates and give children the choice of which one to complete. Animal Mask Templates Activity: How big was the Ark? Provide measuring equipment, such as a trundle wheel and encourage children to measure out how large the ark would have been, according to the measurements in the Bible. Puzzle: Fox, Goose, and Beans Once upon a time a farmer went to a market and purchased a fox, a goose, and a bag of beans. On his way home, the farmer came to the bank of a river and rented a boat. But in crossing the river by boat, the farmer could carry only himself and a single one of his purchases: the fox, the goose, or the bag of beans. If left unattended together, the fox would eat the goose, or the goose would eat the beans. The farmer’s challenge was to carry himself and his purchases to the far bank of the river, leaving each purchase intact. How did he do it? Solution: The first step must be to take the goose across the river, as any other will result in the goose or the beans being eaten. When the farmer returns to the original side, he has the choice of taking either the fox or the beans across next. If he takes the fox across, he would...