Advent Assembly

Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, so here is an assembly that I used this week in school which explores Christian Advent themes.

You will need: A chocolate Advent calendar 5 candles (and an Advent wreath candle holder if you can get one!), a dove, a heart, a windmill and a glass prism.  These last 4 things are symbols I have chosen for peace, love, joy and hope but feel free to substitute your own symbols.

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Ask the children what they are doing to mark Advent this year. Most of them will talk about Advent calendars so show them the chocolate one and think about the kind of pictures you get behind each window (as well as the chocolate!)  It’s most likely that answers will be things like Santa, snowman, presents etc.  Talk about the fact that all of these pictures show something about what Christmas and winter can be like.

Now show children the 5 Advent candles and say that Christians use Advent as a time not just to look forward to Christmas, but also as a time to think about what the world will be like when Jesus comes again.  We light a candle each Sunday of Advent to remember one thing that we will have so much more of when Jesus returns:

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Heart- love

Dove- Peace

Windmill- Joy

Prism- Hope (when you look through it you see rainbows which are a sign of hope and promise)

Talk about the 5th candle (in the centre of the ring) which stands for Jesus the light of the world and is lit on Christmas day.

Light a candle and ask children to choose one of the 4 symbols that they would like to see more of in the coming year.

Pray: Lord God thank you that you sent Jesus to be the light of the world, to help all those who find life dark and scary.  Help us to see more of your love, joy, peace and hope in the world this coming year. Amen

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Light Party Talk: Jesus the Superhero

Today our church had a ‘light’ party with a superhero theme. It was certainly a popular theme and adults and children were really able to get into the spirit of dressing up! As well as all of the usual crafts and games, here’s the talk we gave about Jesus as a superhero, linking with what he said about being ‘the light of the world.’  We switched off the lights and did this by candle light because it makes it so much more effective when the children get their own lights to switch on!  The lights we gave the children were finger torches which we found here.

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Hold a lit candle as you are speaking.

Today is Halloween and sometimes Halloween can seem a bit frightening.  The nights are getting darker and sometimes the world can seem like a scary place, But if you notice- we’re not dressed like witches or ghosts or vampires tonight.  We’re dressed like superheroes.  I’ll tell you why.

Who is your favourite superhero?  Why?

Superheroes have amazing powers and they do amazing things to defeat evil.  They fight the baddies and in the end, good wins.

There are all sorts of superheroes and they have all sorts of super powers.  There’s a hero we talk about all the time in this church and his name is Jesus. He’s a hero because he does amazing things. He makes blind people see. He turns 5 loaves of bread and two fish into enough food to feed more people than could ever fit into this church. He stops storms and rain just by saying one word.  And when things are scary we know that all we need to do is ask him to help us.  He is like light coming in to dark and scary places to make us feel safe again.  Jesus even said ‘I am the light of the world.’ When things are sad and scary and lonely and everything feels dark, he is the hero who has come to make things better.

Give candles to three other people (adults or children and light them from the candle you are holding)

But Jesus wants us to be superheroes too. He says that we can be the light of the world too.  We can be people who help people who are sad and lonely. We can be people who look after those who feel that the world is a hard place.

So I’m going to give you a little light and if you’d like to try and be a superhero who brings light in the darkness, then light it up.

Give out the finger lights (or alternative!) and let the children have time to light them if they want to.

So when you go home and you have times when you feel sad and scared and worried, put your light on and remember that you have a superhero called Jesus who you can ask to help you. And I challenge you to be superheroes too. Where can you help to bring light in the darkness and make the world seem less scary for other people?

Cheer for superheroes!

 

Noah’s Ark Story Bag

IMG_0434I’ve put together a bag of times to help tell the story of Noah’s Ark to some children under 5.  Bags like this are great because the children can then play with all of the items when you have told the story and you can also lend them to families to play with at home.  This bag contains…

  • A big gold gift bag,
  • a ribbon rainbow
  • blue and white ‘water’ streamers
  • blue tinsel ‘waves’
  • rain stick
  • wooden Noah’s ark with parts of animals
  • a fabric heart
  • blue fabric

I usually include a story book and then you are good to go!

Have fun storytelling 🙂

Reflective Fuzzy Felt Crosses

IMG_3521This is a really easy way to help children take time to reflect and think about God.  We use these at our church as part of the ‘pray-ground’ resources that are laid out on some tables at the front of church.  Children can come and use these resources at any point during the service and they are especially popular during sung worship times.

You will need: Coloured felt sheets, scissors

Cut cross shapes out of some felt sheets.  Next cut some smaller pieces of felt in different colours.  Lay out the cross shapes and felt pieces on a table or on the floor and invite children to decorate the crosses with the pieces. Encourage children to use the time to speak to God in their heads or to think about God. If you are sitting with them, this might be a good opportunity to speak to them about what they are thinking. Be prepared for some very deep God connections!

Joseph Messy Church Crafts

This month we looked at the story of Joseph at Messy church.  It’s quite a long story so we pulled out some of the main themes and events and had a lot of fun!  Here are some of the crafts we got up to…

joseph 1A coloured coat made of a length of brown paper (with a head hole cut out!).  We decorated the coat with pens, coloured paper, bubble wrap, felt pieces and lolly sticks and then used it as a costume when we told the story.

Joseph 3Coloured coat fuzzy felt: Felt coat shapes and scraps to decorate.

joseph 7Edible coloured coats: Wraps cut into coat shapes and decorated with icing and sweets.

joseph 5Egyptian collars made from paper plates and sticky shapes

Joseph 2Joseph’s jail made from Lego bricks

joseph 4Plaited straws (our attempt at wheat sheaves!)

joseph 6Paper plate cow faces.

Have fun!

Prayer planes

Here is a fun way to give your prayers wings!

You will need: (per person) strips of paper 21cm x 3cm and 15 cmx 3cm, a straw, sellotape, pens or pencilsIMG_3461Choose what you’d like to pray for and write two prayers- one on the long strip and one on the short strip.

Use sellotape to make each strip into a circle and attach the circles to opposite ends of the straw, as in the photo above.

Now hold your ‘prayer plane’ and launch it as you would a paper plane (with the smaller circle at the nose end of the plane). These planes have the potential to fly impressively far.  As you let go of the plane, ask God to take your prayers.

Experiment with different sizes of prayer circles to see if you can get your plane to go further.

Have fun!