Acts 2: Sharing and Eating Together

We are exploring the topic of hospitality and Christian community at our church and the story of the early Christians sharing what they had, eating and praying together is a key part to this.

A fun way to help demonstrate the sharing and fellowship of this story is to make easy pizzas together. Maybe each person could bring one of the ingredients with them to the session so that it truly is a sharing of food!

You will need: 1 Pitta bread per child, passata, grated cheese, other toppings such as sliced mushrooms, sliced peppers, ham pieces, diced onion, pineapple pieces, greaseproof paper, marker pens (not felt tips!), baking trays, access to an oven, spoons and small bowls.

Put ingredients into small bowls. Cut greaseproof paper into strips a little bit bigger than a pitta bread. Put a pitta bread on top of each piece of paper and spread some passata on top of the bread. Then add toppings as desired, Write the child’s name on the greaseproof paper and put onto a baking tray. Bake the pizzas in the oven until the cheese is bubbling.

When the pizzas are ready, eat together and get to know each other a little bit better. Finish by singing songs and praying. Children might read prayers they have written or pray in whatever way your group is used to.

Think about:

What do you think were the ‘signs and wonders’ that the apostles were doing?

Why do you think the Christians in Acts come together to share their possessions and their lives?

Why do you think people kept joining them?

How does it feel to share things with people and to eat together?

How does it feel to learn about Jesus and pray together?

Muddy Church: Sensory Creation Walk

Over the last few months we have been exploring creation by trying out some ‘Muddy Church’ activities. If you haven’t come across Muddy Church yet, I highly recommend their excellent website, where there are loads of resources you can adapt to your circumstances. Muddy Church is a great way to get outside with people of all ages to explore God’s creation. Here’s a glimpse at what we got up to on our most recent walk through the local park with a mixture of ages from toddlers to people in their 70s. Click here for the resource sheet that we made up for this particular session.

Do Not Be Afraid Play Dough Mat (John 14:27)

In John 14, Jesus reassures his disciples that they do not be afraid because he is leaving his peace with them. Whatever they will face in the future, especially when he is gone, he is not leaving them alone. I love using play dough mats in group situations because they are a very non- threatening way to help children to creatively explore how Bible stories relate to their own lives. This play dough mat is a conversation starter about the worries that children are facing in their own lives and also a way of helping them to know that they, too are not alone. Some children might choose to use the mat as a way of giving their worries to Jesus. Print out the mat at this link!

Feather Prayers for Peace

Hearing about war can be frightening. It’s hard for children to know what they can do to help. Here are some interactive prayers to help all ages to pray for peace.

You will need: one feather each

Feel the weight of the feather- how light it is.

Think of the things that worry us and weigh us down with stress. Think of the people in the world who are worried because they have nowhere safe to go. Ask God to lighten the load of that worry and stress.

Rub the strands of the feather against the grain. Ruffle and disrupt the feather.

Pray for all of those who are living disrupted lives because of fear, violence and war. Pray especially for people who are refugees from war and have to leave their homes and jobs to travel to a safer country.

Smooth the feather out.

Pray for those who work to bring peace to troubled areas of the world, even when it feels that there is no hope. Ask God to help them be wise and to stay safe.

Feel the softness of the feather.

Pray for softening of hearts amongst those who start the violence, those who are angry, those who cause disruption and war, those who act out of hate and greed. Ask God to change their hearts and to bring his peace.

Hold the feather.

Pray for yourself. Ask God to fill us with his peace when we are angry, worried or stressed. Pray that he will keep us safe and help us to bring peace to others.

Amen.

New Year Hopes Prayer Card

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15.13

You will need: seed paper, coloured paper, pens, glue dots, glue, card, scissors,

Think about the new year and what our hopes for the next 12 months are. How would you like to see things getting better for yourself? Your friends and family? The world?

Talk about Jesus being the Light of the World and that, with him, however dark and bad things seem, there is always hope that light and better days will come. Jesus gives us hope of new life, even when everything seems hopeless.

Make a card signifying ‘hope.’ You might use colours or symbols (such as the rainbow) to show hope for better things. Attach a strip of seed paper to the front of the card with a glue dot, so that it can easily be removed.

Keep the card for yourself or give to to someone else. Write hopes for the coming year onto the seed paper and plant it in the garden. As the seeds grow, pray that your hope in what God can do will also grow.

Remembrance Sunday Torn Paper Collage

Remembrance Sunday can sometimes be a tricky day with lots of questions and emotions. This collage craft helps to pick up on some of the themes of the day, gives children time and space to chat and ask questions and provides an opportunity to discuss what it will be like when God makes everything new and there is no more war or pain.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.[a] He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” Revelation 21: 3-5, NLT

You will need: Red paper of varying patterns and textures, black paper, backing paper, glue

Ask children children to choose some paper as their collage backing paper and then tear up red paper to make petals for their poppies. They might like to draw a poppy shape on the page first and then fill it in, or just go with a freestyle collage. Finish with black paper in the centre of each poppy.

As you tear and stick the paper down, use the time to chat. Discussion could include lots of things:

  • relate the tearing of the paper to the destruction of war and what it must have felt like for the soldiers and their families
  • Talk about how the churning up of the soil and the distribution of the seeds during the fighting led to the poppies growing there the following year. Life emerged where there had been death.
  • Think about God’s kingdom as talked about in Revelation 21: 1-7, where there will be no more death or crying or pain
  • What questions do children have? what do they wonder about war or peace or what God’s kingdom will be like?

Pray

  • use the words of the Revelation verses to help you think about people who died or who were injured in the wars and also about their families.
  • Light a candle and put the poppy pictures around it and ask God to wipe away the tears of all of those who are grieving or in pain today because of war.