Good Friday Story Crosses

This craft is easy for all ages to join in with and, because it is very self-directed, provides a great opportunity to chat while creating!

You will need: Cross shapes cut out of used cardboard boxes (the need to be quite sturdy), wool, scissors

Cut crosses, roughly 15cm high, out of sturdy cardboard boxes. Cut lengths of wool in various colours. Wrap the wool in various combinations around the cross and use the creating time to talk about the Good Friday story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Children might want to choose colours that reflect something of the story to their mind e.g. red to represent blood, black to represent the darkness, different colours to represent different people in the story.

Chat about your responses:

  • Which is your favourite bit of the story?
  • What do you think is the most important part of the story?
  • Why do Christians think that the cross is important?
  • Where would you imagine yourself in the story?
  • What colour would you use to represent yourself?

Allow time for the children to share their creation with others if they’d like to!

Love one another heart bookmarks

Our church has been exploring our new vision which is centred on sharing God’s love with each other and with the community. We have been looking specifically at the verse “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 We’ve been thinking about how Jesus shows love and what we can learn from that about how to love each other.

Once a month we have a ‘fluid’ style church where there are different activities based on a theme and people can choose what to do. This was one of our activities this month for children and adults. It provided plenty of space for chatting about what love means and how we see Jesus showing love all the way through the New Testament. Using the bookmark makes sure that there is a reminder of Jesus’ love every time you are reading!

To download the instruction sheet, click here.

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.