Creation Celebration Suncatchers

As summer really starts warming up and the school holidays approach, it’s a great time to get outside and celebrate the beauty of God’s creation. At a recent community holiday club, the children loved making these suncatchers to hang in their windows- each one of them was unique and colourful.

You will need: paper plates, scissors, sticky back plastic, leaves and flowers (we were lucky enough to get some from a volunteer’s garden!)

Cut a hole in the centre of each plate and cut two sheets of sticky back plastic per plate, each one big enough to completely cover the hole you have cut.

Lay one of the plastic sheets, sticky side up, on the table and put the plate over the top of it so that the sticky part is showing through the hole.

Arrange leaves and petals on the sticky part until you are happy withe your design. Then put the second sheet of sticky back plastic over the top of the design, trapping the leaves and petals in between.

Hang the suncatchers in the window and let the sun shine through!

Read the creation story in Genesis 1. Talk about:

  • What is your favourite part of the creation story?
  • What do you think God meant when he said ‘it was good’?
  • What questions does the story make you want to ask?
  • How do you see the story in what you have made today?

‘God so loved the world’ suncatcher

You will need: PVA glue, a clear plastic lid (e.g. a large yoghurt pot lid), green and blue food colouring, cocktail sticks

Pour PVA glue into the lid and spread it out with a spoon until the whole lid is covered in a thin layer.

Drop some little blobs of food colouring into the glue and use a cocktail stick to swirl and spread them around. Try to make a distinction between land (green) and sea (blue).

Leave to dry.

When the glue is fully dry, attach the suncatcher to your window with a little bit of blue tack and let the sun shine through.

As the sun shines through, think about God’s love for us and for our world. What makes you feel loved? Who do you know who needs help to feel loved by God right now? How can we help to show God’s love to the world?

Dear God, thank you for loving us and wanting good things for us. We pray for people all over the world who are feeling unloved, guilty, sad and afraid. Help them to know your love and to know the love and hope Jesus brings. Amen

Exploring The Parable of the Sower

As we come further into spring, it’s a great time to tell the parable of the sower and to think about how we grow as disciples.

Here are some helpful resources to help you to do this:

Use the Parable of the Sower Playdough Mat (above). Click here to print off and use. For repeated use, it really helps to laminate the sheet!

Think about how seeds might grow on different types of ground by testing it out! Make ‘seed balls’ and then throw them into your garden and watch what happens as nature takes its course. This is a great set of instructions to help you to get started. Be aware that it might get messy!

Go into the garden and look at where plants are growing and where they aren’t. What do you notice?

Watch this video of the story, using photos taken in Israel of the 4 different types of land.

Use junk to make a model of something that really sticks out to you from the story. Share what you have made and why.

Talk about:

  • What helps plants to grow?
  • What helps people to grow?
  • What helps us to grow in knowing more about Jesus?

Pray:

Eat some fruit and ask God to help us grow in knowing about and loving Jesus and in loving each other.

Mothering Sunday Button Thank You Prayers

Next Sunday is the day when we celebrate Mothering Sunday. It was traditionally a day in the middle of Lent when people who worked were able to have time off to visit their mothers and their ‘mother’ church, where they might have been baptised. One of the most popular readings to use on this day is John 19: 25- 27, when Jesus creates a new community of support for his grieving mother when he connects her with the disciple John, who takes her into his home as his mother. Just as John becomes a support for Mary and vice versa, in life it’s not necessarily just our mothers who give us ‘motherly’ or parental care. There are so many people, especially in church families, who form a community around us to help support us and give us strength. To help celebrate and give thanks for mothers and other caring figures in our lives, here are some prayers using an item you can easily find at home. Find a button and hold on to it when you pray.

Buttons hold things together

Who do you look to to help you when things are busy and stressful? Who can help you to figure out what to do when you are confused about how to keep going? Who helps when it feels as if your world is falling apart? Think of them and say thank you to God for them.

Buttons are strong

Think about the times when you have felt sad, upset or afraid. Who has helped you to be strong. Who is the strongest person you know? Thank God for those people.

Buttons come in different shapes and sizes

Those who care for us and keep us safe might be mothers, but they also might be other people in our lives. Try and count in your head how many different people have helped you during the past week. Thank God for each one of them.

When buttons are missing we notice and things don’t hold together as well as they did before

Some of the caring figures in our lives may have died and we miss the fact that they are no longer here. Take a moment to remember them and the love they shared with you. Thank God for them.

Epiphany Ideas

The 6th of January (though some will celebrate on Sunday 3rd) marks the day when, traditionally, Christians celebrate the visit of the wise men to the Holy Family. Here are some ideas to help if you’re joining in!

Star Compass

You will need: needles, magnets, craft foam scissors, a big bowl, water, a compass or phone with a compass app,

Cut a star shape out of the craft foam. Your needle will have a sharp end and an end with an eye. Your magnet will either be labelled with a north and south pole or will have two sides. Take your needle and rub the sharp end of it over the North end of the magnet 30 times (rub in the same direction every time). If your magnet is not labelled, just choose one of the sides to start with. Now take the eye end of the needle, and rub it 30 times in the same direction over the south end (or other side) of the magnet. Thread the needle through the foam star and float the star on the water. Watch as one end of the needle gravitates and points towards the North and think about how the wise men followed the direction of the star.

Talk about: What or who helps you know where to go in your life? Are you good at knowing the way? What or who do you follow?

Pray: Ask God to help you to see the right way to go in life.

Watch the Epiphany Story Video

Make an Epiphany King Cake

Make a garland with paper stars

Print on paper with star shaped cookie cutters dipped in paint

Make and decorate star shaped biscuits