Sticker Intercessions

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This is a simple but very colourful and visual way of bringing prayers to Jesus.

You will need:  A roll of wallpaper backing paper or a roll of foil, a marker or paint pen, a collection of coloured label and/or coloured dot stickers, felt tip pens.

Roll out your paper or foil to your desired length (it’s good to make it long enough for a group of children to get round at the same time!)

Write the word ‘Jesus’ in large letters across the sheet.

Talk to children about bringing prayers to Jesus and feeling confident that we can let go of them and leave them in his hands.

Think of who you want to pray for and either write initial letters or draw small pictures on the coloured label stickers. Stick the stickers anywhere on the letters of Jesus’ name as a sign of brining the prayers to him.

If children would like to pray for themselves, ask them to choose a coloured dot to represent themselves and to stick that on the letters of Jesus’ name too.

Church Family Group Art Work

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This is a great activity for the first session back after the summer as it helps children to think about who they are as a person, but also about the part they play in the much larger church family.  You could do this as an all age activity with everyone in church taking part, or you could do it in a junior church group.

You will Need: squares of paper with identical hearts drawn on them (10cmx10cm is good!), a larger piece of backing paper to stick the squares on when they are all complete, pens, crayons, paints, glue, scissors, tissue paper, glitter, sequins, feathers, fabric scraps, coloured paper.

Talk about how different we all are from each other- you might look at hair colour, eye colour, hobbies, likes and interests. God made us all individuals and we all have our own gifts and talents.  It might be useful to use some verse from Psalm 139 to talk about how we are made uniquely by God and He knows every part of us.

Then talk about how we are all part of the same family in the church and have been called to be disciples together. Even though we are all different, we all belong to the same family and have a part to play as disciples, loving God and loving each other.  How could we show that we love each other? How could we show that we love God?

Ask everyone to decorate a heart square according to their own personality. Use colours and textures to express something of themselves. When everyone has finished, stick all of the squares onto a backing paper to make a big church family banner.

Pray: Thank God for making us all unique but also part of an amazing family. Ask him to help us love ourselves, love each other and love Him even more.

God in us all-age prayer activity

IMG_3593At our last cafe church we talked about many different aspects of God’s character and how we all respond to Him in different ways depending on our own personalities. We also talked about part of God being in us when we believe and it being our job to show other people something about who God is.

That secret truth, which is for all people, is that Christ lives in you, his people. He is our hope for glory.  So we continue to tell people about Christ. Colossians 1:27-28

Here is the simple prayer activity we did together as a whole church family…

You will need: Sparkly card cut into irregular shapes, glue, a large piece of paper

Give everyone a piece of card and ask them to hold it with the sparkly facing up. Think about who God is to you- creator, friend, strength, love, saviour, miracle worker. Thank God for being in your life.

Turn the card sparkly side down and think of people you know who don’t know that they are loved by God. Ask God to help you to show them His love and what He is like

Turn the card sparkly side up again and compare it to the shape of the person next to you. The shapes will be different but both shiny, just like we are all different but still have God shining within us.

Ask everyone to glue the back of their piece of card and to bring it to the large piece of paper. Work together to make a picture of our community, with each piece knowing part of God and shining His love into the world.

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!