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!

 

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!

God’s Strength: Paper Challenge

This idea was inspired by something I read in a great book by Heno Head Jr: Simple Science Object Talks. I would totally recommend the book as it has some amazing ideas to help children to connect with God and to explore the meaning of Bible stories.  I’ve used this activity in primary school assemblies but it would work just as well in an all age service or in a children’s group.

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You will need: I sheet of A4 paper per child, sellotape, toilet roll tubes or kitchen towel tubes, mugs or books.

Challenge children to use 1 sheet of paper to make a construction that will hold the mug or book off the floor. DO NOT show them the tubes!

Invariably, the children will find this an impossible task!

Now take a sheet of A4 paper and bring out the paper towel tube.  Wrap the paper tightly around the tube and sellotape the edges to make a paper tube covering the card tube.

Show how the mug will balance happily on the tube, but admit to the fact that you are cheating because you used tube and you didn’t let the children use one!

Now take the paper tube carefully off the card tube and ask if the children think that the paper on its own will hold the mug.  They will probably say no.  Put the mug on top and it will balance.

Talk to the children about the fact that when things are hard and we try to do it by ourselves, sometimes we don’t get far and things seem to collapse around us. When we ask for help, we can do things we never thought possible.  Think about the verse from Philippians 4: 13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” As Christians, we can ask Jesus to help us and nothing is impossible to him.  Share times when you have asked Jesus for help and pray for people who are faced with difficult situations.

Christmas Assembly or All-Age Service Talk (With Sweets!)

Here is the talk I did today at a school Christmas concert.  The children loved it because it involved sweets! I tried to get them to predict the contents of parcel 6 and had some random ideas but also some very sensible suggestions such as “Milky Way’ or ‘Mars’ because “God Made them.”  They were definitely paying attention!

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You will need: A big box filled with 6 wrapped and numbered parcels. Each parcel contains one of the following- A Galaxy chocolate bar, ‘sour’ fizzy sweets, Love Hearts, Jelly Babies, Starbursts, Liquorice Allsorts (see order below), another gift bag filled with enough sweets for every child to have one.

Ask the children who has presents under the tree already.  Who is expecting to get or give a present this Christmas? For Christians, Christmas is about the most special present of all (open the big box and give each parcel to a different volunteer child.  Tell them not to open them until you ask).

So let’s see what’s in our presents.

(Ask the child with present 1 to unwrap it and tell you what they have. Give the explanation and then move on to parcel 2. Repeat until all parcels are open!)

1- Galaxy- God made everything- the world, the stars, space, the Galaxy, the whole universe
2- Sours- I’m not keen on sours- the don’t taste like sweets should, in my opinion!  Things in God’s world weren’t going as they should, either. There was war and hatred and sadness. People needed someone to come and give them hope, to help them and show them a new way to live
3- Love hearts- God loved us so much that he decided to send someone very special- his own son who had been with him since the beginning of everything
4- Jelly babies- so God sent a baby- and Jelly babies were originally called peace babies so this reminds us that one thing Jesus came to do is bring us peace
5- Starburst- God sent a star to shine over the place where Jesus was born so that people would know where to find him

(At this point I tried to get the children to suggest what would be in the final parcel…)

6- Liquorice All sorts- I don’t like these at all, but some people love them and that’s the point! These remind us that Jesus came for all sorts of people-everyone. The hope and peace he brings is God’s gift to us all.

BUT… at the moment, the only people who have sweets are the people who opened the presents.  Who thinks that’s fair?   Jesus came to give hope and light and peace to everyone, so no no one will be left out (give the bag full of sweets to a teacher or, if with a smaller group give the sweets out).

Merry Christmas!

Hot Cross Bun Multi-SensoryPrayers

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You will need: Hot cross buns cut into bite-size pieces, paper strips, pens, spices in a pot, covered with foil and with holes poked in the foil e.g. cinnamon, ginger (or use a scented candle), sultanas or raisins

Bread- A reminder of the bread Jesus broke to give to his disciples as a remembrance of him.
Eat some of the bun and think of people who don’t know who Jesus is. Pray that they will come to know him and his love for them.

Crossreminds us of the death of Jesus on Good Friday and the sadness surrounding it.
Glue paper strips to make a cross and write/ draw names/ people who are sad or grieving. Ask God to help them

Spices- remind us of the spices used in getting the body ready  for burial.  Again, this is a reminder of the sadness of Jesus Dying and of the people who took care of him 
Smell the pot of spices or the scented candle.
Think of people who help to look after us and those people that we look after. Thank God for them

Sultanas and the sweet glaze on top of the bun what Jesus did for us on the cross brings abut something sweet and amazing- the hope of new life and relationship with God.
Eat a couple of sultanas or raisins and think about what your hopes for the future are. Tell God about them.

Family Faith: Prayer Walk

We’re getting to the point now where the we are starting to see signs of Spring.  What a great time to get out and about and be practical with our prayer!  This is an idea to encourage the whole family to pray together.

You will need: Outdoor clothes, phones or digital cameras, a computer to download the photos onto.

Go out on a family walk around your local streets and encourage the children to take photos of the things they would like to thank God for or would like to pray about (e.g. people taking care of the world so less litter on the ground). You might need to ask for a limit of 10 photos each so that the children carefully consider their ideas rather than randomly snap away!

When you get home, go through the photos or download and print them out.  Ask the children why they chose those particular things and thank God/pray about them.  Print out some of the photos and make a photo collage of things you found on your prayer walk!