Category Archives: Prayer

Nicodemus and the children: Lent 2 Stories and Stations

In case any of you are working on the RCL text this week–here are stations based on the FIRST HALF of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus along with our kid telling!

And check out Story Divine for a telling of the whole story!

WATCH and WONDER
Kids tell John 3:1-10, 16-17

This is a tricky story to have the kids tell–it’s hard for adults to understand! What I am learning from these experiences of putting the kids on video is that so much more of the learning of the story happens in the watching–not the participating. This is not surprising, but I continue to be surprised by how engaged the kids are in watching the story. I chose to leave out verses 11-15 because I thought it would be too much for the kids to do without a lot of unpacking. Normally when I tell stories, I do not omit verses. I also used the Common English Bible (CEB) for the telling. It is much easier for kids to speak aloud (and often for people to understand). On occasion, we changed some of the language to accommodate the kids, but I do not believe this sacrificed the integrity of the story in any way! Here is the CEB version of John 3.

If you want to hear the story told in full and begin to learn it yourself, see my previous post with links to Tim Coomb’s telling.

WORSHIP stations

Our worship stations this week included the following:

Lent prayer wall 2

Prayer wall (week 2): My husband and I constructed this prayer wall out of wood and chicken wire–then we painted it with chalkboard paint. Each week something different is written on it. Participants were asked to pray about something concerning birth, life, death, or new life–writing it one a slip of red paper (a new color each week) and putting it in the wall.Global Prayers (week 2): Last week we circled places we were praying for…this week participants were asked to write words that named the things that come into the world through the gift of God’s son.Lent globe prayers 1 Lent globe 2Water and Spirit: The notion of being born of “water and spirit” can be a bit…puzzling. Participants were asked to take a puzzle piece and draw an image of water or spirit. They were also asked to take an edge piece and write a word or phrase which described what it might look like to be born of water and spirit.Lent puzzles 2Lent puzzlesLent ROCKS: This week, remembering that Nicodemus recognized Jesus as a teacher from God, we used our rock words to teach one another. Each participant left a “teaching” for the next participant to read. (We had each person take a picture of their rock teachings.)

Lent rocks 2
Tell me a STORY: Our “story booth” continued with the recording of stories about “encounters with strangers.” Stay tuned for more info next week…we had one elementary school boy tell us about meeting his friend for the first time and their subsequent formation of the “Elemental Buddies.” LOVE.

We also played back our stories of birth, adoption, and new beginnings in the narthex. Amazing. (I hope to post some of these later…but I need some more time to edit!) Lent story stations

Finally, we set aside part of the sanctuary for telling stories of birth and adoption. Baby dolls were put out for the youngest kids. Folks were encouraged to tell their children stories of their births…and folks who did not come with children were encouraged to tell someone the story of their own birth or adoption.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, we also premiered our video.Lent video pic

 

 

Raising Lazarus through Story (Kids tell John 11)

WATCH and WONDER

Kids tell John 11:38-44

 

WEEK 5 WORSHIP STATIONS

Our texts for this week were Ezekiel 37:1-14 and John 11:38-44. Along with watching the two story videos, the worship stations focused on God “making all things new,” (Rev. 21:5). 
It was sort of a catch-all kind of night…as it was to be our last supper for the season, we wanted to incorporate something of Holy Week and Easter.

dry bones kids

CREATIVE LISTENING While watching Ezekiel 37, kids were invited to draw in the aisle. I explained to them what I had experienced at the NEXT Church conference thanks to the incredible pastor/artist Shawna Bowman. At the close of my NEXT talk, as I told a personal story and Ecclesiastes 3, Shawna created. I wanted the kids to have something of this experience. We put paper and crayons down the center aisle, away we went!

Dry bones art

 I think it was helpful that they had heard the story already the previous Sunday. It was also discussed in the children’s time during worship (though this somehow morphed momentarily into a discussion on zombies).

 

PRAYER WALL In our final week, we did not write down prayers…we offered prayer for prayers. Each person was invited to take down a few prayers from the wall and plant it in the soil in our flower pots. Flowers will be planted on top of the prayers. (At the Western Wall in Jerusalem, prayers are periodically removed and planted in the ground.) When planting, people were invited to  pray for others and ask God to make us all new. (I kept the stations a little more simple this week…watching two videos would occupy more time than usual.

Lent 5 prayer wall

STORY TIME Participants were invited to tell each other stories of Easter. (Yes, it’s that simple–just tell a story.)

GLOBAL PRAYERS At the right is a poster that I made with the kids at the start of Lent (in our Sunday school Making all things new posterprogram)–the idea was taken from Flame: Creative Children’s Ministry. The poster was displayed above our “Global Prayers” station.

New Earth GlobeFor our Global Prayers this week, participants were invited to coat the world with glitter-filled Mod Podge while thanking God for making all things new.

ROCK WORDS For our final week with our rocks, participants were asked to pick a rock word and take it home with them–placing it in a plastic Easter egg–to be hidden and found on Easter morning.

PATCHWORK “QUILT” Someone randomly dropped off a huge bag of paint chips for church school. We decided to make something new–a paper quilt. Everyone took a square and drew symbols of Easter. The quilt will be displayed on Easter morning.

LAST SUPPER We actually made this during our intergenerational education experience the previous week, but it was finished and displayed for the worship station time–and I just love it. Kids were invited to paint themselves into the Last Supper scene. I used three large canvas pieces and painted a table at the bottom and Jesus in the center. I then penciled in circles for heads (just to give some placement help to kids). I wasn’t in the room when they added themselves in (as well as a sun!)–when I saw their finished portraits, it took my breath away. This was a wonderful activity that definitely could have been done as a worship station. Because they are on canvas, we can always add another leaf to the table…I think Jesus would like that.

Last Supper kids Painting

I am done with the children’s videos for a while, and going back to the story-learning blog format…but I am sure the kids will be back to tell more stories soon enough!