Tag Archives: worship stations

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!

 

The Children at the Well: Lent 3 video and stations

WATCH and WONDER

Kids tell John 4

I had very limited recording time this week–and the woman at the well story is about 40 verses–so this is our abridged version! To put the story into context, I added some commentary at the beginning and end. I prefer not to interfere with the kids’ magic, but I also wanted to put the story in context. Because of the lack of time, I was also forced to film quickly–which meant a lot of choppy shots! I used some repetition to try to adjust. As we create these videos, more ideas are coming to mind about how best to prepare for them–but these ideas will probably not be enacted until after our Lent videos are done. 🙂 HERE is a link to the full story.

I was thrilled this week to get an email from our wonderful missions staff person who wanted to know if it might be possible to have some of the kids from communities (national and international) that we support help to tell these stories. YES!!! People are talking about ways this sort of format might connect people–it is truly exciting.

WEEK 3 WORSHIP STATIONS

FILMING! This week, in lieu of recording stories in our story booth, we filmed a new story to be debuted on Sunday during worship (this will help give the whole congregation an idea of what is happening on Wednesday nights). We used both adults and children to tell the story this week–stay tuned!

GLOBAL PRAYERS Our prayers with the globe continued this week as we focused on water issues throughout the world. World Water Day was on March 22, and since our story was about the meeting at the well, I could not think of a more appropriate focus. I displayed water fact sheets I found through www.unwater.org concerning water issues throughout the world. I also included some samples from their  Children’s Letters to Ministers PDF. The participants were asked to draw droplets of water on the countries they would be praying for this week.

THE WELL Using scraps of material from our storage, I turned the baptismal font into an overflowing well. well 1 well 2Inside the font I placed paper droplets of water with words on them. Instructions were as follows:

  1. Remember that Jesus Christ offers LIVING WATER for our deepest thirsts.
  2. Approach the “well” and take a drop of water from the font.
  3. Use your water word to reflect this week.

Here is the link to my PDF of the drops: take what you need water drops

glad we met 1

GLAD WE MET Jesus is a stranger to the Samaritan woman, but because of their encounter, her life is transformed. At this station, people will encouraged to write a note to a person they are thankful to know. We provided cards, envelopes, and offered to mail them for those with addresses on hand.

Gushing up

GUSHING UP! Jesus said, “The water that I give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (John 4: 14)

Jesus’ gift of “living water” is something that becomes a part of us. He says it will “gush up” in us! At this station I attempted to have people begin to create the water gushing up with their fingerprints. My idea was to then draw in a figure with lifted hands (as if behind the water)…they were supposed to stay within the lines (see image on left, where I have drawn said lines).

gushing up 2

 

Yeah, that did NOT happen (see totally out of control image on right)! At first I was trying to think of ways to “fix it”–but the truth is, they made the water truly gush up…despite my trying to control it. Somehow I’ll get a person in the picture…a person bursting with living water!!!

 

STORY BOOTH Finally, we had our story booth stories–focused on stories of meeting. These are terrific. You can find them for a limited time here. Special thanks to Alex Bryant for editing these!

My favorite tellers: Reflecting on Lent with Children


WATCH and WONDER

Children tell Matthew 4:1-11
Filmed/Edited by Alex Bryant

My own kids can’t stop watching.

This is how we do it…

We filmed this in an hour. We removed kids one-by-one from our intergenerational church school program (focused on Matthew 4:1-11) to tell the story. Each child who volunteered was given a line to learn on the spot and then coached by me. They had already encountered the story in church school, but we talked about why the devil said what he said…and why Jesus responded the way he did. The kids were amazing. I imagine they’ll be proud as they watch themselves tell the story…and that the whole story will continue to grow in them through the watching. My own kids, who did not participate, have watched it many, many times. My daughter wanted to know why some of the kids were wagging their fingers! (She was engaging in discussion around gestures!) There is so much to love about this video, but what excites me is that as much as I melt every time I see these kids tell the story–I think my kids enjoyed watching it just as much (if not more). All participants in this production were authorized to be filmed and put online by our parent/guardian release form. 

TYING it all TOGETHER

We used the film as the start to our Lenten worship stations program. Following the debut of the film, people were invited to participate in worship stations set up through the sanctuary. Here is one of our activities:

lent rocks

The devil asked Jesus (who was VERY hungry) to prove that he was the Son of God by turning to a stone to bread. Jesus refused, saying, “It is written: One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

1. Read the blessing of stones left for you.
2. Put those stones back and create your own blessing to be left for the person that will come after you at the table. Be creative!
3. Before you leave this station, take a picture of your stone sentence.

Another activity was displayed on our projector–a chance to OBSERVE Lent. It was inspired by something I read on Theresa Cho’s amazing interactive prayer station website. Here is the video: