Here’s what’s coming up for Sunday, February 21, 2016:
I (Alice) am away with the confirmation students at the Reformed Institute confirmation retreat. Please pray for our deepening of faith and for us to have a good and safe time.
Here is what we will be focusing on for children and youth:
This week for worship play, the teachers will focus on the Psalm 27 verse 1: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
They will also read the story of Jesus calming the storm from Luke 8 and Matthew 8 told from Desmond Tutu’s Children of God Storybook Bible.
The message shared here will be that God is always with us always watching over us. God deeply loves us. God knows us in our fears and what we are afraid of. We are never alone. The invitation is to trust God with your fears not because God will make them go away but because God will be with you when you are afraid. And then, in sensing God’s nearness and abiding presence, the fears will begin to melt away.
Gathering Time and Lenten Jars/ Boxes:
Last week, I gave each family a Lenten box or jar. Each box or jar is reused-material. God is always using us in new ways, and challenging us to see where we might see God’s new light in old things. (This idea of up-cycling is different through from putting new wine into old wine-skins; think it it more as Isaiah 49:19 —19I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.)
The jewelry boxes are valued and treasured for in each box, I was given a little bit of physical joy. I wanted to pass these on to you.
The jars are also re-used from 2014 Advent devotional calendars. These jars remind me of how Christ’s incarnation is deeply connected to Christ’s death, life and resurrection.
I attached heart to each jar or box to remind us of that Lent in its long and contemplative path is also a season of love. It is the season when God reveals to us God’s unconditional love for all of humanity through taking on human form and emptying God-self to death on a cross. But God’s love conquers death — that is the message of resurrection that we celebrate on Easter.
First Sunday of Lent Item, Feb 14: For the first week of Lent, each jar or box had a small cross in it. It is a sticker. Perhaps you will put it on the heart reminding you of the message of God’s cross – how God is with us every step of the way – lifting up our crosses when they are too heavy to carry and walking along side us on the road.
Your challenge this week is consider as a family what the cross means to you. How do you interpret the cross in your life and faith? What difference does the cross make to you? To your family?
For the Second Sunday of Lent, Feb 21, you will be invited to write (or draw) on large white pieces of paper formed into a cross your reflections.
The item for the 2nd Sunday of Lent is pinch of mustard seeds. These seeds are a reminder that God’s love is constantly growing in your heart. How can you multiply God’s love in the world? (Check out our facebook page to see what the lower elementary class did with this challenge.)
Our dedicated teachers are planning great lessons for you. This is what is coming up!
- Pre K: The Good Samaritan
- Lower and Upper Elementary: The Widow’s Mite from Mark 12:41-44
- Middle School: Jacob to Israel from Genesis 48
High School: Chapters 1 and 2 of Quest for the Living God by Elizabeth Johnson or on the confirmation retreat! (Reading guide posted here separately.)