Matariki Part Two...

Matariki is a great celebration for the church to be involved in. We can celebrate together and give thanks for all God has given us, as well as remembering and being thankful for the past. Here are some ideas you can use with your Sunday children's programme or afterschool club. These can also be modified to be used with all ages in together. Thanks to Justine Balcar for some of these great ideas.

Matariki Night Sky Activity: String up a length of black fabric suspended from the ceiling for the night sky. Give each child a star or moon shape. You can purchase these or cut your own out of card. There is a star and moon template available, click here to download a copy from Dropbox
Have a variety of things for children to stick onto the star to decorate it - glitter, sequins, stickers, paint, etc. Leave to dry. 
Once dry, use a needle and thread embroidery cotton onto the star.You can get sparkly silver thread or nylon thread if you want it to be invisible.
Attach these at different l…

Holy Spirit Holes

Pentecost Sunday is the 9th June. 
Pentecost Sunday is a great opportunity to get creative, to be joyful and to learn a little church history!In preparing for an intergenerational service for Pentecost Sunday, I  made a rather inspiring discovery, Holy Spirit Holes! In the ceilings of some cathedrals are these holes, trapdoors actually. During the celebration of Pentecost, live doves and red rose petals were dropped through these holes to swoop and fall on the congregation below. 

Imagine the drama of it all! 

So, I created a service to explore this idea. There are no live doves involved so don't worry about terrifying your church or the clean up job required for all that bird poo. 

All you need is here: 
Holy Spirit Holes

The Mercy Tree

This service explores the event of Easter Friday using coloured ribbons and branches to create 'Mercy Trees'. This service is a guided meditation on Jesus’ journey to the cross, woven together with music and scripture readings.
This service is one hour long and suitable for all ages. Click here to download the script.

Media clips used during this service:
The Story of the Three Trees

Good Friday: The Story Chpt 26
**Please note that some of the scenes in this clip may be 
too intense for young children. You may need to plan carefully
to show only certain parts of it. 
The Mercy Tree - Lacey Sturm 

The Colours of Sunday

'The Colours of Sunday' is an intergenerational service that uses colour to describe the events of Easter Sunday. Colours convey emotions, and help us to engage emotionally with the events of Easter, in ways that stay with us long after the service:

· Purple: darkness – a dark purple or blue for the dark sky at the time of Jesus’ death
· White:the linen that Jesus’ body was wrapped in
· Gold: the colour of dawn and the colour of the angels
· Grey:the colour of the road to Emmaus
·Orange: the colour of fire - Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us? Luke 24

Here are all the resources you need to run your own service. If you use this material, we would love to hear how it goes. What worked well for your church? Any tweaks or suggestions? 

Click on these links to download everything you need: - The service outline - A colouring page: (option 1, option 2:less colouring required) - 'Flowers Openi…

1. Our story begins...

Luke 1:5 When Herod was king of Judea…

Imagine with me that you are sitting in an olive tree. The day is a little chilly, and the wind is blowing. Your friends hang off branches and jump from rock to rock. You are in your family'solive grove and the year is about 4BC, although no one quite knows that for sure.

When you look around you see a small village. It’s not famous or important, but its home. Most of the people who live in this village are your family. This village is called Nazareth. It’s up in the north of Israel, near the mountains dusted with snow.

This is your village, the place you call home. Life is pretty good for you. Sure, you have to go to school, carry water from the town's well to your house, and you also have to work pretty hard in the family olive grove, but you get plenty of time to play with your friends climbing trees and keeping out of trouble.

But, things are not good for your country. The man in charge is named Herod. He is the king of Israel and he …

Do you see what I see?

Are you looking for some media or video clips for your Advent and Christmas events or church services? Here are some options to get you started. Some of them are Youtube clips, others are free to download and use. 

Learn more about the Shepherds who feature in the Christmas account. 
This video series 'Drive Thru History' is well worth a watch, for giving you background information, as well as for playing in a church or community service:

The Mystery of the Noisy Neighbour:
From the Bible Society UK. Show this free animation in your church services, children's programmes and community events. Suited for a young audience. Discover who Jesus really is... Emmanuel, Rescuer and King. Click here to find out more and download.

The Bible Project: The Birth of Jesus - Gospel of Luke Ch. 1-2:
If you are looking for an excellent series of clips digging deep into the Bible, these are great! Use them as study material for your Sunday School team or volunteers, before exploring the story wit…