Lent and Easter

The olive trees at Gethsemane

Here's a collection of free resources, created by the Children and Families team at SUNZ. 

For Families:
Holy Week at Home: A simple but profound way to mark the 7 days of holy week, using the ancient practice of Tenebrae. Suitable for families of all ages.
Ash Wednesday: explore this church tradition together as you consider how and why we say sorry. 
Shrove Tuesday: A pancake recipe, a poem and a reflection. Something for everyone in the family.
Easter with Family and Whānau: A simple way to gather the family around the Bible and create a piece of art! NEW RESOURCE

Intergenerational Church Services:
If you are looking for intergenerational services for Lent or during Easter weekend here are some services we have written and run. Tried and tested! 

NEW: In their shoes
Step into the shoes of six people in the Easter story and look at what happened through their eyes. This resource brings to life some of the lesser known or briefly mentioned people in the story and aims to bring them to life. This resource contains six character descriptions, scripts and suggestions for how to include them in your Easter services. You choose which characters to introduce, and which approach will best suit your church.

The Rocks will cry out 
Use your imagination to enter into the story of Palm Sunday. This service is an interactive way to explore the story, wave palm branches and reflect on this verse: ‘I tell you, if these [children] were silent, the stones would shout out.’
NEW! An online option

The Mercy Tree
This service explore the events of Easter Friday, using the image of a Mercy tree created from a branch and coloured ribbons. 

The Colours of Easter
This service explores the events of Easter Sunday, using colours to describe the moments of Jesus' journey. 

Breakfast on the Beach
Have you ever dreamed of passing a fish around in church? Then this service is for you! (and even if you don’t wish to pass fish). This service explores the scene in John 21 where Jesus meets the disciples on the beach around a fire.

The Easter Story:
Annette has created a story, using photos from her trip to Israel in 2011. She has created a series of blog posts to be read together, as well as a downloadable booklet. Print this off for free and give it out to your families. 
Using background information, history, photographs, the gospel accounts and a little imagination, we will put flesh and bones to this story. What did it look like, smell like, sound like? What was it like for Jesus to walk this journey?

Links to the episodes:
Episode One"Jesus and his friends are resting in the shade of a sycamore tree. They have walked from Jericho, and it's a steep climb up to Jerusalem..."

Episode Two: "People start talking. The crowd notices Jesus. "Hey, isn't that Jesus?" "Look! It's Jesus". The word spreads. Jesus is in town."

Episode Three: "And the children were making noise. They were shouting loudly their praises of Jesus. And the leaders wanted them to be quiet. But Jesus wasn't interested in keeping things quiet, in keeping things calm. The leaders of the temple hadn't realised who Jesus was, but the children did. They knew he was special...." 

Episode Three: Part Two!: "This morning his face looks stressed, as if he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Lunch is packed, sandals are strapped and they are on their way."

Episode Four: "When they thought about it later, they all knew things weren't going to end well."  

Episode Five:  "Joseph knows what he has to do. He has stood and watched that day, as the rocks broke and the sun faded from view. He has watched as Jesus had died. And now he knows what he has to do."

Episode Six: "Wake up, wake up", they yell. Peter stumbles out of bed, rubbing his eyes. 
"Wake up!" Mary yells at him. "They have taken Jesus from the tomb and we don't know where they have put his body." 

The Script:
You can download the whole story as one document simply by clicking here! 
The Images:
Click here to download the images from 'The Journey to Easter' story at a higher resolution. You can use them to illustrate your own retelling of the story. 

Easter in Israel 
Alongside this blog is a booklet called 'Easter in Israel', designed for children to read to explore photos taken in the places that the Easter events occurred. This can be downloaded FREE from our Dropbox. You will need to print it double sided. Click this link to download it

Other Easter Activities:

Easter Grab-it! 
A simple way to share the story of Easter together with your family. All you need is the script and the rest is created from things you grab from around the house. Click here to download it. 

Interactive Map of Jerusalem
It is great for kids to visualise where things happened. This resource allows you to create an interactive map of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. You will need to create a map out of a white sheet or a piece of calico, or borrow one from us. This file includes a map you can use. Then print off the labels to go with your map Click here to download the file.

An Easter Card
A simple Easter Craft - Creating an Easter card using ribbon.  A great idea that is quick to create. Good for a CEC (Bible in Schools) class. 

Helpful Links:

Drive Thru History: An excellent video series giving background info to the events of Easter. 

Cartoon illustrations and images: Free images to download and use in your Easter services and programmes.

Click here for Family Easter activities - for children and families to share together. 

An Easter Walk-Through - Check out this great service outline written by Sonja from Palmerston North. Do you want to create an Easter experience? This is a good place to start. 

Easy Easter Craft - using popsicle sticks. 

Easter Timeline: 
This timeline of the Easter events is a really helpful guide. Print it out and display it for all to see. Send small copies home with your families. Put it in your church newsletter. Click here to download.

Media Clips:

A good media clip of the Emmaus Road you can use with all ages.

The story of the resurrection - Max7.org


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