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 lengths to the night sky.
You might like to hang labels from the black fabric too. Here are some suggested labels:
- Nga Whetu - stars
- Te Marama - the moon
- Nga Ranginui - the sky
Matariki PowerPoint:Justine is happy to share with us a PowerPoint she has created that explains a bit about Matariki and invites the children to reflect on how the creator of the universe cares for each of us. Here's a sample of two of the pages.
Click here to download the PowerPoint and the PDF copy from dropbox
God’s faithfulness in dark times: – A reflective prayer walk (huritau):Before hand set up a path of stars around your room. Beside each star have sheets saying:
“God’s love never gives up on me”
“God’s love lasts forever”
“God is love”
“E kore rawa te aroha e taka – God’s love never fails”.
As you step on a star say the words on the sheet before you move on to the next star.
Another way to do this is to choose one of these phrases. Break it up into individual words. Put one word on each star. Your star path will then read God’s… love… never… etc. Place the stars so they are a footstep apart. The children should be able to get into a rhythm as they move along the stars, reading one word at a time as they move around the room. This helps children, young people and adults to slow down and focus on the words.
Click here to download a copy of the star path cards from Dropbox
Candles and Cake:Matariki is a time to remember those who are special to us, and those who have passed on.
Bring along a cake to celebrate Matariki, and enough birthday candles for each child.
Tell the children: "Think of someone really special to you, someone you treasure. They can be living or someone who has died. Pick one of the candles up and hold onto it. Close your eyes and talk to God about them inside your head or quietly out loud. Then place the candle on the cake."
Once all the candles have been placed in the cake, say a prayer as you light the candles. Thank God for our loved ones, those who are with us and those who we will see again in heaven one day.
Then get everyone to blow out the candles. Eat the cake together as you celebrate Matariki.