Friday, October 20, 2017

October 20: Learning from Young People

Be an Example for Every Child, Week Four

Learning from Young People

I have always said that I learn more from the young people that I work with than I could ever

teach them. A few years back I encountered The Way of the Child, a curriculum that focuses on meeting children’s spiritual needs. This model that includes a creative telling of a Bible story, time in centers such as gazing, journal, art, and reading, and time to reflect and
meditate together really extends to feeding all ages spiritually. When we open ourselves up to worshiping, praying and meditating together, no matter the age, we truly are living as One Body allowing us to grow in hope and faith with one another. Take some time to sit with people of different ages, hear retelling of scripture and quietly sit, gazing at a candle, or coloring a mandala, or looking at pictures of people and events of the world; opening up yourself to the Divine, seeking inspiration from the Spirit, reflecting on the message of Christ in quiet meditation with one another.


Holy One,
Together we learn more about your grace. Together we grow. Together we have hope. Together we move forward seeking love and justice for every child. Amen.


John 21:15
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”


(Read the weekly scripture each day. Find a phrase or word that speaks to you. Share your reflections with others over dinner, social media, and in prayer. Share the scripture with a child you know in the car, through a text, or in a children's Bible.)

Resources and Links
https://www.amazon.com/Way-Child-Family-Booklet-Experience/dp/0835898393
http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/

Rev. Sarah Almanza, Minister, Irving North Christian Church, TX

*The view represented in these devotions come from a variety of diverse perspectives. We do not seek to agree but seek to welcome all to the conversation and the table.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 19: Small Things Can Be Big Things

Be an Example for Every Child, Week Four

Small Things Can Be Big Things

Small things, for small children, can become the big things that they will remember for the rest of their lives. At our church, we make sure to provide a worship bulletin each week for our youngest worshipers. What makes this bulletin a big thing for our smallest worshipers is that we are consistent, it is there every week, and is offered by our Deacons to them, on entering the Sanctuary. We also provide the writing utensils along with a little candy treat.  By offering a simple and small point of welcome, we hope our smallest worshipers know how important they are to our body of believers and how they can be engaged in worship. Some adults will grab them too to do alongside our youth, and help them with the different puzzles and games. It becomes an active part of worshiping together, young and old. 

And for this we pray, Oh Lord, help us provide small things, for our smallest worshipers, so that they know how welcomed they are by all. Amen

John 21:15
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”


(Read the weekly scripture each day. Find a phrase or word that speaks to you. Share your reflections with others over dinner, social media, and in prayer. Share the scripture with a child you know in the car, through a text, or in a children's Bible.)

Resources and Links
Worship Resources for Children: http://www.docfamiliesandchildren.org/worship-resources


Rev. Kara R. Swartz, Minister at Hooker Memorial Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Greenville, NC and a Keynoter for Created to Be Me Camp part of Just Say Know Ministries.

*The view represented in these devotions come from a variety of diverse perspectives. We do not seek to agree but seek to welcome all to the conversation and the table.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 18: Logos

Be an Example for Every Child, Week Four

Logos

Children are vital in the lives of each of us.  We are each called to nurture and invest whether they are our own children, relatives, neighbor children or children that we know from church.  We can each think back to our own childhood experiences and think of an adult that invest in ourselves.  Maybe it was a teacher, friend, or coach.  Maybe they would come to our activities or spend time with us.  Some adult in our lives made sure to impress on our souls that we mattered.  God is calling each of us to the same.  Our children are faced with so many different pressures and challenges but there is a way that the church can be present in the lives of children in a tangible way.  


Through the LOGOS ministry, children experience Kingdom of God living in family time around a shared meal, learn the stories of God in Bible Study, are allowed to share their gifts and talents to praise God in Worship Arts, and get to put into practice treating others as we want to be treated during Recreation. 

John 21:15
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

(Read the weekly scripture each day. Find a phrase or word that speaks to you. Share your reflections with others over dinner, social media, and in prayer. Share the scripture with a child you know in the car, through a text, or in a children's Bible.)

Resources and LinksFor more information on LOGOS and other intergenerational ministry resources go to:
www.genonministries.com

LOGOS is a mid-week children and youth ministry model www.genonministries.org/pages/logos-all-about-logos.

*The view represented in these devotions come from a variety of diverse perspectives. We do not seek to agree but seek to welcome all to the conversation and the table.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October 17: Protecting Our Lights

Be an Example for Every Child, Week Four

Protecting Our Lights

Thinking back on my life as a Disciples youth and child, learning about the Bible came in many different forms,such as going to church camp, attending Vacation Bible School, reading books, and gathering with my family at General Assembly. I found sitting in Sunday School and reading the books at home with my parents helped me the most to learn the stories. I first learned the classic Bible stories at my home church. However, my favorite way to learn the Bible was to attend church camp. When I was there I didn’t just learn the stories but connected them to my everyday life.  When children and youth can go and see, it shows us what the Bible is about. They are able to feel the love and acceptance shown throughout the Bible. Children and youth like to go places because they get to interact with adults they don’t see every week. This past summer I was a counselor at my church camp and we had a rule of three.(No one can go anywhere alone, there must be three people) Many times my campers didn’t want to follow the rule they believed they were independent and didn’t need anyone to help them. They didn’t understand the rule. It was protect them and others. Sometimes, children and youth don’t see what the adults are doing, just like my campers didn’t understand why I made them take two buddies. When we light a candle with children, we are “protecting” the church and the child so they might grow up in their faith.

Let us pray:
Holy God, we pray you would help us to continue your work. We praise you for the work that has already been done. Lord, we pray for all of the children, that you would be with them and they would know you. In Your name, Amen.


John 21:15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”


(Read the weekly scripture each day. Find a phrase or word that speaks to you. Share your reflections with others over dinner, social media, and in prayer. Share the scripture with a child you know in the car, through a text, or in a children's Bible.)

Resources and Links

Camp: http://www.docfamiliesandchildren.org/summer---camp
Camp Safety: http://www.docfamiliesandchildren.org/safety-basics-8-9 

Online Camp Documents: http://www.campdoc.com/

Kate Summers, General Youth Council Moderator, General Youth Council, Ministries Across Generations 


*The view represented in these devotions come from a variety of diverse perspectives. We do not seek to agree but seek to welcome all to the conversation and the table.


Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16: Feed My Lambs - FIRST!

Be an Example for Every Child, Week Four

Feed My Lambs - FIRST!

The scripture for this week is the one that speaks directly to my call at this time. So often we hear these words, but they are not portrayed in the correct order. Many do not notice that first Jesus calls us to feed the lambs. We seem to skip over our lambs and go straight to the
http://www.biblekids.eu/new_testament/lost_sheep/lost_sheep_index.html
sheep that need tended. We do not put our lambs first financially or spiritually. We do not create strong foundations of people to walk with each child because we forget that WE are the ones called to walk with them.

This is how we best love Jesus. We feed the lambs, first. By recognizing and authentically loving, teaching, empowering, worshiping, and knowing God's smallest people, we are supporting all of us who walk with one another.

Below you will find some of my favorite resources to help the everyday person lead a child in the ways of faith.

God of Children
Let us not limit the lights of the children around us. Let us recognize that it is not programs that they need, but people. It is not entertainment that lasts but engagement. Let us remember that we are all vulnerable children whose strength comes recognizing You in themselves, the people, and world. Help us to truly feed each others mouth, hearts, and souls. In Jesus Name, Amen. 


John 21:15
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

(Read the weekly scripture each day. Find a phrase or word that speaks to you. Share your reflections with others over dinner, social media, and in prayer. Share the scripture with a child you know in the car, through a text, or in a children's Bible.)

Resources and Links
Favorite Bibles, CDs, etc: http://www.docfamiliesandchildren.org/shop
God's Big Storycards (My family uses this at dinner with the Children's Bible): 
Seamless Faith and Faithful Families by Traci Smith
Pockets Magazine (I bought this for the children in my family last Christmas): http://pockets.upperroom.org/about-us/ 


Rev. Dr. Olivia Bryan Updegrove: Families and Children’s Minister for Disciples Home Missions, and Part-Time Pastor for Independence Christian Church, KY.

*The view represented in these devotions come from a variety of diverse perspectives. We do not seek to agree but seek to welcome all to the conversation and the table.

Friday, October 13, 2017

October 13: Super Powers, Suicide & Speaking Life

http://www.doodle-art-alley.com/courage-quote-coloring-pages.html
Be an Example of Love, Week Three

Super Powers, Suicide & Speaking Life


Death by suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for children 10 to 14 years of age, and the 2nd largest cause of death for youth and young adults 15 to 34 years of age in the U.S. Super Powers, Suicide & Speaking Life was created to offer insight as to how the people of God can understand, healthily respond to, and better support those affected by suicide and suicidal thoughts. Rooted in the hope that we bear as people of God, this resource can help us light a candle with our children, by equipping us with language, wisdom and inspiration to fight for their lives with our love. The webinar offers general information about suicide, discuss key elements, warnings signs, and resilience factors for suicide, and offer practical ways we can nurture, support, and stand along-side those affected by suicide—especially our teens and young adults. The hope is that this webinar can be used as a tool for discussion and contemplation during youth groups, parenting groups, bible studies and more!

Gracious God, creator of life and designer of the very air we breathe,
Thank you for the hope your spirit brings when the temptation of death surrounds us. Gird our hearts and mind with your truth as we come along side our hurting children. Help us resist feelings of shame and guilt as we resist the societal stigmas that only add to our children’s pain and our own. Let us instead be filled by your grace, love and wisdom, seeing ourselves and our children as you see us. Grant us peace oh God, to stand with them in a mighty way, gentleness and kindness as we love them and ourselves in a balanced way, and courage and joy for strength as we love them in a fearless way. In you precious and powerful name we pray. Amen.


1 Thessalonians 1:4-8
For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of people we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place where your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it.


(Read the weekly scripture each day. Find a phrase or word that speaks to you. Share your reflections with others over dinner, social media, and in prayer. Share the scripture with a child you know in the car, through a text, or in a children's Bible.)

Resources and Links

NBA Webinar Link For the Devotion
https://www.nbacares.org/care-resources/webinar-suicide-prevention

Other Suicide Prevention Resources
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml
http://www.sprc.org

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.


Angela Whitenhill MDiv., LCSW and National Benevolent Association

*The view represented in these devotions come from a variety of diverse perspectives. We do not seek to agree but seek to welcome all to the conversation and the table.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

October 12: Children are Watching

Be an Example of Love, Week Three

Children are Watching 

Tourists crowd into special places for clearly advertised reasons. Others show up to watch the crowd. I admit that I am a “people watcher.” My children have taken up my hobby, noticing strange quarks or a disconnect between behaviors and context. We enjoy watching artists, working in their own world, even when surrounded by a crowd. We love watching groups follow blindly. We especially enjoy watching children. We love watching them watch. 


Children see so much more than the adult carrying them realizes. They communicate so much more than their care-givers know. We see the mischievous sparkle in their eye, just before they try to sneak away. We see the friendly smile that invites us to wave. We see the curiosity when they spot a new shape of beard or hat on a stranger. Still, my favorite moments are when children spot us watching them. 

Something happens when they recognize that they are seen. There is a connection that goes beyond eye contact or a smile – a spirit that moves, and reminds everyone in that moment that they are part of something more. For all of us, being seen affirms our self-worth, and allowing others to see us creates a connection. Our children have so many gifts to share, but we can never underestimate the gift of recognition, even in a subtle way. This is an act of love that is shared between people and invites us to be more observant and loving. We can be intentional or even flamboyant, but love invites us to see each other and let them see us, even if it is just a kind smile across the isle of a bus, or a compassionate nod at another’s yawn. Love connects us all, and we feel it when we see each other. 

1 Thessalonians 1:4-8
For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of people we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place where your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it.

(Read the weekly scripture each day. Find a phrase or word that speaks to you. Share your reflections with others over dinner, social media, and in prayer. Share the scripture with a child you know in the car, through a text, or in a children's Bible.)

Resources and Links

Rev. Yates' VBS Curricula: YodaYadaVBS.com
Vibrant Faith: https://www.vibrantfaith.org/
InsideOut Camp Curriculum: http://insideoutcamp.com/


Rev. Lee Yates, 
Pastor of Covina Community Church and Managing Editor of InsideOut Camp Curriculum. He is also a freelance writer whose work can be found in the United Methodist's "Bible Lessons for Youth" and a variety of resources from Vibrant Faith Ministry.

*The view represented in these devotions come from a variety of diverse perspectives. We do not seek to agree but seek to welcome all to the conversation and the table.