But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Luke 18: 16

Trinity Kids provides spiritual guidance, education, & community for children from infancy through 5th grade. For Preschool through 5th grade, the “contemplative model”; of children’s ministry is used to provide the framework for learning about the stories of the Bible, with a focus back to the gospel & salvation of Jesus Christ. Lessons and discussions are hands-on, reflective, and open-ended. Please contact Julia Guy (julia@trinityanglicanmission.org) with any questions or to learn more about Godly Play and the contemplative model.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Parable of the Good Shepherd (Feb. 22nd)

Season of the Church Year: Great Green Growing Season/ Common Time (Liturgical Color: green) 
Story in Scripture: Psalm 23  

This parable, written by David, outlines for us beautiful imagery of the way that God truly loves us. With the children, the story is told in a hands-on, visual way, with the Good Shepherd leading the way to clear clean waters and also through dark places (represented by large black felt shapes). It is very powerful to talk with children about the Good Shepherd’s dedication to every last sheep. During our story telling today, the teacher eluded to a counting of each sheep. When one is found to be missing, the teacher moves the Good Shepherd back through it all, including the dark places, to find the missing or lost sheep. One of the most insightful responses I’ve ever heard from a child was this: After the story was complete and a connection was made between Jesus and the Good Shepherd, a student once exclaimed, “What? That good shepherd was actually Jesus the whole time!!?!?!? Wow!” This story is a fantastic way to bring the glory of God’s care for us into focus for the little ones. With the older children, this story provides an excellent beginning to a conversation about spiritual disciplines (connecting to the structure and boundary of the sheep fold), as well as the guidance of Jesus in their lives- even through places that are dark and confusing- Jesus goes first to lead us through to the other side! 

Guiding Questions for Discussion:

I wonder how many sheep really could live in this place? 

I wonder if you have ever had to go through places of danger? 

I wonder how the sheep feel when they are with the Good Shepherd? 

I wonder how the Good Shepherd feels about the sheep? 


“Dear Jesus, thank you so much for being our Good Shepherd. You care for us, you guide us, and you protect us. Help me to follow you and stay near your side, no matter if I am in times that are easy or hard. I am so grateful that you are in my life. Amen.”

Jesus Calls the Disciples (Feb. 15th)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time “Great Green Growing” Season (Liturgical Color: Green)
Story in Scripture: Mark 3: 7-19

Immediately after Jesus’s baptism in the Jordan River, he is taken to the wilderness for 40 days and nights of prayer and preparation. He is later tempted by the enemy of God. After this challenging  experience, he is ready to begin his work and ministry. But first, he must gather the right people to join him in such an adventure. Each of these men was called for a reason and each of them had the opportunity to trust God, even when it may have seemed impractical. I encourage you to discuss with your child what you know about each of the disciples (or look up information about them online or through a Bible concordance), so that you can assist your child in developing a connection with one or several of these men. For example, if your child often feels impulsive and jumps in to things too quickly, they may relate to Peter and his zeal for life. Perhaps they might learn, as Peter did, to trust and be excited about God, but to also be patient and wise. There are many fantastic books about the disciples and the amazing way that they leaned not on their own understanding, but had ultimate trust and dedication to the Messiah. The most important message of this story is that we must all choose to follow Jesus- to make our words, thoughts, and actions look like his. We are all called to be his disciples. 

Guiding Questions for Discussion:

I wonder why it was that these people that Jesus called from the crowd? 

I wonder how the twelve disciples feel being called to be with Jesus to tell the good news of God’s Kingdom? 

I wonder how the other people in the villages feel? 

I wonder if the people want to follow the way of the kingdom of God? 


“Father, thank you for the story of the disciples and how Jesus called them to follow him. May I also choose to say YES to Jesus and to be his disciple. Amen.” 

Jesus in the Wilderness (Feb. 8th)

Season of the Church Year: Lent (purple) 
Story in Scripture: Mark 1: 12-13 and Matthew 4: 1-11
The topic of temptation is a challenging one for children. Deveopmentally, they are still quite impulsive and often make decisions based on spur of the moment desires and observations. Even the younger children do understand, however, that there are “good” choices and “bad” choices to be made. In this story, Jesus is brought out into a wilderness experience immediately after his baptism. He is tempted in many different ways, having each time to make the choice that, though difficult, is the “good” choice. First, he is tempted to turn stones into bread to satisfy his hunger. He responds that we need more than bread to live. Next, Satan tempts Jesus by using scripture to lure him into falling from the Temple’s apex, expecting that angels will catch him. Jesus wisely replies “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Finally, he is tempted to submit to Satan in order to become ruler of all that he sees- all the nations of the world. Jesus explains that God is the true ruler of all. One of the most significant things about this story is that it illustrates for us that Jesus had to endure and experience human feelings, emotions, pain, and of course hunger and thirst. We know that he had to endure even more. With the children, we will be discussing how we can learn from Jesus’ example in the face of temptation. I encourage you to talk with your child about the tempatations that they face. Perhaps they struggle with the temptation to cheat, make fun of others, steal, or treat others rudely. Jesus’ example can help is all to make choices that glorify God and help our neighbors.

Guiding Questions for Discussion:

Now I wonder what it was like to be alone in the desert for such a long time?
I wonder what Jesus and God talked about in the desert?
I wonder how Jesus felt when the evil one was near him?
I wonder if it was hard to say, “NO!” ?
I wonder if you’ve ever had to say, “NO!”? Was it difficult?


“Father, we pray that you will help us to know what to do when we think about making bad choices. Always be with us and help us to be strong and smart and make good choices. We know that Jesus is our example and we want to show trust in your way too. Amen.”

Jesus is Baptized (Jan. 25th)

Season of the Church Year: Great Green Growing Season/ Common Time (green) 
Story in Scripture: Mark 1: 9-11
This incredible story provides some insight into the powerful way that Jesus entered in to his ministry. Along the banks of the Jordan River, Jesus’ cousin John is causing quite a stir and many are waiting eagerly for his proclamations to come true. He is already baptizing and teaching about how people must change their ways and get ready for Jesus. We paraphrase his prophecy in this way: “John said, ‘Get ready! God is sending someone special. The special Son of God is coming!’” When Jesus approaches John to be baptized, we see a beautiful example of humility and servant-hood. Most importantly, when Jesus is baptized, John’s propecy’s are solidified by God’s acknowledgement of Jesus as his Son. What a fantastic illustration of God’s love a pleasure in us- even before Christ’s first miracle, before he walked on water, or fed 5,000.... God claimed him as his own and demonstrated his pleasure. We talked as a group about how God loves us- no matter what- he loves us from the very beginning!

Guiding Questions for Discussion:

I wonder how the people felt when John told them to change the way they live and get ready for the special Son on God?
I wonder if it was hard for the to change the way they lived?
I wonder how they felt when they went through the waters and went under the water to be baptized?
I wonder how they felt when they came out of the water?
I wonder is it was hard to wait for the special Son of God?
I wonder if they felt ready to be close to the special Son of God?
I wonder how you get ready to be close to the special Son of God?


“Dear God, thank you for loving us from the very beginning. You sent your son Jesus to be with us and to show us how to live and love each other.  Help us to make good choices and to treat others well. Amen.”

Boy Jesus in the Temple (Jan. 18th)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time “Great Green Growing” Season (Liturgical Color: Green)
Story in Scripture: Luke 2: 41- 52
Last week, we learned about the presentation of Jesus to God in the temple in Jerusalem. In last week’s story, Simeon and Anna recognized and rejoiced in the realization that Jesus was the promised savior- the Messiah and the world had been waiting for. After Jesus has grown up (he was probably about 12), he traveled with his family to celebrate the Passover at the same temple in Jerusalem. He was quite grown up, but still traveled closely with his family- with his mom and dad and others. As they left Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph thought that Jesus was probably with a family member, but then they realized he was missing. They searched and searched and searched to no avail! Finally, after 3 days, they found Jesus in his “Father’s house” teaching and preaching men many years older and more educated than him. This was surprising to everyone- especially Jesus’ parents. This is such a powerful story because it marks a milestone in Jesus’ life in which he demonstrates that he is very special and very different. The scripture reminds us that Mary again ponders these experiences in her heart as Jesus grows up. Two of the most significant aspects of this story are that they searched for 3 days- a connection to the Resurrection, and the simple way that Jesus acknowledges that he is God’s true son in the way that he calls him “Father.”  

Guiding Questions for Discussion:

-I wonder how Mary felt when she couldn’t find Jesus?  
-I wonder what Jesus was thinking when he stayed behind at the temple?  
-I wonder how the adults felt when they were learning so much from such a young person?  
-I wonder what Jesus thought when he said he was in his “Father’s house”? 
-I wonder what Jesus family members thought when they heard about what had happened? 
-I wonder what Mary and Joseph thought as they remembered back to the things that Jesus said? 


“Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for his wisdom and the way that we too can be ‘amazed at his understanding and his answers.’ Help us to listen and learn and grow in our understanding too. Amen.” 

Baby Jesus Presented to God (Jan. 11th)

Season of the Church Year: Great Green Growing Season/ Common Time (Liturgical color: green)  
Story in Scripture: Luke 2:22- 38
As we continue to celebrate the coming of Jesus in Bethlehem, it is a special time to consider what Jesus’s first years were like. Although Mary and Joseph were beginning to understand just how important Jesus is, they were probably frequently surprised by him. In this story, we learn about how Anna and Simeon proclaim the good news of who Jesus is. Both of these wise prophets acknowledge the divinity of Jesus- surely causing quite a stir in the temple. Mary and Joseph have arrived to follow Jewish custom in presenting their child to God. They have waited patiently for the right time and have journeyed from Bethlehem as a family. Both Simeon and Anna are there, waiting for God’s promise to be fulfilled. Imagine Mary’s astonishment when these strangers approach her and her baby- confirming what they have been told by the Angels. This is a significant story in that Anna is also written in to God’s story as a prophet. As a woman, she provides a unique perspective on God’s promise, especially because women had a very different role during this historical time than they do now. Isn’t it amazing that God chose to share the good news of Jesus in such unexpected ways? I have included more questions than usual below because it is important to take into consideration all the varying points of view in this incredible story. 

Guiding Questions for Discussion:

Now I wonder how it feels to hold this baby? 
I wonder how Simeon feels as he looks at the baby? I wonder how Simeon knows this baby is the Christ? 
I wonder how Mary feels about what Simeon said to God? 
I wonder how Anna feels when she looks at the baby? I wonder how Anna knows that Jesus is the Christ? 
I wonder how Anna feels telling people that Christ has come? 
I wonder why Anna is the first to go and tell that God has given the promised gift of Jesus the Christ? 


“Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for Mary, Joseph, Anna, and Simeon. This story helps us to understand that you include all people in your story. You love all people and want them to learn about Jesus. Help us to share your good news with our friends. You have given us such a wonderful gift, we want to share it! Amen.” 

Christmas Celebration (Dec. 28th)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time “Great Green Growing” Season (Liturgical Color: White)
Story in Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-2 
Today was a day for celebrating, feasting, and enjoying the excitement of the Christmas season. The children reflected on their time with family and friends, and the entire Christmas story was read again (until now, the story has been only read in parts, as connected with the Advent seasons’ weekly focus). Also, the children discussed the coming year and the ways in which we can glorify God in our work.... in our play... in our rest.... in our celebrations... and in our response to challenges. Ephesians 5: 1-2 was used as a connecting verse, helping the children to consider ways in which their life might be a “fragrant sacrifice” for God. You will notice that they created an orange studded with cloves as a reminder of the commitment to bring our sweet and beautiful offering to God each day. 

Guiding Questions for Discussion:

I wonder how I might show God that I love him? 
I wonder what things God wants me to do this year so that I can be my very best me?  
I wonder what things I might sacrifice/ give up in order to please God? (i.e. anger, jealousy, laziness, exclusion)  
I wonder what things I might begin to do that will please God and bring glory to him? (i.e. helping others, patience, prayer, sharing, inclusion)

“Father, thank you for bringing us safely to another year! You have loved us well and we hope to love you well too. Teach us to give up things that are not best for us and to begin things that help us to glorify you. Amen.”