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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jesus the King (March 25th)

Season of the Church Year: Lent V (purple)
Story in Scripture: John 12: 12-13
It’s hard to believe that Easter is right around the corner! Today the children learned the story of Jesus’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. It is truly incredble to consider the rollercoaster of emotions that must have taken place in the hearts of the disciples as they saw Jesus glorified and then so quickly turned against by the people. This is an importnat opportunity to discuss with your children how Jesus is a different kind of king than the people expected. He is also a different kind of king than those that we often think of today. Even the way in which Jesus entered Jerusalem is an illustration of this: he rode on a simple, borrowed donkey. Imagine if a Monarch today were to travel in such a way?! As the teachers share this story with the children, it is always a great discussion in which children often remark, “Yay! They all finally figured out how special Jesus is!” It can be confusing to learn that the tables turn so quickly. Celebrating the personhood of Jesus on Palm Sunday gives us a glimpse into the Easter Season. Even though this story continues into the days of strife and betrayal that precede Jesus’ death, we know that Resurrection is coming! We know that the palm leaves laid before our King are just a foretaste of the ways that we can honor him in the days to come. Throughout the story, we return again and again to the phrase, “Hosanna in the Highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Hosanna means “Save us, we pray!” I encourage you to begin preparing your child for Good Friday and the darkness of Holy Saturdaay as we look forward with anticipation to the joy of Easter morning. Let us all say, “Hosanna!”

Guiding Questions for Discussion:
Now I wonder how Jesus felt when the crowd wanted him to be their king?
I wonder why Jesus the King rode on a donkey instead of a horse?
I wonder why the people put palm branches down on the road too?
I wonder what the other people of Jerusalem thought then Jesus arrived?
I wonder what kind of king Jesus would be?
I wonder what it would be like to live in Jesus’ kingdom?

“Dear God, thank you for Jesus. Even though he is not the kind of king that the people expected, we know that he has come to rule our lives and hearts every day. Help us to share about the good news of Jesus and to think carefully about the Easter story. Hosanna! Amen.” 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Parable of the Good Shepherd (March 18th)

Season of the Church Year: Lent IV (purple)
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 illuded 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.”

Looking forward: We are making our way through Lent and it’s amazing to think that Good Friday and Easter are right around the corner! Next week, we will be sharing the story of Palm Sunday (even though it doesn’t fall until the following Sunday), found in Matthew 21: 1-11. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jesus in the Temple Court (March 11th)

Season of the Church Year: Lent (purple) 
Story in Scripture: John 2: 13-22
This week, we discussed a story that frequently leads to more questions than answers for adults and children alike. In sharing the story of Jesus’ reaction to the Temple being treated as a “marketplace,” we explored the ways that we use the gifts of God. Whether these gifts are our home, our body, our family, or our church.... how we treat them shows how we care about them. This story provides an excellent opportunity to discuss with your child where blessings originate. They may have some interesting insights about what belongs to God. Do our family, home, friends, health, possessions belong to God? How can we show respect for them? When discussing Jesus’s actions, we explained that Jesus was not sinning in his emotion. He was doing God’s work to help the people understand. Sometimes God uses shocking moments in our lives to bring our attention to something important. Finally, here is an excerpt from what the teacher may have said during the lesson:
“Then Jesus said something that was confusing for most people there. He said, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”’ The people argued and wondered what he meant. They knew the Temple had taken a long time to build. How could it be built again in only 3 days?? Hmmmm… but we understand that Jesus was talking about HIMSELF. He was a special Temple of God. When he died before Easter, there were three days, then he was made alive again.” This is such a wonderful opportunity to begin conversing with your child about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Please let me know if you need any guidance or resources to help.

Guiding Questions for Discussion:
Now I wonder what it was like for the people at the Temple who saw Jesus knock these things over?
I wonder what Jesus’ friends were thinking?
I wonder how Jesus felt when he saw the people treating God’s Temple like that?
I wonder what the sellers thought after they realized who Jesus was?
I wonder if there are certain ways that we should behave in our church, which is like a Temple?
When something is God’s, we must treat it with respect and care. Can you think of anything that belongs to God?
I wonder how we should treat the things that belong to God?

“Dear God, thank you for this story of Jesus and what he did in the Temple court. It is strange to think of Jesus so upset, but we know that he truly cares about what we do and how we treat sacred things. Help us to think about the ways that we use the blessings in our lives. Help us to always use them to show how wonderful YOU are. Amen.”