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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Promised Land (Sept. 29th)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time/ “Great Green Growing” Season  (green)
Story in Scripture: Joshua 1:5, Matthew 28:20b
After our learning about the ‘10 Best Ways to Live’ and the ‘Ark and the Tent,’ students learned today about God’s fulfilled promise to lead his people into safety. Under Joshua’s leadership, the people of God are encouraged and reminded to trust God- “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5, NIV). The miracles that take place along the road to The Promised Land are a testimony to God’s power and protection. Much of the lesson today involved discussion with the students about trusting God and letting him lead us toward righteousness and goodness. We must not only trust that he will never leave us, we must choose to follow him, even when we are unsure. I implore you to talk frankly with your children about your own experiences with this type of trust. Share and discuss times in your life in which God has been by your side and not forsaken you. Although we won’t spend a lot of time discussing the fulfillment of God’s promise in his son Jesus Christ, I pray that your discussion about the story will lead you in to a conversation about Jesus’s promises as well. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b, NIV)

Guiding Questions for Discussion:
I wonder how the people felt when Joshua told them to get ready to go into the Promised Land?
I wonder how it felt when God led them through the water into the Promised Land?
I wonder what the people of God will do, now that they are in the Promised Land?

“Father, thank you for reminding us to trust you. Thank you for being with us and helping us to feel safe and courageous. We know that you are with us, even when things are uncertain. Thank you for loving us well. Amen.” 

The Ark and the Tent for God (Sept. 22nd)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time/ “Great Green Growing” Season  (green)
Story in Scripture: Exodus 25:1 through 40:38
Today we learned about the intricate and complex preparations that God’s people went through as they readied themselves to worship and enter into God’s presence. The detail and specificity that is explained in the book of Exodus is so far removed from our own lives that it can be difficult for children to connect to. This ancient story, however, reminds us of two important things: (1) Spending time with God and attending to him is a sacred and special thing and (2) We are incredibly blessed to have been truly reconciled and reunited with God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ- we now are welcome to enter into time and relationship with God sans the intensive preparation. As Moses, Aaron, and others prepared carefully because their lives were messy and often dangerously unpredictable. By taking time to thoughtfully and intentionally prepare for their time with God, they were able to set their time in the Tent apart. It is important for us to prepare our own hearts and minds for worship and conversation with God as well. I encourage you to talk with your child about how they might prepare themselves. Share with them about the ways that you prepare to enter in to your time with God.

Guiding Questions for Discussion:
I wonder how it feels to come close to something so precious as the Ark?
I wonder how the sweet-smelling incense and smoke helped them get ready to come near the Ark and close to God?
I wonder how the Table of Shrewbread with the unleavened bread helped them get ready to be close to God?
I wonder how the great burning lights helped them get ready to be close to God?
I wonder how you get ready to be close to God?
I wonder how it feels to be close to God?
I wonder where the Ten Best Ways to Live are now?

“Father, thank you for making time and space for us to spend with you. Help me to prepare my heart to pray and worship you. I want to have quiet time and special time with you every day. Thank you for making time for us to be together. Amen.” 

The Ten Best Ways to Live (Sept. 15th)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time/ “Great Green Growing” Season  (green)
Story in Scripture: Exodus 19-20; Deuteronomy 6:4-6

The Ten Commandments are such a pivotal message in the Old Testament. As Moses returned from Mount Sinai, he brought with him and whole new way of being in the world. God’s framework for our lives, in communion with him and one another are so important. When we teach the children about them, we divide them into two main groups. We must consider ways that God tells us to love him and ways that God tells us to love one another. This is the way we phrase the scripture (with a few notations about how they are explained): 1. Do not serve other Gods. (He is our one true God, the creator of all things and our Father.) 2. Make no idols to serve. (God should come first in your life. Always. Nothing should be more important than him.) 3. I am God… do not speak my name lightly. (When we speak to and about God, we must remember that he is powerful, mighty, and BIG. We should be respectful.) 4. Keep the Sabbath holy… to rest and remember the gifts of creation. (Even God rested! We should find time to be quiet and calm.) 5. Honor your father and your mother. (God gave us these people to protect, care, and provide for us. We should always treat them with love.) 6. Do not kill. (Remember that even Jesus treated those who tortured him with peace and love. God doesn’t want us to kill others and take away his gift of life.) 7. Do not break your marriage. (God intends for families to stay together. He knows that families need one another, husbands & wives must love and respect one another and care for their families.) 8. Do not steal. (We should never take something that doesn’t belong to us.) 9. Do not lie. (When we are honest with our words and our actions, we are following God’s plan for our lives.) 10. Do not even want what others have. (We must be grateful for what we have and be thankful instead of jealous.)

Guiding Questions for Discussion:
I wonder how it feels to be free, to be able to do anything you want to? 
I wonder how it feels to be able to do anything you want, but you don’t know what to do?
I wonder if it’s hard to be free?
I wonder how Moses felt going up the holy mountain?
I wonder what Moses and God talked about?
I wonder if it’s hard to love God and love people?

“Lord, we are thankful for your Law. You have given us a way to live our lives. Thank you for teaching us how to love you and how to love each other. Help me to say ‘I’m sorry’ when we make a mistake and break a commandment. I love you and I am so glad that you are alongside me each day and night. Amen.”

Circle of the Church Year (Sept. 8th)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time/ “Great Green Growing” Season  (green)
Story in Scripture: Genesis 1:1- 2:3  
Each Sunday, the Godly Play teachers review the season that we are in. They reflect with the children about the season, what God may be trying to teach us during this time, and they encourage the children to look forward to the seasons to come. Through a directed lesson, the children will learn today about the importance of acknowledging and considering these seasons as we worship, learn, and pray each week. The concept of God’s timing and His provision of seasons for preparation and growth will be discussed. They will talk about the “Great Growing Season,” Advent, Christmas, Resurrection and the Easter Season, and the day of Pentecost. Your child will probably bring home a beaded cord with a colored bead to represent each of the 52 Sundays in the year. I recommend that you put this cord in a place where daily Bible reading takes place so that you can consider the seasons throughout the year. Remember, the natural seasons of the year help us to look back with gratitude and look forward with anticipation... God has provided us with seasons in our faith to do the same.

Guiding Questions for Discussion:
I wonder which of these colors/ seasons you like best?
I wonder which of the colors/ seasons is the most important?
I wonder if you’ve ever seen these colors in church, at home, or at school?
I wonder why the Church tells time with colors?

“Dear Father, thank you for the seasons. Thank you for the changing weather, the growing trees, and the cooling winds. Thank you for the sun and the moon, which help us mark our days. Thank you also for the seasons of the Church Year, so that we can remember to prepare our hearts for what is to come and can remember back to the beautiful things that have taken place. Amen.”

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Listening to God (Aug. 31st)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time/ “Great Green Growing” Season  (green)
Story in Scripture: John 8:12
This week, we revisited the concepts from our lesson about the Classroom Sanctuary again. These behaviors are so important and they require quite a bit of repetition for the little ones, especially those who have just transitioned from the younger classrooms. We moved in to a discussion of Prayer and the ways that we interact with and talk to God. As a group, the children learned together about Jesus’s explanation that he is “the Light.” They will discuss what it is to be in darkness and how listening to and seeking after Jesus brings light into our lives. Through a beautiful ritual of lighting a candle for each child present, the teacher will help to illustrate the ways that the love and compassion of God radiate out of us through our acts of service, caring for others, and glorifying God. One of the most beautiful realizations that often comes from this lesson is that the light does not grow dimmer as it spreads from the Christ candle to the other candles (one to represent each child). It grows stronger, more brilliant, and more beautiful. Finally, a good deal of time was devoted at the end of today’s lesson for children to write, draw, paint, or sculpt a prayer to God. The children will be encouraged to spend their response time thinking about and creating something that reminds them of Jesus’ light and the light that they can share through following Jesus and loving others. They will also be encouraged to spend quiet time listening to God and being quiet with him.

Guiding Questions for Discussion:
Now I wonder what you think of when you think of God?
I wonder why Jesus said that he is “the Light”?  
I wonder what dark things Jesus might be able to bring light to?
I wonder how you can show the light of Jesus to others, so that they will want to know him?  

“Dear God, thank you for listening to me when I share my thoughts and prayers with you. I know that you care for me and I am so glad that we can talk every single day- in the morning, in the daytime, and even late late at night. Thank you for speaking to us and reminding us of your light. Be with us as we spread your light to others, that they may come closer to you. Amen.”