This is a really great book/concept by Sybil MacBeth – http://prayingincolor.com
It really opens up prayer in new ways! This week we used in in age groups – my age group got so into it that it was hard to get them to wrap up when it was time! Here are a couple of examples, but basically it is just using colour, shapes, connecting lines, etc. to map out prayers on paper!
In Spirit Space, we’ve been continuing to explore the stories of Exodus, this week focusing on the building of an altar as a place of worship. Together we built an “altar” during story time and talked about what worship means to us. As the space we use for Spirit Space is pretty empty, we will be working with some of the kids over the next few weeks to make some pieces that we can use consistently as a focal point for our time together in Spirit Space.
This might be something interesting to try at home, to set up a table or a tray that can be moved around or anything really that could be an “altar” or something that can be used for prayer or worship at home. It could have candles, images, a finger mandala (see our last post!), a money jar for donations/offerings, things related to the liturgical season (i.e. table cloths in the colour of the liturgical seasons, an Advent wreath, a creche, etc.) – perhaps some things that are constant and some things that change with the seasons.
Joanna just introduced me to a great website with this really neat way to make finger mandalas with kids! This will be one of the options for the kids on Sunday, but it could also be a really neat thing to work on at home!
The week after Thanksgiving, the story of Manna from Heaven provides a very different perspective/experience of food! In this story, the Israelites were given food by God each day, but were only able to collect enough for one day and couldn’t store up any for future days as it would go bad. The only exception was on the sixth day, when they could collect enough for two days so they would have enough also for the Sabbath.
This can be a challenging story as we live in a society of refrigerators and bulk stores that encourage us to stock up – and a culture in general that prizes people who save for the future rather those who live day by day. What is the challenge we might hear in this story? When have you trusted that what you needed would be there for you when you needed it? Do you find it hard to trust that what you need will be given to you?
One of our activities was to make “bread” out of delicious-smelling gluten free playdoh (with cinnamon and other spices!) and another was to begin a project to make a circular seasons of the church year calendar.
On November 1, we will begin serving at the Out of the Cold program at Blythwood Baptist Church (near the Sporting Life store on Yonge south of Lawrence) each Saturday evening from 6-8pm (this can also count for high school volunteer hours). We will also participate in a Nov 22 Presbytery (United Churches in Southeast Toronto) day-long retreat at the Christian Resource Centre about youth poverty in Toronto and Christian responses to it. Through a variety of activities, we will be engaging in both service and advocacy, action and critical reflection. Please contact Sheryl for more information or to express interest!
out of the cold poster
Hi All! We are wanting to evaluate our children’s ministry programs at Fairlawn, both now and as things change in the future. Please take a few moments to fill in this survey to give us a sense of how things are working for your family! We will be sending the survey around again in a year and probably again the following year – please help us track how things are changing so we can continue to tweak what we do. Thank you!!
Thanksgiving is a time when we as the church think about “extending our own dinner tables” beyond just the people who are actually there. Sometimes when we pray before Thanksgiving dinner we remember those who do not have a meal. Sometimes we donate food to food banks for those who struggle to buy enough food. Sometimes we invite people who might be alone to our house to eat. One way that Fairlawn “extends its table” is through the soup ministry. This ministry gives soup to people who are going through a difficult time or have been sick or injured. Or, sometimes we give soup to people just to let them know that we care and are thinking of them.
Spirit Space has been talking about the themes like community, sharing, and gratitude so far this year. One way that some kids chose to respond to the Bible story we talked about, the story of the Good Samaritan, was to make cards to go along with soup for the soup ministry. The images that you see on below are pictures of those cards. When we made the cards, we contributed to the work of “extending the table” that the soup ministry does. Since today is Thanksgiving, we invite everyone at Fairlawn to think about their own ways to extend God’s table of love.
As the Thanksgiving season draws near, we are bringing this song back into the Spirit Space program! The kids are learning the words to the chorus in sign language – ask them what they remember! :)