Advent: Angels Event – an Intergenerational & Family Event

Angels are, probably, one of the most used creatures in movies, art, theater, books, and other forms of media.  Yet, very rarely, are angels shown as the angels in the Bible.  Most of what people know about angels comes from the arts, not the Bible.

Hosting an Angelic Event during Advent encourages learning, Bible knowlege growth, fun, fellowship, and a way to keep the holiday season faith focused.

Families, congregation member, children and youth gather for stories of angels in the Bible verses the angels depicted in the arts.   This, also, encourages parents to be their children’s main faith teacher, build a time of community, encourage exploration and help families to think of church and faith beyond Sunday mornings.

I set this up as stations to encourage everyone to move about and explore.  One can have as many or as few stations as one would like.  I, also, set up a cookie and lemonade table for when people get hungry, as well as chairs for fellowship.

The stations I have used are:

  • Crafts- 2 Stations set up opposite in the room                                                                                                                          Coffee Filter Angel: need coffee filters, cotton balls, gold pipe cleaners                                                                            Ornament Angel: including a beaded angel (kit) and wood angel ornament (I use permanet markers for them to decorate so they can take it home with them that evening.)
  • Games and Puzzle Stations- Wood Searches, hidden objects, and mazes with angels.  I , also, copy a picture of an angel on cardstock for anyone to make into a puzzle Angel.  This is two stations.Matching Game- I have angels in art copied and let children cut them out to make into a matching game.  Will need scissors to cut the angels out and bags to put their game in to take home.Nativity Rock, paper, scissors (Mary, Joseph, Angel: Mary wins Joseph wins Angel, Angel wins Mary) and a Bingo game featuring angels in the arts and Biblical Stories with angels. (Nativity Bingo and Biblical Bingo are two already made sets you can purchase or make your own.)
  • Learning about Angels: Make Q & A posters (interactive-queston on one sheet taped to posterboard with answer on another piece of paper.  They lift up the question to read the answer.)  Questions include- What are the types of angels mentioned in the Bible?   What are the four roles of Cherubim? How many times are Seraphim mentioned in the Bible?  What forms do the Living Creatures Angels take?  What angels have names in the Bible? How many angels are there (according to the Bible)? Do angels have wings? Are angels easy to spot (see)?   What three people in the Bible does an angel come visit to tell them they will have a baby?  What does Gabriel’s name mean?   Were angels created by God or have they always been there?   Are guardian angels mentioned in the Bible?    The answers have Biblical Scripture text.
  • Angel Reading Station-books, angel dolls, angel statues, Christmas tree angels (Here is a few angel dolls to start off –one blonde and one brunette. For angel statues, here is one neutral hair and one child friendly.                   
  • Angels in the Arts-pictures with information of how angels have been depicted and any information about the artist, the media work, or the angel.   A book with some information and pictures in Angels in the Arts.           
  • Station with name tags and Information sheet for parents on activities to do with child for faith.
  • Small Child station with coloring pages, crayons, and simple crafts to make.
  • Ornament Angels (display of different angels borrowed from different people in the church.)

I schedule a volunteer at each station.  Every year, the ornament can be changes and other stations can be added.

 

Clicking on the links of items above and buying through the link, helps fund this site.  Thank you.

Advent Take Home Kits

Families love the take home kits that I have made for them.  It started in Lent in a Bag, Church on the Go, Jesus Home Kit, and now Advent Take Home Kits.  The theme this year is: Journey to Bethlehem: Share the Joy.

The kit contains a book with information, education, and lots to do.  There is information on what Advent is, how to make an Advent wreath, how to use an Advent wreath, worship services to practice at home, weekly meditations with readings and discussion, Christmas Eve and Christmas meditations and information about our church services.  Booklet is available for the cost of a donation.  Please email me at [email protected]  

The Kit, itself is in a “take out” box with a sticker showing Mary and Joseph traeling to Bethlehem.  I used take out containers to give it a fun feel (and to make it different from the other season’s kits.

In the box, I included objects to be used for the meditations in the booklet.  On week one, the reading is Isaiah 9: 1-7.  So the object is a jewel for families to pass around, as in a jewel from a king’s crown.  The jewel needs to be big enough for children not to swallow.  I liked these jewels as they look very impressive.

Week two’s reading is Luke 1: 26-55.  The object is a feather for angel’s wings.  I found this feather and liked it because it looked very different from a bird’s feather.

Week three’s reading is Luke 1: 10-25, 57-66.  The object is a baby blanket and picture of old couple with a baby.  For the baby blanket I used material squares.

Week four’s reading is Matthew 1: 18-24, Luke 2: 1-7.  The object is wood for Joseph.  I loved these tree slices for the rawness and the way one can tell it is from a tree.  I loved the way the slices feel too.

Christmas Eve’s reading is Luke 2: 9-20.  I used sheep wool for the shepherd’s story object.  This sheep’s wool will need to be cut into small 2 inch squars, but makes for a wonderful feeling object.

Christmas Day, the meditation moves from the journey to Bethlehem to the journey to Easter.  The object is a cross that the family can decorate.

The Advent kits are designed for families to use to help the preparation of Christmas be about faith, time together, understanding and joy.  They can spend as little as once a week up to three times a week doing things in their kit.  They can include visiting family and friends.  It gives thema chance to share about the exciting things happening at their church.

Our kit, also, includes a Christmas ornament (picture of the church in snow printed on cardstock) and a Christmas card from the staff.

Another item to include would be Advent candles for a wreath (or making them available  for purchase.)  For purple candle set or blue candle set, click on the color to get the link (or click on any of the items to get the link to the items I used.)  Any item purchased through the link, helps to fund this site.

 

Getting Ready For Fall: Bible Presentations

Once upon a time, every house was filled with Bibles. Bibles were read together as a family. That was long ago. Many parents feel lost when it comes to the Bible and many children find the language difficult to understand. Bridging the Sunday Morning “Box” with home life, means helping parents navigate this important part of our faith.

Every Fall, at the end of September, I present those entering Second Grade and those new to our church family in other Elementary Grades above Second, a Bible. This is done during the service. Children are invited up to the front of the church. A prayer and a blessing is said over the books and over them.

The Bible we have given out over the last three years is Deep Blue Kids Bible. I did lots of research on this Bible and chose this one because it was easty to read, had lots of additional information for children, and had hints for parents. We use this Bible in our Sunday School Class, as well. This Bible will carry the children until they are ready to start Middle School.

If you are looking for a Bible for those entering First Grade, I recommend My First Message

I always put a sticker in the front of every Bible or book we give out saying it was a gift from the church. That way as the child grows up, it is a reminder that they are a member of a church family, wherever they are.

I, also, have a sheet inside the Bible with encouragements on reading together as a family. I let them know that questions will arise and that is good, because asking questions opens up the world, faith, and spirituality to them. I will always answer any questions!

Clicking on the Bibles will take you to a link to purchase them. Purchasing the Bibles through these links helps fund this site.

LEGO® My Bible: Intergenerational Fun & Learning

LEGO®S are loved by everyone in every age bracket. For the last year, we have used them in several capacities to encourage Bible reading, attendance in Sunday School, an evening gathering, and a Sunday morning event after church services in the Summer.

At each event, I choose a story from the Bible for each group. If I have six tables set up, then I choose six different stories. I place two to three different translated Bibles, blank sheets of paper, pencils, pens, an instruction sheet, and a list of questions.

The question sheet includes who is this story about, where did the story take place, what happened before the story, what didn’t you like, what did you like,and how can you show this story to others?

The instructions start with a prayer, asking them to pray together, them tell them to read the story and discuss the questions. Upon finishing the discussion, they draw what they are going to build to show the story. I have a cart full of LEGO® sorted by color, along with a box of people. After they have built their story, they are instructed to write a one page paraphrase of their story and a prayer.

For Sunday School classes, I use Building Faith Brick by Brick. When we started to have our Spring slump, this energized our older elementary grades. The children and youth could not wait to come and finish their group projects. We displayed all finished products in a prayer walk opened to our whole parish.

For Inergeneratinal Events, I encourage seating at tables of various ages. Young and old work together to create a Bible piece. It encourages people to get to each other in a fun way.

For a bridge between family and Sunday morning, I encourage families to take a story home and bring their pieces and stories back the following Sunday.

For inspiration, purchase the Brick Bible or for use with younger children to help share what is happening in the parish. For additional fun, take pictures of the created pieces and make your own Bible.

For teens, who enjoy sets, there is a Last Supper kit, but I like the idea of them creating their own pieces.

One of the hardest and most expensive pieces are the people. I have included a link for buying a large set at an inexpensive price –people set.

Click on any of the highlighted items to see what I used.  Any items purchased through this link helps to fund this site.