Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Advent Prayer Bags

This year I have seen a variety of lovely ideas online for helping children and families to get involved with the Advent season.  Drawing on some of the ideas I've seen, I've come up with a little bag of things to give out (along with prayer ideas for each item) which will take people through some of the main Advent themes.  Putting the bags together doesn't take all that long when you have everything you need and it's quite therapeutic to paint a whole load of Baby Jesus stones!

If you want to find out a bit more about the baby Jesus stones, click here.

For each bag you will need: A prayer sheet (click here to print), A felt or paper star, a felt or paper heart, a pipe cleaner, a baby Jesus stone, a tea light candle, an organza drawstring bag (I used purple bags to reflect the liturgical season.

First paint your baby Jesus stones. I used white and brown paint and a black paint marker (but a sharpie would probably work too). I also covered the finished painting with glossy mod podge. Varnish would work too, but this part isn't strictly necessary!

Next, fill your bags with one of each item and give them out!  Keep in touch with your families if you can and see how the bags are working out :-)

The contents of the prayer sheet are below:

Advent Prayer Bags 

Prepare for Christmas with some special Advent prayers.

The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.  Isaiah 9:2

What do you hope for?
Light the candle and ask God to bring His light and hope to people who are finding life hard.

Who do you love?
Hold the heart and say thank you to God for all the people you love and who love you.

What brings you joy?
Bend the pipe cleaner into a symbol for something that makes you happy. Ask God to help those who are sad to feel His joy.

The wise men followed the star to search for Jesus. Hold the star and pray for all those who are searching for peace in a troubled world.

Christmas Day
Make a special bed for your baby Jesus stone to lie in and light your candle again. Thank God for sending Jesus to be a light in the darkness and trouble of the world. Pray that you will be a light in the darkness too.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Advent Journey Colour in Labyrinth

One of the themes that runs through accounts of the birth of Jesus is that of 'journey'. Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the shepherds, all make their own journey towards Jesus and his birth.  

This 'colour-in' reflection on the journey theme takes children through a labyrinth maze to the nativity star at the centre.  While they are thinking about the journeys the various characters take, children might also be able to explore their own journeys towards finding out more about Jesus.

Click here to print the page.

Talk about:
  • Why do we go on journeys?
  • What is it like to go on a journey?
  • How might these people have felt as they travelled?
  • What does it feel like to reach the end of your journey?
  • Which 'journey' character do you think you are?

As you trace the path, pray for people who are on a journey, far from their homes. Pray that they will get to their destination safely.  Pray for all those who are on a journey, trying to find out about Jesus.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Light of the World Sun Catchers (with printable picture sheet)

This is one of our most popular crafts at last week's Messy church and was a hit with all ages- from adults down to the youngest children.  These sun catchers are great to colour and display in your window.  Let the light shine through!

You will need: Clear acetate, Sharpies or permanent markers, copies of the picture sheet. To print the sheet click here

Print off the picture sheet and either 

1:Photocopy it onto clear acetate, cut out the individual pictures and let children colour them with markers


2. Lay clear acetate over the top of the picture sheet so that children can trace over the outlines of the pictures with black marker before cutting out the picture and colouring the rest of it in.

Have fun!