During the month of January (the season of Epiphany), the children were invited to wonder about Jesus’ call to love and how people follow (‘many people follow Jesus’). The younger children learned that Jesus loves and seeks the ba-a-a-d sheep and they responded to the story by searching for the lost sheets (cotton balls) hidden around the room. They also talked about Jesus loving the little children, welcoming them, and blessing them when the disciples wanted to turn them away.
The 4-7 year old children were invited to wonder about Magi, ordinary men, and also tax collectors and sinners who followed Jesus. On Epiphany, they were given a gold coin and scented fabric to remind them of the gifts that the Magi brought to Jesus. The 8 to 10 year olds focused on loving people this month, namely serving their parents, choosing to offer forgiveness, and encouraging one another. Each week they encourage one person and each say something that they enjoy or like about them.
During the remainder of the season of Epiphany, the children will continue be invited to hear Jesus’ call to love and people’s responses to follow him. More specifically, they will wonder about the story of how Jesus receives and sees beauty in a woman’s extravagant worship and the story of his transfiguration. During Lent (beginning February 13), the children will be invited to notice the people Jesus noticed (‘Jesus loves people’), beginning with the sick and the poor.
In a month when I have not been with the children, I am struck by their very significant presence in my experience of worship and church. Their lack of inhibition and at times social etiquette offers a realness that invites us in to freedom and honesty. I think of children who bow before the cross during worship, dance wildly flaying head and body, cry out for another song, or lean over and whisper, ‘is that Jesus’ blood?’. They are truly great teachers for whom I am grateful.
We always welcome others to come alongside to join in and participate in worship with the children. Please feel free to contact Liz or I should you be interested.
Laura Menze (Older Children)
Liz Bruner (Younger Children)