Christian Education – March‘18

Share Fair – This new event will be smack  dab in the middle of our season for One Great Hour of Sharing.  The Mission Committee has loaned each student $20 to make items for our Share Fair.  The students will be making a variety of items, including bracelets, bookmarks and other items to “Sell” for a donation to the congregation on Sunday, March 11.  The students will pay back their “loan” and the profits from their sales will go to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering!  Please plan to join us on March 11 for this very special event!

Youth Group – This month, we’ll have a gathering on March 11 following the Share Fair and on Sunday, March 25 in the Youth Room.  Please be sure to RSVP if you can make it!

Chili Cook Off! – Congratulations to our winners!!  Our Chili Champ was Karla Geyman with Taco Chili, 2nd place went to Maggie Layne with White Chicken Chili, 3rd place and Kids’ Choice Award went to Katie Stygles with Low-Carb Chili.  Thank you so much to everyone who brought chili for the competition and voted with their dollars!  With the help of several major donors, including our friends Janet & Larry Sorrells, we met our $1800 goal! 

“Souper Bowl” of Caring – We had an AMAZING “Souper Bowl” of Caring collection on Feb 4.  We were able to raise $1282.13 for the Backpack Program here at First Presbyterian Church.

We Meet – We are in swing with our late winter We Meet dinners!  Everyone is welcome to join us on Wednesdays at 6:00 for fellowship and delicious food.  We take turns cooking and are always looking for new chefs!  Please make plans to join us for card making at 5:30 and dinner at 6:10.  RSVPs are appreciated, but not necessary!  Be sure to check out our sign-up sheet if you’re willing to take a turn cooking the meal.  Warm food and warm friendship abounds!  

Stewardship is Heart Work – Help children to see that God has given them many blessings.  You can do this by challenging children to make a list of God’s gifts to them.  You can also regularly compliment children on their special gifts- simple things like nice handwriting, pretty smile, nice coat to keep you warm, etc.  Remind them that these special gifts are blessings from God and offer ideas to them about how they can be grateful or share their gift with someone else.  By encouraging your child to recognize their talents and talents of other people, even simple talents like being strong enough to carry a box or clever enough to figure out a word problem, you’re teaching your child to be grateful for their talent and to recognize talent in others. 

Sacred Space – During the month of March we’ll be working on the story of Easter and Holy Week, including putting together a special display for the lobby and for Easter Sunday.  We’ll also be spending some time talking about our Share Fair and how they can be involved.

 PrayGround – If you’ve been in our Narthex, you’ve noticed a new area called the “PrayGround”.  This area is designed for our young members to have a space to move and play quietly, while still being able to see and observe our worship service.  The PrayGround has a table with coloring pages, books and other soft toys.  We will continue to have the PrayGround available as a welcoming feature to our congregation, families and visitors.  

Ways to Prepare for Easter

  1. Set aside family devotional time.Start 10 days before Easter, and set aside time as a family to read Scriptures about the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
  2. Listen to your favorite Easter hymns.Between work, home, bills, committee meetings and church gatherings, we know life is busy. Why not fill your vehicle with some of your favorite Easter tunes? Introduce old hymns to your kids and sing along. After all, lyrics such as “on a hill far away stood an old rugged cross” have a way of touching our hearts, reminding us of His sacrifice, love and grace.
  3. Organize a family service project. Read John 13 together, and decide as a family how you might reach out and bless others. For that is exactly what Jesus asks us to do. Maybe it’s as easy as visiting an assisted living location and joining them for a puzzle, bingo or reading aloud to them.
  4. Create a Count Down to Easter calendar. Miss Adriane has ideas and materials that you can use to make a series of boxes to open from Palm Sunday through Easter.
  5. Make an Empty Tomb cake. You can google instructions or ask Miss Adriane for a simple recipe.
  6. Read the Bible. YouTube has a variety of Lenten Bible reading plans or you can contact the church office to get a copy of Pastor Mary Jane’s devotional for Lent.  The Jesus Storybook Bible has beautiful illustrations and easy read aloud style stories.  Miss Adriane has a couple of copies of this Bible or you can order it on Amazon.
  7. Watch a movie interpretation of the Bible. The Bible Mini Series that was on TV is now available on Amazon.  You can also find adult and children versions of the Jesus Movie online for free.  Take time to discuss discrepancies on interpretation as a family and be sure to preview the film before showing it to your children to be sure its age appropriate.
  8. Dye eggs and talk about how eggs represent the resurrection and the Trinity
  9. Make Hot Cross Buns, Pretzels or Empty Tomb rolls
  10. Focus on new life and fresh starts. We all struggle with mistakes and sometimes it’s hard to forgive ourselves no matter what our age. Jesus conquered sin and death and now we have abundance that is sometimes hard to remember the day after Eater.  Try memorizing a verse that inspires you to remember that YOU are forgiven and Jesus gave us a fresh start.

Sacred Space at Home

Practicing faith at home is an important gift that families give one another. Bedtime prayers, mealtime blessings, in-the-car and on-the-go prayers, simple songs, and Bible stories are common things to do together. Although they may seem awkward at first, they will grow to become significant points of conversation and reflection for everyone involved.

Getting Started…
• Set a time and place for these sacred conversations: around the breakfast or dinner table, on the way to school, at bedtime. Take 2 minutes. Set a timer so everyone knows the end.
• Put something in the space to remind everyone what you will do there: a cross, a Bible, a hymnal, a flower or leaf or other small piece of the outdoors, or paint or color a picture together.
• Ask family members what they want to include in the time. A scripture verse or story? The same prayer every day (perhaps the Lord’s Prayer) or spontaneous prayers that each person can say?

Try one of these models:

Daily Examen
1) Remember your day. Remember the people and places you saw, and the things you did.
2) Notice the gifts. Notice the moments of love and grace and goodness. Give thanks to God.
3) Notice the hard times. What wrong did you do? When did you sin by not doing enough?
4) Look to tomorrow. Ask for God’s grace tomorrow, and pray for God’s help in all that you think and do.

Daily Hi/Lo Prayers
1) Share your day’s highs (highlights, best, favorite moments) and lows (sad, hard moments).
2) Read a Bible verse or story.
3) Discuss how the Bible reading relates to your highs and lows. Where was God in the story? Where was God in your day?
4) Pray for one another’s highs and lows.

Written by Sweet Hollow First Presbyterian Church