Sunday, May 11, 2014

Faithful Families Resources May 11 2014

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

Family Closeness
Paper tear outs
Write down a whole list of shapes on bits of paper and put them in a jar, eg. house, tree, boat, car etc. Someone picks a shape from the hat and calls it out, each player has a sheet of paper and tries to tear out that shape.(New Games for Community. Christine Gapes)

Simple patterns for table talk are often the best. It is good to have some questions that you might ask every week or night. However it is important that everyone really listens. Parents need to be careful they don’t fall into the habits or asking the question without really listening.

What is the best thing and the worst thing that happened to you today or this week?
What is something that you might say thank you to God for this week? (One for the adults particularly to share: Where have you been aware of God’s presence in your life this week? What “God moments” happened to you this week?)

With your family read John 14.1-11: Jesus is the gate
Questions for Discussion:

(for a way of explaining/talking about this reading with children look at

(The reading this week might be a tricky one for younger listeners to get a grasp on. Read it slowly and if necessary talk about each sentence. It is helpful to know that this reading takes place during the last supper and Jesus is preparing his disciples for what is ahead.)

What are the three things Jesus said he is? “I am the…”

How does Jesus say we can know God the Father?

What does it mean for Jesus to be:
 The way? 
The truth?
The life?

How does it make you feel to realize that Jesus has a place for you in His kingdom?

A hunter who was out on expedition got lost in the jungle with nothing but bush and a few cleared spaces. He found a local’s hut and asked him if he could lead him out. The local said he could. "All right," said the hunter, "show me the way." So they walked and hacked their way through unmarked jungle for more than an hour. The hunter got worried. "Are you quite sure this is the way? Where is the path?" The local turned around and knowingly smiled, "In this place there is no path. I am the path."

Prayer and Celebration
Touch Prayer
This week we invite you to use a prayer without words consisting only of touch. It is very simple. Using your finger write or draw your prayers on the palm of each others hands or backs. If you want you might speak these prayer out aloud once they are done. Make these prayers especially for the person whom you are drawing on.
Draw or write one good thing you want for this person?

All service in the community should start with prayer. In fact this is a great way for your family to begin serving the world. If you really want to begin doing something in your community ask God, as a family, to begin showing you the needs in your neighbourhood or community. Take your time in doing this. Discuss with your family what you have seen and pray about it asking God to guide you. If you identify an area you think God is prompting you to get involved in take the time to explore what it happening already in that area and what things you might get involved in. It is possible that there is nothing happening and this might require your family to take the time to listen to what God might want you to do. Through the whole process pray. This not only teaches children about pray but reminds us that as Christian our service is about participating in the kingdom of God and not building our own kingdom. 

Family Time
 Here are some more ideas for Family Fun Nights (see last weeks post)
Drama Night
Put on a drama together. Using stories from the bible is a great way to help children remember them and have fun doing so. Gather together dress up resources that could be used as costumes for each character.

Show and Tell Night
Get each of your family members to share something. It could be a picture they like, a hobby or interest, something they have learned, a joke or story, something they have made or made up, a game, something they found in the back yard.

Surprise Night
Plan something that will be a complete surprise to your family. Invite a guest or do something special or unusual.

(This material is based on and draws from earlier Faithful Families emails by Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning: An Unless Ideas Production.) Unless otherwise noted all material on this blog is copyright Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning

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