Monday, May 29, 2017

Faithful Families Resources for Pentecost 2017

 Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them. (Lady Bird Johnson)

50 days after Easter, at Pentecost, the Christian Church is born. A wonderful gift is given from God, for it is the day when the disciples are given the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, wind and fire were seen as signs to show that God was present. If you read the story in the book of Acts, it talks about the Holy Spirit coming as ‘wind’ and ‘fire.’ At Pentecost, the gift of the Spirit filled the disciples with the energy and power to speak so that people from many nations could understand them. It was an event that changed the world. Before the Holy Spirit came to rest on the disciples, they were confused and fearful. They longed for the good old days when all they had to do was follow Jesus' lead. We too are invited to receive this wonderful gift which empowers us to use the gifts we are given from God and to grow in the fruits of the Spirit that make us more Christlike.

Pentecost is a special time, and special times need special attention. Here are some resources to help you be faithful with your family this Pentecost.

Family Closeness
The Glad Game

Played with a touch of a Monty Python, comparisons are made to current situations and those that could be far worse. It can be a lot of fun, and whilst it can at first appear flippant and playful, it can deliberately move people and a family into more genuine attitudes of gratefulness. It can be played not just in one family session, but at any time at all, especially say the moment someone is caught complaining!
  • `I'd like a new pair of runners, but I am glad I have feet.' [What's that phrase?: 'I complained that I didn't have new shoes, until I met someone who didn't have any feet.']
  • `I wish we had a swimming pool, but I'm glad our neighbours let us use theirs.'
  • `I don't like broccoli, but I'm glad Mum and Dad cook dinner and not me.'
  • `I wish I could have a remote control car, but I am glad I have a bike that I can ride all by myself.'
  • `I don't want to go to bed now, but I am glad I have a bed to go to and a home to live in.'. . . .

These questions are to stimulate a sense of openness, sharing and discovery about your family. The key is to listen!
  • What is the most exciting gift you have ever been given?
  • What made it so great?
  • What is the most exciting gift you have ever given? Why was it so great?
  • What is something that you are good at? How do you use it to serve others?
  • What godly characteristics do you find in yourself and in your family: Kindness, gentleness, compassion, patience, hospitality, humour, generosity, mercy, justice, faithfulness, self-control, loyalty, love, trustworthiness, truth telling, straight talking honesty, . . . .  . .
  • Have you ever felt God’s presence in a special way? What happened? How did you feel?
  • Who is someone you know who seems to be filled with the Spirit? What are they like?


With your family read Acts 2.1-21: Pentecost
(for a way of explaining/talking about this reading with children look at

Questions for Discussion:
  • How did the Holy Spirit come upon the disciples? What happened?
  • How do you think you would have felt if you had been there?
  • What strange and special thing happened to the disciples because of the Holy Spirit?
  • What was the purpose of the disciples' ability to speak many languages?

A man returned to his home and played back his telephone answering machine to discover that his message to callers had not registered beyond his initial "Hello." Transcribed, the tape of the exchange between machine and one caller ran as follows:

"Hello." "Hello. Hello. . . hello!" (click.)
"Hello." "Hello, hello. . . hello, hello!" (click.)
"Hello." "Hello, hello. . . You see, operator, he says 'Hello,' but he won't say anything else."
"I'm sorry, sir. We can only connect you with your party. We cannot make him talk to you."
(Donny Silverman)

Prayer and Celebration
This is a day to celebrate and thank the Holy Spirit for all our unique and wonderful gifts.

We each have the character of God growing in us, the fruits of the Spirit, that enable us to minister in every part of our lives. 

Read some of the characteristics of God that grow in us and spend time reflecting on how the Holy Spirit might be growing these in you.

Kindness, gentleness, compassion, patience, hospitality, humour, generosity, mercy, justice, faithfulness, self-control, loyalty, love, trustworthiness, truth telling, straight talking honesty.

Which of these Godly characteristics do you see growing in your own life? Which one of these characteristics do you most need? Which one would help you the most in the way you serve God and others?

Pray today that God’s Holy Spirit might fill you: that the fruit of the Spirit might grow in you. Ask God how you might serve in the world, and ask God to help you to grow in the power of the Spirit.

Volunteering with Children
By Kelly Palmatier,

Volunteering with children is a great way to help them learn about giving back. Children learn valuable skills while "on the job." Homeschooled students, who may have more time available for volunteering, could also enjoy the additional socialization opportunities presented through volunteering. Another benefit of volunteering is children learn about the concerns of the organization and what need it fills in the community. Consequently, the children also have an opportunity to remember what they have to be thankful for.

See the rest of this article on children and volunteering at:
Family Time
Draw Attention to Yourself
  • Using any available materials, make large red or orange Pentecost symbols (paper tongues of fire, kites or windsocks, decorated balloons or pinwheels) to be displayed outdoors. On each symbol, write three gifts of the Spirit you have been given to serve God. 
  • Make a collage of warm colours to remind your family of the story of Pentecost.
  • Make up a dance using coloured streamers to portray the wind, fire and excitement of the disciples when they received the Holy Spirit.
  • Make up a list of words to describe 'fire' and 'wind', and then use them to write a poem
For more resources, visit

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