Sunday, November 29, 2015

Faithful Families Resources November 29 2015

We are now in the season of Advent, a time that is focussed on waiting with anticipation. We wait with anticipation for the return of Christ; we relive in our own lives the expectation of the birth of Christ and his birth in our own heart every day. We wait with anticipation for the kingdom of God to be fulfilled on earth. Over these four weeks the material will be shaped around four themes that are relevant to this time: promise, waiting, journey and gift.

In addition to the weekly resources have a look at the special Advent  page for some ideas and resources on how to celebrate the season well in your home.

Weekly Inspiration
Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. 
John Ortberg

Family Closeness
Everyone closes their eyes and must guess how long a minute is, by opening their eyes when they think a minute is up. Try playing this game using a piece of music. Did players guess a longer or shorter time for a minute? Another way to play is to get everyone to walk between two walls trying to move slowly or quickly enough that they will reach the wall just as a minute is up. If you reach the wall before time you are out.
(Inspired by Christine Gapes. New Games for Community)

Questions for stimulating discussion in your family.

  • What do you hate waiting for?
  • When do you find waiting most difficult?
  • What do you do to make waiting easier?
  • What can’t you wait for?

With your family read Luke 3.1-6
(for a way of explaining/talking about this reading with children look at

Questions for Discussion:
  • How do we prepare for important guests in your house?
  • How might we prepare for Christmas?
  • How might we prepare for Jesus to change our lives? 

Prayer and Celebration
Advent Prayer Pattern
This pattern may be used this week to begin meal times or to begin a family sharing time.

It may begin by asking everyone to quieten down and to think about what it means to wait and to think of one word to describe that feeling. During the prayer the leader is going to say: “Waiting feels like…” and each person will be free to speak her word aloud. Parents might need to help little ones with a word that describes the feeling of waiting.

1.        Music. Choose a piece of gentle music to listen to. Try some different pieces each time to try and find one that expresses a feeling of waiting.

2.        Prayer: All of us wait. Each day brings its own dose of waiting. We wait in the dentist’s office, at sports practice, at school, for parents and children, for brothers and sisters. We wait for dinner to be ready, for the refund, for the letter from a friend. We wait to be big enough to ride the roller coaster, old enough to stay up late, secure enough to be on our own. Our waiting feels like…(give people a chance to voice their feeling) Advent calls us to celebrate waiting. Each time we wait, help us to remember how the world waited for a saviour. Help us to remember we are always waiting for your return. Help us find and recognise you in each other. As we wait. We are Advent people.

3.        Lord, the N…family is waiting for you.
All: Come, Lord Jesus.

(Rituals and Icebreakers. Kathleen O’Connel Chesto.Ligouri)


Now is a great time of year as we move towards Christmas to begin think about how you may serve those in need. Christmas can be a sad and lonely time of year for many people. How might your family serve Christ the King this Advent and Christmas, and make a different in people’s lives at the same time. Here are a few quick ideas.

  • Instead of or as well, buying gifts for each other buy an animal for a family overseas from an organisation like: Oxfam 
  • Serve in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

 Family Time
Nativity Exploration
 In this period as we move towards Christmas why not use art work to explore the story a Jesus birth. Apart from the many Christmas cards that you may receive the internet also provides a wealth of resources. If you go to you will find links to many depictions of the birth of Christ through the ages. Invite your family to choose their favourite picture and to describe what they like about it? Discuss the different pictures and what you find interesting in them. Get each member to draw their own nativity picture and explain it.

(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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