DIG Discussion Guide 2/22

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Toddlers playing on Sunday
February’s Memory Verse:
Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God-Matthew 5:8, Seeds of Faith (vol. 2, track 8)

Below are the scriptures and some questions discussed in DIG classes on 2/22.

Preschool-Jesus and the Storm, Mark 4:35-41 

*I wonder what it was like to be in such a great storm?

*I wonder why the wind and the sea did what Jesus said?

*I wonder why the disciples are following Jesus?

Grades K-1- Review

Our K-1 students took time to look back at the Jesus Storybook Bible and their portfolio, a binder full of their reflections from the year and picked a favorite one.  Here are some questions that were discussed:

*What stories and reflections did you enjoy?

*What do you remember about them and like about them?

*What did you learn about God and Jesus through them?

Grades 2-4-Jonah 1

*I wonder why Jonah tried to go to Tarshish instead of Ninevah?  

*I wonder why God let him go to Tarshish?

*I wonder what it was like when Jonah was thrown into the water and swallowed by a fish?

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Blocks used to tell Jonah 1 (above)

Middle School: Month’s Theme: Who The Holy Spirit?

 * Who is the Holy Spirit? (Gen 1:2, John 14-16)


High School Community Group: 

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Lent Devotionals

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In the middle of the snowiest New England winter, it’s hard to start thinking about Easter.  Today, Ash Wednesday begins Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. Traditionally Lent is a time where Christians repent and direct our eyes to Christ.

I love starting something new, to recenter, to reconsider.  Just as we adults need this, so do our kids.  Like advent, Lent is a wonderful time for us as families to remember what God has done for us particularly looking at Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

Below, I’ve gathered titles of devotionals and music to use during the Lenten season, some geared for families and some for adults that can be modified to be used with children.

Lent Devotionals

Trail to the Tree by Ann Voskamp- This free Lent and Easter devotional is similar to her advent devotional Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.  You can download the plan, along with ornaments to make an Easter Tree at the bottom of the following blogpost:

Why You May Really [Really] Need Lent this Year [and a Free Family Lent & Easter Devotional]

Lenten Lights By Noel Piper-  This is another free Lent devotional, to be used weekly.  It includes instructions in using the tradition of the 7 lenten candles.

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/lenten-lights

A Call to Live This is a free Lent devotional put out by World Vision.  Each week centers around a different topic of how Christ calls us to live in response to what he has done for us.  Includes scriptures, questions, and readings.

http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/pages/lent-2009

Devotions for Lent from the Mosaic Bible  This very affordable devotional includes scripture readings, readings from Christian leaders throughout history, and paintings that all narrate Jesus’ life and journey to the cross.

http://www.amazon.com/Devotions-Lent-Holy-Bible-Mosaic-ebook/dp/B0036FOGKQ

Reliving the Passion By Walter Wangerin

http://www.amazon.com/Reliving-Passion-Walter-Wangerin-Jr/dp/0310755301/ref=pd_sim_b_7?ie=UTF8&refRID=1TPR09201A11Q5F8EH0D

Living the Christian Year: Time to inhabit the story of God by Bobby Gross

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0830835202/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=33817003795&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16318515556659536083&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_7e2kbl6j4e_e

God is on the cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

http://www.amazon.com/God-Is-Cross-Reflections-Easter/dp/0664238491Music

Music for Lent

Many bands have special music for the Lenten season.  The 2 groups below focus on historic hymns and worship music for Lent and Easter.  Their music can be found on iTunes and Spotify.

Page cxvi, Lent to Maundy Thursday

http://pagecxvi.com/

Ordinary Time, Around the Table, and Until He Comes

http://music.ordinarytimemusic.com/

Throughout Lent, I’ll share some activities to do with children. There is no one way to prepare for Easter. Pick a simple ritual and begin a tradition that works for you. The most important thing is that Christ might become bigger in our lives and the lives of our kids.

Communion and Children

bfb140317-last-supperHere at BeFree, elementary and middle school children attend the communion portion of our service, on the third Sunday of each month. This month we celebrate Communion this Sunday 2/15.

Here are some guiding thoughts and questions to help prepare your child for Communion:

 What is Communion?

Communion is a church sacrament that Jesus began during the Last Supper. It serves to help Christians remember and celebrate what Jesus accomplished on the cross as our Savior and Redeemer. It is important to clarify that the elements symbolize Christ’s body and aren’t his actual flesh.

Some helpful passages to read with children:

*Last Supper accounts in the Gospels (See Matt 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13-14)

*The Servant King story in Sally Lloyd Jones’ Jesus Storybook Bible

When should children begin to take Communion?

Although scripture is silent on when children should begin Communion, all children who have professed faith in Jesus and are actively participating in all other aspects of the worship gathering (singing, prayer, etc.) are welcome to participate. This is a very personal decision for families to make and we trust that you will prayerfully consider when your child is ready.

If your child doesn’t seem ready, we still welcome them to sit quietly and observe. It is very valuable for children to experience the rhythms of corporate worship so that they can begin to understand these structures and feel comfortable about participating themselves.

What does it look like to take Communion?

Whether or not your children participate in Communion, it is helpful to talk with them about how to prepare their hearts, minds and bodies for Communion. This includes:

*We walk slowly and quietly. We sit calmly.

*We are silent or use whisper voices unless joining in singing.

*We take one cup and piece of bread.

*We hold the elements until the leader signals for everyone to partake.

*We think about: what Jesus did for us on the cross, give him thanks, examine hard things we need to give to him.

*Refer to Paul’s instructions on Communion (See 1 Corinthians 11)

Additional Resources:

*These are two great blog posts that I used to help write this handout:

http://www.thevillagechurch.net/the-village-blog/should-my-child-take-communion/

http://www.northwake.com/children-and-the-lords-supper/

*This is short video of Tim Keller explaining the significance of Communion, geared for adults. http://www.jesus.org/following-jesus/communion/what-are-the-purposes-of-the-lord-s-supper.html

*Check back on this blog next week. On Sunday, the elementary and middle school DIG classes are devoted to explaining Communion’s meaning, purpose, and expectations. I’ll post the kids questions about Communion, along with more child friendly resources.

DIG Discussion for 2/1

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February’s Memory Verse:
Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God-Matthew 5:8, Seeds of Faith (vol. 2, track 8)

Below are the scriptures and some questions discussed in DIG classes on 2/1.

Preschool-A New Teaching, Mark 1:16-20 

*I wonder if sick people were sad because they were sick?

*I wonder what the people thought when they saw Jesus?

*I wonder if the poor man felt like he wanted to trust Jesus?

Grades K-1- Daniel and the Scary Sleepover (Jesus Storybook Bible), from Daniel 6

*I wonder how Daniel felt when he heard the King’s new law?

*I wonder why the other officials wanted to get Daniel in trouble?

*I wonder if Daniel felt God’s presence in the lion’s den? What was that like?

Grades 2-4-Review of the year so far

*I wonder what was one reflection you really liked creating?  

*I wonder what about the story you remember?

*I wonder what you learned about Jesus or God?

Middle School: Month’s Theme: Who is Jesus?

 * What was Jesus’ life like? What does it mean that he was perfect? (1 John 3:5, 1 Peter 3:18)

High School Community Group: Exodus

*Why does God select certain people to carry out his plans?  Why Abraham, Moses, etc?

*After studying Moses’ example, how do you respond when you don’t see what you thought was God’s plan working out the way you thought it would? (Ex. Moses asking Pharaoh to let the Israelites go but Pharaoh responding by oppressing them more.)