Does your crammed calendar announce commitment to church?

I have always considered that September trumps January in the “starting-anew” arena. September means a multitude of fresh possibilities!

Here’s something that may be new to you: Adding “church” to your family calendar.

Here is how my Sundays look:
(It may be how your Saturday looks if you attend at Green Wood)
Is church on your calendar

Have you considered the life-giving reasons why “church” should be on your calendar?

(a) Because research shows that active involvement in a faith community is a important factor in children becoming happy, healthy adults.

(b) Because church provides folks with a built-in extended family of positive role models.

(c) Because at church you can get to know a loving, forgiving God!
 

Get started with purposeful participation: delegate a block of time on your calendar for church!

a blue line

On another chronological note, we’ll be restarting the Workshop Rotation Model soon, after a break featuring our summer movie series.

Our first story of the new year will be The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Read about our story in Luke 10:25-37.

On Sundays, at the downtown location, here is the schedule….

Date Activities for 1st through 6th graders
9/6 Worship with your family. Read ahead of time, the scripture Nancy Lynn will be using: Luke 10:38-42 and James 2:14-17. Last week’s sermon was part one. Listen if you missed it.
9/13 Everyone participates in a Video Workshop in the Social Hall.
What a great way for all to be introduced to our story!

For the rest of the month, the 6th graders will do things a bit differently… (including special projects around our current Rotation). Stay tuned for a description of those activities!

Date Activities for 1st through 5th graders
Cooking Cooking Art Art
Social Hall A Social Hall B Room 211 Room 212
9/20 3rd grade & half of 5th grade 4th grade & other half of 5th grade 1st grade 2nd grade
9/27 1st grade 2nd grade 4th grade 5th grade 3rd grade will have a special Bible presentation class

And on Saturdays evenings, at the Green Wood location, here is the schedule…

Date Activity
9/5 Wrap up the summer movie series and find answers to the question: How can we show respect to God through our actions? See here for your family discussion guide.
Stay tuned for the rest of the month.

What’s happening in each workshop?

  • In the Video Workshop students will watch portions of the animated Veggie Tales video Are You My Neighbor?
  • In the Art Workshop students will decorate cards for the visitation team to distribute to our home-bound neighbors.
  • In the Cooking Workshop students will create homemade granola bars to distribute to a “neighbor.” Includes coming up with a broad definition of “neighbor.”

On Saturday nights and on Sunday mornings at FUMC our Cool Disciples experience Rotation Model Christian education, as they learn about Bible stories and concepts through kid-friendly multimedia workshops. If you are in the area please join us for the fun learning at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI.

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Can a simple, uplifting, tucked-in note be a huge gift?

Once again, they will go off to school. Carrying a backpack filled with practical supplies: pencils, paper, and pocket folders.

Walking upstairs

Did you include a note for your child to find?

Perhaps when she opened her lunch? Or concealed in his pencil case?
Or tucked into the sleeve of a carried-along jacket?

One of several backpack or lunch box blessingsDid you know that your note can speak powerful words? The very thoughts of God: a blessing.

Writing a note is a special chance to bless your child.

Get a set of free Lunch box / Backpack Blessing Notes here. (Two samples are shown.)

Another backpack blessing cardBlessing your child empowers them — indicating who they are and who they are meant to be.

 

Tuck encouraging words into your child’s day.

Get your Lunch box / Backpack Blessing Notes here. Want to write them out by hand? Feel free to copy!

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Photo credits:
Going up the steps by Jake Hills, who has released this photo to the Public Domain. Offered at unsplash.com.
Backpack blessings created with various Public Domain clipart from wpclipart.com.

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What do respectful actions look like? Does God care?

Can you believe that we are done with our summer movie series? Who is going to miss Clive and Ian?

Clive & Ian (and Monkey) in the Wonder-Blimp

Our question for today was:

How do we show God respect through our actions?

Use the discussion questions below to encourage a dialog with the Bible! Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together. Ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

Have some family time discussion…

  • Here’s a quiz. You see the following actions. What would you say is true about the person who is doing these actions?
    • Scowls at everyone.
    • Greets everyone with a smile.
    • Drops litter on the ground.
    • Holds the door for the person behind them.
  • Why are our actions important to God?
  • In our daily life, how we can show respect to the people around us? (Hint: Read the “Golden Rule” in Matthew 7:12.)
  • What would that look like at the dinner table at home? At recess on the playground? In the classroom? In the car?
  • How can we remember to act that way? Can we come up with a family code word that will mean: “change your behavior to be more loving”? How about “Matthew 7:12” or just “7-12?”
  • We often mess up. (We are only human!) What can we do when we flub up? (Ask for forgiveness and for help in being more loving.)

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Thanks for joining us this summer on our movie adventure. Stay tuned for the return of Rotation Sunday’s Cool on September 13th!


Photo credits:
Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

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Do helpful words, matter to God?

word cloud

You’ve heard the old rhyme about sticks and stones, and words not wounding?

So not true.

Our words do matter; to others, and to God!

God really cares about the words that we use and how we use them.

How do we know?

Join us for some discussion! Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together. Spread the questions out over several sessions. Ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

Have some family time discussion…

  • Do you find it easy or hard, to use kind words with someone you know well? What about with someone you dislike? With someone who is giving you a hard time?
  • Have you ever heard the expression: “Kill them with kindness” — what do you suppose it means?
  • Do you feel that there is a difference between acting kindly and true kindness that comes from the heart? How would the two look different?
  • The Bible has lots to say about how we should use our words. Take turns looking up a verse and talking about what it means to you: Luke 6:45, Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 16:24, Psalm 19:14, and Ephesians 4:29.
  • Several of these verses were from the book of Proverbs. Proverbs is a book full of short instructions on living wisely. Watch this short video about Proverbs. (If reading this in an email, you can watch this video on YouTube.)
  • The Bible tells us that our words are important to God. Why do you suppose God cares about what we say?
    Jesus taught that “A person’s mouth says everything that is in their heart” (Luke 6:45). God listens to what we say; it tells him what is in our innermost selves. God loves us. So of course God would care about us. And, since God loves everyone, he’d care about the effect our words would have on other people.
  • In class on Sunday we played a version of Chutes and Ladders. If your child didn’t bring home a game board, get two here. (This will download a Word doc to your downloads folder.) Use some coins as game pieces and toss a dice to play a quick round.
  • Bonus question: Would you attend a dance party on the Wonder-Blimp?
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    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


    Photo credits:
    A created word cloud by moi. Shared at flickr under a Creative Commons license.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

    My authentic self is flawed. How can God love me?

    I have often wondered how God could possible love me. When it comes to handling my life – I flub up. Often. I’m flawed!

    Yet God still loves me.

    One of the greatest things we can teach each other is that God loves us no matter what we do. I need constant reminders. And you?

    A love note from God

    In our adventures with Clive and Ian’s Wonder-Blimp, today’s query was:

    Does God Love Me When I Do Bad Things?

    Use the questions below to continue the discussion. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together. Ask these questions even if you missed today’s video showing!

    Have some family time discussion…

    • Have everyone share one thing that they noticed that the person on their left, did “right” today. (Allow all replies!)
    • Do we always do the right thing – all the time? What happens when we do something “bad”? (There are usually consequences!)
    • Do you suppose that there is anything that you can do that will make God love you less?
    • How can I be assured that God loves me?
    • God can be pretty hard to understand! We can only say, “Thank You God” for what Jesus did for us – dying for our sins. Jesus’ death and resurrection has brought hope to everyone!
    • Read in the Bible, the story of Peter disowning Jesus (Luke 22:54-62). Did Jesus stop loving Peter? (No!)
    • Sometimes we are like Peter. When we do wrong things, it’s like we turn our backs on Jesus. But through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God.
    • Buck Denver starts to tell us about commasBonus Question: Why do you suppose we need speed bumps (AKA: commas) in our sentences? What if every time we saw a comma, we were reminded that God loves us?

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    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


    Photo credits:
    Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

    How to hide reassuring words in our heart?

    Put God’s Word in our heartThis week in Sunday’s Cool, we talked about hiding God’s Word in our heart. What does that mean?

    We call the Bible, “God’s Word” so this means we are hiding the Bible in our heart.

    (If you’ve got a very literal kid they may wonder how one hides a book inside your body!)

    How does God’s Word get into your heart?

    It gets there when we know a verse (or verses) “by heart.” In other words, we have it memorized. This is not memory work like you would learn the facts for a test; this is a different sort of learning.

    It’s the ability to roll right off of your tongue, a reassuring message from God.

    This can be very useful when you’re faced with a challenge such as: Can I do this new task?

    Open quote markI can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

    OR

    Open quote mark Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

    So what are some ways to “put God’s Word in your heart?”
    • We used this one on Sunday: Learn the verse using Sign Language. We did this with Psalm 119:105 using signs for Word, Lamp, Feet, Light, and Path.
    • We also tried this one on Sunday: Say the verse using different accents or enunciations. Try using a British accent, a frog croak, a cowboy voice, a mouse squeak, a cheerleader yell, a Southern accent, opera style, and underwater. What others can you think of?
    • Use cup-stacking! (We also tried this one on Sunday.) Check out cup-stacking instructions for a 3-6-3 stack. (Refer to the lesson we used on Sunday for a chart of how to count the cups.)
    • Also, check out this post and this post, for more ideas.
    What ways can you learn up-lifting words?


    Photo credits:
    Clip art heart in the Public Domain. Altered by moi and stored at Flickr.

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    Do I stop listening when you stop reading?

    Buck Denver talks to Clive and Ian in the Wonder-BlimpEach week this summer we’ve been at the movies.We join Buck Denver as he asks Clive and Ian to investigate big questions about God and about our relationship with God.

    Clive and Ian's Wonder-Blimp of KnowledgeThe cool thing is… Clive and Ian find the answers using their Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge! Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Wonder-Blimp? Where would you fly your Airship of Intelligence?

    You can explore past questions here.

    Our question for today was:

    How do we show respect to God by listening to him?

    Use the questions below to continue the discussion. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together.

    Ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

    Have some family time discussion…

    • Would you say that you are good at listening? All the time? Sometimes? (Test everyone’s listening skills by playing a game of Telephone!)
    • Sometimes listening is really hard! Why do you suppose it is important to listen?
    • How does listening to someone show them respect – how does it say, “You’re important to me?”
    • What about listening to God – how can we do that?
    • What things could keep us from listening to God? (Lots of possible answers – getting busy with other activities, placing more emphasis on them than on our relationship to God…)
    • Reading the Bible counts as “listening” to God. Do we read the Bible? How do you suppose we can make Bible-reading a regular activity? (When we make reading the Bible important to us, it shows our respect for God!)
    • Do you suppose that listening stops as soon as the reading is finished? Or does listening in this case mean not just hearing, but putting what we’ve learned into action?
    • We practiced putting a Bible verse “into our hearts.” Review what we did here.
    • Bonus question: Should Clive and Ian install a tire swing or shag carpeting in the Wonder-Blimp?

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    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


    Photo credits:
    Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

    What Should I do When I’m Afraid?

    Monkey pilots Clive and Ian's Wonder-BlimpEach week this summer we’ve joined Clive and Ian in their Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge (expertly piloted by Monkey).

    We’ve been using the Wonder-Blimp to search for answers to big questions about God, and about our relationship with God.

     
    Our question for today was:

    What should I do when I’m afraid?

    What a good question! (Surely you’ve experienced fear!) Use these thought-provoking questions to continue the discussion. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together.

    Ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

    Have some family time discussion…

    • Have everyone share about a time when you felt afraid. (Parents too! Share about something that you used to fear when you were a child.)
    • What can you do when you are afraid?
    • How can God help us with our fears?
    • In a Bible, look up Philippians 4:6 in the New Testament. What does this verse tell us that we can do with our fears?
    • Give everyone a blob of Play-Doh and have them form whatever they would like to pray about. Place everyone’s objects in the center of the table and use them to pray.
    • Dr. Schniff reminded us that God is more powerful than whatever it is that you are afraid of, and God is always with us! Can you think of any Bible stories where God showed his power when people were afraid? (Try Mark 4:35-41 or Daniel 6:16-23.)
    • Bonus question: Do you suppose Monkey ever gets tired of piloting the Wonder-Blimp?

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    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


    Photo credits:
    Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.