Surf Shack VBC – Friday

Surf Shack Vacation Bible Camp logo

The report from day 5, the last day of our time together with 145 surfers at the Surf Shack — Vacation Bible Camp at FUMC, where we have been…

Catching the wave of God’s amazing love!

(Check out all of our Surf Shack VBC posts with slideshows (scroll down to view each individual day.)

Our day started at Tidal Tunes with singing, of course! (I’m going to miss this!) But you know what? Your child can once again be up-front this coming Sunday as we’ll be singing our favorite song (Shine Bright) in the church service at FUMC. Put on your VBC t-shirt and please do join us at 9:30!

Skippy and Snappy, were curious this morning. They wondered what strange breakfasts surfers had experienced in the past. It was fun to hear some of the responses. Snappy got a little nervous when one surfer said they’d had crab for breakfast!

crabs for breakfast

Skipper was asking questions about our morning meal because today’s Bible story was about a breakfast on a beach. You can read our story in the Bible at John 21:1-17. Our story includes an amazing fishing incident where, after many fruitless tries to catch fish, Jesus’ disciples listen to Jesus as he urges them to “try again.” At that, the disciples catch an abundance of fish! They then join Jesus for breakfast on the beach. Afterwards Jesus sends them into the world to tell the Good News about Jesus’ love.

That ties right into our Wave Words for the day…

God Sends!

There are lots of instances in the Bible where God reminds us that he wants us to go into the world. Listen to our Pop-Up Verse

Open quote markThen I heard the Lord’s voice saying, ‘Whom should I send, and who will go for us?’ I said, ‘I’m here; send me.’ (Isaiah 6:8)

I’m wondering if we will willingly join in and say, “I’m here. Send me!”

The Grad Group gathers up all of the cereal boxes to be counted.The Grad Group counted all of the donated cereal boxes and coins. The report: Boxes of cereal… 170 and for Camp Garjay in Liberia… $500.64 (Double chill!) They delivered the last load to Bryant Community Center. After that, they had some outdoor group games at Burns Park. A very successful week of service for our Grad Group!

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Here’s a video from Wednesday of Go With the Flow.

If reading this in an email, you may need to watch the video at this link.

 
VBC for next year
 
And… Put these dates on your calendar now!
 
Thanks for sharing your kids with us. I hope to see you on Sunday!

 
~~ Carol, on behalf of the VBC Team

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Interested in a little taste of VBC every week? Read about our awesome way of teaching kids all about our loving God. We’ll be starting up again on Sunday, September 11th.


Photo credits:
Surf Shack images used by permission of Cokesbury.
Rest of photos… special thanks to Tom Gardner for the videos and multitude of pictures every day, and to Beth, Melanie, Wendy, Juli, Mary, and Tori.

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Surf Shack VBC – Thursday

Surf Shack Vacation Bible Camp logoIt’s day 4 of our time together at the Surf Shack VBC (Vacation Bible Camp) at FUMC, where we have been…

Catching the wave of God’s amazing love!

(Check out all of our Surf Shack VBC posts. They are loaded with pictures!)

Snappy tried to stay low.We got right down to singing today at Tidal Tunes. We were amped! (Did you know that “amped” is surfer lingo for “really looking forward to a surf.”) It was a few minutes before we realized that Snappy was frightened! Snappy was afraid of the stormy weather we’d had! All of that thunder…

What do you do when you are afraid? How do you calm yourself down? You saw what Snappy did! He (she?) hid! I wonder if we heard some hints on other ways to deal with our fears, as we soon learned that…

God Calms!

That’s good to know isn’t it. Because sometimes I feel all confused inside, like my thoughts are jumbled and I’m headed for a shipwreck! It is good to be reminded that God can provide peace to any situation, and can calm our fears.

Over the course of the morning we heard about a Bible story where Jesus really calmed things down! He calmed the wild wind and waves! You can read this story in Luke 8:22-25.

Today’s Pop-Up Verse is a good one to put to memory.

Open quote markThe God of peace will be with you.   Philippians 4:9b

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What did we do today? At the bottom of this post, is a slideshow of photos with captions that tell the story of what your kids engaged in today.

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Continue the learning at home!

Here are a couple of questions to talk about around the family dinner table or wherever your family gets together:

  • When is a time when you faced a troubling situation. How did you handle it?
  • When the storm happened in our Bible story, Jesus was asleep in the boat! His disciples must have thought that Jesus didn’t care. Have you ever felt that way – wondering if God cares what is happening in you life? Our story shows us that God does care! Knowing that God cares about us gives us something we can do during a storm: trust in God.
  • Just because we believe in Jesus do you suppose that means that we’ll be less likely to have difficulties in our life? (Nope. Storms happen to us all.) Think about this: what do you suppose it would be like to go through a hard time if you didn’t believe in Jesus?
  • After Jesus calmed the storm, he asked his disciples: “Where is your faith?” How would you describe your faith right now? Could you handle a frightening situation? (It is interesting to note that John Wesley often asked a similar question of his fellow Christians: “How goes it with your soul?”)

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Enjoy the slide show! (Start it by clicking the triangle button.) And, a blessing for your day…

May you trust in Jesus through storms in your lives!

~~ Carol, on behalf of the VBC Team

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Photo credits:
Surf Shack images used by permission of Cokesbury.
Rest of photos courtesy of various volunteers at VBC!

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.

Surf Shack VBC – Wednesday

Surf Shack Vacation Bible Camp logo

It’s day 3 at the Surf Shack — Vacation Bible Camp at FUMC and we are…

Catching the wave of God’s amazing love at
Surf Shack!

(Be sure to visit all of the days of our hanging out together at the Surf Shack.)

We were amped for Tidal Tunes today! (Did you know that “amped” is surfer lingo for “really looking forward to a surf.” Yep, we were amped.) We learned one new song — Go With the Flow — and sang the “repeats.” Watch this:

If reading this in an email, you may need to watch the video at this link.


 
Skippy and Snappy the Crab were back. Snappy sure used some big words today: Crabulous and crabtastic! What will Snappy say next?

Each day we are learning more about God. Today we learned that:

God Loves!

In particular, we heard about a big way that one day God gave some “thumbs up” type of love. It happened in a river. (Have you noticed that all of our stories this week have been about water?)

What was the big thumbs up? Right after Jesus was baptized God told everyone…

Open quote markThis is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.

That is from the Bible in Matthew 3:17b. We can read all about this event in Matthew 3:13-17, and in John 1:29-34. I’m sure it was a crabtastic experience for Jesus!

VBC refridge magnet day 3 - God LovesTo help us remember today’s Wave Words — “God Loves” and our Pop-Up Verse, we got another Scripture Treasure magnet!

Are you lining yours up on the fridge? Are you able to say them all? That’s like storing up God’s good words in your “heart.” (Need other ways to help your kids learn Bible verses? Check this out.)

 
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At the bottom of this post, is a slideshow of photos that tell the story of what your kids did today. Talk about it while you look at the pictures.

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What did the Grad Group do today? They worked on another mission project, of course! They delivered cereal boxes to the Bryant Community Center. While they were there they also helped clean up and weeded. They sure are being God’s hands and feet this week. Oh, and they also reported our fund raising results so far. We’re getting closer to our goal! Boxes of cereal: 71. Money for Camp Garjay in Liberia: $202.94 so far!

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Continue the learning at home!

Here are a couple of questions to talk about around the family dinner table or wherever your family gets together:

  • Today we learned that God loves. Who is someone that you love? What are some ways you show your love to that person?
  • We can show our love to others. What about ways we tell them we love them? When was the last time you said words of praise to someone else?
  • When God gave Jesus a “thumbs up,” God said that Jesus was his son and that he loved Jesus. Re-read today’s Pop-Up Verse. Have your child close his or her eyes as you say this to them: “You are my child whom I love. I find happiness in you.” (You’ve just blessed your child! Read all about the importance of regularly blessing your kids.
  • Here’s a couple of Bible questions: What Testament are the books of Matthew and John in? What are the names of the four books that start off the New Testament? (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) What do we call those four books, collectively? (the Gospels) Can you tell me what the word “gospel” means? (good news) What is the good news in today’s story?

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Enjoy the slide show! (Start it by clicking the triangle button.)

See you tomorrow!

~~ Carol, on behalf of the VBC Team

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Photo credits:
Surf Shack images used by permission of Cokesbury.
Rest of photos courtesy of various volunteers at VBC!

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.

Surf Shack VBC – Tuesday

Surf Shack logo

Welcome back to highlights of our Surf Shack – day two! It’s Vacation Bible Camp (VBC) at FUMC where we are…

Catching the wave of God’s amazing love at
Surf Shack!

(Be sure to visit all of the days of our hanging out at the Surf Shack.)

We learn a new song, with more motions.

Tidal Tunes was once again an epic time! (Did you know that “epic” is surfer lingo for “awesome.”) We learned new songs, and of course we had to sing the “old” ones. Singing is so much fun! Even Snappy joins in.

Skippy and SnappyWe were just getting started and Skippy got a call on her “shell phone.” (Yep, it was a shell.) That meant we needed to watch the video feed from the Surf Central Factory. I wonder what sort of board they will design today? It will have something to do with helping because today we learned that:

God Helps!

We heard about a time when God helped a small baby named Moses. It was interesting how God helped Moses. God didn’t flash lightening bolts, instead he worked “behind the scenes” — it was a case of God at work helping, through people.

You see, Moses was living in some tough times. There was a king called “Pharaoh” who was afraid of the increasing number of Hebrews that were living in Egypt. So to try and stop them, he tried to kill all the Hebrew baby boys. But it didn’t work with Moses!

Our surfers met three awesome women: Moses’ big sister Miriam, Moses’ mother and Pharaoh’s daughter. God helps Moses by helping these women make bold choices. And Moses’ life is saved! Surfers realize that they too can trust in God for help in their lives.

VBC refridge magnet day 2 - God HelpsTo help us remember this, we’ve got another Scripture Treasure magnet! It has today’s Wave Words — “God Helps” and it has our Pop-Up Verse for the day, which is:

Open quote markYour help has made me great.   Psalm 18:35b

And of course we also reviewed the Overall theme verse for the week: Nehemiah 4:14b.

Open quote markRemember that the Lord is great and awesome.

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Down below, at the bottom of this post, is a slideshow of pictures that tell the story of what your kids did today. Ask your kids to tell you about their day. And check it out, more pictures have been added to yesterday’s report.

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Today our “older” elementary kids in our Grad Group worked on a local mission project. They headed out to the veggie garden at Green Wood, where they harvested produce and spread wood chips. Everything that comes out of this garden gets donated to the Food Gatherers Faith and Food program. Do you know that today’s vegetable haul was the biggest amount ever from our garden? 85 pounds!!!

The big haul! 85 pounds!

They were back in time to report on our fund-raising progress. Keep it coming dudes, we aren’t done yet!

The Grad Group reported on our collection so far.

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At the end of our morning we all headed back into the Sanctuary for some more rowdy singing.

Closing time and more singing

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Continue the learning at home!

Here are a couple of questions to talk about around the family dinner table or wherever your family gets together:

  • When is a time when someone helped you?
  • When are times when you’ve helped others?
  • When have you been God’s helper, or how do you suppose God may be inviting you to be his helper?
  • A good time to remember that “God Helps” is when something scary happens. What should you do? Look for the helpers. God sends helpers. (Mr. Rogers came up with this answer.)
  • Here’s a couple of Bible questions: What Testament is the book of Nehemiah in? Do you know what the small “b” means in Nehemiah 4:14b? Look up this verse in a Bible and see if you can figure it out. Need some help? Try looking up yesterday’s Pop-Up Verse, Psalm 8:1b. See a pattern? (Check for punctuation marks.)
  • Interested in studying more about Moses and about God working through others? Take a look at this.

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Enjoy the slide show!

We are having so much fun with your kids! See you tomorrow!

~~ Carol, on behalf of the VBC Team

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Photo credits:
Surf Shack images used by permission of Cokesbury.
Rest of photos courtesy of various volunteers at VBC!

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.

Surf Shack VBC – Monday

Surf Shack Vacation Bible Camp logo
This week it’s Vacation Bible Camp (VBC) at FUMC where we are…

Catching the wave of God’s amazing love at
Surf Shack!

(Be sure to visit all of the days of our hanging out at the Surf Shack.)

our opening time

We started off our morning with everyone — the “Surfers” — gathered in their crews with their leaders — AKA “Lifeguards.” (We are totally into surfer lingo here dude. Hang 10!).

Snappy the crabTidal Tunes was a blast! We learned some catchy tunes, including Shine Bright and Great and Awesome. Those got us ready for the waves!

We met Skippy and her friend, Snappy the Crab. Snappy is funny! I hope we get to see more of Snappy this week. Somehow I think we might!

Each day during VBC we are learning about God.

Today we learned that:

God Creates!

(Incidentally, whenever we heard, “God Creates!” — we responded by saying, “Amazing!”)

Yes, God created everything! We can read all about God creating, in the Bible in Genesis 1. During Epic Ride (our Bible story telling time) our storyteller shared how God created the world for all of us. We encountered the majesty of the creation process! And we discovered that God is still creating and that everyone is a part of God’s creative plan. God’s creation is better because we’re in it!

Scripture take home for MondayWe were introduced to a Scripture Treasure, a special magnet which we could take home with us! (I hope we can collect a set — one for each day!) It has today’s “Wave Words” — “God Creates” and it has our pop-up Bible verse for the day:

Open quote markHow majestic is your name throughout the earth!   Psalm 8:1b

That pretty much says it all when it comes to how we feel about the fact that God creates!

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Here’s briefly what your kids did today, as shown in a few pictures.

Ask your kids to tell you more about what they did! (There are more photos in a slideshow at the bottom of this post.)

The preschoolers went off to Preschool Pier…

making a mess making bubbles

naming creation when we catch a ball

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Meanwhile, elementary kids…

games on the lawn

creating soap bubbles in science

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Our “older” elementary kids in our Grad Group are working every day this week on various mission projects – both local and global! They are going to be reporting on our collection progress. What are we collecting? Glad you asked…

Each year we choose a mission for kids to support. This year we have two projects to choose from:

  1. cereal collection A local project: Please consider donating a box or two of cereal which will be distributed through Ann Arbor’s own Bryant Community Center. During the school year many families in this community rely on meals provided by the schools. In the summer months, there is no additional assistance to replace the school meals, so a box of cereal can be a big help.
  2. An international project: Collecting monetary donations that will help out Camp Garjay, a youth camp in Liberia. Camp Garjay is a United Methodist camp that offers athletic activities, community service projects, lessons, Bible quiz-bowl, and lots more, for children and youth ages 10-25 years. What a great way to help under-privileged kids! Bring your coins to the collection at the front of the Sanctuary. Thanks!

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Mid-way through our time this morning we all gathered for a healthy snack at Shack Snacks. We ate trees!

At the end of our morning everyone gathered together again for more singing. A good time was held by all!

up-front is where the action is!

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Continue the learning at home!

Here are a couple of questions to talk about around the family dinner table.
Note: We all have questions. We don’t always have answers and this is perfectly okay. Sometimes we have to live in the mystery.

  • Sit down with a box of crayons and some paper. Create! Ask: What do you feel when you get to create something new? How does God feel about what he creates? (God thinks that it is all good!)
  • Did God really create the entire universe in six 24-hour days? (We read Genesis 1 as a poem — not all poems must rhyme. This poem was told around camp fires when someone, probably a child, asked, “how did God create the world?” It helps if we think about how this poem explained to it’s original authors, who God is, how God relates to his creation, and how we are to relate to God.)
  • Review today’s Bible verse from Psalm 8:1. In what ways does creation tell us that God’s name is majestic (stunning, superb, awesome)? Go out and look for some of God’s majesty!
  • There are actually two creation stories! (Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a and 2:4b-25) Why do you suppose there are two of them?

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Enjoy the slideshow! (Start it by clicking the triangle button.)

See you tomorrow!

~~ Carol, on behalf of the VBC Team

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Photo credits:
Surf Shack images used by permission of Cokesbury.
Rest of photos courtesy of various volunteers at VBC!

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 help kids learn the language of faith?

Psalm 78:4b

The words on this photo say it all. Everyone can be involved — parents, aunts, uncles, caregivers, grandparents… all of the significant adults in the life of a child.

The language of faith can be taught by your example.

Start with a simple word:

Praise.”

 
As you are outside this summer, express wonder and thanksgiving for the beauty of God’s creation. You are teaching praise! Marvel at the clouds, rain, rocks, sunsets, flowers, you name it! Get into the habit by trying to praise God in this manner, out loud, at least once a day.

Nature - sunsets, clouds, flowers, rocks

What are other ways to praise God?

Clive and Ian in the Wonder-Blimp of KnowledgeThis past Sunday, in our summer video series, with Clive & Ian (in the Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge) our big question was: How do we show respect to God through praise?

  • As you sit down for supper, praise God for good foods. (Try some of these table graces.)
  • When you engage in prayer time, start off my praising God. Tell God how awesome you think that he is. ( “We adore you God!” or “God, you are truly amazing!”)
  • This coming Sunday (July 3) a hymn we will sing in church is America, the Beautiful. Singing is a great way to praise God. Lift your voices in practice! (Sing along?)
  • Look for the ways writers in the Bible praised God. (Psalm 19:1, Psalm 150, or Hebrews 13:15) …Or…
  • On Sunday we watched a second video of a mime troupe showing us physical ways to praise God that are also biblical. Watch the video below. What do you think of their suggestions as ways to praise God? Which ones can you try out? (The table below the video lists the seven ways to praise God.)

(If reading this in an email, you may need to watch the video at this link.)

Hebrew word Pronounced Meaning Bible reference
TOWDAH  to-DA to sacrifice Psalm 50:23
YADAH yah-DA to lift your hands Psalm 134:2
BAROUCH BAR-ou to bow Psalm 95:6
SHABACH Sha-BACH to shout Ezra 3:11
ZAMAR ZAH-mar to play an instrument 1 Chron. 15:16
HALAL Ha-LELL to rave and boast Psalm 44:8
TEHILLAH Te-HEAL-a all of the above! Psalm 34:1 (the word praise here is in Hebrew, Tehillah)
How will you help your child(re) learn the language of faith?

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Photo credits:
I created the collage with a Bible verse from the photo “Sunset meadow hike” by woodleywonderworks, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License. (Photo has been cropped and words added.)
Other photos are from my archives with the exception of the Clive and Ian photo, which is 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 tell God he matters to you?

Here it is — the first official Dinner Table Talk Guide! This is designed to be used in conjunction with our summer movie series, but if your kids missed class this past weekend (or, if you don’t have any kids in your household) don’t let that stop you! Use this guide to help your family cultivate a growing faith — bring love and joy to yourselves and to the world around you.

Our questions from this week’s lesson centered on showing respect to God, specifically through prayer.

God is our awesome creator, he is loving and powerful! We want to show him respect, but how?

By not ignoring God.

God puts an offer out there to always be available for conversation with us. Prayer is what we call talking and listening to God. When we pray we open ourself to God, sharing the parts of our life that matter most to us. We are saying, God you rank high in my book!

It is important to note that God lets us choose whether we decide to join in dialogue with him, or not. Getting to know God takes initiative on our part! What are some ways to help us in our prayers?

a child with a purple balloonIn our lesson we used balloons to pray! What a fun way to “lift” prayers to God.

We also reviewed a “recipe” to follow when praying. We’ve heard this one before — applying the acronym ACTS.

 
(I want to stress that a formula for prayer is not a requirement, but it can help one to stay focused. I find using ACTS beneficial, as it is too easy for me to be distracted whenever I pray; utilizing ACTS keeps me on track.)

What are some other ways to help us talk to God?
  • Invite God to your activities. The next time you are about to start an enjoyable venture, invite God to savor the experience with you. For example, before jumping into the pool, pray: Be with us, Jesus. Come and share this refreshing swim along side of us. We’re so grateful that You created water for us to enjoy!
  • Practice praying in silence. (It’s how most people pray!) Make the amount of time spent in silence appropriate to your kids’ ages. You may want to start out with just 15 seconds of silence.
  • Get out the crayons. Prayers don’t always have to be words. Provide coloring tools and have your child draw a picture of things for which they are thankful.
What prayer methods can you share?

See these past discussions on ways to mix up your prayer life:
Why we pray: a friendship needs feeding
Making prayer a part of every-day life
More (creative) ways to pray…
What is Breath Prayer

a blue line


Photo credits:
Purple balloon by Thomas Rydberg, who licensed this photo on 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.

How to never underestimate the power of table talk?

It is time once again for our annual Sunday’s Cool summer movie series at FUMC!

As in previous years, this summer’s film series launches a way for you to share your faith with your kids. How?

By making a way for you to harness the power of table talk.

the power of table talkOur videos shown during Sunday’s Cool classes will help kids discover some answers to various questions that will be raised, but it’s up to you to continue the discussion with your household.

Whether it’s around the table or while you are together in the car, you can do this!

And I’ll help by providing starter questions.

 
Why is this type of conversation important?

It models the spiritual discipline of talking.

Yes! That’s a spiritual discipline! You see, God has a habit of showing up in the types of activities which John Wesley termed “the Means of Grace.”

Wesley taught that we can’t earn God’s grace (God’s loving kindness), but we don’t want to sit around waiting to hopefully experience it! We are to engage in certain activities — means of grace; things like worship, reading scripture, prayer, acts of mercy, and “Christian conversation” AKA Table Talk!

A bunch of questions about God to be addressed in our video series

Each week in Sunday’s Cool, we’ll address questions with the help of Clive & Ian and their Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge. If you sign up to receive emails when I post to this blog, then after each class you’ll find in your inbox a set of discussion helps.

Clive & Ian in the Wonder-Blimp

Won’t you join us with Clive and Ian as they go on adventures in search of answers by soaring in their Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge! Make sure you don’t underestimate the power of Table Talk!

a blue line


Photo credits:
Altered table photo from a Public Domain image. Other photos are 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.