Prepare to worship (Yes, WITH your kids)

This weekend, if you are not at Family Camp, join us in worship with your family. There will not be any Cool Disciples workshops for 1st – 6th grades. But don’t let this cause a panic!

How about a little preparation before worshipping as a family?… To make it more meaningful for your kids. Use this material to discuss the service before and/or after-the-fact.

Try it! Equip your kids to experience worship. Try one (or all) of these blue arrow ways!

Seasons of the church year - Lent, Ordinary Time, etc. displayed as a pie chart

a blue right arrowIntroduce the start of a new Church Season.
(But don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it!)

In the Methodist tradition we have “Church Seasons” that separate our Liturgical Year. Each season focuses upon a different aspect of our Christian experience.

I wonder what season we are in?

Did you know that we have been in the season of Eastertide—or Easter Season—covering the 50 days after Easter? Well, this Sunday is the start of the shortest Church Season! It lasts one day! It’s called Pentecost. Pentecost is celebrated by Christians as the day when God’s Spirit was given to his followers.

a blue right arrowRead the Bible story we’ll be hearing. 

Want to know more about Pentecost? Why not read about it in the Bible? Pentecost was (and still is) a Jewish festival. It so happened that the disciples of Jesus were in Jerusalem celebrating Pentecost when the Holy Spirit arrived.

There are two times during our worship service on Sunday when we will hear scripture. The first time will be during the “Call to Worship.” We’ll be alternately hearing and saying a portion of Acts 2:1-4. Practice reading this as a family. Choose one person to read the non-bold words and everyone else reads the bold words… just like we’ll be doing in worship.

QuoteWhen the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Other ways to “read” this story: Use the Beginner’s Bible, or watch the first 2 minutes of this video, or watch a portion of the video series “What’s in the Bible?” shown below. (If reading this in an email, you can watch this video on YouTube.)

a blue right arrowThings to do in worship…

Once you are in church, ask your family to check out the bulletin to see what church season we are in.
what season is it - Pentecost

Compare that to last week’s bulletin… (Pardon my rather tattered looking bulletin from last week).
what season is it

Also ask: What do you notice that is different looking in the Sanctuary? (Hint: Look for changes in the colors used in worship – the cloths (called “paraments”) that cloak the altar or hang from the pulpit, or are worn by the clergy. (For Pentecost the color is red!)

a blue right arrowPonder the sermon topic. 

The title of the sermon to be given by Rev. Doug is “You Can’t Handle the Truth.” I’m wondering what that has to do with Pentecost? Perhaps this is where the 2nd Scripture reading comes to play. Read John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15. This deals with Jesus promising the coming of the Spirit when he is no longer present with his disciples. The disciples’ were undoubtedly confused! Do you ever question whether Jesus is with us? (it’s okay to feel this way.)

a blue right arrowListen to the hymns. (And perhaps sing them at home!)

Listen to “Surely the Presence of the Lord.” We’ll be singing the first verse of this hymn as a response to the Unison Prayer.

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place;
I can feel his mighty power and his grace.
I can hear the brush of angels’ wing, I see glory on each face;
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.

Practice singing “Jesus Loves Me.” We’ll sing this one when the younger kids go off to Sunday’s Cool.

a blue right arrowPractice praying.

Pray this prayer: God of Grace, you sent the promised gift of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the women, upon Mary the mother of Jesus and upon his brothers. Fill your church with power, kindle flaming hearts within us, and cause us to proclaim your mighty works in every place, that all may call on you and know life abundantly through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

See you in worship!

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Photo credits:
View the pie chart of church seasons that I created.
Arrow clip art by Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay, released under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain.

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