Studying the Last Supper

At FUMC our Cool Disciples experience Rotation Model Christian education, as they learn about Bible stories and concepts through kid-friendly multimedia workshops.

In this season of Lent we are studying the story of the Last Supper. Since Easter happens annually, we get to spend time on a different aspect of the Easter story every year. In other years we’ve covered the Garden of Gethsemane, the Empty Tomb/Resurrection Appearances, Easter through Peter’s eyes, and the overall sequence of the events of Easter week.

The Last Supper is the last meal that Jesus and his disciples share prior to Jesus’ death. Read about the story of the Last Supper in Luke 22:7-20.

A frozen picture of da Vinci's Last Supper
From the Photography workshop from the last time we did this Rotation. These kids have now graduated from high school! They were in 6th grade in 2005.

Here is how we studied this story:

  • In the Art Workshop we discussed the celebratory meal that Jesus shared with his disciples. Kids decorated a glass plate; a plate to use at your next special meal.
  • In the Cooking Workshop students will help make and experience a “mini” Seder meal, the meal that Jesus’ and his disciples were sharing at the Last Supper.
  • In the Photography Workshop students will use a technique called “Frozen Picture” to experience the Last Supper (as painted by Leonardo da Vinci).
  • In the Video 1 Workshop (for 1st – 3rd graders) students will watch a video with puppets called How Can I Celebrate Passover? A Young Christian’s Introduction to the Seder.
  • In the Video 2 Workshop (for 4th – 6th graders) students will watch the live-action video The Last Supper.

This Rotation comes around again in 2018. I wonder what workshops we’ll use this year?

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Photo credits:
The Last Supper re-created, copyright 2005, by Alice Nuttall.

Family Lenten activities, part 2

Lent is the 40 days (minus Sundays) leading up to Easter. A long, long time ago Lent was the period in which new converts to the church prepared for baptism. They learned about what it meant to be a Christian before becoming a member of the church community. It was basically “spring training” for disciples!

baseball - spring training!

Lent is a great time for your family to take a serious look at your calendars. It’s all about focus. Is there time for being a disciple of Jesus? For including Christ in your lineup? (An hour a week at church isn’t enough!)

Time Out. Talk about…Ask…A speech bubble
What can our family do? We’d like to spend some of our time together warming up our faith.


Last week I had given you ideas for family activities to try out during Lent. If you missed that it’s here. (These activities are not time-sensitive.) It seems only proper to provide more activities to help everyone be a “utility player!”

Ready to “take the field” for Lent?

  • Practice gratitude: Set up a place for praises. In a noticeable location, place a stack of papers and a pen near a basket or a bowl. (Or post a list on the refridge; or give everyone their own journal.) Encourage everyone to draw or write about things that make them grateful. Once a week, ponder your collection. For more ways to transcribe thanksgiving, visit here.
  • Celebrate: Life is a precious gift from God! Work in the habit of celebrating this in some small way, every day! Perhaps start off your day in song (“This is the day” would be a good choice. I often woke up my kids with this one.) Or perhaps change the words to the Superman table grace, adding in “Thank you God, for giving us life.” Re-writing this could be a fun, dinner table activity!
  • Serve others: pick one way to offer your time to someone else from this incredible list. (Includes ideas such as creating “snack packs for Ronald McDonald residents” but did you know they are still collecting pop tabs?
  • Practice solitude: First introduce the concept of breath prayer. Then, designate a signal for when it’s time to gather back together. Next, for an age-appropriate amount of time send everyone to opposite corners of the house. When the “time-out” is up, discuss your experience.
  • Give something up (Fasting): Rather than fasting food try giving up a word. How about the word “no” – try it and see what happens! (Remember that an alternate for the word no can be “let’s think about that.”)
  • Prayer: Make time for prayer every day. Visit here for ideas.

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Photo credit:
Spring Training by Michelle Riggen-Ransom, licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).

Preparing for Easter: Notice the sacred in the secular

Words on the street warning: look both ways

'How is God calling us to look around with God’s eyes

and see all things sacred, and act accordingly?

This question was posed by Rev. J. Douglas Paterson in a sermon at FUMC Ann Arbor—the first sermon in a Lenten series entitled “Intentionally Christian.”

Intentionally Christian? What does that look like?

In the days of the early church, “Lent” was a time when the focus was on teaching new followers what it meant to be a Christian. It was like a prerequisite class to joining the church! The sermon series “Intentionally Christian” seeks to take this olden-days practice as an example, by asking questions like: “How do we conscientiously and purposefully live out our calling as Jesus-followers?” and “What is God asking me to do?”

In his first look at being intentionally Christian, Doug talked about how we often separate our lives into two facets: the sacred and the secular.

Our sacred life is when and where we practice our faith; it’s when we notice God. We hear ourselves say, “there is Holiness in this moment.”

And then there is the rest of our life, the secular or, the “worldly.” Unfortunately this latter slant is where we often forsake our faith and behave as if God is not involved. We don’t notice God’s presence and in fact, we aren’t even looking!

OK, so there should be no difference in the way we view what is secular and what is holy. That should be easy enough to do, right?

Wrong! I, surprisingly, have found that this can be hard to do! It takes careful thought. It takes being deliberately intentional! (Oh yeah – the title of the sermon series!)

We live in a world that is waiting for us to notice holiness. Share with your family members what mundane aspect of life looked holy to you. And share with all: What have you been noticing lately?

Photo credits:

Look by Travis Nep Smith; licensed on Flickr under Creative Commons (BY-NC 2.0).