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 calendarHave 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. (Want even more statistics? Here are 52 reasons to go to church — one for every week!)

(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!

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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. (To see a growing list of opportunities to foster faith learning at home for this month’s story, click here.)

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). On 9/27 they will videotape a puppet show of the story that will be shown to the preschool and K’s on 10/4.

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 4th grade 1st grade 2nd grade 5th grade will also do Art in Room 215
9/27 1st grade 2nd grade 4th grade 5th grade 3rd grade will have a special Bible presentation class in the Wesley Lounge.
10/4 Worship with your family. It is World Communion Sunday. Read ahead of time, the scripture: Acts 11:1-9. I’m wondering what this will teach us about what it means to live out “Disruptive Christianity.”

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.
9/12 The Good Samaritan Video Workshop.
9/19 Worship with your family. Read the scripture ahead of time: Matthew 20:20-28.
9/26 Worship with your family. Read the scripture ahead of time: John 8:2-11. (How do you explain adultery? For young children: A broken promise made between a husband and a wife. For older kids: Adults who did not stay faithful to their husband or their wife.)
10/3 The Good Samaritan Art Workshop.

What’s happening in each workshop?

  • In the Video Workshop students will watch portions of the animated Veggie Tales video Are You My Neighbor? They will also participate in a “Golden Rule” activity.
  • 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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Your mission (should you choose to accept it) – The Great Commission

A painting, Jesus gives his disciples the Great Commission, by Otto Adolph Stemler

Our next Rotation follows right on the heels of Jesus’ resurrection.

Jesus appeared to his disciples and gave an important assignment we call the “Great Commission.”

These are marching orders for all of us! Read about Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:16-20. Here is how I paraphrase Jesus’ instructions:

Open quote markFor everyone you meet as you go about your daily life, train them in discipleship, teaching the practice of Christ-like living.

These are not mere suggestions. Jesus clearly states, “Do these things.”
Join us as we explore this story!

See a growing list of opportunities to foster faith learning at home for this story.

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On Sundays, at the downtown location…

Date Our workshops for 1st through 5th graders…
Writing Den Cooking Games Art
Starts in Room 215 & finishes in 211 Social Hall Room 204 Room 212
5/3 1st grade 4th grade 3rd grade 2nd & 5th grade
5/10 2nd & 5th grade 3rd grade 4th grade 1st grade
5/17 3rd grade 2nd & 5th grade 1st grade 4th grade
5/24 Worship with your family. It’s Pentecost.
Read the scripture from the book of Acts ahead of time.
5/31 4th grade 1st grade 2nd & 5th grade 3rd grade
6/7 Worship with your family. It’s Confirmation Sunday.
6/14 The big game! Are you smarter than a 6th grader?

And here’s what the 6th graders will be doing this month… (They’ll always be in the Pine Room!)

5/3 5/10 5/17 5/24 5/31 6/7 6/14
Discuss our up-coming visit to UMYF (United Methodist Youth Fellowship for 7th-12th graders on Sunday evenings) Art Workshop Assist the younger kids (preschoolers and K’s) with an art project It’s Pentecost! Worship with your family. Read the scripture ahead of time. Year end party! Confirmation Sunday.
Worship with your family.
The big game! Will we be able to beat the younger kids? Study up!

What’s happening in each workshop?

  • In the Writing Den Workshop students will learn about “bucket filling” and create instructional signs that that inspire others how to do kind acts. This portion of the workshop will take place in homemade “forts.”
  • In the Cooking Workshop students will make play dough and create sculptures of how Jesus would live his life today. This process will help kids to see how they might live a life that fulfills the Great Commission.
  • In the Games Workshop students will play a warm-up game that will help kids remember our Key Bible Verse. Then play a game full of energy and movement (based on Cranium Hullabaloo) that will help the kids learn the story details, Bible organization, and ways that they can be Jesus’ disciples.
  • In the Art Workshop students will create quilled-paper handprints, to remind kids that Jesus commands them to “go out” in everyday living and look for and use opportunities to teach others about Jesus.

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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Photo credits:
Jesus gives his disciples the Great Commission, a painting by Otto Adolph. Offered by pcstratman, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.