The Calling Continues…

We are moving from one call to another! A call as in…

Call   \kawl\   v.  (but sometimes n.)
As a verb (in our usage): to ask or to invite; as a noun: a message.

In our last Rotation Samuel anointed David, signifying David’s “calling” as Israel’s next king. We didn’t identify it as a calling per say, but sure enough, it was one. It was also a message from God to David.

God texts David

The Bible doesn’t tell us but we can imagine that David and his family were surprised at this invitation.

As equally surprised as the fishermen that Jesus invited — called — to be his disciples; a lot of years later.

As I said, moving from one call to another!

Our next calling story is about Jesus calling his disciples. Read about it in Matthew 4:18-22, 9:9 and in Mark 3:13-19.

From the Brooklyn Museum - The Calling of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew by James Tissot
        A painting by James Tissot, “The Calling of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew”

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

This is where the “Schedule” used to appear — which grades were visiting which workshops over the course of this Rotation. However it was removed as it was sort of out of date 🙂 Our current schedule of workshops, for whatever Rotation we are currently on, can be found on this page.

For prosperity, here is what we did in each workshop for this Rotation:

  • In the Cooking Workshop students will make (and eat!) “fish-shaped” pizza to recall the significance of fishing in the calling of the disciples.
  • In the Storytelling Workshop students will hear congregation member share their story of being “called” to follow Jesus. They’ll learn that “calling” takes many forms!
  • In the Art Workshop students will use the Japanese process of Gyotaku – fish printing – to open discussion of Jesus calling disciples. View the slideshow of completed prints!
  • In the Video Workshop students will watch portions of the live-action video The Visual Bible: Matthew and play a game to spark discussion about ways we are disciples of Jesus.

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

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Photo credits:
The Calling of Peter and Andrew by James Tissot, in the Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
Text message created from speech bubbles also in the Public Domain, via wpclipart.com.

Starting off the school year with… A Chosen King

I’m a summer kind of gal… kicked-back, long days, sunshine, and gardening! Yes, please! So fall is not my favorite time of year. But there is one thing that I do find appealing about fall: the return to a full program of the Rotation Model!

Rotation Model logoThe Workshop Rotation Model of Christian Education at FUMC rocks! Here’s why I get excited:

  • A Bible story is explored and learned in-depth through a variety of creative teaching mediums (workshops) over a period of several weeks.
  • Each new workshop visited deepens kids lesson memory.
  • Adults who help out in our program are learning right along with the kids! (It’s adult ed disguised as a children’s program!)
  • Kids from age 3 to 6th grade, whether attending Sunday’s downtown or Saturday’s at Green Wood, are all focusing on the same story, which allows families to share learning at home.

To kick off, we are studying about how a lowly shepherd-boy, David, was chosen by God to be the King of Israel. The prophet Samuel anointed David with oil (shown below).

Why did God choose him as king??

Read about our story in 1 Samuel 16:1-13. And come along with us as we begin our year of Rotation!

Stained glass from a cathedral in Ely, England

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

This is where the “Schedule” used to appear — which grades were visiting which workshops over the course of this Rotation. However it was removed as it was sort of out of date 🙂 Our current schedule of workshops, for whatever Rotation we are currently on, can be found on this page.

For prosperity, here is what we did in each workshop during this Rotation:

  • In the Art Workshop students will create modern “name” art based on the style of artist Paul Klee. Contemplate your inner character as you work!
  • In the Cooking Workshop two teams of students will make muffins with two different recipes. One has something special in it and one does not! Students will note that both look the same in a raw state. I wonder about the baked muffins?
  • In the Creative Writing Workshop students will create an acrostic poem using the word “heart” and describe their inner character. What attitudes are in your heart?
  • In the Bible Skills & Games Workshop students will participate in a variety of games – voting with your body, a game of “Spoons,” and a quiz game that involves collecting “heart” qualities (graffiti-style).

If you are in the area please join us for the fun learning at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI.


Photo credits:
Stained glass of David’s anointing by Lawrence OP, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

A Walk to Emmaus – workshops we used

What happens after Easter? Have you put away your Easter finery and settled in to wait (some more) for spring? Here is something to think about while you wait, something that relates to our current Rotation

a tiny window in a wall looks out over a field, while asking the question: Did we catch a glimpse

Those will be questions we’ll be asking over the course of our Rotation on The Walk To Emmaus. Read about our story in Luke 24:13-35.

Here is what each workshop covered for our Rotation on this story:

    A scene from the Jesus in Space CD - building the Walk to Emmaus story on Ice Moon Alpha
  • In the Computer/Video Workshop students will see a unique rendition of our story performed by snow people! Using the computer game Jesus in Space, they’ll encounter Captain Paul Hammer, Lt. Stu Dent, and Shelbot, the Overly Brainy Robot, on a space mission to Ice Moon Alpha. How will they teach the story to these aliens?
  • In the Cooking Workshop students will create “Resurrection Rolls” – a classic treat with a disappearing center that reminds us even though we know something is there, we may not always be able to “see” it.
  • In the Newsroom Workshop students will experience the story by producing, watching, and discussing a news broadcast in which Cleopas and his friend describe their encounter with Jesus on their walk to Emmaus.
  • In the Science Workshop, through demos and hands-on activities, kids explore the concept of how they view the world around them. Discuss how we “see” or recognizing Jesus.
  • In the Storytelling Workshop we’ll hear from three storytellers: one of the women who saw the risen Christ at the tomb, and two excited travelers.

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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How many wise men? And other misguided notions…

Happy Advent! This is the perfect season to bring faith conversations to your family, and this blog will help. To ensure you don’t miss a thing (usually only one post a week, on our current story) subscribe over on the right. Enter your e-mail address to have posts sent directly to your inbox.

For family Advent ideas see this post.

When kids experience Workshop Rotation Model Christian education, this means they are learning and having fun at the same time! Scroll down to learn more about the workshops we used for an Advent “Rotation” on the Wise Men.

Wise men on camels ponder a star in the sky

Because Christmas happens once a year, each Advent we focus on a different aspect of the Christmas story. In the past we have covered Jesus’ birth through the eyes of the prophet Isaiah, the birth from his mother’s perspective, from the point of view of the shepherds, and the overall details and sequence of the Christmas story. This December we target the key role of the wise men. Read about our story in Matthew 2:1-12. You may be surprised to discover inaccuracies in some of your long-held views about these travelers!

  • In the Art Workshop students learned about the wise men, the magi, who followed a star to seek Jesus. They created a special star for their tree or their window at home. Also they heard about the church calendar and the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
  • In the Cooking Workshop students used some of their senses to explore the gifts of the wise men. They made no-bake cookies with a special scent and discussed gifts (the kind you can’t buy) that they give to others.
  • In the Video Workshop… one year students watched the animated video, The Very First Noel. They needed to watch carefully. Does the movie stray from the Bible story of the wise men? Do the wise men show up at the correct time? In a different year our older kids watched a presentation on what modern-day astronomers think about the Star of Bethlehem.
  • In the Games Workshop… one year students played games like Concentration and Pictionary to test their knowledge of the details of the story, but then their games were interrupted! They became “refugees” when they were “kicked out” of their workshop room. A reminder that Jesus and his family were refugees (Matthew 2:13-15) and that we are on a journey to seek Jesus.) In a different year our game tested our story knowledge by playing Bible Bowling. Some story facts may surprise you!
  • One year we used a Storytelling Workshop where kids heard and interacted with the book Mary’s Treasure Box. They experience touching and smelling items mentioned from the story. Then they played the “left-right” game to focus on story details. And took home a small box with many of the same elements. They could retell the story!

Why are we doing different workshops for the different times we’ve taught this story? There are several reasons including:

  • We used the Rotation Model for a lot of years! Stories repeated every six years.
  • Our focus for a Rotation changed (we’ve gained new understanding!)
  • We know our kids. We know what will, and won’t work with them.
  • We’ve got a new idea! Usually something we gained from Rotation.org!

Explore more about Rotation Model goodness! Where many of the lessons described above can be found in the entirety.

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Photo credits:
“A Star in the East” by W. L. Taylor, 1900. in the Public Domain.

Peter is Forgiven — Workshops we’ve used to teach this story

Nurturing your child’s spirituality is a big job; here is help! Subscribe so as to not miss the support you need. Enter your e-mail address to have a post sent directly to your inbox. Or click on the orange RSS icon to subscribe in a reader. (Not over-whelming; usually one post a week.)

The Workshop Rotation Model of Christian Education at FUMC rocks! Here are a couple of reasons why:

  • A Bible story is explored in-depth through a variety of creative teaching mediums (“workshops”) over a period of 5 weeks.
  • Kids from age 3 to 6th grade, whether attending Sunday’s downtown or Saturday’s at Green Wood, are all focusing on the same story, which allows families to share learning at home.

In April, we are continuing our study of Jesus’ forgiveness of Peter.
Can you imagine how Peter felt when he heard the rooster crow?

An angry-looking rooster

What had Peter just done? What was it that Jesus had told Peter about a rooster crowing? Ask your kids! Read our story in John 13:33, 36-38 and John 18:15-18, 25-27 and John 21:1-17.

For Saturdays at the Green Wood location, here is the schedule…

Date Workshop Activity
4/6 No workshop Worship with your family.
4/13 Art Workshop Create a positive space/negative space cut-paper or a stencil collage using symbols from the story.
4/20 No workshop It’s youth-led worship!
4/27 Games Workshop Participate in a quiz game.

For Sundays at the downtown location, here is the schedule of workshops…

Date Our workshops…
4/7 Enjoy worship and Communion with your family
Games Drama Cooking Video Art
Room 211 Room 215 Social Hall Pine Room Room 212
4/14 3rd grade 5th & 6th grade 2nd grade 4th grade 1st grade
4/21 Youth-led worship! Attend with your family.
4/28 4th grade 2nd grade 1st grade 5th & 6th grade 3rd grade

What’s happening in each workshop?

  • In the Drama Workshop students will enact the story of Peter’s denial and restoration using shadow drama.
  • In the Art Workshop students will create a cut-paper collage using symbols from the story and the Japanese design principal of “Notan” (dark and light).
  • In the Games Workshop students will participate in a quiz game (using the game wheel) to reinforce their knowledge of story details.
  • In the Cooking Workshop students will create Peter’s Trail Mix and tell the Easter story with each ingredient.
  • In the Video Workshop students will watch portions of the live-action video The Gospel of John, exploring the story of Peter’s denial and restoration.


If you are in the area please join us for the fun learning at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI


Photo credits:
Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
Rooster by Christopher Craig, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

Easter & Beyond: Peter is forgiven

You’re in the right spot… for tips on how to nurture your child’s spirituality. Subscribe to receive future posts. (Usually one, maybe two a week.) Enter your e-mail address over on the right, to have posts sent directly to your inbox. Or click on the orange RSS icon to subscribe in a reader.

At FUMC on Saturday nights and on Sunday mornings, our Christian education for children is based on the Workshop Rotation Model. This means that kids spend six weeks learning a particular Bible story, each week encountering a different kid-friendly multimedia workshop. When they are done they really know the stories!

In March, we are studying an Easter related story. Easter comes once a year, allowing us the chance to focus on a different aspect of Easter.
(View the last couple of years of Easter stories here and here.)

This year our focus is on Easter through the eyes of Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. The big question to ask your kids:

What happened to Peter that gives us a powerful message
of what Easter is all about?

Jesus and his disciples share breakfast on the beach (John 21)
Jesus & his disciples have a post-Resurrection breakfast on the beach

Reading all the various parts of our story takes lots of jumping around in the Bible. (Good practice!) Read our story in John 13:33, 36-38 and John 18:15-18, 25-27 and John 21:1-17.


Here are the schedules of workshops for March

For Sundays at the downtown location…

Date Our workshops…
3/3 Enjoy worship and Communion with your family
Drama Art Games Cooking Video
Room 215 Room 212 Room 211 Social Hall Pine Room
3/10 3rd grade 5th & 6th grade 1st grade 4th grade 2nd grade
3/17 1st grade 4th grade 2nd grade 5th & 6th grade 3rd grade
3/24 4th grade 2nd grade 5th & 6th grade 3rd grade 1st grade
3/31 Enjoy Easter worship with your family!

What’s happening in each workshop?

  • In the Drama Workshop students will enact the story of Peter’s denial and restoration using shadow drama.
  • In the Art Workshop students will create a cut-paper collage using symbols from the story and the Japanese design principal of “Notan” (dark and light).
  • In the Games Workshop students will participate in a quiz game (using the game wheel) to reinforce their knowledge of story details.
  • In the Cooking Workshop students will create Peter’s Trail Mix and tell the Easter story with each ingredient.
  • In the Video Workshop students will watch portions of the live-action video The Gospel of John, enjoy popcorn (can’t have a movie without popcorn!) and explore the story of Peter’s denial and restoration.

For Saturdays at the Green Wood location, here is the schedule…

Date Workshop Activity
3/2 Puppets Wrap up the story of Joseph and his brothers by acting out the story with puppets.
3/9 Cooking Workshop Create Peter’s Trail Mix and tell the Easter story with each ingredient.
3/16

Update!

Due to a plumbing problem Green Wood is closed this weekend.
3/23 Video Workshop Explore the story of Peter’s denial and restoration while watching the scripture come to life in the live-actor video, The Gospel of John.
3/30 Cooking Workshop Focus on the Resurrection story of Easter making “resurrection rolls.” Experience the empty tomb, just as the women did on the first Easter morning!

What did you think of doing six-week Rotations? Please, give us your feedback!

If you are in the area please join us for the fun learning at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI

Photo credits:
Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
Jesus eats breakfast with his disciples an illustration by O. A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland from the Standard Bible Story Readers: Book 4 (in the Public Domain).

Joseph and his brothers and their family problems… what can this mean for us?

A good idea for a New Year’s resolution (or for any time of year!) — include faith conversation with your family. Receive help in this endeavor by subscribing over on the right. Enter your e-mail address to have posts sent directly to your inbox. What could be more important than working on your faith journey together!

When kids experience Workshop Rotation Model Christian education, this means they are learning and having fun at the same time! Scroll down to learn more about the workshops we used for a “Rotation” on the story of Joseph and his brothers.

Joseph's brothers sell him to passing traders on their way to Egypt
Joseph’s brothers sell him to passing traders.

To kick off the new year (it was January) we returned to the Old Testament, and studied the sequel to our Jacob and Esau story from late fall. We heard about Joseph, the 11th (and the favorite) son of Jacob! Read about our story in Genesis 37:1-36, 39:1-5.

We spent two Rotations on the Old Testament account of Joseph. The first Rotation focused mostly on Genesis 37—Joseph, his brothers and the infamous coat. (The second Rotation focused on the story in Egypt.)

Joseph and his brothers is a familiar story of family struggles: favoritism, bragging, sibling rivalry, and brothers gone bad, but this is also the story of God having a greater plan. God’s love knows no boundaries. Things can look pretty bad, but God is never far away. Recalling Joseph’s story can help us get through our own difficult times.

Here is what happened in each workshop

  • Joseph's brothers react to his dreams
    Joseph’s brothers react to his dreams
    In the Drama Workshop students focused on learning the story sequence by hearing about the story characters and their feelings and by enacting the story.
  • In the Cooking Workshop students learned about “crushing” experiences—those that can break us down and can separate us from family and friends. They learned that good can come from what seems like bad and we are never separated from God!
  • In the Video Workshop students watched portions of the animated video Joseph King of Dreams. They compared the video to the Bible story. Did it follow the story correctly?
  • Handle bag puppets in use by kids
    The “brothers” puppet tell their father about finding Jospeh’s coat.
    In the Puppet Workshop students used “handle-bag” puppets to re-tell the story of Joseph and his brothers; how a special coat and strange dreams cause trouble in Joseph’s family.
  • In the Games Workshop students participated in a game that involved answering questions, singing, acting, drawing, and sculpting! A Cranium®/Trivial Pursuit® type of game. In the process of having fun, they were learning about story details.
  • Building "peace houses" for the Joseph story
    Building “peace houses.”
    In the Art Workshop one year students created a backpack clip-on to remind them of the story and it’s message. In another year, we turned Art into Wood working and students created “peace houses” to remind them of creating peace among their family.

Why are we doing different workshops for the different times we’ve taught this story? There are several reasons including:

  • We used the Rotation Model for a lot of years! Stories repeated every six years.
  • Our focus for a Rotation changed (we’ve gained new understanding!)
  • The person who led a special workshop (like wood-working!) wasn’t available to help us out.
  • We know our kids. We know what will, and won’t work with them.
  • We’ve got a new idea! Usually something we gained from Rotation.org!

Explore more Rotation Model goodness! Where many of the lessons described above can be found in their entirety. (And they are free!)

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Photo credits…
Copyright photos are from my archives.

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.