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Adventures with Peter: A New Vision (Peter and Cornelius) a complete lesson set from State Street UMC

Adventures with Peter:  A New Vision!


State Street UMC, Bristol, VA

written by Jaymie Derden


 

Overview of the Workshops:


  • Movie:  Children will view several video clips of the story.
  • Art:  Children will illustrate Peter's dream using the technique of Mexican Indian Huichol Yarn paintings - thanks for the idea Carol Hulbert!
  • Drama: Children will act out the story and continue the Photo Storybook of Peter's life.
  • Computers:  Children will explore the concept of inclusion through the software Actual Reality and Kid Pix - based on a lesson idea posted by Trinity UCC.



Background Information

 

This was part of a summer series on Peter. In previous rotations we studied Peter's denial, his restoration by Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Peter's healing of a lame man at the Temple gate. In this rotation we continued our study of Peter's transformation with the story of Peter's vision and his meeting with the Roman Centurion, Cornelius.

 

Scripture References:  

Acts 10  (page 363-364 Little Kids' Adventure Bible)

“The Story of Cornelius” (page 374-376 Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

"God, A Roman and a Jew," The Picture Bible  (pages 708-710)

 

Memory Verse:  "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism."  Acts 10:34

 

Theme: God's love and salvation is for everyone!  God pours out the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles!

 

Rotation Music:

  1. "Old Testament Books of the Bible," Troy And Genie Nilsson         
  2. "New Testament Books Of The Bible," Troy and Genie Nilsson
  3. "Carry it On," Seeds of Faith, 2007.
  4. "God Who Began a Good Work in You," Chris Hughes and Ed Kilbourne, Light the Fire.
  5.  "Jesus is Calling You," Circus Spectacular VBS, 2006.
  6. “Light the Fire,” Light the Fire, Chris Hughes and Ed Kilbourne, Fly By Night Records, 1997.
  7. “Spirit, Fall on Me,” Silence the Rocks, Don Washburn, Digisound Productions Studio.
  8.  “Come on Christian, Get on Fire,” RPM, Volume 1, One Way Street.
  9. “Spirit, Come Down,” Faithsongs, Abingdon Press, 2003.
  10. “Undignified," Judah, River Ablaze, Epiphany Music, 1998.
  11. “Power of God,” RPM, Volume 3:  Replaying the Hits, One Way Street, 1999.
  12.  “Lord I lift your name on High," The Katinas, Lifestyle:  A Worship Experience, Gotee Records, 2002.

 

Special Bible Notes:

         NIV:  Adventure Bible

                Did you Know?  Why did God send Peter a vision? (page 1211)

         

Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Acts as a New Testament book of history.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will discuss Jewish dietary laws and the implication for the early church.
  • Children will identify Pentecost as the day God's gift of the Holy Spirit came to the Jewish believers.
  • Children will identify Cornelius as a Gentile and a Roman centurion.
  • Children will define:  Gentile, centurion.
  • Children will locate Joppa, Jerusalem and Caesarea on the map.
  • Children will understand that God desires everyone to be saved.
  • Children will understand that salvation comes through belief and trust in Jesus Christ.
  • Children will memorize Acts 10:34.

Background Information for Teachers

 

What's in a Name?

When Peter first appears in the gospels, his name is Simon bar Jonah (Simon, son of Jonah). Jesus changes Simon's name to Cephas (Aramaic) or Petros (Peter - Greek).  Jona means dove, while Cephas and Peter mean rock.  Jesus is essentially saying to Peter, "Once you were just a flitting, fluttering dove.  If you will trust me as your Lord, I will make you into a rock."  As we have seen in our last two rotations (Peter's Denial and Peter's Restoration), Peter has not always acted "rock-like."  Peter's name change is a reflection of who he wouldbecome, not who he already was.  Each of us has a "next step" in our discipleship.  As with Peter, God sees our potential and yearns for us to fulfill it.

 

Who is Peter?

We know a great deal about the disciple, Peter primarily due to his close relationship with Mark, the writer of the gospel.  In fact, many Bible scholars believe Mark's gospel to be composed of a compilation of Peter's preaching and personality.  The word "euthus" means immediately or straight-away and is used throughout Mark's gospel.  Peter was a man of action, with a quick temper and impulsive nature, typical of Galileans. One who acts without thinking is prone to make mistakes. To Peter's credit, he does not hold back his many mistakes and blunders. Peter wants everyone to experience, as he has, the forgiveness and grace of Jesus and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Peter was a fisherman, in partnership with James and John.  He was married and lived in Capernaum in Galilee. Peter quickly became a leader among the disciples.  Matthew begins the list of disciples with "the first, (protos) Simon."  Protos means first, but it also means chief.  Peter was in fact the chief among the disciples.  Peter also was part of the inner circle of three (Peter, James and John) who were closest to Jesus.   

 

In our previous rotations, we have seen Peter experience a whirlwind of emotions…. from boasting about his faithfulness to Jesus ("Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you."  Matthew 26:35) to his denial in the courtyard of the high priest, to his restoration by Jesus on the beach…. then, with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we see a new and transformed Peter.  Peter has received power and courage – gifts of the Holy Spirit. Peter now bravely proclaims the gospel and heals many in Jesus’ name.

 

What is Pentecost?

Jewish people celebrate a series of feasts or festivals throughout the year. At the Feast of Harvest, Feast of Weeks or Pentecost Jewish people were instructed to bring two loaves made from the wheat harvest and the harvest was dedicated to God as its giver.  (Lev. 23:15-16)  It is held exactly fifty days after First Fruits (Easter).  Pentecost means 50 days.  On this day the Holy Spirit came to the disciples bringing them the power of the Holy Spirit to give them strength to share Jesus’ message with the world. 

 

Who is the Holy Spirit?  What is the Trinity?

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), our "three-in-one” God.  He is God.  Like God, the Holy Spirit is eternal, present everywhere, and equal with God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit does exactly the things that Jesus did, for the Holy Spirit is Jesus, now with us.  "We believe in one God.  God has entered human history as Jesus.  God's Spirit, the same Spirit that filled Jesus is in the hearts and minds of believers."

 

The Holy Spirit brings God closer, nearer to us, truly “God with us,” in a very intimate way.  The Holy Spirit did not just suddenly appear on Pentecost.  He has existed since the beginning with Father and Son.  The Old Testament refers to the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of the Lord.”  (Other expressions used are the "Holy Spirit" and the "Spirit of Jesus.") In Old Testament writings the Spirit’s activity is more selective, descending specifically upon certain individuals to accomplish God’s work for a finite time.  But the prophet Joel foresaw a day when God would say,

          “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;

          your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

          your old men shall dream dreams,

          and your young men shall see visions.

          Even on the male and female slaves,

          in those days, I will pour out my spirit.”

          (Joel 2:28-29)

 

In Acts 2, we see the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Jews at Pentecost.  But God has a bigger plan.  In Acts 10, we see God’s ultimate plan of salvation unfolding before us. With Peter's vision and subsequent visit to Cornelius, we see the Gentile Pentecost, as God pours out his Spirit upon the Gentiles.

 

The word Gentile comes from the Latin word gens meaning nation.  Anyone who is not Jewish is Gentile.

Jews were forbidden to associate with Gentiles.  They did so at the risk of becoming ceremonially unclean, requiring an elaborate set of rituals before they could participate in worship again.  It can be difficult for us to understand the mindset of first century Jewish believers.  The Jews were very sensitive about foreigners.  For years they had experienced foreign occupation and subservience to others.  Wars, bondage and persecution followed!  No pious Jew would ever enter a Gentile's home!  The early church was astounded to see the Holy Spirit come to the Gentiles.  It was a radical reorientation of their understanding of God and themselves as God's chosen people. 

 

Peter and Cornelius

This month we will explore the story of Peter's vision and God's gift of the Holy Spirit to Cornelius and the Gentiles.  We will see the progression and growth of the early church.  While studying the individual stories of Peter, it's important to adjust our focus so that we do not miss the big picture -- the unfolding of God's plan of salvation for the world.  In the book of Acts we see the birth of the Christian church and its expansion to:

Jerusalem - Acts 1-7

Judea and Samaria - Acts 8-12

Gentile converts - Acts 10

The whole world - Acts 13-18 

(see attached diagram showing the progression of the early church)

 

This month we will explore how the Gentile believers were suddenly welcomed into the church with the same rights and privileges as Jewish believers.  Peter was at the center of this dramatic and radical change! 

 

Cornelius has a Vision

Caesarea, a harbor town named for Caesar Augustus, was the headquarters for the Roman forces.  A Roman centurion named Cornelius lived there.  (A centurion commanded a military unit of at least 100 men.  Centurions were carefully selected for their leadership and noble qualities.)  Cornelius was a monotheist and a pious follower of God.  Most Gentiles believed in many gods.  He was a well-respected man of prayer and compassion.  Although a Gentile, he followed many of the Jewish religious practices such as daily prayer at specified times throughout the day and generosity to the poor. 

 

One day as Cornelius prayed at the designated time in the afternoon (3:00 p.m.), he had a vision.  An angel instructed him to send men to Joppa to the house of Simon, the tanner, and bring back Peter who was staying there.  Cornelius immediately sent servants and a soldier to Joppa.   Meanwhile….  

 

Peter's Vision

Peter was indeed in Joppa, just as the angel had said.  Joppa (modern day Jaffa), is a port city about 35 miles from Jerusalem.  And Peter was staying with a tanner named Simon.  It's surprising that Peter would be staying there, for a tanner was considered unclean due to contact with dead animals and using urine to cure hides.  It seems Peter is already beginning to reject some of the rigid Jewish laws.  That is about to increase dramatically!

 

As Cornelius' men were approaching the city, Peter went up on the rooftop to pray.  (Eastern houses were typically made with flat roofs and outside staircases, providing privacy for prayer.)  He was hungry and wanted something to eat.  As the food was being prepared, he fell into a spiritual trance.  He saw a vision of what appeared to be a large sheet with four corners (representing the whole world) being lowered from heaven (coming from God) and filled with every type of animal, many considered unclean to a Jew.

 

A voice proclaimed, "Get up, Peter.  Kill and eat."  (Acts 10:13). Food laws were originally meant to separate God's covenant people from all others (see Leviticus 11). The Jews were meant to be different, set apart following carefully prescribed laws.  (see attached handout on Kosher dietary laws)

 

Peter recoiled, "Surely not, Lord!  I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."  The voice responded, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."   Three times this was repeated.  In biblical narratives, repetition is a common literary technique used for emphasis. 

 

Clean and Unclean

According to Mosaic law, the Jewish people were to distinguish between the “clean” and the “unclean” in the food that they ate, but true cleanness was a matter of the heart and of one’s obedience to the law of God. "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear (Isaiah 59:2). When the Israelites disobeyed God, they were sent from their land and intermingled with the Gentiles, where they were forced to eat unclean foods.

 

The sacrificial system provided for temporary cleansing and the annual “day of atonement” (Leviticus 16) provided an annual cleansing of the sins of the nation. But the full and final cleansing would come through the Messiah.  (Isaiah 4:2-6Jeremiah 33:7-9Ezekiel 33:22-38).

Jesus spoke often about what was "clean" and "unclean."  He repeatedly rebuked the externalism of the Pharisees, who looked to outside appearances and not to the heart (Luke 16:15).  He spoke of uncleanness as something originating from within (from the heart) and which works itself out through behavior and external acts.  Jesus pointed to our sin as the source of our defilement.  And in Mark 17:9 Jesus declared all foods clean.

 

Christ's death accomplished full and final cleansing, for the sins of all who would believe in Christ. As a result, there is no longer a need to distinguish between “clean” and “unclean" things.  This cleansing was not for only the Jews.  It extended to all whose hearts turned to God and who proclaimed Jesus as God’s Messiah. This cleansing was complete, even bringing near to God those whom the law would have kept at a distance. Isaiah prophesied about such a time, "Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say, 'The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.'”  (Isaiah 56:3)

 

Christ's sacrifice made obsolete the ceremonial food laws. True cleansing was internal, a cleansing from sin. True cleansing came through the cross, not through ceremonial rituals. And so, these convictions, such a part of Peter's identity, must be set aside.

 

But Peter does not understand the implications of all of this quite yet.  For the revelation he has received is not just about food…. It is about people!

 

As Peter is pondering the meaning of his vision, a knock comes at the door.  It is the delegation sent by Cornelius.  Peter invites them in and listens to their story.  By welcoming them into his home, Peter takes another step away from rigid Jewish rules and a step toward acceptance of the Gentiles and God's vision.  The next day Peter sets out for Caesarea with his visitors. 

 

God pours out the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles

Meanwhile, Cornelius has gathered his family and close friends.  When Peter arrives, there is a crowd to greet him. Up to this point, Peter has been convinced he is supposed to associate with these Gentiles and he invited them to stay overnight at Simon’s house. He was even willing to go with them to the home of Cornelius. But now that he is here, what is he to do?  He only knows God wants him here.

 

Peter begins by reviewing the fact that Jews do not associate with Gentiles. "But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean."  (Acts 10:28)

 

Next Cornelius explains his vision and how he had come to call for Peter. Now Peter realizes he has been brought to this home to speak the gospel to this group of Gentiles.  This must have been a profound revelation to Peter!  In verses 36-43, Peter, in simple terms, does exactly that, as he preaches the first sermon to the Gentiles.

 

"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism,"  (Acts 10:34).  He continues, sharing the gospel of Jesus with those present. The salvation Jesus has provided is for all who would believe, not just to the Jews, for "…everyone who believes in Him has received forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43).

 

As Peter is speaking, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon those present.  The Jewish believers are astonished to see the Gentiles speaking in tongues and praising God.  It is obvious to all present that the Gentiles have received the same Holy Spirit the Jews received at Pentecost. Peter now realizes the meaning of his vision -- the barrier between Jew and Gentile has been removed.  The very words he had spoken at Pentecost were true.

 

 “AND IT SHALL BE, THAT EVERY ONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED” (Acts 2:21, citing Joel 2:32)

 

What God had considered unlawful, has now changed.  No person can be considered holy or unholy by his background. This is a powerful truth that should fully impact our lives. There is no room for prejudice.  God shows us there is a greater covenant that we are to abide by - God's love and grace is for everyone.

 

When Peter returned to Jerusalem, he was questioned about his actions but as he described the experience, the believers no longer objected and they praised God saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18)

 

This story represents a great turning point in religious history. The Old Testament foretold that God would also include the Gentiles in his plan of salvation.  Now it has happened.  Through this story we see that the circle of God's love includes everyone.  God wants everyone to believe in Jesus and trust in him for salvation.  No matter how different, God loves everyone and wants us to love them as well, and help them to know Jesus. 

 

Looking Ahead:

This summer we will explore several of Peter's adventures and his contributions to the early Christian Church. Children will see how Peter becomes an important leader in the early church and how God uses him to share the gospel message with others.

 

Sources:  The Seven Feasts of Israel by Zola Levitt, The IVP Bible Background Commentary - New Testament by Craig S. Keener, Smith’s Bible Dictionary by William Smith, Christian Believer - Knowing God with Heart and Mind Study Manual by J. Ellsworth Kalas;  I Want to Know About the Holy Spirit, Rick Osborne and K. Christie Bowler, Zonderkidz, 1998; A Commentary on Acts of Apostles, 1863, J. W. McGarvey; Cleveland Bible Commentary on Acts 3, Sydney M. Cleveland;  The Master's Men, William Barclay, Abingdon Press, 1959;  Disciple II Into the Word, Into the World, Study Manual, Cokesbury, 1991; The 13 Apostles, J. Ellsworth Kalas, Abingdon Press 2002;  Bible Teacher's Commentary, Lawrence O. Richards, Cook Communications Ministries, 2002; Richard's complete Bible Dictionary, Lawrence O. Richards, World Bible Publishers, Inc., Iowa, 1984; Acts for our Time, Charles Yrigoyen, Jr.; Peter & Cornelius Lives Intersect - Acts 10:17-48

http://www.foundationsforfreed...48_The_Meeting.html;

Christian Courier:  Six Great Truths Cornelius Can Teach Us

http://www.christiancourier.co...rnelius-can-teach-us

 

 

Written by Jaymie Derden, 

State Street UMC - G.R.E.A.T. Adventure, 2003 (revised 2009)

 

 

We also included the Summary of “Kosher” Rules

(posted at www.rotation.org by Neil MacQueen, from a document athttp://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm

 

 

STATE STREET UMC

ROTATION MODEL LESSON PLAN

ADVENTURES WITH PETER: A NEW VISION


ART

 

Overview of the Workshop: Children will illustrate Peter's dream using the technique of Mexican Yarn Paintings in the style of the Huichol (Wee-chol) Indians (based on an idea from Carol Hulbert, posted at www.rotation.org).

 

In previous rotations we have studied Peter's denial, his restoration by Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Peter's healing of a lame man at the Temple gate.  This month we will continue our study of Peter's transformation with the story of Peter's vision and his meeting with the Roman Centurion, Cornelius.

 

Scripture References:  

Acts 10  (page 363-364 Little Kids' Adventure Bible)

“The Story of Cornelius” (page 374-376 Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

"God, A Roman and a Jew," The Picture Bible  (pages 708-710)

 

Memory Verse: Acts 10:34

 

Theme: God's love and salvation is for everyone!  God pours out the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles!

         

Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Acts as a New Testament book of history.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will discuss Jewish dietary laws and the implication for the early church.
  • Children will identify Pentecost as the day God's gift of the Holy Spirit came to the Jewish believers.
  • Children will identify Cornelius as a Gentile and a Roman centurion.
  • Children will define:  Gentile, centurion.
  • Children will locate Joppa, Jerusalem and Caesarea on the map.
  • Children will understand that God desires everyone to be saved.
  • Children will understand that salvation comes through belief and trust in Jesus Christ.
  • Children will memorize Acts 10:34.

Preparation and room set-up:

  • Review background information and lesson materials.
  • Gather necessary supplies.
  • Write the memory verse on the board in the room.
  • Place teaching pictures about Peter's life (old SS pics, or search the internet for pictures) and key words/phrases from the lesson on the classroom bulletin board. Suggested words: Gentile, disciple, Centurion, clean/unclean, vision, forgiven, betrayal, fisherman, rock, Cephas, Pentecost, etc.

 

Important note for Art workshop leaders:

In the Art workshop the Bible story is explored through creative and hands-on experiences.  The children may make something they can take home to help remind them of the monthly theme or they may work together to make something for classroom or church to display.

 

Early Arrival Activity

As children arrive, direct them to the bulletin board where you have placed pictures of the story and words about Peter. Encourage them to recall how the pictures and words relate to what they have learned about Peter. 

 

Welcome and Introductions 

Welcome the children and take time for introductions. Please include the shepherd in introductions. Tell the children that today they will be learning about an unusual dream that Peter had that changed many things that he believed about God.

 

Opening Prayer

“Dear Loving, Mighty and Powerful God, Thank you for this day and for the amazing stories in the Bible that teach us about you. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to be with us so that we can understand you better and have your power living inside us!   AMEN”

 

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop begins with the Bible story.  One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!   If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

 

Remember that as the rotation progresses, the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know.  The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion.  You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well.  Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you.  One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

 

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session.  Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks!  Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.

 

Introduce the Story:

We've been studying Peter for several months now. What are some things you remember about Peter?  (option:  take the children to the prepared bulletin board and review some of the pictures and words posted there). Review with the children some of the key events in Peter's story (he was a fisherman, Jesus called him to "fish for people," he was one of the disciples, he was very close to Jesus, Jesus changed his name from Simon to Cephas (Peter) which means "rock," he believed that he would follow Jesus always, but denied him when Jesus was arrested, he met Jesus on the beach after Jesus rose from the dead, he was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he healed a lame man at the Temple Gate).

 

This month we'll continue to learn how Peter is changed! The Holy Spirit in him continues to grow him and teach him new things about God and the Christian life. Let's read more about it in our Bibles….

 

Bible Study - Grades 1-3 

Ask:  Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church?  (Acts, New Testament) 

Pass out The Picture Bible to each pair of children.  Help them locate page 708.  Read "God, A Roman and a Jew," on pages 708-710 as the children follow along.  (The Picture Bible is written in comic book form.  The pictures should help the children visualize the story.)

 

Next help the find "The Story of Cornelius" on page 374-376 of the Little Kids' Adventure Bible.  Paraphrase

the story, noting the blue sub-titles.

 

Bible Study - Grades 4-6

Ask:  Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church?  (Acts, New Testament) 

Today’s story is found in the book of Acts.  Acts is the only book of history in the New Testament.

 

Have the children locate Acts 10 in their Bibles.  Assign volunteers to read the following as the other children follow along in their Bibles:

Cornelius Calls for Peter Acts 10:1-8

Peter's Vision Acts 10:9-16

Acts 10:17-23

Peter at Cornelius's House Acts 10:24-29

Acts 10:30-33

Acts 10:34-43

Acts 10:44-48

 

Review the following Bible note with the children:

Did you Know?  “Why did God send Peter a vision?"  (page 1211)

         

Discussion:

Why was Peter surprised that God told him to kill and eat the animals in his vision?  (because Jewish food laws forbid eating certain foods)

Why did God give Peter this strange vision?  (to show him that he loved everyone and that the gospel message was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews -- explain meaning of Gentile)

What is a centurion?  (a Roman soldier in charge of at least 100 men)

What happened when Peter went to visit Cornelius?  (he told him about Jesus and the Holy Spirit filled Cornelius and his family)

What did Peter do to Cornelius and his family?  (baptized them)

What happened later when Peter returned to his Jewish friends?  (they were upset to hear that Peter had stayed with a Gentile)

How did Peter and Cornelius both do a brave thing?  (it is hard to be with people who are different, Peter might have been afraid of a Roman soldier, Romans might have made fun of Cornelius for believing in God)

What do you think it was like for Peter to adjust his thinking in this way?

What did Peter learn about God from this experience?

 

Memory Verse

Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time.  

"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism."  Acts 10:34

 

What does it mean to show favoritism? 

What does it mean that God does not show favoritism?

What was the lesson Peter learned from his vision?  (God's plan is for everyone -- not just the Jewish people)

 

*Note if the topic of circumcision comes up -- explain that this is something Jewish people did to set themselves apart from other people.

 

Huichol Indian Yarn Paintings

(from an idea from Carol Hulbert, posted at www.rotation.org)

 

Huichol  (Wee-chol) Yarn paintings are a traditional art form of the north central Mexican Huichol Indians. The Huichol Indians use beeswax heated in the sun as "glue" and then create a design with yarns pressed into the beeswax. (we will use glue or double stick tape)

 

Supplies:

  • Foam core board or very stiff cardboard, 5X7 or larger piece for each child
  • Glue or double stick tape
  • Different colored yarn cut into 12-inch lengths
  • Simple animal patterns such as from children's coloring books
  • Craft sticks
  • Baby wipes
  • Permanent markers.

 

Advanced Preparations:

  • Print out several copies of Huichol Yarn Paintings to show as examples. An internet search will provide many examples.
  • If using the double stick tape, cover the board with the tape before class.
  • Print out simple animal shapes and cut out for the children to use as patterns.

 

Option:  Another option is to use collage sticky boards. Have children draw their design on the board, pressing heavily onto the paper surface. Use a craft knife to cut through the paper layer creating puzzle-like sections. Children can remove one paper section at a time and press the yarn onto the sticky surface. Collage sticky boards may be purchased at art stores or online.

 

Directions:

  1. Have the children put on paint smocks.
  2. Show them the sample Huichol Yarn Painting pictures. Explain that animals are a frequent theme in their art.
  3. Give each child a piece of foam core board or cardboard. Have them write their names on the back of the board.
  4. Show the animal shape patterns and have children choose one. Children may also choose to draw their own animal shape.
  5. Have children trace around the pattern or draw an animal shape directly onto the cardboard using a permanent marker. 
  6. Beginning with the outline of the shape, run a thick, even bead of glue on the line. 
  7. Place yarn directly onto the glue, pressing down with a craft stick. Use baby wipes to clean excess glue from craft sticks and hands.
  8. Complete the outline of the shape with glue and yarn.
  9. Continue filling in the shape with more glue and yarn. Different colors can be used if desired.  Traditional Huichol yarn paintings cover the entire board with no blank space. Children may wish to just fill in their animal shape and leave the background clear.
  10. Allow the yarn paintings to dry before taking home.

Journal Reflection

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journals and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned.  

 

Journal Questions:

Grades K-3:  Draw a picture of Peter's dream.

Grades 4-6:  Peter must have been very surprised by this vision. Has God ever surprised you? 

 

Closing Prayer

Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends.   Remind the children of one word or concept from today’s session.  (vision, dream, change, Gentile, centurion, favoritism) are some possibilities.  Ask for prayer requests and pray together.

 

Clean-up

Help Shepherd collect Journals and nametags and put away.  Gather all the supplies and put them away.       

 
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STATE STREET UMC

ROTATION MODEL LESSON PLAN

ADVENTURES WITH PETER: A NEW VISION


MOVIE


This was part of a summer series on Peter. In previous rotations we studied Peter's denial, his restoration by Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Peter's healing of a lame man at the Temple gate. In this rotation we continued our study of Peter's transformation with the story of Peter's vision and his meeting with the Roman Centurion, Cornelius.

 

Overview of the Workshop:

Children will view clips from two videos about the story:  Friends and Heroes Series:  A Friend in High Places, Tyndale House Publishers; The Visual Bible:  Acts, International Bible Society, 1984. 

 

Scripture References:  

Acts 10  (page 363-364 Little Kids' Adventure Bible)

“The Story of Cornelius” (page 374-376 Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

"God, A Roman and a Jew," The Picture Bible  (pages 708-710)

 

Memory Verse: Acts 10:34

 

Theme: God's love and salvation is for everyone! God pours out the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles!

         

Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Acts as a New Testament book of history.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will discuss Jewish dietary laws and the implication for the early church.
  • Children will identify Pentecost as the day God's gift of the Holy Spirit came to the Jewish believers.
  • Children will identify Cornelius as a Gentile and a Roman centurion.
  • Children will define:  Gentile, centurion.
  • Children will locate Joppa, Jerusalem and Caesarea on the map.
  • Children will understand that God desires everyone to be saved.
  • Children will understand that salvation comes through belief and trust in Jesus Christ.
  • Children will memorize Acts 10:34.

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review the Background Information, Behavioral Covenant and lesson materials. 
  • Preview the video clips from Friends and Heroes and The Visual Bible.  Familiarize yourself with the DVD player so you can easily pause, switch scenes and replay scenes if necessary.
  • Prepare the popcorn before children arrive and have it bagged and ready to distribute so your attention can be given to the children.  

Important Note for Video Workshop Leaders:

Children LOVE this workshop!  Often the video is a direct correlation with the Bible story and creates a concrete, visual image in the children’s minds.  They refer to this image over and over throughout the rotation as they visit other workshops. Some videos may take some liberties with the story – you may need to point out these discrepancies.  As much as possible sit down with the children and watch the video together.  Feel free to pause the video to discuss something that you especially want them to note.  Please ensure that the children treat the room with respect – no standing, jumping, or otherwise abusing the seats. 

 

Welcome and Introductions

Gather the children together at the tables with their Bibles. Make sure children are wearing name tags. Welcome the children and introduce yourself.Tell the children that today we will continue our study of Peter. 

 

Opening Prayer

Loving and patient God, Thank you for allowing us to gather with our friends and learn of your many miracles. Continue to be at our sides, as we learn how faith changes our lives.  Amen.

 

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop begins with the Bible story.  One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!   If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

 

Remember that as the rotation progresses, the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know.  The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion.  You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well.  Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you.  One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

 

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session.  Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks!  Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.

         

Introduce the Story

Briefly review with the children some of highlights from Peter's life including: 

  • Peter was a fisherman
  • He was called to fish for people by Jesus
  • Jesus changed his name from Simon to Cephas or Peter meaning rock
  • He promised to stick with Jesus always
  • He denied knowing Jesus three times
  • Jesus forgave on the beach and commissioned Peter to "tend and feed" his sheep
  • The Holy Spirit filled him at Pentecost
  • He preached a powerful message and 3000 people were saved
  • He and John healed a lame man outside the Temple Gate.

 

You may wish to write down the items on a flip chart as the children recall them.  

 

Bible Study - Grades 1-3 

Ask:  Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church?  (Acts, New Testament) 

Pass out The Picture Bible to each pair of children.  Help them locate page 708.  Read "God, A Roman and a Jew," on pages 708-710 as the children follow along.

Next help the find "The Story of Cornelius" on page 374-376 of the Little Kids' Adventure Bible.  Paraphrase the story, noting the blue sub-titles.

 

Why was Peter surprised when God told him to kill and eat the animals in his vision?  (because Jewish food laws forbid eating certain foods)

Why did God give Peter this strange vision?  (to show him that he loved everyone and that the gospel message was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews)

What happened when Peter went to visit Cornelius?  (he told him about Jesus and the Holy Spirit filled Cornelius and his family)

 

Bible Study - Grades 4-6

Ask:  Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church?  (Acts, New Testament) 

Today’s story is found in the book of Acts.  Acts is the only book of history in the New Testament.

 

Have the children locate Acts 10 in their Bibles.  Assign volunteers to read the following as the other children follow along in their Bibles:

Cornelius Calls for Peter Acts 10:1-8

Peter's Vision Acts 10:9-16

Acts 10:17-23

Peter at Cornelius's House Acts 10:24-29

Acts 10:30-33

Acts 10:34-43

Acts 10:44-48

 

Review the following Bible note with the children:

Did you Know?  “Why did God send Peter a vision?"  (page 1211)

 

Memory Verse

Help the children locate and review the memory verse.

 

"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism."  Acts 10:34

 

What does it mean to show favoritism? 

What does it mean that God does not show favoritism?

What was the lesson Peter learned from his vision?  (God's plan is for everyone -- not just the Jewish people)

 

The Visual Bible - Acts

(International Bible Society, 1984)

 

Directions:

  1. Have children pick up their popcorn and add salt to taste.
  2. Have the children sit in the theatre seats. Explain to children that once they are seated they are to remain in their seats so they do not disturb others. 
  3. Follow the guide below to show specific clips from the DVD.
  4. Begin the DVD.

 

Video Guide - The Visual Bible

Steps 1-6 are review.  If time is short, skip to #9.

 

  1. Insert Disc 1.
  2. Click "Search by Event."
  3. Click "Early Church and Peter."
  4. Click "Receiving the Promised Gift."
  5. Click "The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost."
  6. Stop after Peter says, "and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 
  7. Click Menu.
  8. Click Main.
  9. Click "Search by Chapter."
  10. Click "Chapter 10."
  11. Pause at the beginning of the boat scene.  Explain that the man speaking is Luke, the author of Acts.  He is telling the story to those on the boat.
  12. Continue the video. 
  13. Pause after the explanation of Peter's vision.  What appeared in his vision? 
  14. Continue.
  15. Pause as Peter comes down the stairs.  Note the flat roof and outside stairs typical of biblical houses.
  16. Continue.
  17. Pause after Peter asks Cornelius, "May I ask why you sent for me?"  What does Peter say is against the Jewish law?  (for Jews and Gentiles to associate with one another)  What is a Gentile?  (someone who is not Jewish)
  18. Continue.
  19. Pause after Peter says, "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism…."  This is our memory verse.  Review it with the children. 
  20. Replay or continue.
  21. Continue briefly into Chapter 11 - Peter explains his actions to the Jews.
  22. Stop after, "and they praised God saying, so then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."  
  23. Remove DVD.

Video Guide - Friends and Heroes

This video begins with an argument between friends who come from different cultures and are having trouble getting along. The story of Peter and Cornelius is told to help the children understand God's love for everyone.

  1. Insert the Friends and Heroes DVD.
  2. Click Scene 5 - Peter's Friendship with Cornelius.
  3. Play DVD.
  4. Stop after "that story was for you Rebekah."

 

Story Review Activities

(based upon curriculum guide provided with the Friends and Heroes DVD - play the Inclusion game provided by the curriculum guide. The purpose of this game is to help children see that God loves everyone!)

 

 

Reflection and Journal Time

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned.  

 

Journal Questions:

Grades 1-3:  Draw a picture of your favorite part of the story.

Grades 4-6:  It was difficult for Peter to go to Cornelius' house.  Have you ever spent time with someone very different from you?  What did you learn from that experience? 

 

Extra Activity - Memory Verse Review 

If you have extra time, play a game to review the memory verse. Write the memory verse out on a large sheet of construction paper. Seat the children in the theatre seats. Assign one child one word of the verse. (children may need to take more than one word) Point to each word of the verse and have the children stand up and say their word, then sit back down. After the entire verse has been said, have all the children stand and recite the verse together. Play several times going faster and faster.

 

Closing Prayer

Gather the children together in a circle. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session.  (Gentile, love, favoritism, centurion are some suggestions)   Ask for prayer requests and pray together.

 

Clean-up

Have the children throw away their popcorn bags and cups.  Clean out popcorn machine and sweep up any stray kernels.  

 
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STATE STREET UMC

ROTATION MODEL LESSON PLAN

ADVENTURES WITH PETER: A NEW VISION


DRAMA

 

Overview of the Workshop:

Children will act out the story.  Photographs will be taken of each scene to add to the Adventure with Peter Photo Storybook begun last month.


This was part of a summer series on Peter. In previous rotations we studied Peter's denial, his restoration by Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Peter's healing of a lame man at the Temple gate. In this rotation we continued our study of Peter's transformation with the story of Peter's vision and his meeting with the Roman Centurion, Cornelius.

 

Scripture References:  

Acts 10  (page 363-364 Little Kids' Adventure Bible)

“The Story of Cornelius” (page 374-376 Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

"God, A Roman and a Jew," The Picture Bible  (pages 708-710)

 

Memory Verse: Acts 10:34

 

Theme: God's love and salvation is for everyone!  God pours out the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles!

         

Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Acts as a New Testament book of history.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will discuss Jewish dietary laws and the implication for the early church.
  • Children will identify Pentecost as the day God's gift of the Holy Spirit came to the Jewish believers.
  • Children will identify Cornelius as a Gentile and a Roman centurion.
  • Children will define:  Gentile, centurion.
  • Children will locate Joppa, Jerusalem and Caesarea on the map.
  • Children will understand that God desires everyone to be saved.
  • Children will understand that salvation comes through belief and trust in Jesus Christ.
  • Children will memorize Acts 10:34.

Advanced Preparations/Room Set Up:   

  • Read the background information and lesson materials.
  • Gather necessary props for each scene (see suggestions in lesson below).

Important Note for Drama Workshop Leaders:

  • You may wish to organize costumes or puppets ahead of time to cut down on a flurry of activity and possible hurt feelings.  Have props ready ahead of time.  This is especially important for the younger children.  The older children often are very creative with props and costumes.
  • You will want to limit the amount of time the children are allowed to dress-up.  (They can easily spend the entire class time selecting costumes!)
  • Be sure that all children are involved in some way. Some children are intimidated by the prospect of being on a stage.  Offer them alternative roles as well as the children who do not have main parts.  They can always be “sound effects” or “crowds” or stagehands to help change scenery, or video camera operators (for the older children). Remember as well that children can draw the backdrop for the drama on the blackboard or videotape the plays (older children).
  • To eliminate competition, you may wish to place the names of characters in a hat and have children choose their parts. 
  • Be sure to explain the activity to the children and ask for questions.
  • Even though videotaping the activities may seem unnecessary, videotaping seems to encourage better behavior from the children.
  • Have fun and make this fun for the children!
  • The purpose of the drama workshop is not to create a polished performance.  Through the activity, children will explore the story in depth.  Feel free to pause and discuss details as they arise, add more information (using the Background information and resources) and answer questions along the way. 

Have children draw a large flat-roofed house on the chalkboard.

 

Welcome and Introductions

Welcome the children and take time for introductions. Tell the children that today you will be learning about another of Peter's adventures -- when he learned to be friends with people who were different.

 

Opening Prayer

“Dear God, Thank you for this day and for the amazing stories in the Bible that teach us about you. AMEN.”

 

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop includes the Bible story.  One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!   If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

 

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know.  The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion.  You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well.  Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you.  One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

 

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session.  Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks!  Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.

 

Introduce the Story:

  • Last month we learned that on a special day called Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to Peter and his friends.  What do you remember about the story?  (Holy Spirit came like flames of fire and the sound of rushing wind; they spoke in other languages, but could be understood; Peter preached a bold sermon and 3000 people believed in Jesus; Peter was filled with power and courage and even healed a man who could not walk.

 

This month we are going to learn that the Holy Spirit was not just for the Jewish believers. God had a bigger plan! The Holy Spirit was also for the Gentiles -- the people who were not Jews. This was a very different idea that was not at all what Peter expected.  Let's learn more about it.

 

Bible Study - Grades 1-3 

Ask:  Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church?  (Acts, New Testament) 

Pass out The Picture Bible to each pair of children.  Help them locate page 708.  Read "God, A Roman and a Jew," on pages 708-710 as the children follow along.  (The Picture Bible is written in comic book form.  The pictures should help the children visualize the story.)

 

Next help the find "The Story of Cornelius" on page 374-376 of the Little Kids' Adventure Bible.  Paraphrase

the story, noting the blue sub-titles.

 

Bible Study - Grades 4-6

Ask:  Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church?  (Acts, New Testament) 

Today’s story is found in the book of Acts.  Acts is the only book of history in the New Testament.

 

Have the children locate Acts 10 in their Bibles.  Assign volunteers to read the following as the other children follow along in their Bibles:

Cornelius Calls for Peter Acts 10:1-8

Peter's Vision Acts 10:9-16

Acts 10:17-23

Peter at Cornelius's House Acts 10:24-29

Acts 10:30-33

Acts 10:34-43

Acts 10:44-48

 

Review the following Bible note with the children:

Did you Know?  “Why did God send Peter a vision?"  (page 1211)

 

Discussion:

Why was Peter surprised that God told him to kill and eat the animals in his vision?  (because Jewish food laws forbid eating certain foods)

Why did God give Peter this strange vision?  (to show him that he loved everyone and that the gospel message was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews -- explain meaning of Gentile)

What is a centurion?  (a Roman soldier in charge of at least 100 men)

What happened when Peter went to visit Cornelius?  (he told him about Jesus and the Holy Spirit filled Cornelius and his family)

What did Peter do to Cornelius and his family?  (baptized them)

What happened later when Peter returned to his Jewish friends?  (they were upset to hear that Peter had stayed with a Gentile)

How did Peter and Cornelius both do a brave thing?  (it is hard to be with people who are different, Peter might have been afraid of a Roman soldier, Romans might have made fun of Cornelius for believing in God)

What do you think it was like for Peter to adjust his thinking in this way?

What did Peter learn about God from this experience?

 

Memory Verse

Review the verse with the children at this time.  

 

"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism."  Acts 10:34

 

What does it mean to show favoritism? 

What does it mean that God does not show favoritism?

What was the lesson Peter learned from his vision?  (God's plan is for everyone -- not just the Jewish people)

 

*Note if the topic of circumcision comes up -- explain that this is something Jewish people did to set themselves apart from other people.

 

Drama - A New Vision! 

Supplies:

  • Props and costumes for the scenes below.
  • Digital Camera
  • Copy of script (for older age group -- teacher will serve as narrator for younger age group)
  • Signs for each scene -- see below
  • Large white sheet
  • Variety of stuffed animals, including animals considered unclean (pig, camel, snake, crab, insects, rabbit, eagle, frog)

 

Advanced Preparation:

  • Copy the script for the older age group.
  • Make signs for each scene.

 

Characters:

Narrator, Peter, Cornelius, messengers, Cornelius' family members, angel, voice of God, four people to lower the sheet to the stage, sign holders for photos.

 

Directions:

  1. Quickly assign parts and get into costume. 
  2. Children who may not wish to have speaking parts can move props and hold signs.
  3. Read through the script pausing to allow children to act it out. The script follows the text of Acts 10 very closely. Plan to pause for discussion or to answer questions. The goal is deeper understanding of the story, not a polished performance.
  4. At the end of each scene, pause and take a still photograph that includes the Scene Sign for the Adventures with Peter storybook.

Option for Younger Children:

Narrate the entire script allowing the children to act out in between the narration. Encourage them to repeat some of the shorter lines in the script.

 

Journal Reflection

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned.  

 

Journal Questions:

Grades 1-3:   Draw a picture of Peter with Cornelius.

Grades 4-6:   What did you learn about God from this story? 

 

Closing Prayer

Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends.   Remind the children of one word or concept from today’s session.  Holy Spirit, Christian, Gentile, centurion are some possibilities.  Ask for prayer requests and pray together.

 

Clean-up

Help Shepherd collect Journals and nametags and put away.  Gather all the props and costumes and put them away.  

 

Script:  A New Vision!

 

Scene 1:  An Angel Visits Cornelius

 

Narrator:  Now in the city of Caesarea, there lived a Roman centurion called Cornelius. Even though he was a Gentile, he believed in the one, true God instead of many false gods.  He was a kind man and gave generously to the poor.  He was well-liked and respected by the Jews in that city.

 

One day as Cornelius was praying, he had an amazing vision! An angel appeared before him!

 

Cornelius:  (kneels and prays)

 

Angel: “Cornelius!”

 

Cornelius: (acts frightened) “What is it, Lord?”

 

Angel: I have seen your prayers and gifts for the poor. You are a good and faithful man. Now send men to the city of Joppa. Tell them to bring back a man named Simon Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, in a house by the sea.

 

Cornelius:  (beckons two servants to come to him)  

You two, go with my soldier to Joppa and find a man named Simon, called Peter, who is staying at the house of Simon the tanner, near the sea. God has sent an angel to tell me to send for this man who will give me a message from the true and living God.

 

(Messengers depart)

 

Scene 2:  Peter has a Vision

 

Narrator:  Meanwhile, in Joppa Peter is waiting for lunch to be finished. 

 

Peter:  Oh, I’m hungry; I can hardly wait for lunch. I think I’ll pray up here on the roof for a little while.

(He kneels down to pray on the rooftop.)

 

Narrator:  Now rooftops in Bible times were flat with outside stairways, so it was a good, quiet and private place to pray.  As Peter is praying, his eyes open, and he sees a sheet lowered by its four corners from heaven. The sheet contains all kind of animals that Jewish people are forbidden to eat, such as: clams and lobsters, pigs, rabbits, badgers, eagles or other birds of prey, snakes, spiders, lizards, and frogs. The voice of God speaks to Peter telling him to, "Get up, kill and eat."

 

Voice of God:  Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.

 

Peter:  Surely not, Lord! I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.  It's against your law!

 

Voice of God:  Peter, do not call anything impure that God has made clean.

 

Narrator:  Three times this is repeated!  And then as suddenly as it came, the sheet full of animals leaves. Peter is very confused.  He wonders what this vision could possibly mean.

 

Peter:  Wow…. That was very strange…. I wonder what this could possibly mean….

 

Narrator:  While Peter pondered his strange vision, he heard the voice of God speak to him again.

Voice of God:  Peter, three men are looking for you.  Go downstairs and talk with them.  Don't be afraid to go with them because I have sent them here to find you.

 

Peter: (gets up and goes to greet the men at the door)

I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?

 

Messenger: We have come from Cornelius, a centurion who lives in Caesarea. He is a righteous man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. An angel told him to bring you to his house so he could hear what you have to say.

 

Narrator:  Now it was obvious that these messengers were not Jewish -- they were Gentiles.  Peter was not supposed to talk or associate with Gentiles -- it was against Jewish law.  But instead, Peter invited the men to come in and stay the night because it was too late to travel that day.

 

Peter:  Please come in. You can rest here for the night, and we can leave in the morning.

 

Scene 3:  Peter visits Cornelius' House

Narrator: The next day Peter and the messengers began the long trip to Caesarea.  Peter must have wondered what would happen when he arrived at Cornelius' house.  Romans were not known for being friends to Jews.  Was it a trap?  Would Peter be arrested….or worse?  The next day, they finally arrived at Cornelius' house.  Cornelius had invited his family and close friends to be there to meet with Peter.  Cornelius ran out to greet Peter and knelt down in front of him.

 

(Cornelius kneels before Peter)

 

Peter:  Please don't bow down to me.  I am just a man, like you.

 

Narrator:  Peter entered the house and saw all the people gathered there.  He really wasn't sure exactly why he was here. He knew that as a Jew he shouldn't be here - in the house of a Gentile.  It just wasn't done.  Peter wasn't sure what to say, but finally he began….

 

Peter:  You know that it is against our law for a Jew to be friends with a Gentile or visit in his house.  But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.  So, when your messengers came for me, I came with them.  Why did you send for me?

 

Narrator:  Cornelius answered Peter, explaining all about his vision and how the angel had told him to send messengers to Joppa and bring Peter back to his house.

 

Cornelius:  And so I sent for you immediately.  Then I gathered all my friends and family here so that we can listen to what the Lord has commanded you to tell us.

 

Narrator:  It was all beginning to make sense to Peter… his strange vision of unclean animals that God was now calling clean, Gentile messengers to Joppa and now Peter…. right here inside a Gentile's house -- a Roman Centurion to boot!

 

Peter:  I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.  He accepts people from every nation who love him and want to do what is right. 

 

Narrator:  And Peter continued.  He told Cornelius and his friends and family all about Jesus who was sent by God. He told them that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness from sin.

 

Narrator:  And while Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  The Gentiles were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in different languages and praising God.  Peter and his Jewish friends were astonished!  This was the same thing that had happened at Pentecost to the Jewish believers!  It was clear to them that the Holy Spirit was with the Gentiles, too!  How could this be?  They had always believed that God DID play favorites -- and that God was for the Jews only…. Not the Gentiles!  And certainly not a Roman soldier!

 

It was a difficult thing for Peter to understand, but the evidence was right there in front of him.  AND he had heard the voice of God explaining it.  AND he was filled with the Holy Spirit who teaches us about the things of God.

 

Peter:  It is clear that these people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we have!  Can anyone keep them from being baptized?

 

Narrator:  And because it was obvious that the Gentiles had also received the Holy Spirit, Peter ordered that Cornelius and his family and friends be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. 

 

Then Cornelius asked Peter and his friends to stay with him and to tell them more about Jesus.  And so they did.

 

Scene 4 - Peter in Jerusalem

Narrator:  Word spread quickly about what Peter had done -- staying with Gentiles, eating with them and even baptizing them!  How could this be?  Peter was a good Jew who knew the importance of their rules.  And so when Peter was in Jerusalem next, they met with him to ask him about the rumors they had heard.

 

Apostles:  What is this we hear about you visiting Gentiles and eating with them?

 

Peter:  It's true.  I did that, but it is not as you think.

 

Narrator:  And so Peter explained everything to the other apostles…. About his vision and Cornelius' vision and God's voice telling him to eat the unclean animals and then the most amazing part of all…. How the Holy Spirit came upon all the Gentiles in that room, just as had happened to them at Pentecost. 

 

Peter:  So, if God gave the Gentiles the same gift as us, who am I to think that I could oppose God?

 

Narrator:  After hearing Peter's story, the apostles were amazed as well.  They had no further objections and they praised God, saying….

 

Apostles:  So… God has given eternal life to the Gentiles, too!  It's true!  God loves everyone and wants everyone to be saved!  Praise God!

 

The End…. For now!

 
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ADVENTURES WITH PETER: A NEW VISION


COMPUTER WORKSHOP

 

SUMMARY: Children will explore the concept of prejudice through the software Actual Reality. Students in grades 1-3 will use just a portion of the Actual Reality software and will use Kid Pix

to draw "friends" in as many colors as they can, using the drawing features of the program.

(Software available from www.sundaysoftware.com)

 

 

A lesson written by Jaymie Derden from:
State Street UMC – G.R.E.A.T. Adventure
Bristol, VA

This lesson created and copyrighted by State Street UMC, Bristol, VA, 2009. Permission granted for non-commercial, local church use, provided credit is give to the source.

 

 

Scripture References & Memory Verse & Objectives and Life Application: 


Refer to first post in this lesson set.

 


 


Supplies:

  • Software: Actual Reality CD; also for grades 1-3: Kid Pix
  • Paper easel or white board
  • Pictures of a Hebrew Peter and a Roman centurion soldier “Cornelius”
  • Pictures of an American child and a child dressed in traditional clothes of another culture
  • Pictures of children living in poverty
  • Markers
  • Pencils or pens

 


Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review the Background Information, Behavioral Covenant, Teaching Tips and Lesson plan.
  • Preview the software prior to teaching.
  • Make copies of the Navigation Tips/Worksheet for each computer station (for older children). See attachment at end of this lesson.
  • Turn computers on and insert CDs before children arrive.
  • Be sure the speakers are on and the headphones are unplugged.
  • Write the memory verse on the white board.
  • Note: This workshop requires extra adult shepherds when the younger group is scheduled to visit the lab.

 

Time Guidelines:


Introductions/Opening Prayer5 minutes
Bible Study10 minutes
Actual Reality15 minutes
Kid Pix/Memory Verse15 minutes
Reflection/Closing Prayer5 minutes

 

 

Notes for Cyber Space Teachers:

This workshop can always use extra hands, especially when working with the younger children.  Ask the shepherds to sit with the children at a computer station and help with navigation, reading text and discussion.  You might also want to pair older students with younger ones.  As much as possible, try to sit with your students as you go through the software together.  The lesson is not what’s on the computer.  It’s what you and the students do with what’s on the computer.  Guide your students through the content, share openly and facilitate their sharing with each other.  Model your enthusiasm for the Word of God.

 

Early Arrival Activity

 

1. As children arrive, have them read through the verse on the white board several times.

2. Erase one word at a time from the board, having children recite the verse after each erasure.

3. Continue until the entire verse is erased and children can recite the verse by memory.

 

 

Welcome and Introductions

 

Gather the children together at the large center table with their Bibles. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Always begin each class with introductions. Remember that workshop leaders rotate often and the children may not know you.

 

 

Opening Prayer

 

"Dear God, Thank you for this day and for all the people who are here today. Thank you for the Holy Spirit and for the stories of faith in the Bible.” Amen.

 

 

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop begins with the Bible story.  One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!   If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

 

Remember that as the rotation progresses, the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know.  The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion.  You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well.  Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you.  One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

 

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session.  Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks!  Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.

 

 

Introduce the Story

 

Say: We've been learning about Peter for several months now. We've learned about some of his mistakes and some of the good things he has done. Last month we talked about Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Ask: How was Peter changed when he was filled with the Holy Spirit? (bolder, more courage, not afraid, preached great, healed people in Jesus' name). Say: Peter has the Holy Spirit living inside him giving him strength, power and courage. The Holy Spirit is also a teacher, helping Peter (and us) know more about God and how to live a Christian life. This month we are learning how Peter discovered something new about God and whom God loves. Let's find out more about it in our Bibles.

 

*Note if the topic of circumcision comes up -- explain that this is something Jewish people did to set themselves apart from other people.

 

 

Bible Study - Grades 1-3

 

Ask: Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church? (Acts, New Testament)

 

Pass out The Picture Bible to each pair of children. Help them locate page 708. Read "God, A Roman and a Jew," on pages 708-710 as the children follow along. (The Picture Bibleis written in comic book form. The pictures should help the children visualize the story.)

 

Next help the find "The Story of Cornelius" on page 374-376 of the Little Kids' Adventure Bible. Paraphrase the story, noting the blue sub-titles.

 

Bible Study - Grades 4-6


Ask: Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church? (Acts, New Testament) Say: Today’s story is found in the book of Acts. Acts is the only book of history in the New Testament.

 

Have the children locate Acts 10 in their Bibles. Assign volunteers to read the following as the other children follow along in their Bibles:
  • Cornelius Calls for Peter Acts 10:1-8
  • Peter's Vision Acts 10:9-16
  • Acts 10:17-23
  • Peter at Cornelius's House Acts 10:24-29
  • Acts 10:30-33
  • Acts 10:34-43
  • Acts 10:44-48

 

Review the following Bible note with the children: Did you Know?
“Why did God send Peter a vision?" (page 1211)

 

 

Into Life…

 

For the next portion of the lesson, refer to this computer lesson by Trinity UCC, Pottstown, PA. (Scroll down to Fisherman's Net.) Start with the “Opening Activity… Show pictures of ‘Peter’ and ‘Cornelius’…” Skip the reading portion, as that has already been done.

Follow Trinity UCC's lesson up to these two questions:


Who decided that Cornelius was okay? (God)
Who decided that Cornelius should become part of the church? (God)
 

Then continue with...

Say: This was hard for Peter…. he had to overcome what he had always been told and taught…. But he didn't have to do it on his own. He had the power of the Holy Spirit to help him. What he had to do was listen to the Holy Spirit. And be willing to let the Holy Spirit lead him and guide him to a new understanding. We can do the same! < p> Ask: What did Peter learn about God from this experience? Does God want those who are different than you to be part of God's family? (yes!) Do you listen to the Holy Spirit? Are you willing to let the Holy Spirit guide you and lead you to do things that take you out of your comfort zone or to do things that are hard?

 

 

Memory Verse

 

Review the memory verse: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.” Acts 10:34

 

Ask: What does it mean to show favoritism? Does God love some people more than others?

 

 

Computer Exploration: Are you Color Blind?

 

Directions

1. Have children work in pairs at each computer station.  Working together is an important part of the lesson. (For younger age group, review the software with the children at one computer, navigating and pausing for discussion according to the worksheet.)

 

2. Pass out a navigation sheet for the Actual Reality program, one per computer. (see attachment at end of this lesson)

 

3. Have children follow the navigation guide/worksheet, answering the questions.  When they hear something from the CD that reminds them of the Peter and Cornelius story, have them make a note of it at the bottom of the worksheet.

 

Adjustments for age levels and abilities

  • Read the note from Lisa Martin on Age Level Adjustments, at the end of her lesson.
  • Jaymie's note:  The software focuses on racial prejudice.  Social class can also be an area of prejudice. Differences in financial resources, clothing, housing and schools may be a bigger issue for our children, than race.  Use the discussion time as you navigate through the software to bring up these topics.
  • For younger children, focus on the C and O sections.  Skip L and R.

 

For Grades 1-3: Kid Pix Illustrations

Children will draw "friends" in as many colors as they can using the drawing features of the program.

 

Directions

1. Insert Kid Pix CD into computers.

2. Give each child a navigation guide for the software.  OR… demonstrate on one computer as the children watch, the basics of Kid Pix.

3. Have children draw "friends" in as many colors as they can.

4. Make sure children take turns at the computers. For example, first child draws one person, then the second child draws and so forth.

5. Print out the drawings -- one copy for each child and one copy for our scrapbook.

 

 

If you have extra time:

Have the children type out the memory verse using Kid Pix and print it out.

 

 

Reflection and Journal Time  - Grades 4-6

 

Give the children one of the themes below – whatever seems to be most appropriate given your discussions. Use Kid Pix to journal. Print out at the end of class.  Also note that by clicking on the green button, the computer will read the text.  After journaling, if time allows, take children around to each computer and have the computer read each journal entry.

  • Make diary entries for Peter, beginning before the dream and ending after the meeting with the Jerusalem church.  What might he have written in a diary about his experience? 
  • As Peter, write two letters to Cornelius before you have the dream and again after you have met him.
  • Re-write the Peter and Cornelius story as if these two were kids that went to your school, and the differences weren’t Jew/Greek, but white/black, or American/immigrant or rich/poor.

 

Closing Prayer 

 

Gather the children together in a circle.  Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session.  (change, Gentile, Holy Spirit, prejudice are some suggestions)  Encourage children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends, especially their friends who do not belong to a church.  Remind them to bring their Bibles.  Ask for prayer requests and pray together. 

 

 

References

  • Martin, Lisa. “Peter and Cornelius – Fisherman’s.Net (computers).” Rotation.org. Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ, Pottstown, PA, 2004.
 
 
 
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