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Moderator's Note:
We continue to get reports from Beth Tobin at Gloria Dei. Scroll down for the latest in how their online Sunday School is doing.


Mid-March 2020

What Gloria Dei Lutheran is doing to stay in touch with kids, families, and parishoners during the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

Recently, we were talking with @Beth Tobin, a member of our Lord's Prayer lesson set Writing Team, about how her church was reaching out to its kids and families during the Coronavirus outbreak. Beth is the Children's Ministry Director at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Olympia, Washington. Beth responded with this encouraging reply:

I’m actually way more busy right now that normal. It’s wild!

I’m designing lessons and working on ways to connect with kids and families online, and learning more about technology platforms along the way. Our staff is all hands on deck calling families, posting daily devotions, and recording services to post online.

Our initial online offerings are:

  • A fun virtual children’s choir using Zoom live streaming! 
  • Wednesday and Sunday worship
  • Daily devotions
  • 10 a.m. Daily Moment of Prayer


 We are also experimenting with Zoom for our Virtual Sunday school -- both whole group session and break out sessions.

 We”re also emailing resources for worship and Sunday school at home, phone calling all households, and setting up “cabin” (small) groups.


You can find some of her thoughts on using Zoom (an online video meeting platform) in this post in our "Ideas for Online Sunday School" topic. 

FOLLOW this conversation for updates!  

 
...and feel free to add your comments and ideas.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Mid-March 2020

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to share!  We’re all in this together.  Let’s make it awesome!  Having never been in this situation before, we find ourselves beginning with a big brain dump of ideas, inklings, and experiments to be conducted.  Some of these pertain to the entire church, and some just to our children's ministry.

Here are some of the things we launched first or are working on right now. I'm sure they will evolve as time goes by.

1) Our worship is online and so are our devotions. You can see them at  www.GloriaDeiOlympia.org.  I did the first two devotions and tried to make them so they could be something kids could do/relate to.  The first one especially.  Our staff is taking turns with them.  Some will be video.  Some just audio.  Some text.  Some text and photo - whatever the person comes up with.  I actually LOVE my first devotion - it was totally Holy Spirit inspired!

2) On my Facebook page and on our Gloria Dei Kids facebook page I’m sharing ideas and articles to support families getting their heads wrapped around homeschooling their kids

3) One of my ideas/goals is to deliver 12x18 construction paper for kids to trace their hands and arms and decorate, then cut them out and save them for a banner that we are going to make when we are all back together, “God’s work.  Our hands.”   — That happens to be the ELCA tag line too.

gloriaDeiTable

4) Another goal is to make prayer table kits for home use and figure out how to get them to families. More about that in the next post below.

5) Since we have a large congregation we turned our conference room into COMMAND CENTRAL." We have printed out and posted the names of everyone in our congregation on the walls and as people/staff make phone calls and touch base with people we are updating the walls so we can see who is falling through the cracks.  I think this is a good idea for children's ministry too -- keeping their names in front of you and having a system to keep in touch.

6) I’m also starting to work on how to do Good Friday/Holy Week for kids online.  Happy to share or collaborate. I wrote a service that we usually do in person and I’m thinking of ways to adapt it, or different prayer stations that families could set up at home that help to tell the story, or doing a Godly Play storytelling or…. Guided imagery drawing, or ???

And Easter is coming 

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Editor's Note
Though Lent has passed, this idea could be used for other in-home celebrations and devotional practices. It describes a neat way to bring a tradition usually celebrated in the church to the home.


LENT "HOME PRAYER TABLE"

We have a tradition of opening Lenten Sunday School in a group with prayer at the prayer table, so we thought it would be a good idea to create a "Home Version" which the kids and families would be familiar with.

For the home kits, I bought precut solid white 6”x6” white quilt squares.  I bought a couple yards of purple Lent-looking fabric and I’m cutting it into 12” squares.  I’ll provide a list of other materials families can choose to add to their prayer tables, which will be a more polished version of the draft attached below. 

Here's how it usually goes down when we're all together each Lent:

You can "build" this in many ways and on any surface.  We often build this on the floor. The first cloth is the largest, 42” x 36” or 48”.  It changes with the color of the season of the church year.  Right now, we are in Lent, so it’s purple. The second cloth is literally a white cloth placemat.  

When the welcome water is poured in the bowl, everyone is super quiet to listen for the water.  We talk about how whenever, wherever we hear water, to let it remind us of being children of God and of how much we are loved.  

We end the prayer table with petitions.  I open the prayer, then the kids all have a chance to pray if they would like to.  Each petition includes:  Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.  Then we all conclude with the Lord’s Prayer. 

After the Lord’s Prayer, everyone usually dips his/her finger in the welcome water and makes the sign of the cross on his/her forehead.  It’s so powerful.  For this time at home, I’m going to ask kids to go to a sink and get water on their finger and come back to the screen and mark their foreheads so we can all see each other and bless each other.  

I hope this is helpful!

Notes attached.

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

March 22, 2020 Update

More info about how we are doing our "Daily Prayer at 10 am"

Here is the email we sent our members, posted online, and mailed in our newsletter. It describes what the Daily Moment is all about. This is not a "Zoom" or online prayer, but rather, a moment members can share together wherever they are.

A Daily Moment of Prayer Together Apart - 10:00 a.m.

In this unprecedented time, prayer is one of the ways we can stay connected to God and to each other.  We invite our entire Gloria Dei family to join in a moment of prayer every day at 10:00 a.m. Wherever you are,  whatever you are doing,  Pause…. Breathe… Pray.

God hears and answers our every prayer.  Even though each of us will be in our own setting our voices and hearts will combine.

You might pray alone.  You might pray silently.  You might just pause and take a breath.  You might forget, and that’s okay.  You might pray with those whom you are with.  Whatever is on your heart, share it with God. 

There is no right, and there is no wrong way to pray.  There are no wrong words to say and if you don’t know what to say, don't stress.  The Spirit will intercede on your behalf.

A daily moment of prayer together apart.  10:00 a.m.

God bless and keep you.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Update

Some of the Resource Packets I've Been Sending Our Gloria Dei Families

Attached are last week’s worship and Sunday school resources that I emailed to my families.  I don’t want to overwhelm them.  I’m working on a new email for this week to include information about how to set up a Story Workshop at home with the toys kids have on hand.  (I will be referencing Rotation.org to do that.) 

Dear Families,

Is anyone else feeling a sense of scrambling to try to figure this all out?

Let’s take a moment to just breathe together and know that we’ve got time.
We don’t have to have everything figured out today or tomorrow or this week.
We are all in this together, and God is in the thick of it with us.

The Prayer of Three Breaths:

(If you ever need to calm things down at home -- or calm yourself down -- this works wonders. It is also really easy to teach to your children.)

1. Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. Say: In the name of the Father,
2. Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. Say: In the name of the Son,
3. Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. Say: In the name of the Holy Spirit.

You can end the prayer there by saying, “Amen.”
You can sit or be in silence for a while - as long as you want.
You can add prayers of your own, of your children, or family members. Many children are used to saying a petition of their own followed by, “Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.”

Lord, continue to be with all who are affected by this virus, and with each of us as we do our best to respond and care for ourselves, our families, and each other. Thank you for granting us science, wisdom, and creativity, and continue to hold us close in your love. Amen.

Resources:

I’ve pulled several resources together into this email so I’m not bombarding you with email after email. Please know, you are totally in my prayers. If you know or hear of someone who needs help, please let me know. I will help as I’m able and there are other people ready and willing to help out as well. I can help make connections.

Two things I’m excited about:

1) Connecting creatively with Sunday School Kids via Zoom.
2) Story time with our kids online, either Zoom or Facebook Live.

Stay tuned. Gotta figure out copyrights. And tech. Re-read the prayer above. <3


Worship Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

Join in on Facebook: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Olympia or www.GloriaDeiOlympia.org
Here are the Scripture readings for this Sunday’s worship:
• Exodus 17:1-7
• Psalm 95
• Romans 5:1-11
• John 4:5-42

Pastor Molly will be preaching. See you at worship online! Invite everyone!

Ideas for Sunday School at Home:

For March 15:
This link has ideas for children that tie in to the lessons we will hear in worship tomorrow. There are great talking points for how to connect the Scripture reading with children. Keep in mind this is written for pastor types, but this is a gold mine to share. There’s a script at the end if you want to do a fun reading of the Gospel lesson.
http://worshipingwithchildren....t-march-23-2014.html

Here’s an index from the same author for all of the upcoming Sundays in the school year and ideas for engaging kids each Sunday. Carolyn has been working on this site for years and it’s excellent:
https://worshipingwithchildren...om/p/date-index.html

Carolyn is also working on resources specifically for families, like us, who are now at home. Those will be available this next week. 

Godly Play at Home: (Great for all ages!)
This is an excellent link to the Godly Play Foundation YouTube channel. Expert storytellers use Godly Play materials to tell Bible stories. They are continually adding stories. You can select stories in different languages as well. https://www.youtube.com/user/G...ort=dd&flow=grid

Here is the link to the current stories that our Godly Play children at Gloria Dei are working on: The Mystery of Easter. Each “card” in this story is its own lesson and the lessons build from week to week. Our students would have been on week or “card" five this Sunday. This story teller is telling the whole compilation. Everyone should watch this no matter how old you or your kids are. It’s profound storytelling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlFho5BRyEc

Rotation Classes: (Grades 1-5, but really these are age adaptable.)
Grades 1-5 have been learning about the Judges. All of the lessons for this rotation are hands-on-using-our-gifts type of lessons. (Crafting, Baking, Cleaning/Service Project)

What could you do at home? I’m attaching the Faith Journal Sheets below as good talking points. I would NOT recommend reading Judges with your kids…we were working from a “G” rated verbal storytelling standpoint at church making the connection that even though the Judges were not perfect, God gave each one of them special gifts to help God’s people. Surprise! — We are not perfect either, and God gives us gifts, too, to help God’s people — to show God’s love to others. The Faith Journal Sheets (attached) might just be some great conversation starters for how we can be Church in this time of virus and show God’s love to others even when we physically can’t be at church together right now. The time of Judges points us to the need for Jesus, God’s Son, our Savior.


Weekly Resource from Illustrated Ministry:
If you’ve ever seen the coloring posters and the devotions that go with the posters that we have used at Gloria Dei, this is where they come from. Super great group of people. They are offering a FREE weekly faith formation resources email for families. I just downloaded the first one which is about God’s call to us. There’s a simple reflection that goes along with the coloring sheet. This particular sheet ties in perfectly with our overall theme in Sunday School this year in addition to our study of Judges. They will not sell your email address. You can trust them.  https://www.illustratedministry.com/flattenthecurve

Thanks for reading! I appreciate you all!! You are doing a great job with your kids!! I am praying for you and as always love to hear from you.

Please stay in touch and watch for other emails about connecting via Zoom.

God’s peace and blessings,

Beth

 

For my next resource email,  I’m pulling a lot from Worshiping with Children It has such great ideas that go with the lectionary.  It just makes more sense right now to go lectionary.  It's more unifying to what we are all hearing during the worship service online.  

 

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Beth - this is WONDERFUL; thank you. I would like to do something similar here at St. Alban's on the coast of Maine; I will of course credit you. Love the name "Holy Experiment", may I use it? Thought I would include some humor and incorporate "and now, a word for our sponsor: God!"  We plan to meet via Zoom; I'm working on a brief lesson plan that will have the kids make banners for Palm Sunday (an abbreviation of rotation.org's Writing Team's Palm Sunday Creative Storytelling workshop) for a virtual procession we'll do the following week. There's SO much out there I really didn't know where to begin, but your lesson resonated. Thank you. Very much hope that your family that spans four time zones are all well. 

Thank you -

D

Hi Debbie, You are very welcome to use anything you would like to use.  A post of the specifics of how we did Zoom and what worked well and what we will change is coming.  You are welcome to use any of that too.  I hope you are well!  Peace - Beth

 B - Thank you - VERY MUCH appreciate it. I think we're all set w/ Zoom; our church has an account and we successfully held an adult worship service on 3/22. We're figuring things out, as all are, from the east coast to the west.

Peace - D

Here’s a recap from this last Sunday's Zoom Sunday School: what was planned, what we did, and what we are planning for next week. It went great and was so fun to see everyone that could make it!

Feel free to share and blessings on your week!

Beth

zoomAnointing


Pre Zoom Sunday School Checklist:

  • Email out an invitation link to families and include any supplies you would like them to have on hand and what to expect in the Zoom.
  • Keep supplies simple and assume that not everyone will have supplies.
  • Ask someone to co-host with you. Make sure this feature is selected from the settings menu and that your co-host is comfortable in this role using Zoom.
  • Make sure the co-host has your lesson outline and if there are any specifics you’d like the host to help with or monitor such as: Admit people, watch the chat to help with troubleshooting or answer questions or note prayer requests, mute people, watch and respond to inappropriate behavior (see information on Zoom Bombers), I also asked our co-host to save a copy the chat (more on that below).
  • Zoom offers a great “help” search and video tutorials. Practice ahead of time.
  • Learn and practice how to use a Break Out Room if you plan to use this feature.
  • 40 minute Zoom sessions are free. Watch your time. You will be cut off at 40 minutes. Be ready to modify or bail on a section of your plan if needed and prioritize what you want to accomplish.
  • Offer a Zoom Meet & Greet a day or so before Sunday school for people to learn and practice how Zoom works and say hello. They can pop in for a few minutes or the whole time.


Tips that worked really well: (I believe they were inspiration from the Holy Spirit.)

  • Have everyone type a greeting in the chat to everyone and include all of the names of the people they are with - both children and adults. This becomes your attendance list and allows you to know who to follow up with post Zoom for anything that you didn’t get to or want to follow up on. Your Zoom needs to be well paced, and if you have a lot of people on you won’t get to see everyone. Ask your co-host to save the chat and email it to you afterwards so you have the record.
  • Encourage people to type prayer requests, and any questions they have in the chat as well. Your co-host will monitor this so you can focus on the lesson and interacting with children and families.
  • Toward the start of the lesson invite children to start working on an activity that pertains to the lesson and/or the guided practice that will come later. This gives them a focus and helps them to engage from home. We used paper and drawing and coloring in a heart. This worked really really well. We had three year-olds through fifth graders on our Zoom, so this activity also helped give younger children something to do while more in-depth teaching points were shared with older students.
  • If you will be reading a Bible story from a book, type out the text or copy and print it to have in front of you so you can hold the book straight at the camera and children can clearly see the pictures while you are reading. I included the page numbers on my print out so I would know when to turn the page.
  • Type out what you want to say on your lesson plan along with a guesstimate of the time frame and print it out. Include the words “Time Check” in several places as a reminder that this is a section of your plan that you can modify or bail on if you're over time at that point. You might not say all of your wording but having it thought out ahead of time will help you gauge how much time you need for each section and if you get lost you can refer to your notes.

Below is the lesson plan and talking points we used at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Olympia, WA, for March 22, 2020. Comments are in green. Modifications we made to the plan during the Zoom are in red.


Zoom Sunday School Plan for Sunday, March 22, 2020

Times are approximate and are dependent on the # of participants.

9:59
Gather | Check In | Hello | Intros? (See Opening Q) (We did not do introductions here, but did do them in the opening question section. This was due to time and not knowing how long everything would take.)
Susan - Co Host - Thanks
As you are listening: Paper/Draw and color in a heart (This was such a good idea!)
Zoom Etiquette
Mute (At times, some people forgot to mute themselves. The co-host took care of muting them so the presenter could stay focused on the lesson.)
Chat - Prayers, Greetings, Qs - Saved/Respond (We let people know the chat would be saved and if any questions in the chat were not answered on the Zoom we would follow up with them.)
Troubleshooting - Saint Susan (Susan was our awesome co-host.)
Type Names into Chat - “Hello from: ___ “ (This was such a good idea!)
Susan - please track prayer requests as they come in for Closing Prayer (If petitions were not voiced during prayer time, they could be read from the chat.)
Reactions
Raise Hand
40 minutes - This lesson will need to move along!
Permissions - Model for other churches (Make sure to get permission if you will be taking any screen shots. We got verbal permission and I asked our co-host to take some screen shots for us so I could just focus on leading the lesson.)
Feedback

10:05
The Lord Be With You <3 Prayer

10:06
Circle of the Church Year - Fourth Sunday in Lent (We used the Circle of the Church Year from Godly Play.)

10:06
Opening Question TIME CHECK -
What is something you have seen this week that has made you smile, feel good, or has filled you with hope?
Depending on how many participants, break into groups so people can talk.
Introduce each other as you share.
Encourage people to also type their response in the Chat so all can see. (Responses were not typed in the chat because I forgot to ask participants to do this because I was distracted. I had practiced break out sessions ahead of time, but realized in real time that I didn’t know how to end them early and was worried about time. People LOVED the break out though! It was really important to have this time of introduction and checking in with each other. Not all of the families knew each other. Another thing that happened, was that additional families were trying to join the Zoom while the break outs were going on. We had not anticipated this and neither the co-host nor I saw them right away. Once we saw them, we admitted them, but they had to wait to see everyone until the breakout group time ended and everyone came back together. That felt a little awkward and is on my tech learning list for this week.)

10:10
Regroup | Lesson | God Chose David & David is Anointed King | 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Place the Story
OT • Books of History • Follows Judges • 2 Scrolls
Optional • Show various artwork stories to set the stage
Connect Samuel • Show Picture p. 41
Called as a boy, Priest, God spoke to the people through Samuel, anointed King Saul and King David - Israel’s first two kings.

10:12
Read the Story p. 41-43 (I used the Children of God Storybook Bible by Archbishop Desmond Tutu ISBN 9780310719120)

10:15
Things to think about:

  • Maybe there has been a time when you have felt like you were overlooked, not seen, not important, or not noticed? (Offer examples and use hand motions or nod or use reactions)
  • David was a young child. He was the eighth son — so low that his family didn’t even consider bringing him along.
  • He came straight from the field so he would have been dirty and sweaty, and stinky.
  • Anybody like to play sports? (Reactions/Type sport in) Have you gotten sweaty and stinky?
  • Why do you think God picked David? What do you think God saw in David that God would pick David to be king? Talk as a family and type response in chat. (We sipped this question/bullet altogether for two reasons: 1) The kids were being really shy. (More on this in the end notes), and 2) time was flying by.)

 

10:20 Anointing/Welcome Water 

  • God chose David because God looked inside David and saw David had a good heart. David was anointed and filled with the Spirit of God.
  • God sees you and looks inside you and knows you have a good heart.
  • At your baptism, you are anointed with oil and God claims you as God’s own loved child, and fills you with the Holy Spirit, and says I’ve got great plans for you!
  • If you have water handy, dip your finger in and make the sign of the cross on your forehead or on your hand.
  • While anointing: In one verse from Psalm 23, David writes “You anoint my head with oil.” Perhaps remembering the promise that God had plans for him. David became Israel’s greatest king. (Not everyone had the supplies. As I poured water on my end, I also reached my finger toward the camera to mark everyone with a cross.)

 

10:25 Hearts - TIME CHECK -

  • Draw a heart
  • Color it in, draw eyes, write names of or draw people you see.
  • Oil - Optional - transparent/see through - like God sees us. Cut out, hang as a reminder to look inside other people not just on the outside and to act with a kind heart.
  • Look for signs of people using their kind hearts this week.
  • Share with family - Breakout groups if time. (No time for this breakout. In fact, we just talked through this activity and left it as a follow up for at home. It was great that we started it at the beginning of the Zoom. More information was sent out about it in email following the Zoom so parents could have the information in print if they wanted it. I had envisioned us having time to color in hearts, cut them out and hold them up to the camera for everyone to see but that did not happen.)

 

10:30 Closing Prayer - TIME CHECK

  • Gesture through a few items on prayer table (This is a prayer ritual we do each week. To save time, I had preset the prayer table up on my table at home so I could refer to it with the children. I emailed instructions to families on how to set a prayer table up at home and do a scavenger hunt to find the components if families would are interested. I did not spend a lot of time on it because I wanted to get to the Rock Prayers - an intentional way I’m trying to build community. See Follow up notes below for more information.)
  • Unmute all - We are going to use Rocks while we pray to each build the shape of a cross. This is something that can connect us and our prayers. Jesus is our rock, our foundation In whom we can trust. Through out this time God is working for good and even as we are all in our own homes we are connected and loved.
  • Add a rock for each prayer that is said so we are all building a cross shape together.
  • Lord in your Mercy. Hear our prayer.
  • Lord’s Prayer.

 

10:38. Announcements and Goodbye!
Next week: Bones!
Choir
Cool links and lesson extenders - sent in weekly email
GDKids FB/Website - www.GloriaDeiKids.org, FB: Gloria Dei Kids
Feedback


Post Zoom Reflections and Follow Up:

  • We received great positive feedback and responses from families and kids so we are considering this a huge success! I’m really looking forward to next Sunday!
  • Next week we will send out reminders to families. People shared with me they are loosing track of what day it is so had forgotten it was Sunday and missed Sunday School. #truth
  • Part way through the Zoom I realized the need to send a follow up email to families who were on the Zoom as there were things we were having to skip or speed through.
  • I felt like this was very much presentation style with too much talking and not as much interaction and not much movement. I’m working on ways to incorporate movement and more interaction next time — allowing more time for these things.
  • The kids were super shy and that surprised me until I realized that they are use to being with “their” people in their own class settings and here we are all together. I plan to structure in more community building ideas and it will be fun to see how kids across all ages groups get to know each other better and open up more. Specifically, I’m thinking of our prayer time. Kids usually have lots of prayer petitions to offer and it was pretty quiet this Sunday. Someone did offer up a prayer for everyone to have enough t.p. though. <3 It’s good to have some petitions thought out ahead of time if you are opening up petitions to the group.
  • Parents are right there or nearby listening in, which is great on so many levels! They can help their child(ren) if they need it, they are hearing the Bible lesson, and can help facilitate and encourage participation in break out groups.
  • Announcements at the end were a good idea and got the kids thinking toward next time and verbally referenced resources for parents who want them.

 

Post Zoom Follow Up Email:

I had gotten verbal permission to take some screen shots but also put it out there in the follow up email below.

Hi!

It was so great to see you all! <3

Thanks for joining in on Sunday school this week.

If you have concerns about screen shots being shared, please let me know. I am blurring names and our chat for sure, and can blur faces as well. Thanks for letting me share our experience with others.

If you have ideas on how to improve, or something you thought worked well, I’m all ears and will incorporate that feedback into sharing best practices with other congregations.

I’m actually really excited about next week’s lesson and have already incorporated movement into it so we’re not just sitting for so long. <3 I’m also seeking ways to have more community building time and interaction, and maybe that will come as get more comfortable with this format.


Heart Project Follow Up:
Draw a heart shape.

Option 1: Color it in. If you use crayon, you could rub just a bit of oil over the paper to make it translucent as a reminder that God sees what’s in our hearts, not just what’s on the outside. After it dries, cut it out and hang it up to let the light shine through. Let it also be a reminder for us to look inside others, and not just on the outside. It’s also a reminder to act with a kind heart.

Option 2: (This can be in addition to Option 1.) Write names of people or draw people you see, you love etc. around or in your heart shape.

Option 3: (This can also be an add on.) Be on the look out for those who are not seen in our community and world. Write or draw about your thoughts. How could you let them know they are seen?

Option 4: (Another add on.) Look for signs of people using their kind hearts this week.

Share your work and thoughts with your family.


Rock Prayer Thoughts:
I’m trying to use this a community building tool. Thanks so much to those of you who sent me photos of the cross your child created out of rocks or modified to create out of something else like toy people! See photos below. So cool!! If you have a photo I’d love to see it!

Each time we gather, we will build a prayer cross in our own setting — together — combining our hearts and our prayers through Christ. Jesus is our rock -- our foundation in whom we can trust. Throughout this time God is working for good. (Watch for kind hearts in action to see God at work.) Even as we are all in our own homes we are connected and loved.

Materials needed: Rocks - or whatever you or your child come up with!

God sees you. I see you.

Peace be with you and blessings on your week!

Beth

 

Photos of “Rock Prayers.” Children are invited to each build a cross shape in their own homes as we pray together knowing we are united by Christ.

rockPrayer1rockPrayer2

Screenshot taken during the anointing response time. 

zoomAnointing

Screenshot as we were getting set for storytime.

zoomStory

 

References:

http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2014/02/year-fourth-sunday-of-lent-march-30-2014.html
https://www.rotation.org/topic...--anointing-of-david

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Hi Beth - Brief recap of how "Holy Experiment," -- our East Coast Maine version, went on 3/29; attached is my script.

I borrowed heavily from you & listed you as a source; also used ideas from the Writing Team's "Palm Sunday: Jesus is the One" lesson plan. It went well, not perfect, but no one "ended meeting" half-way through so I take that as a good sign. Will tweak & hopefully improve over the upcoming weeks.

Observations:

1. It went much faster than I thought - I had planned for 35, it lasted 22.

2. Kids reserved & hesitant to speak/participate at first.

3. I originally thought it would be good to make it more interactive - get up & jump around w/ a wiggle-tamer, perhaps sing one of the songs we've been learning over the year, but I think that would fall flat.

4. Letting parents know the Bible story, art project & supplies ahead of time is important & appreciated.

5. Having a co-host to run the meeting is key.

Thank you again for posting and providing me a template to plan upcoming lessons. Appreciate it.

D

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Great job, Debbie!  I started off this last Sunday forgetting to enable our cohost to start with.    We got there eventually!  It's all such a learning curve and a wonderful way for families to connect and grow in faith together.  Your Palm Sunday procession sounds like great fun!  We pre-record our worship service and then post it.  Families are sending in photos and video of them in their yard waving branches and and we are compiling them into a video at the start of worship for our palm procession.  It's fun to hear what others are doing!  Peace - Beth

Last edited by Beth Tobin

April Update from Gloria Dei

Now several weeks into "together apart" we can certainly confirm that Online Sunday school doesn’t take the place of getting to see everyone in person, but it’s so fun to connect.   Kids are loving it and I’m having fun with it!  

We are using the same format on Zoom each week with little variations to keep it fresh.  

This week we’ll be breaking bread and “going” on an Emmaus walk.  Each week I’m working to incorporate movement and music into our lesson. 

Last week we incorporated Polls and last week we played a fun “I Doubt It” game inspired by http://easybreezysundayschool.blogspot.com/2015/04/doubting-thomas.html?m=1  which utilized Bible trivia from http://jesusalive.cc/didyouknow.htm.  What a fun site!  

I’ve included a photo of the game below along with a pdf of the game pieces.  Cut them out and glue them back to back.  Sandwich a pencil or a straw in-between the layers if you wish.  It was SO much fun!  What do you think?  Are these true statements?  Do you doubt it or believe it?

Here are some of the doubt/believe questions we used.

  1. There was a lady named Noah in the Bible.  Joshua 17:3
  2. Green is the first color mentioned in the Bible.  Genesis 1:30
  3. Job said his wife thought he had bad breath.  Job 19:17





PHOTOS!

I love all the smiles!  This student has his prayer table set up with things he’s holding in prayer for others, and his prayer cross that each child builds at home as we pray together.  Some crosses have been built using rocks, marshmallows, beads, crayons, Legos, blocks, jelly beans etc. whatever works.  It’s something tactile we do together as we pray. 
This is part of the Easter prayer table we set up each week during prayer time.  The people can represent so many things:  medical workers, grocery works, people who clean, people who are sick, people who are hurting, people who have doubts, people who believe, people who see Jesus in others, you, me, people who follow Jesus etc. 

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Hi Beth - Thank you for this update. St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Cape Elizabeth, Maine has also settled into a nice routine. For us, Zoom works well. We like being "live" rather than pre-recorded. There have been a couple of minor glitches but everyone is very understanding and they've been fewer as the weeks have progressed. We're averaging about 18 children from 12+ families. We're not recording or taking screen shots. Age range is age 4 - 6th grade. For this Sunday (Mother's Day) I was inspired by Jan Hanson @ FPC Napa's "I am the bread of life...." lesson plan found @ rotation.org; activities will include ChristianAnswers.Net "I Am Sayings of Jesus" crossword puzzle as well as leading a bread baking activity, so the kids can make their mom a freshly baked, homemade loaf on Mother's Day (assuming folks have the ingredients on hand or are willing to go to a grocery store.) I write to parents each Thursday to let them know the Bible story & suggested supplies.

No, it doesn't replace face-to-face. But we all love seeing each other on Sunday mornings - the smiles say it all. In normal times, Sunday School would have wrapped up w/ Teacher Appreciation Day on Pentecost, and we would have gone into our more relaxed "Summer Fun Day" mode on June 7th, when one or two families lead the program - a Bible story, a simple activity or craft, a closing prayer. We haven't made a decision yet about what our summer plans will be - we're awaiting guidance from the State government and from our Diocese -- but we simply don't know yet.

What are your plans for the summer? Are you going to continue leading Zoom Sunday School through the summer? 

Take care - thanks for all you do - D

 

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