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This thread has a complete set of rotation lessons for

Martha and Mary

Summary of Workshops:

  • Art - Children will make “molas” a Panamanian art form that layers fabric – or in this case paper – on in the correct order to create beautiful designs. Focus: Setting priorities.
  • Computer - Older Children will read Martha and Mary’s homepage (* and younger children will participate in the story (*Play & Learn). BOTH groups will take a look at Martha, Mary, and Lazarus’ house using “*A Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus.”  Focus: understanding story details.
    (Moderator notes that all three* of the software programs are out of print, we leave this lesson here for those churches who already have these programs.)
  • Cooking - Children will make fruit tarts using either a very easy or very fussy recipe, and then try to complete a worksheet. Discussion: Having time for Jesus.
  • Movie - “Moderation” from the Book of Virtues, Season II, Moderation: The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg" (PBS). Discussion: Getting caught up in too many activities.
  • Drama - Charades review of stories taught the last 9 months. Discussion: How well do you know your Bible stories? Need to put faith issues first.
  • Games - Children will play a parachute game and a memory verse game that reinforce setting priorities and putting God first.  Discussion: What does it mean to strive first for the kingdom of God?

Martha and Mary

Art Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will learn about an ancient Panamanian art form called “mola.” They will cut layers of paper over each other to make an image from the story. The picture only looks right if you put the paper in the correct order.

Outcome Objectives:

  • Children will visualize the Bible story.
  • Children will identify which woman was putting God first.
  • Children will create an art project whose technique involves putting paper in the correct order.
  • Children will relate the story of Martha and Mary to the busyness of their own lives.


  • Construction paper (we are suggesting red, yellow, black, & blue to give an ethnic feel)
  • Scissors (or for older children, if they are mature and supervised, exacto knives.)
  • Glue sticks
  • Corrugated cardboard for cutting on if using knives
  • pencils
  • whiteboard (whiteboard marker) or large sheet of paper (marker)
  • World Map

Advance Preparation

  • Read and know the Bible story.
  • Keep background color at 9X12
    Trim black to 8 ½ X 11 1/2
    Trim yellow to 8 X 11
    Trim red to 71/2 X 10 ½
  • Have a copy of mola bird construction paper project to help children visualize how they will layer their artwork.  Find information and or pictures of this native Panamanian art form.
  • Have a world map showing Panama, and have some basic knowledge about that country to tell the children.
  • If you don't have a whiteboard in your room hang a large sheet of paper on the wall where everyone will be able to see and have marker nearby.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet children as they arrive.

Ask: Can you think of things that you do in several steps? (getting dressed, washing the dishes, etc.)

What happens if you do the steps out of order?

(For example: getting dressed – what happens if you put your shoes on before your socks? Washing the dishes – what happens if you dry the dishes before you wash them?)

Say: This is true for our faith as well. Jesus tells Martha and Mary that it is more important to put some things first than others.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Do: Read or retell the story.

If this is not the first week, as the children to recall the story as best they are able.
Grades 1-2: read or retell the Bible story to children, or use a children’s story Bible.
Grades 3 up:   read the text together.

Ask: Aren’t we supposed to serve Jesus?
Wasn’t Martha serving Jesus?
Did Jesus say she was wrong?
What exactly did Jesus say?
Say: Jesus is telling Martha that it is important to put the most important things first.
Ask: What is the most important thing?

Do:  Practice saying memory verse together.

Art Activity:
Explain the art form, giving children a little background information on Panama and when where the art is used.

If using knives, give safety instructions and rules for use.

Explain that they are going to make a mola out of construction paper.

Ask them first of all to think of the Bible story and decide what part of the story they would like to draw. (Mary listening, Martha working, Jesus talking to the two sisters)

Alternatively, they can choose symbols that seem to reflect the meaning of the story (for example, an ear for listening, a bowl of food for Martha’s work, a Bible for listening to Jesus’ word, etc.)

Do: Have them make a sketch on white paper.

Look at the example of mola art made out of construction paper. Have the children look carefully at the red (top) color. Ask them to see how very large shapes are cut out of the red paper. The red paper is then laid over the black paper. Look next at the black paper. Smaller shapes were cut out of the black paper and then laid over the yellow. Finally a few shapes were cut out of the yellow and laid on the blue, just for accent.

Use a pencil to draw the outline of the images in red. Remind them that everything they want in the final picture, must be cut out of the red paper first. Carefully cut the red paper.

Center the red paper on the black. Again, use a pencil to decide what parts of the black should be cut out. Carefully cut out the black.

Continue with yellow paper which will be centered over the background color.

Be creative
Real molas use a great variety of fabric colors and patterns. You don’t have to stick with red, black, yellow, and blue, but those colors will definitely give an ethnic feel to the finished project. Experiment with other colors. Using the internet, look up “mola” on a search engine and see the many beautiful designs that the native Kuna women have created. Print these out on a color printer for children to see.

Life Application:

Ask:  What would your 'mola' look like if they shuffled their papers and put them in a different order? (Let them try)

Say: It really only looks right when you place the papers in the right order, doesn’t it?

Do: Give children a minute to glue down their papers then continue discussion.

Ask: How would it have worked if they had cut the yellow first, then the black, then the red? Would it have been hard to make the yellow and black show up in the right places?

Do: Have children list four or five places/activities that they might go in a given week. (Be sure to include church and school.)  Write these onto the whiteboard.

Ask children to place these in the order from most to least important by numbering them in order of importance - #1 being most important.

If any didn’t put “church” first, ask them what they think Jesus would say to their not putting church first.
Say: Church takes a lot less TIME than school, or even sports practice.

Ask: Why do you think something that only takes two hours should come FIRST? What effect does it have on your life to put church first? Last?

Ask children to reflect on the day’s learning through one of the following questions:

  • When is it important to “put first things first?”
  • What does it mean to say “God comes first?” How do you show it?
  • Think and reflect about a time when you let other things take priority over God.


End with a prayer.

Adjustments for age levels and abilities
Obviously, knives can only be used by older children, and then only by those with the maturity to use them safely.

For younger children, encourage them to use the layering technique, but don’t stress making an image that corresponds with the story, which can be too difficult.

Younger children may want to glue each sheet as they go.

If you have extra time…
Have children share their molas and tell what part of the Martha and Mary story they are telling.

If time runs short…
Don’t cut final discussion. Children can finish these projects at home if needed.

Martha and Mary

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
One group will make an easy fruit tart and have time for the lesson, the other will have an impossible recipe and won’t have time to do what is “really important.”

Outcome Objective

  • Children will make one of two fruit tarts (easy or complicated)
  • Children will work on a Bible activity sheet about Martha and Mary
  • Children will discuss and understand the excuse “being too busy for God.”
  • Children will examine their own schedules at home with their parents

Cooking Supplies Needed:

For Easy Tarts

  • 1 ready made tart shell per child
  • pre-made vanilla pudding, enough for each tart
  • canned fruit (you can pre-open with can opener to make it easier/safer)
  • Cool–Whip or other whipped cream
  • Spoons and trays for preparation

For Complicated Tarts

  • Butter, graham crackers, and empty muffin tins lined with muffin paper; something for crushing graham crackers.
  • Instant pudding mix, milk, measuring cups, whisk
  • Whole fruit, w/ vegetable peeler, cherry pitter, or plastic knife. (ADULT HELPER)
  • Whipping Cream and Electric mixer
  • Bowls, spoons, etc. for making tarts.

Other Supplies Needed

  • Bible Activity Sheets for each child
  • Bibles for those who forgot theirs
  • “Too busy for God” take home sheets for each child
  • White Board or Large Pad of Paper (markers)
  • Recipe Cards for each group

Leader Preparation:

  • Assemble all ingredients on a tray in the refrigerator to bring out as needed.
  • Have easel/paper/Bibles ready for opening discussion.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Encourage children to put on hats and aprons.
Practice memory verse
Divide the paper on the easel (whiteboard) in half. On one half write the word “busy.” Ask the children to define what a “busy” person is like, what sorts of things they do, how they feel, etc.
Ask them to name some busy people. On the other half write the word “balanced.” What would someone who lives a “balanced” life look like? How are they different from a busy person?

Read the story of Martha and Mary. Ask the children to identify which woman is busy and which woman is balanced and put their names on the easel. Why? What is most important to Martha? What is most important to Mary? (add these comments to the easel)

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Do: Explain that the children have 20 minutes (or however long you have to reach 9:50) to complete the activity. The team with the most right answers on their activity sheets when you call time will be the winners. Explain that they must do three things in order:

  1. Make a fruit tart for everyone in the group.
  2. Clean up their cooking space to the satisfaction of the teacher.
  3. Receive Bibles and activity sheets to complete in time allotted.

Divide the group into two sections and give them each a tray and a recipe card.

  • One group will have the “Easy” ingredients and recipe.
  • One group will have a regular recipe, which is much more complicated. (Recipe cards follow lesson plan).

Assign a shepherd to the group making the complicated recipe with the instruction that they are to make sure everything is done safely (knives, electric beaters) and relatively neatly (we don’t need to clean whipping cream off the ceiling, but sloshing pudding on the table is a normal part of the activity). They are NOT to help the group work more efficiently by dividing work.

The group with the easy recipe should be able to finish in about 10 minutes and move onto the activity sheets. The group with the more complicated recipe will probably not finish in the allotted time.

Life Application:
Ask:  What was the goal of this lesson? (complete the activity sheets on the Bible story)
How well did you reach your goal?
If we were going to label our recipes as “Mary’s Fruit Tarts” and “Martha’s Fruit Tarts” which recipe would get each name? Why?

Say: Affirm that Martha wasn’t a bad person, and busy people aren’t bad people. But when you are really busy sometimes you get worried and distracted and forget what is most important. Ask: What is most important? Brainstorm with children ways that we show that God is most important in our lives and write these on clean sheet of easel paper.

Do: Repeat memory verse, and help children see how it applies to the story.


Pray for help to stay focused on God through all the busy-ness of life.

Enjoy your fruit tarts, complete activity sheets, and give out handouts with instructions to work on these this week with parents and return them next week to shepherds for your journals.


If you have a small group…
Getting frustrated over not having enough time to do the Bible activity sheets is the goal. If you only have a few kids, skip the Easy Recipe and have everyone make recipe #2. At the end bring out the Easy Recipe and tray and ask them if they thought they could have completed their lesson if they had the easier recipe. Continue discussion from there.

For older children…
Consider giving the easy recipe card to the ones with the complicated ingredient list and see if they can figure it out themselves. Stress to adult helpers that they are there to observe safe use of all equipment, NOT to offer suggestions on how to break down tasks and work efficiently.

For younger children
Make the complicated recipe slightly easier by having the graham crackers pre-crushed and an easy to prepare fruit, such as bananas or strawberries and plastic knives. Add and extra adult to supervise safety and perhaps give a little direction.

Younger kids are less likely to be overextended than older children, although (increasingly) this is not always the case. If they themselves aren’t busy, help them think of kids or families that are.

If you have extra time…
Begin work on “Too Busy for God” take home sheets” If you have a lot of time, complete them and place them in journals, with another sheet going home to parents.

Go over correct answers to Bible Activity Pages and

If you are running short on time…
Keep an eye on the clock and make sure you are beginning your cooking lesson no later than 9:30. This may include summarizing part of the Bible story, actually reading only Jesus’ words, or limiting discussion on busyness.

To Take Home
Bible Story 209 “Jesus Visits Martha and Mary” from
“Too Busy for God?”
Be Creative…
If the complicated recipe group still manages to complete their tarts easily within the time frame, adjust for following week. How can you increase the ease of one group and add difficulty to the other?

-----------    RECIPE   -----------
Fruit Tarts – Recipe #1


  • Tart Shells
  • Pudding
  • Fruit
  • Whipped Cream/ Cool Whip


  • Utensils Tray
  • Spoons
  • Can Opener

1) Place pudding in tart shells to about ¼ inch from top
2) Spoon fruit over top of pudding
3) Top with whipped cream

Clean up
When you are done, place tray in refrigerator, dirty bowls in the wash sink, and wipe off the counter.

Do: Ask teacher for you Bible Activity Sheets and Bibles. Complete as much as you can in the time allotted.

----------- RECIPE -----------
Fruit Tarts – Recipe #2


  • Graham Crackers
  • Butter or Margarine
  • Instant Pudding Mix
  • Milk
  • Fresh fruit
  • Carton of whipping cream


  • Utensils Measuring cups
  • Rolling Pin or other crusher
  • Tray
  • Muffin Tins and paper liners
  • Bowls
  • Wire whisk
  • Colander (wash fruit)
  • Peeler, pitter, or knife to prepare fruit
  • Hand or electric mixer
  • Spoons and spatulas


  1. Finely crush 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs. Mix with 4 T melted butter and line muffin cups with the graham cracker crust mixture.
  2. Prepare pudding as per package directions. When it is lightly set, spoon into the crusts to about ¼ inch of top.
  3. Wash and prepare fruit. Place on top of pudding.
  4. Using hand or electric mixer, whip whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Spoon a dollop on each tart.

Clean up
When you are done, place tray in refrigerator, dirty bowls in the wash sink, and wipe off the counter.

Do: Ask teacher for you Bible Activity Sheets and Bibles. Complete as much as you can in the time allotted.

-----------    HANDOUT  -----------

Too Busy for God?
Parents: This is an activity sheet for you to do with your children. Please find some time this week to work on this as a family and have your child return the second page only to Faith Odyssey next week for their journals. The first page is for your personal reflection.

Scripture Study
1) Look up and practice memory verse Matthew 6:33. If you have time, you may wish to compare different translations.
2) Read Luke 11:38-42 with your child, encouraging him/her to read as much of the story as possible

Discuss what the word “distracted” means?
What was Mary doing that was “better?”

How do you score on this faith assessment? You can have family members fill this out individually and/or fill it out together as a family.

1. Worship Attendance – How often are you in Sunday worship?
   A. Every week without fail
   B. Miss about one Sunday a month
   C. About every other week
   D. Once a month or less.
2. Sunday School Attendance – How often are you in a class on Sunday morning?
   A. Every week without fail
   B. Miss about one Sunday a month
   C. About every other week
   D. Once a month or less.
3. Involvement – How involved are you in the life of the faith community?
   A. I/we have regular ways we serve the church.
   B. I/we volunteer occasionally, but have no ongoing commitments
   C. I/we will help out if asked, but I don’t volunteer.
   D. I/we try not to get involved.
4. Involvement – If the church offers mid-week activities, how likely are you to attend them?
   A. Very likely. I/we almost always participate in mid-week study and worship.
   B. I/we pick the activities that are most meaningful to us, but don’t attend them all.
   C. I/we might participate some, perhaps during a special time of year.
   D. In the past year, there have only been one or two times I’ve been at church other than on a Sunday.
5. Distractions – If something comes up on a Sunday how likely are you to skip church and participate in the other activity or event?
   A. No way. Sundays at church are a priority for me/us and if anyone asks that’s what we tell them.
   B. Only occasionally if the activity is very, very important to me/us.
   C. Usually. There are commitments that I/we see as equally important as our commitment to church.
   D. Almost always. God will understand, other people often won’t.
6. Vacation – If you are out of town on vacation, which best describes you?
   A. I/we always find a place to worship, or have a family worship service.
   B. I/we usually look for a church to attend, but don’t go to any inconvenience.
   C. I/we will go to church if with a person/family that goes to church
   D. Vacation is vacation – no church
7. Perceptions – If an alien from outer space were to come down and observe you/your family for three days, what would they conclude about your faith?
   A. They would definitely conclude that I/we are a Christians.
   B. If they came over the weekend, they would realize I/we are a Christians.
   C. They would realize I/we are guided by higher morals, but wouldn’t be able to attach Christ’s name to me/us.
   D. They probably couldn’t distinguish me/us from a nice atheist.
8. Bible Study – How often do you study the Bible?
   A. I/we are involved in weekly Bible classes with others and read the Bible daily at home.
   B. I/we do one of the above, but not the other.
   C. I/we turn to the Bible in times of trouble.
   D. Bible? I know it’s around here somewhere.
9. Prayer – What best describes your prayer life?
   A. I/we pray several times a day in thanksgiving, for help, for guidance.
   B. I/we say rote prayers at meal time and/or bedtime.
   C. I/we pray when I/we remember it.
   D. I/we seldom, if ever pray.
10. Money – Which best describes your giving habits (for adults and employed youth, consider the answers based on salary; for children, consider the answers based upon allowance and special gifts, like birthdays)
   A. I/we tithe 10% of our income to the church.
   B. I/we give less than a full tithe, but make sure that we give to the church first when we receive income.
   C. We have a regular church pledge, but will skip it if other expenses are too tight.
   D. I/we have no regular plan for giving.

Score 10 points for each A
7 points for each B
4 points for each C
1 point for each D

The Highest possible score is 100, lowest score is 10. Do you like where you scored individually/as a family? If you were to make one change, what would it be?

Have each member of the family place their name on the line where they think they best fit.

Martha Mary
Worried and --------|----------|----------|-----------|----------|--------- Always Putting
Distracted Jesus First
by worldly cares

A covenant is a promise that includes God. With God and each other, make a family covenant regarding church participation. Keep this copy and post it somewhere you will see it, such as the refrigerator. Have your child write out another copy and bring it to store in their Faith Odyssey journals.

Martha and Mary

Computer Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Please note that there are two lesson plans for the first part of the lesson. Older children (grades 3 and up) will use “*”  Younger children will use the “*Play and Learn Bible.” BOTH groups will take a look at Martha, Mary, and Lazarus’ house using “*A Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus.”

(Moderator notes that all three* of the software programs are out of print, we leave this lesson here for those churches who already have these programs.)

Outcome Objectives

  • Children will know the story of Martha and Mary
  • Children will reflect on what Jesus was saying to these two women
  • Children will reflect on the difference between doing for and doing with.

Supplies List:

  • Software
    • Play and Learn Children’s Bible for each computer
    • for each computer
    • 1 copy A Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus Software
  • Worksheets
    • Copy of Sunday Software's "Mary & Martha" Lesson by Neil MacQueen attached with permission.
      • from above lesson create a copy of questions for each child
      • from above lesson create a copy of Walk in the Footsteps Guide for each child for (Grade 3 and up)
  • Information about Habitat for Humanity (do an on-line search for this)

Advance Preparation
Review the Play and Learn story and create questions to ask the children.

There’s no substitution for getting on the computer and learning the programs. Take special notes of how to boot – you can’t simply run it on our computers.

Tech Notes
All programs require that the disk be in the drive.

When you insert the Bibleland disk, it will start on it’s own – frequently giving an error message. Instead, close the automatic start and use the desktop icon (here we copied the entire program onto our hard drive and created an icon start button from there).

To get to Martha and Mary’s homepage, do a SEARCH for PEOPLE, HEROINES

In Play and Learn select Bible stories, Jesus Teaches, Martha and Mary

For A Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus Click "FINAL WEEK" and look for the icon that looks like the inside of a house. This is Mary, Martha, and Lazarus' House in Bethany -a photobubble shot on location in Bethany.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet children as they arrive. Keep monitors turned off and have children turn chairs to face you.

If this is not the first week, ask them to recall details of the story of Martha and Mary. Practice saying the memory verse.

Read the scripture together (3rd grade up) or tell the story in your own words or using a children’s Bible storybook.

How do you think Martha felt at the beginning of the story? At the end?
What about Mary?
Is this the outcome to the story that you would expect?
What extra information would you like to know about Martha and Mary?

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Part 1

Have children gather around computers.

  • Play and Learn (for grades 1-2)

    Select Bible stories, Jesus Teaches, Martha and Mary

    The story is short so have the children each take turns clicking through the they will each see it about 3 times (good for memory).

    When children have finished going through the program, have them exit their programs and turn their chairs to face you. Have them retell you the story and answer questions you've created on the story..

  • (for grades 3 and up)

    When children have finished going through the program, have them exit their programs and turn their chairs to face you. Go through the questions on the worksheet together (which you had previously printed - see supplies list.)

Part 2

Gather around one computer where you have A Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus up and running.

Teacher will need a copy of "A Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus Worksheet  (pre-printed see supplies list).

Allow children to take turns looking around the photo bubble, clicking on audio buttons,  and looking more carefully at the surroundings of the room.

When children have finished viewing/listening to everything in the room, have them turn their chairs to face you. Go through the questions on the worksheet together.  Leave the program on as you may wish to have them turn back to the computers to listen again to one of the audios or look at something specific to a question you are discussing.

Life Application:

What is the difference of doing things for someone and doing things with them?
Which did Jesus emphasize? Why?
Think of some examples of doing something for someone. Think of some examples of doing something with someone.

Pass out information from Habitat for Humanity. Their website begins with this statement:

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian housing organization.

We welcome all people to join us as we build simple, decent, affordable, houses in partnership with those in need of adequate shelter.

Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 125,000 houses in more than 87 countries, including some 45,000 houses across the United States.

Notice that they use the words “in partnership with” not “for.” Why is this important? What difference would it make if they built houses for those in need?

Think of something that you have done FOR someone else, and change the experience to doing that same activity WITH them. How would that feel?


End with a prayer.

Adjustments for age levels and abilities:
Notice the different programs for younger children.

If you have extra time…
The photobubble can be pasted into the paint program that comes with the computer and a copy printed out for each child. See directions in your Kid Pix 3 (newer version 4 or 3-D) help notes.

If time runs short…
A Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus adds another dimension to the story, but is not the most important learning. It can be abbreviated or cut completely.

Be creative, here's a couple of ideas.
1) Use Kid Pix 4 (or 3-D) to journal.
2) Marty Scripture Memory Game (Sunday Software)  This software title is FREE to supporting members! Check it out. to work on the memory verse.

Martha and Mary

Movie Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will watch the video “Moderation” from the Book of Virtues, Season II, Moderation The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg" (PBS). and relate Annie’s problems and the stories used to illustrate them to the busyness of their own lives.

Outcome Objectives

  • Children will assess how they spend their time.
  • Children will discuss Annie’s priorities.
  • Children will look at the stories used to illustrate moderation and apply these lessons to think about their own priorities.

Supplies List:

  • Video “Moderation” from the Book of Virtues, Season II, Moderation (PBS).
    Notice: this series is out of print and does not show on the website, but you may find it posted on YouTube.
2020 - Editor Adds: The publisher has posted the full episode on YouTube, it's called "Adventures from the Book of Virtues | Moderation: The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg" (22 mins.)
I've inserted the timings into the below lesson using the YouTube version.

Advance Preparation:

  • Preview the video and know where the places to stop for discussion are.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

With children, make a list of all the things they have to do this week. Make one master list on the flip chart. Older grades may want to make their own individual lists as well.
Prioritize them: most important to least important.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Show video stopping at each indicated spot below to ask questions.

Press Pause (After Annie views her report card and Plato goes to open the book -- 4:42 mins.)
Ask: Why did Annie’s grades slip?
What happens if you put sports/TV/video games/friends before school work?
What happens if you put sports/TV/video games/friends before church?

Press Play

Press Pause (After the spider’s two feasts -- 11:24 mins.)
Ask: What would have happened if the spider had gone to one feast or the other?
Have you ever wanted to do two things that are happening at the same time? How did you decide which to do?

Press Play

Pause video (after the goose that laid the golden egg)
Ask: How important were the things that the farmer and his wife were buying?
Do you ever really want something that isn’t honestly important?
Do you ever really want to do something that isn’t honestly important?

Play to end of video
Stop Video

Ask: In 10 or 20 years, what will Annie’s life be like if she keeps focusing on softball, but fails all her classes?
In 10 or 20 years, what will Annie’s life be life if she puts school work ahead of softball?
Which is more important, school or softball?

Do: Read the story of Martha and Mary. Grades 3 and up use their Bibles. Grades 1 & 2, retell the story or use Bible storybook.
Ask:  Who is Annie more like – Martha or Mary? Why?
What do you think Jesus would say to Annie if he was talking to her?

Life Application:
Say: This story doesn’t say anything about Annie and church.

Ask:  Do you imagine she is going to church? Saying prayers? Worshiping God? Reading her Bible? What would you tell her about the importance of going to church?
In 10 or 20 years, what will Annie’s life be like if she does her school work, and plays softball, but neglects going to church?

Do you know anyone who doesn’t go to church because they are “too busy?” What could you say to them to convince them that church is more important than other activities?

Do you ever let other things get in the way of your coming to church? What other things? How do you think God feels when you choose to do other things instead of coming to worship and Faith Odyssey?

Do:  Practice saying your memory verse together.

Ask: What do you think this verse might mean to someone like Annie? What does it mean to you?

How does God feel when I make other things more important than God?


End with a prayer.

To take home:
Things to do this week.

Adjustments for age levels and abilities:
Have younger children draw pictures rather than writing words.

If you have extra time…
Watch the opening of the video again, asking children to imagine that instead of school work, it is Annie’s faith that has slipped.

If time runs short…
The goose that laid the golden egg can be skipped if time runs short – it is less of a key learning that the other material.

-----------    HANDOUT  -----------

Things to Do this Week


With your child, make a list of things to do this week. They can include activities, school projects to start etc. They can also include favorite leisure pastimes – watch a TV show, have dinner as a family, invite a friend over, etc. Ask your child to add to the list some of the “Godly” things we are asked to do: Read our Bibles, go to church, say our prayers, etc.

Read together Matthew 6:33 “Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Which things on the list could be described as “striving for the kingdom of God?”
Mark these things on your calendar/daily planner at the times you plan to do them, to show that they are the most important.

Next, decide what is of secondary importance. Mark those things in blue at the times/dates you need to complete them.

Finally decide what are less important. Write these things down in green.

Was it easy to decide what to put in red? In blue? In green?
Are you and your child happy with the priorities you set?

As you go through your week, check off the activities as you complete them. Did you check off all your red letter items? Blue? Green? How do you feel about how you did?

Things to Do This Week
Red – highest priority Blue – very important Green – less important

Morning Afternoon Evening

Morning Afternoon Evening

Morning Afternoon Evening

Morning Afternoon Evening

Morning Afternoon Evening

Morning Afternoon Evening

Morning Afternoon Evening

Martha and Mary

Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will play charades to reinforce the stories learned Sunday and Wednesday since the program began in January. A closing discussion will incorporate the different experiences of children who have come to church every week and have learned the stories, vs. those who don’t know the stories.

Outcome Objectives

  • Children will play charades to review past stories.
  • Children will connect the stories of Mary and Martha to their own past participation in church activities.
  • Children will discuss the importance of learning the Bible.

Supplies List:

  • Story cards for game of charades.

Advance Preparation:

  • If there are any stories in the review topics that are unfamiliar to you, look them over.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children as they arrive.

Do:  Read the story of Martha and Mary. Grades 3 and up should read the Bible story with you. Grades 1-2 tell the story using your own words or reading from a Children’s Bible storybook.

Ask:  If Jesus gave Martha and Mary a “pop quiz” to see how well they know what Jesus was talking about, what grades do you think they would each get? Why?

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
Explain that today’s activity is a pop quiz of sorts. Explain that you will be playing charades.

  1. Divide children into partners and give them each a scene or two to act out silently.  You may want to have them go to different corners of the room so they don’t overhear each other’s preparation.
  2. After a few minutes, call them together and take turns acting out the charade.
  3. Decide if you want to encourage children to shout out answers as the charade goes on, or wait to the end and raise their hands if they think they know the answer.
  4. Remember, no sounds from the actors.
  5. You don’t need to keep score – its’ just for fun.

Life Application:

Ask: Who knew the answers and who did not? Do you think the kids who come to church every Sunday and Wednesday know their Bible stories better than kids who show up now and then? What else can help you learn your Bible stores?

If you were to give yourself a grade for how well you know your Bible stories, what grade would you give yourself? What could you do to improve your grade to an “A”?


Reflect on what you have learned in this lesson. Write a story (or draw a picture) of yourself learning about the Bible – not as you have done in the past, but how you would like to behave in the future.


End with a prayer.

To take home:
When will you study your Bible this week?

Adjustments for age levels and abilities:
First graders were not in the Faith Odyssey program last January-May, so they won’t know those stories. You can adapt the game to be about stories they would know – Jesus is risen, Jesus is born, etc.

If you have extra time…
Have children make a list of all the stories from the Bible that they can think of. Have them be as specific as possible about what they know about the stories.

If time runs short…
Leave at least 15 minutes for closing questions and journaling. Cutting the game short

Be creative
Come up with other story vignettes to use in the game or let children come up with their own ideas of Bible stories to act out.

Story Cards for Charades Review

Daniel continues to say his prayers and is thrown into the Lion’s Den.

King Darius is amazed to find that the lions haven’t eaten Daniel, and proclaims that everyone will pray to Daniel’s God from now on.

The younger son collects all his inheritance from his father, leaves home, and wastes it on “dissolute living” (bad things)

The younger son comes home, ashamed of what he’s done and begging his father’s forgiveness. The Father welcomes him home and gives him a great party.

Jacob tricks Esau out of his birthright by giving him a bowl of lentil soup. He tricks his father out of a blessing by putting on a hairy chest and pretending to be Esau. He runs away in fear, but years later, meets Esau again and the two embrace and make up.

Jesus appears to the disciples. Thomas was missing and says he doesn’t believe it unless he can touch Jesus himself. Jesus comes back another time and invites Thomas to touch him. Thomas falls to his knees.

Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb and finds it empty. She cries. She begs a man who she thinks is the gardener to tell her where Jesus is. Then she realizes it is not a gardener standing there, but Jesus himself.

The Holy Spirit comes into a crowd of people in Jerusalem. Although they are from many countries, they can all understand Peter, who preaches to the crowd.

Samuel comes looking for one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel. God doesn’t choose any of the older sons, but instead wants little David who is watching the sheep.

Some Pharisees bring a woman who has committed adultery before Jesus and a crowd to have her stoned to death. Jesus writes on the ground, then tells the Pharisees and people that the person without sin should throw the first stone.

Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus so he climbs a tree to get a better look at him. Jesus calls him down and they go together to Zacchaeus’ house.

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, comes to Jesus in the middle of the night and asks a lot of questions. Jesus’ answers include instructions that he must be born again.

Act out the words of the Lord’s Prayer.

-----------    HANDOUT  -----------

When will you study your Bible?


Today in Moved by the Spirit, your child discovered what they have learned since FAITH ODYSSEY began in January.

Work together to learn any stories they may have missed or forgotten by reading your Bibles together this week.

Daniel in the Lion’s Den – Daniel 6

Jacob and Esau – Genesis Ch 25, 27, and 33

The Prodigal Son – Luke 15:11-32

Mary and Jesus in the Garden AND Doubting Thomas – John 20

Pentecost – Acts 2

Woman Caught in Adultery – John 7:58-8:11

Zacchaeus – Luke 19:1-10

Nicodemus – John 3

Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:1-18 or Luke 11:1-13

Martha and Mary – Luke 10:38-42

Blessings to you and your family!

Martha and Mary

Games Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will play a variety of games that reinforce setting priorities and putting God first.

Outcome Objectives

  • Children will understand what priorities are.
  • Children will work on memory verse.
  • Children will apply the concept of priorities to the verse learned.

Supplies List:

  • Parachute
  • Approximately 10 foam balls (borrow or buy ahead of time, include one larger one)
  • Strips of paper for memory verse

Advance Preparation

  • Review Bible Background material for Main Lesson discussion
  • Prepare memory verse strips
    Have the words of the memory verse written out on 21 8 ½ X 2 ¾ strips of paper (8 ½ X 11 divided in fourths) with one word on each strip. If the group is large you may want to have two or more sets of this verse written out and divide your class accordingly.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Game 1 – Parachute Bounce

  • Have children sit around the parachute and grab a handle. If there are fewer than six children, adults will need to grab a handle, too.
  • Sitting on knees, lift parachute up and down in ripples.
  • Start tossing foam balls on the parachute and explain to the children than you are going to see how long they can keep bouncing the balls without any of them falling off.
  • Time them, giving them several attempts.
  • Then, play again using only one single large foam ball. They should be able to keep this going much longer.


  • Was it easier to keep the ball from falling off when you only focused on the one ball, or when you bounced all of them? Why?
  • Have you ever had too many things to do? What did that feel like?
  • When you have a lot of things to do, does it sometimes help to just focus on one thing? Why? What do you focus on?

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
Read the scripture passage together. Using some of the Bible Background notes, explain to the children the role of women in Bible days and why Mary’s actions were unusual.

Game 2 – Memory Verse Order Game
Part 1:

  • Instruct children to put the memory verse in its correct order.
  • Time children to see how long it takes them.
  • Make corrections, mix up the phrase, then let them try it again to improve their scores.
  • If you have more than one group, and you think they are pretty equal in abilities, you can have them compete against one another.

Follow-up Discussion:  Discuss the meaning of any words they don’t know.

Part 2:

  • Have children use the same words in a different order to create a sentence with a different meaning.
  • Encourage them to use as many words as possible, and to change the order as completely as possible.
  • (Simply exchanging “kingdom of God” and “all these things” can lead to an interesting discussion – but try to encourage more creative mix ups as well.)

Follow-Up Questions:

  • What happens when you put the words out of order? These are still the Bible’s words, isn’t it? Is this what God wants of us? Why or why not?
  • What does this memory verse mean?
  • What does it mean to you to say “strive first for the kingdom of God?” What sort of everyday things come first if you are doing that?
  • How does this memory verse apply to the story of Martha and Mary?

Life Application:

Brainstorm with children about concrete things they can do to show that they are “striving first for the kingdom of God.” Write these things on a large sheet of paper. (For younger children, draw pictures to go along with the words – praying hands with prayer, a book for reading the Bible, etc.)

Encourage children to think of one or two things from the list that they would like to try and change and to sign their name or initials by those things as a sign of their promise for the coming week. Give this to the shepherd when you are done, for discussion before class starts next week.

Give children a blank sheet of paper and ask them to copy down the memory verse as best they can. Give them a chance to correct their work
Question: What this verse means to me…


End with a prayer.

To take home:
Memory Verse Work Handout

Adjustments for age levels and abilities:
For younger children, you will have to work together to put the verse in order or to mix it up. You will have to read each strip aloud, and have the children suggest to you where they would like to place the verse.

If you have extra time…
Play the Parachute game again. Work with just one ball, then slowly add one more ball. Is it easy to work with two balls? What about 3? When does it become too much? In real life, how much busyness is too much?

If time runs short…
Combine Life Application with the Journaling activity.

Be creative
Look up the games resources in black binder and find another game that you think will work to help illustrate the story and/or help with verse memorization.

-----------    HANDOUT  -----------

Memory Verse Work


Below are the memory verses we have used in Faith Odyssey since January this year. Please take some time this coming week to memorize one or more of these verses with your children. All verses are NRSV, the version given to the children by the church.

Consider using the attached chart with stickers or stars to encourage your child to commit more of these verses to memory. You may want to come up with a system of rewards for yourself.

You be the judge of which column you want to emphasize with your child. Some feel it is only necessary to have a general sense of the verse. Others feel it is important to quote it verbatim, including memorize scripture references. Still others place more of an emphasis on their child understanding the meaning of the verse than in their memorization of it. You may want to emphasize all four areas. You as the parent need to decide what is most important to you for your child’s spiritual development.

Blessings to you and your family!

Acts 5:29 “We must obey God rather than any human authority”

Luke 15:7 “I tell you there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

Luke 24:5b “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”

John 8:7 “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.”

Luke 19:9a “Today salvation has come to this house.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish, but have eternal life.”

The Lord’s Prayer “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

Matthew 6:33 “Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive others of their wrongs, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

John 20:29 “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

Genesis 1:31a “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good.”
Memory Verse Chart for ______________________________________________

Work together to memorize these verses. Place a sticker or star, along with the date completed, for each section. Be sure to review past verses as well as the one being currently worked on.

Can come up Can quote verse Can quote verse Can apply
Verse with an approx- word for word given only Bible meaning
imate quote reference to verse


This lesson set was written by Lisa Martin, Trinity Reformed UCC, Pottstown, PA.

Permission is granted for local church use. If you would like a better formatted copy of this lesson and handouts you can contact us through Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ in Pottstown, PA:

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Luanne Payne
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