Peter's Rooftop Vision (Acts 10) - 3 Workshops

Peter’s Rooftop Vision

3 Workshop Lessons


Scripture Reference:

Acts 10:1-11:18

Memory Verse:
Acts 10:35:
“ . . . in every nation anyone who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to God.” 

Summary OF 3 Workshops: 

  • Drama: learners will act out each of the three scenes of the story to learn it
  • Prayer (prayer time): learn about a special type of cross called the Jerusalem cross. They will make one and walk a labyrinth of the cross while praying and listening to God
  • Art: celebrate the diversity of God’s children by making collages on wooden pieces 


Concept for Kids:
In Peter's day, the Jews believe that the Messiah was only for the Jews, not for the Gentiles (non Jews).  To remind themselves to KEEP themselves separate, the Jews chose not to eat certain foods, like pork. When the Spirit shows Peter a vision of a blanket full of all kinds of food, Peter knew that the message of Jesus was for all, Jews and Gentiles. This was a HUGE shift for the disciples. 

Children will understand the concept of the "IN" crowd, or the popular people. They will be able to talk about what groups are looked down on, or excluded, or put down.  

What makes someone a Christian?

  • The particular church they go to?
  • The color of their skin?
  • How good they are?
     

When new Christians join our church, do they have to agree with us about everything, and do whatever we say? 

Does our church restrict people from joining? Taking Communion? 

How do we welcome people who are DIFFERENT than us to our church? to our class? 

How can you reach out with Jesus' love to people who are different than you?  ...to people who are being persecuted for being different?  


Originally posted by member JanMarshall 

(This additional question content was added by Wormy)

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Original Post

Peter’s Rooftop Vision 

Drama Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

In this workshop, the learners will act out each of the three scenes of the story to learn it.


Supplies:

  • The Children’s Bible;
  • props for each of the 3 scenes in the story (see Teacher Preparation below); some Biblical costumes or togas;
  • name tags of characters in the story—Peter, Simon, Cornelius, 2 messengers, family members of Cornelius, disciples, 2-4 vision helpers, narrator (nametags with string to hang around the neck work well);
  • poster board with the memory verse on it.


Teacher preparation:

  • Read the Bible passages.
  • The story will be read from The Children’s Bible, so you might want to preview this, too.
  • Read over the background material included in your teacher packet as you review the lesson plan.
  • Set up, or see that CE has set up, the three scenes in the following way:
    Scene 1: Home of Simon, the tanner.
    Props: a workbench, a pair of leather sandals, other leather items, a few simple tools, a flat sheet filled with various kinds of stuffed toy animals (some unusual animals would be good here) and folded up so the animals are hidden; nametags for Simon, Peter, vision helpers (2-4), and 2 messengers.
    Scene 2: Home of Cornelius, the centurion.
    Props: some chairs, Roman helmet, other items fitting Roman soldiers; nametags for Peter, Cornelius, family members of Cornelius.
    Scene 3: Council room in Jerusalem.
    Props: pillows, blankets; nametags for Peter and disciples.


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Open with a prayer.

Dig:

Read the story from The Children’s Bible, pp. 393-394 (stories #347 and #348.) Since the memory verse is from the NRSV Bible and not The Children’s Bible, use the poster board with the verse on it and go over it with the children, explaining that the term “fear” here means respect, reverence, or awe, not being afraid.

Ask the children to recall the 3 different scenes in the story. They are the home of Simon the tanner, where Peter had his vision; the home of Cornelius, the centurion; and the council room in Jerusalem. Point out that you have set up those three scenes in different parts of the drama room. See if the class can identify the 3 scenes.

Tell the class that they will act out the story taking place in each of the scenes. Let each child choose a toga to wear during the play. Assign, or let the children choose, characters they will portray and give them the nametags for the following: Simon, Peter, two messengers, Cornelius, family members of Cornelius (any number), disciples (any number), narrator.

Have the children pantomime the stories in each of the 3 scenes as you, the shepherd, or a narrator reads the story from the attached script. If you have time and the children want to, feel free to exchange parts and go through the scenes again.

Reflection:

Gather the children together and discuss the aspect of the story dealing with challenging authority. Ask:

  • How did the characters in each scene challenge their previous laws and/or authority?
    (Peter stayed with Simon, who was considered unclean; Peter’s vision insisted he eat unclean animals; Cornelius converted from Roman religion to the Christian religion; Peter associated and even baptized Romans; Peter challenged Jewish officials to accept everyone.)
  • Did anyone get violent during these “protests?” (No; Peter worked within the system of laws to change ideas.)
  • Why did they do this? (To change people’s thoughts about the injustice of excluding others and introduce God’s inclusion of all.)
  • Can you name a more modern-day instance of peaceful protests to battle injustice in our world? (Example: Martin Luther King and his peaceful marches. There may be others named, too.)


Close with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
God of the spirit, thank you for all the different kinds of people in the world. Help us to be strong in fighting injustice wherever we encounter it. Amen.

Journal Time:
Help the shepherd pass out the journals. Ask the children to answer the following question:
Which character did you play in the drama class today?


Script for Our Acts drama for “Peter’s Vision”

Scene 1—Home of Simon, the tanner

Simon and Peter are sitting on the workbench talking. The narrator reads, while the actors pantomime:
In the Joppa home of Simon the tanner, Peter has stopped off on his travels to rest. Simon is telling Peter how honored he is for someone from the Jewish community in Jerusalem to stay with him because his work of tanning hides of animals makes him unclean in the eyes of the Jewish community, and they shun him. Peter, however, remembered Jesus’ teaching that God did not think of anyone as unclean because of what they touched, but looked at their hearts instead. So Peter was willing to stay with Simon on his journey.
Peter was tired, so he went up to Simon’s roof to rest and pray before dinner. While there, he lay down and fell asleep. While he was sleeping, he had a vision. He saw a huge sheet being lowered by its four corners. On the sheet were animals, snakes, and birds of all kinds. Every one of them was a creature that Jews were forbidden by law to eat. God then spoke to Peter saying, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
Peter protested and said he never broke the Jewish dietary laws by eating unclean animals. But God said, “What God calls clean, you must not call unclean.” This happened 2 more times!
Then there was a knock at Simon’s door. Peter came down as Simon opened the door to 2 men, both Romans. They told Peter to come with them to a town called Caesarea to see an official there named Cornelius. It seemed that Cornelius had a vision, too. He was to send for Peter to hear more about Jesus. So Peter went with the messengers.

Scene 2—Home of Cornelius, the centurion

In Cornelius’ home, a room full of people were sitting and listening to Peter. The narrator reads while the actors pantomime:
Peter and the 2 messengers had arrived at Cornelius’ home to find members of Cornelius’ family and his household waiting to hear him preach. So he did. He began to tell them the story of Jesus and they believed him. While he was talking the Holy Spirit came upon them and they were filled with joy. So Peter gladly baptized them, even though they were Gentiles.

Scene 3—Council room in Jerusalem

In the council room, disciples of Jesus, including Peter, are sitting around the room. The narrator reads while the actors pantomime:
Peter is talking to all the disciples and tells them about his vision and his travels. They questioned his decision to visit and eat with Gentiles, but he explained that his vision told him that God loved all people and they were not unclean. He also told them that the Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius’ household and since God sent the same spirit to the Gentiles that God had sent when Jesus left them, then who were they to question and hinder God? The disciples were silent for a few minutes, then they began to understand and praise God for this abounding love that included both Jews and Gentiles.




Prayer Workshop: Prayer Oasis


Summary of Lesson Activities:

In this workshop, the learners will learn about a special type of cross called the Jerusalem cross. They will make one and walk a labyrinth of the cross while praying and listening to God.


Supplies:

  • The Children’s Bible;
  • black paper, matted;
  • gold and silver foil paper;
  • magnets to go on the backs of the pictures;
  • scissors,
  • glue,
  • pencils;
  • cd player;
  • cd with gentle, relaxing music or sounds;
  • labyrinth of a Jerusalem cross outlined on the floor;
  • copies of prayer sheets;
  • copies of handout about the labyrinth;
  • poster board with the memory verse on it.


Teacher preparation:

  • Read the Bible passages.
  • The story will be read from The Children’s Bible, so you might want to preview this, too.
  • Read over the background material included in your teacher packet as you review the lesson plan.


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week—some may not know you. Wear your nametag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs.

Dig:

Read the story from The Children’s Bible, pp. 393-394 (stories #347 and #348.) Since the memory verse is from the NRSV Bible and not The Children’s Bible, use the poster board with the verse on it and go over it with the children, explaining that the term “fear” here means respect, reverence, or awe, not being afraid.

Ask:

  • What was Peter doing when he had his vision? (he was up on the roof alone, praying and sleeping)
  • What do you think God was telling Peter in the vision? (that the good news of God’s love is for everyone; lead them to the understanding that “everyone” means all the world.)


Show the children a picture of the Jerusalem cross. Ask them what makes this cross different from other crosses. Ask them how many crosses they see in this one cross. Explain the history and meaning of the cross using the following information:

The Jerusalem Cross was first used as a coat of arms for the Latin Kingdom in Jerusalem. During the Crusades, it was referred to as the “Crusaders Cross.” The four small crosses are symbolic of the four Gospels proclaimed to the four corners of the earth—to the north, south, east, and west—beginning in Jerusalem. The large cross symbolizes the person of Christ.

Point out Jerusalem on a map and indicate what is meant by the four corners of the earth by indicating north, south, east, and west.

Show the children the labyrinth of the cross on the floor. Explain that a labyrinth is an ancient symbol that has long been used as a meditation and prayer tool. It is a symbol that creates a scared space that takes us out of ourselves and into relationship with God. It isn’t a maze, with a puzzle to solve, but has only one path to follow. It provides an opportunity to experience the presence of God as you simply walk and allow the prayer to happen. Explain that prayer is often understood as a way of talking. Although we are aware of the many ways to say prayers to God, sometimes it is important to be very quiet and listen for God. On the rooftop, Peter prayed by listening.

Tell the children that while everyone is making a Jerusalem cross to take home, each child will get a chance to walk the labyrinth alone and use the time to listen to God and pray to God. Remind them that the more they listen, the more they can feel God talking with them. Let God’s spirit move according to its will rather their own. Tell them to let their imagination take them where God is, like Peter did. They should enjoy being close to God.

Start the children on the cross making. Have them cut out the five crosses on the gold or silver paper and glue them to the frame in the shape of the Jerusalem cross. They can glue a magnet on the back if they want one. As they are working, pull a child out one at a time and let them walk the labyrinth, praying to and listening for God. Have the cd of music or sounds playing softly in the background. Provide the prayer sheets if they want to use one. Continue until all children have had a turn in the labyrinth.

Reflection:

Let the children show off their Jerusalem crosses. Ask them what the crosses stand for as a way to review the meaning of the symbol. Show them that they can use their crosses as a mini-labyrinth by tracing the cross with their finger as they listen and pray.

Close with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
Gracious God, thank you for quiet times when we can talk to you and when we can listen to you. Give us guidance in our relationships with others. Amen.

Journal Time:
Help the shepherd pass out the journals. Ask the children to answer the following question:
What is something you said to God or heard from God in the labyrinth?

Adjustments for younger children:
The Beginner class members might need your help or the help of the shepherd in cutting out their crosses. If some of them don’t read yet, you should give them some prayer ideas orally before they enter the labyrinth.


References:

  • Activity Center Leaders’ Guide for The StoryTeller Series, Discovery Center. Christian Board of Publication, St. Louis, MO, c. 1998.
  • Age-Level Leaders’ Guide for The StoryTeller Series, Ages 4-5, Grades 3-4, Christian Board of Publication, St. Louis, MO, c. 1998.


Prayer Sheet

Pray for the children of Afghanistan.

Pray for the children of Liberia.

Pray for the children of Iraq.

Pray for our soldiers and the soldiers of other countries in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pray for the children of countries where there’s not enough food for everyone.

Pray for the children of this country that don’t have enough to eat or a safe place to sleep.

Pray for those you know who are sick.

Pray for those you know who are troubled.

Pray for those you know who are mourning loved ones.

Pray for your parents.

Pray for your teachers.

Pray for our church.

Pray for yourself.

Pray that God’s spirit will guide you through this day and this week.

Stop and listen for God.




Art Workshop: Thou Art


Summary of Lesson Activities:

In this workshop, the learners celebrate the diversity of God’s children by making collages on wooden pieces.


Supplies:

  • The Children’s Bible; magazines;
  • scissors,
  • shake shingles or pieces of wood, each with a picture hanger attached to the back;
  • water-based sealer glue and adhesive (such as Mod Podge);
  • paintbrushes;
  • poster board with the memory verse on it.


Teacher preparation:

  • Read the Bible passages.
  • The story will be read from The Children’s Bible, so you might want to preview this, too.
  • Read over the background material included in your teacher packet as you review the lesson plan.


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week—some may not know you. Wear your nametag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs.

Dig:

Read the story from The Children’s Bible, pp. 393-394 (stories #347 and #348.) Since the memory verse is from the NRSV Bible and not The Children’s Bible, use the poster board with the verse on it and go over it with the children, explaining that the term “fear” here means respect, reverence, or awe, not being afraid.

Ask:

  • What does the word “diversity” mean? (For the Beginners, you might use the word “different” instead of diversity.) Let them try to define the word. It means “being different or varied.”
  • Encourage each child to tell something unique about his or her family, or about himself or herself. They may tell about holiday celebrations, foods they enjoy, colors they like, or things they like to do. Even if your group appears homogenous, the diversity within it will be surprising.
  • When all are done, state that even though we are all different, God loves us all.


Ask:

  • Now what do you think the term “cultural diversity” (or “cultural difference") means? After their explanations, explain that it simply means differences in “the ideas, customs, skills, arts, etc. of a people or group.”
  • How do we know if someone is from another culture? We know by learning about them—about their ideas, customs, skills, and arts—or sometimes we can tell by looking at their faces. If they know someone from another culture, let them tell the class about them.
  • State that even though we are different, God loves us all.


Tell the children that today we will celebrate the diversity of God’s children by making collages on wooden pieces. A collage is a hodgepodge of images that have a common theme or message, such as a jumble of magazine pictures related to sports pasted together on a poster board, looking much as if they might have been tossed down on a table together. A collage usually has a title and maybe other captions. Our common theme today will be the diversity of God’s children. Give each child a wooden piece. Have the children go through magazines and cut out pictures of people’s faces for their collage. Encourage a wide variety of racial and cultural diversity. Help them arrange the pictures on the wood. Glue the pictures to the wood with the sealer glue. Have them cut out and arrange letters for “All God’s Children” over the faces, and glue them down. Coat the entire surface with the sealer glue and leave them to dry. (They will dry to the touch in about 30 minutes.) Tell them that these collages will be hung in the outer hallway for all to see.

Reflection:

Let the children go around the table and view the collages of their classmates. As they do, remind them that God calls us to love and accept all people and, like Peter, we should learn to do that even if it becomes difficult at times.

Close with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
Loving God, thank you for all the different kinds of people in the world. Help us to be open to new learning about your far-reaching grace. Amen.

Journal Time:
Help the shepherd pass out the journals. Ask the children to answer the following question:
What is one way in which you are different from others?

Dismissal:
Have the children help you tidy up the workshop space, helping straighten up supplies to be used next week. Remind them that their collages will be displayed in the outer hall and they might want to bring their parents or special friends downstairs to view them. Dismiss them with instructions about where they are to go. If you complete the lesson with quite a bit of time left, you may allow the children to visit the Ewing McGee Children’s Library, being quiet so as not to disturb classes still in session.

Adjustments for younger children:
The Beginner class members might need your help or the help of the shepherd in recognizing faces of other cultures. They also might need some help in cutting, especially in cutting out the letters to spell the phrase in #4 above. In fact, it might help them if you and/or the shepherd cut out letters for them while they look for and cut out faces.


References:
Activity Center Leaders’ Guide for The StoryTeller Series, Creative Art Center and Outreach Center. Christian Board of Publication, St. Louis, MO, c. 1998.
Age Level Leaders’ Guide for The StoryTeller Series, Youth, Christian Board of Publication, St. Louis, MO, c. 1998.


Lesson by member Jan Marshall

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

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