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The Seasons of the Church 


Summary of Workshops:

  • DRAMA - motions to songs that incorporate the theme of “one church working together”
  • COOKING - Rice Krispie Treats using M&M to represent the colors of the seasons of the church
  • GAMES - play a game where children must work together
  • ART - windsock using the symbols & colors of the church


Scripture:  

Romans 12:5 - “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others”

Overview of the Rotation Lesson:
There are six different colors used throughout the church year – blue, white, purple, red, black & green. These colors are used during the four seasons of the church – Advent, Lent, Pentecost, & Ordinary Time. The children will learn the meaning of each of the seasons and the meaning behind each color. They are also going to learn that the church is one body, one unit that must work together with God as our head.

Advent (Blue & White): Advent is the season of waiting for God’s promise to come true – the birth of our Savior. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Day. The six weeks of Advent is a patient time of preparing ourselves for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Epiphany occurs the twelfth day after Christmas & is the celebration of the visit of the Magi to see the new king. The color blue represents hope & the color white signifies purity of the newborn Christ. White is used on Christmas.

Lent (Purple & White): Lent begins 40 days prior to Easter. This is a time of repentance and fasting, giving up something you love as a reminder of what God gave up to save each of us and to make us His children. The color purple represents royalty. On Ash Wednesday, we use black since it is the color of the ashes to which we will all return. The days of Holy Week are different colors: Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday are purple; Maundy Thursday is red; Good Friday, the Chancel is stripped so no color is used; and the Easter Vigil which falls on Saturday is white. Easter Sunday is also white representing the joy in the Resurrection.

Pentecost (Red): - Pentecost is the birthday of the church. Fifty days after Easter (10 days after Ascension) the Holy Spirit came down to dwell among us & what seemed to be tongues of fire rested on each person’s head. The disciples then began speaking in different languages so that everyone who did not speak the same language could learn about Christ. The color red represents the tongues of fire. (Pleas read Acts 2:1-4 to become familiar with Pentecost)

Ordinary Time (Green): This is a simple time of learning & growing when no major festivals are held. Green is used to indicate our growth in faith as we follow the teachings and ministry of Christ. Green, in a sense, is a "neutral color".

(The seasons will be placed on a board & reviewed prior to start of each center. You don’t have to go into great detail, just so they understand what each season means & what each color represents.)

Teaching Notes:
The idea of this rotation is to introduce the children to the different seasons of the church & the colors & symbols that we use. We will also explain to the children the concept of being one church together which means working together as one unit. In the verse from Romans (“So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others") we do not become one person with one body, we become one unit that works together to spread the Word & works of Christ and we are in relationship with each other because we are all brothers & sisters in Christ. This is also described in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 in greater detail. I didn’t use this passage because it is longer & more complex but feel free to read it for yourself.

Resources used:
www.elca.org
SPARK BIBLE - NRSV; Augsburg Fortress, 2009
Sing & Shout Songs for Children’s Ministry; Group Publishing, 2000.
Symbols of Faith: Teaching Images of the Christian Faith; Abington Press, 2001.




Drama

The students will be making up motions to songs as a group or individually.

The idea behind this center is to get the children moving & using their imagination to make up movements to songs about the church being one body. We as a church need to work together & ALWAYS have the Holy Spirit there to help & guide us. Without God, we can’t do what we’ve set out to do.

Supplies:

  • CDs,
  • CD player,
  • words to songs written on posterboard

Lesson Plan

Read Romans 12:5 and then ask the following questions, accepting all answers:

What do you think the verse means that we just read? Does it mean that we have one body & we’re all part of that body? Like I’m an arm, you’re a leg? It means that we must work together as a group to do the work of God. What is the work of God? Spreading the news of Christ, doing nice things for other people, loving one another, living the way God expects us to live, etc

We’ve been talking about doing things together, that working together makes the job easier and more fun. Today we are going to listen to songs that will be talking about the Church working together. That doesn’t just mean our church, it means all churches, in our town, in our state, in the United States, in the world working together to accomplish something. When we talk about the Church, does that mean the building or the people in the building? A Church is the people in the building. You can have a church anywhere. You don’t need a building.

We’re going to begin by sitting still, listening to the words of the song & following along on this paper. Play the first song.

What were the words saying? Now we’re going to make up motions to go with that song. Play the song again. As the song plays, follow along with the words written on the large piece of poster board saying the words along with the song (or sing it if you wish). Help the children with motions if they can’t think of any. You can either have them make up motions as a group or just do interpretive dance where they just do what they want. If you decide to do it as a group, stop & start the song so everyone can learn the words & the motions.

There will be three songs that are available. You can concentrate on one song & become really good at the motions or go through all three songs and just let the kids loose to do what they want.

Have the children help you clean up the room.

End the class by saying the Lord’s Prayer.




Cooking

The students will make Rice Krispie® treats with M & Ms® representing the colors of the church seasons.

The idea behind this center is to help the children learn the different seasons & colors of the church & what the represent & to show the children how we as a church need to work together & ALWAYS have the Holy Spirit there to help & guide us. Without God, we can’t do what we’ve set out to do.

Supplies:

  • microwave if you are using bagged marshmallows,
  • 1 box of Rice Krispies® cereal,
  • 1 bag of large marshmallows or jar of marshmallow,
  • M & M’s® in blue, green, red, white, black, purple,
  • large microwave safe bowl,
  • large plastic spoon for mixing,
  • 1 greased pan,
  • napkins,
  • plastic wrap

Lesson Plan

Read Romans 12:5 and then ask the following questions, accepting all answers:

What do you think the verse means that we just read? It means that we must work together as a group to do the work of God. What is the work of God? Accept all answers. Spreading the news of Christ, doing nice things for other people, loving one another, etc. Today we are going to make an edible church!

  • Pour the marshmallows into a large microwave safe bowl. If a child would like one to eat, give them each one marshmallow.
    o The marshmallows are the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? God
  • Melt the marshmallows in the microwave, stirring after every 5 -10 seconds until the marshmallow is melted.
    o What has happened to the marshmallows? They’ve melted. What did we say the marshmallows were? The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is now transformed and ready to move among us, to guiding us in everything we do every single day.
  • Pour in 6 cups of Rice Krispies®. You can separate the Krispies into several bowls & have the children help or just pour it in yourself.
    o The Rice Krispies are all the people of the church. There are many of them. Put one Krispie on the table. Would this be a good snack – just one Rice Krispie®? Why? But if we put a bunch of Krispies together, that makes a better snack. Just like if one person needs to do a big job, it’s hard but if a lot of people get together, it’s easier to do.
  • Have the kids take turns stirring the Rice Krispies® into the marshmallow.
    o You can see how the Holy Spirit is working, sticking us together as one church.
  • Pour the mixture into the greased pan to cool.
    o When we pour the entire mixture into the pan, it is a wonderful treat for us. It won’t be a very good treat if it was just one Krispie all by itself. Even if you ate just a handful of dry Krispies that wouldn’t be really good but mixing the marshmallow with it, it makes it more delicious. So if do something as a church without God to help & guide us, we will probably fail. We need him in our lives.
  • Give each child a few M & M’s® to sprinkle on top.
    o These are the seasons of the church. Let’s go through them.
  • Hold up each color M & M® and ask what season it’s found in & what it stands for.
    Color Season Represents
    Blue Advent hope
    Red Pentecost tongues of fire
    Green Ordinary time growth
    White Advent, Easter purity
    Black Ash Wednesday,Good Friday ashes/Jesus' death
    Purple Lent royalty


Allow the children to enjoy their treat. Have the children help you clean up the room.

End the class by saying the Lord’s Prayer.




Games

The students will play two games that need teamwork or they will not succeed.

By playing the following games, the students will learn that by working together, they can accomplish anything & that we as a church need to work together & ALWAYS have the Holy Spirit there to help & guide us. Without God, we can’t do what we’ve set out to do.

Supplies:

  • marbles,
  • paper towels rolls cut in half,
  • masking tape,
  • a pile of “stuff”,
  • circles cut from paper with numbers written in the center,
  • shoebox

 


Lesson Plan

Read Romans 12:5 and ask the following questions, accepting all answers:

What do you think the verse means that we just read? It means that we must work together as a group to do the work of God. What is the work of God? Spreading the news of Christ, doing nice things for other people, loving one another, etc

There will be a pile of items in one corner of the room. Pick a child and ask them to move the items to the other corner of the room. They must move everything at one time. After the child attempts to move everything ask, why couldn’t you move the pile of things by yourself? What would have made it easier? Asking someone to help you, having someone give you direction. If you have a big project, it’s usually easier if you ask for help. Can you think of a time when you had to ask for help to do something? Accept all answers & give an example in your own life. Today we are going to work together to solve a problem.

The first game they are going to play is called Gutterball. The object of this game is to get the marble from the point on the wall to the point on the floor. These points will be marked with blue tape in an “X”. A shoebox should be placed on the “X” on the floor.

Show them the marble. This game is called Gutterball. You need to get this marble from the “X” on the wall (point to the “X") into this box on the floor (place the shoebox onto the “X” on the floor) without letting it drop using these paper towel rolls. Everyone must be included. Give each child a paper towel roll cut in half. You have 5 minutes to make a plan then you need to get the marble into the box. Oh yeah, you only have a minute to get the marble into the box or it will explode!

This may take several attempts. Let the children figure it out without your help. The solution is they need to put their tubes together so they overlap. Depending on how many kids are in the class, they will need to move to keep extending the tube. If they become frustrated, then you may begin to make suggestions but don’t tell them how to do it.

Do not allow the children to yell remarks such as “go faster” or “you’re too slow” while another child is playing either game. If this happens, stop the game and explain why that isn’t appropriate behavior. Words of encouragement should be used instead.

When they’ve gotten the marble into the box, ask, was that hard to do? How did you finally get the marble into the box? Working together helped you accomplish what you set out to do. When you didn’t work together what happened?

If there is time you can play another game. This game is called Sequence. The object is to get the numbers in order in 1 minute.

Place the numbered circles onto the floor in random order. If you want to just throw them on the floor that’s fine, just make sure the numbers are facing up & aren’t overlapping each other.

The object of this game is to put the numbers in order. Everyone on the team must have a turn but they can only go one time. You can’t pick up numbers until the other person has their numbers in place. I’ll give you 2 minutes to plan how to do this. Oh yeah, you only have 5 minutes to put the numbers in order.

The solution is to decide who will go first, second, third & which numbers they will pick up. If they can’t get the numbers in order in the allotted time, either take away some of the numbers or give them another try.

Have the children help you clean up the room.

End the class by saying the Lord’s Prayer.




Art

The students will make a windsock using the colors of the church.

The idea behind this center is that the children will learn the seasons of the church, become familiar with some of the symbols that we use, & understand what the colors represent.

Supplies:

  • white cardstock with three holes punched at the top;
  • yarn cut into 3 pieces;
  • streamers in the colors of the church; tape;
  • stapler;
  • markers;
  • pictures of church symbols

 


Lesson Plan

Read Romans 12:5 and then ask the following questions, accepting all answers:

There is a saying that you will see on the back of our bulletin that says “God’s work. Our hands.” Show them the back of the bulletin. What do you think the verse in Romans that we just read and God’s work, our hands means? Accept all answers. It means that we must work together as a group to do the work of God. What is the work of God? Spreading the news of Christ, doing nice things for other people, loving one another, etc.

We’ve are talking about our church and the different seasons within the church & the colors that go along with those seasons. Why do you think that we use different colors at different times of the year? What if we just used yellow all the time? Do you use different decorations around your home at different times of the year? At Easter, what decorations do you use, at Christmas, at Halloween, St Patrick’s Day? So we wouldn’t use the same colors or decorations in the church all year long. Right now we are in the Season of Lent so what is the color of the church? Purple.

Today we are going to take the colors of the church and make something. Have you ever heard of a windsock? Show the children the example. Do you know what it does? Accept all answers. It catches the wind which goes through this tube and makes the colored streamers in the back flutter.

  • Give each child a piece of cardstock. Have them lay it flat in front of them with the longer edge facing them with the holes at the top. Both sides of the cardstock have lines on them. The front has one line, the back has two. These are guides so they decorate only to the one edge & paste their streamers inside the lines. The edges will overlap to close the windsock so if there are decorations on the one edge, you won’t be able to see them.
    o We are going to decorate the top part of the windsock with symbols found around our church. Can you think of some? I have some examples here. Don’t decorate outside the line and the edge because when we close the windsock, you won’t see it. Show the children the different symbols that are provided. Using markers & crayons, have them draw whatever symbol they would like to use.
  • When they’ve finished drawing, give each child the streamers, one of every color – purple, black, red, green, white, blue.
    o You are going to tape each of the streamers onto you piece of paper along the long edge with a little space between each color. Tape your streamers on the inside of the lines. Have them place their streamers along the edge BEFORE the tape them on so they are sure they go along the entire edge. There are marks on the back of the cardstock where they should begin and end.


After they’ve taped all their streamers on to the back, have them join the ends of the cardstock & staple them together. Use the lines on the back to determine how far you should overlap the cardstock.

Give each child 3 pieces of yarn. Have them put one piece in each hole and tie a knot (you may have to help). Gather the pieces of yarn together & tie another knot.

Have the children help you clean up the room.

End the class by saying the Lord’s Prayer.


Lesson from St Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church,
Middletown, PA

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

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