Sunday School

Talking to God​​​​​​​​​​

Good morning boys and girls.  If you wanted to tell somebody something – how would you do it?  Well, you could talk to them, you could phone them, you could email them, send them a Facebook message or a WhatsApp message.  So how then do we get in touch with God?  We can’t phone him up orsend him an email and he’s not on Facebook or twitter.  The answer is quite simple we can talk to him.   And how do we do this?  Through prayer.  

The wonderful thing about prayer is that we can talk to God anytime, any place and anywhere.  He is always there, he always listens to us and he will ALWAYS answer our prayers not necessarily when or how we want him to but in HIS time.

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to look at prayer.  When to pray, how to pray, what to pray for.  In the meantime, I’m simply going to leave you with this fabulous song which I remember singing.  Here are the words for you to read and a link for you to listen to the song

https://youtu.be/Lk7YIQN90Pk

Have you ever talked to God above?
Tell Him that you need a friend to love.
Pray in Jesus’ name believing
that God answers prayer.

Have you told Him all your cares and woes?
Every tiny little fear He knows.
You can know He’ll always hear
And He will answer prayer.

You can whisper in a crowd to Him.
You can cry when you’re alone to Him.
You don’t have to pray out loud to Him;
He knows your thoughts.

On a lofty mountain peak, He’s there.
In a meadow by a stream, He’s there.
Anywhere on earth you go,
He’s been there from the start.

Find the answer in His Word; it’s true.
You’ll be strong because He walks with you.
By His faithfulness He’ll change you, too.
God answers prayer.

Easter Sunday

Well hello boys and girls.  Today is, of course, Palm Sunday. It is the beginning of Holy Week which marks the events leading up to Jesus dying on the cross for us.  Do you remember the story?  Well why not watch click on the video link below and follow along in your bibles.  You can find the story in Matthew 21 v 1-11

https://youtu.be/ogqci8ReoWc

Have you ever been to a parade?  Maybe when a football team has won the league? It would be huge wouldn’t it?  What do you think it would look like for a king?  Well the parade in today’s story was HUGE.   Jesus had travelled all over Israel helping people, doing miracles and telling them all about God’s love for them.  Now, he was coming to the most important city of all – Jerusalem .  Jesus wasn’t trying to show how important he was which is why he chose a young donkey.  The people were so excited that they cut down palm branches and waved them in the air.  They shouted “hosana in the highest” and they praised Jesus.

Do you know what praise means?  It means to treat someone VERY special.  Jesus is special.  We can praise him too just like the people did on Palm Sunday.  We can praise him every day when we talk to him in prayer, we can praise him with our songs and hymns in church, we can praise him by simply showing kindness and love to others as he taught us to.

Craft

Why not make your own palm branch to help you remember today’s story.  Simply click on the link below.

https://youtu.be/gU7VQnkSkbA

Prayer

Dear God, as we celebrate on this Palm Sunday help us to remember that day when all the adults and children waved palm branches and cheered as Jesus entered Jerusalem as King. We know Jesus rose from the dead and is alive. Help us to remember that he is our wonderful King and that we can praise him everyday! In Jesus’ name – Amen.

Hello again!  I hope you have all had a great week and are looking forward to going back to school.  This week I want to look at the word TIME.

I think I may have mentioned (once or twice!!) that I  love to walk my dog Misty up the woods and our very favourite place to walk is in Cairn Woods up at Craigantlet.  As you walk up the hill from the car park and turn the corner to the left, on the right hand side there is a tree stump and on it is painted a clock face.  In the middle it says “forget the time – enjoy the walk”.

This, of course, got me thinking about how much of our lives are “ruled” by time.  Time to get up, time to go to school, time for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Time for our favourite TV programme, time for homework, time for bed.

Now, of course, since lockdown many of us have had so much time on our hands.  We have been doing DIY, painting and gardening, but I wonder do we take time to be with God ?  Do we take time to talk to God?  We are so busy rushing around from one thing to another that its easy to come up with excuses such as “I don’t have time now – I’ll do that later.  But you know God ALWAYS has time for us. 

So how can we make time for God?  Well you know boys and girls, God cares about every part of our lives and he is with us wherever we go which means wherever we are at any particular time, in the woods, driving in our cars, at home, at school even at the top of a mountain we can talk to God. Isn’t that amazing?  Any time, any place, anywhere – he is always there and he always has time to listen to us. 

So getting back to the painted tree stump – what did the writer mean?  Well he meant that instead of rushing our walk to go and do something else, take time to enjoy the walk through the woods.   Listen to the birds or the wind blowing through the trees.  Stop and admire the view – that’s what Misty and I do and I’ll let you into a little secret – when I walk Misty through the woods, that’s my special time with God.

Craft

Why not make a little reminder of today’s lesson.  You will need a paper plate, some spare card, a butterfly pin, some colouring pens.

Use the plate to make a clock face.  Write in the numbers.  Cut out the hands of the clock from spare paper or card.  Maybe you could put a sticker on the end like the picture below.

Prayer

Dear God

Thank you for always being with us, for loving and caring for us.  We thank you that we can talk to you anytime and anywhere and that you will always listen.  

Amen

Mother’s Day lesson

Lesson 7

In today’s story, we are going to hear about two brothers that seem very different, but really have a lot in common. We’re also going to hear about their dad who despite everything that happens, loves them both very much. I want you to listen carefully to the way each brother treats the father and the way the father responds. Have you guessed our parable?? Yes, It’s the parable of the Prodigal Son. Just before you read along or watch the video, do you know what the word prodigal means? Well, it means to be wasteful, to spend money on things you don’t really need. So, this week’s story you can find in Luke 13 v 11 to 32. Why not follow along in your bibles as you watch the video.

https://youtu.be/DJgROx4wFKM

So, as you can see these brothers were very different.  The younger one wanted his share of his inheritance so that he could go away and do all the things he wanted to do.  He wasn’t interested in helping his father on the farm whereas the older brother was happy to stay at home and help out.  He was happy to wait for his inheritance. 

So, the younger brother, left home, went off to another place and soon spent all of the money he had been given.  Then of course came a famine and times were hard.  He had no money left to buy food so he took a job on a farm, feeding the pigs.  After a while, he came to his senses. He realised that even the men his father hired to help on the farm were better off than he was.  And so he made the decision to return home.   Can you imagine how he felt?

What was his father’s reaction when he saw his son coming home?  Was he cross?  No, of course he wasn’t.  He was overjoyed that his son had returned safe and well.   He was so happy in fact that he threw a party.

What about the older brother?  Was he happy to see his younger brother back home?  Not really.  He couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.  He didn’t think his brother deserved to have anything more.

The father in this story is just like God.  This is how God would be if we ran away from him and started doing things we shouldn’t.  God doesn’t give up on us or stop loving us just because we do something wrong.  He will always forgive us if we truly change our ways and are sorry for doing all the wrong things.

The older brother in the story shows us how most of us would react if this happened to us.  I think we would honestly be upset if our younger brother or sister ran away, did lots of bad things and then came home to a big party.  

The father was forgiving however the older brother couldn’t find it in himself to also forgive.  Perhaps this parable could actually be called “The Forgiving Father”?

Prayer

Dear God,

Forgive us for all the times we have chosen our own paths instead of following yours.  Thank you for continuing to love us no matter what.  Help us to always turn to you. Thank you for your strength, comfort and protection.  In your name we pray.  Amen.

Colouring Pages

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8c/17/ae/8c17aed8a0cb88e1176c7c49a116171c.jpg

https://www.luckystrikeguam.com/wp-content/uploads/prodigal-son-coloring-pages-3f.jpg

Lesson 6 – Parable of the Wise & Foolish Man

Hello Boys and Girls.  This week’s story is about 2 builders who went out to build a house – one wise and the other foolish. This story can be found in Matthew 7 v 24-27 and Luke 6 v 46-49.  Why not follow along in your bibles as you watch the short video clip.

https://youtu.be/Mt5PBQINfBc

The first man – he built his house on the rock.  Let’s take a moment to think about rock. Its very strong and sturdy.  It isn’t going to move or go anywhereand, of course, the rains came and the wind blew but the house didn’t movebecause it had a firm foundation.

The second part of the story is about a man who built his house on the sand.  What is sand like?  It’s squishy and it moves when you walk on it.  What happens when you make a sandcastle at the beach and the tide comes in??  That’s right – it washes the sandcastle away.  The foundation for this house was unreliable.

So what does this parable mean?  Well Jesus is like the rock.  When we have Jesus in our lives it is like we are standing on a rock.  Whatever comes our way in life, with Jesus beside us, we are not going to fall down and nothing will move us.

The world is like the sand.  When we build our lives on anything other than Jesus, the foundations give way – the sand moves and everything falls down.  Without Jesus in our lives, just like the house in the story, our lives can fall apart.

So this parable tells us that we should build our lives on the solid foundation that God has given us – the bible.  If we take time to  learn more about him by reading our bibles and coming to church and Sunday school this will give us all the tools we need to guide us through our lives and to build a strong relationship with God.

Prayer

Dear God.  Thank you for sending your son Jesus.  Help us to trust you and build our lives on the rock knowing that you will always love and care for us.

Amen.

Song​​https://youtu.be/dkNOcr5iHP4

Link to colouring page and puzzle sheet

https://images.app.goo.gl/uCTfuGdQ81uqjuWG8

https://images.app.goo.gl/w3VZzUV8WcHmQqav8

Lesson 5 – Parable of the Great Feast

Hello Boys and Girls.  I hope you are enjoying being off on half term this week.

This week, we are going to look at the Parable of the Feast.  Now I don’t know about you but I just love a party.  Can you think of when you might have a party or be invited to a party?  It could be for a birthday or an anniversary.  It could be to celebrate some good news or the return of a family member who has been away for a long time.  It could be to celebrate the birth of a baby.  There are lots of different reasons to have a party celebration.

Now I have another question for you.  Let’s pretend you were having a party and had invited all of your friends.  How would you feel if no one came to your party?  You would probably feel very sad or maybe you would be very cross.  Well in this week’s parable Jesus used the example of a someone who planned a party that no one came to.  It can be found in Luke 14 v 12-24.  Why not click on the link below and follow along in your bibles.

https://youtu.be/Cdvp1drweqY

Now, can you remember the excuses people used for not going to the banquet?  The first person said 

“I’ve bought a field I must go see it”

The second person said “I’ve bought 5 pairs of oxen”

The third person said “I’ve just got married”

The master then told the servant to go back into the streets of the town and invite all the poor, the crippled, the blind and there was still room. So he thensent the servant out into the countryside to invite anyone he saw there until the room was completely full.

Now as with all parables, there is a special meaning.  The man in the story represents God and he has planned and created something really special for us in heaven for all who follow him and we are all invited – absolutely everyone.  All we have to do is accept his invitation.

Prayer

Dear God,

We can only imagine the wonderful things you have prepared for us in heaven.  Thank you, that you love us enough to want each and every one of us there with you.  Help us to always put you first. Amen

Activity

Why not make your own invitations and have a small party in the house with your brothers and sisters or parents – you don’t need an excuse!

See you all next time.

Lesson 4 – Parable of the Mustard Seed

Hello Boys and Girls

A couple of weeks ago we looked at the Parable of the Sower.  This week we are looking at seeds and in particular the Parable of the Mustard Seed.  Before we look at this parable, have a look at the pictures of seeds below and see if you can correctly guess which plants the seeds come from.

Now, the Parable of the Mustard Seed can be found in three different books of the bible – Matthew 13 v 31-32, Mark 4 v 30-32 and Luke 13 v 18-19.  Why not follow along in your bibles.

https://youtu.be/ifKH0-y7O_I

As you can see this is a very short parable – possibly the shortest but as with all the parables Jesus told it has a special meaning.  Now the mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds.  If you were to hold it in your hand and drop it on the ground it is so tiny that you might never find it.  Despite this, if you were to plant the seed it grows and grows into a plant so large that even the birds can sit on the branches and build their nests in it.  These tiny seeds can produce a plant that grows 10 feet (similar to your being on your dad’s shoulders!) or maybe even taller.  

When the church began, there was only Jesus and his 12 disciples but over time it grew and grew like the mustard seed until it became the world wide church we know today. If we put our trust in Jesus and have even a tiny amount of faith in him, it will grow and grow into something really big and with our faith in him nothing will be impossible and he will use us and our faith to achieve great things.

Now – how did you get on with the seed pictures?? Here are the answers:1 Orange seeds (pips)​4​Mustard Seeds2 Sunflower seeds​​5​Apple seeds (pips)3 Pumpkin seeds​​6.​Pepper seeds

That’s all for this week. Click on the link below for a great song all about this week’s theme.

https://youtu.be/AFEUjy42xNk

Lesson 3 – The Good Samaritan

Hello boys and girls. I hope you have all had a good week.  This week we are going to look at a well known parable – The Good Samaritan.  You can find it in Luke Chapter 10 verses 25 to 37.  Why not look it up in your bibles, click on the link below and follow along with the story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZhYBqU9cCc

Now, what can you remember from the story.  

Where was the man travelling from and to ??  That’s right, he was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho – a distance of about 17/18 miles– a bit like walking from Newtownards almost to Portaferry.  Today,you can probably just hop on a bus but back in Jesus’ time it wouldhave been a difficult journey to make.  There was only a narrow stony path which twisted and turned and went through rocky countryside with lots of caves along the way.  It was well known for being dangerous.

Can you remember who passed by first?  A priest.  And what did he do?  He did see the man but pretended that he didn’t and walked on past.  

Next came a levite.  And what did he do??  He walked by on the other side of the road.  Lastly, along came the Samaritan – a person who was least likely to help the injured man as Samaritans were considered to be enemies.  To his complete surprise he stopped, gave the man some water, bandaged up his cuts, put him on the back of his donkey and took him to an inn.  There he paid the inn keeper to look after than man until he was well enough.

So what is the meaning behind this parable?  When Jesus told this parable he wanted to explain that we should love everyone, even our enemies.  Its very easy to love our friends and family but it is so much harder to love those people we don’t get along with.  In Matthew 22 v 39 it says this  “Love your neighbour, as you love yourself”  In other words, we must treat others the way we would like to be treated even though we may or may not know them and even though they aren’t our friends.

I hope you enjoyed todays parable.  Click the link below to download a word search on today’s story.

https://www.dltk-kids.com/t.asp?t=https://www.dltk-kids.com/bible/word-search/b-wordsearch-samaritan-caps.gif

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YuWAZmD0aU

Parable 2

Last week, we looked at the Parable of the Sower.  Did you plant any seeds??  I did!  I made some soup using butternut squash.  It looks like this – it’s a wee bit like a pumpkin inside.  The seeds are very similar.

I scooped out the seeds and planted a couple which are now sitting on my kitchen window sill. I’ll let you know if my seeds grow. 

Now I have a question for you : Have you ever lost something really important to you like a favourite toy, a CD, a photograph, a homework book?  I have and I can tell you that when I lose something, I go nuts trying to find it.  This week, we are going to look at another well known parable – The Parable of the Lost sheep.  It can be found in Luke 15 v 4-7 and Matthew 18 v 10-14. Why not look it up in your bibles at home and follow along with the video – just click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=094upaf4BME

The poor shepherd. Can you imagine how he felt when he realised that one of his sheep was missing.  He was sad and very worried.  And then, can you remember what the shepherd did when he found his lost sheep?  That’s right – he was so very happy that he celebrated with all of his friends. 

This story teaches us that sometimes we are like the lost sheep.  We go off and do things our own way.  We stray away from God and that makes God very sad but, he never gives up on us.  Like the shepherd in the story, he keeps searching for us and calling to us until eventually we find our way back to him.  God never gives up on his lost sheep.

Prayer

Dear God, Thank you for never giving up on us and for loving us no matter what. Help us to stay close to you and follow the path you have set for our lives.  Amen.

Activities

Why not create your own lost sheep game.  Simply cut out 10 sheep shapes out of paper or card and hide them around your house or in your garden.  Get your brother or sister or mum or dad to search for the sheep.

OR

To remind you of this week’s parable why not make your own sheeppictures, Here are a few ideas to get you started or you can make up your own.  Don’t forget to send any pictures in to Gavin and he’ll put them on the facebook page.  See you next week!

Hello Boys and Girls

Over the next few weeks we are going to be looking at parables?  

What are parables?

A parable is a simple story that teaches us an important lesson.  Jesus was a  great story teller and he used parables so that we would remember his lessons..He used everyday situations and ordinary people to explain to us how he wants us to live and act around others. 

Now there are many parables in the bible? Can you remember what any of them are or what they were about??

Here are just a few:

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Lost Sheep

Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Parable of the Good Samaritan

This week, we are looking at the Parable of the Sower.  This can be found in a few different books of the bible Matthew 13 v 1-23, Mark 4 v 1-20 and Luke 8 v 1-15.  Why not look it up in your bible or click on the link below to watch a short video of this parable

https://youtu.be/Tb7bvF5Ucrk

Jesus told the story about the farmer because many of his listeners were farmers and he knew that they could relate to a story about planting seeds.

Now were you paying close attention??  Can you remember where all the seeds fell?  Well some fell on the path.  There was nowhere for the seeds to take root and so they were eaten by the birds .  

These seeds represent people who hear stories from the bible but don’t really believe and aren’t listening.  

Some seeds fell on the rocky soil and although they did grow, the soil wasn’t good enough for them to flourish.  These seeds are like people who hear the word of God but because their faith hasn’t a firm foundation, they fall by wayside and forget about God.

Some seed fell in thorny ground where the soil was shallow and although they started to grow they were soon choked by the weeds.  

These seeds are like people who hear Gods message but they get so distracted by other things that they forget the message and their faith never grows.

Lastly some seeds fell on good soil and grew and grew and produced a huge crop.  

This is exactly what Gods wants for us.  If we open our hearts to God, read the bible and spend time with him by praying, he will help our faith to grow and in time God will use us to spread his word by telling others.

If you have some time this week, why not plant some seeds in a yoghurt carton or a small pot, put them on the window sill or in a warm place and wait for them to grow. Or why not click on the link below to print off a colouring page.  You could even draw your own picture.  Don’t forget you can send these in to Gavin to put on the church website and/or facebook pages

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c4/66/17/c4661720c6a478c8f8f71d760d1673cd.jpg

See you next week!

NEW

This week, Misty (my dog) and I were out and about for lots of different walks. We’ve been round Beverley where we live, we’ve been down into Newtownards town centre, we’ve been to the beach but a few days ago we were in the woods.

We love it here.  Sometimes it’s good to just stop and take a moment and think about what’s going on around you and while Misty was off exploring, I started thinking about the trees.  Trees are made up of roots, the trunk, branches, twigs and leaves.  The roots of the trees are mostly underground, but they all interconnect.  They have different functions, one has access to water, another to nutrients, some to sunlight.  The trees grow together, thrive together and give shelter to each other not to mention all the animals which live in the woods.

Just like the trees, we all need each other especially in these strange days of Coronavirus and lockdown.  We need to look out for each other, care for each other, shelter each other from life’s storms just as Jesus taught us to in the bible. So if you are missing your friends from school – most likely they are missing you too – so keep in touch, find out how they are.  Tell them you miss them.  If we support and look out for each other, we will get through these difficult days.  This goes for us not only as individuals but also as families, as a church, as a town, as a country.

Now you are probably wondering what this has to do with the letters from the word new.  Well let’s jumble them up to W N   E . . . . . . .

W e​​

N eed​​

E ach other

BUT  it’s also important to remember that we need God to help us and he is there for us each and every day.

Prayer

Dear Lord

Thank you that you are always there for us through the good times and the bad.  Open my heart to be a good friend.  Help me to look out for others and to treatthem the way you did with kindness, caring and love.

Amen

New Year/New Start

Happy NEW Year!  Welcome back!  I hope you all had a lovely Christmas with your families and got everything you wished for. 

This week, I want to look at the word “NEW”.

New can mean “recently made or brought into being” for example a new toy or a new car. Or it can be a “new” kind of something such as a new star in the sky which the 3 wise men saw. 

It can mean a new version of something which was changed for the better – sometimes we see packaging which says “new and improved”

When it comes to the phrase “New Year”, it means a new cycle or to put it another way – a new beginning.  It’s a chance to start over.  A time to try to do things better than last year.  Have your heard of a New Years Resolution??  This is a kind of promise. At the beginning of the year, we do all sorts of things such as promise ourselves we will get fit, lose weight, give up chocolate and eat more healthy food, do our homework before we switch on the TV or computer games, keep our room tidy – you get the picture!

Today, I want to talk about another beginning.  It’s better than the beginning of a New Year. It’s a new life with Jesus.  In the bible, we read about a man called John The Baptist.  He went all around the countryside telling people all about Jesus and about a new beginning they could have if they simply asked Jesus into their lives, turn away from sin and simply try again.

So at the beginning of this new year let’s focus on Jesus and ask him to help us in the days and months to come to live as he would want us to.

Why not print off and colour your very own calendar for 2021.


Advent 4 – Love

This week in our advent wreath, we lit the 4th candle.  This is the candle of love. 

Christmas is a time to show our love for others.  What ways can we do this??  Well, its not just about giving presents.  We can show love by helping each other and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.  Our shoebox appeal is a wonderful example of showing love to others but it can also be something as simple as calling on a neighbour or a friend who is lonely and finding lockdown hard.  Or perhaps helping a complete stranger.

Christmas is a great time to show love because God showed his love for us by sending his son Jesus.  Remember the verse in John 3 v 16

“For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”

Prayer

Dear God,

Thank you for your amazing love.  For sending your Son to earth to show us, by example, how to love others.  This Christmas in particular, there are so many people who are hurting because they can’t be with their loved ones. Help us to reach out and show them them your love so that they may know that you are with them now and always.

Amen

Finally, this year, we are not able to have a Christmas service in church for the Sunday school children but we do have our special service going out on YouTube later on today.  Last year we sang this wonderful song – so please take some time, click on the link, listen to the words and maybe sing along

Advent – Joy

Hi everyone.  I hope you are doing well.  As we continue our countdown to Christmas, let’s look at the Advent wreath and see how many candles are lit.  That’s right 2 now today we light the 3rd candle which represents joy.

Sometimes in the run up to Christmas we get so caught up in maybe exams at school, shopping, writing Christmas cards, decorating our trees that we forget about joy. 

When Jesus was born an angel appeared to the shepherds in the fields telling them that they brought “good news of great joy”.  And what was the joyful news – that Jesus was born.  When we open our hearts to Jesus, his love enters in and fills us with true joy – not in the material things in life like money or a nice house but joy in knowing that Jesus loves us and that he will come again and take us to a place of great joy.  So as Christmas draws near, may we joyfully look forward to the celebration of Jesus’s birthday.

Below is a colouring in sheet for you!

Advent – Hope

How many of you like birthdays?  Do you get excited about your birthday?  Maybe you have a party and invite your friends to come along and celebrate with you.  And then, of course, there are the presents -not to mention cake!!!

December marks a very special birthday.  Do you know whose birthday I’m talking about? That’s right – JESUS.  In church we are excited about celebrating Jesus’s birthday and we start counting the days down 4 weeks in advance.  This special time is called ADVENT which means coming or arrival.  When Jesus came into the world, it was the best gift any of us could ever have received as he was born to save us.

Do any of you have an advent calendar or an advent wreath at home.  These things help us to count down the days until Jesus’s birth.  Now, do you know why the wreath is in the shape of a circle?  Well a circle has no end and no beginning and this reminds us of God.  You will notice that the wreath is usually green this speaks of the hope that we have in God. The hope of renewal and eternal life.

You may have noticed in this morning’s service that we lit the first candle – the candle of hope.  The candle represents all the years of hoping and waiting for Jesus’s birth.  Jesus is our hope.  He died on the cross to save us and give us everlasting life.

Why not click on the link below, print off and colour in the first candle.

http://www.supercoloring.com/coloring-pages/advent-wreath

Thanksgiving

In America, this coming Thursday (26th November) is  a national holiday known as Thanksgiving.  It originated as a harvest festival and to this day the centrepiece of the celebrations is a Thanksgiving Dinner.  This dinner traditionally consists of foods and dishes which are common in America such as turkey, potatoes, squash, corn, green beans, cranberries and pumpkin pie.  Thanksgiving is regarded as the beginning of the autumn-winter holiday season, along with Christmas and New Year in American culture.

Thanksgiving is a time to gather family and friends and give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy on a daily basis. Thanksgiving is a day to praise God and thank him for his blessings.

This got me thinking.   How often do we actually stop and say thank you to God.  Its so easy to get wrapped up in school and family life and all the different activities that go with these.  At the moment with all the lockdown restrictions we feel trapped, frustrated, bored and yes even lonely and yet we have so much to be thankful for – toys, clothes, food on the table, a nice home, family and friends nearby, our health.

Very often, when we pray to God we spend our time asking him for things such as help or patience or guidance but do we ever remember to say thank you?  So let us take some time during the next week to remember to say thank you to God.

I have a special place called “The Mum Shed” at the bottom of my garden.  Its my little haven – a space where I can read, do my tapestry, chat to friends, pray or quite simply sit and listen to the birds.  In it I have a small plaque which reads

A Thank You Prayer

Dear God

Thank you for being there for me.  Thank you that we can talk to you anytime, anywhere and that you will always listen.  Thank you for your goodness and the many blessings you give to each and every one of us.  Thank you that you are able to bring hope through even the toughest of times.  Thank you for your love and care, your mercy and grace.  Thank you that you will never leave us.

Forgive us  when we don’t thank you enough for all that you do and all you have given.  Renew us and fill us with your joy and peace.

Amen

Remembering

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you know what this flower is called??

That’s right – it’s a poppy.  You see a lot of them at this time of year, especially last Sunday which was called “Remembrance Sunday”.   Remembrance Sunday is always the Sunday closest to Armistice Day which is on the 11th November. 

Why 11th November?  Well that’s because it marks the day World War One ended at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month.  And why the poppy?  Well, that’s because poppies grew wild in the fields where many of the soldiers from the first world war are buried.  It’s important that we remember and honour those soldiers because they gave their lives so that we could enjoy the freedom we have today.

Now we enjoy a lot of freedom – maybe not so much at the moment with lockdown but in the grand scheme of things we do.  We are free to choose where we live, what we eat, where we go, what we want to be when we grow up. We are free to come to church and to worship God.  But just as it was in the war, freedom comes at a cost.  We all do bad things in our lives that we call sin.  But the really good news is that Jesus died for us on the cross to take away our sin and give us freedom and peace.

So this week as we remember and thank God for those who fought in the war, let us also remember to thank God for Jesus who died on the cross to take away our sins and make us free.

If you have some time this week, why not try this craft to help you remember:

Poppy paper plate craft

Simply get a paper plate.  Draw a small circle in the middle using a jam jar lid.  Taking a pair of scissors, cut out sections of the plate to make the shape below.  If you find this difficult ask your parents, grandparents or even a big sister or brother to help you.  Then either paint the plate or perhaps get some red and black tissue paper and stick it onto the plate to make a poppy.

Photo by Nadi Lindsay on Pexels.com

If you do decide to give this a go, why not send your pictures in to Gavin and we will put them up on our website.  In the meantime, stay safe and see you again soon.

Louise

Next we have Faith

To be faithful means to be reliable or trustworthy.

To represent faith I have chosen the star fruit

Now you may think it’s a bit weird choosing a star fruit but many years before Jesus was born, God promised through his prophets to send his son – the Messiah.  And what did God use as a sign?  A magnificent star in sky which was seen by the shepherds in the fields and it lead the 3 wise men to the baby Jesus.  It was a sign of God’s faithfulness, that he kept his promise.

Likewise for us being faithful is being dependable, trustworthy and loyal in our relationship with God and other people around us.

Lastly we have Gentleness and Self Control

Now for gentleness I have chosen a kiwi fruit.  A kiwi looks all rough and tough on the outside with its brown and kind of hairy skin.   But when you cut into it you find the lovely juicy sweet green flesh.

Photo by Maria Victoria Portelles on Pexels.com

Gentleness describes the way we should treat others.  A gentle person avoids confrontation.  Its when you choose not to harm others either by what you say or do.  Jesus sets us a good example he prayed for the people who despised him and wished to harm him and he forgave them.  We therefore need to follow God’s example and be gentle with others and show them love.

Now very often when we are angry at something or someone we can lose our temper or our self control.  This is the ability to control our feelings and desires.  When someone is mean to us we lash out at them and may do or say things that we later regret.  Or maybe we want something so badly we will do anything to get it and that includes hurting those we love the most.  But Jesus teaches us to use our self control  and not lose it.  So when we find ourselves in a difficult situation think about what Jesus would do.

So this bring us to the end of our Fruits of the Spirit.  Can you remember them all??

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Faith, Gentleness and Self Control.  Here a link to the song which will help you to remember.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the fruit of the Spirit.  We ask you to help us live each quality of the fruit of the spirit.  Help us to show love and joy.  Help us to have peace and show patience and kindness.  Lord, helps us demonstrate faithfulness and gentleness and finally help us to have self control.  Please help us show others your love by teaching us your ways and growing us as your children.

Please help us Lord to show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in the various situations you put us in.  Help us to use the fruit of the spirit to show others what your love looks like.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Now for a bit of fun – here is the link to a fruits of the spirit game which you can print off and play at home

Kindness and Goodness!

This week we are looking at the next 2 fruits of the spirit which are “Goodness” and “Kindness”.

For goodness I have chosen the apple.  Perhaps you have heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”  Maybe your mum of dad say it to you.  Basically, it means that eating an apple, or fruits and vegetables in general, are good for your health and indeed help improve your health and therefore you don’t need to go to see the doctor.

In the same way that an apple is good for us, God wants us to do good deeds for others.  This may be helping your brother or sister with their homework, maybe helping your mum or dad around the house, calling in with a neighbour or elderly relative, praying for someone.  So, remember the next time you eat an apple at break time that it is a reminder of God’s goodness to us and how he wants us to share that goodness with others.

Secondly Kindness

Now for kindness, I have chosen plums.  In my sister’s garden there is a fairly small and insignificant looking plum tree but every summer it is absolutely full of beautiful plums.  My sister picks these and makes jam and chutney, she freezes some, gives some to her neighbours. There is so much fruit every single year that she almost struggles to use it all.

Now when I think of kindness I think of God’s kindness.  He looks out for us and wants the best for us today and every day.  In the same way God wants us to be kind and loving towards others.  In the book of Ephesians chapter 4 verse 31-42 it says “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you”

Hello Boys and Girls and Welcome Back

If you have been watching the online services, you will know that Gavin has been talking about “The Fruits of the Spirit”.  Now we are going to have a little look at this also and hopefully at the end come up with some fun activities for you to do at home.  But what are fruits of the spirit?

Everyone has a favourite fruit – right?  Some people like apples, some like citrus fruits such as oranges, mandarins, tangerines.  Some like berries – strawberries, raspberries.  Some like more exotic fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, passion fruit.  We have so much choice.

So I thought it would be fun to find a piece of fruit to represent each of the fruits of the spirit.

So what does it mean when Paul in the bible talks about “Fruits of the Spirit .  Well he is talking about the fruits that grow in our lives.  When we are following Jesus – people will be able to see these fruits in us.  What are the “Fruits of the Spirit”??  Can you name them??

Well, let’s start with love.  When I think about the word love I think of a heart – so the fruit I have chosen is a strawberry because it is red just like a heart.  Think of someone that loves you no matter what.  You can make mistakes and it doesn’t matter what you look like they still love you.  God loves us too – no matter what.  God wants us to love others and he wants us to love him and to share his love with the world.

Have a think about how you can show love to others.  Maybe its as simple as sharing a toy, talking to the new person at school who has no friends.  Filling a shoebox for Samaritans Purse is a great way of showing love to others.

Next we have Joy. I think we should use the orange to represent joy.  If you peel an orange into segments and place the segment on its side – it kind of looks like a smile – like this

Joy is all about smiles and the happiness that God gives us.  Joy is knowing that no matter what happens, good or bad, God is in control.  Even when we are sad, we can have joy knowing that God is looking out for us.

Next is peace.

For peace I have chosen grapes – mainly because peace sounds like peas and peas are small and round (sorry I know this is a bit strange but it’s just how my mind works!!)  

When we think of peace, we usually think of no more fighting or war.

Sometimes when life is really busy we just want some peace.  Maybe you have heard of the phrase “peace and quiet” – some time out to forget about everything that’s going on in your life.  But peace is also something we can share.  When we get to know God really well, he gives us a sense of peace.  This is like a calmness inside.  We can bring peace to bad situations by doing good and loving others.

Patience

For patience, I have chosen a pineapple.  Pineapples are not particularly hard to grow however the plant will not produce fruit until it is at least 2 years old.  Even when the flower appears, the time from the first flower to the edible fruit is approximately 6-7 months – now that is a long time to wait and requires a lot of patience.  In the end however you are able to enjoy the one of the sweetest juiciest fruits you have ever tasted.

Now, we all face moments in our lives when our patience wears thin – either with ourselves, others and even sometimes with God.  Maybe we don’t want to wait until we can have that new toy or phone or maybe you’ve prayed to God to help you with a situation but nothing has changed.  Being patient is a vital part of trusting God – knowing that he has a plan for each and every one of us.  What we want is not necessarily what God wants for us.  God does answer prayers – but we have to be patient.

SS



Sunday School meets every Sunday during the second half of our morning worship service after the children’s address and hymn.

There are two age groups:

  • Senior Sunday School for girls and boys from school years 4 to 7; and
  • Beginners for girls and boys from school years 1 to 3.



Shoeboxes 2019

With support from the whole congregation, we filled 117 shoeboxes for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child 2019 Appeal.  The boxes from Regent Street Presbyterian Church were delivered to children in the Middle East. Thank you to everyone who helped!


Last year Sunday School raised £337 in our Brown Money Appeal.  This was given to Homestart to help with the excellent work they do in the local community.

Sunday School Appeal 2018

This year, money raised from the appeal is going to Christian Aid.  Our target is to see how many animal gifts we can buy – sheep, goats, chickens etc.  If you would like to help, our brown money appeal box can be found in the church vestibule at the left hand side as you enter.

Many thanks to everyone who contributes.