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Changing Our Ways – A Message for Children & Parents
Have you ever made a mistake and been given a second chance? I am sure that has happened to all of us! On Sunday, Jim O’Neill will be reading the story of Jonah. God asked Jonah to travel to Ninevah and deliver a message – but Jonah didn’t like the people in Ninevah, so he ignored God and tried to hide from him. Have you ever been upset with your parents and tried to hide from them? That probably didn’t work well for you … and it didn’t work for Jonah. Jonah finally decided to do what God asked him to: he travelled to Ninevah. It was a huge city and people there were behaving badly! Jonah told the people that God had given them only 40 days to change, or their city would be destroyed. Jonah didn’t think the Ninevites would change, and was VERY surprised; the Ninevites worked together, changed their ways and their city was saved.
It can be very hard to admit you’re wrong and it is really hard to change your habits. This Sunday will be “Creation Care Sunday.” For over 100 years many people have treated our earth as if it was indestructible. Now we see that we need to change our ways, and work together to take better care of the earth.
One of my favorite stories about caring for the earth is Old Turtle by Douglas Woods. You might want to listen to Old Turtle in the evening and then join in singing this wonderful song about our earth; This Pretty Planet is sung here by Tom Chapin and children from the American School in London:
“This pretty planet, spinning through space,You’re a garden, you’re a harbor, you’re a holy place. Golden sun going down, gentle blue giant, turn us around. All through the night, safe til the morning light. “
It’s a lullaby! Our music director Kathleen Adams suggests:
“Parents!… Sing with your children at bedtime .. . they’ll have it memorized before you do! Sing it again in the morning, and this time, your child can make up some actions. Arms can make a big global circle; hands can spin around each other, the golden sun can be reached up high and then sink down. Praying hands show “a holy place”; digging action for the garden, waves for the harbor, head rests on hands for sleepy time….etc. Children often have inventive ways of ‘signing.”
Kathleen & I hope you enjoy and sing along with This Pretty Planet – and that you sing along again on Sunday morning! We wish you all a blessed week ahead.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This Sunday we will be celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. We’ll be learning about his life and about his work to improve the lives of those who faced hatred and fear. God wants us to love each...
At the very beginning of service this Sunday, Mary Flaherty will read the first sentences from The Bible: "In the beginning God created the sky and the earth….Darkness covered the ocean, and God’s Spirit was moving over the water. Then God said, 'Let there be light!” And there was light...' - Adapted from The International Children's Bible No...
Happy New Year! This Sunday, January 3rd is the first Sunday in the new year, and is the Sunday before Epiphany. Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is always celebrated on January 6th, 12 days after Christmas Day; it celebrates the coming of the wise kings to Bethlehem. The wise kings, or magi, lived very far from Bethlehem. The Bible does not say...
Twas the evening of Christmas, when all through the town,
Every inn was so crowded, no room could be found.
Tired Mary and Joseph, who went door to door,
At last found a place on a small stable floor.
For over 200 years, families have enjoyed Dr. Clement C. Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas echoes the familiar language and rhythm of Dr. Clements’ poetry, but instead of focusing on Santa, it focuses on the baby Jesus.
Enjoy Peg Koller’s reading of it here.
Merry (almost) Christmas!
This Sunday, the third Sunday in Advent, we will light three candles on the Advent wreath: The candle of hope, the candle of faith and the pink candle, which is the candle of JOY. When Jock and Vicki Bourneuf light the advent candles, Vicki will read: “We embrace the joy that comes from the beauty of tradition, the beauty of memory, the beauty of...
The Ramsden Family will light the second Advent candle tomorrow, to celebrate the second Sunday in Advent. The first candle, which we lit last week, is the candle of Hope. The second candle is the candle of Faith. Have you ever walked on a path in the woods that has been used for many years? It is very easy to see which way to go because so many...
Do you remember your first day of school this year? Many families start planning for the new school year way ahead of time. You might have needed to get a new backpack or new clothes or shoes. You usually need to buy markers and scissors, tape and paper and notebooks. You probably packed your backpack the night before and got a good night’s sleep...
Many years ago, my husband lost his job. Our two sons were young, and I was working part-time – but I was not earning enough to pay for our house and everything we needed. It was a difficult time to find work. During that time, our son’s school had a food drive. I wanted to donate something, but said to a friend, “We just can’t afford to give what we’d like to give.” She reminded me that if everyone gives a little, there will be a lot to share. When I dropped off our donation, I saw tables filled with cans & boxes of food, from the many families who gave “a little.”
This week’s readings and story are about fear and about trust: trust in ourselves, trust in our families, trust in God. In today’s parable (or story) a very wealthy man, who owned lots of land, was planning to go on a long journey. He called together three men who helped him manage his land, and gave them each money; he asked them to take care of the money for him while he was away. The money was paid in “talents”; a talent was worth a lot – probably more than $10,000.
Most of us love to attend celebrations with friends or families, such as family reunions, birthday parties or weddings. When you are getting ready for a special event, you have to plan ahead. You’ll need to do some shopping, for a card or a gift, or for food to share. You might need to dress up. And if you’re in the wedding, you will probably wear a special outfit!
Every family has traditions. Our family has carved or decorated a Halloween pumpkin for many MANY years, but people have been celebrating Halloween for hundreds of years. Halloween is always celebrated on October 31st; Halloween is also called “All Hallow’s Eve” or “The Eve of All Saints Day. All Saints Day is always one day later, on November 1st. All Soul’s Day, or Dia de Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) is celebrated on November 2nd.