For Palm Sunday, our children and youth processed in with palms, singing Hosannas!
During the Lenten season, which leads up to Easter, we focus on growth and the promise of new life. We try to make internal changes, and trust that making changes on the inside will eventually lead to changes on the outside.
Sweet potatoes don’t look like living plants. They’re not green and they don’t seem to be growing. But there IS life inside them. We planted these sweet potatoes so that we can see the life that’s inside come on out! We’ll watch them grow throughout Lent, and know that just as they are growing, we are growing too.
Most Sundays, our children leave the sanctuary and head back to our children’s room. Alongside our community, we worship God; our worship just includes more crafts, running, dancing, and snacks. For Mardi Gras Sunday though, we decided to stay in the sanctuary and join the congregation for worship, sharing our spontaneity and joy with everyone in our community.
Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday which precedes the liturgical season of Lent. Lent is a season of fasting and contemplation which leads to Holy Week. Lent traditionally a somber time in our church calendar; Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” is the way that we “shake our sillies out” before entering into this more serious time. Mardi Gras is a time to be joyful and celebrate, and also a good reminder that, while we should take our church and God’s work seriously, we should not take ourselves too seriously. Without a sense of levity, we run the risk of creating false idols, and of missing out on the joy of creation and life.
Luckily, the children of Wake Forest Baptist are more than willing to breath some new life and rhythm into the church. We donned masks, hats, beads and feather boas, and each picked out a percussion instrument. We lead the call to worship, inviting everyone in the congregation to clap their hands, stomp their feet, and worship God with a rowdy Hallelujah.
We’ve had a lot of events leading up to Christmas. From the first week in December, we began making Christmas cards. We then joined with the youth and other members to deliver these cards and go Christmas caroling at Salemtowne, a continuing care retirement community here in Winston.
We also worked on making Christmas cups, which we sold to raise money for hunger ministries. And then we gathered at the Faulk-Hasting home for the WFBC Christmas party, where we made and decorated sugar cookies and played games. We’ve had an awful lot of joy, celebration, and love over the past few weeks.
Merry Christmas everyone!
This Sunday we talked about giving with a generous heart. What does that mean? It can mean giving your time to help others, giving gifts or money, or using your talents to help others. We made sun-catchers that reminded us to have a heart that gives to others–the more we give away, the more the light shines through!
Today, our lesson was on Mark 10:42-45:
42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
We talked about how backwards it was to think that in order to be great, you have to be a servant! We went outside, and had a few backwards races–where the loser was the winner!
This week we talked about what God looks like. Where do we see God? We all know the image of God as an old white man with flowing white hair, but is this really what God looks like? We read a bible story from Desmond Tutu’s Children of God Storybook Bible, based on Matthew 31-46:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Based on this reading, we talked about how God can look like a lot of things, and surprisingly, even though God is a king, God might look like someone who is poor, hungry, sick or in prison. As Christians, it’s important for us to remember that God is within us, and within the people that we meet.
For our activity, we made glasses. Whenever we look through these glasses, we hope to remember to see God in everyone we meet.
Today in Children’s Ministry…
We celebrated Porter’s birthday! On Saturday, September 22nd, Porter turned 9 years old. Birthdays are an important time for us to celebrate each important member of our community. To celebrate Porter’s special day, we talked about friendship and kindness, and how we could be good friends to one another.
We celebrated with a special treat, and then we went outside to play together. Happy Birthday, Porter! We are so thankful to have you at Wake Forest Baptist Church!
Today in children’s ministry, we talked about boats. We talked about different kinds of boats–sail boats, pirate ships, cruisers, battleships… What do these boats have in common?
In James, 3:4, boats are used to show how something very small can control something much larger:
4 Take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the captain wants to go.
The epistle goes to say that, like the rudder of a boat, the tongue is a very small part of the body that can sometimes control everything. It’s important for us to think about the way that we use our speech and our voices.
For our activity, we first wrote down or drew pictures of the ways that we can use our voices to do good in the world. The we made those pages into paper boats that we could set sail to remind us of the way that our speech can determine our direction.
Our scripture reading for today was from James:
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
We talked about different people from the Bible, and the way that they lived out their faith. We thought about one quote in particular from an anonymous source: “No more prizes for predicting rain; only prizes for building arks.”
As we worked on our arks, we talked about how it can be sometimes scary to act on your faith. Other people might not understand where you’re coming from and what you’re doing. We wondered how it would feel to be Noah, building an ark before it even started to rain. What a leap of faith!
We prayed that we would have the strength to keep our faith alive by acting on things that mattered to us, and that God would give us the strength to do what we feel is right, even when it’s difficult.