Sunday 28th June
For the next four weeks, as families, we’re going to spend some time together working our way through the book of Acts, particularly Chapters 1-12. (The sermons in our online Sunday gatherings will all be from Acts 10 over the next 4 weeks).
Each week there’ll be a video to watch together - with opportunities to pray, to worship and to laugh! (The videos are made by our friends at Spring Harvest). Plus, each week there'll be some ‘Springboard suggestions’.
These are all suggestions for parents to act as a springboard into ‘doing faith at home’ throughout the week. There’ll be ideas to chat about, things to do or play together, suggestions of how to bless others and reach out.
Have you found ways to worship together as a family this week? It’s so great for our kids to see us worship and for us to make that part of family life. If it’s not part of what you do together as a family, this week might be a great week to start! But, you’re the experts on your family - so take some time to figure out what that looks like for your family. Maybe as a start, make yourself a family youtube or spotify ‘family favourites’ worship playlist. If you’re stuck or need some inspiration, check out the St. Paul’s Spotify playlists for some ideas. We’d love to know what worship songs make it into your family’s top 10!
For little ones, could you do some water play this week or at bath time? Pour some water into different containers: As you enjoy filling and pouring, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. Even though we are all different God can use all of us and we can all receive the Holy Spirit.
Some ideas to chat to God about this week: “Tell God what’s been your favourite meal from the last week. Tell God who you’ve missed most in this last week. Tell God something that has made you laugh. Ask God what has made Him smile this week” (This way of chatting and catching from God will be familiar to the children from our groups on Sundays / 6-11s Zooms and to parents who have done our ‘Parenting for Faith’ course. Do get in touch with Kathryn if you’d like some more ideas of chatting to God together, as a family or a bit more help on how that might work for your family .
How can you ‘Glow’ with the Holy Spirit as a family this week and be a blessing to others? Start with the street where you live. Go on a walk along your street / around the block and pray for each house as you go. Dream together about what it would look like for God’s Holy Spirit power to be poured out in your street. How could your household be a part of what God might be doing on your street? What is God saying about it?
We would love to hear your stories of how you’re meeting with God as a family - if you’ve got any stories or pictures or photos or encouragements or answers to prayer or anything you sense God is saying, that you’re happy to share, do let Kathryn know, either on WhatsApp or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 21st June
The apostles were travelling to cities and towns all over to tell people about Jesus and would visit the Christians living there, to encourage and help them! This Bible story is about God healing people and doing miracles through Peter. People who used to be sick, all of a sudden were healed as Peter prayed for them, so that people would see and believe how great God is!
Our Bible focus today is Acts 9:32-43.
Play & Chat
There are lots of big feelings in our homes right now - with the grown ups and the children! Spend some time playing and snatch the opportunity to talk about feelings while you play together. You could reflect on a few characters in the story - how were they feeling at different points? How about this week at home or school or nursery: how has everyone been feeling at different points?
For little ones - draw some paper-plate faces, with different emotions on them, or print out some emotion faces (google has plenty to choose from!) Hide the faces around your home. As children hunt and find a face, chat together about how the person might be feeling. Can you all show with your faces that feeling? Has there been a moment when you felt like that?
For bigger kids - you could use a mobile phone together and each pick your top 5 favourite emojis. What kinds of feelings do they communicate? When did you last feel like that? Have you ever felt the opposite?
No matter how big or small our feelings or needs or situations, God cares about them and would like you to share them with Him. He loves talking to you and wants you to ask things if you need them. He loves giving us good things as we read in the story today!
Today’s story is all about Jesus’ power and about His presence. Spend some time together as family worshipping - pick some of your favourite worship songs together. Tell each other why they’re your faves. Or, have a listen and a sing along/dance-along to these:
Tabitha made clothes for those who couldn’t afford them, she was helping the poor and people who needed it the most. Next time there’s laundry to hang up to dry, or clothes to fold and put away, why don’t you do it together as a family. Think about people who might need help - talk to Jesus about them.
If you want to get your craft on, you could make some clothes and your own little washing line. Either cut out and colour in some or maybe you even find some fabrics to cut out and hang up. Could you write a name on each bot of clothing, and pray for each person
Sunday 14th June
Last week, we heard about Paul meeting Jesus on the road and his life being completely changed as he became a Jesus’ follower; he encouraged other people to follow Jesus as well. Other Christians were so shocked about Paul’s transformation they found it hard to trust Paul in the beginning, but the Holy Spirit was with them; and the Church kept growing.
Take time for a basket craft idea. Either fold a paper bag or cut out one section of an egg carton to be Paul’s basket. Colour it, punch holes for a string or yarn to hold the basket. Colour a picture of what Paul may have looked like. Cut out the picture of Paul and put it into the small basket. Retell the story using the small basket on a rope.
Can you think of something you absolutely don’t like doing? (football, the dishes, reading, anything!) or eating ( brussels sprouts, marmite, mint chocolate etc)now imagine that from one day to another you absolutely love and can’t stop talking about it. Wouldn’t that be weird? And what would your parents and friends think? They might find it hard to believe at first! Just like with Paul in the story today. His life was a complete turnaround thanks to God!
In our story today, Paul was lowered down a wall in a basket. It must have been hard work for the men holding the rope! So for a challenge make an assault course in your house and see if your and your household can do it! If you manage to complete it, grab your basket, put an egg in it and see who can do it whilst keeping the egg in the basket! (don’t forget to send us some pictures!) (Sorry parents!)
Can you pile some soft toys on one side of the room and challenge yourselves to get them all to the other side of the room, using only a rope and a ‘basket’ (you could use or box). Maybe you could make a cable car? Or a zip wire?
In today’s Bible story, Paul told people about Jesus, even though Paul knew it made some leaders angry. Paul trusted God and was not afraid. God was with Paul, even when he escaped over the wall in a basket! Paul must have been afraid when he had to leave the city in a basket, yet even there God was with Him.
What is your favourite room to play in the house? - God is with you there
What toy do you like to play with there? God is with you when you play with it
Can you remember a time when you were scared, maybe when you were already in bed. Pray and say thanks that even then God is with you!
Sunday 7th June
We’re starting a new series today in the book of Acts. Today, we’re thinking about Transformations (or big changes) and focussing on Paul - who used to be called Saul - and how his life was changed and transformed when he encountered Jesus.
Can you think of anything around you that undergoes big transformations? (caterpillars into butterflies; flour into a loaf of bread; the sunflower seeds we’ve planted into (hopefully!) big sunflowers; water from the tap into ice cubes in the freezer; babies that are growing and changing….)
Our Bible focus today is Acts 9:1-19.
Watch Paul’s story here:
One of our St. Paul’s Kids found some caterpillars this week. How long will it take for them to be transformed?
You might like to re-enact the story. You’ll need a big bright light and a blindfold for Saul. And somewhere to be Ananais’s house. As you go, maybe pause and chat about the story along the way
Have a think about verses 10-16. Imagine being told that you need to go find and talk to a murderer, or the school bully, or your biggest enemy. It would be pretty scary! It might be tempting to laugh and refuse. That’s probably how Ananias felt. Saul was hurting Christians. He was famous for it! Why would God tell anyone to go talk to him? What would you do?
Have a look at verses 17-22. Ananias obeyed (it was GOD asking, after all…), and found Saul there just as promised. Immediately, he was healed, and realised that it was God at work. Saul prayed and was baptized. He was changed and transformed straight away.
Have a go at seeing if you can ‘spot the difference’ in these challenges
For bigger ones:
Can you spot the differences in Saul’s life? He was totally different because he’d encountered Jesus. What was he like before meeting Jesus? And after?
As a whole family, use some clay or some playdough or some junk modelling to make something - do send us some pics of what you’ve made. (Great playdough recipe here if you need one)
The great thing about creating and building is you can change the design as you go along and make changes. The Bible says that God is a bit like a potter and we’re a bit like clay.
That means that when we go wrong God doesn’t give up on us. He doesn’t throw us away. He carefully, lovingly helps us to change. And he’ll help us again and again and again. He reshapes and remakes us. He did the same to Saul. He was changed from the inside out and given a whole new way of thinking. As you make and build, chat to God as a family about the change you’d like to see in yourself, in your family, in our world.