My name is Janet Stone and I am writing to invite your child to join us for in-person Church School each Sunday. Church School is where students will learn about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and how to live a Christian life. We learn Bible stories and we learn how to use those stories to help us be better people. All PreK-8th Grade students are welcome. Children start out in Church at 10:00 with their families and are sent to Church School following the Children’s Sermon. Please note that on the first Sunday of the month, children are directed to the Education Building first and then return to the church building in order to be with their family for communion. I am looking forward to a fun-filled Church School year! Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.
This week’s Church School class lesson was based on Mark 4:35–41, Jesus Calms the Storm. In this Bible story, Jesus has been teaching large crowds, and decides to take some time away with the disciples. Jesus and the disciples take a boat on the sea of Galilee. Jesus, tired from teaching and ministering, falls asleep. Soon, a storm hits, the boat shakes, and the disciples are afraid. They go to Jesus for help and are surprised to find him sleeping. How can anyone sleep when there is a chance the boat might be overtaken by water and they all might drown? But Jesus remains calm. He gets up and calms the storm. He then asks the disciples why they are scared, as if their feelings of fear are unnecessary. After Jesus woke and handled the storm, the disciples were amazed. What amazing power Jesus has! There is so much mystery in the story. What a gift it is to know that there is someone like Jesus who can be present with us in the midst of our life storms! It reminds us that there is always something bigger to rely on when we are overwhelmed. The children in our class are learning that the teachings in the Bible and prayer can help us in so many ways. We have to be ready to listen and be aware of God‘s guidance. There will be no Sunday School on February 18 due to Presidents’ Day weekend.
Today’s lesson focused on Matthew 6:5-15, The Lord’s Prayer. We read through the prayer several times exploring the text, defining the words and figuring out what it all meant. We decided that the Lord’s Prayer was a great prayer to pray when you don’t know what else to pray for and that Jesus wanted us to pray all the time. We prayed this simple version: God in heaven, your name is holy. Let what happens in your kingdom happen on earth. Give us everything we need. Forgive us; help us to forgive others. Help us make good choices, instead of bad ones. We are thankful that Jesus taught us how to pray this way.
Lepers, Samaritans and Other Outcasts – Luke 17:11-19
The story of ten lepers being healed by Jesus and only one leper said “thank you” has been taught to generations of children. The lesson: say “Thank You”. But wait, there’s more. We got to work exploring this whole event and came up with questions. What is leprosy? Why were the nine in a hurry to show themselves to the priests? How did Jewish rules on health and hygiene affect them? What about the one who remained behind and thanked Jesus – and he was a Samaritan? Who were the Samaritans and why was that significant? Why were they scorned? Finally, what is our take- away here? How does Jesus treat the disabled and minorities? How should we treat the “uncool” classmate who gets picked on by the mean kids? You know him. You might find him standing by the fence, left behind after the captains chose their teams. –Lenore Kurz
Today’s scripture was Matthew 4:18–22, Calling the Disciples. Jesus was walking along the sea of Galilee one day when he saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew, fishing. “Come follow me, “Jesus said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people”. The brothers immediately left their nets and followed Jesus. Farther down the beach, he came across two other brothers, James and John, who were repairing nets with their father, Zebedee. Jesus repeated what he had just said to Simon and Andrew. Then James and John left their father to follow Jesus too. Simon, Andrew, James, and John were the first disciples of Jesus. Today in class we talked about what we thought Jesus meant when he said, “I’ll show you how to fish for people”. We realized that fishing for people could be as simple as being kind to them. Being friends with people that maybe no one else is friends with. We can share our gifts and talents with others. That way, others can see what a disciple of Jesus is like. We are thankful that God is calling us to follow him.
This week in Church School, we talked about Jesus‘s baptism as found in Matthew 3:13–17. When Jesus grew up, he was ready to begin his ministry He went to the Jordan River to see John the Baptizer. John was baptizing people in the river. Jesus asked John to baptize him, but John tried to stop him. “I need to be baptized by you!” said John. Jesus said to John, “Please baptize me. It is important for my ministry.” So, John agreed to baptize Jesus. When Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened to him, and he saw the spirit of God come down like a dove and rest on him. A voice from heaven said, This is my son. I love him. He makes me happy.” The class talked about baptism, and what it means to be washed by water and the Spirit. We decided that every time we turned on our faucet, and let the water run through our hands, we would say “God loves me. God is pleased with me. God is happy with me.” It’s an easy way to remind ourselves of God’s love.
Today’s lesson focused on Matthew 2:1–12, the story of The Magi. In a far away place they were Wise Men, Magi, who spent their time watching the stars. One night the Wise Men noticed a very special star in the sky. It was extra bright, and seemed to be moving ahead of them. The Magi thought this special star would lead them to the new king. The Magi wanted to bring special gifts to the new king. The Wise Men packed three gifts fit for a king – frankincense, gold, and myrrh. The Magi then set out to follow the star. They arrived in Bethlehem, following the special store until it stopped over a stable. When the Magi entered the stable, they met the new king, Jesus, and His mother, Mary. The Wise Men knelt down and offered their gifts to Jesus. Our class discussed the fact that gold, frankincense, and myrrh were gifts that would be given to a worldly king. Not necessarily a gift for a baby. We also talked about what our gifts were. Not the presents under the tree, but gifts that God has given us. Were we patient, kind, creative or artistic? Would these be gifts that would be good enough for our king? As we thought about the new year beginning, we decided to give some of our gifts back to Jesus by sharing them with others. We prayed, thanking God for the gift of Jesus. We also prayed that we will be able to share the gift of the Good News with others in 2024. Happy New Year to all!
Thank you to Liam LaVoie, Janah Whittaker-Roth, Lauradjeen Jacques and Chloe Jacques, for sharing the story of Christmas during our church service this week. They did a wonderful job, and we are very proud of them!
This week in Church School, we looked at the word according to John, Chapter 1 verses 1-14. Our specific focus was on verse 9: “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” As we continue on our Advent journey, we focus on the light that is coming. We talked about what the word light means. One child said it is something that you use to see in the darkness and another student said that it means something that is not heavy. And of course, both of these are true and both of these are ways we can describe Jesus. He is the light that drives away darkness and by following him we can turn our burdens over to him, and he releases the weight and makes our way light. Naturally, the Grinch did not know about this. At this point in our reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, we were with the Grinch on his homemade sled, in his fake Santa suit, as he careens down the hill towards the town of Whoville, set on stealing all the things that he believes makes Christmas important for the Whos. But of course, the point that he is missing, the true importance of Christmas, is the Light that is coming with Baby Jesus. So, after some discussion, we decided that if we keep the Light in front of us, we will be safe in the darkness and our travels will be easy.
This week in Church School, we continued our journey toward joy with verses from Matthew 2:1–15. Specifically we looked at Matthew 2:10, “When they saw the star, they were filled with joy”. The Bible story tells us about the magi following the star to find the baby Jesus. The journey was long, and it was likely difficult. However, when the magi found the child, they were filled with joy. In the lesson, we also read more about the Grinch. In the next section of the story, we saw the Who-village excitedly preparing for Christmas. They were buying toys, making noise, hanging stockings, and spreading joy. This bothered the Grinch. He did not want to share in the Christmas joy. So, the Grinch made a plan to ruin Christmas. The magi, the Whos, and the Grinch are all leading us on a journey toward Christmas. All the characters in our stories are preparing for Christmas in different ways. When reading these stories, we can see that our individual journeys towards celebrating the birth of Jesus can look different for everyone. Sometimes it takes time to find joy at Christmas. Each of us experiences the season differently, but all of us will end the season discovering the joy that Christmas brings.
Today we began our study of Matt Rawle’s book The Heart That Grew Three Sizes: Finding Faith in the Story of the Grinch. This book explores the familiar Christmas story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and ways the Grinch’s transformation and redemption point us to aspects of the Christian faith, especially the hope we find in Jesus’s birth. Today’s lesson focuses on Luke 1:26-56, and the specific verse “Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her.” ~Luke 1:45. We also read the very beginning of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, in which it is quickly revealed to us that the Grinch hated Christmas. The Bible story is about Mary and the birth of Jesus. Although the angel’s announcement brought Mary much confusion and fear, Mary finds joy. Joy is what the Christmas season is all about. But the Grinch does not understand this quite yet. First the Grinch must go on a journey in which he discovers Christmas means more than what he thought. It’s a journey toward joy. Our journey toward the joy of Christmas takes place through the season of Advent. It is our movement toward the joy of Christmas. With Mary as our guide, together we (and the Grinch) can welcome the joyous news of the coming of Christ Jesus.
In Church School this week we focused on Genesis 28:10–22. Jacob finally got the birthright in the blessing that rightfully belonged to Esau. However, because of Esau’s anger, Jacob had to flee his home and family. As Jacob was leaving his home, he grew tired. He found a stone, placed it near his head, lay down to sleep, and had a very vivid dream. He dreamed that there was a large staircase that started on the ground and reached into the sky. God appeared in Jacob’s dream, and promises to be with Jacob and bless him and all of his descendants – promises that God had made to both Abraham and Isaac. When Jacob awoke, he knew God was present with him in that place. Jacob had not been expecting a visit from God, but he knew when he woke that God had been there with him. God came to Jacob when he was tired and scared. God sometimes shows up in our lives, and in very unexpected ways. We might not have vivid dreams of angels and staircases. However, there might be times when we least expect it, that God leads us and shows us a new way. This can happen through prayer. There are no limits to where God might show up. If we will just pay attention, we can find God everywhere.
Today’s lesson found us studying Genesis 25:29-34. Esau and Jacob continued to grow up. Esau still enjoyed hunting, and spending time outdoors, while Jacob enjoyed cooking and working in the tent. One day, Esau returned home from hunting. Jacob was making lentil stew, and Esau was very hungry. “Can I have some lentil stew and some bread, Jacob?“ Esau asked. “Sure, if you trade me your birthright for some stew,“ Jacob said. Esau thought about this. His birthright would make him the leader of their family when they became adults. That was still several years away. He was hungry now. Did he really need to be the leader and get all the family’s riches? Or did he need to eat? “You can have my birthright,“ said Esau. “One bowl of stew, coming right up!“ said Jacob. After reading the story, we wondered what would we have done if we were Esau? And what would we have done if we were Jacob? We are thankful that God is always with us when we have to make difficult decisions. How helpful would it have been if Esau had prayed to God before he gave away his birthright? We know that God is always there to help us and to listen to us when we pray. We are very thankful for this blessing!
Today’s lesson was the story of Jacob and Esau, taken from the book of Genesis 25:19–28. Isaac grew up and married a woman named Rebecca. They prayed to God for a child. When it was time for Rebecca to have a child, she discovered that she was going to have twins! Isaac and Rebecca had two boys and, although they were twins, the boys were very different from each other. One twin was born with red hair and was very hairy. They named him Esau. Esau was born first. He loved to hunt and be outside. Isaac loved Esau very much. The other twin was named Jacob. Jacob liked to stay at home and helped Rebecca cook and care for the house. Rebecca loved Jacob very much. Jacob and Esau were blessings to Isaac and Rebecca and we are blessings to one another. We are blessings in our family, in our church, with our friends and with our community. As we move through each day, we are to remember that we are special and we are all blessings from God.
This week we learned that God keeps His promises! In Genesis 21:1-7 we read that Sarah did have a child, just as God had promised. Abraham and Sarah had waited a long time for God’s promise to be fulfilled. There were probably times they wondered if this would ever happen. Still, they remained faithful to God. When Isaac was born, Sarah laughed. Her laughter was one of joy! The joy of having a son and the joy that God’s promise was kept. Abraham and Sarah had faith. They believed their God was always present, even in times of doubt. They had continued to hope even when it was hard to do so. When things seem dark and hopeless, we can remember the faith of Abraham and Sarah and look to God who always keeps His promises!
This week in Church School, we began our study of the story of Abraham and Sarah, focusing on Genesis 15, God’s Promise to Abraham. In this story, Abraham and Sarah had faith in God. They took a long journey to the land that God had promised to give to them. When they arrived, they built a new life but they were still waiting for a child. God spoke to Abraham and told Abraham to look at the stars in the nighttime sky. There were more stars than Abraham could count. God said, “I promise, you will have as many children as the night sky has stars.” Though he couldn’t imagine how God would give him so many children, Abraham had faith in God’s promise. When we have faith, we believe God is present with us and God’s presence gives us hope. When we look at the stars, we are to remember that God is with us. We will have faith and God will bring us hope.
Thank you to Mrs. Lenore Kurz for teaching our Church School class this week. The lesson included some Bible navigating skills and stories of Jesus from Mark 4:37 – 5:43. Finally, there was a review of the meaning of Communion before heading across the street to participate in Church.
Our Church School lesson this week comes from Genesis 2:10-23, God Creates Helpers. In Genesis we have learned that God created the earth and all the creatures, both plants and animals, of the earth. God then created humankind in His likeness. Adam was to live in and care for the earth and its creatures. Adam was also tasked with naming all the animals. But God saw that man was lonely. So God created a helpmate for Adam. Together, Adam and Eve cared for all that God had made. And God saw all that He had created – the earth, the animals and the people. God saw that it was all beautiful and very good. We know that we are created to be caring and creative people. Using our creativity and caring for our world around us is how we can honor God.
This week in Church School we continued our study in Genesis. In Genesis 1:26-2:4 we learn about the creation of humankind. God looked at the beautiful world that He had created and thought that the world needed people to enjoy and care for it. So God set His creativity in motion and created humankind. We learned that we are made in the image of God! God made us with His own hands and so we looked at our own hands and saw that although we are the same, each of us having hands, we are also uniquely different, with each of us having unique lines upon our palms and fingers. God shaped us this way so we can be unique individuals. As we are a part of God’s creation, we have been instructed by God to care for the earth and all the living creatures within. In just this small section of scripture, we have learned how we are created in God’s own image as unique individuals with the divine guidance and expectation to care for the beautiful earth we live on and the amazing creatures living here with us!
Welcome back to Church School! Today’s lesson was focused on Genesis 1:20-25. God created the earth and saw that it was good and beautiful. But there was something missing. So God decided the earth needed living things. God made trees, grasses, and flowers of all colors. Then God added fish for the waters, birds for the sky and animals for the land and God delighted in all of His creations. We are thankful to the Lord for all the wonderful and interesting living things He has created, including us!
This week in Church School we learned about the Ascension of Jesus from Acts 1:6-11. We learned that, although Jesus cannot stay here on the earth with us, we can have him in our hearts. We can speak with him through prayer, and we can do his work by helping others. Please note that this was the last Church School for the school year. We will start up again on September 10, 2023.
Today in Church School we learned about the Holy Spirit. We read John 14:15-21. We learned that Jesus sent the Spirit of Truth who abides in us. This is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our helper, teacher, comforter, and friend. He becomes a part of us when we become a Christian and understand that Jesus died and rose for us. When we’re ready to live our lives in honor of God, the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us every day. We are grateful for the Holy Spirit!”
Today our Church School students went fishing with the disciples! We read the story from John 21:1-14 wherein the disciples spent an entire night fishing only to come up empty handed. Jesus comes along at daybreak and tells them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat and suddenly 153 fish were caught in their nets. This miracle was the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples and from it the students learned that if we stay on the “right” side of life, living with Jesus in our hearts, we will always be equipped with what we need and will live a good life in God’s care.
This week our focus was on shepherds and sheep. We read through John 10:1-10 and our focus was initially on sheep – what they eat, where they live, what they give us and who takes care of them. Then we discussed the responsibilities of a shepherd – they always provide what the sheep need and how they always protect the sheep. Then we made the leap in our thinking to the idea that we are just like sheep and that Jesus is just like a shepherd. We have needs like food, shelter and protection from our enemies and Jesus can help us with the needs that we have! Our scripture of focus was “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him and the sheep hear his voice”~John 10:3. If we reach out to Jesus with our needs, he will certainly hear us and help us.
This week Church School students learned about the road to Emmaus. We learned that sometimes we don’t recognize Jesus right away. We have to look a little deeper to find His goodness. Students practiced by thinking about disguises and masks and how if we look past those disguises and masks we can find the goodness and blessings that life has to offer.
This week in Church School we spent our time together retelling the story of the sadness of Good Friday through to the joy and wonder of Easter Sunday and the Risen Christ. The children learned to tell the story using a storyboard featuring the tomb and depictions of Jesus after his death, and of the angel who tells of the Good News. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Luke 24:5 Good News indeed!
Today in Church School we discussed Matthew 21:1-11, Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King. We learned that instead of a royal entrance into the city, complete with a majestic steed, flowing robes, glittering jewels, triumphant music and grand proclamations, Jesus approached the city with humility, connected to the common man and our Father in heaven simultaneously. Our craft time found us tracing each of our hands onto green paper, cutting them out and gathering them together. We mixed our “palms” together and glued them onto sticks, representing the palm branches waved by the witnesses to Jesus and the beginning of Holy Week. While joining hands together as Christians, we can sing out “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Today we learned the story of Lazarus, who was a friend of Jesus and brother to Mary and Martha. While Jesus is preaching, he gets word that Lazarus is ill and dying. Jesus goes to him, but it is too late. Jesus called upon his Father in heaven to save Lazarus, which God does. Lazarus is resurrected from the dead. Our students learned that we too can call upon our friend Jesus and be brought away from darkness and into the Christian life. If we follow the teachings of Christ and pray to our heavenly father, we too can have a new life.
Today in Church School we heard the story in John 9 about Jesus healing the blind man and by healing the blind man, Jesus knew that others would see His light and want to follow it. We talked about our eyes and our heart, how we know that our eyes help us to see and we know that our heart keeps our blood moving and our body alive. So we figured that by using our eyes to see Jesus it will help us to open our hearts as well to help others. Ephesians 1:18 says in part, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you”. When we prayed, we asked that Jesus help us to open our eyes so that we can love and serve those around us.
This week’s scripture teaches us about the woman at the well. We thought about how we cannot live without actual water as our bodies need it and we thought about how our bodies use water – to sustain us, to wash us clean and for enjoyment. Then we looked at what Jesus said -”Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” ~John 4:13-14. We learned that Jesus is what we need to sustain us, wash us clean and give us joy in our lives!
Valentine’s Day will be upon us this week, so our thoughts have turned to love. As children, we are thankful for the love we receive from our parents, and we are thankful for the love we receive from God, our Father in Heaven. Just as earthly parents provide guidance and boundaries, God our Father has provided us with the 10 Commandments. He has given us these commandments because he loves us and it is through obeying these commandments that we can grow as his children. In Church School this week, we reviewed the 10 Commandments and thought about how these commandments help us be better people and how as better people, we are able to share the love of God with others. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Today in Sunday school, the children learned about being salt and light. Our scripture was taken from Matthew 5:13-16. We learned that what Jesus is telling us to do is to share His light through our actions so that others can see what life is like when following Jesus. And we are to add our own flavor to the world showing others how we live our lives abundantly with joy. Our craft this week was to draw a picture of a candle, showing the light that Jesus represents. We then outlined our drawing with glue sprinkled with table salt representing the flavor we can bring to our lives. We pray with thanksgiving that God allows us to be His salt and light to the world.
This week in church school we focused on Matthew 5:1-12 The Beatitudes. We learned that the word beatitude means blessing and this scripture teaches us that God’s gift of blessing is granted to those who choose to be disciples. We listened to the scripture and talked about how blessed we are already. But we also know that there are many times when we need God’s help. When we live our lives according to Jesus’ teachings and God’s word, The Beatitudes tells us that we will receive even greater blessings. We colored and created a Beatitudes spinner to help us remember them and we did a Beatitudes word search. As children, our students are pure in heart and as our scripture tells us “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”.
Mark 1:4-11 The Baptism of Jesus
We shared the story of John baptizing Jesus and we thought about the verse “And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness” ~Mark 1: 11 We learned that John encouraged people to be baptized to show that they had changed their hearts and lives. When Jesus is baptized, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, descends on Jesus. A voice from heaven declares “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness” This heavenly declaration affirms God’s love for God’s Son. God also shows us love in this act as well, as God happily claims us as his beloved children. We drew pictures of Jesus being baptized by John and painted with watercolors to show the blue water of baptism (our sins being washed away) and yellow sunshine representing God’s light and love for us. Then we made beaded bracelets with blue and yellow beads to remind us that God’s forgiveness and love goes with us wherever we go!