18 December 2022
Bible readings for today
Liturgical Colour: VIOLET
Living God, you called your people out of Egypt
and gave them the covenant;
prepare our hearts to hear your call,
so that we may receive with joy the gospel of your Son
and be your faithful people, now and for ever.
E te Atua ora tonu, nāu i ārahi mai tāu iwi i Ihipa,
i hoatu hoki te kawenata ki a rātou;
whakaritea ō mātou ngākau kia rongo i tāu karanga,
kia whiwhi ai mātou i te rongopai a tāu Tama i runga i te hari koa,
kia pūmau ai mātou ki a koe āianei, ā, mō ake tonu atu.
4th Week of Advent
Lighting the Candle of Love
Today is the 4th week of Advent and we light the candle of love.
What you need:
Invite a family member to light all four candles, remembering what each one stands for (hope, peace, joy and love)
This is a good opportunity to talk about love.
Some helpful conversation starters (note- as you all talk and share together, gently lead the conversation into specifics- Statements like I love my friends are helpful. Statements like I love Sophie and Elyssa can be more helpful because they can allow you to explore the specifics of relationships)
Advent Wreath Liturgy
A simple liturgy for lighting your candles in the Advent Wreath, from Build Faith (Use the fourth week!) written by Rev. Matthew Kozlowski
Christmas is close
This week is exciting because Christmas is so close. Some children will know what they’re receiving as gifts, others will be planning holidays, others will have helped decorate the house or baked or already had Christmas parties. As a leader, it’s important to be mindful that there might be children for whom Christmas is a difficult time. There might be unusual family tensions through job loss, illness, having moved to a new city, lack of finances, etc. Your children might live in a separated family where they’re not quite sure which parent they’ll be with when. The first Christmas after a traumatic event can be particularly difficult. As a leader, it’s important to allow the excitement and joy of the season to bubble up, and still be aware and support others who might be struggling. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that even though Christmas is a joyous, exciting, amazing time of year, that for some people, Christmas can be hard and that we need to support, love and pray for those who are struggling.
Aroha - Love
Our te reo word for the week is aroha, which means love. You can download this graphic on our Strandz website
The Birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25)
Christmas on the Move
Thanks to Rev. Sarah West for this week's print image from Visio Lectio, shared with permission.
A huge thank you to the Diocese of Dunedin for their amazing Gospel Conversations videos this year! At last we've reached a Christmas story! It is Matthew's wonderful telling of how the gentle man who was to bring up Jesus learned of God's gift to the world. It's not the most familiar part of the Christmas story - not the part we find in Nativity Plays - but it's a story rich with joy and hope and fulfilment. Join Damon, Esther, Anne and Michael as they ponder something of the gift this story is to us.
Craft boxes for home
As Christmas draws close, and families adjust to being on holiday, tensions in the house may be running high. Children will pick up on parental stress, something that’s hard to avoid at this time of year. If you’re extra busy finishing at work and preparing for the holiday, and your children are demanding more time than you’re able to provide, try creating special craft boxes for your children.
Make one shoe box size box for each child - or one box for all of them to share and put a few special arts and crafts things inside. Include some special paper, felts, stickers, pipe cleaners, glue, buttons, paper or card- whatever you have or can easily get. Wool, popsicle sticks, tape, crayons, aluminum foil are also possibilities. When things get a bit rough, pull out the boxes and sit them down. Say something like, ‘You’ve got___ (an amount of time appropriate for their age) to create a Christmas card, or a poster or whatever you think might be of interest. By redirecting their need for your attention, they can work on something fulfilling and you might just get a few extra minutes to finish something that needs to be done.
- Printable Nativity Scene (Marloes Devee)
- Travel Size Printable Nativity (Made by Joel)
- Toilet Roll 3 Wise Men Craft (Red Ted Art)
- Baby Jesus Wooden Ornament (Little Bit Funky)
- Paper Nativity Luninary (Danielle's Place)
- Candy Cane Poem (Journal Diy Maxine)
- Advent Journey Spiral (Flame Creative Kids)
- Stone Advent Calendar (Rhythms of Play)
- Nativity Story Stones (Rainy Day Mum)
- Ice cream Stick Nativity Ornament
- Nativity Story Bracelet (Montessori Soul)
- Nativity Playdough Mat (Flame Creative Kids)
- Advent Prayer Bags (Flame Creative Kids)
The Christmas Story: St Paul's Auckland
God's Story: Crossroads Kid's Club
The Story of Christmas: Saddleback Kids