28 April 2024
Bible readings for today
Gracious God, you call us your own and love us beyond measure;
in the rising of your Son we are made a resurrection people,
free us from the old ways, make us faithful disciples, so that we can share with others what you have freely given to us,
who are created, redeemed and empowered though our Saviour, Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
The vine and the branches (John 15:1-8)
Today Jesus told his disciples a story about being like a vine.
Bible Passage Reflection
Have you ever done any gardening? (Pause for answers) Well, I really love looking at and enjoying gardens, but I'm not really very good at keeping plants alive and healthy.
In today's story, Jesus said 'I am the vine, and you are the branches'. What do you think he means? (Pause.) I wonder why Jesus told this story? (pause)
Well, this story helps remind me that its important to look after my relationship with Jesus. There are lots of ways that we can do this. Do you have any suggestions? (pause) Some of the ways that I like to spend time with Jesus are by reading stories from the bible, drawing pictures that show how I'm feeling or things that I've been doing, going for walks and talking to Jesus.
You will need
Vine Walk Obstacle Course
An obstacle course for younger children
If you are confined to a room for this lesson, set up a 'course' in the room using tables and chairs that you can lead the children through. Otherwise take them for a walk outside.
What to do
Creative Vine Art Display
What you need
A large branch stripped of all its leaves or flowers, large piece of thick white paper, crayons in greens, blues, yellows, white and black, green dye (food colouring diluted with water would work for this), scissors, tape
Draw/trace leaves all over the piece of paper for the children to cut out. Use the template provided or create your own.
What to do
Rather than one big vine, each child could make smaller individual versions. If you can't find a branch, create your own out of corrugated cardboard.
Children's Talk 2
A group talk for older kids
You will need:
Pictures of vines and grapes
Grapes to share
What to do
Choose someone to be 'in'. When you say 'Go', the person who is in must try to tag someone. When they succeed, they must link arms/hold hands with the person they tagged. Now both of them can tag people with their free hands. Each time some gets tagged, they link arms/hold hands and carry on until everyone is in one big chain.
You will need
What to doGive out the blank book marks and get the children to draw on a vine with a green felt tips. Paint on the dots of the grapes with cotton buds. Write on the words: I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. John 15:5 (or a part of it!)
The Storypath website shares ideas for children's books matching the lectionary readings each Sunday.
Today's book suggestions can be found here
In this Gospel Conversation for Easter 5, the Diocesan Ministry Educator Michael Godfrey is joined by Chris Holmes, University of Otago Theology Department, Trish Franklin, an Educator at Otago Polytechnic and Jonathan Wood, landscape design gardener from Dunedin as they talk about John 15:1-8 and what it means to be connected to the vine.