14 January 2024
Bible readings for today
Liturgical Colour: WHITE or GREEN
In our prayers this week, we remember and give thanks for the life and ministry of Right Rev Richard Wallace, Anglican Māori bishop for Te Waipounamu, who died on 6 January 2024. Join us in praying for his family, whānau and amorangi at this time.
Praise to you, God, for all your work among us.
Yours is the vigour in creation,
yours is the impulse in our new discoveries.
Make us adventurous, yet reverent and hopeful in all we do.
Hear this prayer for your love’s sake.
E te Atua, ngā whakamoemiti ki a koe, mō āu mahi i waenga i a mātou.
Nōu te ihi i tāu i hanga ai, Nōu te hihiri i a mātou rangahau hou.
I roto i a mātou mahi hīkoi katoa, whakakahangia mātou,
kia noho ai i roto i te ihi, te wehi, me te tūmanako.
Whakarongo ki tēnei īnoi i runga i tōu aroha.
Do you know me? (John 1:43-51)
Epiphany is a season
We often think of Epiphany as just being one day/Sunday, but in fact it is a season in our liturgical calendar. For three weeks we celebrate how Epiphany is all about expanding God's Kingdom beyond his people Israel.
IntroductionAs Carolyn Brown points out in Worshipping with Children, "Eyes are important. Using them well to really see is even more important! John the Baptist saw and knew who Jesus was when he came to be baptised. When Nathaniel asked Philip, in reference to Jesus, if anything good could come from Nazareth, Philip answered, “Come and see.” And they saw a lot in the years that followed! Use this story to urge children to really see or pay attention to people and to what is happening around them."
GamesHere are some icebreaker game to get kids noticing and using their eyes:
Take turns to play i-spy (I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ... choose a letter and wait for kids to guess that item)
Source some where's wally or I Spy books from the library, where they have to hunt out different items on the pages.
Kim's Game/Tray Game
Collect an assortment of items on a tray. Give the children 30 seconds to look at them and then cover it with a cloth. Give the children a minute to name as many items on the tray as possible. This is a good team game and can be themed to your other activities.
Hide different items around the room that the kids have to search for. Give them a time limit or until the last item has been found. You could print off small speech bubbles and hide them around the room. Download here
Disciples Mobile Craft
Name above all names
What's in a name? When John saw Jesus coming, he called out ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I told you about - he is the Son of God!” Jesus’ friends also called him “Rabbi,” which means “Teacher.” And the first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and tell him, “We have found the Messiah!” The Hebrew word “Messiah” means the same as the Greek word “Christ.”
Jesus was called many things - What would you call him?
Twelve disciples colouring page, with spaces to write all of their names (if the group is too young to manage the writing easily, print one copy and write the names on it before making copies).
Colouring sheet found here
The Lord calls Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1-10, 11-20)
Samuel was about 9years old when God called him by name one night. He kept thinking his friend Eli was calling him but on the fourth time realised it was God and, as Eli suggested to him, he answered saying ‘Speak Lord, I am listening’. God can use any of us. God loves all of us, no one is too young!
Read the Story
Bob Hartman is a creative storyteller, and has produced a range of great books and poetry to retell this story of Samuel. Some of our favourites include:
Written and compiled by Melissa Neumann from the Uniting Church of Australia, for Intergen Australia. View Here
Play a listening game as part of an introduction to the story today. The aim is to help children recognise that they have to listen well to find out what is happening.
Seven Minute Sermon
A Seven Minute Sermon from Rev. George Penk. God spoke to Samuel in the Temple, and to Martin Luther King in his kitchen. How will we respond if the Lord calls us?