Advent is a time of waiting and anticipation. It is a time of hope even in the darkness. It is a time of knowing that Jesus the Light of the world has come and has brought light to all of us. At this time of the year we remember that we are called to be light and hope to others in dark times. When people are waiting in darkness – maybe they are waiting for test results from hospital or are worried because they have lost their job or are fleeing war or are lonely and are not excited about Christmas because they don’t have anyone to celebrate with – Jesus calls us. Just as He is the Light of the world, bringing hope and joy and welcome to the majestic magi and the lowly shepherds, we also bring that Light to others at this time. Here are some ideas for including children in this time of waiting, hope, welcome and light this season.
ADVENT ECHO STORY:
This is a great story for children under 7. The leader reads the phrases and the children provide actions and sounds.
Joseph & Mary went on a lo…o…o…ng trip (walk on the spot)
They went to Bethlehem to be counted in a census (count from one to five)
There was no room in the inn. (shake heads – ‘no’)
So they stayed in a stable. That night when all was quiet (shhhhhh), a baby boy was born to Mary (cradle arms)
Mary rocked the baby (rock cradled arms from side to side)
As she sang a lullaby (hum lullaby)
Out in the field there were shepherds
They watched over their sheep (baa baa)
An angel came to them (arms partially raised as if wings)
There was a bright light (shelter eyes)
The shepherds were afraid (look afraid, bite nails)
The angel said ‘Do not be afraid’ (shake head)
‘Be Happy’ (smile and in joyful voices say ‘be happy’)
Today Jesus is born in Bethlehem. He is the Lord. Go and look for him (point)
He is lying in a manger. Suddenly many angels sang, ‘Glory to God in the highest’.
Peace on Earth, Good will to all people. The angels were gone (look all around)
The shepherds went to Bethlehem to look for Jesus (walk on the spot)
They walked fast (increase pace)
They found Mary (point) and Joseph (point) and the baby in the stable (point)
They were happy to see baby Jesus (clapping)
For Advent why not try a Jesse Tree – everything led up to Jesus! Find out about it by clicking on the hyperlink below where you can download symbols for colouring in.
Here are some websites where you can find children’s songs.
(Action Songs, Animal Songs, Christian Songs, Christmas Songs, Easter Songs, etc.)
(List of songs, hear them sung, actions to the songs. Can download the music and buy from the site.)
(Great music for children that wont drive parents bonkers!)
(List of children’s songs: ‘Arky, Arky’, ‘I’m in the Lord’s Army’, ‘Jesus Loves Me’, ‘I’m Happy Today’, ‘Jesus is the Name-O’, ‘This little light of mine’, ‘Jesus loves the little children’, ‘I’ve got the joy down in my heart’.)
Plenty of songs to choose from based on the Bible. Listen to samples and download via iTunes.)
www.duggiedugdug.org – Doug Horley
(Straight to Duggie’s website with music and books to buy. Also shows other music from other artists too.)
www.fischy.com – Stephen Fischbacher
(Fischy Music supports emotional, social and spiritual health and wellbeing in children through songs. Primarily work with schools and churches.)
(Music for all ages from pre-school up.)
(A new resource for churches and worship leaders on CD. A feature-packed digital songbook and printed music book, with scores to 100 new songs, including 22 scores from the ‘Fresh: New Songs for the Church’ CD.)
www.ishmael.org.uk/home.php – Ian Smale
(Loads of children’s songs – wrote ‘Father God I Wonder’)
www.vineyardmusic.com – Kids Vineyard Worship
Great Big God 1, 2 & 3, Great Big for pre-schoolers and Backing tracks)
101+ IDEAS FOR CHURCHES TO ENGAGE WITH COMMUNITY
This short resource is a collection of ideas to help churches think about different ways to engage with the community. However ideas are not solutions, they are only tools and are only good in the hands of the right people. Ideas are the ‘what’ we do to engage but it is much more important for us to consider ‘how’ we engage as ambassadors of Christ…
Church of Ireland Mission Statement
The Church of Ireland, as an authentic part of the universal church of God, is called to developgrowing communities of faith, in and through which the Kingdom of God is made known, and in which the whole people serve together as followers of Jesus Christ for the good of the world to the Glory of God….
Church of Ireland Mission Statement
The Church of Ireland Council for Mission invited the Bishops to nominate members of their dioceses to attend a Mission Conference at Dromantine, along with representatives of key committees and groups, for the purposes of addressing the vital question: “How do we articulate the mission of the Church of Ireland in the range of contexts that exist across Ireland and in such a way that all church traditions can embrace, support and enact it?”
The following is a summary of the outcomes of the discussion. It is offered with a recognition that the journey has already started and that, in God’s providence, new things are happening but also with a desire that we should walk together where God leads, help each other make sense of what is taking place and encourage one another to continue on the journey…
Ms Maud Cunningham
Mrs Sarah Taylor
20A Market Street,
T: + 353 49 5559954
F: + 353 49 5559957
The Church of Ireland, as an authentic part of the universal church of God, is called to develop growing communities of faith, in and through which the Kingdom of God is made known, and in which the whole people serve together as followers of Jesus Christ for the good of the world to the Glory of God.