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Summer Sunday School Resources

First, two apps (full disclosure, I cringe at sending you things that would increase kids’ screen time, but perhaps these are good uses of a screen?):

 

Bible for Kids app – for younger kids.  Kids can navigate to different Bible stories, listen to the story, then complete a fun game or activity.

 

Kid’s Bible Experience (inside the YouVersion Bible App – enable the ‘Kids Bible Experience’ in settings) – daily vlog type devotional geared at pre-teens and younger teens.  Includes some push toward self reflection and applying scripture to your own experience.  I think you can set this up for daily notifications/reminders.

 

This is based on an audubon site in New Hampshire, but Massachusetts has a large number of Audubon sites that would serve just as well  (https://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-sanctuaries/places-to-explore/greater-boston).

Sunday Worship Service 7/19/20

Here is today’s service.  A couple of things to look out for —
The piano behind the Prayers piece is being played by none other than our own Stacy Hou!
Pastor Cheryl has included a short call/response liturgy in the Invocation.  Follow along in the Bulletin.    You’re invited to speak the “People” line in bold!
Join us for a ZOOM fellowship and prayer at 10:15am.  Email the office for the link:  allinchurch@gmail.com

CLICK HERE to donate or mail to:  Allin Church, c/o Lori Purdy, 683 High Street, Dedham, MA  02026

Suggested Worship Services 7/5/20 & 7/12/20

Pastor Cheryl is on VACATION!  Here are her suggested worship sites (Click the underlined church names to go directly to their website)

Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago anytime Sunday morning

Rev. Otis Moss III is a powerful speaker and preaches to a mostly black congregation. This is an opportunity to hear the gospel through the lens of a people in crisis.  Bonus, Rev. Moss is a magnificent speaker/preacher!

Rev. Anna Flowers is a dynamic preacher who is courageous in faith. The congregation demographic is very similar to Allin’s so this will feel a bit like home.  Also Rev. Anna is a close friend and colleague! (scroll down to bottom of page for worship link)

Hancock Church, UCC at 10am

In Lexington, MA, this church has been live streaming their service to local broadcasting for decades.  Their entire worship happens in their sanctuary so this will appeal to those of you who miss the church!  The link here goes to their website.  If you scroll all the way to the bottom there’s a link to livestream.

So… shameless plug: I grew up in this church.  But the MUSIC AND ORGAN ARE OUTSTANDING so if you love a good organ (which of course we all do) this is the service for you. You can find their worship (live streamed from the church sanctuary) on GRCC’s FaceBook page here.

 

CLICK HERE to donate or mail to:  Allin Church, c/o Lori Purdy, 683 High Street, Dedham, MA  02026

Sunday School Activities for 6/21/20

Hello, Allin Parents! Happy Summer! Below is our last “official” Sunday School lesson until the fall. I have had a blast curating activities and ideas for you over the last few months – I hope these lessons have been as fun for you to do as they were for me to put together. That said, even though it is summer, I will continue to send activities and resources to assist you in nurturing your kids’ relationship with God and Jesus. I think summer can be a great time to grow “faith skills” – the pace is generally slower and your kids typically have more free time (especially this summer!) to connect with God in ways that make sense to them.

Wishing you all the best for a long, fun summer,

Elizabeth

Learn about and celebrate Juneteenth! June 19, or Juneteenth, is a holiday that commemorates the day that Texas, the last Confederate state, learned about the Emancipation Proclamation—marking the end of legal slavery in the United States in 1865.

For little kids:

[Parents, Consider reading this excellent article about talking to children about Juneteenth. It’ll take about 5 minutes: https://www.pittwire.pitt.edu/news/how-talk-children-about-juneteenth]

Watch the Read Aloud Juneteenth for Mazie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXnMN6Y9AiA

Why do we celebrate Juneteenth? If you were great-great-great grandpa Mose, how do you think you would have felt when you heard you were free? How might you have acted?

For older kids:

Watch this short film describing Juneteenth and its significance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOOguH71–E

Ask: Have you heard of Juneteenth before? If yes, when and where? Is it something you already celebrate with your family and your community?

What does it mean to be free? Are there people who are not truly free in the U.S.? In what ways? How do you think Jesus would react (aka What Would Jesus Do/WWJD)?

A follow-up activity to consider:

Plan a small Juneteenth Party with your family (it is okay if it is not on June 19). Find reliable, unbiased sources on the internet to research traditional foods, activities, and other traditions associated with Juneteenth. Share the history of the holiday with your family. Put Juneteenth on your calendar for next year.

[Here are some ideas: https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/juneteenthhttps://www.nytimes.com/article/juneteenth-celebration-history.htmlhttps://www.britannica.com/topic/Juneteenth]

Sunday School Activities for 6/14/20

The main point of these activities is to encourage kids to explore how God speaks to us.

For little kids: Watch the stop-motion video of today’s scripture reading, Genesis 18:1-15. (Thank you, Grace!!!)

Ask these questions: When do you think this story takes place? [a long, long time ago]

Who do you think the visitors are? [I’m not sure I have the theological chops to answer this one, but the internet tells me that it is generally accepted that the visitors were God or God’s messengers.]

Abraham was a good and faithful servant to God. There are many times in the Bible where God speaks to Abraham, including this one.

Now, grab some toys and act out the story using dolls, stuffed animals, etc. You’ll need three visitors, Abraham, and Sarah, and you’ll probably want to work together to build a house or tent. Then read the story out loud while the children act it out with the toys (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+18%3A1-15&version=TLB).

After you are done acting the story out, sit down and ask: Even though this story is from a long time ago, did you know that God still speaks to us today? [Yes, most definitely!]

What are ways you think God talks to us today? [There are many possible answers. Here are some: The Bible, God’s creation/nature, other people, music, situations/coincidences, a voice you can hear, a small voice in your head, prayer, dreams].

Has God even spoken to you? [Totally okay if the answer is no, or I don’t think so. God loves us all equally.]

[I would suggest clarifying that there are many, many ways that God can speak to us.  It’s also true that God doesn’t speak through all  dreams or all people or all coincidences. The idea is that sometimes God may speak to us through these things.]

For older kids: 

Watch the stop-motion video of today’s scripture reading, Genesis 18:1-15. (Thank you, Grace!!!)

Ask these questions: When do you think this story takes place? [a long, long time ago]

Who do you think the visitors are?  [I’m not sure I have the theological chops to answer this one, but the internet tells me that it is generally accepted that the visitors were God or God’s messengers.]

Abraham was a good and faithful servant to God. There are many times in the Bible where God speaks to Abraham, including this one.

What are ways you think God talks to us today? [There are many possible answers. Here are some: The Bible, God’s creation/nature, other people, music, situations/coincidences, a voice you can hear, a small voice in your head, prayer, dreams].

This is a time in history where we are experiencing a lot of upheaval and change.

Do you think God is speaking through what is going on around us? Do you think God is speaking through people right now? How can we tell when God is speaking through another person (or not)? Has God even spoken to you? [Depending on how your children best express themselves, you can do this as a discussion, a drawing, writing down answers and thoughts in a journal].

[I would suggest clarifying that there are many, many ways that God can speak to us.  It’s also true that God doesn’t speak through all  dreams or all people or all coincidences. The idea is that sometimes God may speak to us through these things.]

Sunday School Activities for 5/31/20

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve had a great week. There has been much in the news this week that is weighing heavily on my heart, particularly the death of George Floyd in MN. I believe it is never too early to address issues of diversity, inclusion, and racism with children, even very young children. If I may be so bold, if you are interested in exploring these topics with your children, here are some resources I have found helpful:

Talking to Kids about Race and Racism: https://bouncebackparenting.com/resources-for-talking-to-kids-about-race-and-racism/

Teaching Six Year Olds about Privilege and Power: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/54150/teaching-6-year-olds-about-privilege-and-power

Talking Race with Young Children: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/24/716700866/talking-race-with-young-children

NYT video series (for older kids, absolutely fantastic): https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/learning/lesson-plans/25-mini-films-for-exploring-race-bias-and-identity-with-students.html

Now, for Sunday School!

For younger kids:

Read the Pentecost story. This is one I would recommend using a children’s bible for, or you can read a standard Bible here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+2%3A1-21&version=NIV

Ask kids: “Why do you think God sent the Holy Spirit to be with us?” [Lots of right answers here, but you can remind kids that a few weeks ago we talked about how the Holy Spirit is one way that God and Jesus are always with us.]

Ask: “Why do you think the Holy Spirit gave the disciples the ability to speak different languages?” [Also, lots of right answers here. One, it is a huge miracle and it helped people believe. It also reminds us that Jesus and God’s message are for all people everywhere.]

Make a crown of fire: https://craftingthewordofgod.com/2013/07/06/the-day-of-pentecost/

For older kids:

Read the Pentecost story. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+2%3A1-21&version=NIV

Ask: “Why do you think the Holy Spirit gave the disciples the ability to speak different languages?” [Also, lots of right answers here, but try to get kids to the idea that Jesus and God’s message are for all people everywhere.]

“Let’s put ourselves in the disciples’ shoes. What if you were suddenly given the ability to speak another language – like Chinese, Hindi (the language of India), Hausa (the language of Niger and Nigeria) or Spanish, with the expectation that you were to use that new ability to share God’s love?”

Ask kids: “Pick a language. Okay, now pretend you have just been given the ability to speak it, fluently. Close your eyes and imagine approaching someone who speaks this language, intending to start a conversation with them. Let’s say they are about your age. How do you think you’ll be different? What things do you think you’ll have in common?” Ask them to make a list, and give them a few minutes to complete it. [Explore this, but spend most time on things they are likely to have in common. It is possible that children will engage in some type of bias, making assumptions about children in other countries (particularly poor countries) that are not true. As we are all humans, this is entirely normal, but please challenge it. Ask questions like, “How do you know the boy/girl’s life is this way?” or “Is it possible that your belief about the boy/girl is not true?”]

Added resource – cool map of the most common language in each country: https://thegate.boardingarea.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/World-Map_FIRST-most-popular-language-in-every-country.png