Sunday, May 24, 2020

Worshiping at Home on May 31, 2020

Worshiping at Home
May 31, 2020


When a family that includes children worships at home, it will look more free form than what happens in a sanctuary.  Especially HEARING THE WORD will be more active.  Children explore God’s word with eyes, voices, hands and even feet as well as their ears.  This week is Pentecost, the birthday of the church.  So in worship we have a birthday party.  We tell the story of the day the church was born, eat birthday cake and drink red juice, and sing and pray for the church. 

Preparations are almost part of the worship this week.  If possible involve several members of the household in preparing the birthday cake.  Make or buy whatever cake/cupcakes is the usual for birthdays in your home.  Consider Red Velvet cake (red is the color for Pentecost) with white icing.  If possible write Happy Birthday Church on the top in red icing.  Have cups and red juice ready to serve with the cake.  Talk about your church as you make these preparations. 
Encourage all to find something red to wear or add to what they are already wearing

Plan ahead how you will present today’s story.  Decide whether to read the Pentecost story from Acts 2 or from a Bible story book.  If you read from Acts 2 with mainly younger children stop at verse 11.  Older children can follow through verse 21.

Worship today around a table.  Spread a piece of fiery colored or white fabric as a table cloth.  Top it with a Bible or the Bible story book, a candle (red if possible), the birthday cake, plates, red juice and cups.

It is possible to worship together without singing at all.  But if your family sings together, decide before worship what you will sing.  Sing whatever songs about Jesus and God your family knows.  Sing Happy Birthday to the church.  If you have instrumentalists, decide early enough that they can practice.  Or, Google the titles of songs to find YouTube videos for singing along.  Other songs to enjoy include:
Praise Ye the Lord, Alleluia
I’m Going to Sing When the Spirit Says Sing
– make up new verses such as I’m going to serve, be kind, love, etc
Spirit of the Living God Fall Afresh on Me – just the chorus
I Am the Church, You Are the Church We Are the Church Together
Here is the Church, Here is the Steeple 
            (not a song but a fingerplay)
Song of Hope (from Argentina) 
            or church songs from other countries
The Birthday Song


Worship leader gathers the family lighting or turning on the candle and saying:   “Come, let us worship God together.”

Sing one or more songs of songs about God and Jesus or the church that you selected as you got ready to worship.

Introduce today’s scripture as the story of the day the church was born.  Explain that it is best to begin in the middle of the story and then tell it from the beginning.  The middle is Acts 2:5-11.  It is filled with the names of lots of places from which people had come to Jerusalem.  An accomplished reader reads the verses aloud.  Either,
-          Instruct people to raise a hand every time the hear a place they recognize.  Listen for Rome, Egypt, Libya, Asia, Arabia and others.
-          Or, get out a google map of the Middle East and find some of the places named.
The point is not to identify every place but to realize that all of these were real people visiting from real places.

Now read the whole story – Acts 2:1-11 or Acts 2:1-21 from the Bible or from a Bible story book.  Ponder together:

How did the disciples feel as the story began?  What were they doing?

I wonder how they felt when the wind and flames came around them.

I wonder how they felt and what they did when they could suddenly speak another language?

By the end of the day, what do you think had changed in the disciples?

Sing “Happy Birthday” to the church and share the cake and red juice.

On the outline of a church building, together list prayers for your own church, people at your church, activities you miss at church, other churches in your town, and the church around the world.  Think of prayers of praise, thanks and prayers for help.  When you run out of ideas pray them together.  A leader points to each item and one person who mentioned it.  That person prays aloud for that concern.  Everyone replies, “God we pray for your church.”  (This is a free form, eyes open prayer.)

SING ANOTHER SONG if you wish.  maybe “Song of Hope” (from Argentina)

Each member of the family says to at least one other person, “Go in peace.  God loves you and I love you.”  This may be done by going around the circle or with each member of the family saying it to every other member of the family.

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