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A Message from Mrs. G.
Hello, Church Family. We are knee-deep in Holy Week and tonight is Good Friday. Are you taking time to celebrate in new and meaningful ways? I hope many of you were able to join us last night for our Maundy Thursday service.
One of the most impactful parts of last night’s liturgy, in my opinion, are the words that Jesus prayed on the night of his betrayal. He was about to be hung on a cross like a criminal, but he was thinking about the future of the church and praying for unity between all of God’s children.
What is unity in a time like this? Is it closeness? Is it honesty? Is it speaking the truth in love? Is it dealing with the hurts that we were able to push into the background when we were busier…outside of our homes? It could be any of those things. The body of Christ is unified no matter the time, place, or distance. But let’s cultivate unity in our small spaces, too. Draw lines of connection, love, and care between the rooms of your home. It might be well received, it might not. It’s worth a shot, because it was THAT important to Jesus that he prayed about it on the night he was crucified.
If you can’t say something aloud to someone, write them a letter.
Continue to cultivate “house rules” that benefit everyone, including yourself. Keeping the peace means taking care of yourself, too.
Think about what makes you happy. Then do it, or modify it to fit social distancing.
Meditate in silence for 1 minute.
21 “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.”
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A nation-wide endeavor to celebrate Easter in new ways!
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- For labor and delivery nurses
- For UPS, FEDEX and other delivery people
- For farmers and people in food production
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- Write letters to grandparents.
- Tell your kids a story from when you were their age.
- Have a flashlight-tag party in the dark!
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STUFF EVERY KID SHOULD KNOW!
- Have each child practice a signature, as if they were a fancy celebrity!
- The definition of “charcuterie” and how to put it together.
- Listen to Rapunzel’s “When Will My Life Begin” song from the Disney movie, “Tangled”, and choose something from the song to learn how to do.
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From the United Methodist Church
[/vc_message][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Have simpler meals. Fasting, one of the most ancient spiritual disciplines, is not appropriate for everyone, certainly not for young children. But simplifying meals can remind everyone of the solemnity of the week leading up to sunset on Holy Saturday. Simply eliminating desserts is an easy way to do this. Talk to your children about how giving up something we enjoy can remind us of Jesus’ giving up his life for us.
Read together about the events of the last weeks of Jesus’ life in your Bible. Children who are old enough and enjoy reading can read some of the passages to the family. “Easter Eggs with a Difference” provides one way to read many of the pertinent passages with your family and talk about them.
Add the events of Holy Week to your family prayers. For example, you could pray, “God, we remember today how Jesus served his friends by washing their feet. Help us to serve others, too.”
On Easter Sunday, celebrate at home — as well as at church — in a big way. Make “Christ is risen!” banners to hang around the house. Have a special food. If fresh flowers — a colorful symbol of new life — are available, bring some in to decorate the spaces where your family gathers. Teach your children the traditional Easter greeting “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” and the response “The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
Other ideas include:
- Give up technology (TV, cell phones, Internet) for a period of time and spend that time as a family engaged in community service. (This is another way to teach children about fasting.)
- Use an age-appropriate Lenten Bible study or read The Legend of the Easter Egg(Zondervan) by Lori Walburg.
- Plant seeds (marigold, petunia or grass seeds) in an eggshell carton filled with dirt; sprouting seeds send a clear message to children of the power of new life.
- Check Pinterest and online blogs for Lent- and Easter-related craft ideas.
- Host an at-home foot washing ceremony on Maundy Thursday using the account of the Lord’s Supper in John 13:1-11. Washing someone else’s feet, especially for children to wash their parents’ feet and each other’s, can be a powerful experience.
- Watch the sunrise together on Easter morning (the time of day the Resurrection was discovered) before going to church.
TALKING ABOUT HOLY WEEK
During Lent, Holy Week and Easter, children may ask pointed and difficult questions about why Jesus had to die or the events leading up to his death and Resurrection. While parents should be mindful about how they talk about the details, children can process them when shared appropriately.
“Children are open to the cycle of life and the reality that everything has birth and dies,” said Melanie C. Gordon, director of ministry with children at Discipleship Ministries. “We only need to make it simple for them. Talk to them in terms they will understand.
Sharing the painful and sad story of Good Friday with your children can be challenging. “We talk about the day Jesus died, that he died on a cross and that it hurt,” said Mark Burrows, director of children’s ministries at First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. “But we don’t focus on what people did to Jesus. Instead, we focus on what Jesus was doing for them — blessing the people, asking God to forgive, even blessing another who is on the cross.” Burrows reminds parents “children can’t un-see images or un-hear words.” He continues, “I work very hard to be honest without being graphic.” During these conversations, it’s good to remind children that sometimes feeling sad is OK and that God is with us even in our sadness.
EASTER IS A SEASON
To continue the celebration throughout the Easter season, Gilliam suggested “creating a family worship space — a table, a corner of the family room, wherever the family can gather — if you don’t already have one. Decorate the space for Easter with symbols of new life — flowers, a budding branch, pictures of butterflies or baby animals (invite children to draw these or cut them out from old magazines), etc. In the days following Easter Sunday, gather there each day as a family to pray together and read a short passage of scripture about the events following the Resurrection.”
Another post-Easter Sunday activity is to practice kindness and helping others. This could range from delivering flowers leftover from a church service to homebound people in the community to writing notes letting individuals know your family is praying for them to baking cookies for the neighbor next door. The number of people who could use Easter cheer is almost limitless and the joy of Easter is good news for all.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_message message_box_color=”white” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-exclamation-circle”]
ART THERAPY ACTIVITY
The Family Sculpture Activity
The Family Sculpture exercise is a popular art therapy activity that exists in many other therapy types, such as family therapy, though in a modified form. It is enlightening for clients to mold their family in a way that represents the members and the dynamics, and it helps them identify problems in relationships that otherwise might be ignored. Here’s how to carry out the activity.
You will need: Simple modeling clay or plasticine
Explain to participants that our families have a significant role in our lives. From an early age, the ways we engage with our families shape how we go on to engage as adults and within other relationships. It’s important to reflect on our family dynamics to understand how and why we might communicate in the ways we do, so we can better work to change the ways that might be negative.
Provide participants with the clay or plasticine, and ask them to shape and mold members of their family. A useful way to direct this activity can be to encourage participants to create abstract shapes or use other objects to represent certain family members.
Next, ask participants to position the family members in ways or scenarios that they feel best to reflect the family dynamics more generally.
Participants can then be encouraged to discuss the shapes or objects they have chosen and why. Try to go deeper to uncover what these shapes represent. If used in a full therapy session, participants could also use the figures to conduct a roleplay, which can then be discussed with the therapist to uncover deeper thoughts and ideas about their family relationships (Malchiodi, 2010).[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row]