Posted tagged ‘Cycle C/A’

Lesson Notes: God’s Covenent with Noah

February 10, 2018

Covenant with Noah

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This month, we’re focusing on salvation history and some of the Big Splash steps God took to prepare His people for the coming of Jesus.  We’re going to start with taking a closer look at the nature of promises.  When you or I make a promise, no matter how good our intentions, sometimes things just get in the way and prevent us from keeping the promise.  It’s good for us to remember that will NEVER happen with God!  No matter how dire the circumstances, He is always in complete control.

 

God made a very famous promise as part of Noah’s story,  and that leads us to an activity looking at a lot of other promises we can find in the Bible.  To do this, simply color and assemble the treasure chest, cut apart the scripture promises, and place them inside.  Come up with some routine to pull one out randomly and read it together – mealtime or bedtime (or both) might work well.

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We’ve included a version of Noah’s story in the lesson, but feel free to substitute it with any storybook or picture Bible version you may have. Younger kids especially may appreciate an illustrated version.  It’s also fun with the littlest ones to gather all the animal toys you have and tell the story to your child who is sitting in a box/laundry basket/ark with the menagerie.  Believe me, it leads to lots of imaginative play in the following days. 🙂

Also, if all your kids are younger you may want to sort through the promises ahead of time and only add the ones you like best to the treasure chest.  There are three pages of them, and it’s not likely your youngest kids will still be interested in the project a couple of months later after you’ve used up all the verses we provide.

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If your kids are older and are already familiar with Noah’s story, try challenging them to retell it from memory.  With this age group, it’s quite likely that some of the Promise verses will strike them as particularly meaningful.  When that happens, encourage your kid to keep the verse someplace where they can read it over and over.  (tape it to the bathroom mirror, tuck in into a Bible, copy it onto a larger sheet of paper and decorate it … there are lots of possibilities)

And for everyone, I really, really hope that sometime in your Family Formation career you do the activity on page 6 where your family actually measures out how big the ark was. Scripture gives us pretty specific dimensions, and it’s an impressive visual image.  You’ll need a wide open space, a long tape measure (25+ feet would be best), and some kind of very visible landmark like a parked car or a tree.  Start there and measure 450 feet and you’ll see what I mean.  That was an amazingly big boat!

Right now, in Minnesota, we seem to be on our 10,000th day of sub-zero winter but I think it’s supposed to warm up a little bit soon so your family may be ready for an outdoor activity.  If so, this one is perfect!

 

Lesson Notes: Virtues

May 30, 2017

Virtues

This “lesson” is easy if you simply consider it to be a Summer Activity Packet, all on the theme of the cardinal virtues and the theological virtues.  Your assignment, parents, is to flip through it all to get an overview of what’s available.

It’ll be a little while, but at some point, the novelty of summer vacation will wear off and your kids will be looking for something to do, and that’s when you bring out this packet.  There are activities for indoors and out, rainy days, and car rides.  Things to do when your kids are alone, or in neighborhood-sized groups.  Become familiar with the choices, pull together any materials you might need and then be ready for the opportunities to keep growing in faith throughout the summer!

Lesson Notes: Pentecost

May 20, 2017

Pentecost

This lesson has lots of information about Pentecost, consecration, Mary as the New Eve, etc. but what I would start with is the spreading of the light activity on page 9.

You’ll need cupcakes and candles, a dark room, and a storyteller to explain how the light of faith started with Jesus, the Great Light and now spreads everywhere through the actions of the Holy Spirit, working through us,

This is a great activity to do with another family and, conveniently, you’ll already have cake and candles to celebrate the birthday of the Church!

From this core of the lesson, go ahead do the other stuff with your older kids, but starting with this foundation of celebration is the perfect way to both teach and say thanks to the Holy Spirit for His role in our lives!

cupcake

 

Lesson Notes: The Ascension of Jesus Into Heaven

May 16, 2017

Ascension

Did you listen last Sunday?

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

That’s the nutshell of this lesson: Jesus is in heaven so it’s our goal to be with Him there someday too.  So how do we get there?

This lesson uses the device of planning a trip as we think about our journey to heaven.  You have all the pieces you need – a ticket, itinerary, passport, travel tips, etc.

mailPARENTS: It’s important to read the Preparation Instructions on page 3.  You’ll need to assemble a few pieces and mail some things to your kids in advance.  Don’t skip this step, especially if it’s your family’s first time doing this lesson!  Kids love to get real mail and this will be a perfect lesson opener!

The rest of the lesson is basically going through these travel pieces to learn more about the topic:

  1. Who is the pilot of your flight?
  2. What meals will be served?
  3. How will your passport stamps help you get to heaven?
  4. Who is your travel agent?

All this is fun for all ages, but (as we typically offer), there is a little additional bit for your older kids on just what it means to know, love and serve God in this world to help us attain the happiness of heaven in the next.

Have fun!

Lesson Notes: Mary and the Eucharist

April 29, 2017

Mary & Eucharist - Copy

Do you want to love Jesus more?  If your answer is yes, this lessons suggests you ask Mary to be your tutor in how to do so because only she loved Him perfectly, and she is very motivated to help you!

The activity for this lesson will lead you through various points in Scripture where the lives of Jesus and Mary intersect so we can better learn from her example.  For your youngest kids, you may want to just do the puzzle and talk about these beautiful Bible stories.

For your older kids, go through the body of the lesson along with the puzzle, and for your oldest ones (teens and adults included), spend a little additional time with the litany on page 7.  Lex orandi, lex credendi is a foundational truth of the Catholic Faith teaching that we pray what we believe, and in this case, there is so much to be learned from meditating on these beautiful titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

One more thing – make sure everyone understands the invitation Mary is always extending to pray for us!  Her “job” now is to bring all of us closer to Jesus, and any way we can place our trust in that mission is to our eternal benefit.

  • Virgin most powerful
  • Seat of wisdom
  • Cause of our joy
  • Help of Christians
  • Queen of families

PRAY FOR US!

Home Lesson Notes: Adoring Jesus in the Eucharist

April 22, 2017

Adoring - Copy

This lesson starts by connecting your family back a bit to Holy Thursday when the Eucharist was first established, but what does all that mean going forward?

Well, pretty much everything for Catholics!  It is our firmly held belief that the Eucharist is the center.  Thanksgiving, sacrifice, grace, community – it all (and more) centers on the Eucharist and this lesson will help us explore some of that.

If your kids are small, you might want to just focus on the first part of the lesson, the story of little Jacinta Marto of Fatima and how she longed to receive Holy Communion.  Certainly use the word “Eucharist” now and then, but you might find it’s more relevant to refer to it as the bread that becomes Jesus (or something similar).  Little kids have open hearts and will often take what you tell them at face value.  So by simply, and confidently, referring to a consecrated host as Jesus, you are laying a foundation of faith that will follow them throughout their lives.

For the rest of the family, use the whole lesson, perhaps focusing on the SOURCE booklet activity.  And for your oldest kids (and you grownups), be sure to read the Q & A About Receiving Holy Communion.  There seems to be lots of confusion about it these days, and we think you’ll appreciate the clear guidelines in this section.

Lesson Notes: Divine Mercy Sunday

April 17, 2017

Happy Easter, everyone!

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This week’s lesson is on Divine Mercy Sunday, a fairly new celebration established by Pope John Paul II in 2000.  The heart of all is a series of visions given to a young Polish nun less than 100 years ago.  As Jesus was teaching her about the amazing depths of His mercy, he instructed Sr. Faustina to keep a diary so the teachings could be shared.

In this Family Formation version of the message, we’ve boiled it down to a couple of mnemonic devices that will make it easy for your family to remember and picture God’s boundless mercy.

First of all, the ABC’s of Mercy:

  • Ask for His mercy.
  • Be merciful to others.
  • Complete trust

And second, because God’s mercy is a feast of graces … the richest food … a whopper of a deal … (do you see where we’re going with this?)

The Big Mercy Burger is a silly analogy with a serious message.  As you work your way through all the meditations on the burger toppings*, your kids will get a fuller picture of the richness of God’s mercy and how they can better participate in it.

You should also have a CD of people actually praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and a helpful pamphlet explaining it.  Try it at least once this week: not only will your kids have their memory assignment nailed, but your family will be better prepared for Sunday’s beautiful celebration!

 

*Yes, I realize that sounds ridiculous.  Just open the packet and try it, okay?

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