Archive for October, 2011

sunday school 3

Rhonda Waters of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal has prepared nine months of simple, flexible, multi-age lesson plans for small congregations, and she has posted them on a site called  Stories on the Way.  They are undated, and plans appropriate for the different seasons of the liturgical year are included.  She includes several lesson plans on each topic.  For example, there are three on the theme of creation.These plans can be used in Sunday School or other educational settings as needed.  Rhonda has made these available for downloading free of charge as a gift from her and from the St. Barnabas Anglican Church in St. Lambert, Quebec and the Anglican Diocese of Montreal.Thank you, Rhonda, and all our Anglican sisters and brothers in Montreal!Here is an overview of the nine-month plan:Creation (as told in Genesis 1)
Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3)
Commandments (Deuteronomy 30:11-19)
New heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65)
The Christmas Story (Gospel mash-up version)
Bonus days (small activities/Kids in Church activities)
Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17)
Calling of the Disciples (Matthew 4:18-22)
Peter walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11)
The Last Supper (Matthew 26:20-30) (see also Foot Washing (John 13:3-17)
Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection
Palm Sunday
Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection
(Kids in Church Easter Activity)
Parable of the Sheep (and the Goats) (Matthew 25:31-40)
The Story of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-12)
The Story of Pentecost (Kids in Church Activity)
Psalm 139


See this post for another free source of curriculum: Free Online Sunday School Curriculum: faithelement.  Check out the Resource tab for VBS resources.


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Cover of "Charlotte's Web (paper-over-boa...

Cover of Charlotte’s Web (paper-over-board)

Charlotte’s Web is an inspiring story for small congregations.  As the story opens, Fern’s father is on his way to the hoghouse, ax in hand, intending to kill the runt of a newborn litter of pigs.  “It’s very small and weak, and it will never amount to anything.  So your father has decided to do away with it,” Fern’s mother explains.

Fern cannot believe what she is hearing.  “Do away with it?” shrieks Fern.  “You mean kill it?  Just because it’s smaller than the others?”

“Don’t yell, Fern,” her mother replies.  “Your father is right.  The pig would probably die anyway.”

If author E.B. White had used a word we sometimes use in the church, he would have written, “He’s not viable.”

As the story unfolds, Fern lovingly nurtures the little pig, now named Wilbur, and he thrives.  Later Wilbur moves to Fern’s Uncle Homer’s barn where he makes new friends.  The most special friend is a gray spider named Charlotte, who comes up with an ingenious plan to get the humans to see Wilbur in a different way.  Whereas the humans see Wilbur as a runt or as future bacon, Charlotte gets them to see that he is “Some Pig,” “Terrific,”  “Radiant,” and “Humble.”  In succession she weaves these words into her web, and the humans get the message.

Scripture makes it clear that God’s vision is quite different from human vision, particularly when it comes to what the world sees as small and weak.  This means that your small congregation is not a runt!  What God sees in you is a community that is “Beloved,” “Beautiful,” “Blessed,” and “Brimming with Potential.”

Our small congregations need friends like Fern and Charlotte who see them through the eyes of God.  With this kind of vision they can thrive!

E.B. White.  Charlotte’s Web.   New York: HarperCollins, 1952.  Illustrations by Garth Williams.

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UX Help

Image by betsyweber via Flickr

There are two new tabs at the top of the masthead of The Mustard Seed Journal.  The Good News Texts tab takes you to a long list of Biblical texts that are good news to small congregations of God’s people.  Perhaps you’ll find inspiration for Bible study and preaching here.  The Resources tab is an annotated list of books and online resources.  There is also a list of music resources for congregations who don’t have people who can play musical instruments.  As time goes on, I’ll try to highlight some of these resources, and I hope to do more evaluation of the music resources and post more information about them.

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