Scripture: Genesis 12: 1-9
Memory Verse: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24: 15b NRSV
· Like Abraham, we should listen and obey when God leads us.
· Blessing is a gift from God that brings goodness and well-being in life. (Fretheim, pg. 425)
· God promises to bless us.
· We respond to God’s blessing by worshipping God.
· God chooses to work through people to fulfill God’s mission.
· We, like Abraham, are on a journey of faith with God.
As the children act out the journey of Abraham and Sarah, they will stop at stations along the way where they will define, apply and/or make present-day connections to the concepts listed above.
Before the children arrive, set the room up for the journey. Decide where the starting place will be and from there, set up 5 stations. Concept signs will be placed at each station as directed below.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.
2. Explain the purpose of this workshop: Today we will be going on a journey like Abraham and Sarah. We’ll be making several stops on the way to explore what their story means to us.
Read the story out loud to the children from the Bible. Ask them to talk about how they would feel if they had to leave their homes and families to go to an unknown place. How do they think Abraham and Sarah felt?
Have the children get costumes from the box to dress like Abraham,
1. At the starting place, have the children discuss, then improvise actions showing how Abraham and Sarah felt leaving their family, friends, home and everything behind.
· As a group, begin the journey. Remind the children that it was a long and arduous journey, and ask how Abraham and Sarah might have felt along the way. The way the children move and walk should reflect those feelings.
2. At the first station, stop and have the children spread out into good personal space. Then play Simon Says. Lead them through a few motions, but always say “Simon Says do…” After a few rounds of the game, show the sign that says, “Like Abraham, we should listen and obey when God leads us.” Tell the children that listening and obeying God is a little like playing Simon Says; you just do it, you don’t question what it is or why, you just do it like Abraham did.
· Continue on the journey, reminding the children to use their movement to reflect how it must have felt.
3. At the second station, have the signs that say, “God promises to bless us,” and “Blessing is a gift from God that brings goodness and well-being in life.” Show them to the children and lead a discussion of what blessing is and then refer back to the story of Abraham and Sarah to recall what God said to Abraham and how he would be blessed. What are some of the blessings that we find in our lives?
· Continue on the journey as before.
4. At the third station, have the sign that says, “We respond to God’s blessing by worshiping God.” As you show this to the children, have them recall that Abraham built an altar two different times in our story. Have the children talk about why he built those altars (for the Lord, to worship the Lord). Discuss where the altar is in our church and how we use it in our worship services. Then ask them to pantomime building an altar and worshiping at the altar.
· Continue on the journey as before.
5. At the fourth station, have the sign that says, “God chooses to work through people to fulfill God’s mission.” As you show this sign, remind the children that in the story, Abraham and Sarah were people who were chosen by God to do God’s work. Ask the children to think about what kinds of work people do that fulfills God’s mission. Together with the children, create a list of things that people do (especially, but not limited to, through the Kirk.) The list might include: KOALA, Habitat for Humanity, WIHN, Meals on Wheels, prison ministries, any kind of sharing and caring for friends, neighbors and even people we don’t know. (You may wish to have the list started and let the children add to it if they have any other ideas as a time saver.) Divide them up into partners or small groups and choose/assign/draw out of a hat one of the things on the list. Give them a few minutes to plan and practice a short pantomime or skit to share with the other groups. Let each group perform for the others.
· Continue as before on the journey.
6. At the last station, have the sign that says, “We, like Abraham are on a
journey of faith with God.” Begin the final discussion by reviewing all we’ve been through so far: Listening to and obeying God; hearing God’s promise to bless us; responding to God’s blessing by worshiping God; working to fulfill God’s mission. Our journey of faith can follow a similar path to Abraham and Sarah’s: We can listen and obey God; we can hear God’s promise to bless us; we can work to fulfill God’s mission; and we can respond to God’s blessing by worshiping God.
Prayer: Let us bow our heads for prayer: Dear God, be with us as we continue on our own journeys; help us to listen and obey as Abraham did. We worship You and rejoice in the goodness and well-being in our lives from Your blessing. Amen
Older children: Step 5 in particular is written with 3rd through 5th graders in mind.
Younger Children: Instead of dividing the children into small groups for the skits at the fourth station in #5 above, choose an idea from the list and have them act it out individually, all together as you talk them through it. This may move along a little faster and you may have time to choose other ideas from the list to do as a whole group.
At 10:35 a.m. ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity.
Prompts for journal writing: Think about your own life and your own family. Write down 3 blessings that you and/or your family have received from God. Write down 3 things that you do that help fulfill God’s mission.
At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and turn in their nametags.
1. Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Collect the signs for use next week. Make sure all the costumes have been put away neatly.
2. Remind the children that their offering will be used for Peacemaking.
3. Close with a prayer.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare a closing prayer.
· Prepare signs to place at each station; each sign should have one concept listed on it.
· Costumes for the children to wear on the journey (located in the big green bin on the stage).
Notes from curriculum writer’s Bible study