how it started how it’s going || baptism || matthew 3
Sunday, November 1, 2020 — Worship@Home resources for FirstPres Hayward
As our congregation has made the decision to move to a digital online format for our Sunday Family Gathering due to COVID-19, FirstPresKids is here to provide resources that can help you create your own at-home family worship experience or supplement the one that will be streamed on Sunday mornings, 10PST from FirstPres Hayward.
NOTE: You can also go to the FPK YouTube Channel to view most (not all) of these materials on this week’s FirstPresKids YouTube Playlist.
Scriptural Focus: the story of John the Baptist (“Baptizer”), his work and conversations with the Pharisees and Sadducees and Jesus’ own baptism which revealed and began a new meaning for our understanding and ever-changing human experience of baptism
Lesson Objective: to better understand the historical and Biblical origins of baptism, how it has changed 2000 years later and what our (personal and communal) relationship is to baptism now; to think about the literal and symbolic importance of water and how we can change our relationship to water on earth based on the wisdom of indigenous people
- “What Presbyterians believe: the sacrament of baptism” (article)
- “Water Song: Indigenous Women and Water” (article) — to think about the role, importance, sacredness of water in pre-colonial societies. Imagine the relationship with water in Biblical times: “Aboriginal women have a special connection to water that mainstream society has not considered in formal decision-making processes. This lack of recognition has not stopped Aboriginal women from fulfilling their obligations. They continue to do as they have always done, guided by spiritual teachings, traditions, values, and ceremonies.”
- “Following Indigenous Calls to Action with ‘We Are The Water Protectors’” (thoughts and lesson plans to accompany the picture book)
Opening or Closing Prayer: Dear God, You created all things. And you make no mistakes. Thank you for creating us, the earth, the water. Thank you for coming to earth as Jesus to show us how to live. We pray that you help us to follow you and Jesus so that we live new and changed lives everyday — lives that help and heal the earth, the water, ourselves, each other. Whether we are baptized or not, we want to live better, do better every day. Every time we drink, shower, see water, help us to remember what baptism means: that you love us unconditionally, that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives and that Jesus is our way, our path towards a better, healed, new world. Amen.
Videos for Kids:
- Why is water so important? What are some traditional beliefs about water?
- Before Jesus, why did Jewish people cleanse with water? What do you imagine people in Biblical times thought about water?
- Why do you think Jesus wanted to be baptized too?
- After Jesus, how did the purpose or meaning of baptism change?
- Share about your baptism if you had one. Or do you think you’ll ever be baptized? Did/would baptism change you? Why or why not? Would you be different the day before you were baptized from the day after?
- What does our society think about water? How do we treat it? How can what you learned about indigenous and Biblical beliefs about water change the way you think of and relate to water?
- Water play! Remember your own or think about Jesus’ baptism. This can look like enjoying a fun day splashing in the backyard or playing at a tub of water or in the bathtub!
- Make a paper dove (origami, paper plate) as a reminder of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus working in your life — from the beginning to the end, won’t leave you alone, no matter what!
Books: libraries are closed and you may not have time to order books, but check out the lists below and often a quick internet search will turn up a video version of many picture books. Or see below for my quick picks that you can “read” online!