Road to Pentecost: Witnesses at the Table

Sunday, May 24— Worship@Home resources for FirstPres Hayward’s Road to Pentecost sermon series

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 Worship@Home Playlist

Scriptural Focus: The Apostles discern and pray to God to select a 12th disciple who was a witness to Jesus’ life and teachings and whose worthy heart was seen by God.

Objective: To understand systemic racism and how the scripture challenges us to take action (be anti-racist) against systemic racism by considering who we do and do not invite to our table.

(lego figures depicting the casting of lots and one figure declaring “Matthias,” source)

Opening or Closing Prayer: Dear God, like the disciples we are faced with important choices everyday — some of these choices exclude people. We know this is not your vision and that you are a God who welcomes all people to your table, regardless of the color of their skin. We pray that you fill us with your vision and power in our daily lives so that we can do all we can to fight racism, making space at the table, in church, in school, in government for true witnesses — for the Black, Indigenous and People of Color whose hearts and voices are worthy of being heard and seen. You see our hearts, forgive us when we act with or ignore racism and help us to learn and grow, to seek knowledge and wisdom, to be anti-racist and to use our time and resources to bring us closer to your vision for the Kingdom of God. Amen.

Scripture:

  • Acts 1:21–26

Discussion Questions:

  • What do you think makes a good disciple?
  • When the disciples chose the 12th Apostle, they knew the disciple needed to be…?
  • Why did they pray to God when they chose the 12th Apostle?
  • God chooses people with worthy hearts to lead and do God’s work, but how do we choose our leaders today?

Parent/Caregiver Resources:

Videos for Kids:

(screen grab from “Systemic Racism Explained” depicting a cartoon white boy with a backpack on next to a nice house; the screen is split by a line and the other side shows a black boy with a backpack on standing next to house with broken windows, source)

Activity:

12th Apostle “Duck, Duck, Goose”/“Justus, Justus, Matthias”

  • but instead use names of the two disciples who were considered to become the 12th Apostle

“I am, you are, we are”: Collect a few examples of a chosen object. One per child or several if you only have one child. Examples: leaves, rocks, carrots (any object you have on hand that is technically the same, but includes physical variations), potatoes, for example:

  • Students select one potato each.
  • Students examine their potato and have one minute of silence to name and get “acquainted” with their new friend.
  • Teacher initiates the activity by showing his/her potato to the class and introducing it by means of a narrative. The story should focus on certain physical characteristics, eg, it has a certain bump because it was dropped on the way to market.
  • Students then introduce their potatoes in pairs, groups or to the whole class.
  • Students put their “friend” back into the bags. (Is there any difference between the way the students handle their “friend” and how they handled it earlier?)
  • Discuss: “All potatoes are the same!”
  • Ask the students if they could find their friend again. Invite them to try.
  • Students explain a unique feature of their potato which helped them identify it.
  • Teacher draws the analogy between potatoes and people and reiterates that a statement such as “they’re all the same” probably means that the person saying it, has not taken the time to get to know his/her friend.

Crafts:

  • God sees our hearts and chooses those with worthy hearts. Make a heart sun catcher to put in your window! Try this version with glue, black acrylic paint, clear plastic and sharpies or this simpler version with paper towels and food dye (or watercolors) or this one if you have tissue paper!
(photograph titled “Stained Glass Heart Suncatcher” picturing two colorful stained glass style hearts, source)
(photo of sun catcher heart made of tissue paper squares, source)

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 scroll down for my quick picks that you can “read” online!

From Books for Littles, Igniting Luminaries (website):

“Making space — whose stories belong?

Here’s the thing: I don’t need you to explain.

You have spent your entire lifetime, entire generations, only seeing yourself on the cover of a book.

That was the norm. Seeing white characters in children’s literature is the norm for all children, white and brown alike. But the truth is, these books are for all children.

For parents of white children, I challenge you to actively make space on the bookshelf. To make space, all the space, for a broader picture of the world in which we live.”

(image of book cover for Lovely by Jess Hong depicting five cartoon figures of different genders, races, ages, heights, etc, source)
(illustration from The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson of a brown and black-skinned boy and girl playfully, happily swinging from tree swings on a sunny day, source)
(photo of cut paper illustrations from Not My Idea — A Book About Whiteness being assembled; a white mother turns to look out car window as a white girl gets out of a car; text reads “Go with your instincts on this one. Racial justice is possible. But only if we’re honest with each other and ourselves.” source)

Written by Lauren Gibbs-Beadle @firstpreskidshayward Children’s Ministries @firstpreshayward | educator, creative, parent | she/her