Welcome to 2017! We hope the new year is coming along swimmingly for you and your families. Nothing like a little snow and ice to get January started! Here’s a quick look at the coming month and what our kids are learning at The Parish.
Our preschoolers will study the basic truth, “Jesus wants to be my friend forever.” We’ll talk about the four guys who brought their friend to Jesus in Mark 2:1-12, the healing of the deaf man in Mark 7:32-37, and the lepers who came to Jesus in Luke 17:11-19. These stories reinforce our memory verse for this month, Psalm 119:57: “You are everything I need.”
At home: As you’re going about your day, encourage your preschoolers to identify things we need–food to grow our bodies, gas for our cars, stuffed animals to help us sleep. Help them see that while we have to go somewhere to buy or cook food, and we have to drive to the gas station to get gas, Jesus is ALWAYS right beside us, helping us through every moment, every day.
In our elementary groups, we’ll focus on knowledge: learning something new so you can be better at what you do. We’ll expand our knowledge of Jesus by studying the stories of the boy Jesus at the Temple (Luke 2:41-52), His baptism (John 1:19-42), His temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13), and John the Baptist’s imprisonment (Matthew 11). The Bible is one significant way we increase our knowledge of what God says, so we’ll also learn Psalm 119:105: “Your Word is like a lamp that shows me the way. It is like a light that guides me.”
At home: Elementary kids are curious and often hungry for knowledge of the world (even if they act like school isn’t their thing!). Give them a piece of paper or a notebook and ask them to write down one thing they wonder about in God’s creation–Where is the deepest part of the ocean? What is the most recently discovered species? How cold does it get in Antarctica? Let them research the answer and discuss with you later in the day or week. God is endlessly creative–there is no end to wonder!
Our middle schoolers will be talking about what it means to be IN with Jesus: saying “yes” to adventure, saying “yes” even when you doubt, and saying “yes” to a relationship. Jesus’s disciples all had moments where they had to make a choice about following Him–am I IN or OUT? We’ll discuss the decisions they made, why they could have walked away, and what led them to say, “I’m IN.”
At home: Pull out some old family photos or videos and reminisce about adventures your family has had together–vacations, hikes, birthday parties, celebrations. One thing all the best adventures have in common is that they involve us saying “yes” at some point. Talk with your kids about times when it may have been difficult to say yes to these family adventures, but you’re glad you did. There’s a good chance Jesus’s disciples felt the same way!
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or feedback about how we do Family Ministry at The Parish, contact us anytime!