Church@Home - Weekly Resources for the Young
If you would like to receive a weekly email of story and craft ideas from Matt our Children & Youth Leader then please let him know by email email@example.com
Sunday 31st May
This week's email has loads of resources and ideas to help you explore the story of Pentecost from Acts chapter 2, with your children and young people.
Once again, please do get in touch if I can help you in any way during this time or if you have ideas which we can share with other parents. Please feel free to pass this email on to friends and family.
Below are extracts from Matt's weekly email.
to watch this YouTube video about God sending the Holy Spirit. Thanks to Saddleback Kids for this animated Bible story for kids is based on Acts 2.
Questions to ask your parents!!
I wonder what you like most about the Pentecost story?
I wonder how you would have felt if you had been a disciple on that day?
I wonder how they felt when they heard the wind and felt the house shake?
I wonder what might the other people, who saw and heard the disciples have been thinking and feeling?
I wonder if you have ever felt the Holy Spirit?
I wonder how the Holy Spirit helped Peter?
I wonder what you could ask the Holy Spirit to help you with?
Has there been a time when the Holy Spirit has helped you?
Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit?
What was it like?
Pentecost Head Band Craft
Cut out all the pieces. Use the flame pieces as templates and trace them onto red, yellow and orange coloured paper, or colour them in.
Cut out the flame or your coloured in pieces and glue them together to make a flame.
With the rectangle templates, trace the larger pieces onto the colour of your choice and the smaller piece onto red paper. Or you can decorate as you wish. You will need three of each to be enough to go around your head.
Glue the smaller pieces to the larger pieces. Then glue the assembled parts together to create one long band.
Glue the flame to the centre of the band.
Write 'All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit' Acts 2:4a on the band.
Wrap the band around your head. Once you have the desired length use a couple of paper clips or a piece of tape to hold the shape. Then add glue or a staple to hold it in place.
Download the template here
Thy Kingdom Come Prayer Spaces
- On our website you will find some fun and interactive prayer spaces which you can do at home as part of the Thy Kingdom Come fortnight. This is a great opportunity to pray together in new ways. www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org/thykingdomcome
I Pray A...Scavenger Hunt -
'Together at Home' have created this prayer scavenger hunt for you and your children to do in the garden or on your daily walk. Download it here
You've probably heard the Pentecost story loads of times. The Holy Spirit comes onto the disciples as they are waiting in the upper room; tongues of fire appear on their heads and they start speaking different languages. We may feel, that's all well and good for the disciples, that they got to receive the Spirit, but what about me?
This week I wanted to share an excerpt from a book called 'Everyday Supernatural'. It's written by Mike Pilavachi and Andy Croft who run Soul Survivor Church in Watford and who were the leaders of the Soul Survivor summer festival. If you are serious about knowing and experiencing the Holy Spirit, I would definitely recommend buying yourself a copy (details are at the bottom of this section).
Lets see what they have to say about the Holy Spirit:
How Do I Receive More Of The Holy Spirit?
Receiving more of God's Spirit is something God offers to every one of us. How we go about it can be summarised in three simple steps: accept, ask and trust. In Luke 11:9-13 Jesus clearly teaches how we receive the Holy Spirit.
(Why not read Luke 11:9-13 for yourself?)
Accept The Gift
First, the Holy Spirit is described as a "gift". There's nothing we do to earn a "gift". On your friend's birthday you don't give her some perfume and say, "That'll be fifty pounds. PayPal's easiest." You give her something and expect her to do nothing but receive. This is the first thing to understand about the Holy Spirit: He is a free gift to us.
This means the outpouring of the Holy Spirit has no relation to our qualities and achievements. When it comes to a question of "merit" and being "worthy enough", the only person whose merits matter is Jesus. This is what the cross means to us. It brings us two undeserved gifts: the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Spirit. In the Old Testament the Spirit was given to a few individuals; prophets, priests and kings. The New Testament sees a radical new outpouring, and it's the cross that makes this possible. There can be no Pentecost without Calvary; the Spirit comes from the cross.
Ask For The Gift
There is no secret formula to asking for the Spirit. It is simply a case of praying. We don't need to use special words, just be real and honest with God. If there are two more things to note they are:
Once we've noticed that there's a connection between repentance and being filled with the Spirit. Just last summer at one of our events there was a meeting where we gave an invitation to repent. Lots of people came forward in tears to make things right with God. It was no surprise to us that the Holy Spirit met them, nor that that evening there was an incredible outpouring of joy. Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, "Repent...And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38). To repent meant to "turn around". It is more than saying sorry. It is to identify the areas in our lives that are displeasing to God and seek to change. This is not to say we earn the Holy Spirit; He is a free gift from God. It is showing God we mean business and we want to have more of Him in our lives.
We aren't ordering a McDonald's or downloading an app. We're not buying a gadget. We are seeking a relationship with - an encounter with - the living God. Jesus' teaching about asking, seeking and knocking comes in the context of a parable (Luke 11:5-8). In the parable a man had a late night visitor but didn't have any food for him. He popped round to his neighbour's and banged on the door demanding bread. His neighbour told him to clear off, but the guy just banged and yelled louder. Eventually the neighbour couldn't stand it and said that because of his "shameless audacity" he would get up and give the guy the bread he needed. We don't need to be timid when we approach God and we don't need to come up with clever words that will persuade him, we just have to unashamedly ask for as much of the Spirt as we want. And then keep asking.
Trust The Giver
More often than not we have the gift of the Holy Spirit already, it is bought and fully paid for, but it needs to be unwrapped. We can be hindered by two obstacles that can stop us receiving the Spirit: fear of surrendering to God and unbelief that he wants to give us His Spirit.
For various reasons we can be afraid to truly trust and open ourselves up to God. We have to trust God to allow Him to fill us with His Spirit, because to receive the Spirit we must relinquish control. We have to surrender.
In a remote area of China some Bible translators got stuck when they realised the language had no words for "Holy Spirit". After a lot of thought they decided that the best description in the language was "resident boss". So for a while in an area of China the Trinity was described as the Father, the Son and the Resident Boss! What a great name!
Incase we are afraid to surrender, Jesus is careful to reassure us, "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or is he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?" Luke 11:11-12. There is no sting in the tail when God gives a gift. To surrender control to him is to surrender to a God who selflessly and freely laid down His life for us. He is trustworthy.
As well as fear, Jesus anticipated another stumbling block to our receiving the Spirit: unbelief. Maybe even as you're reading this [chapter] you're thinking, "This won't happen to me." In order to press home His point Jesus said the same thing in six different ways, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened" Luke 11:9-10. This will happen.
We once heard someone talking about playing a game of hide and seek with his little niece, Alice.
"Okay, uncle," Alice said, "These are the rules - you close your eyes and count to ten, I'm going to go and hide behind the kitchen door."
"What? Are you sure?"
"Yes, you close your eyes, count to ten, and then I'm going to hide behind the kitchen door"
Our friend counted to ten whilst Alice went and hid. Then he started "looking" for her...
"Where's Alice, is she under the kitchen table?" (Squeals of laughter from behind the kitchen door.)
"Where's Alice, is she hiding in the cupboard?" (Squeals of laughter from behind the kitchen door.)
"Where's Alice, is she behind the kitchen door?!" Alice collapses in fits of giggles as her uncle finds her.
"Okay, uncle, let's play again. This time the rules are: you close your eyes and count to ten, I'm going to go and hide under mummy and daddy's bed..."
In one sense God is a lot like Alice: He has told us to seek Him but he has clarified the rules in advance. God wants to be found! He makes it so clear to us: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you" Jeremiah 29:13-14. We can all confidently and joyously expect more of God's Spirit in our lives. He is a gift the Father is willing to give to us: "How much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13.
Some questions to consider:
Have you ever asked to be filled with the Spirit?
Do you expect to experience the Holy Spirit in your life?
Is there anything that you need to ask for forgiveness for?
Are you willing to surrender all and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life?
If not, what's stopping you?
If you feel like you already experience the Holy Spirit in your day to day life, how could you encourage others to persist?
Everyday Supernatural by Mike Pilavachi & Andy Croft is available for sale from https://www.eden.co.uk/everyday-supernatural/
For our time of worship why not use these songs to surrender to God's Spirit and invite Him to be your 'resident boss'?
Don't forget Aftershock have gone virtual!!
We have Aftershock ( for 11 to 18 year olds) every Sunday, via Zoom, 7-8:30pm, meeting code in email. We will also be meeting for a youth bible study every Wednesday 4:30-6pm, via Zoom, meeting code in email. You will be asked to enter a password which is in the weekly email. The Zoom meeting codes don't change. If you have trouble accessing Zoom or any other problems or questions, please get in touch.
f you would like to receive a weekly email including Zoom details from Matt, our Children & Youth Leader, then please let him know by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Useful Links
Online Resources Pack for Young People, Children and Families
from Essex County Council. Lots of useful links to explore - download here
More useful links
can be found on our Church At Home page here