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CURBStone Kit 11


CURBStone Kit 11

© CURBS 2005

Challenging our urban children to discover who they are in the light of who Jesus said he was

Written by Christine Wright, Moira Kleissner, Liz Dorton and Kathryn Copsey

Rhythmic Arts In Sacred Spaces - A Resource for CURBStone Kit 11 devised and written by Ann Hinchliffe and Caroline David, piloted with the Parish Church of St George & St Ethelbert, East London.

Cover design and artwork by Neil Pinchbeck

The CURBS Project provides resources, support and training for children’s workers in inner cities and on outer urban estates. For more information contact: CURBS, 4 Hawksmoor Close, London E6 5SL Tel: 07941 336589 Email: info@curbsproject.org.uk Web site: www.curbsproject.org.uk CURBS is a Registered Charity No. 1076902 COPYRIGHT NOTE The materials in this pack may be photocopied for use in church and children’s activities. However, we would ask that you reproduce any individual item in full, rather than editing it, and acknowledge this Kit as the source, including the contact address for CURBS. Permission is not given to distribute the material to a network wider than the local church or group who have purchased the pack; if you wish to negotiate about this, then please contact us.


Over the years, we have established a firm base of interest, prayer and support. Our resources are used country-wide and even overseas. We train small and large groups. If you are interested in finding out more about CURBS – we’d love to hear from you!


Page

What’s inside

1

Using this Kit

2

Cement Paper 15

3

Be active—just sit there and think! Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Introduction Rhythmic Arts Materials • CD Information sheet • Rap sheets • Move sheet • Make sheet • Music sheet • Get rhythm guide Cement Paper 16 - People and Performance Cement Paper 17 - Words and Music Cement Paper 18 - Space and Movement

7 11 11 13 37 39 41 53

57 61 65

Session 1

Who do you think you are?

69

Session 2

Who is Jesus?

79

Session 3

I’m starving!

99

Session 4

Can’t see a thing!

111

Session 5

Open up!

121

Session 6

Who cares?

129

Session 7

I’m lost!

139

Session 8

I’m lonely!

147

Session 9

Get a life!

155

Session 10

Now who do you think you are?

165

About CURBS

PLEASE NOTE: The original website created to support the Rhythmic Arts material in this resource is now no longer available. Please ignore any remaining references to it

173

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How Who do you think you are? works The kit is based on the Jesus’ seven ‘I am’ pictures found in John’s Gospel. The first session invites us to think how we might describe ourselves; the second focuses on the life of Jesus and who he was. Each of sessions 3-9 takes one ‘I am’ picture and allows us to work out what Jesus might have meant and to decide what it means for us as individuals as we relate to Jesus. In the final session, there are opportunities to reflect on what has been learnt through different activities. Each session has: • Opening the theme – a think and talk activity to start the session • Setting the scene – a wide choice of activities (‘Make and do’, ‘Quiet games and discussion’, ‘Active games’ and ‘Out and about’) all designed to provoke thought • Rhythmic Resources – songs, rhymes, music and movement supported by a CD • Into the Bible – an Bible exploration through drama or story, a time for ‘Making connections’ between the Bible input and the child’s world followed by an activity (‘Action’) which invites response

Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces For groups who would enjoy exploring the ‘I Ams’ through songs, rhymes, music and movement, Rhythmic Arts In Sacred Spaces offers readyto-go ideas with lots of creative space for kids to make them their own. In order to empower children in discovering their gifts, the Resource also draws on the skills and insights of the performing artist, and invites leaders to discover and exercise their own gifts with their groups.

How you can use this Kit ● For a ten-week theme, you could use one session each week. ● For a week’s holiday club, begin with the first two sessions all together. Then split the group to work on different ‘I am’ pictures, perhaps over a couple of days. The final session could be all together again to share and reflect on the discoveries that have been made. ● Alternatively, having used sessions 1 and 2, pick out a few of the themes you feel are most relevant to your group and explore these together.

Working with Bible pictures As adults we are used to using language in which one idea or object stands for something else. For instance, we say, ‘She’s just a doormat’, without visualising a real doormat or ‘He should pull his socks up’, without consciously imagining someone with falling-down socks. But children are still learning to make these mental leaps. Younger children in your groups (certainly younger than eight) may not easily grasp how Jesus can be a ‘door’, ‘a light’ or ‘a way’. They may, for example, envisage a door with a face or a light bulb with hands and feet. We shouldn’t think that the Kit is too difficult for them. Instead, we should allow them to work with the material at their own level. Understanding the meaning of Jesus’ ‘I am’ pictures is the work of a life-time. So don’t be afraid that children will get stuck with a ‘wrong’ idea of what Jesus is saying. Even more than adults, children are able to discard ideas that no longer work for them and accept something they are just grasping. Remember that Jesus didn’t explain the pictures to his followers. He presented them with enough information to set them thinking – and that is what we can do through using this Kit. We don’t try to explain the pictures. We hope that the sessions will be intriguing enough to set the children (and ourselves) on an adventure of discovery. On this exciting journey we will learn more about Jesus and what he can mean to us in our everyday lives.


15 BE ACTIVE JUST SIT THERE AND THINK! Don’t just do something, sit there! was the title of a booklet that I read sometime ago when I was looking at using reflective techniques in school and also in church. So often we think that the only way children learn is by activity. But what do we mean by ‘activity’? Tearing around in mad games for half an hour, colouring in endless worksheets, doing crafts that never seem to look like the picture in the teacher’s book? Activity can also be sitting quietly thinking and reflecting on some issue. This might be a topic of importance to the children, what has been taught in a session, the experience of putting yourself in the place of a character in the story, discussing things that have happened to that character, or simply sitting quietly and thinking what has been learned from the session. It might even involve the children in thinking about how practically to make things better in their own lives on a day to day basis. In primary schools reflection is built into the curriculum in many forms throughout all the subjects. Often it comes under the heading of spirituality. This technique is used widely in assemblies and throughout the curriculum, especially in English, science and R.E. As is often the case in churches, we lag behind developments in the field of education on how to work best with children.


Using thinking and reflective skills in stories How often do you have a real discussion with your children about your stories and teaching - or does this sound familiar? ‘Johnny, will you sit still and listen to the story/watch the video!’

‘What did we call the man who went up the tree to see Jesus? ‘ ‘What type of tree was it?’ ‘No, you can’t tell us what you would do if you were Zaccheus, Jane. Sit still and listen to/watch the story. Then you can all do some pictures about it.’ ‘Jesus cares about us no matter who we are.’

This could so easily be changed into a reflective session by stopping at different sections in the story/video to ask questions like, • If you were Zaccheus and no one wanted to talk to you how would you feel? What would you do? • How did the other people feel when Jesus went to Zaccheus’ house instead of theirs? • If you were Zaccheus what would you do next? • What do you think this story teaches us about people? About Jesus? • What do you think we should do? Then accept the variety of answers—without saying anything about correct and wrong answers—and allow discussion to happen. You will find that through the reflective questioning and discussion, children will think much more about how the story relates to them and will be able to apply it themselves to their situations. You can use any story with this method. To get more ideas of resources and how you can use this thinking/reflective method, visit the Stapleford C Centre website - www.stapleford-centre.org - and get their resources catalogue. There is much material here that can be used from a Christian basis (the Centre has links with the Association of Christian Teachers). Reflective/thinking corner Why not create a thinking corner. This can be centred around different themes with objects, pictures and words on cards, and a restful space can be created by using drapes and providing cushions to sit on. If you have a primary teacher in your church ask for help - they are used to


doing such things in the classroom. Remember, any words on cards should be child-readable. Again there is a book full of ideas so you don’t need to worry about what to do: Pause for Reflection is available from the above website. It also has ideas for different ways of praying that will really help children to reflect. Why not use this idea for adults also by creating a corner in the church for reflection. Using silence in reflection ‘You’ve got to be joking! My lot can’t sit still for five seconds!’ Yes they can. They do in school! All you need is to develop the right atmosphere. The basic requisite is to be organised and calm in all you do, even when you do ‘run around’ games. If you aren’t sure how to begin here’s an idea. At the end of the meeting settle your children each in a space of their own with their eyes closed, or let them lie down with their eyes closed. Then ask them to go on an imaginary walk: it could be though a forest or along a sandy tropical beach, somewhere calm. Then talk them through the walk, bringing in all the senses, what they see, hear, feel, smell, etc. Leave them hanging - it might be at the door to a castle, or seeing a mermaid or dolphin beckoning them. Ask them to think about what will happen next. After a number of weeks of different kinds of walks you can then move on to more abstract reflection. Ask them to think about what they have learned in this week’s session and what they can do about it. Children need to be helped to reflect and this is a totally workable method that I have used in schools and churches for a number of years. Some people will get the children to sit in a circle, focusing their eyes on a lighted candle as they do a reflecting session. Use a nice thick candle, perhaps on a cloth on the floor. Be aware of Health and Safety issues and have a small container of water ready (you will never have to use it but better safe than sorry). Children often enjoy this kind of quiet activity, and it will round off your sessions in a quiet and calm manner with a chance to focus on what they have learned and on any response to be made.


Reflective walks Go on a walk to look at things such as the weeds growing through the pavement. Nutty? Not at all! Look at the wide variety of types, colours and where they grow. Why do they grow there? What about pollution, soil, water? Look at bricks, different colours, shapes, those with lichen growing on them. One of the first activities Glasgow School of Art used to send students to do was to paint a picture of a blank brick wall. This forced them to start to really observe and think. Take a disposable or digital camera, or do some rubbings with strong paper and wax chubby stumps. Then you can make a display in your quiet corner or on a wall in the hall or even the church. Reflecting on objects Bring a selection of objects to look at: stones of different kinds, flowers, even different kinds of china cups. Discuss what the children like/dislike about them. What they would choose as best/worst and why. Look at a selection of large photos of the world around: discuss and then spend time thinking about them. At Christmas or Easter use greetings cards (religious and secular) and discuss them the same way. Art prints, too, can be used for reflection and discussion. There are many packs of pictures available to use in activities like this. (See the above website for religious images.) If we want our children to grow into a faith in Jesus, and not have a ‘told you about it’ second-hand faith, we need to allow space and time for them to reflect and think. After all, on many occasions, Jesus himself stopped charging around the country, healing and teaching, in order to go into the hills, onto the sea, into the garden to think and reflect. Elijah didn’t find God in the noise and bustle but in the quiet small voice. Let’s make sure that we don’t deny our children that opportunity to find out about the world we live in, ourselves and God in reflection and stillness. CURBS Cement Paper 15

‘’Be Active—just sit there and think!’ by Moira Kleissner From Who do you think you are?

© CURBS Project 2005 4 Hawksmoor Close London E6 5SL


Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces

16

Andante con Bravura - at walking pace with boldness and spirit -

PEOPLE AND PERFORMANCE

Christian communities are familiar with using creativity in worship - oratory and music-making, for example, are common. Worship can be enriched by looking at such practices as performance art, i.e., thinking like a performer and consciously honing performance skills. ‘But I’m not a performer!’ Aren’t you? Leading a group means speaking in front of people and catching their imagination. It means modelling the kind of behaviour that you want to promote. It requires flair in the use of time and space, and close attention to the interests and responses of your target group. These are all skills used by parents, leaders of any kind, and performers, particularly those who work with children. Performing arts are special because there is no physical separation between the performer and their art. As performers we engage ourselves with our materials in the acts of performance: exploring, discovering, devising, creating, developing, learning, consolidating and presenting. In order to do this, we have to be open to the material we’re using. Thus the performing arts are widely used in many faith traditions, where they enter the field of Sacred Arts.


The raw materials of God God’s People: When the group presents the Rhythmic Arts Materials of CURBStone Kit 11 to each other or in services, they are representing the words and teachings of Jesus, and so are ministering to others. In talking about these activities, it is important to use language that genuinely reflects achievement, builds self esteem and respects courage, effort and God. Individual People may be reluctant to perform - encourage gently. Be ready to offer other ways to join in. Be a Talent Scout. Got any players, readers, speakers, singers or drummers? Could they lead rappers, hold the beat for percussionists, accompany or front the singing? Could anyone choreograph Street Dance?

People in Groups: Performance demands teamwork. All the usual ground rules apply. Revisit yours regularly con Bravura. Giving enough direction and knowing when to step back is a balancing act - use your knowledge of your kids to guide you. Be observant and available; make time for kids to debrief after their activities, especially after a presentation when they may be buzzing. Give and encourage positive feedback. Be ready for surprises! Where we are: God comes to us where we are in time, place, culture and generation. As leaders we need to accompany God to where our youth are, which involves respecting the way they express themselves. We may find ourselves buffering between kids and others who expect the familiar. Be ready to listen, explain and negotiate.


The raw materials of performance Another special characteristic of the performing arts is that the raw materials of performance are widely available. These are the time we have, the space we are in, the bodies we inhabit, and some inspiration. These are all we need - and they are rich resources if we learn how to use them. Time does its own work given the chance. Think carefully about how much you can do in the time you have. Chunk and select for success. Maximize development time, eg, provide copies of chunks of words for people to take away and practice. Even a very small amount of rhythmic arts activity every week will build up skills and confidence, Andante.

Space: A whole or part circle shape is useful as a starting point for working. Keep this basic shape and open it out into an arc for presenting in bigger spaces. Clear aside things you’re not using. Sitting is useful for getting everyone focused. People using voices will be more energized standing. As well as physical space, it’s important to share the ‘sound space’ in words and music. Encourage people to listen to each other and drop in sounds carefully. Less is often more. Sound works differently in different spaces, so try making different sounds in different parts of your space, and listening for the acoustics. The Body needs to be relaxed, spine engaged, shoulders loose. Slouching impedes breathing. Instead of saying ‘sit up/stand straight/don’t slouch’ - try saying and modelling ‘engage your spine’ or ‘give your chest room to breathe’ or ‘Bravura’. Include people with disabilities, and encourage everyone to do what they can. Small results have big effects, so take care to notice. Check the Move Sheet for theWiggle Workout, an easy warm-up.


Inspiration: As literature the Bible stands alongside any of the world’s great books, and as a sacred text its power to inspire artists in all times and places is inexhaustible. It is ours to claim in each generation. Vivid story passages are most likely to grab kids, so animate these with performance.

Working with Rhythm Patterns, sequences, rhythms, are all around and within us. We don’t need a common language to respond to them. We recognize and express them with our eyes, ears, body and intellect. Everyone can do this, including the very young and people with profound disabilities, so rhythm is a powerful dimension in which to include everybody, promote learning, widen participation and strengthen community. God has given us many different drums, but only one world to sound them: resources for rhythm can be chosen to reflect the cultures of your urban community.

The significance of presentation The human need to find and share meaning is fundamental to the arts, and there is a sense in which no creative process is complete until its products are given to and received by others. Presentation is therefore important to the artist’s sense of completion. Encourage your group to present work to others when they feel ready and when they do, claim the space. This means generating the expectation in artists and audience alike that people will be attentive. When everyone is quiet and still, then begin. Bravura.!

CURBS Cement Paper 16 People and Performance by Ann Hinchliffe and Caroline David From Who Do You Think You Are?

© CURBS Project 2005 4 Hawksmoor Close London E6 5SL


Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces

17

Andante con Bravura - at walking pace with boldness and spirit -

WORDS AND MUSIC

Remember that all you need to perform with words and music is time, space, a body, and inspiration. Anything else is a bonus.

Working with aptitudes Preferences: In our pilot group was a four year old who wouldn’t speak or sing, but danced spontaneously to the beats. Similarly, a nine year old hid when the Rap Sheets were handed out, but proved an ace timekeeper. So respect preferences for different parts of the rhythmic arts mix - and keep options available for people to try when they are ready. Spotting Creativity: Kids will be able to make up their own music, songs, words, and styles to varying degrees, improvising on material being used. Be interested in the way people play with melody, beats, moves and words. Enablethe group to become a forum for ideas. Human Resources: The body is actually the best place to start when building rhythmic skills. Perhaps you have a ‘Beat Box’ artist in your group who can imitate drum or other sounds vocally. People can use themselves as an instrument- rubbing or clapping hands, slapping chest, thighs, cheeks, mouth (own!), clicking fingers, popping mouth, stamping feet. Chanting, rapping and singing into cups, mugs, jugs, teapots, tubes, etc, will produce all sorts of tones. These can be altered by moving hands over the holes in the object.


Working with Words Preparing: Select your material carefully - will it chunk, are there bits that everyone can contribute to? Work with it yourself first to get a feel for where the rhythms could be. Be willing to spend a lot of time doing just a little bit with your group, Andante con Bravura. Repetition consolidates. Starting small: Deliver single lines or short sequences, repeated, for others to echo back. Encourage them to adjust their echo with their own emphasis: they can add in claps or other body beats or moves or vocal noises or words (Hey! Who? What? Yo! Yeah! Na! etc - make a list), building their own improvised sequences onto the rhythmic mainframe. Having established that reading is not necessary to participate... Introducing text: ask who wants to read - hand out materials and give readers time to play with texts to find rhythmic routes through them for themselves. There’s no right or wrong route, avoid dismissing anything as wrong. Offer support or modelling sensitively. Foster pair and small group work, linking elective readers with elective improvisers. Encourage kids to adapt words to their own styles. Provide pencil/paper/rubber for re-writes.

Working with mixed abilities: Be sensitive to kids who for various reasons don’t enjoy reading. Engage users of British Sign Language or MAKATON by modeling group use of key signs with them, and liaise with their supporters to ensure you are modeling signs correctly. Encourage people with speech impairments to add meaningful signs or actions to speech. Supporting your materials with pictures or objects helps everybody. They can be ‘flashed’ rhythmically in performance.


Working with Music

Keeping it simple: You may not have any resources but yourselves, your voices, and those you can improvise. This is a great opportunity for you to focus on building skills together. If the following are unfamiliar, spend a little time with them before you start. They help everybody to be ready

Familiarise people with tunes by singing or playing them through a few times. Agree your starting note with musicians before you start. Sing or play it to singers and get them to sing it back to make sure they’ve got it.

Catch the beat. The music that you are likely to be using will probably have a count of 4. Occasionally it might be 3. Find a steady pace that allows time to draw breath in between sentences. Set your pace with clapping, drumming or conducting before the group starts singing or playing. Bring them in start in to a count of four (‘one, two, three, and‘ ).

Time Keeping: This is a job that needs to be shared to develop skills. Singers can use simple hand or foot movements. Keeping a beat on an instrument is an excellent skill. Someone in your group will have it. Find them and use them. Using percussion: People need to get a firm fix on the basic beat, before they experiment with off-beats. Remember, less is more. Percussion can be cheap, so have a look at the Make Sheet, and get some rhythm in your rota!

Using tuned instruments. Keyboard and stringed instruments can be played by people who are absolute beginners - providing there is someone in the group who has a little knowledge of them.


Guitar players can make chord shapes, while a beginner - sitting alongside with the body of the guitar in their lap, or standing in front of the guitar - strums in time with a plectrum. (Plectrums avoid blisters.) Open tunings are great for beginners, and they can also can learn one chord shape at a time for use as an accompaniment. Pianists/keyboard players can use single notes or two-hand octaves, or chords in a similar way, perhaps marking the keys with blue tack or coloured paper. Encourage beginner instrumentalists to listen to what everyone else is doing, and find a few notes that fit. This is an excellent basis for developing aural skills.

Working with equipment Kids love using sound gear, but think about why you are using it, observe electrical safety, and make contingency plans.

Recording is useful for saving work, objective feedback, sharing with others. It is not a substitute for the thing which needs to remain your primary focus— the actual happening of people together with God. Mics and amps are sometimes necessary in larger spaces. The basis of clear speech however remains the naked voice. Unless used carefully, amps obstruct acute listening and distort sound-space. Synthesized sound beats, melody and harmony sequences set up to run at the touch of a button can support everyone’s work. But engaging the body directly with the properties of sound in an acoustic instrument grounds the artist in the resonances of the natural world, as they were sounded in the beginning, by the Word.

CURBS Cement Paper 17 Words and Music By Ann Hinchliffe and Caroline David From Who Do You Think You Are?

© CURBS Project 2005 4 Hawksmoor Close London E6 5SL


Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces

Andante con Bravura

18

- at walking pace with boldness and spirit -

SPACE AND MOVEMENT

Consider space from a child’s eyes. While most adults keep feet on the ground and heads above it, most children roll on it, crouch, climb, run, balance and cartwheel. They see rooms, streets, churches as space for running in to, across, round or out of, hiding, exploring, making territory, finding things. Like other small mammals they cuddle up, turn their backs, crowd together, pair off, jig around, and stare disconcertingly across space. They are bursting with energy, and they haven’t ‘learnt the rules’. Rules exist in every society to control space and movement. In church, worshippers

often sit in rows, standing, speaking or being silent at the minister’s invitation. For some adults this achieves focused attention to God, but it’s not for everybody. Children are generally unready for it. We need to make dynamic God space safely available to them, while as Cement Paper 15 reminds us, also offering the experience of God in repose. Organising movement is a way of doing this this. Team games, action songs, processions,

drama, etc, allow kids to explore up, down, round, their own body, each other, space, things in it and God. This is dance in its broadest sense - the movement of being alive.

Check the Rap Sheets for Move It! ideas for sessions


Rhythmic movement Rhythm is fundamental to movement and a key to organising it. Rhythmic movement can take place in the worshipping community during a presentation, as well as in the group’s own space. It offers children ways to identify and express ideas for their own development and for enrichment of the whole faith group. Rhythmic movement feeds us in many ways: physically: fosters deeper breathing, left/right brain engagement, healthy exercise socially: managed movement offers opportunities for social interaction that may be immensely supportive to less skilled children, leading to improved teamwork

intellectually: using shape and patterning is satisfying in itself, and deciding how to marry them to the Gospel text will challenge children to grasp its inner meaning

emotionally: an agreed set of movements is safe, un-risky, reassuring, yet almost guaranteed to succeed. There is no ‘wrong’ in a collective stamp or clap

aesthetically: children use their own and each other’s bodies to create work in space spiritually: the meaning of the movement is not any literal or material purpose, but for fun, creativity and a deeper understanding

A simple rhythmic movement can quickly draw out co-operative skill and affirm pleasure in company and physicality. Heads lift, eyes meet and smile, new ideas blossom about ourselves in the image of God. Bravura! Most services can be enlivened by making space for children’s offerings of rhythmic movement. Despite apprehensions about irreverence, adults can experience the benefits of rhythm and renewed awareness of themselves as the Body of Christ, better able to grasp the fullness of life, closer to the Lord of the Dance himself.

Check the Move Sheet for games using space, movement and rhythm


Choreography Starting: Choreography means drawing or writing dance. Think of it as drawing or writing ideas with the dance. The easiest start is a line, either one behind the other or holding hands. Remind people to hold loosely, so wrists can flex, and if some children squeeze uncomfortably hard, ask a calm older person, eg, teenager to take their hand. The leader walks on the spot till everyone copies the same speed, then sets off quite slowly. (Andante) Singing helps keep the pace, or a gentle drumbeat.

Leading: The leader should initially be an adult who can make clear their awareness of the group’s needs by (for example) saying as they go, ‘Carefully round this box! Courtney, thanks for helping Jack’, etc. Encourage open spacing, usually about half a metre (= one big step) between each person, especially if they use a wheelchair. If holding a neighbour’s hand doesn’t work, ask if they would like you to hold their shoulder, elbow or chair handle. Try to ensure that if a hands-joined line goes into a curve, it is led forwards, so no-one’s arms are pulled backwards. Later, any child can lead. If kids are initially shy, it may be because adults are. Let go your self-consciousness and try. Bravura!

Counts: The rhythms most natural to us reflect the ‘two-ness’ of our bodies. 2, 4 and 8 are all comfortable patterns. After a simple walk, try a 4-pattern such as 3 steps forward and 1 back, or 3 steps and 1 clap or stamp. This will also help children to focus who might otherwise get excited and start to swing on their neighbours’ arms. Invent steps using shuffles or turning (eg, the ‘grapevine’ step). Add hand or arm movements, again on a 4th or 8th beat. Chant as you move, and see what happens!

Shape: Many African and Melanesian traditions have groups of people moving together and singing. European dance shapes tend to be lines (think Israeli ‘hora’) or twos (think ballroom, jive or barn dance). Borrow ideas for your dance. In twos or a line, make arches or take turns to weave in and out. Try small groups in different corners, coming together, apart, through.


Cultural and personal wealth: You may have kids who are experienced in Hindu temple dance, Sikh drumming and sword dance, Irish stepping, English Morris, etc. Urban centres are often rich in cultural traditions and contemporary forms. Look for talent and use it - dance could be someone’s chance to contribute. Moves can be amplified by props to make or decorate, hold, and move:

percussion instruments, streamers or pompoms, torches, glo-sticks or glo-bands, fans, masks, hats, scarves and gloves, flags and banners, lollipop signs, dried grasses.

Claiming the space To invite children to engage with session or presentation space, look at it carefully. It’s often a fairly empty cube. Consider punctuating, defining, dividing the space with things for sitting in, hiding in, circling round, weaving between/behind/under, emerging from, disappearing into. Work out how people will see as children move processing in or out singing, using central or side aisles, chancel steps, or speaking from the pulpit. Add rhythmic moves to these ‘sets’ - think stage musicals, Punch & Judy, cuckoo clocks, Bravura!

Ideas for stage sets • • • • • •

screens - decorate with glitter, tinsel, foils, cellophanes, paint sprays large white-goods boxes - cut interesting holes - paint with vinyl-matt emulsion sheets draped over or tied between things floor can become a landscape outlined in chalk, or created out of scrap backdrops can be made from floaty fabrics, crepe paper, ribbons if you want a strong visual theme, restrict the number of colours you use

CURBS Cement Paper 18 Space and Movement By Ann Hinchliffe and Caroline David From Who Do You Think You Are?

© CURBS Project 2005 4 Hawksmoor Close London E6 5SL


Introduction to

Rhythmic Arts In Sacred Spaces A Resource for CURBStone Kit 11 Who Do You Think You Are?

“Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their

voices in praise to the Lord and sang: "He is good; his love endures forever." Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not continue their service, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.� 2 Chronicles 5: 13-14

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For groups who would enjoy exploring the “I Ams” through songs, rhymes, music and movement, Rhythmic Arts In Sacred Spaces offers ready-to-go ideas with lots of creative space for kids to make them their own. In order to empower children in discovering their gifts, the Resource also draws on the skills and insights of the performing artist, and invites leaders to discover and exercise their own gifts with their groups.

Contents Introduction CD Information Sheet Re-Write Sheet Rap Sheets Move Sheet Make Sheet Music Sheets Get Rhythm Guide Cement Paper 16 - People & Performance Cement Paper 17 - Words & Music Cement Paper 18 - Space & Movement

The Rap Sheets, Move Sheets, Make Sheets and Music Sheets present materials and ideas which you can adapt and use with sessions 1-10.

These rhythmic arts materials are supported by the Get Rhythm Guide, and an Audio CD.

Cement papers 16, 17 and 18 consider People and Performance, Words and Music, and Space and Movement in the context of children’s ministry.

Definition of terms as used in the Resource:

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‘Performance’

used in the broadest sense to mean the act of doing: music making, singing, rapping, dancing etc.

‘Presentation’

used to indicate the intentional offering of these acts to an audience, human or divine.


Why Rhythm? In the last fifty years the practice of giving out memorable texts, once common in children’s ministry across Christian denominations, has become far less widespread. During this time, technological advances have enabled us to source, store and retrieve vast amounts of information very quickly, so we tend to commit a lot less of the raw materials of faith to memory than our parents and grandparents. Within the same period, the value of using rhythm to support language-based learning has become scientifically established. Rhythmic activity stimulates many areas of the brain and so accelerates language acquisition and development, promotes learning and competence, and assists recognition and recall. It is also commonly appreciated that rhymes and songs learnt when young tend to stay with us for a lifetime. Words and the way we use them are powerful shapers of the meaning they convey - for Christians none more so than Word of the Maker, who spoke the world into being. When we offer the divine word and works back to God by sharing them with others within new forms and/or fresh happenings (including traditional ones), we invest our own creativity - our divinely-given spark - in our offering. The rhythmic arts resources for Kit 11 aim to inspire and support the creativity of the children and leaders who are using them in sounding the Word which is Life itself. Serious stuff, isn’t it. But is it kids’ stuff? If we take our children and God seriously, then the answer must be yes. Hold open the power and beauty of the Word as you share Jesus in

your group with the help of the rhythmic arts.

Breaking the expectation trap One of the biggest issues affecting children in urban settings is the expectation trap. (Low expectations limit what society looks for in kids, and so what it offers them, which in turn limits what they achieve - which then reinforces low expectations, etc. ) In writing Rhythmic Arts In Sacred Spaces, the authors have tried to avoid making any assumptions about what urban kids cannot do, or what resources they do not have. We are assuming that they do have YOU and your creativity as a resource for their own.

To break the expectation trap it is necessary for leaders to expect everyone to have some creative treasure to give when they are ready. This is one of the most important recommendations in this resource. The other is Andante con Bravura. A musical term, meaning ‘at walking pace, with boldness and spirit’, this is the recommended approach for the Rhythmic Materials. Take them at a steady, manageable pace for you and your group. Allow your confidence in the words of Jesus and your passion for sharing them to suffuse your efforts. 9


A Few Do’s and Don’ts Do be ready to take risks: Bringing creativity, people and God together can result in some amazing things. Andante con Bravura!

try it out before you lead it: Be prepared. This is as important in leading performance arts as it is in arts and crafts activities.

set yourselves up for success: A small chunk done well will boost everyone’s confidence for exploring the next chunk.

Don’t hide YOUR light: Be as bold and clear in your leading and modelling as you are ready to be. Your confidence will support and encourage others.

worry about ‘mistakes’ – your’s or others’. Absolutely all performers make them. Rest assured that God does not mind.

forget to have some serious fun! Creativity is part of God's generosity to us. Enjoy it with your group. About the Authors: Caroline David trained in community arts and has worked extensively with people with learning and mental health difficulties in London. She has directed church music, and is currently Storyteller-in-Residence to an urban school. Ann Hinchliffe writes, performs, leads and trains in English traditional dance for school and community groups. She has taught in inner-city areas for 25 years, specialising in multicultural and bilingual education. Ann and Caroline, both singers and musicians, practise rhythmic arts with many groups in various spaces, including regular children’s ministry.

Acknowledgements In the beginning was the Word. Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces, a Resource for CURBStone Kit 11 by Ann Hinchliffe and Caroline David 2005. Musical Arrangement by Stephen Froggatt. CD produced by Delroy Murray, The Song Corporation Ltd. Original Artwork by Sarah Montague. You’ll Never Walk Alone adapted from lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 1945; The Lord’s My Shepherd (adapted) Francis Rowe, 1650. Jesus on the Mainline (adapted) traditional. John Hatton’s tune Duke Street (1793) has influenced our melody & arrangement For All Of Your Days. Pilot Group: Hope Alves, Ethan Blackwood, Jaydon Blackwood, Daniel Blake, Hanna Blake, Brandon Bryan, Sarah-Ann Caine, Juanita Charles, Gina Haokip, Joshua Haokip, Monika Haokip and Nadia McLeod. Thanks also to their parents. Technical support: John Blake, Theresa Crabbe, Dave Holland and John Jerman. Thanks also to Carole Davidson, David Haokip, Justina Say Pha, Christopher Zaw Min Ohn, and the Parish Church of St. George & St. Ethelbert, East Ham, East London. 10


RHYTHMIC ARTS MATERIALS Audio CD Track 1:

For All of your Days St George’s Music Group featuring Daniel Blake and Hanna Blake on Djembe drums

Track 2:

Talking God (Session 1) Sarah-Ann Caine & Juanita Charles

Track 3:

Rumours (Session 2) Hanna Blake & Monika Haokip

Track 4:

Represent (Session 4) Brandon Bryan

Track 5:

Super Fruit (Session 8) Ethan Blackwood & Joshua Haokip

Track 6:

The Vine (Session 8) Joshua Haokip

Track 7:

The Lord’s my Shepherd (sessions 3,5,6,7,9) Hope Alves & Monika Haokip

Track 8:

Backing Track for Song, Sessions 1-9: Hymn For all of your days

Track 9:

Backing Track: Reggae

Track 10:

Backing Track: Hip Hop

11(12)


Rap Sheet

Re-Write

Re - write stuff using your own ideas, style, words, or write your own!

13(14)


.

Rap Sheet 1

Cheer

Who do you think you are?

Page A

Tell us what you know about GOD so far And tell us, who do you think YOU are? Tell us what you learnt about GOD today And let me hear the words the Bible says

Song

For All Of Your Days

Verse

I am the maker of all that there is I made you to be like me Each one of you has your own job to do So please listen carefully

Chorus

For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Before your days For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Beyond your days

I have a plan a special plan I have a plan I have a plan a special plan I have a plan

Move it!

Take a few minutes for everyone to decide their “unique job”, solo or in pairs, and choreograph moves for it. Think about your God-given talents as your unique job, e.g. football or telling jokes. Everyone get into a circle with a conductor in centre leading the Talking God rap (overleaf) At “unique job”, conductor points to children willing to show their moves while others maintain the rap. To present it to the rest of the congregation, arrange a rapper in front of a screen with people behind chanting invisibly, stepping out to show their “unique job”. This page has been reproduced with permission from Who Do You Think You Are? published by CURBS 2005, for use in church & children's activities 15


Rap Sheet 1 Do it in your own style, change the words, choose the beats Talking God

Talking God, yeah, yeah, G-O-D, listen everybody Talking God, yeah, yeah, G-O-D, listen everyone God! the Maker, the Mover - Shaker The True CreAtor, He ain't no faker, He done good, everybody should Big him up, but he don't come no bigger He fixed the earth, the sea, the sky The fish that swim, the birds that fly He fixed the flowers and fruits and trees The animals, and you and me

Talking God, yeah, yeah, G-O-D, listen everybody Talking God, yeah, yeah, G-O-D, listen everyone I'm the slammer, God’s the Planner, So mind your manners, don't throw spanners It’s G-O-D I represent To fill you in on His in-tent Girl, Boy, Woman, Man, God made every one a plan What can YOU, do for God? You go do your unique job!

U, Nique, yeah, yeah, You’re U-Nique, U-nique job U, Nique, yeah, yeah, You’re U-Nique, U-nique job

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Page B


Rap Sheet 2

Who is Jesus?

Page A

Whisper Tell us what you learnt about God today And let me hear the words that JESUS says

Song

For All Of Your Days

Verse

Who found the fish, fed the crowd, calmed the storm? Who helped the leper and the lame? Who is as safe as a house on a rock? Who turns nobody away?

Chorus

For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Before your days? For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Beyond your days?

d’you have someone a special one d’you you have someone d’you you have someone a special one d’you have someone

Move it! Everyone pairs up. Each pair takes one chunk of the Rumours sequence as a basis for their moves. Allow time for people to work them out. Ideas: You can try using faces or gestures showing emotions. Try taking different positions, with partners side by side, back to back or facing. Get a couple of rappers and a drummer or clapper to rap out the sequence slowly to support the movers. Pairs put their moves in at the right time.

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Rap Sheet 2

Page B

Do it in your own style, change the words, choose the beats Rumours Born in danger, bed was a manger, hiding in the straw, running from the law, three wise men, what about them?

Rumours, do I hear rumours? Are they true? Who ARE you? Little car-pen-ter, tell us where you went-ter, answer back the teacher, cheeky to the preacher, stopping out late, you’re grounded mate!

Rumours, do I hear rumours? Are they true? Who ARE you? Do you think you’re clever, missing in the desert, hungry and thirsty, delirious and dirty, washing in the river, camping on the beach

Rumours, do I hear rumours? Are they true? Who ARE you? Did you make the weather fine, turn the water into wine? If it’s true I definitely, want to know the recipe! Can you turn a jar of honey into half a tonne of money?

Rumours, do I hear rumours? Are they true? Who ARE you? Stirring up the beggar-men, staring down the cops and then just before there’s trouble, disappearing like a bubble from a bad situation with your bad reputation

Rumours, do I hear rumours? Are they true? Who ARE you? Continued…. This page has been reproduced with permission from Who Do You Think You Are? published by CURBS 2005, for use in church and children's activities 18


Rap Sheet 2

Page C

(Rumours continued) Raving on the mountain, five K and counting Why did you risk it? Did you go ballistic, smashing up the decks, the money men wrecked?

Rumours, do I hear rumours? Are they true? Who ARE you? Did you really walk on water, or just do a bit of surfing? There’s a woman says you healed her but I heard you were flirting and there’s something odd that’s going round about the temple curtain and I’ve heard so many weird things I really can’t be certain and some people think that you’re God’s gift and others dish the dirt and Crucified? That mean you died? You rose again? You’ll be back when? But your friends all say you’re here today! Eh?

Rumours, do I hear rumours? Are they true? Who ARE you? For God’s sake man Who on earth ARE you?

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.

Rap Sheet 2

Page D

Has anyone heard any other rumours about this guy? Fill me in:

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Rap Sheet 3

Cheer

The Bread

Page A

Tell us what you know about GOD so far Tell us, who do you think YOU are? Tell us what you learnt about God today And let me hear the words that JESUS says

Song

For All Of Your Days

Verse

I am the bread that God has sent To bring new life into the world It’s not enough just to eat and to drink You need the food of my words

Chorus

For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Before your days For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Beyond your days

I am the bread the special bread I am the bread I am the bread the special bread I am the bread

Move it! March on the spot to comfortable rhythm. A leader calls or sings a couple of lines of ‘The Bread Run’ to an improvised tune, and everyone to echoes it back. Repeat a few times, then when everyone's ready, arch in a line or a group, calling and echoing the whole of the Bread Run. Do it a few times and swap the leaders.

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Rap Sheet 3

Page B

Do it in your own style, change the words, choose the beats Bread Run

Listen to what Jesus said And get yourself some super-bread Jesus is the bread of life So every day another slice

The Bible tells us that we should Taste and see that He is good Fish ‘n chips can make you fat But the bread of life will not do that

Rice ‘n peas will soon go off But the bread of life will never rot Birthday cake is really cool But the bread of life is heavenly food Too much grub will make you sick But the bread of life is really fit

Jelly, noodles, sausage rolls, But the bread of life will feed your soul RnB

The Lord’s My Shepherd My table Thou hast furnishèd In presence of my foes; My head Thou dost with oil anoint, And my cup overflows You are the bread, yeah Upon my table, oooh You are the bread, mmm Upon my table

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Rap Sheet 4 Cheer

The Light

Page A

Tell us what you know about GOD so far And tell us, who do you think YOU are? Tell us what you learnt about God today And let me hear the words that JESUS says

Song

For All Of Your Days

Verse

I am the light of the world where you live God chooses you to shine with me I am the kindness that smiles in your eyes Go, be light for all to see

Chorus

For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Before your days For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Beyond your days

Move it!

I am the light the special light I am the light I am the light the special light I am the light

Get into a circle. Think of movements connected with light – flashing, blinking, lighting a match, fizzing like a sparkler, for example. Collectively choreograph a sequence of moves with one or more rappers doing the rap Represent in the centre. For a presentation it could be performed in a dark hall or church, holding glo-sticks or torches.

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Rap Sheet 4

Page B

Do it in your own style, change the words, choose the beats

Represent!

Excuse me I don’t mean to be bossy But God has picked us for this possy And J.C. told us that we should Pass his light around the ’hood You better lose your sin in the bin If you want to be hot like him Listen here Ladies and Gents Hey! We’ve got to represent! The Wonderful The Counsellor The Mighty God I’m talking Jesus! The Wonderful

The Counsellor

The Mighty God

Can you think of more words for light? Fill me in!

Represent!

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Rap Sheet 5

Cheer

The Door

Page A

Tell us what you know about GOD so far And tell us, who do you think YOU are? Tell us what you learnt about God today And let me hear the words that JESUS says

Song

For All Of Your Days

Verse

I am the door, and I guard the way in No thief can steal what I hold You are the lambs that I guard with my life Come by me into God’s fold

Chorus

For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Before your days For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Beyond your days

I am the door the special door I am the door I am the door the special door I am the door

Some people form Arches by facing each other in pairs and joining lifted hands. The rest are the Sheep. The Sheep walk through stepping to the beat as they chant “No robbing!” The Arches answer “Watch the door!”

Move it!

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Rap Sheet 5

Page B

Do it in your own style, change the words, choose the beat Watch the Door!

Add your own words - make a list of the things that won’t get past the Door

No robbing! No robbing ! No robbing!

No……………………………………………..

Watch the door! No bullying! No bullying! No bullying!

No……………………………………….. No…………………………………………….

Watch the door! No cursing! No cursing No cursing

No………………………………………..

Watch the door! RnB

No……………………………………………..

The Lord’s my Shepherd (add your own style) Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale, Yet will I fear no ill For Thou art with me; and Thy rod And staff my comfort still. Thou art with me, yeah I fear no ill, oooh Thou art with me, mmm I fear no ill

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Rap Sheet 6 Cheer

The Good Shepherd

Page A

Tell us what you know about GOD so far And tell us, who do you think YOU are? Tell us what you learnt about God today And let me hear the words that JESUS says

Song

For all Of Your Days

Verse

I am the shepherd and you are my sheep God gave you ears to hear my call Even the littlest lamb in my flock I will find you when you fall

Chorus

For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Before your days For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Beyond your days

Move it!

you are my flock my special flock you are my flock you are my flock my special flock you are my flock

Hide and Seek: The sheep hide, the Good Shepherd seeks them - use furniture and sheets to make hiding places. OR play ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ (Mr Lion, Mr Bear). OR mark a winding ‘way’ through your space with chalk/wool/string. Place cards along it with ‘shepherd’, ‘mountain’, ‘lions’, ‘ ‘bears’, ‘pastures’, ‘quiet waters’, ‘righteous paths’. Everyone chooses one of these as a theme. Interpret the words for your city - who or what are the lions? Where are the quiet waters? Draw with paper and felt tips. When the art’s done, place drawings by the card. Line up at the beginning of the ‘way’. The line moves along chanting and clapping, pausing to observe how each word has been interpreted.

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Rap Sheet 6

Page B

Do it in your own style, change the words, choose the beats Chants

(find different beats for each one)

The Good Shepherd runs up the mountain To fight the lions and the bears The bad shepherd runs down the mountain, He won’t fight, he’s too scared The Good Shepherd is very brave The bad shepherd just runs away The good shepherd watches all his sheep The bad shepherd yawns and goes to sleep

RnB

The Lord’s my Shepherd

The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want. He makes me down to lie In pastures green; He leadeth me The quiet waters by. The Lord’s my shepherd, yeah… I will not want, oooh… The Lord’s my shepherd, mmm, I will not want (Try making new verses by remixing the phrases)

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Rap Sheet 7 Cheer

The Way

Page A

Tell us what you know about GOD so far And tell us, who do you think YOU are? Tell us what you learnt about God today And let me hear the words that JESUS says

Song

For All Of Your Days

Verse

I am the way to life with no end God made your feet to follow mine Don’t be afraid of what might be ahead Step with me and you will find

Chorus

For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Before your days For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Beyond your days

I am the way the special way I am the way I am the way the special way I am the way

Football Chant You’ll never walk alone, Walk on, walk on, With God in your heart And you’ll never walk alone, You’ll never walk alone! (Can you think of other chants to put God or Jesus into?)

Move it!

1) Make ‘scarves’ out of strips of paper, crepe, or old white sheet. Decorate them with felt pens in your favourite football colours. Logo them with the name of God’s football team (make one up). 2) Get in a bunch as though you were together at a stadium, raise your scarves and chant Walk On! or other football chants with God or Jesus in them. 3) Present it from different heights and places of your spaces - on the stage, under the window, from the steps, in the pulpit, in the choir, round the tree. Shorter people need to be in front. 4) Add other chants to it - like the Tell Us chant.

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Rap Sheet 7

Page B

Do it in your own style, change the words, choose the beats Song

If you want to get to God Chant, or try singing it to the tune of ’If you’re happy and you know it’. Add new verses with new places to go and how to get there. Also try some reversals - You can’t get to God on the bus, etc.

If you want get to school jump the bus, Jump the bus! If you want to get to Gran’s take the train, Take the train! If you want to get to God we can show you the way

Jesus is his name If you want to get some fun come with us, Come with us! If you want to get to Spain take the plane, Take the plane! If you want to get to God we can show you the way

Jesus is his name RnB

The Lord’s My Shepherd

Try speaking the first bit with someone singing the second bit at the same time

My soul He doth restore again And me to walk doth make Within the paths of righteousness Even for His own Name’s sake. His righteous paths, yeah That’s where I‘ll walk, oooh His righteous paths, mmm That’s where I’ll walk

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Rap Sheet 8 Cheer

The Vine

Page A

Tell us what you know about GOD so far And tell us, who do you think YOU are? Tell us what you learnt about God today And let me hear the words that JESUS says

Song

For All Of Your Days

Verse

I am the vine and you are the branch You grow the fruit upon my tree God snips and trims you and takes out the rot So that you can live in me

Chorus

For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Before your days For all of your days, For all of your days, For all of your days, Beyond your days

Cheer

I am the vine the special vine I am the vine I am the vine the special vine I am the vine

Branches, trunk, tree and root! Grapes for God, super fruit!

Move it!

Hang a white sheet across the room with a bright light behind it from an overhead projector or halogen lamp. Dim the room lights. Four people perform behind the sheet, casting shadow on the sheet, the rest are audience. (Take turns, with or without time to plan.) Two performers rap The Vine while two put actions to it. (Observe electrical safety. One leader should stay behind the sheet with the performers.)

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Rap Sheet 8

Page B

Do it in your own style, change the words, choose the beats The Vine You can’t fruit without the root, The branch alone can’t make new shoots When J.C. says ‘be IN me ’ He means you’ve got to stay with his tree

Who d’you mean This J.C? What’s his name? Who is he? Cut off from the tree the branch will die, Without J.C so will I But if I stay in the right place, I’ll be bursting out with grapes

Who d’you mean This J.C? What’s his name? Who is he? That means my life will show good things But I can’t do nothing without him It’s not nuts, I’m talking grapes Understand what it takes!

Who d’you mean This J.C? What’s his name? Who is he? To be alive upon his tree Means more of him and less of me I’m just a branch, on J.C.’s vine It’s him that makes me strong and fine!

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Rap Sheet 9 Cheer

The Resurrection

Page A

Tell us what you know about GOD so far And tell us, who do you think YOU are? Tell us what you learnt about God today And let me hear the words that JESUS says

Song

For All Of Your Days

Verse

I am the hope of life after death Love sent me to rescue you I am God’s son, I fought death and won Trust, and you’ll be winners too

Chorus

For all of your days, I am the hope For all of your days, the special hope For all of your days, I am the hope Before your days/ Beyond your days

Song: Jesus on the mainline Jesus on the mainline, tell him what you want (x3) Call him up and tell him what you want When Jesus saw the hungry, he saw that they were fed When Jesus found the sick ones, he freed them from their beds No one is beyond the reach of the man who raised the dead Call him up and tell him what you want If you’ve got some worry, tell him what it is (x3) Call him up and tell him what you want

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Rap Sheet 9

Page B

Now try the whole of the RnB together as a song. Use your own improvisations. Add your own dance moves. Move it! The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want, He makes me down to lie In pastures green, He leadeth me The quiet waters by. The Lord’s my shepherd, yeah… I will not want, oooh… The Lord’s my shepherd, mmm.. I will not want My soul He doth restore again, And me to walk doth make Within the paths of righteousness Even for His own Name’s sake. His righteous paths, yeah… That’s where I‘ll walk, oooh… His righteous paths, mmm… That’s where I’ll walk Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale, Yet will I fear no ill For Thou art with me; and Thy rod And staff my comfort still. Thou art with me, yeah... I fear no ill, oooh… Thou art with me, mmm… I fear no ill My table Thou hast furnished, In presence of my foes; My head Thou dost with oil anoint, And my cup overflows. You are the bread, yeah… Upon my table, oooh… You are the bread, mmm… Upon my table Goodness and mercy all my life, Shall surely follow me; And in God’s house forevermore My dwelling place shall be God’s house forever, yeah… That’s where I’ll be, oooh… God’s house forever, mmm… That’s where I’ll be

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Rap Sheet 10

Now who do you think you are?

Re - write stuff using your own ideas, style, words, or write your own!

35(36)


Move Sheet

Ideas

The use of space and movement needs planning. Co-ordinate with other activities. You don’t want bowls of dough set out for the ‘Bread’ session just before you turn the lights off for a glow-stick dance, but you might want kids to make masks one week for a mime the next. Ideas: CIRCLES:

Get in a circle (sit, kneel or stand) and using counts of 2 or 4, produce a steady rhythm with claps, stamps, taps, hand-flicks, finger-snaps for people to copy. Try a ‘Brain Gym’ exercise: Conductor (first you, then one of the kids) makes everyone copy a movement in which right and left sides of the body are simultaneously linked. For example, touch right ear with left hand and left knee with right thumb. Swap conductors: Ask children to invent a sequence: eg, stamp/clap/ stamp/click for all to copy. Conductors can speed up, slow down, change beats and actions, conduct people in and out, etc. LINES:

Channel children’s energy into a line dance, chanting, or singing so they can later listen quietly to the Gospel. Lines can snake around: Drummers can keep the beat while others take hands and weave in, out, under, around. Within worship, a line moving rhythmically can present children and their message effectively, eg, from back to front of hall/church or side to side. OTHER MOVES:

Themes can be illustrated by what the children dance with, eg, streamers for water and torches for light. This also amplifies movement. Claim the Space: Present a Bible passage to the whole congregation using solo or group voices from low and high parts of the church; this can be dramatic and inspiring. Co-operate in pairs to produce a mime demonstrating the theme. This is good for managing movement in a constricted space.

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The Wiggle Workout These moves are selected from the routines that professional performers use to prepare themselves for work. They warm and relax the body, and promote deep diaphragmatic breaths which energize and clear the head. The sequence is planned for use with mixed age and ability groups, with consideration for space limitations. Encourage people to do only what they comfortably can. The whole sequence should take less than five minutes. Start by standing or sitting as individuals are able, in a circle. Big Breaths: Keep your feet grounded. Cross your arms over your chest to touch your shoulders, and let your arms rest on your chest in an X shape. Take a nice, slow deep breath in through your nose, hold it a moment, then let it out through your mouth, adding your voice to it…‘ahh’. Do this three times. And rest.

Body Wiggle: Keep your feet grounded. Slowly wiggle your toes, then feet, then knees, then bum and tum. Keep it going. Now add your shoulders to the wiggle. Keep it going. Now add your arms, hands, fingers, until you’re slowly wiggling your body all over. Now turn the slow wiggle into a floppy shake, and add your voice to it…‘ahhh’. And rest. Do the three slow breaths again. And rest.

Face Wiggle: Keep your feet grounded. Slowly wiggle your face: brows, nose, jaw, lips, and tongue into as many shapes as you can, add your voice to it. Look all around and make faces and noises at your neighbours. And rest. Do one last slow breath. And rest. 38


Instruments

Make Sheet

Soda Shakers: Adults prepare clear plastic fizzy drinks bottles in advance by removing labels and tops and holding bottles carefully over low gas flame to produce unique shapes. Try not to melt holes in the bottle. Label glue can be wiped off with tissue paper when it has warmed up as you’re reshaping the bottle over the gas flame. Replace tops when cool. Children choose a bottle, and take a handful of beads, dried beans, lentils, rice, rock salt, etc, to put in their bottles. If bottles have got holes in from melting, then use larger objects such as small pebbles or shells. Kids can add decorations inside the shaker such as small coloured pieces of paper, tinsel, glittery foil, wool, etc. When filling a Soda Shaker, less is definitely more.

Kitchen Drums: Old saucepans and other metal kitchenware need no alterations: try playing them with old cutlery. If they have handles they can be held or hung from string loops. Wooden spoons can be covered by old socks or stockings to soften the tone, or used bare. Plastic food dishes and containers of all shapes and sizes can make great drums - experiment. If they prove popular, adults can smarten them up with lino paint. This page has been reproduced with permission from Who Do You Think You Are? published by CURBS 2005, for use in church & children's activities

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Bottle Flutes: Plastic bottles can be turned into single note flutes notes by blowing into the top: hold the bottle vertically with the hole just under your bottom lip and blow gently down into the hole. Bottle flutes can be tuned by filling them with different levels of water, so keep the tops handy. Kids can experiment. You might want to label the bottles with the notes they’ve been tuned to, and to have a small bottle orchestra. Starting (or key) notes, plus fifth notes are very useful. Adding food colouring to the water is extra fun. Observe health and safety - label the bottle with what’s in it, eg, ’this bottle contains water and yellow food colouring’, and don’t share bottles.

Elastic Banjos: Rubber bands can be placed over the gap of saucepans, metal tea pots, plastic containers, etc, to produce interesting twanging sounds and notes. More than one band can be used on a utensil depending on how big the opening is. The pitch of the ‘note’ is generated by the length of the strumming area of the band and the tension it is under, so the combinations of different sized rubber bands and different sized apertures will make different notes, which the hollow will amplify. Experiment.

Plastic Tubas: Off-cuts of plastic tubing from light domestic plumbing jobs can produce notes when struck on the ground or against each other. They can also be blown like trumpets and played like dijery-dos, depending on what you do with your mouth (they can be cleaned if they are being shared.) Try experimenting with different lengths and bore sizes. A large selection of tubing can be bought from DIY shops.

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For All Of Your Days: Five Verse Hymn Version 1

I am The Way to the best kind of life God made your feet to follow mine Don’t be afraid of what might be ahead Step with me and you will find

For all of your days, I am the way, For all of your days, the special way For all of your days, I am the way, Before your days For all of your days, I am the way, For all of your days, the special way For all of your days, I am the way, Beyond your days 2

I am The Truth and I never give in God made you to take my hand So you can do what you know to be right Brave, together we will stand

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I am The Light of the world where you live God chooses you to shine with me I am the kindness that smiles in your eyes Go, be light for all to see

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I am The Door, and I guard the way in No thief can steal what I hold You are the lambs that I guard with my life Come by me into God’s fold

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I am The Hope of life after death Love sent me to rescue you I am God’s son, I fought death and won Trust, and you’ll be winners too

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Rhythmic Arts In Sacred Spaces

Andante con Bravura - at walking pace with boldness and spirit -

THE GET RHYTHM GUIDE

This guide supports the rhythmic materials of CURBStone Kit 11. The materials are flexible, and are designed to be used selectively.

Using the Rap Sheets These are provided for sessions 1 to 10 and are your key reference for Rhythmic Arts in CURBStone Kit 11. Each Rap Sheet presents a Verse and Chorus of the song For All Of Your Days, plus rhythmic poetry - Chants, Cheers, Rapattacks (these can all be ‘raps’ or ‘rapped’) and a version of ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’. Some of these elements are one-offs, and some are repeated during the programme. When preparing a session, select elements from the Rap Sheet which suit your needs. All the rhythmic poetry is presented in Standard English insofar as this is possible. The idea is that children will adapt them into their own styles and language. These vary enormously according to ethnicity and locality and they change very quickly. Kids can use the Re-Write Rap Sheet (it’s the first one) and Session 10 blank Rap Sheets for original work. The Rap Sheets can be photocopied as handouts.

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The Rap Sheets offer materials with a range of complexity. Generally, smaller chunks are good for smaller people and bigger chunks for bigger people. Even very small people can chant single words with a little support, so add in some Hey! Yo! etc.

All of the poetry is based on counts of four within which people can improvise their own delivery. There’s is no right or wrong way to deliver. Remind people not to go too fast, Andante. Encourage clear speaking, Bravura. Elements of the Rap Sheets •

Repeated Element - Tell Us Chant: At the top of each Rap Sheet there is a chant which builds in sessions 1 & 2, and is repeated every session thereafter to Session 9. This chant is designed to keep the overall theme of the pack in focus, so regular use is recommended.

Repeated Element - Song: For All Of Your Days A Verse and Chorus is included in sessions 1-9. Each verse draws directly on the I Am sayings of Jesus, and also makes a related ’You are’ statement. The chorus for each session caries the relevant I Am but is otherwise unchanged. For the wider congregation - a sample five verse hymn version is included in the pack, but you can also use the website to cut and paste your own version.

Repeated Element - The Lord’s My Shepherd: This adaptation develops through sessions 3,5,6,7 and is presented complete for session 9. It is intended for Rhythm and Base (R’n’B) or blues style improvisation, and is ideal for small group work. It might make a good ongoing project for older kids to do a little work on each week, culminating in a presentation.

One-Offs - Rapattacks, Chants, Cheers, Poems: These are good for reading out in session; using for small group projects; take-home-and-practice; presenting in church or elsewhere; have-a-laugh-get-your-dad-to-do-it, downloading off the website; rewriting, etc.

Move It! These sections are on some of the Rap Sheets: they offer ideas for animating words with movement.

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Using the Music Sheets You do not have to be able to read the sheet music in order to lead or play music in your group. The sheet music is for people who want to use it to support their music making for the song ‘For All Of Your Days’. Listen to the CD to get a feel for the syncopation possibilities. One sample verse and chorus lyric is inserted in the sheet music, the rest are available in the Rap Sheet for each session. Notes for Pianists/Keyboard players Use which ever edition of the sheet music suits you best. There are two Piano Arrangements: Simple and Intermediate. Improvisers who have plenty of Bravura might find that the Voice and Guitar Chord layout gives them everything they need. A sheet is provided For Keyboard Transposition in C major. All the other arrangements are in A major. Syncopate, swing and drive. Add staccato. Be liberal in interpretation while keeping your singers in mind. Talking of which – pianists, go easy on the right foot pedal, it drastically reduces clarity especially in large spaces. This obstructs singers and their message.

Notes for Guitarists: See Guitar and Voice arrangement: Chords are placed on the first and third beats of the bar to carry the rhythmic drive of the piece and promote harmonic clarity - if you decide to play off beat, make sure a percussionist or another guitarist is playing on beat. And keep it Andante. Confident guitarists will make their own chord additions and capo transpositions. (Use of a dropped D on the 7th fret is full of the Bravura that comes from 5th intervals, and works magic against a second guitar in open A position, or in G on 2nd fret)

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Using The Compact Disc The CD was recorded very simply on home equipment by a church music group, and aims to support your musicmaking, not to replace it. It presents example tracks and a backing tracks

Example Tracks (Nos. 1-7) These include verses from the song ‘For All Of Your Days’ sung as a hymn to help people get a feel for the rhythm and tune. This is not delivered exactly as written in the music sheets. It has been interpreted by a group recording live. There are also examples of various kinds of rhythmic poetry from the Rap Sheets. The children who recorded these were asked to look at, choose and deliver raps. They were given minimal preparation time and very little direction, so these recordings are work in progress, and accurately reflect what can be achieved in short time slots by children across a wide age range (6 -14 ). The children chose to deliver in their local street lingo, so what you hear is their own style. Bravura! Backing Tracks (Nos. 8-10) Tune for a Verse and Chorus of the song For All Of Your Days to support singing in weekly sessions if you want to use it. (Listen to the sung version first.) The first note of the introduction is the starting note for singing. The introduction gives one count of four beats. Also two other backing tracks in reggae and hip-hop styles as a further resource for music-making.

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(Cement papers 16-18, pp 57-68, available following Cement paper 15, p 6)


Session 1

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0pening the theme Introducing me! Suitable for all

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sk the children to think about how they would describe themselves to a stranger (or to an alien from Mars). Allow thinking time before the discussion. Adults should also take part. You might like to note down a few responses from each person which can be used later in the session (‘Making connections’). The following activities will help the children to explore their role in the world.

Setting the scene Choose two or three of the following activities

Make and do Names and their meanings Suitable for all You will need: a dictionary of names, large strips of paper (eg, decorator’s lining paper), collage materials, PVA glue, brushes, paints and brushes, crayons, felt-tip pens. et the children look up the meanings of their names in the dictionary, or, with children from other cultures, see if they can tell you the meaning of their name and/or write it in their own language (you may need to ask parents). Some of the children may have a story about why they were given their name. A wall display can be made by using bubble writing on large strips of paper approx 1 metre by 30 cms with each name and its meaning or story written in ordinary writing underneath. Then the names can be filled in with collage from bits of pasta, coloured paper, fabric, drawing and painting. Link to the theme: learning the importance of names for our identity.

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Who am I? Suitable for all You will need: large sheets of paper, pens, coloured paper for mounting (optional) xtra help will be needed younger children and those with dyslexia or other special needs. Copy the following out on to the sheets of paper, omitting the words in brackets which are for your guidance. Alternatively, photocopy the prepared sheet at the end of this session.

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I am (name). In my family there are (names of people in the immediate family). I go to ___________________School. In school I like (subjects). My friends are (names of friends). I like doing (hobbies). I like watching (favourite TV programmes). I like listening to (favourite music). My family comes from (part of the world/Britain that you come from).

Leave space at the bottom for any additional information the children may choose to add. Invite the children to fill in the gaps and, if they like, decorate the border. These can then be mounted and put on the wall. In order to show that we respect the children’s work, try to mount it properly before putting up on the wall. It’s easy to do. Trim the work to make sure that the edges are straight. For the mount, use coloured display paper, fabric, wallpaper, wrapping paper. Cut it to size about 1 - 1.5 cms bigger than the piece of work to be mounted. Then stick securely with glue stick or other glue (PVA is very useful). Work can be double mounted with two frames of colour, the second bigger than the first. Link to the theme: learning that each person’s identity is of value and interest.

Zoe and Zak cartoon strip

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hotocopy the Zoe and Zak cartoon strip at the end of this session for each child. Read it through together. Even those who can’t read will be able to see that Zoe is upset about something. Talk about the story together.

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Why was Zoe crying? Have you ever been called an unkind name? How does it make you feel? Have you ever called someone else and unkind name? Why is name-calling hurtful?

How did Zak help Zoe feel better? Link to the theme: recognising that name-calling can be hurtful. 70


Where did I come from? Suitable for age 7+ You will need: poster maps (see below), coloured thread, Blu-tack or sticky tape, slips of paper, pens oster maps can be bought as laminated posters from the children’s sections of Waterstone’s Bookshops, or from some public libraries. For a smaller group, find one on the internet that you can print off and enlarge (as below). You will probably need world maps as well as maps of the United Kingdom. Ask the children to identify which part of the world/ country they, their parents or grandparents come from. Let everyone write their name on a slip of paper and arrange them around the edge of the map. Then coloured threads can be stuck on with Blu-tack or sticky tape from the names to the area or country of origin. You may want to discuss the areas of the UK or other countries the children are from and any differences of dialect or languages that are spoken there. If anyone is bi/trilingual get them to teach the other children how to say ‘hello’ in that language. Make sure that you affirm children who are from the local area – their heritage is just as significant. Link to the theme: realising the importance of countries and areas of origin to our identity.

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Name bracelets Suitable for younger children You will need: strips of paper, coloured pens, sticky tape, small pieces of Velcro. ive each child a strip of paper and ask them to write their name (and its meaning if they know it) in fancy coloured writing. Cover the strip carefully with sticky tape and use a small piece of Velcro as fastening. Link to the theme: enjoying the identity given to us by our names.

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Self-portrait Suitable for all You will need: paper, pencils or crayons, mirrors (optional) sk the children to draw self-portraits using a mirror or to draw a friend sitting opposite. Talk about what you can tell about someone just from their appearance – and what kinds of things you cannot find out until you know someone well. Link to the theme: thinking about how appearance can only give clues to identity

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Quiet games and discussion If the cap fits& Suitable for 7+ You will need: hats or caps (perhaps from a local business or fast-food outlet which uses them for advertising, or chef’s hats), large sticky labels sk the children to think of ‘labels’ which they have, for example, brother, football player, dancer, Brownie, Scout, pet owner. They can write these on the labels and stick them on to the caps. (Don’t let them put their names on display for child protection reasons as the caps may be worn in public places.) When the caps are complete, discuss how many labels we all have – and yet we are the same person. Link to the theme: beginning to think of having different aspects to our characters, just as Jesus did.

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What’s your name? Suitable for younger children

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et the children into a circle and stand in middle. Throw a soft ball or bean bag to a child asking ‘What’s your name?’ The child should throw it back, answering, ‘My name is AA’ Throw to another child and so on. This can be repeated getting faster. After the game, talk about the importance of our names and discuss the children’s favourite names. Link to the theme: thinking about the importance of names as a part of our identity.

Active games Happy families Suitable for all

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sk everyone to form teams of four for a racing game. Give each team a surname (the Bakers, Butchers, Chemists, etc or Bible names (the Noahs, Jacobs, Levis, etc). Get the families to sort out who is ‘father’, ‘mother’, ‘daughter’ and ‘son’. All the families should stand at an equal distance from a finishing line. Call out in random order ‘all the daughters’, ‘all the sons’, etc and give a point to the person who races over the finishing line first. The winning family is the one which has the most points at the end of the game. Link to the theme: thinking about finding an identity as part of a family.

Animal guesses Suitable for younger children

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n turn, the children choose an animal and mime it (or they can give clues). Everyone else has to guess which animal it is. Link to the theme: thinking about how to describe the identity of an animal. 72


Guess who I am Suitable for older children

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n pairs, the children choose a famous person (TV personality, pop star, sports star) and think of three clues. The game is played one pair against another with everyone else watching. If the guessing pair guesses the identity of the personality after the first clue they are given three points; after the second clue, two points; after three clues, one point. The winning pair is the one that has most points at the end of the game. Link to the theme: thinking about what makes one person different from another.

Rhythmic materials

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heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.

Into the Bible I am special

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ell the group that when God created the world, he chose human beings to have a special place in creation. This means that each one of us has the privilege of being loved by God, special talents to use, and the responsibility to look after the world for God - this includes the other people in it. Read Genesis 1:26-31 in a modern version of the Bible (see below). Ask the group to think about themselves. Remind everyone of the descriptions they gave of themselves at the beginning of the session (‘Who am I?’) and ask, in addition, whether they recognise in themselves something very special. If so, it’s not something to boast about, but a special gift from God to be used to make life better for others.

Genesis 1:26-31

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od said, ‘Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures.’ So God created humans to be like himself; and made men and women. God gave them his blessing and said: ‘Have a lot of children! Fill the earth with people and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the ocean, the birds in the sky, and every animal on the earth. I have provided all kinds of fruit and grain for you to eat. And I have given the green plants as food for everything else that breathes. These will be food for everything that breathes. These will be food for animals, both wild and tame, and for birds.’ God looked at what he had done. All of it was very good!

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Action

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sk everyone to draw a large speech bubble and inside write ‘I am...’ They should write their name and then write or draw something special about themselves. The speech bubbles could be collected together and displayed in the room, perhaps on a door or made into a poster.

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WHO AM I? I am In my family there are

I go to

School.

In school I like

My friends are

I like doing

I like watching

I like listening to

My family comes from

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Session 2

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0pening the theme Introducing Jesus Suitable for all

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sk the children to think about Jesus and say what they already know about him. (If someone seems to know nothing, explain that this doesn’t matter because the session is about finding out!) You might like to note down a few responses from each person which can be used later in the session (‘Making connections’). Say that Jesus knew who he was – the Son of God, part of God, someone who had an awesome task to perform — but others who met him thought he was a carpenter, a teacher, a revolutionary, a trouble-maker. The following activities will help everyone to decide what they think.

Setting the scene Choose two or three of the following activities

Make and do Zigzag biography Suitable for all You will need: the series of eight pictures about the life of Jesus (at the end of this session), photocopied for each child, scissors, paper, sticky tape, glue sticks, colouring materials. ive each child two pieces of A4 card if possible, otherwise paper would do. They should tape these together along one short end to make a strip. Show them how to fold the card/paper concertina-style to produce an A5 size zig-zag book. (You could prepare the books beforehand to save time.) Give each child one set of the pictures of Jesus, making sure they are in the wrong order. The children should put them in the right order and glue them in sequence, four on one side of the book and four on the other. Use the opportunity to ensure that the children have a grasp of the events of Jesus’ life from his birth to his resurrection. Colour in the pictures to complete the booklet. Link to the theme: discovering more about Jesus.

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TV scenes Suitable for older children or a group of mixed ages You will need: a camera, preferably a digital camera or one which produces instant photographs. he group is going to prepare a TV programme on the life of Jesus. For each scene they need to plan a photograph which will sum up what happens in the scene. (You could use the pictures at the end of the session as a guide to the content or sequence of photographs if you think the children will not know enough about Jesus’ life to help with the planning.) Together choose eight to ten photographs. Using minimum props and costumes, the group should then decide how to pose for each photograph. When the photographs are taken, look at them and decide how well they would form the basis of a TV programme to inform people about Jesus’ life. Link to the theme: getting to know more about the life of Jesus.

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Zoe and Zak cartoon strip Suitable for all

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hotocopy the Zoe and Zak cartoon strip at the end of this session for each child. Read it through together. Talk about the story.

● What words did Zoe use to describe her Nan? ● What did Zoe’s words make Zak imagine her Nan looked like? ● What are some of the words we use to describe people? (Make sure these are not unkind or hurtful words!)

● Why might we use these words? ● How do you think Zak felt when he actually saw Zoe’s Nan? Link to the theme: thinking about the words we use to describe people, including Jesus.

Quiet games and discussion Person profile Suitable for age 7+

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sk everyone to think of a famous person - someone they know something about, but do not know personally. They should think of three facts about their celebrity. In turn, they can give their three clues, one at a time (without saying the person’s name) and see how long it takes the rest of the group to guess who the person is. After the game, discuss how we find out about people we don’t know. Make a list of the ways, then decide which are the best, most reliable ways. Now ask how they would find out about someone who lived long ago and make a list in the same way. Challenge the children to think of good ways to find out about Jesus. How can we be sure that what we know about Jesus is really true? Conclude that the oldest sources are likely to be the most reliable and say that you have a very old source of information about Jesus – the Bible. Link to the theme: thinking about reliable sources for information about famous people, including Jesus. 80


Jesus is& Suitable for all

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ell the group that you’ve collected some ideas about who Jesus is. Show them cards with the following words written on them: teacher, healer, astronaut, friend, boy, saviour, man, son, brother, carpenter, Roman soldier, leader, story-teller. You could add a symbol to each one if your artistic talents (or clip art) allows! Discuss the list, helping the group to decide which two do not apply to Jesus and remove them from the pack. Then reveal a further set of cards: shepherd, light, way, door, vine, bread, resurrection. Say, ‘I wonder how these can be names for Jesus...’ Don’t give any answers, but let the children ‘wonder’ about it, perhaps making suggestions. Explain that you’ll be thinking more about some of these strange names for Jesus in the sessions to come. You could now play a game. Turn all the cards face down and mix them around so that no one knows which card is which. The first player should say the title of one of the cards, for instance ‘shepherd’ and then turn it over. If she is right, she keeps the card and has another turn. If not, she shows everyone what it is and turns it face down again in the same position. It is then the next player’s turn. The winner is the one who has most cards at the end of the game. Link to the theme: becoming familiar with names, titles and roles of Jesus.

‘The Miracle Maker’ Suitable for all

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ou could have a film evening by presenting The Miracle Maker, a full-length feature film from S4C using animation design. Set in first-century Israel, a sick young girl, Tamar, her synagogue-leader father, Jairus, and her desperate mother encounter the carpenter and preacher, Jesus. The story follows them as Jesus draws together a band of followers, confronts corrupt authority and heals the sick before facing the terrible end-game of his mission. The video is available from Christian bookshops and other video outlets or visit www.themiraclemaker.com or e-mail contactus@biblesociety.org.uk. For enquiries about copyright and church licences to show The Miracle Maker, e-mail permissions@biblesociety.org.uk. Make an evening of it by providing snacks and drinks. Link to the theme: finding out about who Jesus is.

Look in the book Suitable for age 8+

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f your group are good readers and are familiar with the Bible, divide them into small groups each with a Bible and one or two of the following Bible references: Luke 5:1-11 Luke 6:17-19 Luke 5:12-15 Luke 6:46-49 Luke 5:17-26 Luke 8:22-25 Luke 5:27-32 Luke 9:10-17

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Make sure everyone knows how to find Luke’s gospel and explain that they should look up the chapter and verses you’ve given them and use the stories to decide how the people in the story might have described Jesus – they would have said, ‘Jesus is...’ Allow seven or eight minutes and then gather everyone together. Ask each group in turn to say their ‘Jesus is...’ statement. Another option would be to have the groups draw a picture of their ‘Jesus isA’ statement. Link to the theme: finding out more about who Jesus is.

Active games Picture sequence race Suitable for all You will need: one set of eight pictures about the life of Jesus (see end of session) for each team, photocopied and cut into separate pictures; a table for each team. ivide the group into teams (small teams are fine). Each person in the team has one or more pictures. Call out one of the events in Jesus’ life, for example ‘Jesus is born’ or ‘Jesus dies’. The person with that picture runs forward and places it on the team’s table. As more pictures are placed, the team should try to get the pictures in the correct sequence. You could award points for every picture in the right place. Link to the theme: learning about the life of Jesus.

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Around the room Suitable for all You will need: the eight pictures about the life of Jesus (see end of session) photocopied and enlarged, Blu-tack. isplay the pictures in random order around the room. Let the children look around and try to memorise where each picture is. Get everyone to stand in the middle of the room then shout out the title of one of the pictures, for example, ‘Jesus ate supper with his friends’. The children should run to stand next to the correct picture. Link to the theme: learning about the life of Jesus.

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Occupations Suitable for all You will need: cards to display around the room with the following words on them: carpenter, doctor, diving instructor, motor mechanic, teacher, hairdresser (add your own). ather the children in the middle of the room. Read out the cards, pointing to each card as you do so. Then name something used by a person doing one of these jobs, eg, nail, stethoscope, flippers, oil can, exercise book, comb, saw, ear syringe, wet suit, spanner, chalk, scissors. The children should run to the correct card depending on which occupation they think would use the object. Link to the theme: a game mainly for fun, but could be linked to the occupation of Jesus as a carpenter.

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Out and about Church visit Suitable for all

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ake the group into a local church. (Check beforehand that the church contains enough items of interest to do with who Jesus is and if possible have someone from the church present as another source of information.) Ask everyone to pretend that they have never been in a church before (they may not have been!) and know nothing about Jesus. They should look for clues as to who Jesus is. This could include pictures, stained glass windows, Bibles, other books, banners, carvings, etc. You could offer a small prize for those who discover more than a certain number of clues. Afterwards, gather the clues together and discuss what the church building has been able to tell you about who Jesus is. Another option would be to plan a ‘trail’ beforehand for the children to follow. Prepare a sheet of paper with ten or a dozen clues/questions for the children to identify or answer appropriate to the denomination of the church. For example, ‘What is hanging up at the front of the church?’; ‘Find out where the font is and what it is used for’; ‘What is Jesus doing in the stained glass window picture at the back of the church?’; ‘What does the verse on the banner say about Jesus?’ Link to the theme: finding out more about who Jesus is.

Library clues Suitable for age 7+

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rrange in advance for your group to visit a local library. Pair the children and challenge them to find out three things about Jesus that they didn’t know before. They should then be directed to any sections that contain books or other information about Jesus. The library will probably have internet access and children will know how to search for sites offering facts about the life of Jesus. (If not, the librarians will give advice.) Try www.rejesus.org.uk as a reliable site with interesting, accessible pages. The site contains pictures of Jesus by artists from different eras and cultures. After the children have collected their facts, pool them and discuss what the children see as the most important and/or interesting things about Jesus. Link to the theme: finding out more about who Jesus is.

Rhythmic materials

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heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.

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Into the Bible Who is Jesus?

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se the following sketch based on Luke 4:16-30 to convey how people came to wonder who Jesus was.

Seth: Judith: Seth: Judith: Seth: Judith: Seth: Judith: Seth: Judith: Seth: Judith: Seth: Judith: Seth: Judith: Seth: Judith: Seth:

Judith: Seth:

Judith: Seth: Judith: Seth: Judith: 84

Hey, where were you last Sabbath, Judith? I didn’t see you in the synagogue. Um, well I was there, honest, Seth. So you saw what happened? Same old stuff – singing, reading the scriptures, talking, praying. And who was the special guest? The special guest was... um, someone from Jerusalem. No. Bethlehem? No. Jericho? No. You don’t know, do you? You weren’t there. (Hanging head.) No, I meant to go, but I overslept. There’s usually such a crowd I didn’t think anybody would notice. Don’t tell anyone. ‘Course not. You missed something big, though. Yeah? The special guest was Jesus. He’s not special. We all know Jesus. He was brought up right here in Nazareth. We used to play with him down by the stream. That’s what everyone was saying: ‘Isn’t he Joseph’s son?’ That was before they tried to throw him off the cliff. What? Was his talk that bad? No, it was brilliant! About God sending him to bring good news to poor people, to make blind people see and release those in prison. And everyone was saying, ‘Who is he? Why is he saying all this when he’s only ordinary, like any of us?’ And how did he convince them he meant it? He didn’t, not right out, but he reminded them of those old Bible stories when God had helped outsiders, but not us. And that’s what made them all angry. You know, ‘Who does he think he is coming here telling us we’re not good enough?’ And they grabbed him. I really think they would have thrown him over the edge if they’d had a chance, but suddenly they stopped shouting and push ing and stood still, all looking at him amazed. And Jesus said...? Nothing. He just walked away. Wow! That’s weird. (Pause.) Seth, who do you think Jesus really is? I don’t know now. He’s ordinary, we know that, but in another way he’s not ordinary at all. (Pause.) Well, whatever he is or whoever he is, I think I’d better make sure I’m in the synagogue next week. Who knows what will happen?


Making connections

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sk the group what they found out about Jesus from the sketch. He was ordinary in lots of ways, but extra-ordinary in other ways. Explain that Jesus sometimes described himself using pictures to help people understand his true identity. Introduce the pictures you’ll be exploring in the following sessions: Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life’; ‘I am the light’; ‘I am the door’; ‘I am the good shepherd’; ‘I am the way; ‘I am the vine’; ‘I am the resurrection’; Provide a symbol to represent each one (perhaps a bread roll, a torch, a key, a soft toy sheep or a picture, a road map, a bunch of grapes, a cross) or use the picture symbols at the end of the session.

Action

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ay that in the weeks ahead you’re going to explore what Jesus meant when he said ‘I am the bread of life’, etc, but for now you will spend some time looking at the symbols and wondering what Jesus was trying to say about himself. Why not light a candle in the centre of the symbols or play quiet music to assist reflection.

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Session 3

‘I am the bread of life’ - John 6:35

0pening the theme Starving for what? Suitable for all

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sk when the children feel really hungry. How does it feel? What do you do about it? Say that sometimes we use the word ‘hungry’ or ‘starving’ meaning that we need something else – not food. For instance we might feel ‘hungry to be loved’ or ‘power hungry’. Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life.’ Think together what that might mean. (Don’t dismiss any ideas, even if they don’t seem right to you.) Say that the following activities will help us understand more what Jesus might have meant.

Setting the scene Choose two or three of the following activities

Make and do Favourite meal Suitable for all You will need: materials for drawing, painting, clay work or play dough, paper plates. sk everyone to say what their favourite meal is. Using a paper plate as a base, they could then draw, paint or use clay or play dough to model their favourite meal. Link to the theme: thinking about the value and pleasure of eating.

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Bread taste Suitable for all You will need: samples of different kinds of bread upermarkets stock types of bread which were originally made in different cultures and countries. Choose contrasting types, for example, flat and risen bread, brown and white, and bread made from different kinds of grain. Have a tasting session and ask whether the children can guess what country they come from and what they are made from. Link to the theme: seeing how different cultures have used bread as an important food.

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Bread basket Suitable for age 7+ You will need: a menu from a café or restaurant, pens and paper. how the menu and ask the children to imagine that they are opening a café called ‘Bread Basket’. Challenge them to produce a menu with as many choices as possible – all containing bread. (This might include pizza, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, baguettes, toasties, kebabs, bread pudding, summer pudding, but see how far they can get on their own before you give them ideas!) Link to the theme: being reminded of the importance of bread in our own experience.

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Making bread Suitable for all You will need: one or more of the recipes at the end of this session, ingredients and utensils, cleaning and clear up materials, cooking facilities (though baking can be done after the session). aking bread is an enjoyable and satisfying activity, but not one that can be rushed! Bread-making machines are efficient, but spoil the fun and limit the value of the activity. If you haven’t time to complete the whole process of making bread with yeast, try a flat bread or bring the yeast ready risen for kneading and shaping. As you work, discuss the experiences of smell, touch, sight, taste. While waiting for the dough to rise you could compose a rap/poem/drama about the experience of bread making. Link to the theme: experiencing how bread is made and enjoyed.

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Hunt the matza Suitable for younger children You will need: unleavened or flat bread (matza). eforehand, hide a large piece of unleavened bread in the room. Explain that for Jewish families the Passover (Pesach) meal is eaten once a year. It’s a very important festival. Unleavened bread or matza is an important part of the meal because it reminds them of how, long ago, their families had a hurried meal before God saved them from being slaves in Egypt. Part of the Passover meal is a game played by the children. Show and eat some matza. Then ask the children to ‘Hunt the matza’ you’ve hidden earlier. You may need to give clues to help them. Link to the theme: realising the importance of bread in a celebration.

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Zoe and Zak’s food fun Suitable for all

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hotocopy the Zoe and Zak food fun page at the end of this session for each child. Chat together about the foods they enjoy and where and when they enjoy eating them. Encourage older members of the group to help the younger ones. They could spend time completing this if they finish an activity early, or they could take it home. Link to the theme: a fun approach to thinking about the food we eat.

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Quiet games and discussion Bread quiz Suitable for age 8+ You will need: the statements at the end of this session, pens and paper. o prepare, cut up the statements about bread and, if everyone is a good reader, display them around the room. (Otherwise, you could read them out aloud one at a time.) Give each child a pen and a small piece of paper numbered 1 to 12. They need to think about each statement in turn and write down the numbers of the two that they think are not true. When everyone has done this, tell them that numbers 5 and 8 are not true – all the others are. Discuss reactions to this discovery! Link to the theme: learning more about bread and its importance to us.

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Active games Crumbs! Suitable for all

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xplain to the group that the idea of the game is to follow the instructions given – all on the theme of bread. You will shout out different kinds of bread and there is an action for each one: Sliced – stand in a line (like a queue) hands on the shoulders of the person in front. Pizza – all lie in a circle with feet at the centre. Sandwich – find a partner and stand face to face with arms outstretched, touching each other’s hands. Naan –lie flat on the ground, face down. Bread roll – crouch down with arms over head. French stick – stand up straight with arms in the air. Toast – jump in the air. Crumbs! – the last one to touch a wall is out. With younger children, limit the number of actions to four or five and don’t have anyone out. They will just enjoy doing the actions. Link to the theme: thinking about the different ways we use bread.

The great bread delivery race Suitable for age 7+ You will need: one large box or bin for each team, items to represent loaves of bread, eg sponges, bean bags, small cushions. ivide the group into teams. The boxes or bins are around the room equidistant from each other and from a central pile of ‘bread’. The teams line up beside their box or bin. Say that the purpose of the game is for each team to feed their monster (the box or bin) with bread by taking turns to run up and feed it, one loaf at a time.

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However, once a team member has delivered a loaf, he or she has the opportunity to steal a loaf from another team member while they are trying to feed their monster. They do this by touching the other person’s shoulder; the person from the other team must then hand over the loaf they were carrying. Bread cannot be taken out of their monster. Only one loaf per team can be carried at any time. The team must balance the time spent trying to steal bread with the time they spend delivering to the monster. When all the loaves of bread have been fed to the monsters, the team with the most loaves in their ‘monster’ is the winner. Link to the theme: a fun way of thinking about being fed on bread.

Out and about Staples Suitable for all

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ake small groups out to look at the menus displayed outside local eating places or to collect menus to look at later. Alternatively, bring in a range of different menus. Ask the children to try to work out what is the ‘staple’ food (the main food which is usually the accompanying dish) for each cuisine. Some likely staples are: potatoes (chips), rice, bread, pasta. Ask why these foods are important in our diet. (Their taste is good, but not strong and so they can be mixed with many other dishes; they provide bulk and energy; they are reasonably cheap and easy to produce.) Link to the theme: learning about the importance of different staple foods.

Baker’s shop Suitable for all

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ake small groups to visit a baker’s shop or the bakery section of a supermarket. Without touching, the children can examine the different kinds of bread available and find out what each kind is called. They could also, if possible, be allowed to choose a small item to buy and eat afterwards. Ask the children to think about why there is so much bread on display and why there are many different kinds. Link to the theme: discovering the importance of bread and its many forms.

Rhythmic materials

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heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.


Into the Bible Jesus said&

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se the following sketch to convey how Jesus came to say, ‘I am the bread of life’ (John 6:35).

Mum: Seth: Mum: Seth: Mum: Seth: Mum: Seth: Mum: Seth:

Mum: Seth: Mum: Seth: Mum: Seth: Mum: Seth:

Mum: Seth:

Oh Seth, you’re back. Where have you been? I told you, Mum. I went to see Jesus. You made me a picnic. Oh yes. Did you see him? Yes, that’s why I’ve been gone so long. It was great and there was loads to eat. I know. Two fishes and five little bread loaves. I made your picnic myself. There were five thousand, though! Five thousand loaves of bread? So lots of other people brought a picnic. No, five thousand people. Jesus fed them all. I thought he was a teacher, not a sandwich maker. No, listen. Jesus was teaching us about God all day long. People were hungry to hear what he was saying. He changed what they thought about God. I heard someone say, ‘I thought God was stern. I thought we had to work very hard to please him, but Jesus says he loves us and is longing to help us live the right way.’ That’s why we stayed all day. We were so hungry to hear more about God that we didn’t notice how hungry for food we were. Then Jesus made the sandwiches. Mum, listen! There weren’t any sandwiches – just two fishes and five little loaves of bread. That’s a coincidence. Just the same picnic that you had. Mum, it was my picnic. Seth, what are you talking about? My picnic fed five thousand people! More than five thousand. They only counted the men. So everyone had two crumbs each? Is that what you’re saying? No, everyone had loads. There was even some left over. They gave my picnic to Jesus and he said thank you to God for it and got his friends to start handing it out. And it just went on and on going around and around until everyone had had enough. Can you believe it? (pause) I don’t know, but next time you go to see Jesus, I think I might come too. I’m curious to find out more about him. Are you saying you’re hungry to find out more? Could I make you a sandwich?

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Making connections

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hink again about what was said at the beginning of the session about the kinds of things people might be hungry for. Suggest that, deep down, lots of people are hungry to be loved just for who they are (not for anything they’ve done or achieved). Jesus came to show how much God loves every single one of us. Ask everyone to think of an answer to the question, ‘What am I really starving for?’ Make it clear that their answers are private and nobody will ask them to say what they are thinking.

Action You will need: a bread roll or small loaf. lace the bread centrally and ask everyone to keep thinking about what they are really starving for. You might like to say that some people might be thinking about their next meal, but others might be thinking about something deeper, perhaps their need to be loved, noticed, cared for, happy. Say that you are going to pray for everyone, even though you don’t know what they are thinking about. But God does. Take the bread and give each person one by one a small piece of bread, saying, ‘Dear God, please give (name) what he/ she really needs today.’ Afterwards hold a moment of silence before ending the session.

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BREAD QUIZ 1. The Great Fire of London started in a baker's shop. 2. The workers who built the pyramids of Egypt were paid in bread. 3. The longest loaf ever produced is held by a bakery in Acapulco, Mexico, which baked a 9,200 metre `Rosca de Reyes` loaf in January 1996. 4. The sandwich was invented by the Earl of Sandwich - a famous gambler. A slice of meat between two slices of bread could be eaten without having to leave the gaming table for a meal! 5.

In 1980 schools in England and Wales banned children from bringing sandwiches in their packed lunches because it was thought that bread made people fat and lazy.

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50% of the bread we eat in this country is in made into sandwiches.

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There are more than 200 varieties of bread available to the UK consumer.

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Bread is high in fat content and contains a lot of sugar.

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70% of the bread we eat in the UK is white.

10. Bread contains very little fat and virtually no sugar. 11. Bread was eaten at least 7,500 years ago. 12. In 1757 a report accused bakers of mixing chalk and powdered bones into their bread to keep it very white.

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BREAD RECIPES General advice for beginners

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Always use strong plain flour. It is made especially for bread making. Other types of flour won’t give good results. You can use brown or white flour, but unless you are used to handling it, brown flour tends to make the bread heavier and less attractive. Use dried packet yeast which you mix into dry flour at the start of the process. Liquid should be warm, not hot. To judge the right temperature, put a (clean!) finger into the liquid. If it feels neither hot nor cold it is blood heat – perfect for bread-making. Be patient! Bread-making takes time. The bread will be spoilt if you don’t give the dough enough time to rise. If your session is too short for the whole process from mixing the flour and the liquid to the baking, bring in some dough already risen. You can then mix up another batch with the group and move straight on to kneading and shaping the dough with the risen dough you brought with you. Knead the dough well. This means punching and folding it until there are no floury lumps and the yeast is well mixed in. Always put extra flour on the working surface and dust your hands with flour before beginning. The dough should be kneaded using your palm and knuckles, not your fingers. Enjoy it! Making bread should be fun, not stressful. Follow the recipes carefully, but relax, making it an enjoyable process, not a list of chores to complete.

BREAD ROLLS 500g strong flour ½ teaspoon of salt 20g vegetable fat

½ pint warm water 1 small packet dried yeast beaten egg or milk for glazing

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Grease a baking tray. Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and mix in. Add the fat and rub it into the flour using only your fingertips. Hollow out the centre of the flour mixture and pour about half of the warm water into the hollow. Mix the water into the flour with a wooden spoon, adding the rest of the water a little at a time. 5 Dust your hands with flour and mix the ingredients into one doughy ball. 6 Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead it for five to ten minutes. The dough should be elastic and no longer sticky. 7 Cover the dough and leave it to rise in the bowl for about an hour. 8 Divide the dough into twelve equal pieces. 9 Roll up each piece into a ball or experiment with making different shapes (try to make sure all the pieces are the same size for even baking). 10 Put the twelve bread rolls on the baking tray. Brush a little milk or egg on the top and leave the bread, covered in a clean cloth, to rest for about ten minutes. 11 Bake in a hot oven (Gas Mark 7, 220°C, 425°F) for 20 – 25 minutes. 12 Cool a little before eating. 107


OATCAKES (used for bread in rural Scotland) 60g medium oatmeal 60g wholemeal flour pinch bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon melted lard or butter 2-3 tablespoons boiling water

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Mix all dry ingredients together. Use enough warm water to make a firm dough. Knead onto a board coated with oatmeal. Make into rounds. Can be cooked in an oven (Gas 4/180°C/350°F) on ungreased baking tray for 15-20 minutes or cooked on a hot griddle until curling at corners. 6 Cool oatcakes on a toast rack or propped up so they become crisp. ~ Serve with butter and jam or cheese ~

SODA BREAD

BANANA BREAD

500g plain flour 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda 2 teaspoons cream of tartar 300ml milk 4 tablespoons of water

125g butter/margarine 125g sugar 2 eggs 500g mashed bananas 250g self raising flour 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

1 Mix all dry ingredients and add liquid, mix to a soft dough. 2 Turn onto a floured surface and knead into a round. 3 Place on a floured baking sheet. 4 Cut a deep cross on top and sprinkle with flour. 5 Bake in a preheated oven Gas 7/220°C/ 425°F for 30 minutes.

1 Cream fat and sugar until light and fluffy. 2 Beat in eggs one at a time. 3 Add dry ingredients. 4 Turn into a greased 1 kilo loaf tin (use a loaf tin liner to make life easier) 5 Cook Gas 4/350°F/180°C for 1¼hours.

CHAPPATI 450g plain wholemeal flour Pinch of salt 120-175ml water melted ghee or butter 1 2 3 4

Sift flour and salt, make well in centre and add water to make a soft dough. Knead until no longer sticky on a floured board. Shape into approx 24 balls and roll out each into a flat circle. Gently heat in a frying pan with butter/ghee until brown specks appear on underside and turn. Repeat until golden brown. 5 Brush with melted ghee/butter.

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Session 4

‘I am the light of the world’ - John 8:12

Opening the theme In a dark place Suitable for all

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sk the children if they have ever been in a really dark place – so dark that there wasn’t even the tiniest bit of light, and they couldn’t even see their hand in front of their face. If so, where was this? How did they feel? Say that Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world.’ What could this mean? How can one person be a light? And how can this be for the whole world? Ask the children what this means to them. The following activities will give us some clues.

Setting the scene Choose two or three of the following activities

Make and do Light-proof shelter Suitable for all You will need: very large cardboard boxes (available on request from many supermarkets), blankets, curtains, newspaper, tape, string, scissors. he challenge is for each small group (two or three) to make, from the materials you provide, a shelter which is light proof. They should be able to sit inside the shelter and see no light at all. You could go around with a torch, shining it in any cracks, to help them judge whether they have achieved a light-proof shelter. The game can be played indoors, but is more fun outdoors. Link to the theme: discovering that it is hard to eliminate light from our lives.

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Making candles Suitable for age 7+

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andle-making kits are available in shops, but you could do your own research on the internet on how to make candles. You could start with The Cajun Candle Factory at www.cajuncandles.com which gives excellent advice for beginners. As you make the candles, chat about how candles are used today and their long history before electricity was available. Warning: you will be using hot wax so make sure that you have plenty of adult assistance and never leave the children unsupervised. Link to the theme: thinking about our need for light at night and the pleasure of creating light when it is dark.

Mirror fun Suitable for all You will need: lots of different kinds of mirrors, full-length, shaving, hand-held, etc, (preferably non-glass, but otherwise instruct the children to take plenty of care). et the children enjoy bouncing images from one mirror to another and holding them at angles to one another to create unusual effects. Point out the role of light in creating mirror images – none of these activities work in the dark! Link to the theme: we need light to help us see ourselves and the world around us clearly.

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Photography Suitable for all

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nvite a good amateur or professional photographer to display some of their photographs taken in different kinds of light. Ask the guest to talk simply about being aware of the light as a photographer and to be ready to answer questions. If possible, provide some cameras and ask the guest to give the children tips for using them (but make sure that light is the main focus, not other technicalities). If you have younger children, ensure that the presentation is both short and simple. Link to the theme: being aware of the light we sometimes take for granted.

Quiet games and discussion Light lists Suitable for age 7+

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ivide the children into small teams, each with a piece of paper and a pen. Ask them to think of different things which give light, for example, street lighting. Give a time limit and see how many they can list (don’t worry too much about spelling) in that time. The winning team is the one who has thought of the most. They should read out the list to check that their ideas are valid. Other teams can add ideas that have not been mentioned so far. An alternative way of playing this game is to have two teams take it in turns to name different things which give light. The winning team is the one who names an item when the other team has run out of ideas. Link to the theme: thinking about how important light is to us. 112


Light works Suitable for all You will need: some of the following items – photographic slides, a kaleidoscope, colour filters (coloured cellophane) or lighting gels, a prism, binoculars (preferably not too expensive!) lace the items around the room. Introduce the activity by saying that all the items need light and all of them transform light in some way. Then simply allow the children to explore the items, giving them a time limit after which they should move on to another one. Link to the theme: thinking about the ability of light to transform.

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Zoe and Zak cartoon strip Suitable for all

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hotocopy the Zoe and Zak cartoon strip at the end of this session for each child. Talk through the story together.

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What were Zoe and Zak making? What happened? Have you ever had a power cut at home? Describe what happened and what you had to do.

What happened to Zoe and Zak’s cake? Link to the theme: recognising how necessary light is for our everyday activities.

Active games Torch light Suitable for all

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lay the game in a darkened room. The children stand at one end of the room and a leader with a large torch or flashlight stands at the other. The leader sweeps the torch backwards and forwards, up and down while the children try to remain in the light. If you have large numbers, try the game with a few children at a time. With older children you could let them try having only their hands, feet or heads in the light. Link to the theme: thinking about following the light wherever it shines.

Out and about Night walk Suitable for age 9+

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aking all possible care, go on a night walk together. You will need to find a place which is really dark and take torches so that you can contrast what can be known about the venue in darkness and then with the use of light. This activity is best done with plenty of responsible adults around. Give each adult no more than two children and ask them to keep tabs on the children at all times. (Light pollution may make finding a dark place difficult, but you might be surprised once you start looking!) Link to the theme: contrasting what light and darkness are like. 113


Black out Suitable for all You will need: brown or other dark paper, dark curtains, masking tape, a dark evening(!) n the Second World War, no lights were allowed to shine from buildings after dark. Demonstrate how difficult this is to achieve by getting the group to hide the light (rather than turning lights off) around the building/room you use. Start by going outside and noticing where light can be seen shining out from the inside. Go indoors and try to stop the light inside from shining through windows, doors and other cracks by taping paper and hanging curtains. You will need to keep going outside to check whether the task has been achieved. When all light is hidden, discuss the saying, ‘Light is stronger than darkness’. Link to the theme: discovering the way in which light is stronger than darkness.

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Rhythmic materials

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heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.

Into the Bible Jesus said&

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se the following story to convey how Jesus came to say, ‘I am the light of the world’, (John 8:12).

It was dark in Jerusalem on the first night of the Festival. Muggers stood about on street corners, hoping that some victim would come alone along the dark street so they could pounce on him and steal what he had. In some homes along the steep roads, men and women argued, fought and hurt each other in the dimness of their little rooms. Children lay in bed, plotting revenge on their brothers and sisters who had told lies and got them into trouble. Beggars hid in the deep shadows outside, hoping for sleep. Men and women, making their way to the temple, walked as though exhausted, stumbling in the gloom; they had tried so hard and for so long to be good and keep God’s law. In quiet corners around the city, people sat deep in thought, wondering what life was all about and whether there was any point in it all. Lies, sadness, hurt, confusion. It was dark in Jerusalem on the first night of the Festival, but a crowd was gathering in the temple. Silently they entered through the huge doors and into galleries around one of the courtyards. Below them four huge candelabras had been placed with large candles ready to be lit. Nobody spoke. The darkness pressed in upon them and upon the city. Some looked for Jesus in the crowd. There were whispers that he’d been seen in Jerusalem and some wondered if he would be the one who’d bring them hope again. But it was too dark to see anything clearly. 114


Everyone in the temple waited for the ceremony to begin. The greatest and wisest and holiest in all Jerusalem stood forward with tapers lit in a small fire and lit all the large candles. The crowd gasped at the brilliance of the light and watched as the candelabras were hoisted high into the air so that the light spread out, driving the darkness away. The muggers saw it and tried to hide. In homes people stopped fighting, crying and feeling hopeless and looked up at the light. Children sat up in bed and laughed at the sudden brilliance. Beggars crawled out from their hiding places and stood upright in the light. Hurt, confused and exhausted people smiled, warmed and cheered. For a short while—just for this night—the city of Jerusalem would be full of light instead of darkness. Songs of praise to God would be sung and the greatest and wisest and holiest in all Jerusalem would dance until daybreak. Tomorrow night would be as dark as ever, both in Jerusalem and in the rest of the world. Jesus watched with the crowd and then stepped forward. ‘I am the light of the world,’ he said. ‘Whoever follows me will have the light of life and never walk in darkness.’

Making connections

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ake a list of the different kinds of ‘darkness’ in people’s lives – hurt, sadness, hatred, not understanding, and so on. (Use the children’s ideas, words and phrases and only give your own ideas when they seem stuck.) Talk over together what Jesus might have meant when he said, ‘I am the light of the world’. The activities and the story should have given plenty of clues. If the children find the question hard, remind them of what they’ve done and heard.

Action

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ake a large banner or poster headed: Jesus said, ‘I am the light.’ Give each person a ‘gingerbread man’ figure (see the end of the session for a template). Place another (to represent Jesus) at the centre of the poster and draw or paste rays of light around it. Let everyone look at their figure and think of it as themselves. Ask them to consider what in their own lives is dark. Allow a few minutes for reflection, playing quiet music if you wish. Invite everyone to paste their figure on to the poster around the Jesus figure in the rays of light.

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Session 5

‘I am the door’ - John 10:9 (sometimes translated as ‘I am the gate’)

Opening the theme I can’t get in! Suitable for all

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sk the children to imagine wanting to get into a place where you’d be safe. Imagine there’s a door or gate and you can’t get in, get over or get under. What might you do? What might you say? Jesus said, ‘I am the door.’ What might that mean? Don’t dismiss any ideas, even if they don’t seem quite right to you. The following activities will give us some clues as to what Jesus might have meant.

Setting the scene Choose two or three of the following activities.

Make and do Door montage Suitable for all You will need: a collection of old magazines, scissors and glue sticks. (You could get your church congregation to bring suitable magazines in on a regular basis and keep a supply in a plastic box; they have a million and one uses!) et the children go through the magazines and cut out pictures of doors and make a montage display. Link to the theme: thinking about doors in modern times.

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At the door Suitable for age 7+

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sk small groups to improvise a scene with a salesman coming to door and the reaction by the householders. Why not use a video camera and record the dramas after the scenes have been rehearsed a few times? See also ‘Come in!’ below. Link to the theme: thinking about the door as a place of meeting a stranger.

Quiet games and discussion Zoe and Zak’s knock, knock page Suitable for age 7+

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ell a few ‘knock, knock’ jokes using a real door to knock on and pop your head around. Once you have started, you will probably find that the children will join in with jokes of their own. Photocopy Zoe and Zak’s ‘knock, knock’ jokes at the end of the session for each child. Link to the theme: a humorous introduction!

Come in! Suitable for all

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ncourage the group to think about their own doors and how they are the way in to their homes. Divide into pairs or small groups with one child as the householder and the other child/ren taking on the role of a visitor to the house. Ask them to improvise a scene showing the reaction of the householder to the visitor(s). Possible visitors might be: next door neighbour, doctor, carol singers, man to read gas meter, window cleaner, salesman selling double glazing, man to fix washing machine – have the children suggest others. Discuss the kind of people you would let through your house door and why you would be happy to allow them indoors. Then discuss what sort of people you would not let in and why you’d prefer them to stay outdoors. Link to the theme: thinking about the door as a means of welcoming or keeping out.

The door to my room Suitable for all

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ive each child a sheet of A4 paper folded in half to make an A5 leaflet. Invite everyone to draw the door of their bedroom on the outside of the leaflet. They should make it as big as possible. Say that inside they can draw or write about the bedroom as they would like it to be. Ask them to think not only about what they would like to have in the room, but about what kind of people would be welcome inside, perhaps those who would look after us, be kind to us and help us. Link to the theme: imagining how a door can mean access to something good and safe.

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Active games Cat and mouse Suitable for age 7+

C

hoose one person to be the cat and another to be the mouse. Everyone else should form a grid (like soldiers on parade) by standing in horizontal lines one behind another. They should stand close enough to touch hands with the players either side and in the correct position to be able to turn 90 degrees and touch hands with those either side facing that way. Those in the grid are the doors and they must try to stop the cat catching the mouse. The mouse runs through the grid with the cat chasing. The doors can open and close by turning 90 degrees to stop the cat following. Play several times, so that everyone has the chance to be the cat or the mouse. After the game, discuss how the mice felt about the doors (probably they represented safety and protection) and how the cats felt (probably frustrated and as though they were being excluded). Link to the theme: thinking about different attitudes to doors that we might have.

Out and about Photography walk Suitable for all ages

T

ake the children out (with plenty of adult help) as one group or in small groups and walk around your area photographing different kinds of doors using disposable (or digital) cameras. If splitting into groups, a responsible adult should be with each group for safety reasons. Ask the children to find lots of different kinds of doors. The photos can then be mounted attractively on card and displayed. Put them up in the church and get the church members to guess where the different doors are. The children could run a competition for the church with a prize for the church member that gets most right. Then he/she could come to the club/group meeting and be presented with a prize by the children. Link to the theme: thinking about how doors are used for different purposes.

Rhythmic materials

C

heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.

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Into the Bible Jesus said&

U

se the following sketch to convey how Jesus came to say, ‘I am the door’ (John 10:9). Two sheep are having this conversation. You may want to dress in sheep costumes, you may want to make woolly sheep masks to wear, or you could just stick large paper plates on a stick (one for each sheep to hold in front of their face) and decorate with two triangles stuck on top for ears, round cut outs for eyes to look through, a felt pen black blob for a nose and one sheep with a red happy smile and one with a red sad mouth.

Scared Sheep: I’m frightened! Did you hear that roar? It’s a lion coming to eat me up! Happy Sheep: (puts arm round Scared Sheep’s shoulder) Don’t be so silly it’s not a lion! It’s only the wind howling through the trees. I think we’re in for a storm to-night. Scared Sheep: (shows signs of agitation) Oh no, not a storm! My great grandpa was killed by being blown away in a storm. He hit a tree and then tree was struck by lightening and he was electro-cute-ificated and then he drowned in the rain. Happy Sheep: (sounding exasperated) He couldn’t have died three times. You only die once - like James Bond - (hesitation) or was that living twice? I can never remember. Scared Sheep: He must have died three times – that’s what Granny said, and I believe her! I’m scared. I don’t want to be electro-cute-ificated! Happy Sheep: Don’t be so silly—you won’t be. Look, let’s make our way to the sheep fold and settle down for the night. Scared Sheep: It’s a long way. I’ll get lost. Happy Sheep: (sounding a little irritated) You won’t if you follow me, and I’m following the shepherd. Can you see him through the mist? Scared Sheep: (trembling) What use is a shepherd? They put us in the sheep fold and then go home to their nice cosy houses for the night. Then the lion will come and chew me into little bits. Happy Sheep: (getting cross) There are no lions, you daft ball of knitting wool. Scared Sheep: (standing up full height and full of indignation) But my Granny says there are, so there! Happy Sheep: (under his/her breath) I wish you were a woolly jumper and you’d jump away from me! (Out loud) Don’t be daft! Come on, the fold will be cosy. Scared Sheep: No! No! The shepherd goes home and we are left to be blown away and killed, to be electo-cute-ified and killed, to be drowned and killed, to be eaten by lions and killed, and as if that isn’t bad enough a robber will then come a cut us up for lamb chops to have with his chips! Oh what am I going to do? (shouts) Granny! Granny! Where are you? Come and save me! Happy Sheep: (puts arm round Scared Sheep’s should and leads him/her off) Look our shepherd is the Good Shepherd. I think his name is Jesus-Ben-Joseph or something. And he won’t let anything happen to you. You will feel safe and not worried at all. And he doesn’t go home to his nice cosy home at night. He sleeps across the front of the sheepfold so nothing can get past him. He’s like a gate or a door. He’ll care for you and you will feel better. Come on, it’s not far now. We all feel safe with this shepherd, no matter what happens. 124


Making connections

A

fter the sketch, encourage the children to think about times when they don’t feel safe. Sometimes we are in real danger, but we may also spend a lot of time worrying about things that will not happen. However, be honest about the fact that there will be times, even if we are followers of Jesus, when we will be in danger. Jesus doesn’t always take away the danger but he offers to be with us even in danger. He will keep us safe inside ourselves. Discuss together what that might mean.

Action

S

ay the following prayer, encouraging everyone to repeat the words in bold and to copy the actions suggested.

(Form a sheep pen with outstretched arms in a circle with fingers touching. Use the right arm opening and closing to form the gate or door.) When I’m sad (make sad face), Jesus, keep me safe inside (open and close ‘door’). When I want to hide (hide face behind hands), Jesus, keep me safe inside (open and close ‘door’). When I’m worried (pretend to bite nails), Jesus, keep me safe inside (open and close ‘door’). When I’m in danger (make a fearful face), Jesus, keep me safe inside (open and close ‘door’). When I’m feeling lost (look around, shaking head), Jesus, keep me safe inside (open and close ‘door’). Amen.

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Session 6

‘I am the good shepherd’ - John 10:11

Opening the theme Those close to me Suitable for all

A

sk the group who are the people who care for them. Encourage them to explore beyond home. What about at school, or on the way to school? What about in their spare time? How do these people care? Which of these people do they feel closest to? Ask whether they sometimes feel that nobody cares or understands? When we feel that nobody cares, we can remember that Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd. My sheep know my voice and I know them...’ What might this mean? The following activities will give us some clues.

Setting the scene Choose two or three of the following activities

Make and do Shepherd stories Suitable for all

F

ind a book or video which has a story about the work of a shepherd. Either read a short story or show a clip which will help the group understand more about how a shepherd cares for the sheep. Try to locate one of these books: Only One Woof (for 4 – 8s) or James Herriot’s Dog Stories (for older ones) both by James Herriot, or Dick King Smith’s book The Sheep Pig, or choose clips from the film Babe which was based on the book. Go to your nearest local library or ask parents and children about books to do with sheep and shepherds. Link to the theme: learning about the role of a shepherd. 129


Caring for me Suitable for younger children

T

alk to the group about the people who look after them in different situations, for example, at home, at school, at play. They could draw pictures of their main carers. Encourage them to talk about how they are looked after – what things are done. The answers will probably be about providing food, personal care, protection and comfort. Link to the theme: exploring the children’s own experience as a bridge to understanding the role of a shepherd in caring for sheep.

Caring for pets Suitable for all

D

iscuss pets, getting the children to talk about their own and how they look after them. Everyone could draw a picture of their favourite pet or ideal pet (for those who don’t have a pet of their own). Under the picture they could make a ‘things to do’ list to look after their pet. Talk about the different needs of animals. For instance, you need to take a dog for a walk, but not a cat or a goldfish! Discuss what treatment would be cruel, including not looking after a pet. (You could ask the children to bring small pets in, but you must have parents’ permission. Also you need to make it quite clear that the animals must be caged securely!) Link to the theme: thinking about the way in which animals need us to care for them.

Quiet games and discussion The band Suitable for age 7+

E

veryone sits in a circle. One person, the Guesser, is sent out of sight while the others choose a Leader and a song to which it is easy to sing the syllables ‘la, la’. When the Guesser outside is brought in, the band starts with everyone singing and the Leader miming playing an instrument or doing an action (for example, clapping above the head). During the song he/she will change to another instrument or action. The ‘band’ must follow without giving away to the Guesser who the Leader is. The Guesser, after watching two or three changes has to guess who the Leader is. Play several times with as many children as possible having the chance to be the Leader and/or the Guesser. Link to the theme: leading and following like the shepherd and the sheep.

Zoe and Zak cartoon strip Suitable for all

P

hotocopy the Zoe and Zak cartoon strip at the end of this session for each child. Talk about the story together.

• What had happened to Billy? • What were the other kids in the class saying? 130


• • • •

Have you ever been like them? Have you ever been in a situation where you needed someone to care for you? Who helped you?

Who helped Billy in the story? Link to the theme: thinking about times when we need someone to care about us.

Who said that? Suitable for all

W

hile other activities are taking place, record some of the children saying ‘hello’ so that nobody knows in what order you have recorded them. Divide the children into small teams, each with a pen and a piece of paper. Then play back the tape, leaving a pause between each speaker to give the teams time to recognise the voice and write down the name of the speaker. The winning team is the one which has recognised the most voices. Afterwards discuss the game, asking how easy or hard it was to know who was speaking. You could conclude by saying that shepherds who spend a lot of time with their flock recognise the bleat of their sheep and that the sheep recognise his/her voice. Link to the theme: recognising the voice of someone you know well, like the shepherd and the sheep.

Active games Blind sheep Suitable for all

A

rrange the room with chairs and tables across the room, but with pathways through from one side to the other. Organise the children into pairs (an adult should play if you don’t have even numbers). One member of each pair is blindfolded (the sheep) and stands at one end of the room. Their partners (the shepherds) stand at the other end. The shepherds have to guide the sheep through the obstacle course of chairs just by shouting directions. For older children, have everyone play the game at the same time. For younger children, have only two or three pairs playing at one time. Afterwards, talk about how easy or difficult it was to recognise your partner’s voice. Link to the theme: experiencing receiving help and recognising someone’s voice – as the sheep recognise the shepherd’s voice.

Follow my leader Suitable for age all

Y

ou could play ‘Follow my leader’ with everyone following the leader around the room, copying the leader’s actions, or standing or sitting in a circle. To make it more fun for older children, have the leader think of some ‘silly walks’ for others to copy. Link to the theme: leading and following like the shepherd and the sheep. 131


Out and about City farm Suitable for all

A

rrange a visit to a city farm. If you are taking a large group, contact the farm beforehand to tell them when you plan to visit. Also arrange the transport and supervision carefully and get permission from the children’s homes for the trip. Prepare the children by giving them some idea of what they are likely to see, hear and smell! At the farm, focus on the care that the animals require. If possible, arrange for one of the staff or volunteers at the farm to tell the group about how the sheep are cared for throughout the year. Link to the theme: first-hand experience of the rearing of sheep.

Rhythmic materials

C

heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.

Into the Bible Jesus said'

U

se the following script for three people to convey what Jesus meant when he said, ‘I am the good shepherd’ (John 10:11).

Narrator: Good morning and welcome to this exciting final of the annual All-Israel Good Shepherd contest. Competing today for this award we have Shifty Seth from Shechem and Loyal Laban from Lobedar. (The two shepherds step forward, bowing awkwardly.) Narrator: You, the audience will be asked to vote on which one of these is the worthy winner the ‘Shepherd of the Year Award’. Now then, gentlemen, you’ve both shown off your shepherding skills in the previous round. Very impressive, both of you, especially in the ‘finding the lost sheep’ category, but now I have to reveal that we’ve been watching you both overnight to see how you got on with the sheep when you thought you were alone. Shifty Seth: (under his breath) Oh no! Narrator: So I’m going to ask you both a few questions. And there’s no point in trying to ‘pull the wool over our eyes’, it’s all on camera! Shifty Seth: It’s not really fair. We didn’t know you were doing that! Narrator: (ignoring him) So, first of all, Shifty Seth, when you were gathering the sheep last night, how did you do it? Shifty Seth: Well, the usual way. I shouted at them and waved my arms and herded them into the sheep fold. It was very difficult, but I managed it due to my superior skills. 132


Narrator: And when they were in the fold, what did you do? Shifty Seth: got one of the other shepherds to keep an eye on them. I don’t think a shepherd needs to be on duty 24 hours a day. It’s not good for the shepherd and it’s not good for the sheep. I was going to go back later to take over, but I was so comfortable in my bed that I... decided to take well-earned night off. Narrator: Did you notice anything unusual about the sheep when you came down this morning? Shifty Seth: (uneasy) Noo..o..oC Oh yes, they were already out in the pasture with the other shepherds’ flocks. Someone must have let them out for me. Narrator: Fine. Now, Loyal Laban, tell us how you got the sheep back to the sheep fold last night. Loyal Laban: Well, the usual way. After they’d had some time to eat the grass and drink from the pools of water, I called them all by their names and led them to the fold. They know my voice, and they know I’ll look after them, so they all followed happily. I counted them in and made sure they were comfortable for the night. Narrator: And then what did you do? Loyal Laban: I settled down near the fold to sleep. Narrator: And what did you notice in the morning? Loyal Laban: Well, nothing about my sheep, but there had been thieves around some of the folds. There were a lot less sheep in some of them. Narrator: Did you notice anything else? Loyal Laban: Yes, some of the shepherds had promised to look after one another’s sheep, but I don’t think they made a very good job of it. Some of the sheep were stolen and others had got out and were wandering around with no protection. I’d never leave my sheep in someone else’s care. I know my sheep and what they need. I’ll always be around to look after them. Narrator: So, it’s time for you, the audience to vote for your favourite to win the ‘Shepherd of the Year’ award. Remember, you should ask yourself, ‘If I was a sheep, which of these two – Shifty Seth from Shechem or Loyal Laban from Lobedar— would I want as my shepherd?’

Making connections

L

et the children ‘vote’ on who should win the ‘Shepherd of the Year’ award. Ask them why they voted the way they did and why one shepherd was better than another. Explain that Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd’. He didn’t mean that he had real sheep to look after! Instead he meant that he looks after people with all the care a good shepherd gives to the sheep. Jesus cares about us and wants to look after us!

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Action You will need: a large sheet of paper, marker pens, sheep shapes made from paper (using the template at the end of the session).

L

et each child take a sheep shape and give it features – face, curly coat, etc. Remind them that Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd.’ Draw a large circle on the paper to represent a sheep fold (explain that this is the place where the shepherd protects the sheep from harm at night). Ask everyone to imagine that the rest of the space is a field with all the food and water that any sheep could want. Where in the picture would they like to place their sheep? In the fold, kept safely from harm? Or roaming freely in the field with the shepherd watching over them? When everyone has placed their sheep, say ‘Jesus said he is a good shepherd whose sheep recognise his voice and know him well.’

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Session 7

‘I am the way’ - John 14:6

Opening the theme On my own Suitable for all

A

sk the children if they’ve even been lost – frighteningly lost (in a supermarket or a busy street) because they’ve become separated from a parent or carer, or lost with someone when trying to get somewhere. Let them tell you their stories. Say that sometimes we can also feel lost when we don’t know the right answer to give, the right choice to make or the right way to act. Jesus said, ‘I am the way.’ What might this mean? The following activities will give us some clues.

Setting the scene Choose two or three of the following activities

Make and do Route finder Suitable for age 7+

P

ut up on the wall a large local map (often available from your local Council or Tourist Information centre) and mark on it the church, the schools the children go to and where they live. Trace out the routes that the children take to come to the church or to their school. These can be marked with different coloured threads and small pieces of Blu-Tack. Link to the theme: reflecting on how to find the way to different places.

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Recipe wrongs Suitable for all

C

reate some simple ‘recipes’ for the children to make: a jam sandwich, a cup of tea (with adult supervision) or other very simple tasks, but leave something out of the instructions so that the task will go wrong. The children have got to work out what is missing and to find the correct way. Link to the theme: finding out that the right way is the one that works.

Quiet games and discussion Spot the road sign Suitable for age 7+

M

ake up road signs on A4 card (use a copy of The Highway Code to help you or download the symbols off the internet). Have a game to see who can identify the most, working in teams, pairs or as individuals. Link to the theme: thinking about roads as a system for travelling to your destination.

Underground, overground Suitable for 8+

G

et maps of your local bus routes, trams, underground or metro trains to play this game. Beforehand, work out a few complicated journeys and think up some restrictions to challenge the group. For example, using the London Underground, you could say, ‘Travel from Archway to Notting Hill Gate going through the least number of stations without using the Central Line’. Divide the group into small teams, each with a map, and give a time limit for working out each challenge. You could also ask each group to set a challenge for the others. Link to the theme: finding the way.

Holiday horrors Suitable for 7+

A

sk everybody to think about a holiday or outing they’ve been on, how they got there and anything that happened on the journey, during or after it. (Give the children the option to tell their story to someone else first if some of them might find this easier than working out what they want to say on their own.) Now ask someone to begin their story, but say that after a while (about 10 seconds) you will blow a whistle or say, ‘Next, please!’ The next person must then tell part of their story as though it was the same one. For example, the first might say, ‘We went to Spain and had a two hour delay at the airport. The flight was bumpy...’ and the next person continue ‘and the caravan got stuck in a narrow street...’ and the third go on, ‘just as we were getting into the coachC’ Link to the theme: thinking about our experiences on the way to a destination.

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Zoe’s ‘way to go’ page Suitable for all

P

hotocopy Zoe’s ‘way to go’ page at the end of the session for each child. Sudha has invited Zoe to her birthday party but Zoe is having problems reading the map. Can the children help her? What might happen if she gets lost? Link to the theme: thinking about finding the way and the consequences of getting lost.

When I got lost' Suitable for all

T

ell a brief story about a time when you got lost – and how you were found again. Invite others to tell a story about their own similar experiences. Talk about how if felt to be lost and then found! Link to the theme: contrasting being lost and finding the way.

Active games I’m lost! Suitable for all

P

ut up labels on the walls indicating the directions north, south, east and west. The children run around the room. When you shout a direction, the last to go to the correct wall is out. If you shout, ‘I’m lost’, they should lie flat on their backs with their eyes tight shut. (If you have very young children, don’t make them ‘out’ as this can cause distress. Just congratulate those who got it right – and those who tried! – and carry on.) Link to the theme: finding the right direction.

Treasure trail Suitable for all You will need: clues for the trail, ‘goodies’ to hide. evise a simple ‘treasure trail’ around the building. You can make your own rhyming couplet clues, for example: ‘If you look beside the wall, you’ll find a clue that’s folded small.’ The children work in pairs going around to solve the trail. If you have younger children or those who find reading difficult, pair them with those who read well. Give the first clue to everyone together or, for a more orderly game, to one pair at a time with a minute or so before giving it to the next. Whichever method you choose, you must stress that clues must be left where the children find them (and have other adults walking around to ensure that this happens). Goodies can be hidden at different points or given out at the end. If you wish to set the children a challenge, ask them to plan their own trails for others to follow. Link to the theme: finding the right way.

D

141


Blindfold challenge Suitable for all You will need: blindfolds. reate an obstacle course with chairs and tables to bypass. Pair up the children. One should be blindfolded and stand at one end of the course; the other should stand at the other end and direct their partner through an obstacle course of chairs by shouting instructions. With older children, if you want a more challenging game let everyone do it at once so it is difficult to hear your partner and there are extra complications with others moving about on the course. Link to the theme: experiencing the confusion of not knowing the way and the satisfaction of finding it.

C

North, south, east, west Suitable for age 7+

U

sing compasses (cheap ones are available from many toy shops), play the ‘North, south, east, west’ game. Ask the group to form to pairs or threes. When you shout a direction the first pair to move correctly in that direction gets a point. Link to the theme: finding the right direction.

Out and about Street trail Suitable for all

P

repare a trail around the local streets, starting and finishing back at your meeting place. Divide the children into small groups, each with a responsible adult. The clues could be visual, perhaps photographs of landmarks, including details such as doors, signs and other features that will be reasonably recognisable. At each point, station an adult with a photograph of the next landmark to find. (You could ask members of your church to help with this activity. However, make sure that the places where they are positioned are in full public view. This protects both the children and the adult.) Why not invite the children’s families to take part? It is a good way to get to know one another and there could be some food at the end! Link to the theme: experiencing the satisfaction of finding the right way.

Assault course Suitable for all depending on the difficulty of the course

V

isit a local play centre with an assault course and encourage the children to do the course and follow directions about how to use the equipment. Link to the theme: following instructions to do something in the right way.

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Rhythmic materials

C

heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.

Into the Bible Jesus said...

U

se the following dialogue to convey how Jesus came to say, ‘I am the way’ (John 14:6).

Thomas: Well, did anyone get what Jesus was talking about? Peter: I thought you did, Thomas. You looked as though you did. Thomas: Well, Peter, I thought I’d looked stupid enough asking the question in the first place. I was hoping someone else would ask what on earth he meant. Philip: I felt stupid too when I asked him to show us the Father and he said, ‘How long have I been with you and you still don’t know me?’ Nathaniel: Let’s go through it all and see if we can work it out. What was Jesus talking about when you asked your question, Thomas? Thomas: About rooms in his Father’s house. About going away to get things ready and then coming back to take us there. And then he said that we already know the way. Nathaniel: And you asked...? Thomas: The obvious question – ‘We don’t know where you’re going, so how can we know the way?’ Peter: And he said, ‘I am the way...’ Nathaniel: Yes. He said, ‘I am the way. No one goes to the Father except by me.’ Peter: The Father... He always means God when he says that. Nathaniel: So the only way we can get to God is by Jesus. By following Jesus, perhaps. Thomas: Oh, I get it! He means that he’s so close to the Father that if you know him, you know God. That’s why he said, ‘Now that you have known me, you will also know my Father.’ Philip: That’s why I asked him to show us the Father. I mean if they’re that close... Nathaniel: And he gave you that look, didn’t he? You know, the look teachers always used to give you at school: the ‘do-I-really-have-to-go-through-this-again?’ look. So why, what are we missing? What are we too stupid to understand? Thomas: (long pause, then excitedly) Oh my God! All: Thomas! Thomas: No, I mean that’s who is he is? Don’t you see? He’s the way to God because he is God – right down here on earth where we can find him and know him. Peter: Really? Are you sure, Thomas? Thomas: Well, what’s going to happen now might give us a clue. I think he’s going to take his enemies on. If he’s God, he can’t fail, can he? He’ll wipe them out! Nathaniel: Or perhaps he’ll show us another way... 143


Making connections

U

se the activities you did to set the scene to gather ideas about ‘the way’, for instance, the way to do something, the way to behave towards others, the way to get to the place you want to be, following the instructions, not being lost, having a direction. Write some of these appropriate words and phrases on a large piece of paper. Try to make connections between these words and Jesus as ‘the way’, for example, Jesus shows us how to live; how to behave towards others; how to find God; how to live according to God’s instructions, how to be found rather than lost; how to have a direction in life.

Action

M

ake a large banner or poster headed: Jesus said, ‘I am the way’. Give the children each a sheet of white paper and white candles. Ask them to write one of the words or phrases you have just discussed – something that is meaningful to them. Say that Jesus came to show us the way. Then they should paint over the whole piece of paper with thinly mixed paints to reveal the words. When dry these can be pasted on to the banner or poster to form a road under the title.

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Session 8

‘I am the vine’ - John 15:1

Opening the theme Feeling alone Suitable for all

A

sk the group to think of times when they feel lonely, explaining that loneliness can be felt even when we are with lots of people – somehow we feel we don’t belong. Listen to their answers carefully. You might like to make a list of these which can be used later in the session (‘Making connections’). When we feel lonely, we can remember that Jesus said, ‘I am the vine and you are the branches.’ What does that mean? The following activities will give us some clues!

Setting the scene Choose two or three of the following activities

Make and do Grape crush Suitable for all You will need: bunches of (seedless) grapes, sieves, bowls, and wooden spoons; or plastic food bags, rolling pins or other utensils for crushing, scissors, bowls. he idea is to crush the grapes and see how juice is produced. Choose either to crush them with wooden spoons through sieves into a bowl or by using rolling pins (carefully and gently) with the grapes in sealed plastic bags; a tiny hole is then cut in the plastic bag to release the juice into a bowl. Talk about making grape juice and wine and try to work out how this might be done with large quantities of grapes. Link to the theme: making the connection between grapes and wine in order to understand more about the vine.

T

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Quiet games and discussion Flower power Suitable for younger children You will need: white carnations, food colouring, a glass vase or jar. ix the food colouring (a dark colour is best) in water and place the flower in the water. After a time the flower will take the water up and the dye will change the colour of the petals. Try this beforehand to see how long it takes before the dye begins to show in the flower. (You may want to bring in some you have started earlier.) Let the children try this for themselves. Talk about how the water is taken up into each part of the flower. We don’t normally see this happen, but it is true for every plant from the biggest to the smallest. Point out that every part of the plant has a purpose – the leaves to gain energy from light, the stem to convey food and water to all parts of the plant, the petals to attract insects to pollinate the flower and so create seeds for next season’s plants. Link to the theme: discovering how plants operate as a system to bring life to each part.

M

How do they grow? Suitable for all

B

uy several bunches of grapes and let the children examine them. Discuss how the grapes are joined together, looking for the main stem and noting how it branches off with grapes at the end of each branch. Look at the end where the bunch has been cut from the vine and try to imagine the whole plant. The children could draw what they think the vine looks like and how the branches are connected to each other. Afterwards, show a photograph of a vine and let them compare their drawings to the real thing. Link to the theme: thinking about the way in which the different parts of the vine are connected.

In training Suitable for all

A

sk the group to tell you what activities they do that require training or coaching. Even young ones may be learning to swim, dance or play a musical instrument at school. Make a list together and then get the children talking about what kind of training is involved. Lead the discussion on by asking what the purpose of training is. Is it just for those who have no talent? Why do talented people have to train? Conclude that training can be hard, but that the results are worth it: you can become really skilled in some area. Link to the theme: training links to the idea of pruning to improve the vine.

Zoe and Zak cartoon strip Suitable for all

P 148

hotocopy the Zoe and Zak cartoon strip at the end of this session for each child and talk about it together.


• • • • •

Why was Zak upset? Have you ever felt left out of a team or a game? How did it feel? Have you ever chosen to leave someone out of something you’ve been doing?

What cheered Zak up in the end? Link to the theme: thinking about the importance of having a sense of belonging.

Choosing the team Suitable for age 8+ You will need: photographs of 15-20 top football players (or players of another sport which the children will know about). lace all the photographs on the table and ask the children to identify them and say a little about each one’s special abilities. Then ask them to imagine that all the players are in one club and that they have been asked to choose a team for the next match. Which eleven players will they choose? When the discussion has run its course (whether you have an agreed team or not!), get the group talking about how they made their decisions. You cannot always choose the best eleven players or the team may be unbalanced – for example, they may all be strikers. You have to bear in mind the different skills the players have and how well the team will play together. Link to the theme: thinking about the similarities between sport and a vine which is pruned and trained to produce good fruit.

P

Active games Team games Suitable for all

P

lay games in which every member of a team makes a contribution. For instance, you could set a series of challenges using a ball as follows: Divide the group into two or more teams. Give each team a list containing the following instructions (adapted to your circumstances, the ages of the players and the size of the teams):

t t t t t t

One player must bounce the ball 20 times. Two players must stand back to back and pass the ball between them 20 times. One player must dribble the ball from one end of the room and back again 5 times. Two players must stand either side of the room and throw the ball to each other 15 times. One player must convey the ball across the room while crawling.

One player must head the ball and catch it 20 times. The teams should decide on the best player for each challenge and the order in which they will do the challenges. The time taken to complete the challenges will be recorded and the winners will be the team which takes the least time. Link to the theme: realising that each person has a part to play to achieve a good result. 149


On my own Suitable for all You will need: for each team, one plastic container, one bucket, a tap, hose pipe or an extra bucket full of water. lay a game in which the group is divided into teams, but only one player is taking part. For instance, play a water game in which water must be poured from a tap, bucket or hose-pipe into a plastic container, then transported across a room or play area to fill a bucket. The game should require a lot of energy, so include obstacles such as a line of cones or chairs for weaving in and out of, areas in which only hopping is allowed and a wide taped area (chasm) which the players must jump across without touching the area itself. If there are any infringements of the rules, the player must start again. The player carrying the water cannot be helped at all, though the rest of the team can be standing around the course to encourage the players and to remind them what to do in each section. The winning team is the one whose bucket is fullest when the game is over.

P

After the game, talk about how it felt to be in a team in which only one person was allowed to take part. Was it frustrating not to be able to help or to be the only one who was playing? Would the team’s bucket have been filled more quickly if the whole team had been playing? If you have time, play the game again with the whole team actively involved (eg, by forming a conveyor belt to pass the water).. Link to the theme: seeing that one player alone cannot achieve as much as the whole team working together, just as the vine works well with each part being joined together.

Out and about Vineyard Suitable for age 7+

I

f you live near a wine-growing area, arrange a visit to a vineyard. You can do this at any time of the year, though it is obviously better to go when the fruit is growing. Ask the owner to show the group the vines and explain briefly the annual cycle of work that needs to be done to produce good grapes. (Make sure that the explanation is not too detailed or the children will get bored!) Allow time for the children to ask questions, encouraging them to ask why certain things are done. A drink of grape juice would be a good conclusion! Link to the theme: learning about the vine

Pruning Suitable for age 8+

P

runing needs to be done in a garden at various times of the year. Make arrangements for the group to visit a park or garden at pruning time. They could see roses or other shrubs being pruned and maybe have a go themselves. Try to help them see that pruning encourages more growth in the year ahead. Link to the theme: learning about how to produce healthy plants by pruning.

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Rhythmic materials

C

heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.

Into the Bible Jesus said'

U

se the following sketch to convey how Jesus came to say, ‘I am the vine’ (John 15:1). (You will need five people to read the sketch. Have each person wear a label which is shaped according to their name, or carry a placard, eg, a garden cane to which a paper plate is attached, on which is drawn a grape, leaf, etc.)

Grape: Oh, Leaf, it’s so lovely sunbathing. I can feel myself getting round and sweet and juicy. Leaf: Yes, Grape, isn’t it lovely? I’m just soaking up the sunshine. Are you enjoying the sunshine, Branch? Branch: It’s all right for you. All you two have to do is sit there and enjoy yourself. Some of us have to work. Grape: Do you? What do you have to do? I don’t see you running around doing anything. Branch: That just shows how unappreciated we branches are. Here I am, holding everything together, passing around the food and water that make you - if you don’t mind me mentioning it - fatter every day. And you don’t even know what I do! Root: What about us? We roots don’t ever get a chance to be noticed. Without us, you’d all die because we bring the water you need from the ground. And we bring minerals from the soil. You wouldn’t get very fat if it wasn’t for us. Leaf: Hey, don’t forget that I work too! I turn the sunshine into sugars. Nobody would want sour grapes. Branch: So we all work except Grape. It doesn’t seem very fair to me. I wouldn’t mind being her. Vine: I think you’re all forgetting something. All: What are we forgetting, Vine? Vine: I am the vine and you all belong to me. My work is to make good grapes that will be used for food and drink. You’re all an important part of it. All of you are part of the vine and you’re all needed, but not just for yourselves. Root! Root: Yes, Vine? Vine: You are there to draw life in the form of water and minerals into the vine. And you, Leaf... Leaf: Yes, Vine? Vine: Your job is to bring the power of the sun into the vine in the form of sugars. Branch... Branch: Yes, Vine? 151


Vine: You’re there to bring everything together. You are passing the water, minerals and sugars around and stretching out to support the leaves and grapes. Grape... Grape: Yes, Vine? Vine: You are the fruit. Your growth is what we all are working for and you show how well we are all working together. Don’t forget - everyone is needed. Everyone belongs. Now, let’s all get on with our work. All: Yes, Vine!

Making connections

I

f you earlier made a list of the times people feel lonely, look at this again. (If not, make the list now.) Now talk about times when the children feel they belong. Which groups of people do they feel they belong to? Make a ‘belonging’ list as well. Ask what Jesus might have meant when he said, ‘I am the vine; you are the branches’. Conclude that, to Jesus, everyone is important. Jesus doesn’t want anyone to feel lonely and left out, but to know that they are welcomed, loved and needed.

Action Give everyone (adults included) a purple or green piece of paper to write their name on. These should then be pasted around the edge of a large sheet of paper. At the centre of the paper write, ‘Jesus’. Give everyone a green pen, crayon or piece of wool. The group should work together to link up all the names around the edge of the piece of paper and then link these to the centre.

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153(154)


Session 9

‘I am the resurrection and the life’ - John 11:25

Opening the theme

A

sk the group if they have heard anyone say ‘Get a life!’ What does that expression mean? Point out that it’s not the same as being alive – life is more than just keeping alive. Everyone wants a life that’s good and meaningful. What else do people want from life? Make a list which you could use later in the session (‘Making connections’). Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life’. What does that mean? The following activities will give us some clues!

Setting the scene Choose two or three of the following activities

Make and do The seasons Suitable for all

D

ivide into four groups, each with art materials (for example, paint, crayons, chalk or pencils and a supply of coloured paper and glue). Assign each group a season of the year and have them illustrate that season in the life of a tree. You could ask them to think about a particular tree in your locality or they can use their imaginations. Afterwards, discuss the pictures, pointing out the way in which the tree, after seeming dead in the winter comes to life in the spring, flourishes in the summer and seems to die in the autumn. Link to the theme: something that seems dead can come back to life and flourish.

Seeds Suitable for all

G

ather together different kinds of seeds (for example, pips and stones from fruit, conkers, acorns, cress seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, nuts, brown rice). Provide pieces of coloured card, strong white glue and brushes. Encourage the children to think how they could make an attractive pattern from the different seeds available. Discuss what kind of plants the different kinds of seeds might grow into. Link to the theme: life can spring from something small and seemingly dead.

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Sport dreams Suitable for all

T

hink together of a recent story of a sports personality or a team that has suffered the shattering of their dreams. This could be local, national or international. Discuss the feelings associated with such a ‘death’ – despair, emptiness, feeling that you’ve let people down, hopelessness, etc. Work together (or in smaller groups) to dramatise one of these stories. The easiest way is for one person to narrate the story while others act out what is being said. If you have worked in groups, show each other the dramas. Now discuss briefly what might give new hope and a new life to the people involved. Link to the theme: thinking about death and resurrection in terms the children might already have experienced.

Quiet games and discussion The sun dies Suitable for age 7+ You will need: crayons, felt tips, pens, paper. n some ancient civilisations, people believed that as the season turned from summer to winter, the sun was dying. It got lower and lower in the sky and seemed to be about to sink forever below the horizon. But as the spring came again, the sun seemed to come back to life. It was resurrected! Give out paper, crayons and pens and allow the group to draw a sequence of pictures to show the sun dying and coming to life again. Remind them that the summer sun is high in the sky and very bright, but in winter it is low in the sky and much paler. Talk about why people might have thought that the sun died and came back to life. What might they have felt during the winter remembering that they depended so much on the sun to help grow the food they needed? What would they have felt when the sun seemed to come back to life? Link to the theme: exploring the feelings associated with death and resurrection.

I

Zoe and Zak cartoon strip Suitable for all Photocopy the Zoe and Zak cartoon strip at the end of this session for each child. Talk about the story together.

• • • • •

What did Zoe call the empty land? In what ways was the empty ground ‘dead’? What did Zoe and Zak think was going to be built on the site? How did they feel when they saw what was being built? In what ways did the adventure playground bring the land back to life?

Link to the theme: thinking about the differences between things that seem dead and things that have life.

156


Alive again! Suitable for age 8+ Tell a story from your locality similar to the one that follows:

T

he docklands of London were once a centre of industry. Thousands and thousands of people worked in the docks, loading goods to be shipped out to other countries and unloading goods from faraway places which would be used all over the UK. Because the docks were there, all sorts of other businesses thrived – shops, factories, pubs, cafes – and lots of people worked in those places too. There were other jobs in places where people were cared for – hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, old people’s homes, schools and nurseries. But gradually, as goods transport switched to containers, the docks up-river were too shallow for the larger container ships to reach. The docks were used less and less and one by one they closed down. The factories and warehouses that had employed people were not needed any more. Few people had jobs and so had little money to spend in shops and cafes. One by one these began to close. Then people began to move away and the communities started to die. But the empty docks were right for development. One by one new office blocks were built and workers of a different kind began to work there. New houses were built so they could live close to their work. Shops, cafes and pubs began to open up and do well and gradually the docklands came to life again.

Ask the children to think how people might have felt at different stages of the story: when the community was dying, growing and then thriving. And which parts of this story you can see in your own community? What is dying? What is growing? What is living? Link to the theme: thinking about how life can return and give new hope.

Active games Alive, dead or neither? Suitable for all

E

stablish three different areas in the room and label them ‘Alive’, ‘Dead’ and ‘Neither’. You will call out a word and the children must run to the appropriate area if they think the words is about something alive, dead or neither. (You may need to help younger children by using a short, easy list and repeating the same words several times.) Some ideas: Alive: trees, ants, flowers, people, elephants, bacteria, goldfish Dead: bacon, hair, compost, fried fish, wood, fallen leaves, dandruff, paper Neither: stones, water, steel, concrete, plastic, gold, glass As the game progresses, you might need to discuss your categories! Use this as an opportunity to encourage the children to think about their world and where the things they see come from. Link to the theme: thinking about what it means to be alive.

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Race for life Suitable for age 7+ You will need: for each team, a large life-size figure made by drawing around a person on a large piece of paper, eg roll of wallpaper or decorator’s lining paper. ivide the group into teams and give each team a number. Cut each figure into ten pieces then write the team’s number on one side of each piece. Give each team a head and place the rest of the pieces all jumbled together at one end of the room. The teams should line up at the other end. Explain that they must make their figure ‘live’ by putting it back together again. On the word, ‘Go!’ one person from each team should run across the room and find another piece of their figure and bring it back. Another team member can then run to fetch another. The winning team is the one which is first to collect all ten pieces and put them together to bring the figure ‘back to life’. Link to the theme: an introduction to the idea of resurrection as ‘coming back to life’.

D

Mummy! Suitable for all You will need: rolls of toilet paper ivide the group into teams of about four or five. Say that long ago in Egypt, when someone died they were wrapped in bandages before burial. We call that a mummy. Give each team a full roll of toilet paper. They must race each other to make one member of the team into a mummy. The winning team will be the one which wraps up the mummy so that no part of their body or clothing can be seen apart from their nose (this is important!). When every team has made a mummy, you could see how long it takes the ‘mummies’ to come back to life by breaking out of their bandages. Link to the theme: an introduction to the idea of resurrection as ‘coming back to life’.

D

Out and about Seeing the season Suitable for all

G

ive small groups of children a piece of paper and a pen. Talk briefly about the cycle of seasons in terms of life and death: winter when growing things seem dead; spring when they come back to life; summer when everything flourishes; autumn when things die and wither. Ask them to go outside (or take them to a safe place) and look around for things that show what season of the year it is. They can write down (or make a drawing of) each clue. For instance, if there are leaves on the ground, it is probably autumn; if flowers are growing, it may be spring or summer, if there is ice or snow around, it will be winter. They could extend this to other clues – what people are wearing, what is being sold in the shops. Younger children will need help in spotting the clues, so make sure there are plenty of adults or older children to assist them. Link to the theme: seeing the cycle of life and death in the natural world.

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Life and death in the garden Suitable for all

M

ake arrangements to visit a garden or park with an experienced gardener who can explain how plants grow and reproduce (and who can also relate well to children). Set the children challenges appropriate to your area and to the season which will involve them in finding out about some of the plants. Give prizes to those who manage to complete several of the challenges – for example:

P P P P

When poppies die at the end of the summer, how will new ones grow next year? What must you do to a rose bush to make sure you get roses next year? What seeds does the horse chestnut tree produce that might grow into more trees? What spring flowers grow here and what happens to their plants in the summer?

Link to the theme: learning about the natural cycle of life, death and resurrection.

Rhythmic materials

C

heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.

Into the Bible Jesus said'

T

ell the following story to convey how Jesus came to say, ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ (John 11:25).

There was a great deal of scurrying around in Martha and Mary’s house. Lazarus was ill. He needed enough water and food, his bed needed changing, his head wiped of sweat. Martha was run off her feet. Doctors had come and gone and all sadly shaken their heads. Meanwhile Mary sat in a corner quietly crying. What would happen if Lazarus died? She remembered him as a child climbing trees and defending his two sisters against anyone who called them names. As he got worse the sisters discussed what to do next. They could not imagine life without their brother. Mary remembered their good friend Jesus and how he had helped so many people when they were ill. ‘Let’s send a message to Jesus,’ Mary suggested. ‘He’ll be easy to find. He’s always surrounded by people asking questions.’ Many kilometres away, Jesus and his followers had been busy teaching people about God’s way. When he heard the message about Lazarus, he just nodded his head, and went on doing what he was doing. ‘Jesus!’ said one of his friends, ‘What do you think you are doing? Shouldn’t you be going to Bethany? Lazarus’ sisters will be getting in a state. Come on, we had better be going if you are going to make a difference and help him.’ But Jesus just said, ‘Don’t worry he’s only asleep.’ 159


‘Jesus, you’re mad,’ another friend said the next day. ‘If you don’t get going, Lazarus will be dead and then what? If he’s asleep he’ll get well, but you should still go. That family have looked after you so often you owe it to them!’ ‘Come on Jesus,’ said Thomas on the third day, ‘Stop messing around and let’s go to Bethany and see what is happening.’ When Jesus and his friends arrived in the village, they found visitors crowded up the road to the house. The whole world appeared to be there. The family had so many friends. It was difficult to get near the house. ‘Oh Jesus, I’m glad you’re here at last.’ said a man rushing to greet Jesus and his friends. ‘The sisters have taken it hard. Lazarus was buried four days ago. He never got better, you know. Mary kept saying that you were sure to come.’ Just then Martha came running along the road and rushed into Jesus’ arms, beating her fists against his broad chest. ‘Jesus, why didn’t you come sooner?’ she cried. ‘It’s not fair! If you had arrived earlier you could have saved Lazarus. Mary’s really upset. She hasn’t stopped crying for days and days.’ Then Martha stood back, shrugged her shoulders and looked Jesus in the face. ‘Ah, well, you are here now and that’s all that matters. God will give you whatever you ask him. We will have to trust God.’ ‘Your brother will be alive again, Martha.’ said Jesus. ‘Oh yes, sure,’ shrugged Martha, ‘just like everyone will on the Last Day when God judges us all.’ She shrugged again. Jesus looked at her seriously. ‘Martha, I’m the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even although he dies. Do you believe that?’ Martha looked up at Jesus, a slow, sad smile creasing her tear-stained face, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the special one sent from God.’ She went indoors to tell her sister that Jesus had arrived and was asking for her. Mary grabbed a cloth to wipe her tear-stained face and came down the road to meet Jesus. ‘Jesus,’ she cried, ‘you should have come earlier. What kept you? If you had come my brother would still be alive!’ Jesus felt really sorry for Mary as he looked at her. He looked around at all their friends who had been crying too. Lazarus had been well loved. ‘Show me where you have buried him.’ he gently said to Mary. Tears were streaming down his own face as Jesus knew just how much Lazarus meant to so many people. When they reached the place where they buried the dead from the village, Jesus eyes travelled round the caves in the rocks. Each cave where the dead were buried had a big stone rolled in front of it. As Martha and Mary headed for one of the caves Jesus said, ‘Take the stone away please.’ ‘You must be joking,’ said Martha, ‘There’ll be a terrible stink! The body will have started rotting. Don’t go near! Lazarus has been dead four days!’ But the stone was taken away as Jesus asked. Everyone gasped and drew back. The stink was awful, even with all the sweet spices they had put on the body before they put it in the cave. Jesus quietly prayed and then lifted his head and in a loud voice yelled, ‘Lazarus! Come out!’ 160


‘He’s mad,’ whispered someone. ‘He’s off his rocker,’ whispered back another. Everyone looked on in shocked silence as a shadow appeared at the entrance to the cave. Into the bright sunlight staggered a shape – a shape wrapped up in the white clothes that were put on a dead body. There was a gasp, some fainted and others fell on their knees praying to God. ‘Untie him!’ commanded Jesus. Several rushed forward to untie the cloth layers of his white grave clothes. Lazarus, very much alive, blinked in the sunlight and looked at Jesus and his two sisters. Jesus was the resurrection and the life.

Making connections

R

emind everyone of the list you made at the beginning of the session about having a good and meaningful life. Ask everyone to choose just one that they think is the most important. Say that when Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life’, he was talking about much more than just being alive. He wants everyone to have a really good life – not easy, or self-centred, but truly full and exciting. Knowing Jesus is the only way to have that kind of life. We don’t ever need to feel that life is hopeless, dull or dead. Jesus had the power to bring a dead person back to life. He has the power to make the dead and hopeless parts of our lives come back to life too.

Action You will need: pieces of paper, pens, scissors.

G

ive everyone a piece of A5 paper which they should fold it (so that it’s like a greeting card). Ask everyone to think of something in their lives which seems hopeless and draw themselves on the inside part of the paper looking sad. This is to represent something that seems ‘dead’. Then announce, ‘Jesus is the resurrection and the life!’ They can then draw themselves again on the outside in a similar position, but this time looking happy and fully ‘alive’. Get everyone to roll the outside part around the pen and then release it. They can then flick from one picture to the other by running the sides of their pens from left to right over the outside picture. They could write on the outside ‘Jesus is the resurrection and the life’ or just ‘Jesus’.

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163(164)


Session 10

?

Opening the theme So what? Suitable for all

R

emind everyone that you have looked at the many ways Jesus described himself. Take some time to recall these. Begin to draw (or show part of) one of the symbols (for instance, bread) until one of the children guesses what it is. Then repeat with some of the other symbols. Ask which of the ‘I am’ descriptions interested them most and why. Which did they think was most difficult to understand? If you have a large group with several adult leaders, split into smaller groups according to the children’s favourite ‘I am’ descriptions. Remain together if you have a small group. Ask the children to think about how Jesus was like... (the ‘I am’ description they have chosen as their favourite). Discuss this for a while. Then ask, ‘How is Jesus like... for you?’ This may be a difficult question to answer, so allow time for the group to think about it and don’t jump in with your own answer. When someone responds, listen carefully to show you are hearing and thank the child for their answer, but wait for others to respond before commenting. When you think the conversation has run its course, ask, ‘How could we show with paint or clay (or whatever you’ve prepared for the second part of the session) what we feel about Jesus being... for us?’ Get the children thinking and then invite them to work with the materials you’ve set out (see below). They should be used to working with the materials you have provided as they will probably have met similar challenges at school. It is very important not to control what the children will produce – it’s their response, not yours. Even if the results are not what you expected or hoped for, the groups work will be more satisfying and meaningful to them than if they’d been working on your ideas. While they are working, try not to distract them by talking to them unless they wish to speak to you. But do show that you are interested in their work by walking around, helping in practical ways if you’re invited to do so or just watching.

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Individual response

I

nclude as many as possible of the following activities. The purpose of each activity is for the children to make their own response to the ‘I am’ statements of Jesus, thinking about what a particular statement of their choice means for them.

Make and do Clay

S

et out lumps of playdough or preferably clay (New or Air-hardening Clay available from Early Learning Centres or by mail order from Hobbicraft, 40 Woodhouse Lane, Merrion Centre, Leeds LS2 8LX or online at www.hobbicraft.co.uk.

Painting

P

rovide large pieces of paper (sheets from a flip chart are a good size or lengths of decorator’s lining paper), ready-mixed paint in jars mixed with wallpaper paste, paintbrushes in various sizes, jars of water for cleaning brushes, newspaper to cover furniture.

Wall collage

C

over a large part of a wall with overlapping pieces of paper (strips of wallpaper, flip chart sheets, newspaper). Provide PVA glue in saucers with brushes, different kinds of paper in different textures and colours, pasta shapes, fabric scraps and any other attractive material (not too heavy). Encourage each child to choose an area of the collage on which to work.

Poem or rap

P

rovide clean, attractive paper in different colours and some pencils and pens on a table in a quiet part of the room.

Black and white pictures

P

rovide good quality black and white paper, scissors, rulers, pencils and glue sticks.

Drama

G

ive out the ‘I am’ statements (see end of session). Invite individuals or small groups who wish, to work together to produce a short mime which expresses how they feel about one of the ‘I am’ statements.

Model-making

P

rovide PVA glue in saucers and brushes, scissors, sticky tape and junk items, such as cardboard boxes and tubes, different types of paper, plastic pots and bottles. Cover the table with newspaper and provide somewhere to put finished models.

166


Garden corner

T

his activity may not result in a ‘make’, but is an opportunity for quiet thought. Set up a corner of the room with a display of natural objects: stones, leaves, twigs, pot plants, flowers in a vase, running water (if this is possible!), moss, etc. Provide comfortable seating, bean bags or a rug to sit on. If you like, add some large pebbles on which to draw and some permanent markers, eg pens for overhead projector.

Reflective corner

T

his activity will not result in a ‘make’, but is an opportunity for quiet thought. Set up a corner of the room with symbols of the ‘I am’ statements (perhaps a bread roll, a torch, a key, a picture of a sheep, a road map, a bunch of grapes, a cross) or use the picture symbols (see end of Session 2); add artists’ pictures of Jesus, an illustrated Bible or picture storybooks about Jesus, a candle in a jar and anything else you like to make an interesting but peaceful atmosphere.

Active games Any game Suitable for all

I

f you need some active games before or after the ‘Individual response’ section, choose any of those suggested in sessions 1-9, or select some themed games from the Red Games Kit or the Blue Games Kit also published by CURBS (see www.curbsproject.org.uk).

Rhythmic materials

C

heck the Rhythmic Arts in Sacred Spaces Resource for songs, raps and moves specially devised to complement this session.

Feedback and reflection

G

ather everyone together with the things that they have made. In this final session, the children can show what they have made, if they wish, and talk about it or say what they have been thinking. (You may like to have an object such as a large stone or shell for the speaker to hold; nobody can speak unless they are holding it.) Think back to the first session and look at the speech bubbles if you still have them (Action, session 1); if not see what they can remember from this activity. It was about how the children described themselves several weeks ago. They should be able now to describe themselves in relation to Jesus, for example, ‘If Jesus is the good shepherd, I am one of his sheep.’ Read the list of ‘I am’ statements at the end of the session. Allow time for the children to think about how they’d like to describe themselves in relation to each one. 167


Action

P

hotocopy enough of Zoe and Zak’s picture page (at the end of this session) for each child to have one. In the picture frames, let everyone write or draw what they liked best about what Jesus said about himself. They could include a description or drawing of themselves in relation to one of Jesus’ ‘I am’ statements. The pictures could be collected together and displayed attractively in the room.

168


‘I’m starving’

Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life.’ (John 6:35)

‘Can’t see a thing!’

Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world.’ (John 8:12)

‘Open up!’

Jesus said, ‘I am the door.’ (John 10:9)

‘Who cares?’

Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd.’ (John 10:11)

‘I’m lost!’

Jesus said, ‘I am the way.’ (John 14:6) 169


‘I’m lonely!’

Jesus said, ‘I am the vine.’ (John 15:1)

‘Get a life!’

Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ (John 11:25)

170


171

Profile for CURBS

Who do you think you are  

CURBS resource material is made up of a number of packs called CURBStone Kits. These are primarily issue-based and start in the child’s own...

Who do you think you are  

CURBS resource material is made up of a number of packs called CURBStone Kits. These are primarily issue-based and start in the child’s own...

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