Faith Talk is the name for short bulletin notes for families to provide discussion starters and activities that correspond with each session of Shine. The Spring 2017 quarter is available for download as a Microsoft Word document (97-2003 compatible). Abbreviated versions of each session are posted every Friday on our Facebook page.

A related family resource is the Lent 2016–Lent 2017 Shine On Bible reading plan. This reading plan is also available in Spanish: Resplandece: Un plan de leer la Biblia.

When placing the first Shine bulletin note add this explanation:
Today we are beginning a weekly note for families of children and junior youth who use the Shine curriculum. Each Sunday you will find faith nurture ideas that coordinate with the weekly session plans for your child’s group. For Early Childhood, use the “For families” section on the Early Childhood leaflet that is sent home.

 

Spring 2017

Session 1

March 5
John 4:1–42: “Jesus and the Samaritan woman”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read John 4:23–24. I wonder what it means to worship God “in spirit and in truth.” (2) How would life be different if you weren’t able to use any water today? (3) Draw or color a picture of your favorite water source, such as a stream or ocean. On or around the picture, write down things that help you feel content and at peace.
Did you know? Globally, more than $100 billion is spent on bottled water each year.
Prayer for the week: God, fill us with your love. Only then will we be truly satisfied. Amen.
*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “A boy shares his lunch.”

Session 2

March 12
John 7:53–8:11: “Jesus refuses to cast stones”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read John 8:6–8. I wonder what Jesus wrote on the ground. (2) Imagine that your friend did something very hurtful to you. What words or actions could show that you forgive your friend? (3) Use white glue to write “I forgive you” on construction paper. Sprinkle sand over the message. Shake off the excess sand.
Did you know? In the 1990s, a monolith (single, massive stone) estimated to weigh 1,242 tons was discovered in an ancient quarry in Baalbek, Lebanon.
Prayer for the week: Forgiving God, help us choose love instead of condemnation. Amen.
*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Crowds welcome Jesus.”

Session 3

March 19
John 11:1–44: “Jesus raises Lazarus”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” section on the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read John 11:3–6. Have you ever asked someone to do something and the person didn’t do it as quickly as you would have liked? How did you feel? (2) Jesus was “greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.” When have you felt that way? (3) Talk about a sight you wouldn’t have believed unless you had seen it.
Do you know? How many times does the Bible record Jesus as weeping? (Two: John 11:35 and Luke 19:41)
Prayer for the week: God, your love is like the sun, always there even behind clouds. Help us to believe in your love, even when we face hard times. Amen.

Session 4

March 26
John 12:1–19: “Mary anoints Jesus”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read John 12:3. The nard that Mary poured on Jesus’ feet was worth about a year’s wages. Do you own anything that costs a year’s wages? (2) When have you received a gift that made you feel special? (3) Make a meal or a gift for someone to show your love.
Do you know? Nard comes from a plant that grows in the foothills of what mountain range? (The Himalayas)
Prayer for the week: God, we welcome you into our hearts and home. Amen.
*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “A woman anoints Jesus” from Matthew 26:6–13.

Session 5

April 2
Matthew 26:1–5, 14–30: “The Last Supper”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” section on the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Matthew 26:26–28. What did Jesus offer to the disciples to symbolize his body and blood? (2) Silently tell God things you are sorry for. Receive God’s loving forgiveness by saying to each other, “God loves and forgives you.” (3) Eat pita bread and drink grape juice to remember Jesus’ last supper. Add hummus or falafel and plain yogurt.
Did you know? What Jewish festival did Jesus celebrate at the Last Supper? (Passover)
Prayer for the week: Thank you, God that you forgive us no matter what we do. We rest in your love. Amen.

Session 6

April 9
Matthew 26:36–27:66: “Jesus’ arrest and death”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” section on the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Matthew 27:55–61. Notice the family members and friends who were there when Jesus died and was buried. (2) At his arrest, Jesus told a friend to put away his sword. Why didn’t Jesus want people to fight for him? (3) Judas was paid for leading soldiers to arrest Jesus. Lay out thirty silver coins and think quietly about the love Jesus showed to others.
Did you know? What did Roman soldiers say when Jesus died? Unscramble the words: lyurT isht nam saw oGd’s noS. (Truly this man was God’s Son.)
Prayer for the week: God, help us follow your way of love. Amen.

Session 7

April 16
Matthew 28:1–10: “Jesus is risen!”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” section on the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Matthew 28:1–10. What comforting words did both the angel and Jesus say to the women? (2) Take a walk outside to look for signs of new life. (3) Reenact the story. Be sure to include the earthquake, descending angel, shaking guards, women worshiping Jesus and then running to tell the good news.
Did you know? The date of Easter can vary between March 22 and April 25.
Prayer for the week: Risen Christ, we celebrate the joyful news of resurrection. Alleluia! Amen.

Session 8

April 23
Genesis 16:1–15; 21:8–21: “God hears Hagar and Ishmael”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Genesis 21:17–19 together. Tell about times you cried out for God’s help. (2) Hagar and Ishmael became very thirsty. Eat a salty food then drink water. (3) Pray for children around the world who are in need of rescue.
Did you know? Women like Hagar still search for water. What is the average distance that women in Asia and Africa walk to collect water? (Four miles / six kilometers)
Prayer for the week: God, help us reach out to people who are suffering. Amen.
*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Isaac and the wells.”

Session 9

April 30
Exodus 1:1–2:10: “Moses is born”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Exodus 2:1–10. Why do you think Pharaoh’s daughter took Moses as her son? (2) Moses’ life was rescued because of a number of brave women. Who is the bravest woman you have known? (3) Search online for pictures of the Egyptian papyrus plant.
Did you know? In ancient Egypt, the papyrus plant was used to make _____________. (baskets, boats, rope, paper, mats, and sandals)
Prayer for the week: God, when we are afraid, give us the courage we need. Amen.
*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Abigail.”

Session 10

May 7
2 Kings 5:1–19: “A young girl and Naaman”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read 2 Kings 5:1–3. Why do you think the captive girl helped Naaman? (2) Share an example of a child helping an adult. (3) Draw a stick figure person (Naaman) on white paper with a white crayon. Press firmly. Paint over it seven times with blue watercolor paint, as if he is washing in the Jordan River.
Did you know? In 2016, which rodents were found to have leprosy? (Red squirrels living in England)
Prayer for the week: God, show us unique, unexpected ways we can help others this week. Amen.
*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Elisha turns back the soldiers.”

Session 11

May 14
Matthew 25:31–46: “Caring for those in need”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” section on the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Matthew 25:34–36. Which act of service would be easiest for you to do? (2) Tell about a time when you were a stranger or in a new situation. Who welcomed you? (3) Make food to share with a neighbor or donate food to a local food pantry.
Did you know? Both sheep and goats dislike _________. (Getting their feet wet.)
Prayer for the week: God, help us to be generous with our time, love, and money. Amen.

Session 12

May 21
Mark 9:33–37: “True greatness”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Mark 9:35–37. How can we be “first” in serving others? (2) Jesus’ disciples argued about greatness. What does your family argue about? (3) Look at pictures of when you were young children. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me?”
Did you know? Children have played games for centuries. For example, archeologists found a five-thousand-year-old backgammon board in southeastern Iran.
Prayer for the week: God, help us to trust you and show our love. Thank you that Jesus welcomed and blessed children. Amen.
*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Respect everyone.”

Session 13

May 28
Luke 6:1–11: “Healing on the Sabbath”
Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Luke 6:6–10. How was the man’s hand healed? (2) Inspect your hand closely. What do you notice? How is your hand the same or different than other people in your family? (3) Each evening, name one kind, loving thing you did that day.
Did you know? What does the Greek word synagogue mean? (“learning together”)
Prayer for the week: God, inspire us to reach out with love and kindness each day. Amen.
*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “A time of peace.”