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 Summer 2017 and Fall 2017 quarters are available for download as a Microsoft Word document (97-2003 compatible). Abbreviated versions of each session are posted every Friday on our Facebook page

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.

 

Summer 2017

Session 1

June 4

Genesis 24: “God leads Rebekah”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Genesis 24:12. What do you pray for each day? (2) Talk about making decisions. What are easy decisions? What are hard decisions? What helps you decide? (3) Rebekah got water for ten thirsty camels. When have you freely offered help to someone?

Did you know? How much water can a thirsty camel drink in about 13 minutes? (30 gallons / 135 litres)

Prayer for the week: God, we love you and trust that you will guide us today. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Elijah and the ravens.”

 

Session 2

June 11

Exodus 4: “Moses accepts God’s call”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Exodus 4:10–14. Imagine how Moses felt. (2) Moses said, “Send someone else.” When have you wished to get out of something? (3) Aaron helped Moses when Moses couldn’t do the job alone. Write thank-you notes to people who have helped you.

Did you know? Ancient Egypt depended on the waters of the Nile. The southernmost headwaters of the Nile are in what African country? (Rwanda)

Prayer for the week Thank you, God, for giving us what we need. Remind us that most of all we need you. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “The widow of Zarephath.”

Session 3

June 18

Numbers 22–24: “Baalam, the donkey, and the angel”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Numbers 22:15–17. Have you ever wanted something bad to happen to someone else? (2) Say or write words of blessing to each other. (3) Celebrate God’s gift of animals! Talk about how animals can bring joy to our lives.

Did you know? The Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue group has rescued over 8,000 donkeys. Search online to learn more.

Prayer for the week: God, you speak to us in many ways: through our friends, family, coworkers, and all creation. Help us to pay attention. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Elijah and the silence.”

Session 4

June 25

1 Samuel 18–20: “David and Jonathan”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read 1 Samuel 20:13. Jonathan chose to protect his friend even though it would make his father angry. What do you think helped Jonathan tell the truth? (2) Act out the escape scene in 1 Samuel 19:12–14 using only a chair or bench (3) Draw a picture of you and a friend. What makes that person such a good friend?

Did you know? The name Jonathan means “gift of God.” The name David means “beloved.”

Prayer for the week: God, when we are afraid, give us the courage to do what is right. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “A young girl and Naaman.”

Session 5

July 2

2 Kings 4:8–37: “Elisha and the Shunammite woman”

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 2 Kings 4:8–10. Talk about times you have welcomed people into your home. (2) Make a welcome mat by weaving strips of construction paper. (3) Make a card or give a small gift to show gratitude to someone who was kind to your family.

Did you know? The town of Shunem was conquered by two Egyptian pharaohs.

Prayer for the week: God, help me to make space in my home and my heart for others. May I put your love into action. Amen.

Session 6

July 9

Book of Esther: “Queen Esther”

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 Esther 2:7. Name all the members of your family as well as other people who have become like family. (2) Is there any issue of justice today about which you feel particularly called to speak out? (3) Make a crown with a star on it to remember Esther’s bravery.

Did you know? The book of Esther is read aloud at the Jewish feast of Purim. As it is read, people make loud noise so that the name _______ cannot be heard. (Haman)

Prayer for the week: God of justice, give us the courage and boldness of Esther to speak up on behalf of others. Amen.

Session 7

July 16

Jeremiah 1:1–10; 31:31–40: “Jeremiah and a new covenant”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Jeremiah 1:9. I wonder what words God put in Jeremiah’s mouth. (2) Is it hard or easy for you to speak in front of a group? (3) How does God want us to live? Write your ideas on paper hearts.

Did you know? There are seventeen books of prophecy in the Old Testament. Jeremiah is sometimes called the “weeping prophet.”

Prayer for the week: God, help us speak words of kindness and love to whoever we meet. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Daniel and the lions.”

Session 8

July 23

The book of Jonah: “The story of Jonah”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Jonah 1:11–16. How would you describe the sailors? (2) Tell about a time you felt scared. (3) Listen to Louis Armstrong sing “Jonah and the Whale” on YouTube.

Did you know? A whale shark can grow to 50 ft / 15 m long and weigh as much as 40 U.S. tons / 36.3 metric tons.

Prayer for the week: God, thank you for being with us no matter where we go or what we do. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.”

Session 9

July 30

Luke 10:38–42: “Mary and Martha”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Luke 10:38–42. Tell about a time you felt worried or distracted. (2) Talk about household jobs. Is the work fairly divided? How could you help each other? (3) What question would you ask Jesus if you could sit with him?

Did you know? A medieval French legend claims that Martha saved the French village of Tarascon from a dragon by taming it with holy water and a cross.

Prayer for the week: God, show us when to work on behalf of others and when to rest in you. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Matthew the tax collector.”

Session 10

August 6

Luke 19:1–10: “Zacchaeus responds”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Luke 19:8–10. Talk about how Jesus changed the way Zacchaeus lived. How has Jesus changed the way you live? (2) Practice hospitality. Invite a guest to your house for a meal. (3) Jesus became a friend to Zacchaeus. Who needs your love and friendship?

Did you know? The sycamore tree (ficus sycomorus) has a fig-like fruit that grows directly from the trunk of the tree.

Prayer for the week: God, change us so that we grow more loving. Chip away at our mean-spirited ways. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Peter.”

Session 11

August 13

John 3:1–21: “Nicodemus visits Jesus”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read John 3:14–15. Which Old Testament character does Jesus refer to in his conversation with Nicodemus? (2) Make “new life” drawings. For instance, draw a winter tree and a spring tree. Or draw a nest with bird eggs and then a nest with baby birds. (3) Talk about a time you made a mistake and needed a fresh start.

Did you know? The In-N-Out Burger chain prints “John 3:16” on the inside of the bottom rim of their paper cups.

Prayer for the week: Spirit of God, breathe in us. Show us how to walk in your light. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Mary Magdalene.”

Session 12

August 20

Acts 8:4–8, 26–40: “Philip and the Ethiopian official”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Acts 8:29–31, 35. Who helps you understand the Bible? (2) Philip met an interesting traveler. What interesting people have you met on a trip? (3) Take turns filling in the blank. “The good news is for ____ (name of person).

Did you know? What is a chariot drawn by four horses called? (quadriga)

Prayer for the week: Thank you, God, that the good news of Jesus is for all people. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Barnabas.”

Session 13

August 27

Hebrews 11:1–12:2: “Cloud of witnesses”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Hebrews 12:1. Who would you want in the crowd cheering for you? (2) Act out the story of your favorite Bible character from the list in Hebrews 11. (3) What things do you hope for that can’t be seen or haven’t yet happened?

Did you know? In Bible times, the writer’s name went at the beginning of a letter, not the end. Hebrews does not give the writer’s name.

Prayer for the week: Thank you, God, that we’re part of a cloud of witnesses from the past and present who serve you faithfully. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” section in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “People of God.”

 

Fall 2017

Session 1

September 3

Acts 2:1–41: “Pentecost”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Acts 2:1–4. Imagine those events happening right now in your home. (2) Use an online translator to hear how to say “God is great” in other languages. (3) Pentecost celebrated the wheat harvest. Eat a meal of bread and spreads.

Did you know? Pentecost Sunday is also called Whitsunday.

Prayer for the week: Loving God, pour out your Spirit on each one of us today. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Come to God’s house.”

 

Session 2

September 10

Acts 2:42–47; 4:32–37: “Enough for all”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Act 2:42. What are you devoted to? (2) List five things your church family does together. (3) Invite someone to eat a meal at your home.

Did you know? What Greek word means “a companion” or “someone who shares”? Koinonos

Prayer for the week: God, we eat this food with glad and generous hearts. Help us share with others. Amen.

Session 3

September 17

Acts 10: “Cornelius and Peter”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Acts 10:34–35, 43. What does this show you about God? (2) Jews and Gentiles did not associate with each other. Are there people you try to avoid? This week, look for a way to connect with someone who is different from you. (3) Draw a picture of Peter’s vision. See Acts 10:11–12.

Did you know? Cornelius was a centurion and was one of the first Gentiles to become a Christian.

Prayer for the week: Thank you, God, for calling us from around the world into one body. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Sing to God.”

Session 4

September 24

Acts 12:1–17: “A rescue from prison”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Acts 12:5, 12. Who does your church pray for fervently? Who could you pray for as a family? (2) Act out Peter’s rescue from prison. Use paper chains. (3) In this story, Herod had violent hands. Name five peaceful things you can do with your hands.          

Did you know? Four squads guarded Peter. How many soldiers is that? 32–40 soldiers (Each squad had eight or ten soldiers.)

Prayer for the week: God, thank you for the love and prayers of our church community. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Learn and pray together.”

Session 5

October 1

Genesis 2:4–19: “God tends a garden in Eden”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Genesis 2:7, 19, 22. How did God make animals and people? (2) Describe something in creation and have the family guess what it is. (3) List as many fruits and vegetables as you can. Try a new food this week.

Did you know? The Tigris and Euphrates rivers mentioned in Genesis 2 flow southeast from the mountains of Turkey through Iraq.

Prayer for the week: Thank you, Creator God, for such a beautiful world to enjoy. Amen.

Session 6

October 8

Genesis 3: “Trouble in the garden”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Genesis 3:12–13. Tell about a time you blamed someone else for a bad choice you made. (2) Cut out paper leaves. Each day, write a good choice you made on one of the leaves. String the leaves together. (3) Wake a walk outside “at the time of the evening breeze,” as God did in Genesis 3:8.

Did you know? Adam and Eve used these for clothes. They can sometimes reduce the amount of insulin needed by

diabetics. What are they? Fig leaves

Prayer for the week: Thank you God for giving us the ability to make wise choices. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “God cares for Noah.”

Session 7

October 15

Genesis 6:5–9:17: “Noah and God’s promises”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Genesis 9:8–11. Who did God make a covenant with? What was the promise? (2) Tell about an experience with rain or floods. (3) What kinds of promises do you make to each other?

Did you know? On March 14, 1994, the longest-observed rainbow was seen in Sheffield, England. It lasted for six hours.

Prayer for the week: Steadfast God, thank you for keeping your promises to us. May we be faithful to you. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “The Tower of Babel.”

Session 8

October 22

Genesis 11:1–9: “The Tower of Babel”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Genesis 11:3–4. Why did the people want to build? (2) Think of high-tech inventions of today. What is good about them? What is not so good? (3) Search YouTube for worship songs in languages you don’t know.

Did you know? Genesis 11 seeks to explain why people speak different languages. What language is spoken by the most people in the world? Mandarin Chinese

Prayer for the week: God, as we work together this week, may we strive to honor you. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “God calls Abram and Sarai.”

Session 9

October 29

Genesis 12–13: “Abram, Sarai, and Lot”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Genesis 12:1–2. Like Abram, how can we be a blessing to others? (2) Take turns today giving each other first choice or first turn. (3) Make an altar with small stones as each person tells the best blessing of the day.

Did you know? God changed their names! Abram (“exalted father”) became Abraham (“father of a multitude). Sarai (“my princess”) became Sarah (“mother of nations”).

Prayer for the week: Thank you, God that you journey with us wherever we go. Amen.

Session 10

November 5

Genesis 16:1–17:22; 18:1–15; 21:1–7: “God’s promises to Abraham and Sarah”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Genesis 17:2–8. What stands out to you about God’s covenant with Abraham? (2) Tell about each child’s adoption or birth. How were names chosen? (3) Each day, tell a favorite story about a relative and thank God for that person.

Did you know? How old was Abraham when his son Isaac was born? 100

Prayer for the week: Faithful God, we rely on your promised presence with us. Amen.

Session 11

November 12

Genesis 25:27–34; 27:1–28:5; 32:1–33:17: “Jacob and Esau”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story.* (1) Read Genesis 25:27–28. What problems can happen when there is favoritism? (2) Jacob gave a gift. Draw a picture or write a note as a gift to someone in your family. (3) Tell about a time someone forgave you.

Did you know? Jacob sent a really big present. How many animals did he give (Genesis 32:14–15)? 550

Prayer for the week: God who loves us equally, bless us as we seek to live together in peace. Amen.

*Preschool children have a “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet for the story “Jacob’s dream.”

Session 12

November 19

Genesis 37: “Joseph and his brothers”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Genesis 37:3–4. How would you have felt if you were one of the older brothers? (2) What makes you feel jealous? How do you handle your jealousy? (3) The angry brothers hurt Joseph. Talk about peaceful ways to handle angry feelings.

Did you know? Joseph went to Egypt by camel. A camel’s long eyelashes and third eyelid make it possible for the camel to continue walking in a desert sandstorm.

Prayer for the week God of peace, thank you that you love each of us especially well. Amen.

Session 13

November 26

Genesis 39–45: “Joseph forgives”

Here are some ways to nurture faith at home based on this week’s story. For preschool children, use the “For families” page in the Early Childhood leaflet. (1) Read Genesis 45:4–8. According to Joseph, what role did God play in his life? (2) Draw pictures of Joseph’s dreams. See Genesis 41:1–7. (3) Joseph decided not to seek revenge. Tell about a time you decided against getting even.

Did you know? The cows in Pharaoh’s dream came up out of the Nile. Look at a map of Africa. What tributaries feed the Nile? White Nile, Blue Nile, and Atbara River in East Africa

Prayer for the week: God, your love brings us back when we have done wrong. Show us the way to live. Amen.