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 Spring 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.”