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.”

 

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.”