Monthly Archive for December, 2011

Waiting in the atrium

The children in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atria are marking the Sundays of the Advent season, making their own paper Advent wreaths, working with a liturgical calendar and hearing stories of the Annunciation and the Visitation – the first when the angel visits Mary to tell her she’s going to have a special baby and name him Jesus, and the second when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is carrying her own special baby to be named John the Baptist.

Placing Jesus as a real man in a real place and time has been the work of the children leading up to these Infancy Narratives. The Level 1 children have a sandpaper globe, a puzzle map of Israel and a relief map of the region. They are able to touch and discover the important cities in the life of Jesus – Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

In Level 2, further geography work includes pin maps and a scavenger hunt-type card work that challenges them to look up Scripture passages to complete a search for cities of the early life and ministry of Jesus. They also hear about Mary and Elizabeth, going a bit deeper into the details of the stories and hearing more of the Magnificat, Mary’s special prayer of praise.

The oldest children in Level 3 have been concentrating on the Plan of God, marking Advent with Bible study and recalling how the birth of Jesus is the beginning of one of the three great moments in the Kingdom of God – Redemption. The other two are Creation and Parousia (when God will be all in all).

Laura Starr-Houghton helps a child gather materials to create a pasting depicting the colors of the church year.

The Level 2 children prepare to hear a presentation during Advent.

Advent Wreath lighting

The children at Holy Cross especially enjoy the lighting of the Advent wreath that hangs in the Gathering Space, if only because it involves fire – observing it and helping start it! Light of the world, come! Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Pastor Lise helps guide the flame.

Some members of the congregation gather for the Advent Wreath blessing before the service on the second Sunday of Advent.