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Summer Sunday School

Hi families of First United Methodist Church of Clarion,
We are continuing our our  Sunday school lessons online throughout the summer at this time.  We will continue adding a new lesson each week for as long as necessary.  Additional information and resources will be added as available for your use.  If you have any questions, please email Marlene at education@fumc-clarion.org.  You may also call the church office at 814-226-6660.

There is a free app on the App Store for “Deep Blue Adventures” available to download.  This app has a parent portal, videos and games to go along with the Sunday school lessons.

The following website also has some free downloads: deepbluekids.com/free-stuff.

Lesson 5 – July 5
Communities Are Faithful
Joshua 1:1-9

Background:  God chose Joshua as Moses’ successor to lead the Israelites. Prior to Moses’ death, Joshua served as Moses’ assistant. When Moses died, it was time for Joshua to assume leadership. As he began to assume the role of leader, God told Joshua that it was time for the Israelites to finally enter the land God had promised to them when God freed them from slavery in Egypt. After forty years of wilderness wandering, the Israelites who prepared to enter the Promised Land were not the same Israelites that had been slaves in Egypt. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, the Israelites who had left Egypt had since passed away. It was their children and grandchildren who prepared to enter the Promised Land.

Leading the Israelites was a daunting responsibility. God assured Joshua with the words, “I will be with you in the same way I was with Moses. I won’t desert or leave you.” Then God reminded Joshua of the importance of knowing and following God’s instructions.

God did many things for the Israelites. God sent Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery. God parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape from the Egyptian army. He provided mana for them to eat, and led them using a pillar of cloud and smoke. God gave them laws to help them live in relationship with God and with each other. The only way these stories and instructions would be remembered was if people passed them on to their children. It is for this reason that we continue to read the Bible and share the stories it contains.

Pray:  Dear God, help us learn to be strong and brave like Joshua; in Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Bible Story:
Ask: What do you it means to be strong and brave?
Can you think of a time when you had to be strong and brave to do something?
Locate and read the Bible story from the Bible: Joshua 1:1-9 or from the download below.

Ask: How long had the Israelites been waiting to enter the promised land?
What made this event so Important?
How do you think this event has affected the future?
Who cheered Joshua on?
Does God encourage and cheer for us?
How does God do that?

Asia’s mother, Layla, has received a great promotion at work. She is excited but very nervous.
What makes you nervous?

Activity Sheets:
Word Scramble – Older Elementary download 5d Darren page 34

Bible Verse:
Joshua 1:9
“The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Ask: Is the Bible verse from the Old or New Testament?
What number of book is it in the Old Testament? (6)
What chapter is our verse in?
What verse in chapter 1?

Song:

Craft – Signs:
Materials: construction paper, crayons, markers, or paint/brushes, craft stick
Reread the bible story: Joshua 1:1-9
Discuss the important things God said to Joshua. Example, Be brave and strong.
Have the child(ren) choose and write the message on the construction paper.
Add decorations. Glue onto wooden craft stick to hold the sign up.

Game – Follow God’s Rule:
Ask: How did God speak to the Israelites? (through Joshua)
What did God say the Israelites needed to do to be a success? (follow God exactly)
Directions: Let’s see if you can follow the leader’s directions exactly.  Listen carefully and do exactly as the leader says.
Leader: Begin each instruction with “God says” at the beginning.
Players: Spread out and follow directions exactly as given.
Example, Hop on your right foot 5 times.
Ask: Was it hard to follow the instructions exactly as they were given?  Do you think it was hard for the Israelites to follow God’s rules?  Who helped them?
God’s laws were not just for the Israelites.  He gave them to us too.

Lesson 4 – June 28
Communities Love
I Corinthians 13:1-13

Before You Teach:  In today’s lesson we will learn about a part of a letter the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth when he received word that they were struggling and arguing among themselves.  He wrote to encourage and advise them.  He included his thoughts on love. Love, Paul says, should be at the center of the community’s thoughts and actions.  Love is an essential part of a Christian’s life.

The love Paul describes begins with God.  God’s love claims us, and through us reaches out to others.  We, who have been loved by God, honor that love by sharing it.

The Greek word for love that Paul uses in this letter is “agape.”  God’s love is agape love.  Agape is self-giving love.  It is the love that is patient and kind, which does not boast and is not envious.  That is God’s love and the kind of love that God’s children are called to show each other when we are Spirit-filled.

Prayer: Dear God, show us how to love people like you love them; in Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Ask: Have you ever thought about the greatest thing in your life?
What would you say the greatest thing in your life is?

Bible Story:  Locate and read I Corinthians 13:1-13 from your Bible.
Or

Ask: Can you think of something you do because you love someone?
Can you think of something someone does because they love you?
What does Paul say human beings are like when they don’t show love?
What did Paul say love is?
What did Paul say love isn’t?

The Deep blue kids are practicing showing God’s love. They take a meal to Mr. Jones who has recently had surgery.

Ask: How do you show love?  Who can you show love to today?

Activity Sheets:

Bible Verse: “Now faith, hope, and love remain-these three things-and the greatest of these is love.”  I Corinthians 13:13

Craft:
3-D heart
Materials: rulers, scissors, glue, string, long heavy colored paper-4 different colors

Game:
Which One Is Worth the Most?
Before the lesson, on a large piece of mural paper, write out the alphabet and assign numbers to each letter.  A=1, B=2,…Z=26.
Spell out FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE in 3 columns, with an equal sign after each letter.
Take turns filling in the values of each letter until all the letters have numbers, then total the values for each word.
Which word has the greatest total?
Faith, hope, and love are all important in our lives, but especially love.  Paul told the church at Corinth that the greatest of these is love.

Each title is a way you can show love to your community and be a good neighbor.  Put this paper in a place where you will see it every say.  When you show love in one of the ways written in the boxes, write what you did in the box.  At the end of the week, see how many boxes you have written in and read the different ways you showed love.

Lesson 3, June 21
Who Is Our Community?
Luke 10:25-37

Before You Teach:
A legal expert wanted to test Jesus.  He asked Jesus what he needed to do to gain eternal life.  Instead of answering the question directly, Jesus answered a question with a question.  “What do you think?”  The legal expert quoted the commandment found in Deuteronomy 6:5.  “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind.”  He went on to add, “And love your neighbor as yourself,” an instruction found in Leviticus19:18.  Jesus was satisfied with the answer, but not willing to leave well enough alone, the legal expert asked another question.  “And who is my neighbor?”  In Jesus’ time (not unlike today) there were societal conventions regarding how different groups were to treat each other.  There were rules to follow about how Jews should treat Gentiles or Samaritans, how men should treat women, and so forth.  In asking for a definition of neighbor, the legal expert was asking for Jesus’ interpretation of these rules of societal behavior.  Jesus answered by telling a story, the story of “the Good Samaritan.”
After telling the story (parable) of the good Samaritan, Jesus asks, “Which of these three, do think, was a neighbor to the man?”  The legal expert answered, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.”  Jesus challenged the legal expert and continues to challenge us today, saying, “Go and do likewise.”
As you teach your children to be good neighbors and to help those in need, remind them to be safe.

Prayer:
Dear God, show how to have compassion like the good Samaritan and see people in need; in Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Bible Story:
Locate Luke 10:25-37 and read from the Bible.
Who Is Our Community? – Bible Story download 3a Darren – page 17

Ask: Who was a neighbor to the injured man?
Why was that a surprise?

Asia’s mother, Layla, takes the Deep Blue kids to the library to help Mr. Jones after his surgery.

Ask: Do you know someone who has been sick and could use some help?
What can you do for them?

Activity Sheets:

Bible Verse:
“Now faith, hope, and love remain-these three things-and the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13

Craft:
How Are You a Neighbor?
Trace around your child on a large sheet of mural paper.
Have your child cut body silhouette out and write his/her name on it.
Tape the silhouette to the wall with the feet as close to the floor as possible.
Think of ways your child acts like a good neighbor.  Write these on their silhouette.

Game
Pass the Kindness
Children sit on the floor in a circle.
Give a beach ball to one child.
Ask that child to toss the ball to someone in the circle and say something kind about that person.
Continue throwing the ball and saying kind things until everyone has a turn.

Ask: How do kind words make you feel.
**Continue saying kind things to the people you meet the rest of this day.

Lesson 2 – June 14
Communities Need Foundations
Matthew 7:24-27

Before You Teach: Jesus often uses stories when he was teaching.  Many were parables – stories used to teach a specific lesson.  Occasionally Jesus would explain the meaning of the parables he told to his disciples.  More often, Jesus told these stories without explanation.  The work of figuring out the meaning is left to us.
The parable of the wise and foolish builders is presented in Matthew as part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  A similar form is found in the gospel of Luke.  Two builders built houses – one built on rock and the other built on sand.  Those who originally listened to Jesus’ story would know that the conditions of desert areas are dry in the summer but flood in the winter.  Houses built in this area would only last until heavy rains flooded the area.
This parable illustrates that this wisdom is more than knowledge.  Both builders had certainly encountered sand and rock and were aware of the properties of each.  The wise builder used his knowledge to make a good decision.  Wisdom is using what you know to make good decisions.
Jesus explained that those who hear his words and follow them are like the wise builder. Those who hear his teachings and ignore them are like the foolish builder.  Each person who hears Jesus’ teachings has the same knowledge, but may choose to use that knowledge with wisdom.

Prayer: Dear God, show us how to make wise decisions; in Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Lesson: Read Matthew 7:24-27 from the Bible.
Ask: Who was wise?
What makes a good foundation?
Can you think of other things that have foundations besides buildings?
What makes sand a bad foundation to build on?
Explain what a parable is if needed.

Caleb is building a sand castle on the beach, and Jack steps in to give him some good advice.
Ask: Who helps you make good choices?

Say: Jesus was teaching his followers important lessons about living like God wants them to live.  He chose a story about two builders to show the importance of a good foundation.  As someone reads the story, do the motions given with the story. (If a rainstick was made, children may use it when appropriate. Directions below.)
Our Bible verse for June is I Corinthians 13:13.
“Now faith, hope, and love remain-these three things-and the greatest of these is love.”
Ask: Who is speaking this verse? (Paul)
Who is he speaking to? (the church in Corinth and to all believers)
What did Paul say was the most important thing?

Find and read Proverbs 8:32-33 from the Bible.
Ask: What should we do with instruction? (listen to it)
When are we wise? (when we follow God’s instruction)
Say together, “Listen to instruction and be wise.”

Activity Sheets:

Craft – Rainsticks
Supplies needed:
Empty paper towel rolls
Toothpicks
Small pebbles
Pushpins
Glue
Construction paper
Scissors
String, ribbon
Small beads
Dot stickers
Ask: What did Jesus say was the problem in his story? (heavy rain)
Let’s make a rain stick to use with our story.  A rainstick is a long, hollow tube, partially filled with small pebbles and sticks inside the tube.  As you move the rainstick, pebbles sound like falling rain.
• Take an empty paper towel tube and start holes with a pushpin. Follow the natural spiral of the tube.
• Add a small drop of glue in each hole and push a toothpick in each hole on the roll.
• Cut off the part of the toothpick sticking out of the hole.  Then place a small drop of glue to hold the toothpick in the hole.  Cover the holes with dot stickers.
• On a piece of construction paper, trace around one end of the roll.  Then draw a larger circle around the first circle.  Make cuts around the circle from the outside line to the inside line.  Make two of these to cover both ends.
• Cover one end of the tube with a circle.  Glue around the edge of the tube and place the end of the tube over the middle circle.  Fold the strips you cut up onto the tube and tie with a string.  Make sure the string is long enough to leave some hanging down.
• Add some pebbles to the tube and cover the other end like the first one.
• Decorate the outside of the tube.  Add some small beads to the strings and tie the ends to keep the beads on.
• Practice turning your stick back and forth to make a sound like a gentle rain.  Then increase your speed to make heavier rain.

Game
Build a House:
Needed; large blocks or small boxes
Work together as a group to build a house out of the blocks or boxes.  The one rule you have to follow is that you can’t make a sound.  Choose a supervisor to tell you what to do without saying a thing.
The supervisor can assign different jobs to the children and tell them when to begin.
When finished, the supervisor can report what they have done.
Ask: What kind of foundation did you use?
Do you think your house is strong enough to stand a storm?

Activity:

Needed: gumdrops
Toothpicks
Small paper cup
Book
Your challenge is to build a tower using gumdrops and toothpicks.  Your design needs to have a strong foundation that will hold a book on top of it for 10 seconds.
When completed, ask: Did you learn some important facts about foundations as you built your tower?
When you started, did you think toothpicks and gumdrops could ever hold a book?

Activity:

Say: It is important to know how to make wise choices. Sometimes you can do that by yourself, but other times you need help.  Let’s talk about a process for choosing the best decisions for your life.
Discuss the “Making Wise Choices” sheet.

Summer Sunday School – Lesson 1
Communities Living Together
Matthew 7:12

Before You Teach:  Today’s Bible story is from a series of teachings Jesus preached that has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount.  Although presented as one long sermon, it is more likely these teachings were gathered from many different times Jesus taught.  In Matthew, the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount lists Jesus’ teachings we call the Beatitudes.  The Beatitudes are also found in similar, though not identical, form in the gospel of Luke.
The Beatitudes provide instruction for how we are to live in order to be happy.  The way Jesus teaches us to live is sometimes different than how the world tells us to live.
This was true for Jesus’ followers who heard the Beatitudes originally, and it is true for us today.  God calls us to depend on and obey God, be humble, be merciful, be pure in heart, and to be peacemakers even when the world tries to get us to do otherwise.
In a world where fighting and war are often front page news, Jesus’ teaching to be a peacemaker seems especially contrary to society’s teaching.  The references to peace are frequent in Jesus’ teachings, so it is not surprising that peace is mentioned in the Beatitudes.  Notice that Jesus’ followers are not simply instructed to live in peace, but to be makers of peace.  We have a calling to be advocates for peace, to do what we can to make peace a reality. When we live in peace, we are following Jesus’ teaching.
Children may feel they have a limited ability to be peacemakers.  Help them understand they can work for peace by modeling peace in their interactions with others.  This may be as simple (or as difficult) as living peaceably with their siblings.

Pray: Dear God, show us how to live out the Golden Rule in our lives; in Jesus name, we pray.  Amen.

Ask: Where do you have rules to follow?
What is the golden rule?
Read Matthew 7:12 from the Bible.
Ask: What was Jesus doing when he taught the Golden Rule?

View the video:

Mr. Jones is having surgery, and Kat asks the church to pray for him.
When you hear a special prayer request in church, what do you do?

Interact with the Bible Story:

Assign parts: reader 1 and reader 2 and read the story.
There is a very important question in our Bible story.
What does the Golden Rule mean to us?
How does following the Golden Rule make you feel?
How do you feel when someone else shows the Golden Rule to you?

Challenge: Try practicing the Golden Rule for one whole week.  Every night think about what kindness you showed and how it made you feel.  Think about other ways you could have shown the Golden Rule during that day.  Were there times you showed the Golden Rule to someone who had been unkind to you?  How did that make you feel?

Activity Sheets:

Golden Coupon Booklet – Craft:
Each child needs: 5 sheets – 2 inches by 4 inches white paper
1 sheet gold construction paper 2 inches by 8 inches
Markers/crayons/colored pencils
On the five pieces of paper, make coupons to give to others with promises to do something for them.  For example, you might write, “To Mom, I promise to clean my room.”  Then fold the gold paper to make a cover for your coupon booklet.  Staple the short ends together through the fold.
Who are you going to give your coupons to?
What acts of kindness are you going to do for others?

“The Golden Rule Says” Game
Repeat the Golden Rule, “Treat others like you want to be treated.”
Ask: What are some ways you want to be treated?
What are some ways you don’t want to be treated?
Leader says “The Golden Rule says,” then adds an action such as “smile at your neighbor.”
If the action shows the Golden Rule, pretend to do the action.
If the action doesn’t show the Golden Rule, just stand still.
Play the game as long as desired.
Discuss why some things were kind and some were not.

Bible Verse:
1 Corinthians 13:13
“Now faith, hope and love remain-these three things-and the greatest of these is love.”
Look on the Deep Blue Kids Website, the free stuff tab, to see a video demonstrating the signs.

Song of the Month:

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