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Something Different

Hi GWAC parents,

No doubt everyone in your family is looking forward to the Easter weekend,  let’s make sure we remind our kids of the purpose of the celebration, we don’t want the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection to get lost amongst all that chocolate!   Around the dining table is the perfect occasion to talk as a family about the very first Easter,  as parents we have a great opportunity to share with our kids what Easter means to us personally, we cannot underestimate how much of an impact that will have on our kids, for them to hear about how Jesus’ death and resurrection affects us speaks volumes to our kids.

This weekend at GWAC we have our Good Friday service at 9.30am. During this time our Grades 6+ group will be leading our kids through their own worship time at Kids Church.  Parents with under 4’s are invited to make use of the parents room as crèche will not be operating.

On Easter Sunday, during our 10.30am service, we are providing materials for our kids as they remain in church with their families.  Parents with under 4’s please note that crèche will be operating as usual.

The final Sunday of the school holidays, April 12th,  we will have all our kids together again for the Something Different School Holiday program.  Creche will also be operating as normal.

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King Shows Kindness

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In Sunday Club this week we focused on God’s kindness to us, using the story from 2 Samuel 9, where David shows kindness to Mephibosheth, one of King Saul’s descendants and also the son of Jonathon.  In showing kindness to Mephibosheth David is able to honour the earlier covenant he made with Jonathon (see 1 Samuel 20:8, 14-17, 42).  David was able to show kindness in this way because of the kindness God had shown him.

During our family time this week a good discussion to have around kindness might involve us thinking about the kindest things we have seen, people who have shown kindness to us or when we have shown kindness to others.  This could lead to a discussion about God’s kindness towards us, sharing examples that demonstrate this.

Prayer Idea:

Have each person trace their hand on a blank piece of paper and then cut it out.  Each family member is to think of two things that have happened to them this week, writing each one on either side of the cut out hand print:

  • One way in which they have shown God’s kindness to someone else.
  • One way in which they have received God’s kindness through someone else.

In quietness thank God for his kindness and conclude with everyone saying:  ‘Thank you, God, for your kindness to us.’

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Celebrating God’s Presence

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Hi GWAC families,

This week our Sunday Club kids heard about when David first became King, from 2 Samuel 5:4-12 & 6:1-19, and how one of his first acts of leadership was to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.  The Ark of the Covenant box stemmed back from when the Israelites escaped Egypt,  it was where the Ten Commandment stone tablets were kept.  The covenant box showed that God and his people had made a promise together:  God had promised to be with the Israelites and they promised to live his way.   Returning the covenant box to Jerusalem was a symbolic way to remind the Israelites that God’s presence was with them.

Family Time Activity:

As a family spend some time discussing what things or events remind us of God’s presence.

Find a big box and if you have materials, decorate it together.   Some of the groups at Sunday Club did have a go at decorating a box to represent a covenant box, they may have some idea of how it could look.

After decorating have every member of the family fill it with things that remind us that God is always with us.

(Exodus 25:10-22 contains the list of instructions on how the original Ark of the Covenant was to be made!)

Praise Time:

Upon the return on the covenant box the Israelites celebrated with dancing and singing.  Find a Christian praise song on CD or youtube and have a dance and sing together celebrating God.

Try the song       Hey!  Jesus Loves Me     

available on CD Shout Praises!  Kids 4 

or from youtube   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oliRlM6iw3c

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What Jesus Wants

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Hi GWAC families

Mary and Martha’s story from Luke 10: 38 – 42 reminds us that Jesus is pleased when we spend time with him, it is the better way, rather than rushing around crazy busy without giving him a second thought.    You will agree that when things are busy the first thing to go is our time with God.  Let us not beat ourselves up because we are not spending enough time in prayer, the last thing we need is another thing to feel guilty about but instead try ‘practicing the presence of God’*, that is inviting God to be part of our every day:

In the shower?   Praise God in song.

Driving in peak hour?  Turn off the radio and enjoy the silence, God presence is in the silence.

Walking to school?  Thank God for his creative work in nature.

A prayerful spirit is one of the fundamental things for us to demonstrate to our kids, they watch and process everything we do, may our actions and words demonstrate that we love to spend time with God, it will catch on!

Family Time Activity:

To Do list: 

Have the kids re-enact the story of Mary and Martha, have all family member consider why Martha was so upset.

Invite every member of the family to write out their ‘to do’ list for the day.  On the list could be homework, sports, playgroup, or chores like lawn mowing and cooking dinner.

Review each other’s list and talk about items on our list, are we too busy?  Can someone else do something on our list?   (Parents here is your opportunity to get the older kids to lighten your load!!)

Where on our list can we take some time to ‘practice the presence of God’?

Finish the discussion with a prayer, asking God to be with us as we go about our busy schedules.

*For more on this concept see the book The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

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Jesus Makes A Difference

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Hi GWAC families,

This week in Sunday Club our kids explored the story of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet with her tears and expensive perfume, from Luke 7:36-50, reminding us that Jesus forgives sins.  We have a beautiful picture of Jesus extending grace and forgiveness, thank God that each of us can receive the same grace and forgiveness when we humbly come before him.

Here are some ideas of how you can continue to discuss this week’s teaching at home:

Family Time Activity:

Washing Feet:  Take in turns washing each other’s feet and rubbing in some nice smelling foot lotion.  In the story from Luke 7:36-50 you will notice that the woman didn’t say anything to Jesus.  Try to see if you can wash each other’s feet silently!  Discuss how you think the woman and Jesus must have felt at the time.

If you want to reread the story with your kids a great version can be found in The Jesus Storybook Bible written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, in it this particular story is called Washed with Tears.

For Older Kids:  Explore with them the concept of God’s grace, that is, when God gives us what we don’t deserve.  Your kids might be able to come up with their own examples of grace given, also for discussion could be current news stories when mercy is asked for but not given.   In view of God’s grace to us, what is an appropriate response for Christians to have?

Creative Prayer Time:

Make a prayer tree from some branches and twigs gathered from outside and add some homemade paper flowers.  Let the kids spray some perfume or even air freshener on the flowers and as they do so say a prayer of thanks that Jesus forgives us when we do wrong.   Read together 1 John 1:9 and celebrate that we are God’s forgiven people.

But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.” 1 John 1:9  (GNT)

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Sunday Club is back!

Chalkboard and school supplies

Welcome back to the new school year!

I pray that you and your families have had a refreshing time over the holidays, and that you have been able to grow in your relationships with one another, and with Jesus.

Sunday Club (including creche) will resume this Sunday 1st February during the 10:30am gathered celebration at GWAC. Sunday Club is aimed at kids between 6 months – 12 years old. GROW (apprenticeship program for youth in Years 6 – 8) is run at the same time.

Sunday Club seeks to connect kids with the Christian faith, and with one another. GROW specifically addresses leadership development and provides youth with the opportunity to serve the younger kids.

For any queries about Sunday Club or GROW, please contact Next Gen Pastor, Bree Mills at b.mills@gwac.org.au or on 0409 552 224

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Something Different

The Ship To Tarshish

Something Different is GWAC’s school holiday program that runs on a Sunday morning during the 10:30am gathered celebration. It includes creche and is a ministry aimed at kids between 6 months – 12 years old.

The first Something Different session for 2015 is this Sunday 25th January. The kids will be broken up into different age groups and invited to participate in activities and teachings that are aimed at sharing Jesus with them.

We hope you can join us!

For any queries, please contact Bree Mills, Next Gen Pastor, at b.mills@gwac.org.au or on 0409 552 224