Crafting and imagining our way through the Church Year
We think there is no better excuse to celebrate the wonderful gift of the Church than the Season of Pentecost! It is a time where we explore the story which followed after the Mystery of Easter, hearing the epic tales of the Book of Acts. It is also a time we think about how we see the Spirit at work in our lives.
We do this especially by engaging with the rich imagery writers and artists have used to show the Spirit at work in the world. For your is the spirit a bonfire around which your community gathers? A lantern to light your path? A candle at the dinner table, or a forest fire making way for new growth?
Pentecost is a Special Time for Children
At Pentecost we remember, reciting Peter’s words, that our young people are not just the future of our Church but its present. This is a time when we–the adults!–recenter ourselves and make space for the dreams and visions these young people have been gifted by God.
This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.
Take some time to dream together! Ask your young people what God has been speaking to them. Explore the stories of Samuel and Jeremiah as examples of how God speaks through folks of all ages.
You know we love books. Here are some recommendations for Pentecost reading.
This book by Sarah Raymond Cunningham shows the Church in all its diversity. We appreciate that it shows not just folks of different genders, ages and races, but also those with disabilities. It explores what makes the church THE CHURCH (spoiler alert: it’s the people)! It also lifts up the beauty of churches from big to small, from house churches to forest churches.
If you haven’t yet discovered the Spark Story Bible it is a wonderful resource with child-friendly paraphrases of biblical stories. Their retelling of Acts 2:1-21 is a great way to explore Pentecost with folks of all-ages.
Why not try some fire-y colouring on black paper, instead of white! It’s a little change but can bring a fun perspective to playing with dark and light. Using yellows, red, oranges, blues and whites make your flames pop! Add your cut-out flame to a paper headband for a fun Pentecost headpiece.
Looking for a fun and safe Pentecost activity? If your local governance allows, why not have a celebratory bonfire? You can talk about what it might have looked like when the tongues of flames licked the heads of Jesus’ followers while roasting marshmallows!
If you have a big stash of building blocks why not separate out the liturgical colours for that season and invite everyone to be creative and design something Pentecost-themed?
You could build a fire, or the room the followers were huddled in when the Spirit descended!
Enjoy origami and papercrafts? Try these kirigami paper spirals. They have a definite flame look to them.
You can make them with red, orange and yellow OR try some double-sided multicoloured origami paper for a wild look! Check-out this video tutorial.
Use it as an inspiration for a feltboard story time or invite participants to help you make the sounds as you tell it.
We’re retelling the story of the room the Apostles gathered in while creating our own diorama. An old box and unfinished pegs/wooden dolls are the perfect canvas to talk about the story and create something imaginative. We especially enjoy creating the sound of the rushing wind together!
Looking for a way to reconnect with folks for Pentecost? The pandemic has made it hard to keep up our church-connections especially with offline members. St. John’s United is delivering Pentecost cupcakes to our disconnected members with a reverse-birthday card!
Sometimes we over complicate things. Free play is another way we connect with the Creating Spirit that hovered over the waters. Why not grab some paint brushes, paint and pine cones. Spend some time connecting and talking about what the Spirit means to you, about the colours of fire and flame.
If you have a lot of random fabric tucked away like Shanna, this is a great Pentecost craft, just tear long strips of fire or wind inspired colours and knot them onto a stick, or a wreath ring, or an embroidery ring. Stay tuned for a Rainbow/Pride themed one as well!