Introduction to Seasons of the Spirit - PDF by StuartSpruce


to Seasons of the Spirit
Seasons of the Spirit provides lectionary-based                We offer resources that encourage leaders
resources for worship, Christian education, and                and participants to be signs of God’s
ministries of serving. These resources nurture                 liberating compassion and inclusive love,
faith through liturgy, ritual, imagination,                    and to grow and be transformed in their
and encourage Christian growth through                         relationship with Christ, God, and others.
worshipping, learning, and serving together. By
equipping and enabling leaders, Seasons of                      Seasons of the Spirit resources are developed
the Spirit strives to empower children,                               collaboratively within an international
youth, and adults to articulate “the                                      and ecumenical group of writers,
hope that is in them.”                                                      editors, and resource people,
                                                                              using the spirit of discernment,
Our vision is of an authentic                                                  community exploration of
Christianity lived in a                                                        biblical texts and current
culturally diverse and                                                         scholarship, and engagement
religiously pluralistic world.                                                 with arts and technology.

The Seasons of the Spirit Theological and Educational Foundations Paper was drafted collaboratively and has
guided the project since 1998. The vision of Seasons of the Spirit is that each section of the resource:

       invites us to explore meaning and                           nurtures faith by engaging the
       mystery in the Bible through the                            imagination through the Bible, tradition,
       lectionary;                                                 science, technology, and the arts;
       encourages us to experience the                             engages responsibly and creatively the
       transforming power of Christ as together                    contemporary teaching and learning
       worship, sacraments, and education                          environment of Christian congregations
       work in our lives;                                          and parishes;
       calls us into the ecumenical, global, and                   sends us into the contemporary
       inclusive heart of the church where these                   world with its current events, issues,
       resources are grounded and shaped;                          knowledge, and discoveries acting as an
                                                                   arena to test, share, and live out our faith.
   You can view the entire contents of the Theological and Educational Foundations Paper on the Seasons website:
                                                Session Flow
Woven into each weekly session of the Seasons of the Spirit         Sessions are written with a 40-minute time frame in mind, and
resources is the liturgical rhythm of a worship flow to learning.   can be extended to a 60-minute session by incorporating more
The session material guides the leader from initial preparation     discussion time during the “Engage” section and offering more
through the session itself and into a time of reflection. Through   options during the “Respond” time.
gathering, engaging, responding, and blessing, participants
experience practices central to the faith tradition.

                                                                                       A page of BiBLiCAL BACkGROUND
FOCUS FOR…                                                                             information is provided each week
                                                                                       and is common to all resources.
Connects to the life experiences and
considers the learning characteristics of the
age level and assists the leader in making
the transformation from the Biblical
Background into the specific session plan.

Outlines supplies, resources, and
actions needed to present the learning

                                                                                                                                                                   RESOURCE SHEETS

                                                                                                                                                                   Reproducible activity and
        GATHER                                                                                                                                                     resource sheets for leaders
        Suggests ways to create a holy,                                                                                                                            and participants.
        hospitable, trusting environment,
        and encourages learners to
        identify a life experience that
        begins to connect with the                                                                                                                                                                        Resource sheet • February 22, 2009

                                                                                                                                                       Resource sheet • February 22, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                              Are You Listening?
        “Engage” section. (suggested
                                                                                        Adventure on a Mountaintop                                                                                              God told the disciples to listen carefully to Jesus,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       because Jesus was very special.

        time: 7 minutes)                                                                Story Tip
                                                                                                                                           (based on Mark 9:2–9)                          Instructions
                                                                                                                                                                                            ➤ Glue the words, “I’m listening to Jesus”
                                                                                                                                                                                                 onto the middle of a strip of construction

                                                                                                                                                         And it was a very scary moment. Without thinking
                                                                                          Practice the story before sharing it with the children.        Peter spoke.                       ➤ Cut out listening ears.
                                                                                          Make sure you have all the figures and other props read-

                                                                                                                                                                                            ➤ Use crayons to decorate the ears. Maybe
                                                                                          ily available and in sequence before you start.                                                         should we do?
                                                                                                                                                         “Teacher this is just amazing! Whatyou could add some earrings!
                                                                                                                                                         Let’s build three shelters here, one for you, one for board strip into a circle to
                                                                                                                                                                                            ➤ Form the poster
                                                                                       (Place the figures of Jesus, Peter, James, and John and place      Moses and one for Elijah.”              fit your head. Secure with a staple.
                                                                                       them by the mountain that the children created.)                                                     ➤ Cut the tab on the ears where indicated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Fold one side then
                                                                                                                                                         (Drape the translucent fabric over all the figures) Justforward and one side back-

                                                                                                ne day Jesus called to his friends Peter,                a bright cloud covered them, and from deep in the
                                                                                                James, and John, “I’m going to climb up this                                                is Tape the ears to to
                                                                                                                                                         cloud there came a voice, “This ➤ my child, special the headband, so that you

        Offers creative ways to explore the                                                     mountain to pray and I want you to come                                                          have love. Listen to
                                                                                                                                                         me, chosen by me, and marked with my one ear on each side of your head.
                                                                                       with me.” Jesus’ friends looked at each other and then            him!”                              ➤ Choose some of the teachings of Jesus, cut
                                                                                                                                                                                                 them out and glue them to the headband
                                                                                       looked at the mountain. It was very high and very tall.
                                                                                                                                                         Suddenly the cloud was gone and theears.or disciples were
                                                                                       It would be a very long climb. Still, Jesus had asked
                                                                                                                                                         left looking around and rubbing their eyes. (Remove the

        chosen scripture passage, provid-
                                                                                       them to go and they would follow Jesus anywhere.
                                                                                                                                                         cloud and the figures of Elijah and Moses.) Everything had
                                                                                       So off they set. They climbed, and they climbed, and              gone back to normal.
                                                                                       they climbed. (Invite the children to walk the figures of
                                                                                                                                                         The cloud was gone.
                                                                                       Jesus, Peter, James, and John up the mountain.) It took a
                                                                                                                                                         The dazzling light was gone.

        ing opportunities to encounter its
                                                                                       very long time to get up to the top of that mountain.
                                                                                                                                                         Moses and Elijah were gone.
                                                                                       When they reached the top the view was magnificent.
                                                                                                                                                         Now all they could see was the top of the mountain
                                                                                       (Stand the figures on top of the mountain. Jesus should
                                                                                                                                                         and Jesus standing there alone.
                                                                                       stand apart from the disciples.) Suddenly something
                                                                                       very unexpected happened. Jesus was changed – right               As they came down the mountain Peter, James, and

        meaning and mystery, and imagin-                                               before their very eyes. Jesus’ clothes began to shimmer
                                                                                       and glow with a dazzling light. In fact the light that
                                                                                       came from Jesus was so bright that the disciples had
                                                                                       to shade their eyes. (Invite a child to shine a flashlight on
                                                                                                                                                         John were very quiet. (Have the figures slowly walk down
                                                                                                                                                         the mountain.) They were thinking about their amazing
                                                                                                                                                         experience. None of them really understood what had
                                                                                                                                                         happened, but they knew two things for sure.

        ing how we might live faithfully
                                                                                                                                                         God had told them that Jesus was very, very special.
                                                                                       Then something even more amazing happened. Two
                                                                                       people suddenly appeared out of nowhere and stood                 And God had told them to listen to Jesus.
                                                                                       with Jesus. (Place the figures of Elijah and Moses either side

        toward the vision of God’s reign.
                                                                                                                                                         The three friends knew that they would never ever
                                                                                       of Jesus.) It was the great prophet Elijah and the great
                                                                                                                                                         forget their amazing experience on the mountaintop.
                                                                                       leader Moses. The disciples had heard many stories
                                                                                                                                                         Years later they would tell the story to other people
                                                                                       about these two amazing people. They were great
                                                                                                                                                         in the church, so that they would know that God had
                                                                                       heroes of the Jewish people, but they had been dead for
                                                                                                                                                         said that Jesus was very special. Eventually the story

        (suggested time: 15 minutes)
                                                                                       a long time. Now they were here on the mountaintop.
                                                                                                                                                         was written down and became a part of our Bible. The
                                                                                       The disciples didn’t know what to do. They didn’t                 storywriter wanted everyone to 80 how specialthe Spirit Ages 6–8 Advent, Christmas, Epiphany 2008–09
                                                                                                                                                                                           know Seasons of
                                                                                       know what to say. They didn’t know what to think. It              Jesus is and how important it is to listen to Jesus’
                                                                                       was an amazing moment. It was an incredible moment.               teaching.

                                                                                                                                   Seasons of the Spirit Ages 6–8 Advent, Christmas, Epiphany 2008–09           79

        Invites participation and
        engagement with the world as
        disciples of Christ, in response
        to the encounter with scripture.
        (suggested time:15 minutes)                                                  REFLECT

                                                                                     Invites leaders to reflect on the learning
        BLESS                                                                        experience and to anticipate the
        Celebrates new learning                                                      coming weeks.
        and transformation, sending
        participants out, empowered by
        God and the community, to live
        in the world. (suggested time: 3

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