ATLANTIC MISSION SOCIETY
MISSION AWARENESS SUNDAY
Hello to all AMS Auxiliary members!
The Education Committee has prepared material for Mission Awareness Sunday,
May 1st, 2011. The General Assembly has designated one Sunday in the year to
promote the work of the Atlantic Mission Society and the Women’s Missionary
Society. [The last Sunday in April was the designated date, but would be moved
ahead to the first Sunday in May, if Easter fell on that Sunday]. We have prepared
a complete service which can be used by your Auxiliary. Please remember that
this material is provided to “assist” you in doing the service. Feel free to use all,
some, or none of the package.
You can pick and choose what suits your Auxiliary and Congregation. Some
groups indicated they wanted an entire service, while others use their own material.
You must get permission from your minister and session to conduct the service.
You can review the format and content with them.
The theme chosen this year is:
“Let the Children Come”: Mission FOR, BY, and WITH Children.
The package contains suggested hymns, scriptures, prayers, meditation, Moments
for Mission, and children’s story. You can alter the order of the service to
conform to your usual practice.
May God guide each of you as you prepare and conduct this Mission Awareness
Mary MacLeod and Rhoda MacLean
Co-conveners, Education Committee
***The Education Committee appreciates your comments and feedback on the
theme topic, and package contents. Please let us know what other topics you
would like to have presented.***
Mission Awareness Sunday 2011
Atlantic Mission Society
“Let the Children Come”
Mission for, by and with Children
READINGS Old Testament: Deuteronomy 4: 5-9
Psalms 78: 1-8
Gospel: Mark 10: 13-16
Matthew 18: 1-14
Call to Worship: [responsive]
Leader: The earth is the Lord’s, for he made it;
All: Come, let us adore him.
Leader: Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness:
All: Come, let us adore him.
Leader: The mercy of the Lord is everlasting,
All: Come, let us adore him.
Leader: Lord, open our lips
All: And our mouths shall proclaim your praise.
Prayers of Adoration, Confession, and Assurance
We come to your house to praise, listen, seek, worship and adore you. With bowed
heads, reverence, and love, we proclaim your glory and sing your praise. The sun,
the moon, and the stars, you hold in your hands. You are the power behind all
things. We praise you for Jesus Christ, your greatest gift to us. Through Him, you
show your will for our lives, that by His example, we may glorify you in all things.
May your blessing be upon us as we worship you this day. Amen
You alone know the secrets of our hearts, our minds, and our lives. We confess
our sins before you: sins of thought and mind, word and deed; sins against
ourselves, our families and friends, strangers. We fail to think of others first, and
how our actions might affect others. Most of all, O Lord, we forget your goodness
and your love. We have wandered away, wasted your gifts, and forgotten the
needs of others. We are ashamed and sorry.
Holy and Loving God,
In your mercy and redeeming love, grant us forgiveness for all our sins.
Have mercy upon us, we pray.
In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we are assured that God loves, accepts,
and forgives. Bestow upon us, we pray, your pardon and your peace.
May Almighty God, who caused light to shine out of darkness, shine in our hearts,
cleansing us from all our sins, and restoring us to the light of the knowledge of
God’s glory, in the face of Jesus Christ, our Savior. AMEN
Invitation to Offering
“Let us give thanks to the Lord with all our being.
In the company of the upright, let us honor God for the blessings
and goodness we have received.” [based on Ps 111:1]
With gladness and thanksgiving, let us present our gifts to God.
O Lord, through your goodness, we receive many blessings in life.
We return a portion of all that we have received, to you.
Bless those who give, and those who will receive.
Open our eyes to each other in humility and love.
May these gifts be used in the spirit in which they are given,
wherever the need is greatest.
In the name of Jesus, we pray, AMEN
Prayers of Thanksgiving, Intercession, and The Lord’s Prayer
[You should use the Lord’s Prayer as you would in a regular service for your congregation]
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phil. 4:6 [NRSV]
Let us join in prayer, offering our praise, thanksgiving, and concerns to God.
Almighty God, Our Creator,
We praise you for your handiwork in shaping and sustaining your wondrous
creation. In creating light, you have brought us out of darkness and sin, allowing
us to live in the eternal light of Jesus, Your Son. You have given us the gift of
faith, worked in us by the Holy Spirit. We thank you for: the miracle of life, the
abundant resources of the earth, the treasure of gifts given to us, loving families
and communities, and all the dear children of the earth who need our care and
compassion. We have been called to your service, and have been set apart for this
purpose. Help us to be faithful stewards of all your creation. Open our hearts to
the cries of the world around us. May we become more compassionate in our
response to the needs of others. Keep us humble in your sight.
We pray for our world, and for the millions who know only struggle and
oppression and injustice. Today, we pray especially for all children who go to bed
hungry, and who have no warm clothing or comfortable place to sleep. Many live
in fear of fighting, abuse, and disease. The pandemic of HIV/AIDS has made
orphans of millions of children, leaving small children to become responsible for
brothers and sisters, as they struggle to find food. They are forced to become
adults far too early in life. As Jesus gathered the little children to himself, let
them be brought to us, confident that we are able to show them the same love
which our Lord bestowed on them.
We pray that all who work for the good of the world’s children be strengthened
and sustained by your presence in what must seem, at times, a heart-breaking
struggle. May they know your guidance in bringing about change for the better.
We pray for world leaders and policy makers, that they may be moved to seek
justice and equality in law making. Give them wisdom and understanding.
We pray for the work done by the Atlantic Mission Society, the Women’s
Missionary Society, Presbyterian World Service and Development, and other
agencies of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. In all things, may Your will be
done and may we grow in faith and love.
In your loving purpose, answer our prayers and fulfill our hopes.
Accept our prayers offered in the name of Jesus our Lord and Saviour,
who taught us to pray, saying...
Our Father who art in Heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will
be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us
our debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us
from evil for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever.
We go in peace, in the knowledge of God’s power,
We go in confidence, in the knowledge of God’s strength,
We go in joy, in the knowledge of God’s love.
The Lord bless us and keep us:
The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious to us.
The Lord turn his face toward us and give us peace. AMEN
[based on Numbers 6: 24-26]
SUGGESTED HYMNS LIST
Hymn book 1997 ed. 1972 ed.
JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW 373 378
COME CHILDREN JOIN TO SING 377 251
CHILDREN OF JERUSALEM 415 246
CAN A LITTLE CHILD LIKE ME 441 566
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL 435 105
HELP US TO HELP EACH OTHER LORD 489 493
JESUS FRIEND SO KIND AND GENTLE 519 340
JESUS HANDS WERE KIND HANDS 631 --
FOLLOW ME THE MASTER SAID 645 483
JESUS FRIEND OF LITTLE CHILDREN 656 507
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS 746 431
JESUS BIDS US SHINE 773 391
GENTLE JESUS MEEK AND MILD -- 452
We thought that the children might like this song. We printed it like this as we couldn’t find it in
any book, but found many versions on the internet. Hope you like it.
Jesus died for all the children Jesus rose for all the children
All the children of the world All the children of the world
Red and yellow black and white Red and yellow black and white
They are precious in his sight They are precious in his sight
Jesus died for all the children Jesus rose for all the children
Of the world. Of the world.
Children’s Story by Bonnie Crockett
JESUS LOVES THE CHILDREN
Supplies: A short pencil, a long pencil and red, yellow, black, white and light brown pencils.
Other new pencils to pass out to the children
Piece of paper (Could have pictures of children from various countries)
Do you use pencils in school? What do you use them for?
I have two pencils with me: One is short and has been well used.
The other one is long and has only just been sharpened.
If I was going to compare these two pencils and say one is like a child and one is like an adult,
which one would you say is like the child? (Most children will say the short one; however this
time it is the long one because like a child it is new and ready to learn/work).
Then show red, yellow, black and white pencils. Can you guess what these might represent?
They are like the children around the world. They represent the various races of the people in the
world. (You could have pictures of children who are like the pencils to show examples). We
know that God so loved the whole world that he sent his only Son. (John 3:16)
Now I have another pencil (brown). This one stands for the Son of God. Can you tell me how
Jesus came into the world? (a baby- a child) Why do you think He came as a child-a human? (To
show us what He is)
We are using this middle colour to show that Jesus came to save those who come to Him. He
didn’t come to save just one race (pick up all the pencils up one at a time until they are all in
your hand- putting the brown pencil in the middle).
Jesus is the center of all. He is the hope for all the world. When Jesus walked on this earth, He
not only showed His love to all the grownups in the world that needed His help. He also showed
His love to all the children. There is a story in the Bible that tells of Jesus picking up the children
and putting them in His arms. He even taught some lessons to the grownups by using children
like you as examples. He said,” Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall
not enter it:” Wow, imagine telling the grownups that they needed to be like you- to be able to
learn about Him with a humble faith, they needed to believe like you that Jesus came for them
Just think! You are like the longer pencil! Once you believe that Jesus loves you just as you are,
you will have a long time to serve Him. Pencils are used in school to help you write, do Math,
draw, all kinds of activities. In the hands of dishonest people pencils can be used to tell lies, they
can be used to cheat, but in the hands of honest people they can do all kinds of good things. So
when we become like good pencils and use our lives for good, using Jesus’ examples, we will
use our lives to do good things to help others. As I give you a new pencil, I want you to use it for
doing good things, using Jesus’ example to help you when you use it.
Children’s Prayer (to be repeated by children (and congregation perhaps?)
Dear Loving Father, We are taught that you love us and that we should share that love with
others. Help us, Jesus, to be kind and loving to other children at school and in our neighbourhood
so that by our actions they will know that we are all loved by you and that we are just sharing
that love the best we can. In Your name, loving Jesus, we pray. Amen
Many of the ideas for the story came from “50 Object Lessons- The Gospel Visualized For Children” by
Donald J. Poganski p.6
MISSION MOMENT #1 – Beyond the reach of the traditional church, in the remote part of
British Columbia, the Cariboo House Ministry is alive and well. Rev. Dale and Linda Webber
travel this area and bring the gospel with them.
Another team in the area is Rev. Shannon Bell Wyminga & her husband, Rev. Jon Wyminga.
Rev. Shannon Bell had this to say: “Our ministry with children on the Ndazkoh reserve is now
in its 21st year. It began with a VBS done by St. Giles’ in Prince George (a church 3 hours drive
away) in 1990 and developed into a regular after school program from there. We have every
child in the local school attending – a total of 18. At Christmas, the church receives gifts of new
toys, books, toiletries, stuffed animals and knitted goods and clothing, and packs up Christmas
gifts for every child in the Ndazkoh and Lhoosk’uz villages. This year we wrapped for 54
children from ages birth to grade 7. The gifts are personally delivered to each home just before
Christmas giving us a chance to connect with every family in both villages.
In the Bridge Lake area, Kids’ Space is going strong. It is an outreach to the local children that
is done completely by volunteers. Some are from a local house church and others have no
church background but help with cooking and games and crafts. When the kids grew older and
didn’t want to miss out, the leadership developed a ‘work crew’ program for high school students
to work with the younger kids and they also now have a monthly Teen Space program to give the
teens a chance to hang out and have talks on their own. One of our lay missionaries, Bruce
Wilcox and his wife Jacquie, are the pastors of both these programs and are becoming known by
the community and the kids. The hope is that one day the parents will want to have a Adult
Space where they too can gather and learn about the Bible”
AMS groups have supported this important mission through prayer and contributions to
PWS&D. And as a note of interest - the Men’s Offering Project for 2010-2012 is directed to
help purchase a truck for a region of the Cariboo House Ministry. The truck used now has over
700,000 km. on it and probably will not last much longer. The Cariboo Ministry teams are
excited about this endeavour as it will have a “long lasting benefit to the mission and will
provide for a need that otherwise would be difficult to meet.”
Contributions can be given to the AMS treasurer in your local area to be sent on to the project.
MISSION MOMENT #2 – “ Helping pave the road to recovery”. In the busy downtown streets
of Managua, Nicaragua, many children have few alternatives to working in the markets with
their parents. While in this environment, kids and young girls in particular are vulnerable to
mistreatment and exploitation. Working through a local partner and with support from
Canadians here at home, PWS&D is working for the rights of girls who have fallen victim to
abuse in order to move beyond negative experiences toward hope and freedom from pain. At the
Casa de las Ninas rehabilitation centre, girls receive: individual and group counseling from on-
site psychologists - medical check-ups and nutritious meals - safe shelter - education in how to
avoid dangerous situations - a chance to develop friendships and strengthen their self-esteem.
Working with families, police and legal services, staff members fight for the girls’ rights and
provide the opportunity for them to overcome suffering.
Barb Summers, Communications Coordinator for PWS&D stated that she was touched by the
stories of these girls, most of whom have been victims of sexual abuse. At Casa de las Ninas, the
girls learn how to overcome trauma and challenges in a place that teems with compassion,
acceptance, strength and love. “At the Casa, healing begins”.
NOTE: other ideas for Mission Moments are in the PWS&D booklet “Gifts of Change”
Examples are -“Welcome a Refugee”, “Help a child stay in school” and “Care for a child”.
“Let the Children Come”: Mission for, by and with Children
I want to ask you a question, but first I need to stir up your imagination and
your memories. Would you close your eyes and try to picture…the first time you
went to church or Sunday School. Who are you with? Do you remember who first
told you about Jesus or God? Get your imaginations working! Now the question:
What do you think your life would have been like if you had never heard of God or
his Son, Jesus Christ?
Now think of people you might know who don’t really believe. What about
all the people in other countries who have never heard the Word and who don’t
know about Salvation and the gracious love of God our Father?
What kind of a life would it be not knowing about the love of God or about
Jesus dying on the cross for our sins? Not knowing any of the many things we
have grown up with and perhaps take for granted? Not knowing that we are loved
That is why the words of Jesus, in the Great Commission in Matthew 28, are
so important: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go
therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything
that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of
If the disciples hadn’t done as He said, if they hadn’t gone out into the world
spreading the news of Jesus Christ, we would never have known the good news of
the life, death, and rising of God’s only son, Jesus.
Our mission partners follow the disciples’ example and go to all parts of the
world teaching and preaching. Here at home, ordinary people, like your parents
and friends and now each one of us have been passing on the story of God, and his
Son, and the marvelous things he taught.
In our reading from Mark, we heard how very important the children were to
Jesus. When the disciples were going to turn the children away, Mark says that
Jesus was indignant and said to them "Let the little children come to me; do not stop
them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you,
whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it."
This is from the New Revised Standard Edition. The NIV uses the same words. The
King James Bible says Jesus was much displeased. Another translation uses the
word angry to describe how Jesus reacted to the children being shooed away.
Whichever translation you use, you can be sure that Jesus wants us to take care of
the children of this world. In Mark 9:37 He says “ Whoever welcomes one such
child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me, but
the One who sent me.”
We are charged with loving children, protecting them and teaching them
about a loving Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are to teach with words, but also
with actions and by example.
It’s no good for your mouth to say all the right things if you don’t follow
those teachings yourself. You have to show with your love that you care and that
you really believe what you’re saying.
We are told we must believe and have trust as a child. How does a child
believe? With their whole hearts. There are no halfway measures nor are there a
lot of questions. They just take it as it’s taught and we hope and pray that it is
always taught with love.
What can we do? Well, we need to teach our children and not leave it all to
others and we need to show loving kindness by example. Our children look to us
for guidance and take their cue from the way we live our lives.
Parents, do your children ever see you fail? Do they ever hear about the
times when you disobeyed your Father in heaven, felt his hand of discipline, and
learned to love him more because of it? Don’t hide your frailties. Learn from
them and allow your children to do the same. In this way you can show “the
glorious deeds of the Lord…and rise up and tell them to their children, so that they
should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God” (Ps.78: 4,6,7).
Your children will follow your footsteps more easily than they will follow your
advice, particularly in the matter of learning from past failures. Turn bedtime into
a clinic this evening – an opportunity to help your children profit from one of your
Let’s talk about “Mission WITH Children”. AMS provides a Learning
Sharing Packet each year for use in Sunday School, Youth Groups etc., if they
wish to use it. In some churches, AMS members may give the regular teachers a
break and teach for a short period. The AMS yearly recommends a “Learning and
Sharing” project and encourages children and youth groups to participate. This past
year, the project has been two- fold:
1) bringing hope to educate young girls in Afghanistan and
2) bringing hope to sponsored refugees and claimants in Canada. It is difficult to
imagine that 50% of the 11 million refugees worldwide are children.
Another mission near and dear to hearts of the AMS is the Camping
Ministries at Camp Geddie, Camp Keir and Camp MacLeod. Children who may
never attend Church will experience the Gospel by going to one of these camps.
AMS groups often add to the support of these camps with prayer and financial
One of our mission personnel in Malawi is Linda Inglis. In regard to
children, Linda is leader of a group for people with disabilities. She also
volunteers at the Orphan and Vulnerable Children’s Center in her Synod. With the
HIV/AIDS pandemic, there are lots of challenges to be faced daily.
We know of the Saviour’s love for children, and how special it is to read in 1 John
3:1 - “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be
called Children of God.”
Now we look at some examples of “ Mission BY children”
The Atlantic Mission Society supports and encourages mission activities and
projects in which our children and youth can be involved. Some of these projects
are local, while others are worldwide. The projects can be chosen by the
Auxiliary members, Sunday School teachers and by the children themselves.
The following are but a few of the projects that were reported in 2010. You may
be surprised at the variety, the enthusiasm, and commitment for “Mission”, which
is evident in the diversity and success of the projects.
Catered congregational luncheon
Clean-up around the church
Collected pennies for farm animals in Malawi
Collected items and raised money for earthquake relief in Haiti
Donated artwork to the AMS for a silent auction for Malawi
Food for needy families at Christmas
Held yard and bake sales; sold pet rocks
Made crafts and posters to go with the current Learning/Sharing study
Made piggy banks and filled them for Welcoming refugees to Canada
Raised money for school supplies for children in Romania
Rock-a-thon and Thirty Hour Famine
We thank God for dedicated AMS members, Sunday School teachers, church
leaders, and most of all, for the caring and compassionate youth of our church.
***Auxiliaries could include children and youth projects taking place in their own
Sunday Schools, and congregations.***
Here is an example of things going on in First Presbyterian Church, Pictou, N.S.
where the Sunday School has established a “Mission Wall”.
“Fundraisers Extraordinaire” was the title given by Evangel Hall Mission in
Toronto to the Sunday School of First Presbyterian Church, Pictou, NS, in
their Christmas newsletter. The article highlighted the fund raising efforts of
the Sunday School, where $2300 was raised in 2010 for Evangel Hall’s
mission projects. Through a number of activities, this project became their
most successful to date.
The Sunday School displays the history of their mission projects on the
walls of the hall. Twenty-one colored, paper balloons each feature the name
of a project, the year, and the amount raised. It began in 1998 with the
support of Pictou Presbytery for “Buy a Cow for Nicaragua”.
Since that time, over $20,000 has been raised for many causes, whether they
be local, national or international. A few of them include: the new
congregation of King’s New Minas; sport equipment for Camp Geddie;
Clean Water Well in Malawi; Christian School Fees in Ghana. Each year
the Sunday School chooses a project from “Gifts of Change” or the
“Learning/Sharing Project”. They learn about the country and people where
the project is situated. Funds are raised by various activities: silent bottle
drives; walk or bike a-thons; assembling and selling their own cookbooks of
favorite recipes; “Mission Madness” [a favorite!], a Friday evening fair for
children of the community, complete with cake-walks, face painting, fish
pond, and other fun things. The congregation is invited and participates
with much enthusiasm and generosity.
The children’s mission projects have inspired the whole congregation to
become more generous, not just to the annual project, but to Presbyterians
Sharing, and Presbyterian World Service and Development. Everyone is
learning about the work of our church with partners around the world. The
“Mission Wall” represents more than a decade of children leading mission at
First Church. The hope is to continue adding balloons every year until
every wall in the hall is filled with the colour and joy of generosity!
Together, by the grace of God, children and adults grow in mission, sharing
the abundant life in Jesus Christ, with others at home and throughout the
[with thanks to Rev. Iona MacLean, First Presbyterian Church, Pictou, NS]
Now—“Mission FOR Children”. Each year there is a suggested study program
for AMS groups to become more aware of “need”, through education, about a
specific topic. For example, the study we are doing now is about Refugees, and
the previous study was on Guatemala women and our own Aboriginal peoples.
And what have we learned in the AMS about what we could do for children?
We discovered children attending a school in Guatemala which is actually built on
a dump, so that those who live there can receive an education. So… AMS groups
sent donations through PWS&D projects to help.
We discovered First Nations children living beyond the reach of the traditional
church in northern B.C. So…AMS sent money to help with Bible Classes,
Vacation Bible School and “Talking Circles.”
We discovered children dying of pneumonia. So…AMS members knit and
crochet small blankets, caps and pneumonia prevention vests and send them off to
India, Taiwan, Malawi or wherever needed.
We discovered HIV/AIDS orphans in Africa. So…AMS members make African
Comfort Dolls for these children; often it is the first toy they have owned!
We discovered children who are held in an immigration detention centre near
Montreal. Action Réfugiés Montreal (ARM) works with them. So…AMS
members send monetary gifts to help these people find their way through the
We discovered children who are trafficked and treated in deplorable ways.
So…AMS groups will likely be supporting a new project in Nicaragua called Casa
de las Ninas. There PWS&D staff fight for children’s rights and help overcome
Closer to home, AMS members help Church Camps, Food Banks etc. Here in our
own area, our AMS has …
***Auxiliaries can include their own projects.***
Why do we care about children? Because we want to show our love to these little
ones who are the most vulnerable in society as Jesus shows His love for us.
In Romans 7:4 (TEV), we read, “Now you belong to Him who was raised from the
dead in order that we might be useful in the service of God.” We can be useful
right here. From our homes, we can help those on the other side of the world.
Mission is not just the work of the AMS. It is the work of us all. Being a Christian
is doing God’s work on earth, being a representative of Jesus Christ, who said, “As
the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21 NIV)