Mothers Day Resources

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7 May, 2020

When is Mothers Day?

Mothers Day falls on the 2nd Sunday in May and is a great opportunity to celebrate mothers / mother figures and motherhood in general.

We want to acknowledge that for some people Mothers Day can be really hard - maybe there are unresolved relationship issues, reminders of hurt, grief, regret or deep sadness. We want to stand with you in this and acknowledge that it is not necessarily easy. We also want to celebrate those who are mothers in our midst, providing opportunities to bless and encourage you all. Our hope is that these resources will help with this.

Some helpful resources for your family

Encouragement:

  • “I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians in England.” John Wesley
  • “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill
  • How 50 incredible mums strengthened their families - check out these responses to completing this sentence: “My mum has strengthened my faith by…” and don’t forget to wish your mum “Happy Mother’s Day” and thank her for helping you become the person you are today.

Blogs/Podcasts:

Encouraging and inspiring videos:

Funny videos:

Other Ideas/Resources:

More From 'Resources'

Holy Week and Easter Resources

What is Holy Week?

Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter Day, starting on Palm Sunday. It is also the last week of Lent and includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday.

Some helpful resources for your family

Lent + Easter (Strandz) - check out this website for a huge number of ideas to help you journey through Holy Week and Easter, including:

Easter crafts to make with your kids:

  • Enjoy a range of activity sheets, crafts, games and a Passover meal with He is Risen - an Easter Family Activity Guide from minno
  • Check out this website for a Easter scene model with cut-outs and instructions (quite involved - for older kids)
  • Make your own Palm Cross - a fun craft to do with your kids for Palm Sunday
  • Make your own Easter Garden - we made kits for mainly music - includes some conversation starters

Talking with your kids about Good Friday and Easter - this is not easy, however it's important to do. The below articles provide ideas for talking about Jesus' death with your kids in age appropriate ways and without scaring them!

Making Holy Week 'holy' this year - some ideas for helping to make Holy Week 'a thing' and avoiding it just passing you by:

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Making an Easter Garden

Note: this has been adapted from this webpage at Sweet T Makes Three

What you need:

  • 1 large terracotta pot base (or large bowl),
  • 1 small terracotta pot
  • grass seeds
  • potting soil
  • craft moss (optional)
  • pebbles
  • small sticks in the shape of a cross (use string or hot glue gun)

Instructions:

  1. Lay the pot on its side toward the back of the large bowl as pictured
  2. Spray the top of the pot and the back half of the large bowl liberally with water
  3. Cover with potting soil as shown then spray soil with water. Pack the moist soil as tightly as you can adding more water if needed
  4. Sprinkle grass seeds over area then top with a little bit more soil to cover the seeds. Spray with more water
  5. (optional) Place moss in front of pot opening
  6. Add pebbles on top of moss (or soil)
  7. Place cross in the soil to the side of the pot
  8. Continue to spray the soil each day until grass sprouts

Optional extras:

  • Make 'Jesus' out of pipe cleaners / Lego etc. and lay him in the tomb wrapped in tissue
  • Use a roundish rock to cover the tomb
  • On Easter Day, remove 'Jesus' from the tomb and roll back the stone

Before making this with your children, read the Easter story together:

As Julie Hintz says in this article, it's important for our children to not just skip from the cheering crowds on Palm Sunday to the joy of the resurrection on Easter Day, but to wrestle with the events of Holy Week in a way that is age appropriate.

Firstly, read the events of the Easter story from a Children's Bible (such as The Jesus Storybook Bible, available to borrow from the church library) and/or watch a video about Easter designed for children such as this one from Saddleback Kids or this reading of the book The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross. Ask your children if they have any questions about what they've read or watched.

For young kids, don't avoid talking about the fact that Jesus was killed, and acknowledge the sadness and confusion that his friends felt, however keep away from the horror of the crucifixion and remember to say that this wasn't the end - Jesus came back to life and his friends were happy again. Also remind them that Jesus is still alive today (kids sometimes think that Jesus died again later...)!

Conversation starters whilst you make the Easter Garden with your child:

  • Ask what the small pot (tomb) is for, and why we need it
  • Chat about how the grass seeds are buried in the soil and could be forgotten (but they aren't... they're actually full of life waiting to burst out)
  • Ask what Jesus' followers (disciples) might have felt at different times in the story (eg. sad, angry, confused, happy)
  • If asked, explain how the cross was a common form of killing people in Roman times
  • If your kids are too young to understand the concept of death, phrases like 'Jesus' body stopped working' may be helpful
  • You could place the pebbles in a path leading to the entrance to the tomb and chat about what the women might have felt when they found Jesus' body was gone
  • Chat about how this was all God's and Jesus' plan all along, that when Jesus died he took away all the things that stopped us from being friends with God (the Bible calls this 'sin') and that when God made Jesus alive again there was now nothing in the way of us being with God forever (Jesus died for our sin instead of us)
  • Use illustrations (eg. caterpillars / butterflies, Dumbledore's phoenix Fawkes etc.) to explain the concept of new life coming out of death
  • As the grass seeds begin to sprout (remember to water them!), chat about new life and growth - link this with God making Jesus alive again, and that this new life is also for us - a new life of being friends with God and, through God's Holy Spirit, living life with Jesus right now and forever... how amazing is that?!
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Lent Resources

What is Lent?

Lent is the period of 40 days (excluding Sundays) immediately prior to Easter Sunday. It is traditionally a time of repentance and renewal of faith in Jesus.

Why 40 days?

Good question! The number 40 is significant in the Bible, usually referring to a period of testing or trial, eg.

What's with Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) and Ash Wednesday?

'Shrove' is from the verb 'shrive', meaning to confess, ie. to admit all the things that you have thought, said and done that are wrong. In French this is Mardi Gras - 'fat Tuesday', and for Spanish-speaking people it is Carnival which may have originated from the Latin carne vale, meaning 'to farewell meat' (often given up during Lent) or even 'to say goodbye to the flesh' (possibly giving rise to the modern day trend of giving up something you enjoy during Lent).

In earlier times, many Christians would fast from eggs and milk for Lent; using these up before Lent gave rise to the cooking of pancakes, and hence 'Pancake Day'. This also gave rise to the tradition of giving eggs at Easter when the fast was broken (see this article for more details).

Ash Wednesday is when ashes (often from the burned palm crosses from the previous Palm Sunday) would traditionally be worn, symbolising grief or shame (see Esther 4:1, Jonah 3:6). This marks the start of Lent, a season of repentance from our sin and humble acknowledgement of our own mortality and dependence on God.

Some helpful resources for your family

Lent + Easter (Strandz) - check out this website for a huge number of ideas to help you journey through Lent:

Jesus Storybook Bible Lent Guide - see here for daily readings and activities from the brilliant Jesus Storybook Bible.

Lenten Family Devotions: (Storyboard) - check out this website for a creation devotional entitled Lions, and Camels, and Goats! Oh my! that runs through Lent (using 2020 dates). It’s simple to do and takes 5 minutes to read the daily devotional, ask the question, and then pray. You can use this devotional while you eat dinner, lunch, or breakfast together, in the car, or before bed.

Lent: A Journey to Easter (Anglican Diocese of Auckland) - check out this website for an interactive Lent calendar:

  • Readings and Activities for each day of Lent, split into weekly chunks
  • Content from various authors and artists

Lent: What do Christians remember during Lent? (RE:start) - check out this website for a whole series of pages relating to Lent and Easter:

  • Shrove Tuesday: What do pancakes have to do with Easter?
  • Lent Today: How are Christians learning to 'do Lent generously'? See 40acts.org.uk for more info.

Fasting from, Feasting on Ideas (Building Faith) - some great ideas for fasting from and feasting on for Lent

  • practical ideas to fast from with matching ideas to feast on
  • suggestions for how to use these to grow spiritually

Praying through Lent (Praying in Color) - various different calendar templates to use for a daily prayer practice.

Lent Giving Calendar (My Faith, My Life) - this Giving Calendar (note you'll need to translate the references to US coins...!) helps families:

  • be attentive to, and give thanks for, the abundance of our lives
  • engage in the practice of giving out of thanksgiving for that abundance

Family Lent Ideas (Flame - Creative Children's Ministry) - this blog post (or this PDF) have fun, simple and creative activities for each day of Lent, such as:

  • Play dough prayers
  • Blessings jar
  • Various baking activities
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