My Church, Our Home: Session III: Our Life in Christ
This session is for the purpose of helping participants discover that through our parishes we encounter and discover Jesus Christ, and come to know Him as our Savior. It is in the church that we receive the framework by which we develop our relationship to Jesus Christ. It is through the church that we are able to embrace Christ and His teachings and come to experience our salvation through Him.
These are the understandings we will teach in this session.
- We, as God’s children/people, need salvation.
- Our parish is where we encounter and discover Jesus Christ as our Savior.
- We have the promise of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and it is in our parish that we receive the framework to develop that relationship.
- Prayer is a relationship, not just a religious activity.
These questions, when answered
and discussed, will lead back to the understandings for this session.
- Should promises always be kept? How does it feel when they are not kept?
- What must someone do to develop and maintain a relationship? What are some things that must be taken into consideration?
- How does the church represent “heaven and earth”? Does the “spiritual” explanation differ from the “physical” explanation.?
- Why and when do we pray? How do prayers help us develop our relationship with Christ?
- How do people handle different relationships? Should it be difficult to keep healthy, important relationships? Does it take work?
- Why do we work harder at maintaining our “human relationships” than we do with our relationship to Christ?
- Shouldn’t understanding that Christ wants us to have a relationship with Him, make it an easy thing to do? Why or why not?
- If God is love, and love is good, why are we called “to fear God?”
Define the word “relationship”
and have a discussion about different relationships we all encounter and try
to maintain. They could be those between parents and child, husband and wife,
teacher and student, sister and brother, and friend to friend. There are many
others, so encourage the students to brainstorm as many as they can. All answers
may be written down on butcher paper to display. Talk in pairs or small groups
about what makes these relationships alike and what makes them different? What
do they have in common, how do they contrast? What makes each relationship unique?
What makes each one special?
Discuss these different relationships. How do we keep these relationships special? How hard do we work on our friendships? What do we do when we have a falling out with someone we care about? How do we mend those relationships? Does having a relationship take work? Why? What kind of “work” do we have to do?
Ask the question- do we work as hard on our relationship to Christ as we do with all of our other relationships? How do we do that? What are some ways that we can nurture and care for this relationship? (some ways children might answer are- through prayer, attending the services of the church, feeding the hungry, attending to the aged, reading the bible, attending church school, attending church camps and retreats). What would our lives be like without this special relationship?
- Collage Activity - The students will then create a collage on individual pieces of poster board.. They will use pictures taken from magazines, books etc. that will show different people, in different relationships. After the collage is created, have the students write labels describing what relationships are shown and a sentence or two about what makes those relationships unique.
Books and Prayer Ropes - After the discussion about why and when
we pray (to help us develop our own special relationship to Christ ), create
prayer ropes and prayer books that each child will have to bring home etc.
The prayer books may be made from nice white paper stapled between construction
paper covers, they may be made with hard covers and real bindings. Materials
and time will determine the nature of the books. Prayers for children this
age can include, The Lord’s Prayer, The Trisagion Prayers, Prayers before
and after meals, and any others that might have special meaning to themselves
and their families. The prayer ropes can be made with beads and thicker thread.
Directions are on the attached