Kindergarten: The Apostles Creed Illustrated
In Kindergarten Stepping Stones you will receive a book that is a beautifully illustrated version of the Apostle's Creed. This book includes the entire creed as we say it in church every Sunday. Have you ever read a book with your young child and soon found that they were reading along with you from memorization? Even the smallest children will begin to remember the stories that they are read...to a point where you cannot change the words without being corrected. This is our hope with providing you with this book. That you will read it together as a family enough times that your kids start recognizing it when we say it in church.
Take it one step further: Our other hope is that you will talk about what you believe and why you believe it. If you were going to create a family creed together what would it say? Take some time together and create a family creed. Have every member of your family draw a picture of the things in their lives that are the most important to them. When you are done ask the following questions
1) What is the most important thing to our family?
2) How do the activities that we participate in as a family help define who we are as a family?
3) What role does God play in these activities?
Second Grade: The Ten Commandments
In Second Grade, Students will receive a resource to help them understand the Ten Commandments. It is our hope that you will use this resource to help your children understand the Ten Commandments and the ways that God's Rules for our lives help us live more fulfilling lives.
We also hope that you will use this as a tool to teach your children about God's forgiveness.
As a family consider the rules you have in your household. discuss why you have the rules you have. Ask your kids to tell you their least favorite rule...talk about why it is important.
Revisit your household rules and consider re-writing them as a family.
Take it one step further.
After you read the book together, commit to memorizing the ten commandments as a family.
As you practice learning them, talk about why rules are important in our lives.
Read Matthew 22:36-37
Why do you think that Jesus answered in the way he did?
What do you think is the most important Commandment?
Fourth Grade: Prayer Journal
In our fourth grade Stepping Stones events, youth will be provided with prayer journals. These prayer journals can be used throughout the year to help guide your prayer life.
Click here for a list of activities dealing with Prayer from Vibrant Faith Ministries
Click the video to watch Elwood Bakken discuss the value that a daily blessing has had in his family!
First Grade: Baptismal Bowls
At First Grade Stepping Stones we will be making Baptismal blessing bowls that can be used every single day! We recommend placing these bowls near the entrance of your house so that you can bless your family every time you leave! Fill this bowl with water and follow this simple plan:
How to give and receive a blessing EVERY DAY
1) On your way out the door in the morning dip your finger in the bowl and mark the sign of the cross on the forehead of the person behind you.
2) Repeat the phrase, "Jesus loves you and so do I"
3) Have the person who received the blessing return the favor
4) Move on with your day!
When you return home repeat steps 1-4.
If you depart before your family leaves the house, dip you fingers in the bowl and mark the sign of the cross on you own forehead.
It's amazing how stopping for 10 seconds a day to give and receive a blessing can change your entire day in a positive way!
Take it one step further: Celebrate a baptismal birthday party! Either celebrate a child's baptism each year on the anniversary of their baptism, or celebrate once a year with your entire family, remembering each ones baptism. Show pictures or video of the baptism, reflect on the reasons that your child was baptized...and truly celebrate with a cake, cookies, or a fun activity together. Check the Additional Resources for lots of other Baptismal remembrance ideas!
NRSV Spark Bible
In Third Grade, children receive their first NRSV Bible. This bible has great potential...to collect dust on your shelf...unless you use it!
How do I use my new Bible?
Most likely if you are not used to reading the Bible you may find it confusing. Unlike other books, you do not need to (nor do we recommend that you try to) read the bible from front to back. If you don't know anything about the Bible you can find basic information here.
During our Stepping Stones event, we will talk about ways to use the Bible at home with your family. Click here to download a handout with ideas for stories to read as a family.
If your oldest child is the third grade student who received the new bible, consider using it alongside your story bible. Read the story out of the story bible, then find where it is in the NRSV Bible. Read a few key verses from the story in the Bible.
As your child grows, use more of the Bible and less of the Story Bible.
Not sure what to read?
Consider using the text from Sunday morning. Click here to download a list of the narrative lectionary readings for 2014-15.
Our recommendation for elementary students is to read the same passage 3 times in a week and discuss it. Find ways to connect this story with the things that are happening in your life.
Fifth Grade: Communion Education
In Communion Education Classes we learned four important things (the following is taken from the curriculum we use, "Fed and Forgiven")
1) Jesus Gives us the Gift of Communion
Jesus gave us the gift of communion and we believe that communion is for all people. All are welcome at Christ's table.
Communion is a sacrament because Jesus commanded us to do it, it involves something physical that we can taste and touch...bread and wine, and it gives us God's love, Grace and Forgiveness.
2) Communion Connects us with God's saving love
Communion is a meal that we share together, much like other special meals. When we take communion we receive forgiveness for all the bad things we've done.
3) Communion feeds us in many ways.
"This is the Body of Christ...Given for You" When the pastor speaks these words we imagine the physical Body of Christ. While we don't believe that the bread physically turns into the actual body of Christ, we do believe that Jesus is present with us in that meal. But the Body of Christ is about so much more than that! The Body of Christ is also the church. In 1 Corinthians 12, the writer reminds us that we are each a part of the Body of Christ. When we take communion we are a part of something bigger than ourselves...we are a part of something bigger than our church...we are connected to every Christian who has ever taken communion before...and every Christian who will take communion in the future!...It's kind of a big deal.
4) Communion prepares us to serve others
At the end of the worship service, the pastor usually says, "Go in peace...serve the Lord" This is a reminder to us that we are called to serve others in all that we do. Want to get involved? There are many ways that we can serve God and Serve others...both in our community and in the world! Click here to see a lot of different ideas of how to serve others.