When do kids and their families learn the whys and whats of the sacred space they call ‘home church’? At the Faith Milestone: I Love My Church! Every local church has beautiful history (original MM sanctuary was built in 1932 and used in the movie Smokie and the Bandit among other films) and a fabulous traditional church space (MM built in 1990, narthex, vestibule, massive communion table, two levels of sanctuary pews) that little people just have to run in. I want them to have those memories AND have the vocabulary to share their own stories in their own home-church when they become teens and adults
The Year of Our Lord liturgical color calendar – discussing differences between our house calendar and the church calendar, colors to look for throughout campus, and remembrances of Jesus’ life. (color copy in packet)
“What We Do In Church” by Anne E. Kitch (color sheets on prayer stances and vocabulary)
The Beginner’s Bible: All About Jesus Sticker & Activity Book
Orange caution cones (Dollar Tree)
We begin with an ice breaker: Say your name and something interesting about yourself. Open in prayer.
Start discussing the church calendar and how the colors the students will see represent certain events of Jesus’ life.
Vocabulary: Lent, Liturgical, Advent, Pentecost, Epiphany, Christmas season, Ascension, Holy Trinity, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week. Then we set out with our sticker sheets looking for orange caution cones.
Earlier in the day we set up stations throughout campus with heart stickers (we LOVE our church!) in a clear bucket. Orange caution cones advised us where to go…think: Amazing Race has the red and yellow boxes, we use caution cones found at Dollar Tree. Students are ready with their sticker sheets to place stickers beside vocabulary describing different locations in the church.
Chapel (built in 1931)
Narthex (porch of a church)
Sanctuary (built in 1990)
Vestibule (space near outer door)
Pew (long bench with a back placed in rows)
Pulpit (raised platform where preacher delivers a message)
Choir Loft (space where choir sings together)
Communion Table (table where all are welcome to remember Jesus!)
As a group, we then follow the signage proceeding to the above locations and we run! All over the place. When we’ve met at each location, we enjoy a ‘work as a team because Jesus always sent out His disciples 2 or 3 at a time’ Scavenger Hunt:
What is the name of one of our pastors?
What color are the church’s front doors?
What color is the parament on the Communion Table?
How many black keys are on the piano played by the accompanist?
What is the big book opened on the Communion Table?
How many exit signs are in the Sanctuary and the Narthex? (Why would we need to know where the exits are?)
How many pews are in the Sanctuary?
How many crosses are in the Sanctuary?
What colors are the chairs in the choir loft?
Upon completion, I share a very abbreviated story of Jesus going to church with His family and affirm their parent’s heart for them to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Everyone gets an All About Jesus Sticker & Activity book to take home! Close in prayer. Precious face time with 2nd graders and their families…sacred memories of sacred spaces and special kids. Kiss on the cheek from the Lord? Three students in attendance came to Sunday school the following weekend for the first time!
What would your I Love My Church Faith Milestone look like?
“I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.'” Psalm 122:1