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Archive for Children’s Ministries

Blessing of the Animals 2021

Sunday, October 3, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Rooted in Saint Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures and our love, care, and concern for our non-human animal friends and companions, the Children’s Ministry of Danville Congregational Church invites the community to a “Blessing of the Animals” on Sunday, October 3. Pets of all kinds—puppies, bunnies, birdies, and kitties who wouldn’t be freaked out—are welcome to accompany their human friends to receive a blessing from one of our pastors following worship, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. And our young friends are welcome to draw a picture of their pet for our Blessing Board and take home a special memento.

A Back-to-School Blessing for 2020

This prayer was adapted by the Prayer of St. Francis by DCC member Jenn O’Neal and prayed over everyone involved in returning to virtual school, Sunday, August 9, 2019.


Congregation prays:

As your church, we will lovingly support you through our prayers and active encouragement. We stand by you as you enter into this unique — and sometimes overwhelming — school year. We hope more than anything that you will be graced by the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Creator, Mother Father God, as I begin this unique school year please help me remember the following:

When I am frustrated, please give me patience

When I feel joy, let me shout out the good news

When I feel lonely, please help me seek out connection

When I am confused, please give me guidance

When the internet goes down, please help me find chocolate

When I am stuck, please help me think outside the box

When I am all done with my work for the day, please help me rest my mind, body and spirit and help me do it all over again tomorrow.

Amen.

Make a Spirit-Catcher Pinwheel!

Our Holy Moly lesson on Pentecost invites us into an activity that can help us think about the Holy Spirit in a fun way! By making a Spirit-Catcher Pinwheel and holding it in the wind, we can think of the Holy Spirit as the wind catches our pinwheel! This activity was designed for our younger friends but is suitable for all who are “children at heart.”

  1. Download and print the pattern for the pinwheel.
  2. Holy Moly Spirit-Catcher Pinwheel Instructions.

Have fun with your pinwheel—and remember to bring it with you this Sunday!

Don’t let your hearts Stay troubled…

Time with Children, Sunday, May 10, 2020, by Pastor Todd


I wonder if anyone in this Zoom has ever experienced their hearts being troubled. What do you think that means? For your heart to be … troubled?

[Invite a moment to share.]

Maybe our hearts are troubled because we couldn’t go back to school. Or because our graduation ceremony isn’t going to happen in the way we’d always imagined.

Maybe our hearts are troubled because we’re worried about our grandparents being alone.  Or because we fear getting sick or someone we love getting sick.

Maybe having to wear masks or hearing grown-ups talk about the news troubles our hearts.

The part of the Bible that Mary-Marie read for us this morning happens before Easter, back before Jesus died. Do you remember the time when Jesus was gathered with his friends for a meal—that time he washed their feet and told them about the bread and the wine?

So after that happened, Jesus was talking with his friends, his followers. There in that room, they had some difficult conversations, especially Judas and Peter. Jesus began to explain to them what was going to happen to him. That ultimately he would be leaving them.

This news “troubled their hearts.”

Made them feel sad, afraid, anxious.

They began to worry about what was going to happen next, what might happen to them.

And do you know what I think?
Jesus knew this.

Because Jesus was human just like us, he knows that everyone feels sad, afraid, anxious, or worried sometimes.

And he didn’t want his friends to feel bad for how they were feeling.

But Jesus didn’t want them to stay feeling bad.

He wanted them to know that even if they were feeling those feelings, they could think of him, and how much he loved and would always love them.

That they could remember how much God loved them as a way to start feeling better feelings, to have less trouble in their hearts.

To our young friends, and to our friends who are young at heart:

It’s ok to feel what you are feeling right now.

It’s ok to say it, to name it, to talk about it with someone we trust.

But when your heart is troubled, try to remember that God loves you, that Jesus promises to be with you.

And maybe, close your eyes and imagine Jesus saying to you,

I understand how you are feeling.
But don’t let your hearts stay troubled.
Believe in God. Believe also in me—that I am always with you.

Let’s pray together…

Dear God,
Thank you for this day.
Thank you for Jesus.
Help us remember,
when our hearts are troubled,
that you love us and,
that Jesus has promised to be with us.
Help us remember we are not alone.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
Amen

Blessing of the Animals, September 22 at noon

As we learned during our recent Peace Village Camp, St. Francis of Assisi (c. 1181) abandoned a life of luxury for a life devoted to Christianity after reportedly hearing the voice of God, who commanded him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty. During his life he also developed a deep love of nature and animals and is known as the patron saint of the environment and animals; his life and words have had a lasting resonance with millions of followers across the globe. St. Francis set an example for us someone who cares for others—including nature and our non-human animal friends and companions. Each October, many animals the world over are blessed on his feast day.

And so this year, we want to offer a Blessing of the Animals ceremony to our community—here at DCC and beyond—as a way of honoring animal companions and their special place in our lives. Because we will be at Camp Caz the weekend adjacent to The Feast Day of St. Francis on October 4, we will hold this blessing on Sunday, September 22 at noon here on the church grounds. More information will be available in coming weeks.