Monday, May 13, 2013

YCW: Dorcas, Follower of Jesus, Helps the Poor in Judea

This is another Young Children and Worship story that I've tried out with my own children. Although I have not been the biggest fan of YWC, I have been trying to keep an open mind about it until I've told more of these stories. And the story of Dorcas has some really great things in it. 

First of all, it is a New Testament story about a woman. Not many of those out there. And as someone who is consciously trying to empower young girls, I do look for stories that highlight women characters.  

The materials for Dorcas: a Dorcas figure, a Peter figure, 2 figures to represent
a widow and a poor person, and 5 tunics 

Secondly, this story communicates freedom and variety in how we show our love for God. The story begins with how the followers of Jesus received God's gift of the Holy Spirit and how they began to do the things that Jesus did.

"Dorcas did the things that Jesus did, but in her own special way." (She made clothing for the poor and for widows.)

I love this!! The last thing I want to do is mentor children to be cookie-cutter Christians who end up not truly living out the Gospel, because of social pressure to do what everyone else does. Stories like this one communicate that God values all of our gifts and talents. 

The second half of the story focuses on Dorcas' unexpected death brought on by an illness. The many widows and poor people that she has helped are distraught with grief. The apostle Peter is immediately sent for. He prays and then bids her to get up, and she comes to life again. 

Peter and Dorcas after God makes her alive again.
My kids once again complained about the length of the story. (YWC stories are in general very short in comparison to Godly Play.) But they had a lot to say during the Wondering.

I picked the following questions to wonder about:

1) How did the people feel when Dorcas was dying?
2) How did it feel for Dorcas to die and then be made alive again?
3) What did Peter say when he prayed?
4) How might the people who saw Dorcas be made alive again have shown that they loved God in their own special way?

Unfortunately, I don't remember a lot of what we talked about this time. We did talk about the special ways that we show our love to God. And we also spent a lot of time discussing what Peter might have prayed before he told Dorcas to get up.

There were also a few silly moments, because Dorcas' name sounded a lot like "dork" to my son.: ) Glad that we can laugh together and not take ourselves too seriously.

And this is a YWC story that I would definitely tell again.

A note about the materials: Obviously, I used Godly Play People of God figures instead the YWC figures. I also looked at their material list and asked myself, "What can we leave out and still have everything we need for the story?" So I chose not to use a wooden bed for the house and a water basin with cotton balls (to represent the women washing Dorcas after her death). I thought those things would ultimately be distracting and better left to the children's imagination.

Linked to Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now

Linked to Eco Kids' Tuesday at Like Mama-Like Daughter and Organic Aspirations


  1. I had never thought of acting out this story. :D I'm going to have to try it with my son.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Leanne, and good to hear from you!

  2. I've never heard of Dorcas! And I love your emphasis on strong women characters - raising boys I don't think about it much.

    I often forget what the children said and found it helps when my friend takes photos and videos during the story, so I can watch and remember later))

    1. Thanks, Asmic! I'm a little hesitant about videoing the children, because I want to protect their privacy and sacred space. But I think if we ask them beforehand if it's okay, then once in a while it could be done.

  3. I always love the see the stories you share, Sheila! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

  4. I like the "She lived like Jesus but in her own special way" part! Guess that should be our goal too! Thanks for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! Hope you stop by again!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Hannah! I'll definitely be dropping in again!