Friday, March 24, 2017

Easter Club 2017 Week 1

Die OsterAG 2017 fing am 13.März mit 12 Kindern aus der Grundschule in unserer Nachbarschaft an. Diesmal sind wir nicht gleich in die Ostergeschichte hineingesprungen, sondern haben wir uns mit den Würzeln vom Passahfest im Alten Testament beschäftigt. Warum hat Jesus das Passahfest kurz vor seinem Tod gefeiert, und was hätte dieses Fest mit Ostern zu tun? Easter Club got off to a great start with 12 children from our local elementary school. This year, we did not jump straight into the Easter story. Instead, we went a little further back to the Old Testament to find out about the Passover Fest that Jesus celebrated right before he was sentenced to death, and what sort of connections this feast might have to the story of Easter.



"Die Wüste ist ein gefährlicher Ort, aber viele wichtige und sogar wunderschöne Dinge sind da passiert . . ."  Ja, wir haben in der Wüste mit der Exodus-Geschichte angefangen, in der Gott sein Volk aus der Sklaverei in Ägypten in die Freiheit bringt. "The desert is a dangerous place, but many important, difficult and even wonderful things happened there . . . " Yes, you guessed it, we heard the Godly Play story of the Exodus, how God brought his people out of the slavery of Egypt into freedom.

Unten im Foto bringen die Kinder die Volk-Gottes-Figuren durch das Wasser in die Freiheit. Die Kinder stellten sich vor, was für unterschiedliche Gefühle und Reaktionen die Menschen damals vielleicht erlebt haben. Einige hätten sicher Angst gehabt, aber andere wären voll mit Freude. In the picture below the children are taking turns bringing people through the parted waters of the Red Sea and imagining the individual reactions. Perhaps some people were frightened or cautious, while others were turning joyful cartwheels.


Auch haben wir echte Matzen gekostet, damit wir etwas von der Geschichte "kosten". Nach der Geschichte haben wir und Fragen gestellt, was wir in der Geschichte gehört und selber erlebt haben. Z.B., was uns am besten gefallen hat, warum Jesus manchmal das "Lamm Gottes" genannt wird, und wie das Passahfest entstanden ist. Wir haben auch die Themen von Tod, Hoffnung und neuem Leben in beiden Geschichten besprochen, und ein Mädchen ging damit einen Schritt weiter mit ähnlichen parallel Gedanken in der Schöpfungsgeschichte. We also ate some real unleavened bread (from a local Kosher store) to "taste" more of the story. Afterwards, we wondered together about what we noticed and experienced in the story. What we liked best, why Jesus might sometimes be called the "Lamb of God", and how the Passover feast came to be. We also talked about the themes of death and the hope of new life in both the Exodus story and the Easter story, with one girl going a step further and drawing parallels with the story of the Garden of Eden. 

Nach dem Geschichtenkreis kam die Kreativphase, in der die Kinder eine Beschäftigung aussuchen konnten, um sich weitere Gedanken über Ostern zu machen. Einige Kinder haben Collagen zu den Themen Frühling und Erneuerung gestaltet. After the story, the children could choose from different activities in order to go deeper with the story.  Some children made painting collages with the themes of spring and renewal. 



Andere spielten mit dem Wüstensack und dachten weitere Abenteuer in der Wüste aus!
Others played with the desert bag and made up new adventures in the desert! 


Ein Kind spielte mit der Kirchenuhr, die eine Art Puzzle ist. One child took the "church clock" (Circle of the Church Year) apart and put it back together again.


Und andere fanden die Kaplasteine interessant.
And others play with Kapla blocks.


Ganz am Ende saßen wir noch im Kreis, um ein kleines Fest mit Weintrauben und Matzen zu feiern. For our "feast" at the end, we had grapes and more unleavened bread.

Bis nächste Woche!
See you next week!



Friday, March 3, 2017

Response Time Idea: Fish Toss

This year's Easter Club will be starting soon and so will my weekly posts, so I am going to try and post some unfinished articles in my inbox beforehand. We'll see if I get to all of them. ; )

This is a response time activity that one of my fellow Godly Players, Maxi, came up with. At the beginning of the school year, we told the Godly Play creation story and then did a series on each of the aspects of creation. 

Maxi, who is quite a hand a sewing and any kind of crafting, designed this simple game that the children have loved.



She made  beanbag fish, and then sewed a pieces of cloth onto wooden dowels. 


When you bring the dowels together and them pull the cloth taut, the fish fly into the air! The idea is then to catch the fish with the cloth again. 


This activity is a bit livelier than some response time activities, but it is definitely playful, and was a big hit with our kids. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Some Lenten Inspiration


As we enter into our Lenten journeys individually and with the children that we mentor,  I thought I would pass along this lovely thought that I read today:

"In many languages, the word for Lent implies 'forty' . . . The English word for 'Lent' has another, very beautiful derivation. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning to 'lengthen'. Lent comes at a time when the hours or daytime are 'lengthening', as spring approaches, and so it is a time when we too can 'lengthen' our spiritually, when we can stretch out and grow in the Spirit."

You can read the rest of this informative and inspiring article by Norman Tanner SJ called A Short History of Lent here.  

May you and the children in your life stretch out, grow and warm yourselves in the Son!