Sunday 11 April

On the Road to Emmaus

Last week we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus, when He rose from the dead. Jesus stayed on Earth for a further 40 days before he ascended into Heaven to be with His Father. In the time between Easter and His ascension Jesus appeared to his followers on several occasions. One of the first appearances to them was on the road to Emmaus.

The Bible reading, activities and prayer ideas are below.

Story time

You can read the story in the Bible in Luke 24: 13 – 35.

Here is the Bible reading with some questions and an explanation for older children.

Watch the story here:

Activity time

Looking for Jesus binoculars

In the Bible reading it says ‘And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him’ Luke 24:31

Using a kitchen roll tube (or alternative) make some binoculars as a reminder that we need to look for and see Jesus. Stick 2 kitchen roll tubes together or cut one in half and stick them together with Sellotape. Decorate them.

The binoculars can help children to understand that we need to open our eyes to see Jesus.

Walking picture

Colour the attached picture and cut out the people and either stick on the background or stick them on a lolly stick/ piece of card and cut a slit in the picture to make the followers and Jesus walk along the road.

Footprints

Jesus walked alongside His followers. As a reminder that we too are walking with Jesus you could make some painted footprints or draw around your feet and cut them out. Perhaps make a trail to follow out of footprints.

Wordsearch, maze and crossword

Prayer time

Have a short walk around the garden or house. Stop several times and say a short prayer each time. Some ideas are below but you could use any prayers.

Lord our God, we thank and praise you for the greatness of your love, shown to us in Jesus Christ, who was willing to die for us, to bring us into your family, and to bless us with the life that lasts for ever.

We thank you for the new life we celebrate at Easter; help us to keep growing in the life that never comes to an end.

We pray for our families, our friends, and all those we care about: fill them with hope and happiness.

We pray for people who are unhappy today: those who are hungry, or homeless, those who fear violence or harm; may they find protection and peace.

We pray for those who are ill, or facing difficulties: may they find hope in the cross of Christ, and be strengthened by the knowledge of your love.

Lord, accept our prayers, and be with us now and for ever.
Amen.

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter

Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Resurrection means that he came back from the dead.

Last week we thought about the events of Good Friday and we heard about how Jesus had been placed in a tomb and a large stone rolled across the entrance.

On Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and some other women went to the tomb. When they arrived they found that the tomb had been opened and Jesus’ body was not there. How do you think they felt?

Then some angels appeared and spoke to them saying, ‘He is not here; He has risen!’.

Mary and the women went to Jesus’ apostles to tell them what had happened. Peter and one other apostle went to look in the tomb. They were amazed and confused.

As they returned home Mary Magdalene stayed at the tomb crying. Suddenly she saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise him, she thought he was the gardener.

Mary asked where he had taken Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Mary’ and she recognised Him. How do you think Mary felt now?

Read in a Bible to find out what she did next.

The following link explains Easter in a child friendly way.

https://www.messychurch.org.uk/resource/messy-church-home-easter

You might like to watch the story of Easter. You can watch it at the following links.

The story of Easter through pictures.

Easter is a time for celebration and singing is a way we can join in a celebration. The following link has some Easter worship songs that you could listen to and join in singing.

https://ministry-to-children.com/easter-worship-songs/

Activities

Easter Garden: If you made an Easter garden last week then today you can move the stone away from the entrance to the tomb. Perhaps put some flowers (real or paper) in the garden as a sign on new life.

Holy Week: The following link is to making some resurrection eggs using plastic refillable eggs. The eggs are filled with items that represent the main events during Holy Week. The activity could still be carried out without the eggs. You could find the items and use them to retell the events of Holy Week.

Easter Scavenger Hunt: To remember the Easter Story there is a scavenger hunt that you might like to do.

Easter Art: You can make a colourful Easter cross, using tape and paint or chalk. You could also make a resurrection picture using bright colours of paint, felt tips, pencils or tissue paper. Colour a bright background and stick or draw a cross on top. Here are some examples:

Easter Prayer Activity: Using a hollow chocolate Easter egg follow the attached instructions for Easter prayers.

Easter cookies: Make some Easter cookies, a recipe can be found at the following link.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easter-egg-cookies

Easter Colouring:

Easter wordsearch and crossword:

Wishing you a very Happy Easter

Frances and Nerys

Palm Sunday – 28 March

Welcome to this week’s Sunday School

Today is the start of Holy Week, Palm Sunday. We found out about the events that happened on Palm Sunday at the beginning of Lent. In our journey through Holy Week we have now arrived at Good Friday.

Good Friday can be difficult for children to understand as it is the day that Jesus died but we call it ‘Good Friday’. Older children may wish to reflect on this and the Bible verse from John 3:16 (Good News version) can be helpful. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.”

As Christians we believe that Jesus died so that we may be forgiven for the things that we do wrong.

You can read the story of Jesus’ death in the Bible, Luke 23:44 – 49.

If you would prefer to watch the story there are several different videos.

The film, ‘The Miracle Maker’ is an animation about the events in Jesus’ life. It is an interesting film to watch as we approach Easter, however, the events of Good Friday begin at 1hr 6mins. The film has a U rating but is more suited to children in KS2 and above.

You can also watch the story of Good Friday on one of the links below. They include Easter Sunday so you may wish to just watch until Jesus is put into the tomb and keep the resurrection until next week.

Lego animation with subtitles:

Lego, watch from 4mins 10 seconds

Beginners Bible, watch from 15mins 10 seconds (This is best for younger children)

Activities

Playdough Mat
Use the playdough playdough to make different crosses

Picture Cards
The picture cards can be used to sequence the events of Holy Week. If you are able to print 2 sets of them they can be used to paly a pairs game by placing them picture side down and trying to find the matching pair.
You could also stick them onto card and attach some string or wool and hang them as a decoration, perhaps on some twigs or a branch.
They are also a good way to talk about the events of Holy Week.

Decorate a Cross
Here are instructions for a tape resist cross. If you don’t have any masking tape you could decorate a paper cross.

Make a Cross
How many different ways can you make a cross?
Use Lego; building bricks; old cardboard boxes; lolly sticks; twigs; pebbles; playdough.
As you make the crosses think about how Jesus died to forgive us for the things we do wrong.

Easter Garden
Here are some pictures of Easter Gardens. You could try and make your own. Try and have a stone that you can move away next week on Easter Sunday.

Romero Cross (for older children)
This is an information sheet about the Romero Cross. The Romero Cross is a colourful crucifix. Why not have a go at designing your own Romero Cross that reflects our parish of St Mary’s and our local community.

Paper Plate activities
There is a picture of a tomb to make or the three crosses on the hill. You could place a folded piece of cloth in the tomb or a folded tissue, keep the stone across the entrance until next Sunday.

Colouring

I hope you are able to find an activity to reflect on the events of Good Friday.

Frances

Western Nepal Disability Trust

Despite the challenges of the last year, we have some encouragements to be able to share with you. Firstly thank you to our supporters, many of you from within the community of Burley, for your contributions in a variety of ways – praying, volunteering, financial donations, and moral support and interest.

Last year we made a donation to a small organisation called Light of Pokhara, which is run by friends and former colleagues. This was to fund a vocational training in sewing/tailoring for disabled people and/or their carers. Due to covid, this was delayed, but has been able to start in February 2021. There was a ‘typical Nepali opening ceremony’ with a banner (which includes the WNDT logo on it!), a local government person making a speech, people on the committee listening (having been welcomed to the event and given special scarves as a sign of respect), some lovely flowers on a table, and a sewing machine to indicate what it is really about…… we look forward to hearing how it is progressing…..

In contrast to the newer project above, we have continued our longer term support of the palliative care project, which is moving to an exciting new phase.

There is a neww Palliative Care centre, and we are committed to give
funding towards the running and staffing of the centre now and in the future. It is really special to see this building operational as we had seen the plans on paper when we visited Nepal in summer 2019.

In relative terms, Nepal has experienced covid with about 3000 deaths and 274,000 cases. This is likely to be under reported – but even so is remarkably low given the underlying poor health and economic status of many of the population. The pandemic has meant there is a growing need for treatment of long covid, and services based in the new centre will provide care for people with long term heath conditions, as well as the palliative care.

Due the pandemic restrictions continuing for some time, our usual WNDT fundraising events are ‘on hold’ – so another sponsored event is being planned. This will involve the WNDT Chair taking part in a ‘virtual challenge’ which is the equivalent of walking to Everest Base Camp and then to the top, a distance of 64km(40 miles). This is likely to start in May, and details of how to sponsor / be involved will be shared nearer the time, including how you can join in on a ‘trekking walk’ if you would like to do so. Despite the challenges, we can be really encouraged by the sewing training taking place now, and the developments of the palliative care service.

Thank you to our supporters for making this happen.

Jane Schofield Gurung, for WNDT Trustees

Easter 2021

Dear Friends

I wonder what you have put your hope in this year. For most of us it has been an incredibly hard year and although we may remember some positive moments from last spring, where everything stopped, the sun shone, the birds sang and we clapped for the NHS on Thursday evenings, the reality of the hardship of this last year is immense. The separation from loved ones, the huge increase of mental ill-health and suicide rates, the economic turmoil not seen since the years after the second world war. Most of us in Burley have been incredibly fortunate and there have been some wonderful initiatives to support the vulnerable and strengthen our community, but no one has been immune from the detrimental effects of the pandemic. It is very important to acknowledge just how hard it has been and how our levels or resilience have been worn down.

I have to admit that there have been many times over the last 12 months when I have felt desolate and barren. I have allowed my perspective to be influenced by what I have seen and heard all around me. That spirit of death and diminishment has been literally spewing out of every media outlet continuously and I have often found it hard to hold steady when the spirit of uncertainty and fear has been so pervasive.

However, I have feen forced to ask, with the psalmist, where does my help come from? And the answer for Christians for 2000 years around the world has been and continues to be, Easter hope. Christians are called to be the people of all hopefulness because we know that death has been defeated and that God is more than able to bring resurrection out of the most traumatic and devastating of situations.

The Bible tells us that we can essentially live with one of two opposing worldviews. You can either live with hope in “the world”, where evil and darkness is always rampaging, where we try and fix the ever-increasing list of social ills in our own strength, relying on our good, but inadequate understanding of the universe and our part in it. Or we can live with hope in a “Kingdom perspective” where we put our trust in the creator of the universe, where we can allow our lives to be formed and transformed by Jesus Christ, the author of life and where our spirits can be inspired by His Holy Spirit. The key difference between people of these different worldviews is not moral but lies in the foundation of our hope.

Of course, I am not saying that only Christians can have hope! In fact, there is much in our human endeavour and courage, in our reaching out to others, that offers hope. But I would say that we are all able to access the divine spark which is part of our DNA; Christians believe that everyone is made in the image of God and therefore there is a rhythm of hope that we all can tap into. However, as a Christian, I know that Jesus has defeated the power of death and so I can live in a more intentional rhythmic participation with heaven. When things are going wrong, as they undoubtedly do, I know that God can and will intervene. I know that he can bring healing to those who are ill, peace to the worried, he can break the power of bondage to the addictive behaviours that many of us are seduced by. I also know that when I am feeling desolate and barren, that is not the Spirit of God, but the spirit of the world around me.

Paul, the writer of many of the letters in the New Testament, claimed that if the resurrection of Jesus wasn’t real then he would be a complete and utter fraud and our faith would be utterly futile. C S Lewis said something similar; “Christianity if false is of no importance and if it is true it is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

At St Mary’s, in collaboration with Love Burley, we are running an Alpha course starting on the 14th April. If you are wondering whether there is “more to life than this”, whether you have questions about Jesus, about his death or the power of his resurrection. Or if you want to know more about a worldview that gives you, not only hope for the world beyond death, but also a huge amount of hope here and now, come and join us on zoom for our taster session. This question is of infinite importance and most of us, if we are honest, have never really thought to ask it.

May I wish you a hope-filled, resurrection-inspired Easter

Alastair