At Home For Christmas looks at some of the characters that are involved in the Christmas story. Each of the characters have something in common – they were not at home for Christmas.
- Mary and Joseph left their home in Nazareth and travelled to Bethlehem.
- The shepherds did not have a home but they came from the hills to the town.
- The wise men travelled from their home in Persia to Bethlehem.
- Jesus’ home was in heaven but he came to earth to live with us.
This resource has been created to be flexible for a variety of uses.
- It may be that you can engage in some face to face ministry with the children in your congregation. Some of the activities will be possible for you to do in person.
- Your congregation may be doing your children’s ministry online. The teaching and resources include videos that can be used online and the activities can be done by families at home together.
- You may be planning a Christmas all age service. With good planning and preparation the activities can be done from the front and in the church building together.
Some things to keep in mind:
- You may want to think about preparing resources for the activities ahead of time so that they have 72 hours “untouched” time and leaving them for children/families to collect on the Sunday to use.
- One of the activities in the last section entitled “Jesus” suggests sending a Christmas card to a member of the congregation, friend or neighbour. The same suggestion about time would apply here.
- If your ministry is online, you could post or drop on the doorstep some resources for families to use.
- The videos for the stories highlighted are from the Jesus Storybook Bible and are widely available to purchase or online.
For more on "At Home for Christmas" see here.
The 12 ways of Christmas
We all know Christmas is going to be different this year – in family, school, work, the high street, society and in church life. Whether we are already experiencing lockdown or circuit breaker, and with continuing uncertainty about what lies ahead, it is so hard to know what we will be able to do and what we won’t.
Our usual run up to Christmas might be curtailed, but it need not be cancelled altogether. Perhaps this year it is best to aim to choose to put our energy and restricted opportunities into one activity that becomes the focus for ministry or mission in our congregation or community during Christmas 2020.
Download the attachment, 12 ways of Christmas, to read some simple ideas to fire the imagination and from which to borrow or innovate. Remember, especially this Christmas, little things might mean a lot.
At Home for Christmas? Animations
Four animations to accompany the 'At Home for Christmas?" children's resource have been produced for churches to show during their church services.
Below is the first, featuring Mary and Joseph, telling the story of how they where not at home at Christmas. To download from the Vimeo website, click here.
These can be used as part of the material supplied or as stand-alone resources.
This is the second animation, featuring the Shepherds. To download from the Vimeo website, click here.
This is the third animation, featuring the Wise Men. To download from the Vimeo website, click here.
At Home for Christmas? Animation 3/4 The Wise Men from Presbyterian Church in Ireland on Vimeo.
This is the fourth and final animation, featuring Jesus.
At Home for Christmas? Animation 4/4 // Jesus from Presbyterian Church in Ireland on Vimeo.
Information to help with guidelines for face to face children’s ministry can be found at www.presbyterianireland.org/Blended