Cornerstones has a Family Ministry component included with each unit of our Year One - Witness to God's Presence curriculum. The component consists of a take-home packet with several activities to choose from.
Other ways Cornerstone curriculum can meet the needs of family ministry in the local church
Churches have the opportunity to nurture spiritual growth in the home, placing several generations around the table to do Bible study and ponder how scripture directs their path. Because this is an intergenerational setting, Bible study can be interactive and creative, allowing each generation to pass its faith onto another. It goes both ways; the children can be as enlightening as the adults. Cornerstones lessons are a vehicle for making that mutual journey of faith happen.
Intergenerational small groups
One way of doing family ministry is a year-long survey of a theme in the Bible that is explored in intergenerational small groups.
- Extended family clusters that are intentionally intergenerational meet at someone’s home once/month.
- They share a simple meal.
- They do Bible Study.
- They become creative with the story through a variety of activities that encourage everyone to participate. (Storytelling, Drama, Art, Food, Missions, Movement, Puppetry, Make-A-Video, Bible Geography)
- Suggestion: record each activity via photography or film so that at the end of the year, the group can watch a slideshow of what they learned. The fun is in guessing which Bible story is being interpreted.
- There is a potential computer component that would allow one to three people to visit some pretty cool software (go to www.sundaysoftware.com for examples.) The issue of parental supervision would have to be addressed.
- There is the potential for all families to receive a link to Cornerstones for each month’s Bible study. If they want to pursue the topic at home, they can take their pick of ten other lessons and order a lesson of their choice for home use.
Example of small group activity
For instance, when the intergenerational small group recreates Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, a family might want to go home and do the "Let's Eat" lesson which takes them through how Jesus used the Passover meal as the way that he instituted communion.
Year-long study suggestion
A Cornerstones theme develops a concept from Old Testament foundations that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ and embraced by the church. For example:
|Theme title: A Witness to God' s Presence|
|October||Plagues and Passover|
|November||Wandering in the Wilderness|
|January||Feeding the 5,000|
|February||The Lord's Prayer|
|March||The Last Supper|
|April||Walk to Emmaus|
|May||Paul on the Road|
Each month looks at the scripture in terms of how the Bible story illustrates how we witness to God’s presence in our lives. The group will get a taste of the Seder meal in October when they study Passover. They’ll do the same thing in March when they have a taste of the Last Supper. The whole group will make the connection between the Passover, the sacrificial lamb, Jesus Christ and holy communion. Those are heavy and profound connections for everyone to make, regardless of age. Cornerstones never intends to be “fluff”, doing things for fun just because we need to have fun at intergenerational gatherings. Indeed, Cornerstones always intends to be transforming because the lessons are engaging.
Bread as a sub-theme
A sub-theme in this year of curriculum is bread. It is present in the Passover meal, as manna in the wilderness, in the Feeding of the 5,000, in the Lord’s Prayer, in the Last Supper and in the Road to Emmaus. Consider using unique breads throughout the year when sharing a meal.
Another way of doing family ministry focuses on family devotions. This encourages families to gather around the Bible, hear scripture, do an activity and then go on an excursion that allows life to intersect with faith that is founded in the Bible. It is a natural vehicle for everyone in the family to pass its faith onto another generation. Gospel Gourmet can be used with intergenerational small groups or family devotions. The Bible is covered in twelve sessions using food as the vehicle to understand the story. Since food is the universal language, people of all ages are nurtured along their own spiritual journeys.
Family friendly resources for Easter
Whether you want to focus on how various ethnic groups celerate Easter, figure out the Easter bunny or connect a field trip or family excursion with the Bible, we have just the lesson for you. The table below lists several family friendly Easter resources..
|ACTIVITY||NAME OF LESSON||DESCRIPTION|
|Flowers||Easter around the World: Bedouin Encampment||Investigate the symbolism behind a wide variety of flowers and horticulture in relation to the Easter message of the Resurrection and new life. Then go to a flower shop or a nursery in search of those flowers. Consider a field trip or family excursion to a local botanic garden or conservatory with displays of Easter flowers.|
|Bible software||Easter around the World: Bible @ Your Fingertips||Explore the Holy Sepulchre (the site of Jesus' crucifixion and entombment) in the software Pathways through Jerusalem. Use your home computer as a tool for family-friendly Bible Study. This particular program features nine different tour guides of Jerusalem from across the millennia. This makes a nice connection to the Mary & Martha's B&B lesson.|
|Easter Bunny||Easter around the World: Bible Improv||Are you having trouble explaining the Easter Bunny? Try this lesson at home to explore the differences between the biblical Easter story and how it is represented by the commercial world in America.Video Live is fun as the children create a newscast that explores the history and origin of the Easter Bunny in relation to the Resurrection.|
|Kites||Easter around the World: Created by the Spirit||Learn how Bermuda celebrates the Resurrection by flying kites. Make kites and fly them on Easter morning.|
|Kitchen||Easter around the World: Eat your Way through the Bible||Make kolaches, raspberry lemonade and kielbasa while learning how Slavic people celebrate Easter. This is a great time to tell your family story of ethnic background, faith traditions and holiday memories. How about doing this as a prelude to dying your Easter eggs? Is there a Slavic church nearby to visit?|
|Candles||Easter around the World: Mary & Martha's Bed & Breakfast||Who can act as Peter, telling his story of denial, witness and leadership in the church. Learn how the Greek Orthodox tradition celebrates Easter Eve at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Share any dreams you have of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Decorate candles to remember that Jesus is the light of the world. Is there a Greek Orthodox church nearby to visit? This makes a nice connection to the Bible @ Your Fingertips lesson.|
Family friendly Bible study resources for Advent
Advent is the perfect time to gather around the kitchen table, explore the Christmas story and then have some fun. Generations can find common ground in the story of our Saviour's birth. The table below shows examples of several family-firendly lessons.
|ACTIVITY||NAME OF LESSON||DESCRIPTION|
|Astronomy||Messengers of the Covenant: Where in the World Is?||Learn about the three magi: who they were, from where they came, what gifts they brought, and what legends emerged about their lives. Explore the astronomy of the Star of Bethlehem and make the connection with the night skies used in the Underground Railroad.|
|Ice cream sundaes||Jesus as Fulfillment: Eat Your Way through the Bible||Make ice cream sundaes or baklava as an expression of the many layers of prophecy that preceded the birth of Jesus.|
|Acting and candle making||Jesus as Fulfillment: Mary & Martha’s Bed & Breakfast||Hear Anna’s story and create votive holders as reminders that we celebrate the Light of the World during the Christmas season.|
|Christmas carols||Christmas around the World: Mary & Martha's Bed & Breakfast||Explore and enact Christmas Carols from the western world, including Good King Wenceslas, Silent Night Holy Night, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and African-American Spirituals.|
|Christmas cards||Christmas: Gospel Comparison: Mary & Martha’s Bed & Breakfast||Play the game “Name That Tune” to Christmas carols that reveal the biblical nativity story.|
|Eat!||Christmas: Gospel Comparison: Eat Your Way through the Bible||Hear the account of Jesus’ birth from Matthew and Luke. Make a cake, cereal snack and coconut mice to reinforce the story.|
|"Welcome Lord" craft||Christmas: Gospel Comparison: Faith Today||After reviewing the nativity story in Matthew, Luke and John, view the video Martin the Cobbler.|
|Games||Christmas: Gospel Comparison: Moved by the Spirit||Play a game of life-size Checkers to learn the names in Jesus’ family tree, as found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.|
|Stars||Christmas Dreams: Bedouin Encampment||Create points for a large star as different parts of the Christmas story are told. The final point will be for each person’s personal Christmas dream.|
|Make ornaments||Christmas Dreams: Created by the Spirit||Learn how Christmas dreams affected those around Jesus’ birth and make bread dough dreamer ornaments to remember this story.|
|Games||Christmas Dreams: Moved by the Spirit||Through a variety of active games explore the different dreams that were an important element of the Christmas story.|
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