Guest Post: Engaging Children In The Lectionary, Clare Williams, ROOTS Children and Young People Editor

ROOTS (Worship and learning for the whole church) provides weekly, resources in magazine format and online. These are Adults & All Age and Children & Young People resources based on the Revised Common Lectionary. ROOTS resources help you to: plan inspiring worship, encourage discipleship throughout the week, nurture children and young people in their faith...every single week of the year.

Not all churches follow the Lectionary but many within our ecumenical partnership[1] do. The Lectionary offers a richness of Biblical texts to explore over a three-year cycle. While this does not cover the whole of the Bible it does offer a selection of Old Testament, Psalms, Gospels and New Testament books to explore; often helpfully linking themes, characters and passages together. The other huge benefit of following the Lectionary as a church is that it enables all ages to engage with the same passage(s) of Scripture as part of their worship. Whether the church community stays together for the duration of the worship or whether they split into groups for different ages; whether the majority of teaching happens on a Sunday morning or if teaching is something which is part of discipleship through the week, following the Lectionary helps families and congregations to learn about the Bible together and, where helpful, in parallel.

ROOTS resources for children and young people provide age appropriate discipleship material for children based on the focus reading for the Sunday; this can be any of the Biblical texts but is most often the Gospel, and in the current three-year cycle, Paul’s letters have featured regularly. This focus offers children the opportunity to have a thorough exploration of the text through gathering activities, sharing the story together, exploring and responding through games, crafts and prayers, and by being encouraged to ‘live your faith’ through the week. Resources for young people follow a similar pattern but can focus on a number of the Biblical passages for that week and have a more focused ‘Bible study’ style start to the session as well as creative ways to connect with and explore the Bible passages, seeking to find connection with the wider world and everyday lives of young people.

As part of these resources, music plays an important role in offering another way for children and young people to engage with and respond to the Biblical material. We offer a wide variety of musical styles for different age groups and often suggest ways in which music can be integrated into the session. Out of the Ark – and now Same Boat Music – is a huge part of how we are able to support and resource churches in their worship and learning with children and young people through music. The magazines and resources (which cover a two-month period) provide four free songs from the whole catalogue of Out of the Ark/Same Boat Music which churches can download and use.

The music resources we provide relate to a theme for the week which we draw out of the Lectionary as a particular angle for that Bible passage for that year; this we call ‘this week’s resources explore…’. Our friends at Same Boat Music are able to search through the lyrics and themes of their songs to offer music which fits with this theme. We are also very pleased to be able to offer seasonal music for special occasions such as; Christmas and Easter, but also Harvest and Remembrance Day.

Following the Lectionary is a great way to ensure structure, variety and consistency within worship and learning provision for the whole church. However, it is also flexible and covers themes which are wide enough to embrace world issues, seasonal and special occasions as well as topics which relate to the every day lives of the Christians who are reading the Bible in that way.

To find out more about ROOTS resources please follow the link https://www.rootsontheweb.com/see-sample-material/sample-week

Written by Clare Williams, ROOTS Children & Young People Editor 

 

[1] The Methodist Church, The National Society, The Church of England, The United Reformed Church, Christian Education, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Welsh Sunday School Council.

 

 

Songs we love for teaching scripture:

 

Parts of a body - Based on Corinthians 12:12-26

Love In My Heart - Based on 1 Corinthians 13

Thank You For Loving Me - Based on John 3:16