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For Educators

About the April 2018 issue

April 2018—Listening

We live in a noisy world, so we hear a lot. But is anyone listening? Do we genuinely listen to family and friends, or are we busy thinking about what we’re going to say next or checking email our phones? Do we make the time and space to listen to God, or are we too busy telling God what we need or want (or too busy to pray at all!)? Do we even notice the sounds of God’s creation—the song of katydids on a summer night, the rustle of leaves on an autumn day? We’re under no illusion about turning back to clock to some time we think was simpler. But we want to help children begin to appreciate the value of truly listening to the world around them, to the people they’re with each day, and—most importantly—to God. In this Easter season, the theme of listening reminds us that the Resurrection is God’s ultimate message to us: My love for you is stronger than anything! How do our lives show that we are listening to that message?

 

Stories:

In “The Strongest Words,” Derek seems to hear only the negative things others say about him, but his mom reminds his that God’s message for us is different.

In “Close Enough,” Abby realizes that God has been answering her prayer for new friends but that she was missing the answer.

In “Tree Frog Trail,” our continuing feature series, Marcos learns to listen to a friend and to “the sounds of resurrection.”

In “Unplugged,” a group of home schooled kids can’t believe their moms expect them to spend a week without technology.

In “Nobody Listens to Me,” Gabby learns a lesson about listening from a kindergartener.

 

Pocketsful of Scripture includes readings about jealousy from the Gospels and Acts.

 

Where in God’s World? looks at The Netherlands.

 

Coming up:                                                                                                        

 

May 2018—Family Traditions

In today’s ever-changing family structures, children can easily forget (if they ever knew) who they are and where they have come from. Our heritage connects our past, present, and future families and provides an important way for children to understand themselves. Sharing our family heritage is a powerful tool for fostering understanding and empathy. In the past, telling family stories occurred naturally as families did chores together or spent time talking on the porch or in front of the fire. In the context of today’s busy, widely scattered, and often-fractured families, sharing our family stories requires us to be more intentional. This issue should help children to appreciate their family heritage and traditions and to recognize their own role and place in their families.

 

June 2018—Finding Balance

Genesis 1 tells us that God rested after the act of creation. The Gospels tell us that Jesus went apart to rest and pray. Our lives are not meant to be all work (or all play). It may seem that finding balance is more of an adult challenge, but children have to deal with this issue, too. Time alone vs. time with others, work vs. play, activity vs. rest, programmed activities (i.e. team sports, lessons, etc.) vs. free time—any of these elements may become unbalanced in children’s lives. We hope this issue will help children recognize the need for balance and find creative ways to achieve it.

 

July 2018—Joyful Living

Jesus said that he came so that we may “have life and have it abundantly” (see John 10:10).  This issue should celebrate the sheer joy of being alive and living in the world as a child of God. What does it mean to live joyfully? What is the source of our joy? What is the difference between ignoring or denying problems and living with deep joy? How does our abundant living impact those around us? These are some of the questions we’ll to explore in this issue.

 

mhooper

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