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For Educators

About the June 2017 issue

June 2017—Prayer

“How do I know God is listening?” “Why doesn’t God speak to me?” “I don’t know how to talk to God.” As we receive these and other comments and questions from children, we are reminded that children are serious about prayer. They want to know how to have conversation with God. This issue is not about prescribing a “right way” to pray but rather to help our readers realize there are many avenues of prayer in which to deepen their relationship with God. We want children to understand that God can be a part of every moment of every day. Quiet time, journaling, breath prayers, music, movement, the beauty of creation, everything and everyone they encounter in a day can point to God.

 

Stories: In “Dear God,” Nick prays to be spared the embarrassment of being picked last for every team at his school’s end-of-the-year field day. His prayers are answered in an unexpected way.

In “God’s Been Talking to You,” Nicole feels tongue-tied when she’s asked to pray aloud in a group, but she learns that her own way of praying is meaningful.

In “Tree Frog Trail,” our continuing feature series, Nate is excited about a big fishing trip with his dad; but he’s terrified of the flight in the small plane they have to take.

In “Chelsea in Charge,” Chelsea is determined to be in control of every aspect of a field trip to the city; but when she and a friend get separated from the group, she turns things over to God.

In “A Single Friend,” Emily prays to make a friend—just one—on her first day of camp. Everything seems to be going wrong until she realizes she’s made not one friend but two.

Pocketsful of Scripture includes readings from Acts.

Where in God’s World? looks at Guatemala.

 

Coming up:                                                                                                        

July 2017—Tech Time

Technology has changed our lives in such significant ways and has become so omnipresent that it’s hard to even comprehend its impact. The positive effects are many, as are the negative. We hope this issue will look at the role of technology in children’s lives in a balanced way. This is not about nostalgia for “the good old days”! What are the ways technology can help us have positive, healthy relationships with others? And what are the pitfalls? What role does technology play in a healthy family life? How does the way we use it help or hinder our efforts to love God and neighbor? How do we use technology in ways that are consistent with our faith?

 

August 2017—Healthy Bodies

It is a rare (or perhaps nonexistent) person today who makes it to adolescence without experiencing some anxiety about the “flaws” of his or her body. Size-zero models and actresses and steroid-enhanced athletes are offered up as ideal body types. At the same time, all kinds of unhealthy foods are marketed to children, who often get far less physical activity than they should. This issue is not about being the “food police” or convincing children to give up the technology they love. This is about the central idea that human beings are made in the image of God and that our bodies are a gift from our Creator. With this knowledge, we try to treat our bodies with respect and the appropriate care. It should also help children understand that no matter how they feel about their bodies, they are wholly loved and accepted by God. And just as we respect our own bodies, we respect other people—whatever the size, shape, or ability of their bodies—because they too are created in the image of God.

 

September 2017—School Rules!

We know that school is difficult for some children, whether for academic or social reasons or some combination of the two. But we want to encourage our readers to find and build on the positive aspects of school. What does it mean to live out our faith at school (regardless of the form school takes)? How do we live as Christians in the context of schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, relationships with teachers and classmates? How can our faith help us when school does become a struggle?

 

October 2017—Everyday Heroes

What constitutes a hero in the eyes of a child? A superstar entertainer? An elite athlete? A world leader or historical figure? True heroes often seem hard to find, but perhaps we should look around our own neighborhoods, communities, churches, schools, and even homes. Maybe we would find an abundance of heroes among those we see every day. This issue should help children recognize and appreciate those everyday heroes—people who quietly work to help others, people whose efforts are often taken for granted, people who try to live the way Jesus taught us to live. We also want this issue to help children to recognize their own potential to be everyday heroes.

 

November 2017—Gratitude

Gratitude is (or should be) a hallmark of our lives as Christians every day, not just on the fourth Thursday of November. But at times we may focus more on what we don’t have that we wish we did or feel we should. How do we help our children cultivate gratitude in their everyday lives? How do our lives reflect the gratitude that we say we feel? If we truly are grateful, what kind of actions flow from that gratitude?

 

December 2017—Waiting and Welcoming

The December issue of Pockets takes on a life of its own as we prepare to welcome Jesus once again. We turn to Advent themes such as waiting, hoping, preparing our hearts; and Christmas themes such as sharing love, joy, and peace. This issue should help children begin to understand how Jesus’ birth, God’s incarnation, is made new for them each Advent and Christmas and how this sense of Emmanuel, God with us, guides our lives throughout the year.

 

mhooper

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