For Educators

About This Issue November 2018

November 2018—Hospitality

Themes of welcoming and hospitality seem perfect for November, a month when many of us give thanks for our blessings and feel prompted to share with others. How are Christians called to be hospitable? What does it mean to “welcome the stranger”? How can we welcome others in our communities, churches, and schools and make them feel that they are wanted and special? How can we “entertain angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2 nrsv)? How does the spirit of hospitality that Thanksgiving engenders remain with us throughout the year?


Stories: In “There’s Always Room for More,” Jason and Kevin, two acquaintance from school who live in the same apartment building, think both of their moms have lost it when they bring the two families together to celebrate Thanksgiving.

In “Those People,” Tori is outraged when her parents offer to let a family of strangers stay in the upstairs apartment where Tori’s beloved late grandmother lived.

In “Tree Frog Trail,” our continuing feature series, Nate is excited that his favorite teacher is coming for Thanksgiving and can’t wait to have some of his undivided attention.

In “Unwelcome Adventure,” Miguel prays to make friends in his family’s new town. In “The Day India Visited Minnesota,” Sierra tries to make a new friend from India feel warmly welcomed in chilly Minnesota..


Pocketsful of Scripture includes readings from several of the Psalms.

Where in God’s World? focuses on Cyprus.

Special note: This issue includes our Thanksgiving prayer calendar.

Coming up:                                                                                                        

December 2018—Welcoming Jesus

Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, is a time of great excitement. This issue should help children understand that there is a much greater reason for excitement than the activities of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The focus of this issue is on helping children understand what Jesus’ birth means for them and for the world. This issue definitely includes many elements of the celebrative fun of Christmas and Epiphany, but we also want to help children remember that Advent is about preparing our hearts to receive the gift of God’s son. It is this gift that we hope children receive over and over again each year to shape their lives.

January/February 2019—Extra Ordinary

Our culture bombards us with messages that everyone, every day, and everything should be special, extraordinary, amazing. These messages—often aimed specifically at children—can make it difficult to appreciate the “ordinary time” which makes up most of our lives. For children this often translates into boredom and the feeling that their lives aren’t as interesting or as special as they perceive other people’s lives to be. This issue should encourage children to see the many ordinary moments of their lives as extraordinary gifts from God.

March 2019—Humility

The idea of humility seems almost old-fashioned. We’re more likely to be instructed to be proud of ourselves, celebrate ourselves, and take care of ourselves before we take care of others. Yet in scripture we see that humility is a quality that Jesus both taught and consistently embodied. Humility means more than not bragging, and it isn’t about idealizing a poor sense of self-worth or ignoring your own needs. Humility is considering the needs of all, giving up the idea that we are always right, being open to considering different views and willing to learn from them. The season of Lent offers us a helpful framework as we consider what it means to “clothe yourselves with…humility” (Colossians 3:12).

April 2019—Hope

Terrorism, mass shootings, war, the plight of refugees, natural disasters—as we are inundated with these and other images of suffering, it is easy to feel despair. Yet the message of Easter, of the Resurrection, is hope! Our faith in God and our decision to follow the risen Christ call us to live each day with hope. With hope we are able to respond to the needs of our neighbors—next door and around the world. This issue will look at how the sure knowledge that a loving God created us and the world helps us to have hope, how the good news of Jesus’ resurrection turns our eyes from despair to hope, how we respond to seemingly hopeless situations with the confidence of children of God.



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