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For Educators

In the June 2019 issue

June 2019—All Creatures Great and Small

Since most children love animals, this theme seems like a natural one for Pockets. This issue is part just-for-fun and part celebration of the many wonderful creatures God has given us to share the earth with. We’ll look at what it means to live respectfully and responsibly with animals.

Stories: In “The Hairy, Scary Spider,” Miles is not impressed with his classmate’s pet—a tarantula named Pom-Pom. In “Outside the Box,” Hannah tries to convince her little brother that keeping a frog he found as a pet isn’t a good idea. In “Tree Frog Trail,” our continuing feature series, Callie deals with a rambunctious beagle puppy. In “Sleepover with Snowball,” Daito isn’t happy that his dad has agreed for them to take care of their neighbors’ cat. He still misses his own cat too much! In “Animal Lover,” Grace is convinced that a raccoon she spots in her yard must be starving and begins leaving food out for it.

 

Pocketsful of Scripture focuses on the story of creation and readings about Abraham.

 

Where in God’s World? looks at Slovenia.

 

Coming up:                                                                                                        

 

July 2019—Friendship

True friends are one of God’s great gifts. But making and keeping friends can be difficult for children to negotiate, and questions abound. How do I choose my friends? What qualities are and aren’t important in a friend? How do I know I’m being a good friend? How do friends deal with disagreements and disappointment with one another? What happens when my friend wants me to do something I know is wrong? How do I know if someone is a true friend? Can I be a friend to someone who seems really different than me? This issue will explore what it means to be a friend and how our faith shapes our friendships.

 

August 2019—Peace

“If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all”—Romans 12:18. Those seemingly simple instructions are sometimes hard to live out! No matter how much we desire peace, it seems to elude us—certainly in our world, but also on the smaller scale of neighborhood, school, church, or family. But peace begins with each of us. This issue should help children understand that peace can begin with them in the ordinary situations of their lives. Careful listening, cooperation, being respectful of others, calmly explaining our own position, negotiating compromise, praying for calmness and understanding—these are among the everyday strategies which can help us as we seek to “live peaceably with all.” As we actually experience this kind of living, one person at a time, we can begin to hope for peace.

 

September 2019—Change

Change is unsettling, and few of us really enjoy it. Moving means getting used to a new home and leaving friends and neighbors behind. Going to a new school requires learning new rules and new surroundings and finding new friends. A new person coming into a family shifts our roles and responsibilities. Even when we think we’re prepared for it, change is hard. But over time, we often discover blessings from change. The new house has advantages the old one didn’t. The new school has great activities, and we find a wonderful friend. The new person adds something we didn’t know we were missing. We want this issue to help children draw on the experience of past changes to face new ones. We hope to encourage them to begin a lifelong habit of looking for the opportunities and blessings change may bring.

 

October 2019—Let Your Light Shine

In October, as we anticipate the celebration of All Saints’ Day on November 1, we often focus on saints, heroes, and role models. This issue is slightly different as we encourage kids to consider how they, by living as Christian disciples, may act as role models and faith heroes for others. The emphasis is on faithful living in our everyday lives and how that way of life has the possibility of bringing the light of Christ to those around us.

 

November 2019—Little Things

Have you ever prayed or wished fervently for something that you didn’t get? How did you feel? Disappointed? Discontent? Sometimes when we focus on the big things we want but don’t have, we overlook the little gifts and blessings that come our way. Children often do the same. If God is all-loving and all-powerful, why doesn’t God, like a genie in a bottle, grant them their desires? But the truth is, God blesses us more than we know. Those blessings usually appear in simple ways: a hug or smile when we’re sad, a beautiful day, enough food to eat, a warm home, a family member who loves us unconditionally, a faithful friend—all things to be thankful for. We want to help children realize that all these things added up reveal how truly blessed they are—even when they don’t get exactly what they’ve wished for.

 

December 2019—Behold!

In truth, the December issue of Pockets hardly needs an assigned theme. The Advent themes of waiting, hope, welcoming, joy, peace, and love are all we need to guide us through the season. Beholding is about noticing, in an intentional way, Emmanuel, God with us. We want this issue to help children begin to understand how Jesus’ birth, God’s incarnation, is made new to us each Advent and Christmas and how this sense of God with us guides our lives throughout the year.

 

Jan./Feb. 2020—New Beginnings

“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” –2 Corinthians 5:17. A new year provides a natural time to think about new beginnings. How many of us begin the new year with lofty (and often unrealistic) expectations that this is the year we’ll finally begin eating healthier, exercising regularly, reading great books, and generally becoming nicer, smarter, healthier people? While these good intentions usually end in disappointment, we can make a new beginning any time—not just on January 1. How do we know when it’s time for a new beginning? When (and how) is it helpful to honor what we’re leaving behind in starting anew? What priorities should we adopt when considering change? How do we live each day into the possibility of becoming a “new creation” in Christ?

 

mhooper

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