Explaining and understanding death is complex and difficult for adults. How can we help children when someone they love dies? Although there is not one easy answer, I highly recommend this book. In this short storybook, water bugs are changed into dragonflies. The water bugs do not know where their loved ones have gone. The dragonflies cannot go back to explain all is well to the water bugs. It is a simple and beautiful way of explaining that our loved ones are fine and one day we’ll be changed too. The story ends with a prayer for the one who has died that can be prayed together with a child. And at the end of the book, you’ll find helpful words for parents as they’ll most likely be grieving too while trying to explain death to their children.
Pastoral Prayer for Sunday Worship
In the midst of all that occupies our time and energy, we need sacred time with you, O God, to reorient ourselves. It is easy to get so caught up in what others are doing that we forget that you are our Center, our Rock, our True Home. Nudge us back towards you, Holy One, because there is much to distract us. We want to focus on you. We need to focus on you. For a few moments, let us sit in silence together while we turn ourselves to you, God, and listen for your still small voice.
Thank you, Gracious God, for never giving up on us-for forgiving us countless times and for welcoming us back because we are prone to wander. We pray that others may know your grace and your forgiveness. If there are ways we can show your love to others, open our eyes to the opportunities. Help us to see you in those we meet.
God, we are so aware of many needs in this world. We ask your spirit of wholeness and hope to rest on those on our prayer list, those we know who are in need, and your children around the world who desperately need you today.
We pray this prayer and all our prayers in the strong name of Jesus who taught us to pray saying…
Too often, we rush from one activity to the next without allowing ourselves any time to reflect on our experiences. We need to slow down and look over what we have done and then move on to the next thing. These are questions I shared at the final session of a confirmation class to give us time to reflect on what we had done together and what we would do next.
I hope you’ll use these questions in your confirmation classes or adapt them to help yourself reflect on an ending before moving on to your next thing.
What is left?
Any last minute questions?
What do you wish we had done?
What was the best part of confirmation?
What was the worst part of confirmation?
What would you change?
What books of the Bible did you read? And what did you think of them?
Say a little something about your time with mentors?
What did you think about the meeting of the church you attended?
What about your service project?
So where do we go from here? After confirmation, you have the opportunity to be a member of this congregation. We’ve talked about what you plan to do as a member. In youth group, we filled out the time and talents surveys.
What are your hopes for your church?
What do you think you’ll remember about confirmation in 10 years?
before you birthed the earth and the inhabited world—
from forever in the past
to forever in the future, you are God. -Psalm 90:2
Each day my morning starts with a cup of black tea. Recently, I was running low on black tea, so I went to the store hoping to find some Lady Grey. When my favorite morning tea was not available, I began searching for an alternative. Pure Leaf Black Tea with Vanilla caught my eye. On the back it is described as, “Long-leaf Assam black tea perfectly balanced with the delicate flavor of vanilla.” When I saw it was also Rainforest Alliance Certified, I thought it was worth a try.
The first thing you’ll notice about this tea is the strong scent of vanilla. Don’t worry. Although the vanilla smells like it will be overwhelming, it is subtle and a perfect compliment. The black tea shines through making this tea a great start to my morning. I do recommend not over steeping as the black tea tastes bitter when steeped too long. I recommend about 3 minutes.
I hope you’ll give Pure Leaf Black Tea with Vanilla a try. What teas are you drinking and enjoying?