God Is Our Father

Here’s what I’m planning for this coming Monday’s session:

Theme (from textbook) – God is Our Father

Big Idea: We can trust God our Father to protect us

The session focuses on how Jesus taught us to call God our Father and how we pray for the coming of the Kingdom. A king is someone who leads and protects his people. We can trust God to lead and protect us from sin. God arms us with the virtues of faith, hope, and love.

Activities:

  1. We will go to church for the opening prayer service. This will probably take 30 mins. It will be an opportunity to pray with the other classes, with the pastor, and to reinforce proper reverence in church.
  2. When we get back to class, we’ll review last week by listening to the hymn “How Great Thou Art,” recalling how we discussed the beauty of God’s gift of creation.
  3. We’ll see what symbols the kids brought in for our prayer table.
  4. I’ll show the kids a family heirloom I’m bringing in and ask them if they can think of family heirlooms they have. I’ll explain that the church hands on to us precious heirlooms such as traditional prayers like the Our Father and hymns such as the one we listened to. We’ll use this as a segue into the text which focuses on how Jesus taught us to say the Our Father.
  5. We’ll read several pages of chapter 2 of Finding God about calling God “our Father” and what it means to say “thy kingdom come.”
  6. We’ll watch a brief segment of The Lion King to help us talk about the role of a king: one who leads and defends his people.
  7. We’ll read from the text about how God “arms” us with the virtues of faith, hope, and love to protect us from the dangers of sin.
  8. We’ll finish by doing the following activity. The kids will create a shield on which they will show symbols of the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love that God “arms” us with. Here is the shield I’ll give them (I enlarged my copies 11 x 17) – virtues shield. The kids will cut and paste 4 symbols onto their shields: one is a picture of Jesus, our Most HolyRedeemer (the name of the parish) wearing a crown of thorns as our king, and the others represent the theological virtues: cross (faith), anchor (hope), and heart (charity). Here’s the page with those symbols: Virtues cutouts
  9. Here’s what the finished shields should look like: Complete Virtues Shield
  10. If time permits we’ll listen to the song “To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King” to focus on the image of the Lord as our king.

I doubt that I’ll have time for all of that given the prayer service but you never know!

About Joe Paprocki 2156 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

9 Comments on God Is Our Father

  1. Hi Joe, I would not use such a sorrowful symbol/image of Jesus. I would use a less violent image. In Grade 4 do they need to see such a stark image of the suffering Jesus. Just my thought, offered gently.

    • Pat, you raise a good question. The reason I’m using that is it is the picture of Jesus on the wall in the sanctuary of the church so the kids will recognize it and I thought it would give me a chance to talk about how Jesus is a different kind of king. If not for that, I can see using another picture however the crown of thorns (and, come to think of it, even the INRI of the Cross) makes for compelling discussion of what it means to call Jesus “king” and for us to pray, “thy kingdom come.”

    • Joe and everyone I guess I am hijacking a thread, but I need direction. I am creating a web site just for CCE and looking for stated goals for each class. Is there a resource on web. Our CCE administrator is stretched pretty thin for me to involve her and Father has his hands full in a only church in county and 200 plus in CCE. So appreciate any help anyone can give in pointing me to a URL or even one book with goals.

      Allen

      • Hi Allen, please clarify for us what CCE stands for so we’re sure we know what we’re looking for. I presume you are looking for goals for each grade level or religious education. Check with your diocesan catechetical office to see if they have curriculum guidelines. Also check with your publisher’s Web site to see if there are stated goals for each level (these would also most likely be included in the Catechist manual or Director’s guide, depending on the program you are using).

  2. This will keep them busy and it is educational too! Students at this age like activities that involve movement and learning. Nothing is more fun than doing activities that use all the students senses and challenges them. 🙂

    You explain what you want your students to learn in ways that they understand the material. You also take into account the unique needs of your students or how they learn best to make your lesson as effective as possible. Great job! 🙂

  3. Joe,
    I love the use of the hymn How Great Thou Art. Did you see that Susan Boyle sang that for the Holy Father’s visit in Scotland? I was planning on using one of the YouTube videos of her singing that for an upcoming lesson for my sixth graders. Wonder if the sixth graders will even know who she is…

    • Connie, yes, I saw about Susan Boyle’s rendition but I chose to use a choral recording so it sounds like what they’d hear in church and less of a performance. I bet some of the kids know who she is from TV.

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