Summary of 10/15/13 Session: God Creates Something Good Out of Nothing

Yesterday, I gave a couple of little tidbits (Ave Maria activity and a humorous comment from a student) about this past Tuesday’s session so now I thought I’d give a more detailed summary.

  • For the first time, I had a couple of absentees so I was down to 7 students.
  • As soon as students entered, I put them to work locating passages in the Bible using their Bible Bookmarks from my book The Bible Blueprint and a Scripture Search worksheet. They enjoyed doing this and I let them work in pairs and I also gave them many hints to move things along. All of them finished finding the 8 passages in about 15 minutes so I was very pleased that they were developing their Bible navigation skills.
  • We briefly reviewed the Rosary, asking volunteers which prayer we say on which bead…they are getting the hang of it but still get confused on when to say the Glory Be.
  • I shared some thoughts with you yesterday about the Ave Maria activity which they enjoyed. Only one student recalled having heard the Ave Maria sung before. I assured them they will hear it many times in the years to come, especially at weddings and during the Christmas season.
  • We did our usual ritual procession and opening prayer which they do with a satisfactory degree of reverence each week. I have 2 kids with broken arms and both of them prayed for their own healing so that they can get back into sports.
  • I showed a brief video clip of a magician which they thought was pretty cool and I asked them to explain what a magician does. They said “create illusions.” I pushed them: “they create an illusion that they can do what?” They said, “make things appear and disappear.” I explained that they create the illusion that they can do things only God can do and I introduced our theme: God Creates Something Good Out of Nothing.
  • We then read Finding God pages 10-11 (The first creation story) and I emphasized the points about the Jewish creation story being a story of love and goodness and that creation is a gift from God.
  • We then viewed a Creation video (7 mins) and, as they viewed the video, they filled in a Creation Video Guide-Worksheet  (Creation Video Guide-Worksheet Answer key). This went very well and was a prayerful, reflective way of exploring the words of Genesis chapter 1.
  • Next, I invited them to draw a picture of their favorite aspect of God’s creation (Creation drawing) as I played a video in background of How Great Thou Art. The kids took to drawing immediately…I forget how, at that age, they are eager to draw. They were not at all shy to do a brief show and tell and I was especially happy with how they linked their drawings to passages from Genesis chapter 1. I think it’s important that any kind of drawing or craft exercise should be grounded in a strong connection to Scripture or Tradition so that it’s not just an exercise in having fun but is a fun way to learn and express faith. I’m also happy they did these pictures because our DRE wants us to put together a display of the kids’ work for a family Mass coming up on November 3! Here are their works of art: Creation Drawings
  • Then, as happens without fail every year, one of them asked if we are doing sacred space! I happily replied, “yes, right now!” The kids eagerly moved to their sacred spaces and I worked to quiet them and to get still with some deep breathing and some quiet instrumental music in the background. I could actually see some of them doing the deep breathing and rolling their shoulders and necks to relax as I instructed them to.
  • I then led them through a guided reflection from Finding God pg. 12 on the goodness of God’s creation. They kids were very well behaved and prayerful for the 10 minutes we spent in reflection. As we finished, I told them to pay special attention to God’s creation as they left which resulted in that humorous comment I told you about yesterday!
  • I sent the kids home with the assignment of doing something in the coming week to show their love and care for God’s creation(Caring for God’s Creation). I plan to ask next week if anyone chose to do something and to share it with us.

All in all, it was a very satisfying session…tightly focused on one big idea and with a prayerful climate.

About Joe Paprocki 2146 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.

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