“Can We Collect Money for the Philippines?”

We had a very enjoyable session last evening, learning about God’s plan of salvation established with Abraham. I was most impressed with how the kids asked if they can collect money for the people suffering in the Philippines in the aftermath of the typhoon. They truly have charitable hearts! Here are some highlights of the evening:

  • Our Big Idea was: Abraham trusted in God’s plan because God cares.
  • We began by talking about how some people feel as though they are invisible – forgotten – feeling as if no one cares for them. We talked about examples: kids who don’t fit in at school, loners, those who are poor, those with mental health problems, those in prison, etc. I showed a short clip of the people suffering in the Philippines and remarked that the look on their faces expressed such despair. They are wondering if they have a future and what the plan is to move toward that future.
  • I was using this as a lead-in to talking about how God revealed his plan for the future of his People through Abraham. Before I could go further, however, one young person raised her hand and asked if they could collect money for the people in the Philippines “like we did last year after Hurricane Sandy.” I told them that we will collect money over the next 2 weeks to send to Catholic Relief Services and had them write down a note to their parents, asking if they can do an extra chore to make money to donate. They were very excited and I thanked them for being so generous.
  • We then learned about Abraham and how God revealed his plan for the future of his People. The crux of the session was having the young people locate and summarize 6 important passages from Genesis about Abraham, from his calling to the testing of his faith with Isaac.
    • Gn 12:1-8 (Abram’s call and migration)
    • Gn 13:1-18 (God’s promise of land/a home)
    • Gn 15:1-18 (God makes a covenant with Abram)
    • Gn 17:1-9, 15-22 (God changes Abram’s and Sarai’s names)
    • Gn 18:1-15 (3 visitors and the promise of a son)
    • Gn 22: 1-18 (God tests Abraham’s faith)

    The kids worked in groups of 3 with their Bibles, reading and summarizing the stories (using the Abraham Trusts in God’s Plan Worksheet). It took a full 30 minutes for them to work through these but they were animated and focused and it was a good exercise in getting them to actually read from the Bible.

  • Because the above took such a long time, we didn’t have time to summarize the stories but I had the kids put the worksheets in their binders and we will begin our next session by completing this. That will make a nice segue into the story of Jacob!
  • We had a nice guided reflection in which we listened to A Song of Hope (John Foley, SJ) which expresses beautifully Jeremiah 29:11-13: “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.”

It felt as though we accomplished a lot and I look forward to our next session to tie up a few loose “Abrahamic” strings and move on to the next Patriarch!

Have a great weekend!

About Joe Paprocki 2739 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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