The Holy Family were Refugees

The Feast of the Epiphany, Year C
Intergenerational Gospel Lesson
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

This week, the church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany, which begins the six-week season of Epiphany. Epiphany recognizes the manifestation of the divine in Jesus and recalls the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt to escape the tyranny of King Herod, who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents in Bethlehem.

Forced to flee, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus became what we now call refugees.

The Holy Family’s experience is mirrored today in the plight of more than 60 million displaced persons worldwide, including at least 19 million refugees. Many are in camps or cities in places such as Rwanda, Kenya and Jordan, hoping that someday it will be safe enough to return to their communities. Some, however, find that they must journey to a new country to begin again. For 70,000 refugees in 2015, that journey brought them to the United States.

The journey of a refugee is never easy. Someday these journeys may no longer be necessary; someday persecution and violence may cease to drive displacement and rob refugees of their communities and nations.

Until that day, please join Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) in working toward safer, brighter futures for refugees.

For more than 75 years, the Episcopal Church has welcomed and supported refugees in the United States. Working in partnership with Episcopal faith communities as well as with local governments, non-government organizations (NGOs) and a network of 30 affiliate offices, Episcopal Migration Ministries provides safe passage, vital services, hospitality and friendship for thousands of refugee families resettling in the U.S. every year.

If you would like to learn more about particular groups of people The Episcopal Church and other resettlement agencies resettle, you can find up to date statistics on the status of refugees in the world using this link: http://www.unrefugees.org/. Finally, if you have time, research the status of refugees in your community. Use the EMM network affiliate map to identify a resource in your area: http://bit.ly/1swkPif.

Over four weeks – January 3, 10, 24 and 31 – Episcopal Migration Ministries is providing bulletin inserts and Lesson Plans That Work that will help you learn more about the plight of the refugee and how you can join this life-saving and life-giving ministry.

To learn more about supporting refugee resettlement on a local level, contact Allison Duvall, Episcopal Migration Ministries manager for Church Relations and Engagement, aduvall@episcopalchurch.org or visit http://www.episcopalchurch.org/emm.

Download the intergenerational lesson plan for Epiphany.

LPTW EMM Epiphany, Year C, Intergenerational

Coming of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost, Year B, Intergenerational Lesson Plan
Scripture: Acts 2:1-21

The focal scripture for Pentecost is The Book of Acts 2:1-21. Jesus had told them to wait. Wait until the “advocate” appeared. They had no clue who this advocate would be, but they trusted Jesus.

They were probably together to celebrate Shavu’ot, which was also called Pentecost because it occurred 50 days after Passover. Passover has brought physical freedom. At Shavu’ot people gratefully celebrated the “giving” of the Torah (the first five books found in our Bible), which brought freedom from idolatry.

On the Feast of Pentecost, “it” happened. The only account we have is provided by the writer Luke in this Acts passage. We can probably identify with Luke’s reaching for the right words to describe what happened: “It was like …” Yes. Wind. Fire. Now the disciples are not just speaking – they are communicating. Each person there understands. Now the disciples are ready to do the work Jesus gave them to do.

Download the Intergenerational Lesson Plan for Pentecost

LPTW Pentecost, Year B, Intergenerational

Peace

Second Sunday of Easter, Year B, Intergenerational
Scripture: John 20:19-31

The same Gospel reading occurs in the Second Sunday of Easter in all three lectionary cycles; so for each cycle, the lesson plan suggests a section of the reading as the focus. Today’s reading from the Gospel of John follows the discovery of the resurrected Jesus by the women at the tomb. Although several disciples raced to the tomb to see for themselves, they returned to the upper room – reasonably sure that they would be the next to be killed. While they huddled in fear, Jesus came to them, and even after all he had been through, he continued to teach the message of peace and forgiveness. For today’s session, the suggested focus is the concluding portion: verses 25 through 31.

Download the intergenerational lesson plan for the Second Sunday of Easter

LPTW Easter 2, Year B, Intergenerational

Believe the Good News

First Sunday in Lent, Year B
Scripture: Mark 1:9-15

Succinct! Mark wastes no words: Jesus’ vita as he presents himself for ministry – in 6 lines! Baptized, his call affirmed by God, ministry temptations faced, Jesus is ready to begin. Mark does not see the need to list the temptations, only that the angels were with Jesus as he did his discernment. Jesus emerges and announces his ministry: the time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe: our creed in a nutshell.

Download the Intergenerational Lesson Plan for the First Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent 1, Year B, InterGenerational

Advent Intergenerational Lesson Plan

Advent, Year B, Intergenerational Lesson Plan
Scripture: Mark 13: 24-37

Today we begin Cycle B, the second year of the three-year cycle from the Revised Common Lectionary. This cycle features the Gospel of Mark. It’s succinct, no frills, and no extra data. Just the facts as Mark perceived them. Jesus will come back – no matter how long it takes. The truth Jesus came to show us will not go away. When will Jesus come back? Who knows? “When” didn’t seem to matter to Jesus – just that we be ready.

Download the Intergenerational Lesson Plan

LPTW Advent, Year B, Intergenerational
Jesse Tree

Turning to God and One Another

First Sunday in Lent, Intergenerational Lesson, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus understood that he had to face the temptations that come with ministry. He realized he needed to get as vulnerable as possible to assure himself that he could stay grounded. So he fasted to get focus. Vulnerability is the door to both growth and to temptation. Jesus stares down the three temptation biggies: success, prestige, and power. (Concept found in: Radical Grace, Richard Rohr, St. Anthony Messenger Press. 1993. Pages 294-297)

Download the Intergenerational Lesson Plan for the First Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent, Year A, Intergenerational

For All The Saints (Intergenerational)

All Saints’ Day Interegenerational Lesson Plan, Year C
Scripture: Luke 6:20-26

Note: This is the lesson plan for All Saints Day/All Saints Sunday.  Check with your clergy person about what propers you are using for this Sunday.  Some churches use All Saints, others use the Sunday Propers. There are also Lesson Plans for each age group for today.

All Saints’ Day invites us to look way back to the very early days of the Church and at people whose lives are an inspiration for us. It also invites us to remember those whom we love that have gone on through the gates of larger life. It calls us to notice those in our midst who show us a brighter way to live. In some mysterious way we are gathered, now, with all those who have gone before, with those we love who live in different parts of the world, as well as with those in the room with us. From the earliest days, the church has taken this opportunity to celebrate and we are invited to join in the celebration.

Download the Lesson Plan for All Saints’ Day

LPTW All Saints, Year C, Intergenerational

The Holy Spirit and Wind

Pentecost, Year C Intergenerational Lesson Plan
Scripture: Acts 2:1-21

The focal scripture for Pentecost is Acts 2:1-21. Jesus had told the disciples to wait until the advocate appeared. They were quite puzzled about what to expect in this advocate, but they trusted Jesus, and they waited.  The disciples had learned that there was empowerment in their spending time together, praying, and sharing their concerns.

They were probably together to celebrate Shavu’ot which was also called Pentecost because it occurred 50 days after Passover. Passover had brought physical freedom; at Shavu’ot people gratefully brought branches of their very first harvest and celebrated the “giving” of the Torah (the first five books found in our Bible), which brought freedom from idolatry.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the disciples experienced the Holy Spirit.  We can probably identify with Luke’s (the author of Acts) reaching for the right words to describe what happened: “It was like . . .” Yes. Well, like wind. Like . . . well, fire. Suddenly, the disciples were not just speaking — they were communicating. Each person listening to them understood what they were saying. Now the disciples were ready to do the work they had been given to do.

Download the Intergenerational Lesson Plan for Pentecost

LPTW Pentecost, Year C, Intergenerational

Easter is a Gift

Second Sunday in Easter, Intergenerational Lesson Plan, Year C
Scripture: John 20: 19-31

(Note: there are also lesson plans for each age group for this Sunday which contain more ideas and suggestions.)

Easter is another huge gift from God, building on not only the Christmas gift of the birth of Jesus, but also on the gifts that keep coming right here and now.

The Gospel reading today follows the discovery of the resurrected Jesus by the women at the tomb. Although several disciples raced to the tomb to see for themselves, they returned to the upper room reasonably sure that they would be the next to be killed. In that room Jesus appears to them, bringing peace and, after all he has been through, continuing to teach the message of peace and forgiveness.

Download the Intergenerational Lesson Plan for the Second Sunday in Easter

LPTW Easter 2, Year C, Intergenerational

Temptation

Lent, Intergenerational Lesson, Year C
Scripture: Luke 4:1-13

Today, many people are becoming ambivalent to, if not put off by, blaming the Devil for tempting Jesus. Temptation happens. What is important about this passage is that Jesus stared down each temptation and chose a better way. Perhaps the questions for us are: where or when am I inclined to be a show off? Where do I need to be in charge of things? Where am I so sure I am absolutely right and others are absolutely wrong? Then, as we consider our community, what can we do to be more in sync with what Jesus came to teach us?

Download the Intergenerational Lesson Plan for the First Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent, Year C, Intergenerational