Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Valuing the school - creation - KS 1 & 2

Valuing our school

As the children enter – project OHP picture of the school logo with the words “The best thing about our school is…?”
At the beginning of the assembly, ask the children for their ideas and write up on OHP

There are lots of things we enjoy about our school

The Bible begins with a story about the things God enjoyed about the world he had made. Clever scientists help us understand how the world began, but when the Bible was written people didn’t know any of that, so they told a story…

Genesis 1
In the beginning it was all dark and there was nothing… (shut eyes)

1. God thought to himself in the darkness “I want to make something” He thought and thought and then he said – Let there be light (open eyes) and there was light.
He thought that darkness and light were both good, so he made it so we had some darkness and some light – day and night.
That’s good, I like that.

2. The next day, when the darkness and light had come around again, he thought – what now?
I know – water…
So he sorted out the water into all sorts of different types…some water up above…rain… some down below… sea – what else?
That’s good, I like that.

3. And that was another day. The next day he started to think wouldn’t it be good if there was some dry land as well as water…
Hills and valleys, and things to grow on the earth… Trees, flowers, pumpkins…
That’s good, I like that.

4. The next day he thought there ought to be different sorts of light in the sky – Sun, moon and what else…? Stars
That’s good, I like that.

5. Things in the water, and things in the sea – birds and fishes
That’s good, I like that.

6. Things to live on land – animals, insects, ….?
And something I can talk to that can talk to me, something really special, something that can look around at all this and enjoy it with me…
Hmm… People!
That’s good, I like that.

7. How many days are there in a week? On the seventh day God said…I’ve made everything I want to make… Now I want to enjoy it…Think of all the things God had made…mountains, seaside, nice things to eat… What would you do? Where would you go to play? On the seventh day God stopped and enjoyed his world, and he hoped that we would do the same – stop and think about what is around us, the people around us, and enjoy them.

Our little bit of God’s world to look after and enjoy is right here in school.

Prayer – give thanks for good things in school that children identified at the beginning and ask for help to look after the school.


He’s got the whole world in his hands
He’s got the whole school in his hands…
He’s got everybody here…

The Persistent Widow - keeping going when things get difficult - KS 1& 2

The Persistent widow
Luke 18

Need: banner with the words Justice Now! written on it.
OHP picture of some sort of situation of injustice (poverty, war, homelessness etc.) as a prayer focus.

Jesus told a story
There was once a woman whose husband had died. She had to struggle to bring up her children. She had very little money. Life was a struggle.
Then one day one of her neighbours cheated her out of what little money she had and she was left with nothing.
Her children were hungry. She was hungry. But what could she do? No one would listen to her or help her to get her money back.
They didn’t have police in those days, but they did have judges – people whose job it was to help others sort out their problems and their arguments,

She decided to go to the judge and ask for his help.
As she walked towards his house she thought to herself – I hope he will help me. He ought to help me – but I’m just a poor widow – perhaps he won’t listen…

She got to the place where he worked, and knocked on the door. His servant answered. She poured out the story. I’ll tell the judge you’re here, he said.

He went into the judge’s room. There’s a woman here to see you sir… she says her neighbour has cheated her.
Oh, said the judge…is that so?
Yes, sir. Shall I send her in?
Is she a rich woman?
No, sir, not at all, her clothes are in rags
Is she an important woman?
No not at all.
Well – tell her to go away then. If she’s not rich and she’s not important there’s nothing in it for me. What does it matter to me if she’s been cheated? I don’t care…!

So the servant went and told the woman.
But he’s a judge – she said – it’s his job to help me, isn’t it?
The servant just shrugged and slammed the door in her face.

The widow turned sadly to go away, but then she thought. Hang on a minute. It is his job to help me, and when people have been given a job to do they should do it! He’s not getting rid of me that easily…
So she made herself a banner. It said: Justice now!
And she stood outside the judge’s office and began to shout – Justice now!
All day she shouted and walked about with her banner. When it was time for the judge to go home from work, the woman just followed him, shouting all the time. When he looked out of the window, there she was. When he opened the door there she was. When he went down to the shops, there she was. When he went to work, there she was. Shouting, shouting, shouting… and all the time waving that banner – Justice Now!

The judge got crosser and crosser – why couldn’t she just go away?

In the end, the judge was just worn out…
OK, OK, he said – what was it you wanted to tell me about?
And the woman told her story, and the judge sorted out the problem and ordered her neighbour to pay back all the money, just so she would go away. And the woman went away and left him in peace…

What do you think of the judge?
What do you think of the woman?

It would have been easy for her to give up. The judge thought she wasn’t important, and she started to think that too, but everyone is important and deserves for things to be fair.

The world isn’t a very fair place. Some people have lots of money and some people haven’t even got enough to eat. There are some people who everyone listens to, and some people who no one seems interested in. Making the world fair is a very big job – it isn’t something that we can just do easily. But Jesus’ story reminds us that we shouldn’t give up. We should keep trying, because God wants the world to be fair.

Elijah and the still small voice - feeling scared - listening KS 1& 2

Elijah and the still small voice
I Kings 19

There was once a man called Elijah. He was a prophet. Listened for God’s voice and tried to help people to do what was right.
Difficult time to be a prophet. Elijah had a hard dangerous job.
Israel was ruled over by a bad king and queen. King Ahab was very weak – just did whatever he felt like, didn’t think
Jezebel was a wicked bully. She tried to make everyone do what she wanted – if they didn’t there would be trouble!

But the more Elijah told people to listen to God instead of Jezebel the more furious Jezebel got. Eventually Jezebel got so angry she decided to get rid of Elijah. She sent him a message.
I’m going to get you, she said. I’m going to kill you. I’m going to shut you up forever – you wait and see.

Elijah got the message. Now Elijah was a brave man, but this was just too much. He was terrified. He got up and he ran – just as he was, in the clothes he stood up in. He ran right out of the house, right out of town, right out into the desert where there was no one around. He ran all day and when night came he was out in the middle of nowhere. All there was was rocks and one solitary tree. Elijah was exhausted, fed up with trying to stand up to Jezebel. What was the point? He might just as well give up.

He fell into a deep sleep, but he didn’t realise that God was watching him. And God knew what he needed. In the night God sent an angel, with some bread and a jar of water. When Elijah woke up there it was, and the angel standing by it.

Elijah – eat the food and get up. Go to the mountain – God wants to meet you there. Elijah was very puzzled, and still very fed up, but he did what the angel said. He ate and drank and trudged on through the desert until he came to a huge mountain called Horeb. He climbed up the mountain till he came to a cave, and he went into the cave to wait.

He didn’t have to wait long before he heard God’s voice calling to him.
Elijah, what are you doing here?

It’s no use God. I’ve tried and tried and tried to do your work, but Jezebel keeps stopping me. I’m all on my own – just one voice – there’s no one else that’s listening to you. It’s all useless. And now Jezebel wants to kill me….

Wait and watch, said God. I’m going to show you that I’m always with you.

How would this be? Elijah was very curious. So he went out of the cave and stood on the mountainside.

Wind – rushing and roaring. Was this God – showing him he would blow all his enemies away? But no. God wasn’t in the wind.

Earthquake – God smashing all his enemies to pieces? God not in the earthquake.

Fire – God burning up all that was wrong? God not in the fire.

Everything went quiet – calm – like a still pool of water – deep, deep, deep. Elijah felt very peaceful, very still. And in the stillness, from deep within him he heard a little whisper, a still, small voice. Elijah – I’m here. I’m with you. You’re not alone – you’re never alone, because I will never leave you. You may not be able to see me doing great dramatic things – wind, earthquake and fire – but that doesn’t mean I’m not there. All you have to do is be still and you’ll find me.You’ll find me in others too – there are lots of good people, even if you don’t see it at first, who want to help you.

And Elijah knew that however hard things were, God would never leave him. He wasn’t on his own at all.


We all feel scared sometimes. We think we can’t do something – too hard, all on our own.
But that story helps us to remember that if we can calm down, we might hear a still small voice helping us. Might be that we will remember something we’d forgotten – we knew the answer all along. Might be that we’ll be able to hear what a friend is saying or a teacher or mum or dad helping us.
Prayer – Be Still – breath in and out and listen.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Elijah and the widow of Zarephath - famine - sharing - credit crunch - KS 1 & 2

Drought – rain stopped falling, crops stopped growing.. Elijah had nowhere to stay and no food.

Came to a village called Zarephath – not in his own land, foreign village – would anyone want to help him here? He was a stranger.

Saw a woman gathering sticks.

Could you give me some bread to eat?

All on my own with my son. Have almost nothing left. This morning I looked in the flour jar and there was just one handful left. Little oil to mix it. Gathering a few sticks to make a fire. Make some bread and then that’s it – our last meal.

Elijah said – make the bread and share some with me too.

Woman decided that she couldn’t let this man go hungry. Even if they had so little they could share what they had.

Made the bread and gave some to Elijah

Then they lay down to sleep. In the morning the woman woke up  - there would be nothing for breakfast now…

She took the lid off the jar and looked in, even though she knew it was empty…

And there was flour in it – not  a lot, just one handful more. The oil jar had just a little oil in it too. She made some more bread – had what they needed that day too, and every day until the drought ended.

Strange story – don’t know if it really happened, but it helps us to remember something important.

Easy to share when we have lots, but much harder when we just have a little, when we think we might run out.

But it matters just as much then.

Credit crunch – banks – grown ups getting worried about having enough money. First thing people stop doing is sharing – giving to people who need money. We might not have much but many others have even less. Even more important to share rather than hang onto what we have when there isn’t much to go around.

Friend at Midnight - people who help us - prayer - KS1 &2

Friend at Midnight
Luke 11.5-8
Need : Pillow , Clock , toothbrush and mug.

There was once a man who had had a long day....At the end of it, he put the children to bed, looked after the animals, did the washing up, locked up , checked the windows were closed, washed, brushed his teeth, got into his pyjamas, set alarm, snuggled into bed  (lie down on floor) and dozed off...

Suddenly there was a knock at the door. He put his head under the pillow.
Knocking again…this time louder… got up and puts head out of window…
“who’s there?” ..recognised friend asking for food for a visitor.
It’s the middle of the night…go away…

Goes back to bed…
Knocking again…
Gets up and gives him food. (ham up how resentful he is at interruption.)

Why didn’t man want to help his friend?
Jesus said “ You know what it is like when you need help with something. People don’t always want to help.”
That's why the friend had to keep asking.
Jesus said that God is always ready to help … not like that man.
  • Who are the people who help you without you having to ask?
Prayer of thanks for the people who help us
Think of someone who helps you. 
Think of something you need help with and ask for help
Thank God that he is always ready to help.

David and Jonathan - friendship - KS 1&2

David and Jonathan

There was once a boy called Jonathan. And Jonathan was a prince. He was the son of a king- king Saul of Israel. Saul loved being a king. He loved wearing the crown, sitting on the throne, leading his soldiers out into battle…and one day he knew that Jonathan would be king after him, and his children after him, for ever and ever. And people would look at the great kings of Israel and say – what a mighty man that King Saul was, to have started all of this….

But there was a problem. There was another young man in King Saul’s household, about the same age as Jonathan. His name was David, and he had come to live with Saul when he was just a boy. Saul had first noticed him when he was fighting against a neighbouring country, the Philistines. They had a great soldier in their army – a giant called Goliath. None of King Saul’s soldiers wanted to fight Goliath. They were all too scared. But then David had stepped forward. He was a little shepherd boy with no weapons and no armour. I’ll fight Goliath, he said. Everyone laughed. You! But he went out with just a few stones, like those he would throw at the wild animals who attacked his sheep, and he killed Goliath – with one stone.

Saul thought – that’s a boy to watch! I’ve got to have him in my army. So he took him home to live with him.

But as David grew people started to look at this fine young man and to think to themselves that he might be a better king than Saul. Saul started to get worried – he liked being king! And there was Jonathan as well. If David was king, he never could be!
The last straw came one day when he heard some people singing a song they’d made up. It started out all right. “Saul is a strong man, a mighty man- he has killed thousands…” That’s all right , thought Saul. But then they went on “ But David is a stronger man, a mightier man – he has killed tens of thousands”…Saul was furious – he’d have to get rid of David! So he called all his advisers together, and Prince Jonathan too, and he told them what had happened – we have to get rid of David, he said… I want him killed.

But what Saul didn’t know was that while David and Jonathan had been growing up together in the royal palace they had become best friends. There was nothing David wouldn’t do for Jonathan, and nothing Jonathan wouldn’t do for David. And Jonathan, though he was a prince, had looked at David when they first met and thought to himself, he would make a better king than me. Jonathan had given David  his robe, and his sword and told him that he thought he should be king.
So when he heard his father saying he wanted to kill David, Jonathan was very worried. He tried to persuade his father not to do this, but Saul said to him “what are you saying?! If David is king you can’t be – what kind of man are you…?”

So Jonathan ran to find David – you must hide, I don’t know what my father is planning. Hide overnight and I’ll try to find out. He might have calmed down in the morning and it might be safe for you to come back, but if it isn’t you’ll have to run away. I’ll really miss you but what is important is that you are safe and that one day you are king. In the morning, I’ll give you a secret signal to tell you whether it’s safe for you to come back. You see that field, outside the palace, where we practice with our bows and arrows. In the morning, I’ll come out with my friends and servants, just like I usually do. There’s a rock, there – you hide behind that. I’ll fire three arrows. If they land in front of the rock on my side, then it is safe for you to come back. If they land on the other side of the rock, beyond it, then you must go. When I send my servant to collect the arrows I’ll call out either – the arrows are on this side of the rock, or the arrows are beyond the rock. Then you’ll know…

David went and hid. All night long he hid. And he waited.

And in the morning Jonathan came out to the field. David was waiting behind the rock. He heard Jonathan bend the bow back and the first arrow swished through the air. David couldn’t see where it had landed. Then the second arrow, then the third. Shouted to servant – arrows are beyond the rock.
And David knew he’d have to leave.

David never saw Jonathan again – Saul and Jonathan killed in battle, but he did become king – a very great king, and he never forgot his best friend Jonathan.

Don’t know about you but I think Jonathan is the real hero of that story – David was a great king, but Jonathan was a great friend – more important. Helped his friend to be the best he could.

Think of a friend who can do something really well/ better than you.
How can you help them to do that?

Harvest Assembly - the lepers at the gate - sharing - KS 1

Harvest assembly 09

The lepers at the gate - 2 Kings 7

There were once four men who were very ill. They had caught a disease which no one could cure, and no one wanted to go near them in case they caught it too. They had lived in a city with high walls around it, but now everyone told them they couldn’t live there anymore. They would have to live outside the city walls. They didn’t have a house to live in. They didn’t have food to eat. All they could do was shout out to people as they went in and out of the city gates to ask them to give them food.

Life was very hard. Then it got even harder. Another king from another country declared war against the city. He sent his army – thousands of soldiers with their horses and chariots. They camped all around the city and stopped people going in and out. No one could bring food in anymore. The shops in the city got emptier and emptier. No one had anything in their cupboards anymore. Everyone was hungry.

The four men outside the city couldn’t beg for food any more – no one had any to give them. One night they said to each other, “Why should we stay here? If we go and give ourselves up to the enemy they might help us. If they don’t we aren’t any worse off than we are here – there’s no food here anyway, and no one wanted to help us before anyway!” So in the morning, just as the sun was rising they headed towards the enemy camp.

What they didn’t know was that in the night a strange thing had happened. All the enemy soldiers had woken up, because they heard a strange sound. It was a sound like a great army coming to attack them. The story in the Bible says that God made them hear the sound, but they didn’t know that. They were very frightened, and without stopping to pack anything up they all just ran away.

So when the four men got to the camp, there was no one there. They went into the first tent. There was food on the table – lots of food. They ate the food and went onto the next tent – more food – more than they could eat, so they gathered up the food for later.

Then one of them said – “wait a minute, this isn’t right. While we are eating and eating, the people in the city are starving. We should share this food with them, not eat it ourselves”. They thought about it – the people in the city hadn’t been very kind to them. They had made them live outside and not helped them. But they couldn’t just forget about them.

So they picked up as much food as they could carry and they headed back to the city. “Look,” they shouted to the guards. “The enemy camp is empty and it is full of food – enough for everyone.” Sure enough when the people in the city went to look, there was a feast to share, and the enemy army never came back again.

Sometimes it is easy to help our friends, but it is harder to share with people who we think have been mean to us. At harvest time we remember that we should share what we have with everyone who needs it, not just with people we especially like.