Tuesday, October 6

Rowan is Six!

I can't believe this boy of mine is six.  He is funny, clever, and so very charming.  Kindergarten is just his thing and we're so pleased to watch him grow.  I continue to pray that my boy is like a [Rowan] tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers.  (Psalm 1:3)  

Happy Birthday Dear Rowan!

Monday, August 31

Getting Ready for Godly Play

A couple weeks ago I did an 'unofficial' training with our storytellers and doorkeepers for Godly Play this fall.  We are hoping to send our group to do the official training, but it is cost prohibitive and there aren't many training sessions in our area... so we're making do for now.  I'll also be the door person most of the fall during the Sunday School hour, which will be a really great way to be a resource to our new storytellers as they discover the method and we figure out what will work for our kids.  We will be having Godly Play for the kindergarten and 1st graders during the Sunday School hour and the 3 and 4 year old children will have Godly Play during the first fifty minutes of church before joining their families for communion.

We were able to purchase and were gifted some new materials for the room.  The Advent set, a good shepherd (Holtiger), the ten best ways, and the Temple and Tabernacle joined our shelves.  We are also making the creation tiles, baptism set, the exodus lesson, and the exhile.  These stories will make up our curriculum this fall.  I'm thrilled to see this coming together.  I'm feeling really grateful for the commitment to developmentally appropriate worship for children at St. Matthews.

There are several parents who have been helping make this room become the space we want for our kids and I love to see it evolving.  I made a dessert bag before the training.  I love working with the sand and am sure it will be a very popular work option!
From left to right : Focal shelves with nativity, good shepherd and baptism below.  Advent, the Circle of the Church year and the parable are on the next set of shelves.  The first set of dark brown shelves holds the materials for Epiphany, The Tabernacle (and the Temple when it arrives), creation, The great family, The people of God, The ten best ways, Exodus (when it is finished - just the tray is there now) and palm sunday (I know it is a bit out of place,but that's all we have for now).  The last set of shelves holds our practical life trays, books and blocks.
The door keepers chair, the art shelves, painting smocks and a shelf above that will be used for feast materials/food and our classroom copies of the Godly Play books and resources.  Cleaning rags, a spray bottle (just water with a touch of mint essential oil) and dust pan are on the window sill.

This is our dessert bag.  I had this fabric on hand, so all I had to buy was the sand ($4), under bed box ($4 at target) and cord for the tie ($12.50 at JoAnn Fabrics when I used a 50% off coupon).  There are tutorials for these online, but I designed this one because I wanted it to fit the box with the right amount of overhang.  I'm sad I didn't get a picture of it out of the box.  Another time perhaps.

Sunday, July 26

St. James Day

July 25th
Sangria- celebratory and in western tradition James brought the gospel to Spain 

Shell- the symbol of James the greater because according to western tradion he traveled by sea to Spain. It also reminds us that he was a fisherman before Jesus called him. 

St. James - Another attempt at a photo copy to wood transfer. On a scrap of chicken coop, this one is our favorite so far. 

Thursday, July 23

A Garland for Ordinary Time

I saw a multi colored leaf Garland like this on Pinterest and knew I needed to make one in the greens of ordinary time.  It was a super fast project. I used the machine to sew the felt/fabric leaves together, but it could be hand sewed by little hands.  I love that it is fun and understated at the same time, making it perfect for ordinary time. 

Mary Magdalene Day

I would love it if anyone who grew up in a family that lived out the Episcopal or Catholic church year would let me know what that looked like.  Having grown up in a conservative church with little sense of the church year (we celebrated Christmas and Easter and maybe did something for advent), I would love to have more ideas on what this might look like.  I love the planning and figuring out, the gathering of ideas and information.  I'm happy to creatively come up with what I can, but it would be fun to hear more traditional ways of doing things.

Today is the feast day of Mary Magdalene and I'd love to share what I've learned about her and her feast day.

There are several Marys in the New Testament: Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany (sister of Martha and Lazarus), the Other Mary (mother of ) and Mary Magdalene.  

Mary Magdalene is best known for being the first to see and hear Jesus after his resurrection.  "Mary" he said and she knew it was Jesus.  She has been called the Apostle of the Apostles.  She was with Jesus through his earthly ministry and witness the resurrection.  

There are differing views on which Mary doused Jesus' feet with perfume and wiped them with her hair.  Traditionally this act was also attributed to Mary Magdalene.

So in preparing for the day I found that Mary Magdalene's symbols are a box of ointment to represent the feet washing story and a red egg.  There is a story surrounding the red egg in tradition, but most importantly the red represents the blood of Jesus, the egg symbolizes new life in Christ and the cracking of the eggs represents the breaking of the gates of Hades and Christ's victory.   I gave the boys wooden eggs to paint red (looses the cracking portion, but is a nice symbol.)  Next year I want to save my onion skins to make red boiled eggs for part of a meal on this day (see tutorial here)

I tried to find a Madeleine pan, but I was unsuccessful.  A pan is now on my wishlist and in the meantime, I chose to make rose cupcakes.   The name "Mary" and roses are linked in my brain.  Traditionally the rose is a symbol of Mary the Mother of Jesus not Mary Magdalene, but we're going with it and saying that it symbolizes the garden where Mary encountered Jesus after His resurrection. 

I used a photocopy of Fra Angelico's painting Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and this tutorial to make a self standing image of Mary and Jesus (I actually made three to figure out the process, but the larger ones on darker wood didn't turn out nearly as well.)  This is a fun way to bring great art into our celebrations.  I would love to purchase real icons of all the saints, but we'll be building that collection very slowly as finances allow.  This is a great 'in the meantime'.

Wednesday, July 22

Celebrating the Saints

There are two saints days this week and I'm gathering and getting ready.  I have a goal to celebrate all the main feast days of the episcopal church this year.  I'm counting 33 in the prayer book, but that doesn't include moving holidays like Easter, Pentecost, Ascension, etc.  In the Episcopal church the major feast days commemorate the apostles, a few other key figures, and the main events in the New Testament Narrative.

So what does it mean to celebrate a feast day at our house?  It certainly doesn't mean a traditional food feast in the full sense of the word.  Often it means a special food and maybe a craft.  It definitely means that some items will be set out to remind us about the person or event the day commemorates and we will talk or read to learn about the event or biblical character.   I love living the biblical story through the church year and am excited to add in the apostles days and a couple others this year as a way to celebrate this great story we are part of and learn together.

Tomorrow is St. Mary Magdalene Day and Saturday is the feast day of James the Greater.

(The links will take you to some pintrest boards I've been compiling in the past couple days.  We won't do half of what I pinned, but it is always fun to plan...)