You will find the pretzel recipes at the web-sites listed at the very end.
The purpose of the Christian Development Committee is “to plan, implement, oversee and provide resources for all Christian development programs”.
Throughout the BUC educational programs and 'Sunday for Children' programs in particular, we strive to always create a positive environment. In this process we developed the "Godya" program where children are caught (Caught ya/God-ya)) caring, sharing and helping others and recognized with a "Godya" sticker. Every 'Sunday for Children' class has both a leader and shepherd to help deliver the programs in a meaningful and partcipatory way. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication on everyone's part to keep it positive and successful. Helping the children to be positive and recognize that they do make a difference in the world is crucial. In the book "Biology of Belief" Bruce Lipton writes "Positive thoughts are a biological mandate for a happy, healthy life." He also writes the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
Your beliefs become your thoughts;
Your thoughts become your words;
Your words become your actions;
Your actions become your habits;
Your habits become your values;
Your values become your destiny.
We believe our children are destined for greatness as can be seen by listening and watching both the very young children and the young adults who were children only yesterday. In church, one morning, a little 3 year old boy said, "I wish for health and love for everyone in the world." Another little boy said to the minister, "Well if there was no God then you wouldn't have a job, you wouldn't be here, none of us would even be here." Such words of wisdom "out of the mouths of babes". Then, to witness even more greatness, look to our large group of incredible teenagers. They are very active in the church community locally and soon-to-be globally as they travel to The Gambia next month to help with various educational projects. They are already out there making it a better world for everyone.
This fall, we initiated a book club and reviewed David Hart's "Christianity, A New Look at Ancient Wisdom". A new program started for Young Adults (YAP) for 20 to 45 year olds. Great Harbour continues with additional programs of self-healing and self-discovery.
If you are interested in helping out with any of the programs or would like to join a group please contact
or Christian Development Committee at
God Calls Samuel
Dates: Jan 8 – 29, 2006
As told for children in “Living God’s Way” or “The Family Story Bible”
1 Samuel 3:1-21
God Calls Samuel
God calls Samuel p. 103
To God children are very important and can do great things in the world.
Background for Leaders:
The theme for all of BUC this year is “Rhythms of Life”. The rotations from January to June focus on how we all can make a difference in the world. If we want a peaceful world where all people can live freely and without oppression, then we must live everyday in the way that we want the world to be.
The first Bible story of 2006 focuses on how much God values and loves the abilities of children. Samuel first heard God’s call as a young boy. This was quite a radical shift in the way Jewish people thought about God and who should do God’s work. In ancient Judaism children had no value. For God to speak to not only a child but a servant child causes us to reflect on the value and worth of all people who we consider to be weak and unimportant in terms of the health of our world.
This story paves the way for the rotations that will be led by members of PEANUT (BUC teens going to the Gambia). These youth feel called by God to make a difference in their world and to improve their understanding of their role in it.
This story will engage the children easily. It is simple and powerful. It would be wonderful and easy to explore this story with the children using drama. Exploring such questions as:
- How would you feel if you were Samuel hearing God’s voice?
- The story says Samuel heard a voice. How do we hear want God calls us to do and be?
- It must have been difficult for Samuel to tell Eli what God had said. Would you have done the same thing?
- Have you ever been asked to do something important but found it difficult to do?
Objectives for the Kids:
- Know the story and be able to tell it.
- Know where to find the story in the Bible.
- Learn that God values and loves each one of them and knows that every child has an important role to play in the church, the community and the world.
learn how to listen for the voice of God in their lives.
Bible Station Idea Starters:
-The BUC library has a good number of books based on Biblical themes to help plan your lessons. The children’s section is on the third floor in room 305.
-Always keep in mind that the most impactful part of being at church is often the relationships that are built. The children will remember their Christian leaders and Christian friends longer than they may remember what you hope to teach them. So connect with the kids! Help everyone to learn each other’s names and find a way to have each voice share their thoughts and feelings about the stories and about their world.
-I would suggest reading the story to them from the Bible or from “Living God’s Way” then get them to retell the story with drama. For the older children break the group into small groups of 3-5 kids each and give them 5 minutes to put together a skit of the story. Tell them they don’t have to remember all the details, just do the best they can with what they remember. Then get each group to perform it for the others. Get the kids to identify what parts they left out. For the grade primaries and ones, use the pre-written drama I have provided.
-Bible Games could use the game “Locust!” which the kids have enjoyed in the past. It requires an overhead projector (the church has one you can use). If you are interested in considering using this game please let me know.
-The following links offer a variety of ideas to help get your lesson planned. They are not all complete. Also you may notice that some of the language doesn’t feel like United Church language in terms of how we speak about God and the Bible. If you have any questions on this feel free to talk to me anytime.
Karen’s application of this lesson:
The first step for each lesson is to give the shepherd time to greet and welcome the children, opening prayer, attendance, collection and song of thanks.
For this lesson we read the story relating to the scripture, did a dramatic role play, a craft and a song.
First the story of Samuel was read and a little discussion took place as to how they would feel about God talking to them in the middle of the night and the things that God might be trying to say to us.
Next, we acted out the story 3 times. The children were divided into 3 groups; one that would be the ‘Samuels’, one that would be the ‘Elis’ and the rest played God. We did the story 3 times so that they could each rotate around the room to play each of the 3 parts. The ones who played God were given pieces of fabric (stars, white sheer, sparkling magical fabric) to drape around them like a cape in order to seem more ethereal.
Then I discussed with them whether or not they thought God would try to talk to them at other times, like when they are at school or playing. They all agreed that God is always trying to talk to them. So this time we did the role-play with lots of noise and activity. I handed out hard hats, fire hats, ball caps etc. to all of the Samuels who were sleeping during the previous 3 role-plays. I cranked up the music, played noisy games and toys while the Samuels pretended to be going about their daily activities. This time God had to yell to be heard. (He was not heard the first 2 times). I think that it might be a little less scary to have God talk to us when we are already awake but it is so busy that we might not hear very well. I discussed how God might send us little messages when we are so busy.
Then, we moved the activity to doing the craft. They cut pictures out of catalogues to represent all of the things that can get in the way when God is trying to talk to us; radios, disc-men, bikes, sports, toys, TV, video games, race tracks. They glued these pictures onto a piece of construction paper that was rolled up to make a megaphone. I called out their names, one by one, through the megaphone and said “Hello, Hello this is God calling you” or something similar. We discussed what types of things that God might be trying to say to us. I talked about how sometimes we just need to shut down all of the noise and pray, or meditate so that we can hear God better.
Then, I sang, “Here I am Lord” and said that this song is about God calling us and how we need to respond. I said that they could listen for the song in church and be reminded of God talking to them.
The shepherd then had them recite the closing prayer.
Here are some general websites of ideas (some of the language is not in sync with the United Church of Canada in terms of how we speak about God. If you have questions let me know :-)
This site is FULL of good stuff that you can adapt. Lessons marked with a red dot require login info. Username is
and Password is SEEKHIM.
This is the official website of the Rotational Model. It is full of free lesson plans. You may have to dig a bit.
Tons of craft ideas for you to play with.
This official United Church of Canada website has great background for Bible readings and info for your Biblical understanding.
Contains one of the pretzel recipes used during rotation March 5, 12, 19, 26 This recipe takes longer to prepare. It works best with quick-rise yeast and I used all unbleached flour one day and 1/2 unbleached, 1/2 whole wheat the next. Bothe worked well.
This site contains the second recipe used during Bible foods March 5,12,19,26 FOr this one I used all whole wheat flour.