Document 55965

Four Children’s Sermons
Some heavy water!
Supplies needed:
- Large office water cooler jug (or any other heavy, sealed container filled with water)
- Small bottle or jar of dirty water
(Place water cooler jug in center of group.)
How many of you think you can pick up this big jug of water? (Allow children to try, but watch for
Pretty heavy, isn’t it? If you could pick it up, how long do you think you could carry it? A few
minutes, maybe? (Allow children to answer.)
How do we get our water at home? (Allow children to answer. Possible responses include going
to the kitchen or bathroom, turning on the faucet, etc.) We don’t have to go very far to get our
water – just a few steps, really. It’s easy for us to get water when we need it.
You know, there are a lot of people in the world who can’t get water as easily as we do. And
they can’t just go over to their neighbor’s house, either. A lot of times they have to walk for miles
and miles to get to the nearest creek, or river, or even to another town that has a well. And
sometimes this trip to get water can take almost all day!
So, since they have to walk so far – and for so long – just to get water, that means they
shouldn’t bring home just one tiny cup of water, right? They would need to collect all the water
that they needed for the rest of the day. That’s a lot of water – maybe as much as what is in our
big, heavy jug here... or even more! Can you imagine carrying that much water for such a long
Once they get home, these families will probably have to do some laundry or cooking. So,
they’d take a little bit of their new water to start… (Bring out bottle or jar of dirty water. The
children will probably react to how dirty it is. If not, prompt them to notice that it is not clean
water.) You’re right – this water isn’t very clean, since they probably took it from a creek or river.
We’re pretty fortunate, don’t you think? We can get clean water whenever we need it. But, other
people around the world don’t always have that luxury. That’s why we’re taking a special
Blankets+ offering – through Church World Service we can help people have access to clean
water, and other things they need so they can live.
(End in prayer, if you wish.)
From Madelyn Metzger, Elkhart Valley Church of the Brethren, Elkhart, IN
Merit Badges
You will need a CWS Blanket (you can get one from your CWS Regional Office), or one you
bring from home, and a Boy or Girl Scout uniform with several merit badges on it. You’ll also
need 5 red hearts (You might label the hearts with the locations in bolded print below, if you
wish) and a way to adhere them to the blanket – tape or clothes pins. You might ask a Scout in
your congregation to help you with the presentation.
Begin by showing the children the Scouting uniform.
Do you know what this is? That’s right, it’s a Scouting uniform. Are any of you or your family in
the Scouts? So, what are these things? (Pointing to the merit badges) These are merit badges.
You earn these badges by demonstrating your skill in a particular activity or area of knowledge.
There are all kinds of merit badges, from art and camping to first aid and water skiing.
(Hold up the blanket) So, what’s this? Yes, it’s a blanket, but a special kind of blanket. It’s a
Church World Service Blanket. For over sixty years, when disasters strike in this country or
overseas, Church World Service has been there to help. Their work in responding to
emergencies shows great skill and integrity. So, I’ve brought along a few merit badges for this
blanket to show you some of the great work they’ve done lately:
The Gulf States after Hurricane Katrina
Indonesia after the tsunami
Pakistan after an earthquake
Florida after tornadoes
Kansas after the terrible floods they had
We’ll be collecting money soon to support Church World Service as they provide blankets and
other critical supplies to people in need. And in that way, these merit badges become ours too,
as we contribute to that life-saving work.
From Susan Day, Tower Hill Presbyterian Church, Red Bank, NJ (Adapted)
Tool Mime
Today I’m going to tell you a story, but I will need your help. I need actors! Will you help
me? OK. I need a “builder” – when you hear the word “build or building” stand and make a
hammering motion. Now I need a “pumper” – when you hear the word “well or pump,”
stand and make a motion like you are pumping water. I also need a “sower” – not like
making clothes, but like spreading seeds in a garden. So when you hear the word “sow,”
stand up and pretend you are spreading seeds. We will need a “reader” – when you hear
the word “read or reading,” stand and pretend to be reading a book. And finally, we need a
“wrapper” – not like the singers, but like someone wrapping a blanket around themself. So
when you hear the word “wrap,” stand and pretend you are wrapping a blanket around
yourself. Now we are ready for our story.
It takes place in Angola, a country in Africa.
Adelino was walking home from church, thinking about the Bible story he had heard in
Sunday school. It was about Jesus and his father being carpenters. He liked reading about
Jesus building things. Adelino liked to build things, too! Adelino is eleven years old. He
lives with his mother, father, and eight sisters and brothers in the village of Kalenga. And his
family works very hard. His country, Angola, is slowly recovering from many years of war.
During the war they had to run away from their village - the only way they could stay warm
in the forest was to wrap themselves in blankets they got from Church World Service. Now
that they are back, they have had to build their own house! And they still wrap themselves
in those blankets at night.
Adelino loves going to school. He’s in the third grade. And his favorite subject? Reading, of
course! When he comes home, he has chores to do – like getting water for the family. He
has to walk to a well about a block away and pump the water into a bucket and then carry it
home – on his head! It’s heavy! But he’s strong and has good balance. Imagine how your
life would be different if you had to do that! He goes to the well every day after school!
His mother, Raquel, is a farmer, like many women in Africa. Church World Service is giving
farmers like Raquel seeds, tools, and training to improve their crop. Raquel sows seeds in
a family garden that provides food for them with some left over to sell. And she, like Adelino,
is going to school at night so she can learn to read. Church World Service sponsors that
class too. With the right tools, step by step, Adelino, his family, and his whole country are
building their lives anew.
We’ve heard about several tools in this story – do you remember what they were? (building
supplies, learning to read, blankets, seeds, wells and pumps). These are the sorts of
tools we provide to people in need through the Church World Service Blankets+ Program.
With these tools we are helping to build a better world for all of us! Now let’s give our actors
a hand!
Blankets: More than meets the eye
(Feel free to adapt to your own situation. The material below could be the basis for two or three
children’s sermons.)
Props: A blanket, a ½ gallon jug of water, a book, and items to fold into the blanket.
Good morning! Have you ever been really cold? What was that like? Did your teeth chatter?
When you’re cold, would this be helpful to have? (Hold up a blanket.) What is this? That’s
right, it’s a blanket. What do you do with a blanket? Yes, you wrap up in it and it keeps you
warm. But this is no ordinary blanket! It’s a Transformer Blanket. Just like those transformers
in the cartoons, it can change into other things – be used in other ways. In what other ways
might you use this blanket? Pause for ideas. For example,
Folded up – it can be a pillow.
Open it up and put things into it – it can be a suitcase.
Put it over your head – it can be a tent (gather some of the children under it with you).
And, for people who have gone through a disaster, like a flood or a tornado, a blanket may be
used in all of these ways. That’s why blankets are such an important way to help people in
need – and part of the reason we are taking an offering for the CWS Blankets+ program. The
warmth of a blanket serves a very useful purpose – sometimes many purposes – but it also tells
people who are hurting that someone cares about them. It’s like a hug made out of cloth!
How about this? What’s in this jug? That’s right, it’s water. What do you do with water?
That’s right, you drink it. What else? (Note that you also cook and clean with it.) So, water is
very important for people. And that’s another thing we help to provide through supporting CWS
Blankets+, water that is safe for drinking and cooking.
One other use for water, you didn’t mention – school! Hold up a book. That’s because in many
countries, especially in Africa, children must spend hours looking for water. When it takes that
much time to get enough water for the family to survive, there’s no time to go to school! So,
when Church World Service provides wells and other means for communities to have safe water
nearby, it also means that children, especially girls, get to go to school and have the chance to
really better their lives.
Blankets and water are just two of the many ways Church World Service helps people in need
with our help through the Blankets+ Program. That “plus” means we are helping men, women,
and children around the world struggling to transform their lives. And we get transformed in the
process, our hearts get bigger, our lives are richer, we are more connected to the rest of the
Skits and Stories:
Blankets… and a Lot More!
A Skit for the Children’s Sermon
Recruit four persons to assist you (a good task for your youth group). You will also need to
bring with you and place in front of you: a blanket, a hoe, a jug of clean water, and a tent. If
these items are not readily available, you might make drawings of them on an 8 ½” x 11” sheet
of paper. The actors will need some props as well – indicated in the text.
Good morning! Do you like to build things? What kinds of things do you like to make? What
kinds of tools do you use? Tools come in many sizes and shapes for many purposes. Here in
front of me are four tools that serve very different purposes. They are examples of the sorts of
things we provide to people in need when we support the Church World Service Blankets+
Program – blankets and a lot more! Let’s see if you can help me decide which ones we need to
Enter first youth, with a torn T-shirt, barefoot, and shivering.
Look, here comes someone who has had to flee from a hurricane. He/She looks really cold.
Which of these things do you think he/she needs most right now? …That’s right, a blanket.
CWS provides blankets to people who have gone through disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes,
or earthquakes both here in the U.S. and overseas. Ask one of the children to give him/her the
blanket. Youth sits wrapped in the blanket off to the side, but still visible.
Enter second youth, using a stick; mimes hoeing the ground – lots of grunting.
My, he/she seems to be having a hard time getting the garden ready for planting. Which of
these tools would be most helpful? …Yes, a hoe would really make a big difference, wouldn’t it?
CWS provides farm tools and seeds to assist families to feed themselves. Ask one of the
children to give him/her the hoe. Joins the other youth.
Enter third youth, holding his/her stomach and groaning.
This person is sick from drinking water that wasn’t safe to drink. For one of every six people in
the world, safe, nearby drinking water remains a dream. Which of these things do you think
he/she needs most? …That’s right, clean water. CWS is helping communities dig wells and
build storage containers to make the dream of safe water a reality. Ask one of the children to
give him/her the jug of water. Joins the other youths.
Enter fourth youth, running with a bit of plastic sheeting over their head.
This person is a refugee. He/she has had to flee their home because of a war and all they could
bring was what they could carry. He/she may need to be away from home for months or years.
What do you think they will need?… Yes, the tent to have a more protected place to stay. Ask
one of the children to give him/her the tent. Joins other youths in front.
So, let’s look again at what we are doing through our Blankets+ offering – blankets for sure, but
also tents for those exposed to the elements, tools to grow food, water to stay healthy. All
things we take for granted, but essential tools that can make a huge difference in the lives of
millions of people. The right tool at the right time - that’s what CWS Blankets+ is all about. Let
us pray together.
Be the
plus in
Matt Hackworth/CWS
Find and circle the following items that Blankets+ provides:
Blankets+ Word Search
Regional Office toll-free 888-297-2767
Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
You’ll need a blanket and a globe.
Do you have a favorite blanket? Does it have a name?
I know a boy whose favorite blanket is called Meenah.
He’s had it since he was a baby and he still loves it years
later. It’s touch, smell and color comfort him and remind
him that he’s loved dearly.
Blankets can do that for us – provide warmth and a
sense of caring. That’s why we will be taking up an
offering later for Blankets+. Some boys and girls have a
very hard life because they’ve lost their homes, either
because of a natural disaster or because of a war.
Without their
homes or most of
their possessions,
just a blanket can
mean so much.
Blankets, like this one, can provide warmth when the
nights are cold, or they can be folded to help carry
precious belongings, or used to make a tent.
When we make our offerings to Blankets+, it’s like we’re
giving the world a hug (fold the blanket around the globe).
Through our offering, we blanket the world with love.
Regional Office toll-free 888-297-2767
BP 1155
Patricia Stutsman/CWS
Children’s Sermon