Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Easter Explorer

Easter Explorer- an intergenerational worship service for Easter.
This worship service is a celebration of the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection.
It provides an opportunity for people to explore what they believe
and it encourages interaction between children and older people.
Download the PDF here scroll down and click on Easter Explorer.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Looking for an Easter Family Service idea?

A Family Service address with considerable involvement is as follows:
Worship leader begins telling a story (let’s say about a lost rabbit) only to be interrupted by two young folk offering a chocolate Easter Egg (as a thank-you or whatever).

Worship leader thanks young folk, notices that it is an Easter Egg with sweets (say, chocolate buttons) inside, and asks children (and adults) if they would like to open it in church so that the egg and the sweets inside could be shared.

Invite a child out to open the egg but youngster finds out that the egg is empty.

The shocked congregation soon grasp the surprise of the disciples who found an empty tomb. Opportunity for details to be offered by worship leader.

On a pre-arranged cue the original two young folk come forward with an apology and with the bag of chocolate buttons. They thought that they would eat them themselves and that worship leader would never notice they were missing. They didn’t think it would be opened in church!

Those in the congregation particularly the children - who had been hoping for a sweet are pleased at the discovery of the chocolates. As they are shared, the congregation is in a receptive mood to reflect on the joy of the disciples when they discovered that Jesus was alive again.

This idea is from The Church of Scotland website. Prepared by Rev Douglas Nicol .
Other Easter resources are also available to download.

Easter Talk- The Good News

Last Easter I wrote a short children's talk which I used in a school setting to tell the Easter story. This was presented using a newspaper. You can find the talk outline here - Easter Talk- The Good News.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Easter March

Easter March

(American military style march)

Let me tell you what Easter means. (echo)
It's more than bunnies and chocolate beans.(echo)
God's Son was born and lived on earth. (echo)
Special child, miracle birth. (echo)
He healed and taught and lived God's way.(echo)
Till he was killed on Good Friday.(echo)

Not scared. (echo)
Blood shed. (echo)
Dead. Dead! (echo)

Not scared. Blood shed. Dead. Dead! (echo)

Placed into a tomb, he lay.
But Jesus rose up Easter day.
Alive! He lives. He's conquered sin.
Calls us all to follow him.
The offer's here for me and you
To put your faith in Jesus too.

Died for-me.
Set free.

Died for-me. Set free. Whoopee!

(C)Don Stott, http://eliab.com, 2005

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Easter Acrostic

The following outline was used as the basis for a talk about "What does Easter mean?"
Bible Reading: Matthew 28:1-10
Each letter was held up on a large card but you could use powerpoint slides as well.

E = Empty tomb. Stone rolled away.
A= Angel. "He's alive!"
S= Surprise! "He isn't here."
T= Tell. "Don't be afraid! Tell my followers to go to Galilee. They'll see me there."
E= Excitement. "Suddenly Jesus met them and greeted them. They...worshiped him."
R= Resurrection. "God has raised him to life." v.6

Don Stott , http://eliab.com, 2009

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Easter Pass the Parcel

A variation on the well known game.

This is played in the same way as at children's parties except you have a number of parcels circulating according to the size of your group (say one parcel per ten children).

Get everyone into a large circle and give out the parcels with an even number of people between each. Then as the music is played, the parcels are passed around the room from one person to the next as quickly as possible.
When the music stops the people holding the parcel can unwrap one layer of paper. Make sure each parcel is unwrapped to exactly the same point. This way the game will finish with the three or four people getting to the centre at the same time.

For Easter - Between the layers place: a palm cross (talk about why we have a cross on the top on hot cross buns or why people wear crosses around their necks) , an Easter card( What would you write about Easter in a card to a friend ?), a large nail (Jesus didn't deserve to die -crucifixion), an easter egg (tomb), a clean sheet of paper (nothing on it- Jesus forgave our sins) . The gift could be a a small box of chocolates (celebrate that Jesus is alive).

Use the items to recap the Easter story.

An Easter Rose

The young boy came home after Sunday School on Easter Sunday and told his mother he could understand about Christ but not about the roses. So he asked his mum, "Why was Christ a rose?"

Hot Cross Buns

Hold up a hot cross bun and ask the group if they like to eat these buns at Easter. Say that many people all around the world like to eat these buns at Easter time and those that are Christians are reminded of Jesus death on a cross by the cross we find on the top of the bun.

"Let's think about the ingredients needed to make these buns. What are some of the things you think might be used? Flour? Water? Fruit? One thing that's very important in making hot cross buns is yeast. What do we use yeast for? It helps the bun to rise otherwise they might be called "flat cross buns". The yeast also might remind us that Jesus rose from the grave. He didn't stay dead after he was crucified and put in to the tomb - he rose again. Dried fruits are also added to the mixture in making hot cross buns. These might remind us of the good things that come from Jesus' death. Without his death on the cross we wouldn't be able to enjoy new life.

As you pass around some buttered hot cross buns for the children to eat. Invite everyone just to pause for a few moments and silently thank Jesus for being willing to die a slow and painful death so that we might have eternal life with him.

Just in case you wondered about the history of the hot cross bun : We get the word "bun" from the Teutonic equivalent, "boun", which was an archaic description of a sacrificial ox. The practice of offering animal sacrifices at the vernal equinox became frowned upon. Instead, the goddess in question was honoured with a cake, a sacred ox bun. Imprinted on the cake were the crossed horns of a ox. Christians reinterpreted this as the cross of Christ.

Puppet script from Eliab.com "Hot Cross Buns"

Easter Resource

I've just picked up a great resource full of ideas for Easter including drama skits, stories, poems, Easter service ideas and craft.

The publication is called "Easter cracked" and is published by Scripture Union. (93 pages)

http://www.scriptureunion.org.au (Aust.)

http://www.scriptureunion.org.uk (Britain)

http://scriptureunion.gospelcom.net ( U.S.A.)

Monday, 2 February 2009

Colours For Easter

An All- Age Worship Activity

You need : Green, Red,Black, White and Yellow balloon bunches or streamers or flags.

Call forward any of the congregation or children's group who are wearing a green top (t-shirt, jumper, sweater...). Give them the green props and ask them to stand in a group on the far left side of your stage or up-front area. Talk about how the colour green may remind us that Jesus came... and on the way he was welcomed into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Ask the green group to practice their phrase. Continue this process with the following colours and phrases.

"Jesus came- and suffered- and died- but came alive again- to bring new life...


Finally invite all those remaining in the congregation wearing other colours to add "for everyone" to finish the phrase. Those holding the balloons can form a rolling Mexican wave of colour as they circle the balloons in front of them as they say their phrase.

Easter Chant

Easter is...

Easter is a time of joy

For everyone, girls and boys.

Rejoice, be glad, let's all sing,

Jesus is our risen King!

Jesus is living!

Easter Fanfare

An Easter illustration -

A Sunday School teacher had just finished telling her second graders about how Jesus was crucified and placed in a tomb with a great stone sealing the opening. Then, wanting to share the excitement of the resurrection, she asked : "And what do you think were Jesus' first words when He came bursting out of that tomb alive?" A hand shot up into the air from the rear of the classroom from one of the little girls. Leaping out of her chair she shouted out excitedly, "I know, I know!" "Good" said the teacher, "Tell us, what were Jesus first words." And extending her arms into the air she said:: "TA-DA!!"

Jesus' resurrection is the "TA-DA!" of Christianity.

Easter Resources from the Web

Easter Resources from the Web

Easter ideas


Beyond the Easter Bunny


How Easter Works


Countdown to Easter


Easter Skits


Easter Crafts


Church of the Holy Sepulchre


Eliab.creative outreach ministries-puppets, stories, chants...


Welcome to EasterPlus!

This "EasterPlus Blog" is intended to provide resources, ideas, reflections, Easter activities, children's programs, worship ideas and humorous stories. You may be a pastor, Sunday School teacher, children's program leader or someone just surfing by looking out for Easter ideas, responses or reflections. I hope you find something at the EasterPlus blog which you can use or enjoy. I'm a full time christian Children's and Family pastor in Melbourne Australia who is concerned about helping people of all ages focus on the true meaning of Easter.