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gather for Venture class, we read stories, discuss questions, join in prayer, and share activities that flow from the Sunday Gospels.Distribute the Bibles to the children. Begin by writing Matthew 5:16 on the board or on a sheet of newsprint. Instruct the children to turn to the New Testament and find the Gospel of Matthew. Find Chapter 5 in Matthew’s Gospel. Find verse 16. When everyone has found the verse, ask the children to join you in reading it aloud together: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven.”Then have children practice by looking upLuke 11:1–4. Go around the room helping the children. When they all have the place, ask what Jesus teaches his disciples in this passage. Jesus teaches his disciples The Lord’s Prayer.Continue by having the children find the citation for this Sunday’s Gospel. Congratulate themon their ability to use the Bible. Have them put away the Bibles with reverence, and move to the work area.Live the GospelDistribute copies of the activity page. Askthe children if they know what the cross thatis pictured is called. Explain that it is a Celtic cross, often called a High Cross. Celtic means something that comes from Ireland or other areas around Ireland. A high cross is usually made of stone and stands outside near a church or a crossroads. It is decorated with lots of carvings.Ask what the cross symbolizes. Accept all reasonable replies, but make sure that children recognize that because Jesus died on the cross to bring us salvation, the cross is the sign of Christianity and of Christians—people who are friends and followers of Jesus.Online Early Start 1Go through the directions with the children, pausing to give them time to fill in their answers. Distribute crayons, markers, or colored pencils so they can add color and scissors so they can cut out their crosses. When all have completed the page, invite volunteers to share what they wrote. Make notes of their favorite Gospel stories and what they would like to learn this year.Closing Prayer: Ask the children to bring their crosses to the prayer area. Lead them in the following prayer:Loving God, you sent your son Jesus to tell us how much you love us. We read Jesus’ stories in the Gospel. These are ones we remember. Give each child a chance to share his or her favorite Jesus story. Then continue: Thank you for sending Jesus. Thank you for bringing us together in this class. Help us share Jesus’ Good News with others. The children respond “Amen.”Ask the children to post their crosses in your meeting space. They will help them get to know each other and keep you alert to their questions.Conclude the prayer by singing or listening to either “Blest Are They” (Venture/Visions Music CD, CD-2, #11) or “Will You Come and Follow Me—The Summons” (Venture/Visions Music CD CD-2, #9).Early Start 1: We Meet Jesus in the Gospels©2017PflaumPublishingGroup,adivisionofBayard,Inc. Permissionisgrantedtoreproducethispageforusebyparishes,schools,andfamiliesusing PflaumGospelWeeklies.

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