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GN36_15.indd 18/24/17 1:47 PMMy Christmas Memories 2017Help Mary and Joseph  nd the way to Bethlehem.Put your pencil on the letter J in the  rst line.Move up, down, left, right, or diagonally to spellthe names Joseph, Mary, and Bethlehem. If you . succeed, you will be at the stable.PFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation ProgramDecember 25, 2017 and January 7, 2018 Christmas and EpiphanyThis was a special Christmas becausePeople we celebrated Christmas with areThe best present I got wasThe best present I gave wasThis Christmas, I am thankful for....TG2-30Share ExperiencesObjective The children will share their Christmas experiences.Gather the children in a circle in the open area, holding hands. Lead them in singing “Christmas Time” (CD-1, #14).Gathering Prayer Ask the children to sit quietly while you say the following prayer: “Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to be with us. We are happy he came. We will try to act like him and be good and loving to each other.”The children respond, “Amen.”Activity l We Celebrate Christmas Ask the children to describe how they celebrate Christmas. Let them talk about presents and food and family but be sure they include attending Mass, visiting the Nativity scene, and hearing the story ofJesus’ birth. Don’t be concerned if many of their responses are about secular or commercial aspects of Christmas. Our faith is incarnational. We meet Jesus in all aspects of life, including those of getting and giving. Give the children time to be heard and to share, enjoying the memories of this happy day. Make sure they remember that Christmas is first and foremost the celebration of Jesus’ birthday.Cover Activity l My Christmas Memories 2017 (page 1) Move to the work area and distribute pencils. Pass out Good News. Direct the children to look at page 1. Instruct them to complete the writing and puzzle activities on the page.Activity l Stretch and Sing Direct the children to follow you as you lead them around the room, playing and singing “Glory to Our God” (CD-1, #11).Discover Gospel and DoctrineObjective The children will reflect on the Christmas and Epiphany Gospels.Play and sing “Gospel Acclamation” (CD-2, #24) to prepare the children for the proclamation of the Gospel.Gospel Creative Drama l Jesus Is Born (page 2) The Gospel text for Christmas is not in drama form this week, but it is so familiar to the children that they will enjoy acting out the story. Begin by having them all be Mary, aware of Jesus growing in her womb and praying to God about it. Then Mary and Joseph looking for a place for Jesus to be born and finally finding thestable. Continue in this mode, with all the children acting all the parts. Play Christmas carols in the background. When you have acted out the story once, assign parts and have children take the parts and add words if they wish.Discuss the Know questions related to the Christmas Gospel.Gospel Activity l Find the Angel’s Message (page 2) Direct the children to look at the at the activity on the bottom of page 2 of Good News. Distribute crayons and give the children time to decode the angel’s message.Sunday Gospel l Magi Follow a Star (page 3) The Gospel text for the Sunday of Epiphany is also not in drama form. Share Matthew’s telling of the coming of the magi. You may ask five good readers to each take a paragraph of the Gospel story.Explain that the word magi is often translated as “astrologers.” They were people who studied the stars and signs in natureto find God and God’s will. Over the centuries, we have made these astrologers into kings. Because the Gospel mentions three gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh, we imagine them as three kings. We even give them names and different ages and races. Traditionally, Melchior is old with a white beard. Gaspar is young and blonde, and Balthazar is black.Discuss the Know questions related to the Epiphany Gospel.Activity l Creative Drama Invite the children to show you with their faces and bodies how the kings, who lived far away from Bethlehem, felt when they saw a special star in the sky? What was their trip like? Were they ever cold or scared? How did they feel when they found Mary, Joseph, and Jesus? Ask: What gifts did they bring? Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.Catholic Faith Word l Bethlehem (page 3) Read this definition aloud together and make sure the children understand the significance of Jesus being born in Bethlehem.Connecting Gospel and Doctrine (page 3)Read together “Christmas Is Good News for the World.”Distribute the children’s What the Church Believes and Teaches handbooks.Teaching This Week’s Lesson

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