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VEN37_13.indd 18/27/17 11:34 AMWhat is the best present you ever received?Fifth-grade students from Holy Family Church in Nutley, New Jersey, and fourth-grade students from St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, answered this week’s KidTalk question. Read their responses, and then write your own in the space provided.Life, family, and shelter—these are the best presents I ever received. DominicI wanted a surfboard because of my idol, Bethany Hamilton. I want to be justMy baby sister, Olivia, is the best thing that ever happened to me. She has brought my family a lot of joy. NicoletteI got to visit my cousin in Poland and he got to come to the United States. I took him to Long Beach Island and to New York City. The saddest part was when he had to leave. PhilipMy mom handed mea necklace box so I thought it was going to be a necklace.Mmy edahdowtautoghptlay football. My dream is to be a professional football player forA visit from my twobaby cousins.Spending time withmy family and doingthings together issomething I love. It isalways the best gift. AriannaBut when I opened it, two Taylor Swift concert tickets fell out. Giannathe New York Giants. Joseph Mis ysodsopge, cPieanl. nie,Every time Iplay with her,When I got my phone, I knew my parents had trust in me, and it made me feel very special. Jesseshe is so funnyandenergetic. mel.ikIesthilelrs;usrhfewiinthsptihreast She has made a differencein my life. Alivia same board! KatelynThe best gift I ever received was my life, because it came from God. AngeloPFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation ProgramDecember 17, 20173rd Sunday of AdventThe NEW Gospel WeekliesPFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation ProgramTG2-22Share ExperiencesObjective The children will appreciate the importance of gifts of service and gifts of oneself.Gather in a prayer circle around your Advent wreath. Play and sing “We Are Called” (CD-2, #12). Lyrics are available at Prayer Gather around the Advent wreath and light the pink candle. Pray this prayer from this Sunday’s First Reading, St. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians (5:16–24).Leader: Brothers and sisters, rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks. May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and ready for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.Explain that the rose/pink candle stands for the joy we will have when Christmas comes.Cover Activity l What is the best present you ever received? (page 1) Ask the children what they want for Christmas. They will most likely answer with speci c gift ideas or things they’ve asked their parents for. After the children give their responses, distribute Venture and read what other Venture readers describe as the best present they ever received. Give the children time to draw or write their best present.Play l Why the Bells Rang (pages 2–3) This drama captures a simple spirit of giving and invites the children to recognize who and what make truly great gifts. Assign the 16 parts and have the remainder of the children act as townspeople. You may simply read the play within your own class period or plan to rehearse and present the play to another class, to the families of your students, or as part of a school or parish liturgy. If your class is small, join with another class to  ll out the parts.Use the Think questions on page 3 to discuss the play. Note: Help the children recognize that Pio’s little coin was a real gift, because in order to give it, Pio had to give up his own happiness for the sake of another.Discover Gospel and DoctrineObjectives l The children will:l Discover how John the Baptist prepares us for Jesus.l Identify how Isaiah and Mary describe the coming of theservant of God.l Recognize the titles of Jesus.Gospel Ritual Move to the area you have set up for the Gospel reading. As you prepare the children to listen to this Sunday’s Gospel, play “Word of Truth and Life” (CD-1, #1).Sunday Gospel l Who Is John the Baptist? (page 4) Assign parts of Narrator; Priest 1, 2, and 3; John the Baptist; and Levite 1 and 2. Then let the children proclaim the Gospel.Discuss the Think questions related to the Gospel reading on page 4. Answers: 1. The Messiah, or Elijah, whom tradition expected to return before the Messiah, orthe Prophet, a teacher, lawgiver like Moses. 2. Someone getting people ready for God. 3. By what he does and by the prophecies his actions ful ll; open-ended.Connecting Gospel and Doctrine l Jesus Is an Unexpected Messiah (page 4)Read aloud this summary of Sunday’s Gospel. Ask for volunteers to explain what kind of messiah they were expecting. Ask: Why was Jesus so di erent?Turn to the Think questions on page 4. Answers:1. Open-ended. Distribute notebook paper and give the children time to write their lists. 2. Though he is fully divine, Jesus came to be with us on Earth as a vulnerable, human being. He is Emmanuel, which means God-with-us.Distribute the children’s What the Church Believes and Teaches handbooks.Teaching This Week’s LessonWHAT THE CHURCH BELIEVES AND TEACHES HANDBOOKWhat the Church Believes and TeachesHow Is Jesus the Savior? (page 10)This section of the What the Church Believes and Teaches handbook expands on the concept of Jesus as the long- awaited Messiah of Israel.Ask for volunteers to read the four paragraphs aloud. After each finishes, ask the class to summarize what was read. This is not new material to the children, but they might find it useful to have everything they have learned about Advent summarized in one place.

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