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How Is the
Church Like
a Vine?
What do you remember about these people on the vine Jesus planted?
PFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation Program
April 29, 2018
5th Sunday of Easter
Draw your own face on this leaf.
Share Experiences
Objectives l The children will:
l Identify people who are branches on Jesus’ vine.
l Recognize followers of Jesus across the centuries.
l Identify with their peers who are speaking up for justice.
Gather in a prayer circle. Play and sing ““Yes Lord I Believe” (CD-2, #14).” Lyrics may be found at lyrics.
Opening Prayer l Psalm 128 Distribute Bibles and have the children  nd Psalm 128. Or prepare copies of the psalm for them ahead of class. Psalm 128 is a short, six-verse prayer. Arrange the children into two groups. The groups will take turns reading the verses aloud. Conclude by leading the class in a short, spontaneous prayer thanking God for the olive plants in your Venture group and for the families who love and nurture them.
Cover Activity l How Is the Church Like a Vine? (page 1) This cover recalls many of Jesus’ followers whom the children have read about. Top row: Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, boys from Saint Gregory’s doing the Works of Mercy. Second row: Saint Francis Xavier, Miranda who practices Aikido. Third row: girl at Saint Theresa’s who participated in Mary’s Meals fund-raiser, Saint Juan Diego, Father Augustus Tolton. Fourth row: Sister Sarah Heger, school principal and marathon runner; the main character from “The Girl Who Always Tried”; Rosa Parks. Bottom row: Saint André of Montreal and Saints Perpetua and Felicity. Ask volunteers to name and tell one thing about a person or group in the collage. Allow time for adding their own faces to the collage.
Article l Kids Speaking Up (pages 2–3) Many cities experience big changes as large factories and businesses close. The children at Highland Catholic School took on the challenge of planning an inclusive development on 135 acres of empty land in their neighborhood. Begin by looking at the photos and reading the captions to speculate what the story is about. Take turns reading the article aloud if you have time.
Use the questions to bring the idea of community planning into the lives of your group. Sometimes even a small piece of open land can trigger discussion about
whether it should be a garden, a playground, a high rise, or a business. Answers: These are meant to be open-ended questions; however, make sure to facilitate the conversation so that the children stay on task and all voices are heard. Encourage the children to brainstorm ideas in their communities that need their attention as well as their top-10 list.
Discover Gospel and Doctrine
Objectives l The children will:
l Recognize that we are linked to Jesus as branches are connected to a vine.
l Review virtue and the people they have learned about this year who live them.
l Understand the image of the Kingdom of God in the Bible.
Sunday Gospel l Jesus Is the Vine, We Are the Branches (page 4) Have a large plant in your classroom, the more tree-sized, the better. Have children trace the end of
the branches back to where they join the trunk. Ask what they remember from science about how a plant absorbs nutrients and moisture from the earth and uses them to extend its growth. Ask how people grow. A baby is connected to its mother by the umbilical cord. When the baby emerges, it is dependent on others to feed it. If a child becomes separated from nurture and love, it cannot survive. Even as older children and adults, we won’t thrive if separate
from the love and care of others. Assign four confident readers to proclaim the Gospel. The rest of the class will listen with your copies of Venture closed.
Turn to the Think questions on page 4. Answers: 1. A family usually shares common ancestors; however, many families are created by marriage or adoption and are
also very strong. They share traditions, memories, stories. A family name and heritage also contribute to a feeling of belonging. 2. We are all connected to Jesus; we have a duty to go out and spread his Good News. 3. The Church unites all of us in our belief in Christ, our common vine; parishes and believers throughout the world are its branches. 4. The Hi-C children want the land used for the common good, and they speak up for its responsible use, including park land and a community garden/soup kitchen.
Connecting Gospel and Doctrine l We Share Jesus’ Life (page 4) Children at this age are very eager to be a part of their community, to help
out and to share what they know. Encourage their enthusiasm, by helping them identify ways they can be Christ’s branches.
Turn to the Think questions on page 4. These are discussion-based questions, with no “right” answer. Possible responses include: 1. They are witnesses for Jesus in
their words and their actions. Any of the saints are good examples, but also remind the children of the kids they’ve read about this year—the boys who did the Works of Mercy, the class that raised money to build a kitchen. 2. Open-ended; encourage the children to explain their responses. We need to spread Jesus’ message everywhere in the world!
Teaching This Week’s Lesson

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