The Story Launch and Introduction - week beginning 8 August

The Story - Launch and Introduction

The Bible contains an Upper Story and a Lower Story. The Upper Story tells the big picture, the grand narrative of God seeking relationship with mankind as it unfolds throughout history. The Lower Story contains the details of particular people, and the episodes we’ve become familiar with: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the flood, etc. This Upper Story is really a framework around which we approach and apply any one part of the Bible. It unifies God’s whole message to us and helps guide us through the hard times in life by doing two things:

a) reminding us of God’s eternal, long-range plan and,

b) putting our experiences into a divine context formed by a perfect Creator.

For example, without the “Upper Story”, a lost job could be seen as an event without hope. But put into the context of the larger chronicle of our lives, and God’s perfect design, that lost job can be seen in a very different light, perhaps as an opportunity for God to reveal something better. So, by putting all we read into the larger picture, we can make modern-day application from the Bible that takes into account the grand, mysterious ways of God, and guards us from misapplications that can result from an isolated “what this verse says to me” approach. In other words, the Upper Story creates the context for the Lower Story.

At Emmanuel, we are using The Story to help everyone gain a better understanding of the big picture of the Bible and to better understand God’s redemptive plan for us today. As we journey together through The Story we will take note of both the temporal events and characters (Lower Story), as well as the eternal purpose of God: to restore and build a relationship with His creation.

We invite you to join us as we dig in and explore The Story.

If you would like to join an explore group, contact Nathan Robertson, or one of the group leaders listed in this week's newsletter.

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The Story Chapter 1 - Week Beginning 15 August

Chapter 1. The Beginning of Life as We Know it

Parent Tips: Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table at some point this week. The Living Faith activity is designed to help your child know that God perfectly created them. The Extra Mile idea will help your family spread God’s love in the community.

Get the Point

Preschool: God made everything. He made me in His likeness.

Elementary: God made everything there is. He made me to know him.

Middle School: God made a perfect creation. We messed it up. Jesus offers us grace to fix that.

High School: God made a perfect and ordered creation. Man’s sin brought suffering to earth.

Table Talk

Preschool/Elementary

- If you could live a day as any animal, what animal would you be? What are some of the good and bad things about living as that animal?

- What are some ways people and animals are different?

- Are people or animals more important to God? Explain that people are worth way more than animals, because we’re the only part of Creation made in God’s image. We were made to have a relationship with God. Even Jesus said in Matthew 10:31 that we’re “worth more than many sparrows.”

Middle/High School

- What are some things you really like about yourself? (Could be eyes, hair, clothes, sense of humor)

- Hollywood actors and models always talk about how they’d like to change their appearance, yet they’re considered the pretty people. Is there anything you’d change about yourself?

- Do you think God would change anything about you?

- Why do you think the culture is so consumed with looks and fame?

Living Faith

Spend a few moments one evening going on a family treasure hunt around your house. You can write your own clues or use the ones given. End your hunt at a mirror (either handheld or in a bathroom) so your family can discover God’s greatest creation—you!

CLUE CARDS are attached for you to print, cut and hide

Extra Mile

For added emphasis on this week’s themes, try one of these activities.

1. Grab a family photo album that has some shots of you enjoying the outdoors. Talk about:

- What do you remember most about this experience?

- What are some of your favorite things about God’s creation?

- How can you see God’s handiwork in the outdoors?

- Where are some places you’d like to visit?

If the conversation leads, plan a fun family outing or your next family vacation.

2. Remind your children that all people are important to God by taking some food to a local food bank or going through your closets and making a donation to a homeless shelter. Remind your kids that helping the less fortunate shows them God’s love.

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Sunday School & Dig in at Home 24 July 2022 - Stephen

5 Simple Ways You Can Make This Lesson Stick - STEPHEN THE COMMITTED

IN THE CAR: Ask your child what they learned about this week on the drive home: Stephen loved Jesus and loved people; his love never wavered, even when the people got angry and killed him. Kids will learn that members of the Jesus League can persevere and do the right thing even when people don’t treat us the same way. Acts 6:8-15, 7:54-60, Stephen

HANGING OUT: Make this week’s lesson real: Share with your kids a time you struggled to love someone who was mean to you. How did you handle the situation? How could you have handled it differently, if it didn’t go so well?

AT DINNER: Here are some great discussion starters:-Who was Stephen?-Why did the religious leaders put Stephen on trial?-How did Stephen stay committed to Jesus?

AT BEDTIME: Quiz your child on this week’s memory verse: When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIRV)

PARENT TIME: What you need to know:

Pray for your kids to have a heart that is committed to loving others. Pray that God will help you to love others as well. If there are any co-workers you are struggling with, pray especially for them this week so God can make you a witness to them.

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How do we help when someone has one of those life-changing days?

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Sunday School & Dig in at Home 31 July 2022 - Philip

5 Simple Ways You Can Make This Lesson Stick - PHILIP the Speaker

IN THE CAR: Ask your child what they learned about this week on the drive home: This Philip was not one of the 12 disciples, but he was still a follower of Jesus. Philip shared how much Jesus loves us with anyone and anywhere that God sent him. Kids will learn that they can share Jesus with other people. Acts 8:26-39, Philip and the Ethiopian

HANGING OUT: Make this week’s lesson real: Have you ever had to give a speech in school, at work, or elsewhere? How did it go? How nervous were you? Ask your kids if they are nervous about speaking in public or sharing Jesus with others?

AT DINNER: Here are some great discussion starters:-How did Philip meet the Ethiopian?-What happened when Philip taught the Ethiopian about Jesus?-How can we share the good news of Jesus with our friends?

AT BEDTIME: Quiz your child on this week’s memory verse: When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIRV)

PARENT TIME: What you need to know: It’s not easy to speak up for Jesus, but if we don’t speak for him, who will?

Pray that God will give your children - and you! - the courage to speak up about Jesus.

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30 Words of Affirmation Every Child Needs to Hear - free printable

One of the most important things we can do as a parent is to make sure that our children hear words of affirmation every day.

Our words are SO powerful.

They can tear our children down or build them up.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

I want to be sure that my words speak life to my kids.

I know sometimes when life is just chugging along in the day-to-day, it can be hard to find little ways to affirm our kids through words. We have to be intentional with it.

But every mom could use a little inspiration in this area, right?

I've come up with a list of 30 words of affirmation that you can use TODAY in your home.

Speak them.

Write them.

Hang them on a mirror.

Remind your kids of who they are in Christ and HOW VERY MUCH THEY ARE LOVED BY YOU ♥️

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Sunday School & Dig in at Home 24 July 2022 - Mary

5 Simple Ways You Can Make This Lesson Stick - MARY THE BELIEVER

IN THE CAR: Ask your child what they learned about this week on the drive home:

When the other members of the Jesus League believed that all was lost, Mary held onto hope; she was rewarded by being the first to learn that Jesus had risen from the dead. Kids will learn that we can believe God, no matter what. John 20:1-18, The Empty Tomb

HANGING OUT: Make this week’s lesson real: What are some things you and your kids believe in? Santa? Bigfoot? America? How is having a belief in Jesus different than believing in these other things?

AT DINNER: Here are some great discussion starters:-Who was the first person to see the empty tomb?-Why do you think Jesus revealed himself to Mary before he saw the disciples?-How can we build up our belief in Jesus?

AT BEDTIME: Quiz your child on this week’s memory verse: When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIRV)

PARENT TIME: What you need to know: A strong faith can help us through even the toughest times in life.

Pray that God will help you and your kids develop a strong faith in Jesus.

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Sunday School & Dig in at Home 17July 2022 - John

5 Simple Ways You Can Make This Lesson Stick - John

IN THE CAR: Ask your child what they learned about this week on the drive home: John referred to himself as the disciple Jesus loved; and as he hung on the cross, Jesus gave John his own command to love. Kids will learn that we can love others because God loves us. John 19:17-27, The Crucifixion

HANGING OUT: Make this week’s lesson real: What special things do your kids still have in their room from when they were little? How do those things remind your kids they are loved? Ask them how God showed his love for us, and how we can show love in return.

AT DINNER: Here are some great discussion starters: -Why did John call himself the disciple Jesus loved?-What did Jesus ask John to do for him before he died?-How can we show the love of Jesus to other people?

AT BEDTIME: Quiz your child on this week’s memory verse: When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIRV)

PARENT TIME: What you need to know:

Pray for your kids to have the courage to love someone who needs love this week, be it a new kid in class or a kid who doesn’t have many friends.

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5 Ways to Pray With Kids

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