Tag Archives: Children

Welcome Home – Call To Worship for Homecoming Sunday

Welcome Home

Home is not a building or a place we meet.

Home is not just where we came from.

Home is more than people and memories.

Home is more than sentimentality or traditions.

Home is toys on the floor.

Home is a mess in the kitchen.

Home is a welcome at the door.

Home is a hug of acceptance.

Home is the laughter around the table, bread and cup.

Home is remembering promises made in water and spirit.

Home is seeing where God is leading us

And going there together.

Welcome home to High Street UMC

where we welcome children, care for each other, and learn how to love.

Welcome Home.

Where we are better together.  Amen.

(C)2018 Nathan Decker,


Blessing of the Backpacks

God who teaches us every day how to make Earth a little more like Heaven, we lift to you today, these students.

Give them your patience to understand the problems on paper and in the hallways.

Help them commit themselves to study and learning in the school year ahead.

Bless each of them.

Lord, put your hands on these backpacks.   Fill them with school work and reminders of the love and care of this church.  Surround them each school day with your Spirit.

Look after the teachers and workers in our schools. Sustain them with your peace, patience and perseverance. Help them know how appreciated they are and that this congregation embraces their call to teaching and learning and surrounds them with love and care as well.

We pray in the name of Jesus who we seek to follow day by day. Amen.


adapted from http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/a-blessing-of-the-backpacks-and-the-school-year

Litany for Domestic Violence Awareness

Lord, as we gather this morning,
we are aware
there is a woman shivering in fear in a home that is not safe
we are aware
there is a child begging his parent to stop fighting, to stop beating
we are aware
there is a man making promises he knows he can’t keep without help
we are aware
because your grace has changed our lives
we are aware
because your grace calls us to break these patterns of violence
we are aware
because your grace is working through us
we are aware.
-(C)2016 Nathan Decker worshipswake.wordpress.com

God is in the Teaching (Newsletter Article August 2014)

God is in the Teaching

“Where is Jesus?  I want him to come play with me.”  -Ethan, age 6

When my eldest child was on his way, I did some deep praying and thinking.  I wanted to be an intentional parent.  There were many questions for which I wanted to make sure I had answers.  Why is the sky blue?  Why did you pick mommy?  Why God?  The last one is probably the most important question any of us can ask and seek out answers.  I don’t mean “Why God?” in a melodramatic voice of Alan Alda anguish.  I’m talking about the heart, mind, and soul experience of faith.  I expect at some point my children we ask me why faith is important at all.  Why do we worship?  Why do we give offerings?  Why do we attend church?  Why God?

It will start with the conversation about why we as a family avoid shopping and going out to eat on Sundays.  It will continue with the decisions we make – like putting church first ahead of ball games and tournaments.  There will be that hopeful eye, as we give the boys a dollar on Sunday and encourage (but don’t force) them to put it into the offering plate.  And here I want to point out that we do these things as a family, not because I’m a pastor.  Neither of my parents are clergy.  But you see, my mom answered the question.  She taught me faith year by year in patience.  My dad answered the question.  He taught me to doubt and not accept the easy answers but to work at my faith.  They instilled in me practices and traditions that I am trying to give to my children.  They prepared me for faith.

August is a time for preparing for school.  We get the lists from our child’s or grandchild’s school, we get the tax-free weekend, and we prepare.  How are we preparing our children in faith?  How do we talk about God’s word as we gather at table to eat together?  How do we act out our faith by the simple choices we make in front of little eyes?  How will we share Jesus so that he can play with the little ones?

I met a woman this week who told me about her family.  She asked that I visit her daughter.  “My grandchild saw a nativity last year and asked if the church was going to sacrifice the animals?”  The child was not shown where to find Jesus.  The child will not ‘play’ with Jesus.  Prepare the children for faith.  Be intentional about it.  Don’t expect the preacher or Sunday School teachers to do all the work.  We will help, but there won’t be any miracles.  Faith is something that is instilled around the table conversations, while you are driving down the interstate, and in those crucial moments when you decide between grace and punishment.  Prepare the children for faith.  Faith is taught.  God is in the teaching.

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.”  -Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Kid’s Communion

Kids Eucharist

By Nathan Decker and Lisa Fong

Invitation in Song
All singing:
Jesus loves me, this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
He wants me to come and eat
learning love for all I meet.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus love me
at this Table his love shows.

Confession and Pardon in Song
All continue singing:
Jesus love me, this I pray
I messed up along the way.
Teach me how to grow and live
and to share all I can give.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus love me
at this Table I can know.

Passing of the Peace
Because Jesus opened his arms big enough to love and hug all of us,
let us hug and show we have arms big enough to love one another.

All are brought back together in the singing:
Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world!

The Great Thanksgiving

Dear God,
We love you with all our hearts.
You are good. You are great.
You created everything we see and don’t see.
You saved the animals on the Ark with Noah.
You helped Moses free the slaves.
You gave victory to David against giant problems.
You are good. You are great.

People Respond in the Singing:
Father, I adore you.
Lay my life before you.
How I love you.

Dear God,
you loved us with all your heart.
You are good. You are great.
You sent Jesus as a baby in Bethlehem.
He grew up and taught people how to love
and what kind of people you wanted us to be.
Before he died, he invited his friends to a meal.
He took bread, told you “thank you,” broke the bread
and gave to his friends saying,
“Take, Eat, this is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.”
When the meal was over, he took a cup, told you “thank you,”
and gave the cup to his friends saying,
“Take, drink, this is the promise that God gives in my blood that he will forgive you, all of you.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Jesus, I adore you.

Lay my life before you.

How I love you. 
Dear God,
show your love to us in being here today.
You are good. You are great.

Send your Holy Spirit on this bread and cup.
Help us know that you are here.
Help us show that you are near.

Send your Holy Spirit on us as your children.
Help us learn to grow and live.
Help us learn to share and give.

Spirit, I adore you.
Lay my life before you.
How I love you.

This we pray and as God’s children say, Amen.