Virtual Sunday School #8

SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2020


Christ is risen! This week, we consider the paralytic who waited by the pool at Bethesda for an angel to stir the waters — and then encountered Christ, learning that receiving a miracle can be work too.

This is the video version of our audio podcast, which you’ll find on Ancient Faith Radio.


Activities for the Whole Family:

Race to be the first one in the pool after the angel troubles the waters!

  • Create a “pool” out of masking tape on your floor (or just agree on a finishing line).
  • Contestants could be the paralytic (each one moving across the room to the water without using their legs) or they could be blowing the paralytic (index card “mats” with people drawn on them) with a straw or funnel toward the pool or finish line.
  • When you call out, “the pool is stirring!” everyone races to the pool!
  • After playing a few rounds, talk about how difficult it must have been for people to sit around waiting for the pool to stir. The paralytic had no one to help him! How would it feel to be waiting so long with NO ONE to help?

Do a science/craft project together: In the pool of Bethesda, an angel stirred the waters. Here’s your chance to make waters “stir”! For this experiment, you’ll need a glass (or clean jar, measuring cup, or something similar); water, oil, food coloring, and an Alka Seltzer tablet. To make it an art project, just fill the glass, jar, or measuring cup to the brim, and as the “waters stir”, gently place a piece of paper on the surface to absorb the colored water coming to the top. Repeat with other colors if you wish, to add to your artwork.

Assemble a craft project that might just double as a Mother’s Day gift (coasters, anyone?). Weave your own small “pallet” with yarn, cardboard, and a yarn needle. (If you don’t have a yarn needle, be creative — tape the end of the yarn or string to a toothpick!)

Help the paralytic to remember his experience with Jesus by illustrating his scrapbook. He’s already written the descriptions, but he needs help with the pictures!

Solve the clues to discover interesting words from this story. Unscramble the starred letters to spell a secret word!

Draw or write about another time when Jesus healed someone, but the person (whether it’s someone from the Bible, one of the saints, or even you or someone you know) had to do some of the work, as well.


More Videos:

For Younger Kids:  Sing along with Khouria Gigi Shadid with her latest singalong time, which includes a song about the Jesus Prayer, one about Joseph of Arimathea, and one about fasting and feasting:


Here’s a live-action video to help you envision how the story of the Healing of the Paralytic unfolded:


For Older Kids, Teens and Parents: In this Be the Bee video, Steve considers two very important questions: how to really pray, and how to be attentive during church services. (This is especially useful, because it can be even more challenging to focus on church services when you’re following along from home.)


And this episode of Live the Word takes a closer look at the Sunday of the Paralytic. Watch, and discuss the questions at the end, together.


We are raising funds for Ancient Faith Radio, the true home of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts and the most effective Orthodox outreach ministry on earth! As people around the globe shelter at home, Ancient Faith brings the ancient Church right to them. If you’re able, please consider supporting this wonderful ministry.


Supplement your home church with archived episodes and lessons!

As always, you’ll find the audio-only version of this week’s Tending the Garden of Our Hearts weekly podcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Each episode begins with a lesson or meditation, and concludes with questions and discussion ideas to help your family grow in the faith together. You may want to look through the archives for more episodes during this quiet time at home.

In addition, we have archived all of our Virtual Sunday School lessons so that you can access them any time.