Virtual Sunday School #12

SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 2020


In this final week of the Tending the Garden of Our Hearts Virtual Sunday School series, we come to the beautiful feast which ends the Paschal season: Pentecost. We look at the ways in which Pentecost fulfills several of God’s promises, and at the Holy Spirit itself.

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

Activities for the Whole Family:

Throw a party! After all, Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, and also the last day of Sunday School! Here are some ideas for party games.

  • Make party hats! Make paper flames with whatever you have on hand, and tape them to hats (if you have some) or to paper bands that fit your heads.
  • Play Pin the Tongue of Fire Over The Apostle’s Head! Draw an apostle with a tongue of fire above his head. Have each player make a paper tongue of fire, and write their name on it. Affix a tape donut to the back of each tongue. While blindfolded, each player should take a turn to try to “pin” their construction paper flame above the head of the apostle. The player whose flame lands closest to the one drawn on the paper wins.
  • Play Musical Chairs with Kh. Gigi Shadid’s song about the Church’s birthday!
  • Play “Guess the Item: Pentecost Version” by gathering items related to Pentecost, and put them in an opaque bag. Divide into two teams. Players take turns reaching into the bag, feeling an item, guessing what it is, and then pulling it out to see if they are correct. There are two points they might win: one for guessing the item correctly, and one for associating the item with Pentecost. Here are some ideas to fill your bag: LEGO stairsteps (upper room), clock or watch (the apostles were passing time/waiting), cardboard praying hands (the apostles were praying), hand-held fan (the mighty wind), plastic or stuffed bird (the Holy Spirit), cardboard flames or a candle or matches (tongues of fire), pocket translator book (they spoke in tongues), Bible (they shared the good news of Jesus with the people around them), a map (they journeyed around the world to tell everyone about Jesus).
  • Finish the party with a treasure hunt leading to a hidden cake or cupcakes (or other treat)!

Bake a cake together to celebrate the birthday of the church! Top this “Lightning Cake” with whipped topping and sliced strawberry tongues of fire to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles at Pentecost.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Heat milk and add butter. Beat eggs until thick. Add vanilla. Add sugar a little at a time, beating until fluffy and smooth. Stir in the flour mixture. Slowly add the hot milk. Stir just enough to blend. Pour into a prepared 8” square cake pan, and bake at 375° for about 25 minutes, until the cake shrinks back slightly from the edge and doesn’t show any mark when you touch it. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, or covered in frosting, jam, jelly, or whipped topping and fruit. (For Pentecost, decorate with strawberry slices that look like tongues of fire!)

Learn how to say “God loves you!” in another language. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit allowed people who spoke many different languages to learn about Christ and His love for them! You could Print and color this page and place it on your front door or in the back window of your car, so that people who speak another language hear your message of His love for them, too!

Decorate LED tealights to remind you of the tongues of fire that came down upon the heads of the apostles at Pentecost. Cut small flames from yellow, orange, and red tissue paper. Use tacky glue to glue the flames to the sides of LED tealights. When the glue is dry and it is dark, you can turn the tealight on to see your tongues of fire light up! (And these “tongues of fire” are safe to try to balance on your head, if you want to see what it could have looked like for the apostles to have them on their heads!) Store your decorated tealights in your prayer corner, and when you gather to pray, you can turn them on, and ask the Holy Spirit to come and illuminate your hearts.

Make pinwheels! Capture the mighty wind of Pentecost. You can find directions online to make some with just paper, a pushpin and a pencil. This site gives simple directions to make pinwheels using paper, a pushpin, and a pencil with a tall eraser, and offers various templates you might want to try!

More Videos:

For Younger Kids: Sing along with Khouria Gigi Shadid these two songs: “Followers of Jesus” and “The Birthday of the Church:

Kids tell the story of Pentecost:

This is an animated version of the story of Pentecost, for those who struggle to understand by listening alone:

For Older Kids, Teens and Parents:  On this episode of Be the Bee, Steve looks at what happened on Pentecost, and what exactly the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to do:

Hymn of the Feast: The Pentecost hymns, sung in honor of the Holy Spirit, are among the most beloved of the Church.

As the Virtual Sunday School series comes to a close, we at Tending the Garden of Our Hearts have turned our attention to summer. It’s time for Vacation Church Camp, and we are putting together an online camp so that your family or parish doesn’t miss out! With your purchase, you receive five days of camp, each of which includes: videos of opening and closing prayers, the day’s lesson, the day’s saint’s life, and an original music lesson, as well as PDFs with activities, games, activity sheets and a recipe for the day’s snack! Parishes could do the camp together over Zoom or another conferencing product, or families can hold the camp on their own at their own pace. This year’s theme is Rooted in Prayer, as we explore what prayer is and how we do it. The camp materials will be released on June 30, at the Ancient Faith Store, and will be priced at $29.99 per household. Note that the optional companion book, A Children’s Guide to Prayer, is available at a parish discount.

Rooted in Prayer

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.

Watch our website for more details on Virtual Sunday School for the coming Fall. Plans are not solidified, but if Virtual Sunday School resumes, it will likely happen via the Ancient Faith Store. We’ll post details on this site when we know.