Lesson 2 – What is the Church?

Slide 1-2 - Introduction: Trinity House Story

Ask children to summarise the Trinity House story, and how the characters show us what the Holy Trinity is like.

Children should remember that the Trinity is Father, Son and Spirit joined by love. Use the analogy of a triangle that has three sides making one shape.

Slide 3 - Introduction: Trinity House Story

Ask children to recall what happened when Abba told Adam that he had to leave:
• Abba promised to send a helper
• Amara arrived, as a helper to remind the storyteller of Adam and Abba

Explain that (click to reveal):
• Like Adam, the time came when Jesus had to leave earth and go back up to heaven
• Like Abba, Jesus said that the Father would send a helper to the disciples
• Like Amara, the Holy Spirit is a helper for us to teach us how to live, and to remind us of God the Father and God the Son

Explain that after the Holy Spirit came to earth to live inside believers, the Church started.

Slide 4 - Group Discussion: What is the Church?

Ask children the question ‘What is Church?’ You may get answers like:
• A big, cold building
• Where we go on a Sunday
• Where we pray etc.

Explain that:
• The Church is not a building, but all the people who believe in Jesus Christ as their Saviour. (CCC 752).

Click to reveal lots of people!

• When the Church first began, they didn’t have buildings at all.
• The story of the early Church is recorded in the book of Acts in the Bible.

Slide 5-6 - Group Discussion: What is the Church?

Ask children to listen carefully to the passage on the screen from Acts 2: 42-47 which tells us what the believers did in the early Church.

Discuss any words that children don’t understand. Ask children to write lists of what the early church did as a reading comprehension exercise, or discussion activity.

Slide 7 - Group Discussion: What is the Church?

This slide shows the main points from the previous activity, as a check on children’s work:

• They gathered regularly to hear people teach about Jesus
• They spent time together as friends
• They shared meals and prayed together
• They helped each other and were generous
• They worshipped God together
• God continued to save people who put their faith in Jesus.

Discuss with children how what the early Church did is similar or different to what we do in church today. Ask children for examples of our church activities today, for example:

• Mass:
o Hear Scripture readings about the life of Jesus
o Receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion
• Baptisms
• Reconciliation
• Weddings
• Funerals
• Prayer groups
• Choirs
• Raise money for Catholic charities working with the poor.
• Social events, etc

Explain that even though the early Church was a long time ago, we do the same or similar things now, because that’s what Jesus told us to do.

Click to reveal ‘We do these things too!’

Slide 8 - Group Discussion: What is the Church?

Teaching

Deliver the following in these or your own words:

The Church helps children to get to know Jesus as their friend.
Church is a family we belong to when we are baptised. In fact, the church is called the Body of Christ!
We can go to church on a Sunday, see our friends, eat and pray together, help each other, be generous, worship God and most importantly learn about Jesus so we can tell other people the good news about Him.
The Church is made up of the home, school and parish.
Every home, school and parish church is also part of a diocese. There are many dioceses in different geographical areas across our country that help us work together for the good of everyone.
• But remember that every day, not just on Sunday, we are the Church!

Ask children:
• What they think it means to be the Church and how they feel about that?

Slide 9 - Group Activity: My Perfect Church

The Holy Trinity shows us that God is love and we are called to love others as God loves us.

There is a charity called ‘Together For The Common Good’ which gives us some ideas about how to reflect the love of the Holy Trinity in our lives and as part of the Church family, the Body of Christ. (This will be explored further in the next Unit, but an introduction is below.)

Discuss the following as principles which should guide our lives and our church family:

The Common Good – Does everyone have an equal opportunity to live the best life they can, or are some people suffering and left on the side lines?
The Human Person – How do we treat people, especially when they are different to us?
Social Relationships – Do we say sorry? Are we forgiving and generous to each other when we make mistakes?
Stewardship – Do we care for our fellow human beings and the environment around us?
Everyone is included, no one is left behind – Our decision making is important – do we/our families generously share what we have and give money to the poor so others might have a fair share of what we have?

Slide 9 - Group Activity: My Perfect Church (Continued)

Ask children to design activities for their perfect church, using the principles above as a guideline to inspire them. E.g. gardening for the elderly, food bank collections, meals rotas for the sick and families with new babies etc

This activity could include a drawing of a building, but also details about what activities the church could do, and how its people should treat others. Feedback across the class.

Slide 10 - Final Prayer

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