Jingle Jam!

 

This upcoming Sunday night is the 6th annual Antioch Kids Jingle Jam! We’d love to see you there!

At this family event, your kids will be able to sing and dance to their favorite Christmas tunes, hear a Christmas story, and be reminded of the real meaning behind Christmas. The event starts at 6pm and is located at the Antioch Church offices, 255 SW Bluff Drive, Bend 97702.

Please bring a plate of cookies to share!

If you miss every other Christmas party this year, don’t miss the Jingle Jam!

If you have questions, email Linda at linda@antiochchurch.org!

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Homemade Advent Calendar!

With December right around the corner, we wanted to help you and your family navigate the holiday season well! This blog post gives you easy ways to show love to others as well as appreciate the festive season! Below, you will find 25 Christmas activities to do as a family that are free or cost next to nothing… right here in Bend, Oregon! Instructions and directions are included in the links. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

December 1: Deck the Halls! String popcorn and cranberries to make a garland. Then, hang it in your house as you put up your Christmas decorations!

December 2: Join us for the Jingle Jam! Meet us at 255 SW Bluff Drive for this annual Christmas kids and family event, featuring Christmas songs, singing, dancing, and a reminder of the real reason behind the season!

December 3: As a family, go through your closets and find warm clothing items that are not being used. This can include beanies, scarves, socks, pants, jackets, and sweatshirts. Make sure the items are clean, then bring them on Sunday morning or drop them by the church offices. All items will be given to The Family Access Network at Bend High.

December 4: Make spiced cider on the stove-top, read your favorite Christmas story as it simmers!

December 5: Read Isaiah 7:13-17; 9:1-7; 11:1-2, 35:5-6, 40:3-5, 42:1-4 and learn what was said about Jesus in the Old Testament!

December 6: Drive around the neighborhood to see everyone’s Christmas lights. Don’t forget to turn on the Christmas Carols as you drive around!

December 7: Make peanut butter pinecone bird feeders and say Merry Christmas to your furry friends living in your trees!

December 8: Make Christmas cookies & drop them off at your neighbor’s house. Don’t forget to wish them a Merry Christmas!

December 9: Go shopping for canned goods. Drop them off at The Shepherd’s House, The Giving Plate, or The Family Kitchen.

December 10: Make snow candy! It’s fun and yummy!

December 11: Do a candle-lit picnic dinner next to the Christmas tree!

December 12: Cut paper snow-flakes to put in your windows!

December 13: Play Christmas carols all day, in your house, in the car, at the office!

December 14: Call your grandparents or another family member and tell them you love them!

December 15: Make holiday cards for a local nursing home. Nursing home residents often feel lonely during the holiday season because of their physical disabilities. A card will help to alleviate some of the loneliness that is often felt during the holidays!

December 16: Family movie night! Rock, paper scissors who gets to pick. Make sure to pick a Christmas movie!

December 17: Make peppermint bark to give to a friend or teacher!

December 18: Pick your favorite Christmas book to read before bed!

December 19: Read Twas the Night Before Christmas. Don’t have the book? Watch the story here!

December 20: Read the story of the birth of Jesus, found in Luke 2:1-20.

December 21: Have hot cocoa and cookies with friends or neighbors.

December 22: Write a letter to Santa… or better yet, have your kids call him and give him their list! Encourage your kids to give a reason why they should be on the Nice List, and then list one or two things they really want for Christmas.

December 23: Paint the snow! Simply combine water and food coloring in a spray bottle and send your kids outside to paint the snow to look like Christmas!

December 24: Read the story about the birth of Jesus, found in Matthew 1:18-25.

December 25: Merry Christmas! Thank God for sending Jesus and letting you celebrate his birth today! Make a Happy Birthday Jesus cake and serve it to your family for breakfast.

For a festive display, secure a piece of twine under your fireplace mantle using pushpins. Print out the above ideas and cut them in strips. Then roll each strip and tie it with a festive ribbon. Make sure to write Day 1, Day 2, etc., on each rolled up idea, then secure them with old fashioned clothespins to the piece of twine! Let kids open one idea per day as you count down the days until Christmas!

Thanksgiving Fun!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we wanted to give you three ideas to make the day fun as well as meaningful! Below you will find 3 simple ideas that will help you and your family give thought to what you are thankful for, and also make great memories, as you eagerly await the feast to finish cooking!

1. Birdie Thanks!

What you need: A badminton shuttlecock (or a sock filled with beans) and a permanent marker.

What you do: Decorate the shuttlecock to look like a turkey. Draw a beak, a wattle and two eyes. Then, let the person with the closest birthday begin with the birdie. This person gets to choose who to throw the birdie to first.  As the person catches it, he names something he’s thankful for, then tosses it to another family member.

2. I’m thankful FOUR…

What you need: Colored paper, scissors and markers

What you do: Begin by cutting out large 4’s from the colored paper. Give each family member a “4”, and ask her to fill the paper with things she is thankful “for” (or 4). Let each person tell the group what they are thankful for, then keep the “4’s” and read them again next year leading up to Thanksgiving!

3. Turkey Hunt!

What you need: Index Cards, glue, and picture of turkey (below).

What you do: Find 12-15 index cards. Paste the picture of the turkey on each card. Then, have everyone leave the room except for the “hider”. The “hider” hides the cards around the room. Then, invite the “hunters” back into the room to find the hidden turkeys. As each turkey is found, it is brought back to the leader who keeps track of who found each turkey by writing the “hunter’s” name on the back of each card. When all the turkey’s have been found, the hunter with the most turkey’s is the winner and becomes the “hider” for the next round.

A Theology of Thanksgiving… for kids!

Did you know that thankfulness is a learned behavior?

For some kids, it comes easier than others. But nonetheless, it is a learned behavior that is instilled by repetition and awareness.

As the Thanksgiving season approaches, we want to give your kids the opportunity to practice being thankful. It is easy to be thankful for ice cream, puppies and days off from school. But we want to help instill a theology of thankfulness that extends to even the hard stuff like family problems, sickness, and social struggles.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Notice that it does not say “Give thanks for everything that you like” or “Give thanks for everything that is easy”. Instead, it simply says that we must give thanks for everything.

Buy why?

The writer of Psalm 106:1 will help us answer this question. This verse says, “Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His mercy endures forever.” Pop Quiz: Why does the writer say we should give thanks?

  1. Because dinner was delicious.
  2. Because today was fun.
  3. Because the Lord is good.

The psalmist says to give thanks because the Lord is forever good! Because of this, we should be able to offer thanks to God regardless of our circumstances.

This gets increasingly more difficult if we don’t know our God well. The Bible is packed with descriptions of God! But where would be a good place to start to get to know Him better? Psalm 103 tells us a lot about our God. Start with these 22 verses and, as a family, make a list of everything the chapter says about God.  Pick three things from the chapter and thank God for being a God who can be described in such a marvelous way! Then, come back to the list tomorrow and pick three more. Continue until you have made it through your list… and, if you dare, start again from the top. After all, it is proven that kid’s learn by repetition!

As a family, get in the habit of thanking God for who He is!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Becoming Thankful

Quick! Think back… When was the last time you said “thank you”? Was it this morning? Yesterday? Maybe your kids brought down their dirty laundry. Maybe your husband picked up eggs on the way home from work.  But more importantly, when was the last time you said “thank you” to God?

Maybe you thank Him for the weather and the food… But God has given you and I so much, I can’t help but ask the question… have we really thanked Him for it? Do we even realize how much there is to be thankful for?

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we want your family to have lots of easy-to-use activities that will help you have thankful hearts. A wise man once said, “One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we become ungrateful..we let what was once a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to His goodness it becomes a routine.” (Joel Osteen)

The six activities listed below will help a family refuel their once thankful hearts. The activities are easy and ready to use. Simply click on each link for instructions and a suggested conversation!

1. Make a Book!
Make a book out of construction paper and fill with reasons you are thankful for someone special.

2. Gratitude Alphabet
Get in the habit of thanking God for everything and everyone with this challenge.

3. Attitude of Gratitude!
Make a list of things you want to thank God for to train your mind to be thankful.

4. Paper Chain Game!
This craft will help your kids give thanks for the many things God has given.

5. Journal of Thanks!
Decorate a blank journal and record all the things you are thankful for at meals.

6. Thank You!
Play a game to get in the habit of having thankful hearts.

If you have more activities that have worked well to develop attitudes of thankfulness in your family, please tell us about them in the comments! And of course, happy almost-Thanksgiving!