Advent Assembly Week Two - Peace

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1 ; Advent Assembly Week Two - Peace LEADER S NOTES This presentation lasts up to 20 minutes. We recommend you deliver the whole assembly but please feel free to use the material as time and circumstances allow. This PowerPoint uses animations. It is advisable to run through the assembly before you present to your pupils. This assembly has been prepared by Mission Together, the Pope s official children s charity for overseas mission. 98% of money donated to Mission Together by children goes directly towards children s projects overseas. Although all projects are Church-backed, Mission Together follows Christ s example helping everyone in need, regardless of background or belief. HOLDING SLIDE SLIDE TWO You might like to open the assembly by singing or playing a recording of one of the following: Maranatha [Like a sea without a shore] Estelle White Christ Be Our Light Bernadette Farrell Ask the children what special time of year it is and elicit the response Advent.

2 Explain that Advent is a time of preparing for Christmas and ask them what sort of things we do to prepare. We might clean our homes, invite guests for the holidays, or buy presents. Explain that a very special way we prepare for Christmas is through the Advent Wreath. Each week we light another candle on the wreath to help us get ready for the birth of Jesus and think about how we can continue to bring God s light and love into the world today. Explain that there are lots of ways the Advent Wreath helps us to think about Jesus. Its circular shape and evergreen leaves remind us that God s love is continuous and never fades and the candles we light in turn each Sunday, remind us that Jesus is the light of the world, giving people hope and guiding us through life. Ask the children if they know how many candles we should light on the wreath today. We light two candles because we are on the second week of Advent. If you have a school Advent Wreath, you may like to light your candles now. If not, ask the children to count how many lit candles are on the wreath on the screen. The children could also sing The Advent Candles SLIDE THREE In the second week of Advent we are encouraged to think about how the birth of Jesus brought peace into the world, and how we might join with others to do the same. For hundreds of years there have been individuals who have tried very hard to bring peace into the world, often by encouraging people to follow the words and actions of Jesus. The person we hear about in our Bible reading today did this too. He was called John the Baptist. John travelled from busy towns into wild, far flung places to tell people about Jesus. He helped them get ready for Jesus arrival. This is the reading that tells us about John: Click to reveal scripture A voice calls in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, Make his paths straight. Matthew 3:3 Explain to the children that the voice calling in the wilderness is John the Baptist s. What do they think John meant when he said Make the paths straight?

3 Ask the children if they have ever walked on a bendy and overgrown path, maybe through the woods. It can be very hard to get to where we want to be. We can become tired and want to stop. We might need other people to encourage us to keep going, who can carry us for a while, or people who can help clear the way forward. John encouraged the people to see that the path Jesus wants us to follow, leads to a more loving and peaceful world. But we all need to give and receive help to make that path easier to walk on. No one should think they are too clever, or strong, or not special enough to be helped. And no one should think some people don t deserve our help. Jesus wants everyone to reach a place of love and peace. SLIDE FOUR Let s think about ways we can follow the example of Jesus and help people reach a place where they feel happy and loved. What if you had an upset classmate who was struggling with a subject or a question. What might you do to help them find the answer? What if there is a pupil in school who is lonely and struggling to make friends? What might you do to help them? SLIDE FIVE - employ this script if you HAVE NOT used our Advent Week One Assembly. This is Ajay. He is someone who needs a little help too. Ajay is nine years old and lives on a tea estate in Sri Lanka. A tea estate is a huge area of land covered mostly with tea plants. The tea plants look like large bushes, the leaves of which are picked and dried to make the tea we drink. Picking tea leaves from the plants is very hard work and takes a long time. Ajay s parents and all of the adults living on the tea estate work with tea - as growers, pickers, packers. They earn very little money which means Ajay and his friends do not have the things we have; like visits to the doctor if we are sick, bathrooms and toilets in our homes, street lights to guide our path and keep us safe at night.

4 SLIDE FIVE - employ this script if you HAVE used our Advent Week One Assembly. This is Ajay. Do you remember him from last week? What else can you remember about Ajay and where he lives? Ajay is nine years old and lives on a tea estate in Sri Lanka. Ajay s parents and all of the adults living on the tea estate work as tea pickers, growers and packers. They earn very little money which means Ajay and his friends do not have the things we have; like visits to the doctor if we are sick, bathrooms and toilets in our homes, street lights to guide our path and keep us safe at night. SLIDE SIX Life on the tea estates isn t easy. The people there can become worried and sad especially if the harsh weather damages their homes or if people become sick. The estate is far away from towns and cities and so few people visit to offer help or bring medicines. But there are a group of special people that do visit and do bring help. They are called missionaries. A missionary is someone who delivers God s love to others. God asks all of us to be missionaries, but the missionaries who visit Ajay s community are priests and nuns who dedicate their whole lives to sharing God s love. Here is a photo of a missionary nun, Sister Ruby, and a priest, Fr Nicholas, with Ajay and his classmates. The missionary priests and nuns work with all the people on the tea estate. They help Ajay, his friends and their families, to become less worried by providing practical help and praying to God for them. They remind the children that they are not forgotten- there are children around the world like you, who are praying for them, too. The missionaries are trying to do what John the Baptist did; helping people see that God loves everyone and wants us all to follow the path of peace and love.

5 SLIDE SEVEN - employ this script if you HAVE NOT used our Advent Week One Assembly. The charity Mission Together works with the missionaries so that Ajay and other children on the tea estate can have better and brighter futures. Mission Together would like you to help too. The first thing we can all do is pray for Ajay and children like him. We can pray that Jesus helps us to work together and care for each other, so the world might know the gift of God s peace. Remember, just as you are praying for other children around the world, they are praying for you, too. That way we become links in a world wide peace chain. The second thing we can do is share what we have, so that children like Ajay have the things they need to grow happy, healthy and safe. This year Mission Together is asking children in England and Wales to raise enough money to provide Ajay and all the tea estate children with basic resources e.g. toiletries and healthy food items. The photograph on the slide shows some of Ajay s classmates receiving our Mission Together packs. Just below the photo you can see some of the items that go inside: toothpaste, soap, ointment, food items. The children look as excited receiving their bags as you might when opening presents on Christmas morning! But the gifts are quite different. What do you think about this? For details of our project Together in Sri Lanka please visit missiontogether.org.uk/materials Optional Advent Activity: Peace Paperchain (download instructions at missiontogether.org.uk/advent) As a sign of our promise to be children helping children through prayer and sharing, let s create peace paperchains to decorate our school/classroom this Advent. SLIDE SEVEN - employ this script if you HAVE used our Advent Week One Assembly The charity Mission Together works with the missionaries so that Ajay and other children on the tea estate can have better and brighter futures. Mission Together would like you to help too. Can you remember from last week s assembly the two things we can do?

6 We can share what we have and raise money to help buy Ajay and the other children on the tea estate a bag of goodies. The bag contains items that help the children to grow healthy. The picture on the screen shows Ajay s classmates receiving their bags. Just below the photo you can see some of the items that go inside: toothpaste, soap, ointment, food items. The other very important thing we can do is pray for Ajay and children like him. We can pray that Jesus helps us to work together and care for each other, so the world might know the gift of God s peace. Remember, just as you are praying for other children around the world, they are praying for you, too. That way we become like links in a special peace chain that binds people together in love. Optional Advent Activity: Peace Paperchain (download instructions at missiontogether.org.uk/advent) As a sign of our promise to be children helping children through prayer and sharing, let s create some Peace Paperchains to decorate our school/classroom this Advent. SLIDE SEVEN The birth of Jesus at Christmas reminds us that God came amongst us to show us how to live together. Praying for other people, is one way we show our love. It reminds us that if we follow the example of Jesus and turn to God our Father we can build a better world for everyone. Let s do that now as we say the Mission Together prayer for Ajay and children like him across the world. May all children In the world Share love Share friendship and live In the peace Of God s love. Now and forever. Amen

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