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                                                            May 2014

Featured in this issue
A simple miracle
New home page!
Summer for sale!
Get your summer curriculum now! Place your order at the Gather 'Round store!

Preview material for fall. See product samples for the new Shine curriculum!
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A simple miracle 


This week, children and youth encountered the John 21 story of the post-resurrection Jesus instructing his weary disciples (who have not recognized him) to cast their empty net on the other side of their boat. For whatever reason, they listen to the words of this stranger, and their night of unsuccessful fishing is transformed into success beyond all their hopes--a net almost bursting with fish. And the disciples now realize that the "stranger" is Jesus.

That is the big miracle.

The simple miracle that follows is that when the disciples succeed in hauling their net to the shore, they find that their teacher has made a meal for them--a simple breakfast cooked over a charcoal fire. "Come and have breakfast," he invites them.

Is there a lesson here for us teachers? Something like, "Don't forget the food!"? Kids do love snacks--and offering food can help to build an atmosphere of welcome and nurture. The broader point, though, is the profound importance of simple kindnesses, is it not? The smile that you exchange with one child; your sincere interest in the story that a youth tells you; asking, "How do you like that book you're reading?" (and then listening to the answer); the simple prayer and blessing you offer at the end of a session as you send your group out--all these small acts are miracles of care and kindness. 

When you perform small miracles such as these, you extend Jesus' love and care into the world. Not such a small thing, after all.
Check out our new home page!

When was the last time you went to the Gather 'Round website? If you haven't already seen it, check out our freshened-up home page at

This new page is not only the launching pad to take you to Gather 'Round Bible outlines, foundation documents, quarterly aids for teachers, and our web store. It also now links to Shine: Living in God's Light-the new curriculum offering from MennoMedia and Brethren Press that will succeed Gather 'Round this fall.

You will be excited to see how Shine builds on the fundamentals of Gather 'Round in some new and creative ways. Don't miss the introductory video on the Shine site. (Look for the shoes!)

Gather 'Round is a Bible-based curriculum nurturing children, youth, and families in becoming followers of Jesus: people who know and love God, interpret God's word, belong to God's gathered community, and share God's good news. It is a joint project of Brethren Press (Church of the Brethren) and MennoMedia (Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada).

Order Gather 'Round from your denominational publisher or at