ST JAMES EPISCOPAL CHURCH, AMESBURY, MASSACHUSETTS

YOUTH CLASS
"I will give you rest."

July 5, 2020

What you need: a watch, clock, or timer; a quiet creative activity; a candle (if it's okay, or an intentional object like a cross); a Bible, if you'd like; paper; something to write with; a snack. Have your class with a sibling or other family members, or enjoy this time by yourself.

1) Begin with a transition time – Peace & Quiet: enjoy a creative activity for about 10 minutes (journaling, clay, Legos, drawing, etc. Not a focus on a finished product; just enjoyment).

2) Next, clear that space, or move to another space, and light a candle (or place your intentional object). Settle in, and say a prayer, like: Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105). Offer more prayers, silently, or out loud, if you want.

3) Here are the appointed readings for July 5. Find them in your Bible. Read them out loud.


Our focus for this class = Matthew 11:28
(Jesus said) " Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest."

So this is just one line of a whole important paragraph. . . but all by itself it offers a message of hope, of compassion, kindness, helpfulness, generosity, and the sweet promise of peace.

Are you weary? Are you physically tired, or mentally exhausted, or emotionally drained? Are you fed up with something? Many things? Name them. (But do not let them overtake you.)

What are your burdens? Something that can be fixed, or something that must be endured?

Here's the good news . Bring your list to Jesus. Offer everything to Jesus, who says: "Come to me." And know the release of Jesus' promise: "I will give you rest."

How? Know that there are things you can do, with God's help. Pray! Practice healthy choices. Ask for help. Act consciously to release or manage stress: check out this helpful article . Or download this app; take 20 minutes to rest with God: Centering Prayer . Go for a mindful walk or run , swim, or dance! Spend time on a hobby, like baking or any kind of arts or crafts (I love that link!) . Make music! Create rituals for every time of day, especially bedtime (at any age).

Pinpoint your burdens and the burdens in our world. Identify solutions. Apply them.

Have you run into this Bible quote, Micah 6:8, the "Micah Mandate"? "He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

Do those things, then, remembering to pray always (and to be observant for replies), and to continually, humbly, bring those burdens to Jesus. "I will give you rest."

You are never, ever alone.


4) Think about what you read, chat about it if you have company, look it up online (if allowed) and see if there's commentary about it – do you agree? Do you feel called to do something?

5) Brainstorm & make a poster, your choice: Top 10 Burdens (to bring to Jesus) and/or Top 10 Things to Do When I'm Overwhelmed . T ake a pic; email me ! (Thank you!)

6) Snack time! Prayers first: talk to God! "I'm grateful for, I'm worried about, I ask for," etc.
And/or take 5 or more minutes for centering prayer: relaxing into peace and letting thoughts go. Enjoy your snack.

7) Finally, clean up your space(s), and say a closing prayer, like: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. - Plato. Blow out the candle, or put away the intentional object (or leave it there if you'd like to create a little sacred area) and say out loud: Go now in peace, to love and serve the Lord! Thanks be to God! ALLELUIA!

News & Tasks:
- Is there a virtual thing we can do? Share it! So we can do it! Write to me or to Fr John, who is always available: stjames.frjohn@verizon.net .
- LMK if you want the links to past classes . You may find that the ways you think about things or the ways you act change over time.
- On-line book club idea : This Book is Anti-Racist , by Tiffany Jewell, and others. All ages, led by YOU. What do you think?
- Join Trinity Church's online Summer Camp - July 29- August 1; free, open to all ages & parishes, sign up by July 9 here !
- And, note, Diocesan Youth Council (DYC), for grades 10-12, is reforming in a new way. Interested? LMK ! Or check out https://www.diomassyouth.org/diocesan-programs .
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Also - how are you? When can we Zoom?

What can I, or Fr John, or our church, do for you?


LMK ! - Peace, Linda
Adults: Please share this email with youth. If you'd like me also to send these emails to the kids, please email me their addresses & your permission. Thanks! Linda