Welcome to St Paul's Online Sunday School!
When we can't gather in person at St Paul's, let's learn and play in a virtual way! ( Let me know what you think! You are in my prayers - Linda)
Sunday, May 3, is the FOURTH SUNDAY of EASTER!
Here are the readings appointed for this day's Service:
P.S. The link also has these words in Spanish.
Gospel: John 10:1-10
"Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers." Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

  So again Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

The gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd.
Do you have a gate at your house, outside or inside? Who's in charge of the gates - why? What do the gates do?

Gates open and shut. Here's a classic fingerplay: "Open, Shut Them" ( big kids can have fun teaching little ones). The Wiggles do a fun (socially-distant) version, too!

Older kids might enjoy taking a look at these gates , from the Harry Potter books. (PS I used to pat the shiny snout of Il Porcellino, when I lived in Florence!)

The shepherd calls his sheep by name.
Why are names important?
Why were you given the name that you have?
Would you choose a different name?
Do you have a nickname?
What would life be like if you didn't have a name?
Who or what have you named?

Sing this song, and instead of "the whole world" put in your name , and others' names, too: "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" - try it, it's a great feeling to hear your name being sung! (Thank you, Nancy Jukins!) Here's a beautiful version .
He's got - your name - in His hands!

And for fun silliness, there's The Name Game !

The sheep follow the shepherd, because they know his voice.
Whose voices do you know? Can you imitate them?
What if the sheep didn't follow their shepherd?

Jesus also says: I am the gate. Enter by the gate, be saved: come in, go out and find pasture.
Inside the gate is safety; outside is the whole wide world.
Peoples' homes are safe places. Make a two-cut house pop-up card - or this quick "home-making" craft - (you could turn it into a sheepfold, with imagination)!

Jesus came so we may have life - and have it abundantly.
Abundant means something like: much more than enough, more than you ever knew you wanted or needed. What does abundant life feel like?

If you could give someone something in abundance , what would you give, and to whom? How would that gift make the person who received it feel?

What do you have in abundance? Who gave it to you? How does that make your heart feel? Click here for a heart-art project (you may have to fit it to your page).

What are we taught to say, when we receive a gift? Who would you like to thank?

Thank you, Jesus the Shepherd who knows my name and calls to me;
Jesus the Gate, who protects, welcomes, and encourages each of us.
If you began a notebook - "My Peaceful Book" - in the past weeks, or would like to begin one now: add lists, pictures, ideas, memories, dreams - whatever you want. Add to it any time. Keep your book in a quiet place to enjoy whenever you want.

P.S. ALLELUIA! Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is risen indeed!
Welcome to the fourth of seven "Sundays of Easter"!

I'm sending prayers for your health and well-being, peace, and joy - Linda