Taking Faith Formation Skills Home!
Katie Mc Lean and her volunteers at Batesville UMC Children's Ministry developed a wonderful tool for children and their parents to learn to develop a prayer practice at home together. First, she purchased the bear and had a volunteer create the cover for the prayer book.
(you get to download the cover and the page for free) She then created the parent/child prayer page. She ordered a clear backpack and loaded it with the bear, book and colored pens, and double-stick tape.
Depending on how many grades and classes you have you may have to make more than one Pogo the Prayer Bear bag so it has a chance to make it around to all the children a couple of times over the semester.
You will need to go into each class and model for the children how to use it. You will say something like, "I would like to introduce you to Pogo the Prayer bear. He is going to take turns going home with each of you. You will turn to the first empty page with your parent. It ask where you went for prayer. You could say your room, the dinner table, the backyard swing, a park...Together you will want to answer and write down what you will be praying for together with Pogo. Then grab your bear and your parent and pray with them your hearts needs, fears, and joys. When you are done ask your parent to take a picture of you with Pogo and print it on your home printer. Use the double stick tape to attach the picture to the bottom of the page that you filled out. Return your Pogo the Prayer bear back to church the very next Sunday!"
Create a class list with the heading Pogo the prayer bear. Ask the teacher to write the date next to the name of each child the Sunday they get to take Pogo home. It will help you make sure who has the bear and that everyone gets a turn at least once to take it home. Once the books are complete, I would add them to your worship bags. Children love to look at work they or other children have created. It is also a good way for a child to learn about another child.