Please note, these emails are sent to adults, to share with their young people. If you would like me to add a youth's email, please send it to me, with your permission. Thanks! Linda
Youth Class: May 1, 2020
For the Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 3

Jesus the Good Shepherd,
Jesus the Gate

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 the 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 your own prayers, silently, or out loud.

3) Here's the appointed reading: John 10:1-10 . F ind it in your Bible. Read it out loud.
(+ scroll to the end of this newsletter to see the reading)

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?

1 ‘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.
  • Folks who a) plan to steal and wreak havoc vs. folks who b) have good intentions: compare & contrast!

2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice.
  • The shepherd and the gatekeeper have specific jobs, and a routine, and the sheep are familiar with them, and it. What if there wasn't a gatekeeper? And what's important about listening to a shepherd? And who is Jesus talking about, when he says sheep?

He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
  • By name! I love that. Each is known as an individual; each responds to that recognition. How do you feel about your name? What about nicknames? God summons each of us by our own, individual, specific, special name, known to Him.

4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’
  • Whose voice is the one to which you listen?

6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them."
  • Have you ever tried to tell somebody something important, and they just didn't get it? What does it take to connect with other people? Why does Jesus talk in "figures of speech"? Why does he keep trying?

So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
  • why does he say this: "very truly, I tell you" (again)?
  • Jesus IS the gate! And, specifically, the sheep gate! Now what is he saying?

8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.
  • The sheep knew better. . . why? What would happen if the sheep listened to them?

9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.
  • So this gate saves/protects, but also allows for coming and going. How come?

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
  • Why do thieves behave that way? Whom do they serve?

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
  • Not just meh life, sufficient life - but ABUNDANT life. Why so wonderful? Why make the effort? Describe this extravagance! How can everyday life be abundant life?

5) Brainstorm & make a poster: TOP 10 PROOFS of ABUNDANT LIFE
Take a picture; email it to me !

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 so 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! (You can say Alleluia as many times as you want, now!)

News & Tasks:
- Send to me your design for a St Paul's Youth Class tee shirt.
- Is there a virtual thing we can do? Dream it! Share it! So we can do it!
- Write to me ! For instance, anything for the church newsletter, or whatever is on your mind.

Extra:
How about a poem/rap/song about:
He Calls My Name
I am the Gate
Abundant Life

+ Here's the Gospel for this week, the Fourth Sunday of Easter: John 10:1-10

1 ‘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. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ 6 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. 8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.