Lenten Devotionals For Families

Are you looking for ways to involve your children in the Lenten season? Morningside is offering a weekly family devotional guide for families with children ages 4 – 12. Each devotion takes around 10-15 minutes to complete, and are perfect to do around the dinner table or before bed.

Physical copies and family-friendly bibles will also be available in the Fellowship Hall throughout Lent. It’s never too late to get started!

Summer Family Moment – August 5

Summer Litany (Is. 55:1a & John 4:11)

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture: Matthew 6:2-4 (The Message)

2 “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure – ‘playactors’ I call them – treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. 3 When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. 4 Just do it – quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.

Prayer

Kind-hearted God, You made us in love and want us to be kind to one another. Show us how we may help those in need and to help with hearts full of love. Amen.

Questions

  1. Describe a time when someone helped you and you didn’t even have to ask for help. How did you feel?
  2. Have you helped someone? What did you do and how did you know that person needed help?
  3. What do you think Jesus means when he says not to think about how it looks when we help someone out?

Summer Family Moment – July 29

Summer Litany (Is. 55:1a & John 4:11)

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture: Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT

7 “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

Prayer

Living God, we praise you for the beautiful maple trees in our province. Whenever we look at them, may we remember that those who trust you grow strong like trees planted along a river bank. Amen.

Questions

  1. What do trees need to grow strong, and why are deep, long roots important to trees?
  2. In our Bible verse, we read that those who trust the Lord are like trees planted along a riverbank. What do you think the word “trust” means?
  3. What do you trust your parents to give to you? For what do you depend or rely on your parents?\
  4. Jeremiah writes that those who trust in God are blessed. How does your family trust God? Ask mom and dad to share a time when they have been confident and sure of God.

Summer Family Moment – July 22

Summer Litany (Is. 55:1a & John 4:11)

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture – James 1:19-20

19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;
20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.

Prayer

Loving God, this week has been a sad one in our city. It is sad when people hurt others. Help us to remember that You are good.
Help us to remember that Your righteousness is about having a right and good relationship with You and with those around us. Amen.

Questions

  1. Have your feelings ever been hurt? Share a time when this has happened.
  2. Have you ever been angry? What made you angry?
  3. Do you think that angry people are sometimes people whose feelings are hurt? Why or why not?
  4. It can be hard to listen to someone when we are angry. The writer James does not say we cannot be angry. Rather, he writes that we should be slow to anger. Do you know when you are getting angry? Are there clues like how your body reacts (some people begin to clench their fists or their ears become hot and red); or what thoughts you think (I think this person is saying something mean); or what emotions you feel (I feel like hitting this person)? What are some healthy actions we can take so that little things do not build up, like frustration or hurt feelings, so that we do not become angry quickly (i.e. some people run, others talk to someone they trust, some people turn to music, etc.)?
  5. How can we turn to God and the truth in God’s word to help us be slow to anger (prayer, reciting a Bible verse like a mantra, …)?

Summer Family Moment – July 15

Summer Litany (Is. 55:1a & John 4:11)

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture – John 4:10

10 Jesus answered, “If you only knew what God gives and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask him, and he would give you life-giving water.”

Prayer

God who gives, how wonderful it is that all we have to do is ask You for life-giving water. Every time we drink water, help us to remember that You give us water to keep our bodies healthy as well as life-giving water that keeps our hearts, minds, and souls healthy too. Amen.

Questions

  1. This week, the news has been about the farmers needing rain for their crops. Although the dark, gray clouds gushed forth water in a heavy downpour about a week ago, the ground still remained dry. Can you guess why?
  2. Dry ground cannot absorb the rain when it pelts the earth, when the water droplets hit the ground hard and fast. The earth needs gentle rains to fall in order to absorb the water. Sometimes, the Bible can be difficult to understand because of big words or ideas that are unfamiliar or complex. It is important, therefore, to slowly study God’s word and spend time with certain words and ideas before connecting them to the rest of a passage. During week one, we explored what Jesus meant when he talked about “life-giving water.” In our verse today, Jesus says, “If you only knew what God gives”. What has God given you and your family?
  3. This week, how can you and your family thank God, by words and actions, all that God has given you?

Summer Family Moment – July 8

Materials for the weekly summer litany (optional): Pitcher of water, large glass

Summer Litany

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture – James 1:5-6 (GNT)

5 But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.
6 But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind.

Prayer

Generous God, we thank you for the wisdom you give to us. Help us to remember to ask you for wisdom and to trust that You will give us the wisdom we need. Amen.

Questions

  1. Have you ever needed help? What kind of help did you need?
  2. Sometimes people think that God is like Cinderella’s fairy godmother or Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter. Sometimes people think that God will magically solve our problems. The writer of James encourages his readers to pray for wisdom when having a tough time. What do you think wisdom is and how do you think God’s wisdom helps us when we are having trouble?
  3. The word “believe” in verse 6 is about trust. The word “doubt” in verse 6 means going back and forth. In other words, the person who doubts in this verse is a person who chooses not to trust God because s/he cannot decide who or what to trust. What do you think trust means? Why is the image of a wave blown about in the sea a good one for someone who doubts?
  4. Do you need God’s wisdom today? Where?

Summer Family Moment – July 1

Dear Moms & Dads,
With my role as a small group leader for high school teens at Canada Youth 2018 beginning on Monday and in the recent aftermath of my eldest’s son’s graduation from high school in addition to the niggling anxiety that neither of my sons will find employment or meaningful volunteer opportunities this summer, I have been doing some reflecting and a lot more praying.

The question that has challenged me is this, “How have I encouraged and facilitated opportunities for my children to grow in God’s word so that they are more likely to choose wisely and know they are never alone in difficult times?” I have especially been thinking of this with all the distressing news of violence and death in our city streets and the upcoming challenges I know my boys will face as they will experience not just disappointment but real struggles in life – rejection, discerning career paths, break ups, job loss, etc.

When my children were younger, bedtime routines made devotional times simpler but as they have become teenagers and schedules have changed, we’ve had to adjust. Often, time in the car has been helpful because I have had snippets of time when I have the kids to myself and don’t have to compete with a cell phone or the radio (these are usually put away and turned off for the first little while or on short trips). However, conversation is not always easy for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, I long for my children to live meaningful and joy-filled lives that I know will come from having a deep faith. So, I try and I pray that the little seeds I attempt to plant, water and shine light upon will take root and blossom into what is strong and vibrant in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This summer, I will endeavour to send a “Summer Family Moment” each week to the families at MHP. I hope you can use them and please feel free to change them to suit the needs of your family because some of the questions will need to be modified according to the age of your child. Also, if you have a child who is resisting “faith” questions, we can still encourage our children to consider the deeper questions of life by reframing them. May God’s wisdom guide you as you walk with your children in faith.
Lastly, I would love to know how I can encourage our families to grow in faith. Please feel free to email me at minister@morningsidehighpark.com with your suggestions and thoughts.
May you have a safe and blessed long week-end,
Janet

Summer Family Moment – Week I

Materials for the weekly summer litany (optional): Pitcher of water, large glass

Summer Litany

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture – John 4:13-14 (GNT)

13 Jesus answered, “Those who drink this water will get thirsty again,
14 but those who drink the water that I will give them will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give them will become in them a spring which will provide them with life-giving water and give them eternal life.”

Prayer

Living God, we thank you for water that quenches our thirst, and gives us life today, tomorrow and eternally.
Help us to learn how to drink from your living water for you are good and generous. Amen.

Questions

  1. What is your favourite drink?
  2. When you’re very, very thirsty, does water or pop or juice quench your thirst faster?
  3. The water Jesus talks about represents something else. The water Jesus talks about is like water that comes from the tap or lake because it can quench our thirst, refresh us on hot days and gives life to all that grows. What do you think Jesus means by “living” water?
  4. What helps you to grow?

Advent & Christmas 2017

“It is the season of the heart. 
A special time of caring. 
The ways of love made clear”
– The Muppet Christmas Carol

We at Morningside – High Park would like to welcome all to join us as we joyfully worship this holiday season.
We are a community of faith that is looking to make a difference through meaningful connection.
What are you hoping for?

Advent & Christmas Events:

  • Sunday December 3rd – 10:30am: We celebrate the Advent of Hope & Communion
  • Sunday December 10th – 10:30am: We celebrate the Advent of Peace & Give Gifts for Evangel Hall
  • Friday December 15th – 8:00pm: The Blue Christmas Service.  A simple, reflective service for all who find this season difficult
  • Sunday December 17th – 10:30am: We celebrate the Advent of Joy
  • Sunday December 24th – 10:30am: We celebrate the Advent of Love
  • Sunday December 24th – 7:00pm: A Christmas Service of Lessons & Carols

Seeking Children’s and Family Ministries Coordinator

Children’s and Family Ministries Coordinator

Do you love God and love young people?
We are looking to hire a part time (approimately 10 hours a week) Children’s and Family Ministries Coordinator who would work with us to facilitate a structured program that includes opportunities for worship, study, mission and fellowship in a manner that is consistent with Presbyterian theology and practice of ministry and that includes the involvement and building of meaningful relationships among the children, youth and adults of our church. We are looking for a candidate who has strong communication skills, creativity and flexibility and the ability to develop leadership in others.

Full job description:  Position Description: Children’s and Family Ministries Coordinator