Angels and Shepherds

Each time your child takes a Bible Quest in Guardians of Ancora, there’s a collection of activities, games and things to make and do together, all of which extend and expand the in-game fun beyond the app. Look through this collection and choose one or more ideas to help your family discover more about ‘Angels and Shepherds’.

Here are some great questions to start you chatting about any Bible Quest:

  • What sort of thing has this Bible Quest reminded you of, that you knew before?
  • What new things have you discovered, as you’ve played this Bible Quest?
  • Is there anything you’re going to keep thinking about, from the Quest?

New activity ideas are added for each Bible Quest, as well several collections of activities about prayer, stories and so on. Look out for more Family Activity downloads, as your child plays more Bible Quests.

A quick introduction to spiritual styles

Family activities from Guardians of Ancora are devised to inspire varied ways of knowing God:  four distinct avenues for connecting with him through word, emotion, symbol, and action. These ‘spiritual styles’ are broad approaches to spirituality and faith, through which children experience God and make sense of their lives in the world around them.

If you want to find out more about spiritual styles, this article is a helpful introduction to a fascinating topic:

http://www.faithformationlearningexchange.net/uploads/5/2/4/6/5246709/saturation_spirituality-creating_environmentsthatnurtureallchildren_-_csinos.pdf

Angels and shepherds

Bible link

Luke 2:1–21

What you need:

a copy of the words of Luke 2:1–21

What you do:

In the ancient world, there was really nothing more impressive than an angel, and there were few people much lower – more disgusting – than a shepherd.

Point out to your child how this story puts these two very different characters together.

Play a game of “opposites” in which each person takes turns picking a word from the story, and others must reply with its opposite.

This activity will interest children with word- and symbol-centred approaches to knowing God.

Sleeping rough

Bible link

Luke 2:1–21

What you do:

If you’re out and about and see someone sleeping rough, take the opportunity to connect this with the story of the shepherds in Luke 2:1–21. The shepherds lived outdoors, sleeping rough. They were of a similar social status as the homeless in our cities.

Some questions to chat about:

  •       Do you think a homeless person would expect a visit from an angel?
  •       Why might God choose homeless people as the first to hear the news of Jesus’ birth?

Your child might like to pray for homeless people in your neighbourhood or city.

This activity will encourage children with emotion- and action-centred approaches to knowing God.

Shepherd sleep-out

Bible link

Luke 2:1–21

What you need:

a tent

a sleeping bag

a copy of Luke 2:1–21

a torch (flashlight)

What you do:

When the weather is kind, suggest a family sleep-out in the back garden – like the shepherds! Use a torch to read Luke 2:1–21 together as a bedtime story.

This activity will encourage children with symbol- and action-centred approaches to knowing God.

If this story happened now…

Bible link

Luke 2:1–21

What you need:

a copy of the words of Luke 2:1–21

a little bit of civic knowledge and family history

imagination!

What you do:

Challenge your child to rewrite or retell the story from Luke 2:1–21 as if it happened to your family in the present time in your country. Substitute in the facts, searching online for anything you don’t know. This can help your child grasp the history of this story.

If your child is artistic, they might like to draw this as a comic strip.

For example:

In those days Queen Elizabeth II issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Commonwealth. 2(This was the first census that took place while Malcolm Turnbull was prime minister of Australia.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register.

4So Bruce also went up from the town of Canberra in New South Wales to Victoria, to Portland the town of the Alcoa Smelter, because he belonged to the house and line of Henty. 5He went there to register with Sheila who was pledged to be married, and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in blankets and placed him in a cardboard box, because there was no hospital room available for them…

This activity will involve children with word- and action-centred approaches to knowing God.

Sound effects track

Bible link

Luke 2:1–21

What you need:

a tablet device or other simple recording device

objects for making sound effects (or an online source of sounds)

What you do:

Suggest to your child that they make a set of sound effects that could enhance reading this story. After experimenting with a few ideas, they might like to make their own audio recording, reading the story and adding the sound effects they have chosen.

Suggested sound effects: footsteps, baby noises/crying, sheep noises, lightning flashes for angels, “Hallelujah” chorus for angel singing…

This activity will encourage children with emotion- and action-centred approaches to knowing God.

Multicultural shepherds

Bible link

Luke 2:1–21

What you need:

an online search engine

What you do:

Shepherds are unexpected characters in this story. Lots of countries around the world have shepherds and sheep, but they don’t all look or work the same way. Suggest to your child that they search for “shepherd” images using an online search engine.

Some follow-up questions:

  •       Which shepherds do you think look most like the shepherds in the Bible story?
  •       How are shepherds around the world different from each other?
  •       What do all the pictures of shepherds have in common?

This activity will encourage children with symbol- and action-centred approaches to knowing God.

Christmas at the Theatre of the Saga

Bible link

Luke 1:26 – 2:21

Matthew 1:18 – 2:12

What you need:

the Theatre of the Saga, on Guardians of Ancora

What you do:

Every day throughout December there will be a new video story at the Theatre of the Saga. (Go to the Spire District and click on the icon that looks a bit like a video camera, near the bottom of the screen. You will need to be online to view.)

You could pick a set time each day to watch the latest story together.

If you would like to chat about the story afterwards, these questions are great chat-starters:

  • What have you found out, in this Bible story, that you did not know before?
  • What has this Bible story reminded you about, that you knew already?
  • What big thought are you going to keep thinking about, after hearing this

Bible story?

This activity will motivate children with emotion- and symbol-centred approaches to knowing God.

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