Dear Parents,

This past Sunday at SojournKids, we learned about Lazarus from John 11:1-44.  I loved telling the story to the kids, because it is so full of suspense. Jesus learns that his close friend, Lazarus, is sick, and then he vows “This will not end in death.” I asked the kids in our assembly what Jesus meant by that, and they said, “Jesus has power to heal. Jesus won’t let him die!”  Were they right? In a plot twist that seems totally out of character, Jesus  delays his journey to Lazarus’ home for two whole days. Then, while Jesus is delaying, Lazarus dies. When I got to that point in the passage the kids’ faces dropped (…except for the few kids that already knew the story, and they did a surprisingly good job not ruining the surprise).

When we got to Lazarus’ death, I asked the kids the same question that was on the lips of Mary and Martha and the other people present at Lazarus’ funeral. Why did Jesus delay? What could have kept him from coming and healing his friend? The answer is that by allowing Lazarus to die, Jesus taught Mary, Martha, and the others something that they couldn’t know any other way. Jesus said it like this: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). Jesus has power over death. He is the resurrection and the life!

And that’s good news! It’s good news, because the Bible teaches us that we’re dead. Ephesians 2:1 tells us, “And you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” We don’t have power to obey God or even hear God’s voice on our own. When Lazarus was in the tomb, he couldn’t hear Jesus voice, because his ears and brain were dead. Jesus said, “Lazarus! Come out!” But that didn’t make any sense, because dead men can’t move their legs and feet. But the Bible tells us, “The dead man came out.” Jesus has power over death! He raised Lazarus, and he gives to life to dead sinners like you and me!

Read John 11:1-44 or Story #106 in The Gospel Story Bible  then review these questions with your kids:

ASK: Who are the two women who greet Jesus when he finally arrives at the funeral? Mary and Martha

ASK: What does Jesus say about himself? I am the resurrection and the life?

ASK: Could Lazarus hear Jesus when Jesus called to him? No. Lazarus was dead, but when Jesus called, he came back to life.



Children’s Choir: Music Downloads & Hand Motions Videos

We have an exciting opportunity coming up for your kids this Christmas season! SojournKids are invited to participate in a Christmas children’s choir that will sing at all morning services on an upcoming Sunday. The East Campus kids choir will sing on December 22nd. All other campus choirs will sing on December 15th  Look for other details in your Inbox and coming home with your kids over the next few weeks.

Who is invited to sing in the Christmas children’s choir? ALL children ages 4 and up! New families welcome!
How do we sign up? Here are the links to sign up at the four campuses:

Signing up early helps us to know how many children to prepare for, but sign-up will remain open and no-one will be turned away on that Sunday if they haven’t signed up.

What songs will they be singing? Children will be singing in the first three songs of the service: “Hosanna in the Highest”, “Oh Come all Ye Faithful”, and “God is With Us.” All songs are on Sojourn’s Advent Songs album, which can be downloaded here.
What do they need to wear? Christmas attire! Scarves, hats, christmas sweaters, etc
Can they sing in both morning services? This is encouraged but not required! Your children are welcome to sing one or both morning services.
Other info: 
SojournKids servants will take children back to their classrooms after they sing.
This is a great opportunity to invite friends and family to Sojourn!

We’ll be singing the following three songs. You can download the lyrics and learn the hand motions below:

Hosanna in the Highest (lyrics pdf)

O Come All Ye Faithful (lyrics pdf)

God Is with Us (lyrics/hand motions pdf) 


Testimony from a @sojourneast mom

Here is a great conversation that an East Campus mom recently had with her 6 year-old about her cousin’s adoption and how Jesus provides for us:
Karis said, “I am so glad Jesus was born. I do love Jesus. He helps us when we need to solve problems, when we don’t know what to write at school, when we are sad. He kind of whispers into my brain what I should do. He also helps those who do not have homes and families. You know like our cousin. She did not have a home with a mommy and daddy, and I think God whispered to her that she will have a home and it was going to be ok. And, whispered to our Aunt and Uncle they would have a baby. Then she got to come live with them and be our family. Mom, I love that Jesus cares about us and we can know the gospel and learn and tell others because of Jesus. I hope it is free writing in our journal tomorrow instead of our teacher picking the topic because I want to write about why I love Jesus.”
What can a mom say to all of this “Yes, sweet girl, I agree!” I love her and her sweet heart!
Thank you SojournKids leaders and workers who help us teach our kids the gospel truth. We are so thankful to have you in our lives!

50 in FIVE @Sojourn

Baptism Testimony: Willow Noltemeyer

A few Sundays ago, we had the privilege of seeing Willow Noltemeyer baptized at Sojourn. Every baptism is special, but this one was particularly meaningful, because Willow was the first child born into Sojourn:

I have been at Sojourn my whole life and was the first baby born at Sojourn. I love to read, write, swim and play field hockey. When I was younger, I started to read The Jesus Storybook Bible and my favorite story was the one about Rachel and Leah in the Old Testament. I liked this story because it showed me that God loves everyone, even if they aren’t the prettiest or the best.

I am a sinner and I need God’s help. I sin in many ways, and I need God’s help to be saved. I struggle with anger and I over-react when my siblings are mean to me, but God has helped me to control my anger and pray for forgiveness.

I also struggle with fear. Sometimes I see my friends doing things that are not godly and want to say something to them and preach the Lord to them, but I get scared that they might not like me for doing it–so I don’t say anything. But God will help me to preach the Lord to them and show them that what they are doing is ungodly. Whenever I sin, I immediately know it and sometimes I stop and pray for forgiveness, but sometimes I keep doing it, even though I know that it is wrong. Later in the day, I think back and see that what I did was wrong and I pray about it.

God is someone who loves and cares about me, but also shows me my sins. He is just, wise, and kind. He teaches me to glory Him. He always understands and loves me, even when I sin. God is forgiving and will forgive me when I sin.

During my life without God, I could never control my anger, and, even though I believed in God, I didn’t think much about Him or pray to him on my own. In my life with God, I realize my sins and pray to God about them. God helps me to control my anger and recognize my sin.