The Season of Easter following Easter Sunday is 50 days long. During this time the Faithworks will explore sto­ries from the gospels of John and Luke and the book of Acts about the ways in which Jesus’ followers shared God’s love through words and actions.

Our focus Bible story for this coming Sunday is John 20:19–31. The gospel of John was written for people who lived several years after these events. They were not around when these events hap­pened, but they had heard stories about them. Last week we learned about Mary’s finding the stone of the tomb rolled away from the entrance and the tomb empty! And her running off to tell the disciples that she had seen Jesus alive! and her conversation with Him. Later that day, in the evening, the disciples were gathered in a house behind locked doors. They were afraid that the religious leaders would come after them, now that Jesus had been killed. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side. The disciples, seeing Jesus alive with their own eyes, were astonished…Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. But Thomas, sometimes called the twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disci­ples told him, “We saw Jesus!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”

Children rely on their senses to understand what is real. Their reality is what they can see, touch, hear, smell, or taste. Yet they are still open to wonder and imagination, and can be quite passionate about what they believe or don’t believe, what is real and what is impossible. On this first Sunday after Easter, some in our group may be wondering what really happened in the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. As they grow up, youth can become more skeptical, questioning beliefs accepted earlier. They may connect with Thomas and his desire to see things for himself and they may name some of their own questions about this event, and about other issues of faith. All children and youth are welcome to join us for Bible story time and activities on the 2nd floor after the time of conversation with the pastor. Childcare is available for children 4 and under on the 2nd floor as well