Lesson Plans That Work

These lesson plans are written by experienced church teachers using practical approaches to respond to the needs of volunteer teachers. They are designed to follow the Revised Common Lectionary and published by The Episcopal Church.

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Gathered in our comfortable churches, we struggle to let the difficult words of the Crucifixion land anywhere in our psyches. Would any of us have been there, or would we have waited for the news to reach us? Had we shown up, would we...

The imported perfume was worth a year's wages, and it was poured out on the feet of Jesus. Was it an obscene waste of valuable resources that could have been used to feed the poor?  Or an orthodox preparation of a body for burial? How...

Tax collectors, who are sinners, invited to the table? Shocking! So Jesus tells them a story: A son who blows an inheritance and a father who forgives before the son even has a chance to ask. What might we discover about the gospel of...

The age-old question: why are some people killed in bizarre accidents — and others amazingly spared? It is not about good guys or bad guys. Our responsibility is to notice when we need to repent. Part II: A hopeful gardener spares a...

Lights! Camera! Action! The drama is about to begin. The powers that be collaborate to extinguish the ministry of Jesus. Jesus, keenly aware that time is running out, continues his work. In this poignantly feminine image, Jesus muses...

Jesus, energized and equipped, goes to the wilderness where he faced-down three confrontations that challenge us to this day. The first: how do we make the distinction between what we "want" and what we "need;" "bread" really feeds us...

Today we explore the passage telling of the visit of the wise ones to the Christ Child and understand that this amazing baby was coming to the Hebrew people AND to all people. Christmas carols and cards have embossed the bare bones...

The Season of Epiphany that began with a hint of the Trinity closes with yet another glimpse. Jesus takes three of his disciples with him to the mountain to pray. The "Voice" again! This time not a dove descending, but a cloud. And...

A boat as a pulpit. Amid the crowd are two exhausted fishermen who had worked all night long without catching anything. Casting nets, pulling in empty nets, all night long. Jesus uses these two men as his "sermon illustration." Jesus...

Prophets don't do very well in their own hometown. It seems to be easier to hear hard sayings or even fresh insights from someone who comes from almost anywhere else. Perhaps it is because we remember when the prophet was a teen-ager,...

Jesus, energized by the retreat he has just completed and filled with the Holy Spirit, comes to the synagogue in his own hometown on the Sabbath. Taking the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah, he reads: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me."...

Jesus begins his ministry not behind a pulpit, but at a party: a wedding banquet, the most extravagant celebration a village could contain. "They feast upon the abundance of your house; you give them drink from the river of your...

"I have called you by name, you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1) Jesus had probably heard these words before seeking baptism from John the Baptist. As Jesus comes up out of the water, we have a hint of the working of the Trinity – a true...

Each decision we make, however trivial, is a choice. Our choices produce a pattern. We simply cannot serve two different bosses.

An eye for an eye not only doubles the grief, but also the blindness. Could it be that one of the reasons Jesus came was to help us see the futility of violence?

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