Scripture: Mark 4:21-32, Luke 8:16-32, Matthew 13:31-32
- Students will learn Jesus told parables to help people understand godly principles.
- Students will learn parables contain important lessons God wants us to remember and follow.
- Students will learn God wants us to have faith and tell others about God.
- Students will make seed paper with seeds to donate to to those who need assistance growing food.
Materials: For seed paper: Used printer paper – cross-cut into tiny pieces by a paper shredder and use 1-1/2 cups for each card, large bowl of warm water, window screen material, a small embroidery hoop, Food coloring (this is optional), blender, 9 x 13-inch baking pan, a packet of seeds of your choosing, towels or felt squares, waxed paper, markers
Procedure: Review the Parables of the Lamp, Seed, and Mustard Seed from the scriptures above. Highlight the main principles taught in each parable and remind students that parables are used to teach us lessons that God wants us to know to help us lead a Christian life. Explain to students that God finds it very important that we share our faith with others. Tell the students that serving others is a common and easy way for us to share our faith with others.
Introduce students to the service project. Tell the students they are going to make seed paper with vegetable or herb seeds to donate to areas where people need to grow their own food to help afford to feed their families. (You may want to include containers and dirt depending on where you choose to donate the seeds.) Have the students also create instructions to go with the seed paper and a scripture from the parables to encourage recipients to read the Bible and learn more about God.
Instructions for creating seed paper:
- Soak the paper overnight in a bowl of water.
- Put the paper into a blender and fill the blender halfway with fresh water.
- Blend until the paper and water mixture looks “soupy”. This is the chance to add food coloring if you would like. If you choose to add food coloring, add it and then blend more.
- Fill a baking pan one-quarter full of water and pour in the blended paper mix.
- Slip the embroidery hoop with screen in from the side. It should slide beneath the pulp and seeds. If needed, spoon some of the pulp over the screen.
- Lift the screen slowly and gently. It should catch the pulp mixture evenly on top and the water will drain out.
- Lay the screen on a towel or felt pieces so it can drain.
- Sprinkle some seeds on top of the wet pulp. Gently pat them onto the surface of the pulp.
- After the towel or felt has soaked up the water, pick up the hoop and turn it over onto a sheet of waxed paper to dry. The seeds will be on the bottom.
- You may have to gently hit the hoop on a hard surface to loosen the pulp from the screen. If the pulp does not stick together, try putting more pulp on the screen for the next time.
- Let the paper dry for at least 24 hours. Place a heavy object on the paper for a few hours to make it flat if it is not already flat.
- Decorate it with markers on the un-seeded side.
To plant the paper:
When you plant the paper, lay it on the surface of the soil and sprinkle about one-quarter-inch thick layer of soil over the paper. Water the soil lightly and keep the seeds wet until they sprout and have a few days to grow roots.
Additional Questions: How does serving others share Godly principles?
Supplemental Activity: Have the students research ways to serve others in their community. When they find places that can serve others, have the students list ways that they can share Godly principles through the service. Have the students collectively decide on one place to serve and design a service project through which they also are sharing their faith.