After two years of restrictions and disruption we commence Lent 2022 with the hope and expectation that this year we can celebrate Easter with more freedom than we have enjoyed in recent times. The events of Holy Week and the significance of Easter Sunday are as relevant and timely as they have ever been but maybe, as we slowly emerge from the pandemic, they have a special resonance for many people (even those who don't know it yet).
As you would expect, Energize is packed with ideas on how to share the Easter story in fresh ways in your group. Some of these resources are in obvious places whilst others may take a little tracking down, so whilst we'd always recommend using our session search function to help you identify the best material for you, to whet your appetite we've collected together a few ideas to get you started. We've also added a few suggestions of external resources that you might like.
Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting and on Shrove Tuesday, Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were “shriven” (absolved from their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession. This came to be called the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung today.
Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year.
You may not have a pancake bell (although we're sure you could buy one from Amazon!) but pancake games and activities (and of course, eating!) are a great way to kick off Lent with your group. Energize has a pile (see what we did there?) of tasty (we'll stop now) pancake related games and activities for you to check out.
If you are working with young people who might not be familiar with who Jesus is then we recommend the new addition to Kleer Series. Each five-minute video in the series features engaging presenters, a Bible verse to read, spoken word poetry and questions for starting a conversation. There are six sessions each exploring a different "Is Jesus...?" question such as "Is Jesus...Our Rescuer?." Perfect for Zoom meetings.
Click the session title to view:
Find more sessions for Lent in our Specials series
Having followed the earthly life of Jesus from the Nativity, through childhood, baptism and ministry - this foundational series looks in depth at the events of Holy Week and unpacks its meaning for us today.
GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE
You'll find sessions on a number of the key players in the Easter story in this series but exploring the role of Judas, whilst challenging, may bring a new perspective on the events of 2,000 years ago.
No one who spent time with Jesus was ever the same again but in this series one man stands out as being a reluctant but pivotal player in the Easter story, the the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, Pontius Pilate. (Wikepedia describes him as "best known for his trial and crucifixion of Jesus" as if there was a possibility that he could have been better known for something else and somehow missed the opportunity).
Unpacking one of Jesus' most powerful statements.
I AM...THE RESURRECTION
There are lots of Easter sessions in this series. Here's just a few suggestions
Our friends at Youthvids have curated some great videos for Easter. Here are just a couple of our favourites. Click image to view.
Also available on Energize, Messy Easter is everything your would expect from the creators of Messy Church containing three complete sessions and a treasure trove of ideas for Lent, Holy Week and Easter (proving that there's more than one way to get messy than smuggling all your Easter eggs into bed and eating them under the duvet).
If you'd like to explore with your group how all the events of Holy Week fit together, Bible Gateway have put together a fascianating tube-map style timeline which you can download as a PDF here.
Out of the 80 million chocolate Easter eggs sold each year in the UK, The Real Easter Egg is the first and only Fairtrade chocolate Easter egg to share the Easter story.
In addition to producing five types of scrummy eggs those nice people at The Real Easter Egg have also produced some on-line resources to help share the true meaning of Easter.
If you're group hasn't already got chocolate overload here is a session from our JUST FOR FUN series to help correct that oversight