Summer 2018 Curriculum
In 2018 our Bridgeport Summer Camp curriculum was entitled "Holy Spirit". This curriculum taught about the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity. The Trinity is God (the Creator or Father), Jesus (the Son), and the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost). We tied this lesson on the trinity and the Holy Spirit to the Fruits of the Spirit taught in Galatians.
Fruit grows on plants or trees as a sign of the health of the rest of the plant. We believe that as we are healthy in our relationships with each part of the Trinity, we are bearing fruit. The fruit that grows shows that we are continuing to grow in our relationships with each part of the Trinity and with those around us. The Fruit of the Spirit that grows includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This curriculum is straight from the lessons that were used for our small groups, which we call "family groups".
We have made this curriculum available to everyone in hopes that it's usefulness might live on past the camp in which it was used. Below you find an synopsis of each lesson and a button to download each lesson.
Holy Spirit: Lesson Overview
Fruit of the Spirit: Love
Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (NRSV)
Matthew 22:37-39 (NRSV)
The beginning of the Shema (Deut. 6:4-9) includes the most important commandment. We are to love God with all of our being. Jesus links this core truth in Judaism with the love of neighbor in Matthew. John Wesley later described entire sanctification as a heart filled with the love of God and neighbor. This love is always rooted in the conviction that God first loved us. Note that the text says that Israel will possess the land with the provision of God’s grace. Love is a sign of God’s grace toward us, and love is our obedient response.
Fruit of the Spirit: Joy
Psalm 100 (NRSV)
Psalm 51: 10-12 (NRSV)
The word ‘joy’ is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires…the expression or exhibition of such emotion…a state of happiness”. The joy that the world offers is a pale imitation of the true joy only God can give us. Joy is a prominent feature of the true worship of God in the Old Testament. Wherever people know, love, and worship God, God’s love instills a joy, that only God can give, into the hearts of God’s worshipers. Joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, who resides in the heart of the believer.
Fruit of the Spirit: Peace
John 14:25-28 (CEB)
Peace is a very easy concept to grasp but a very challenging way to live. Yet peace is exactly what we both need and want from God. Overall in this lesson we will be looking at what it means to become agents of peace. Jesus and his disciples are eating together at their Last Supper. Jesus tells the disciples that although he will no longer be with them physically, he will send the Advocate (Holy Spirit) to be with them forever. The Holy Spirit will teach and remind them of Jesus’ words and actions and inspire each new generation with Jesus’ teachings. Jesus leaves the disciples with the gift of peace; a peace that calms all fears and doubts.
Fruit of the Spirit: Patience
1 Kings 19:3-13 (CEV)
Patience is a spiritual gift harder to teach in a straight-up lesson. We often struggle with just wanting to get quickly to the point and meaning of the lesson and patience resists such easiness. This lesson seeks to get to patience via the medium of silence. Often creating space for God lends itself to greater patience. Some translations from the Galatians 5 text use the word “forbearance” instead of “patience.” Another word for forbearance is “long-suffering.” Elijah in this text definitely fits the idea of “long-suffering” and seems to be forcibly patiently waiting for God to show up.
Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness
2 Samuel 9:1-13 (CEB)
Our lesson on kindness focuses on the friendship of David and Jonathan and how David shows kindness to Jonathan’s descendants, especially his son Mephibosheth. In his covenant with Jonathan, David had promised to show loyalty to Jonathan's family (1 Samuel 18:1-4; 20:14-17). In this story, David shows kindness to Jonathan's son Mephibosheth [Muh-fib-uh-sheth]. He was only five years old at the time of his father’s death (4:4) and now had a young son (9:12). David had been reigning in Jerusalem for at least seven years and Mephibosheth was probably about twenty years of age. In this lesson we highlight our belief that God has an endless supply of kindness. When we show kindness, it is a way of expressing God’s kindness to you.
Fruit of the Spirit: Generosity
Mark 12:41-44 (CEB)
Luke 21:1-4 (CEB)
We are asked to be generous not only with money but in our lives. We can be generous with our time, with our praise, with our kindness and love, in service, and in countless other ways. In this lesson we focus on generosity. There are two accounts of the Widow’s Mite in the New Testament, both are included here. We are reminded in this story that generosity is more than the gift, but the attitude with which it is given. Generosity is about coming from a place of abundance rather than wealth.
Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness
Ruth 1:16-17 (CEB)
The story of Ruth is one of a faithful daughter-in-law, kinsmen-redeemer and hopeless mother. All show their faith in God and how God is faithful to God’s promises. In this lesson we focus on how being faithful in even the smallest of things opens us up to the larger work of the Holy Spirit.
Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness
1 Thessalonians 2:6-8 (CEB)
1 Peter 3:15-16 (CEB)
Gentleness is not a normal attribute for a leader in today’s world. Yet we have an insistence from our Christian faith that it is necessary and needed. There is a quiet strength in gentleness that we will seek to explore in this lesson. We exhibit strength when we are gentle to those who speak or act unjustly to us or our friends. Explaining these difference can help the campers understand what the character of gentleness is rather than the physicality of gentleness.
Fruit of the Spirit: Self Control
Proverbs 9:10 (CEB)
Proverbs 8:1-6, 10-12, 14, 20-21; 9:1-6 (The Message)
Self-Control can be a tricky thing to talk about in any setting. Perhaps it is just the reality of being at the back of the listing of fruits of the Spirit, but more probably it is because we all know how hard it is to control our own impulses and desires at times. Instead of trying to close this curriculum talking about temptation and wrestling sin, we are instead chose to focus on the more positive aspect of striving for wisdom. The wisdom literature of the Bible suffers from its fair share of neglect. So hopefully this lesson can rest between reading something new and talking about the wisdom learned throughout these lessons.