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Everyone a Butterfly

Forty Sermons for Children

Randy Hammer

Everyone a Butterfly offers forty original sermon stories for children, for use in worship services and at home year-round. These stories are based on biblical and classical literature, everyday observations and anecdotes from history. Hammer's primary source of inspiration is nature—one of our greatest teachers and a wonderful learning tool for children. Each sermon is accompanied by suggestions for presentation, objects for sharing and follow-up activities. Based on his many years of pastoral experience, Hammer provides an insightful introduction on what makes a quality sermon for children. Annotated resources are also included.

Randy Hammer is a minister in the United Church of Christ and holds a doctor of ministry degree in congregational leadership from Meadville Lombard Theological School. For eleven years he wrote a weekly inspirational newspaper column called “Reflections.” He is the author of  Dancing In the Dark: Lessons in Facing Life's Challenges with Courage and Creativity (Pilgrim Press, 1998).

Praise for Everyone a Butterfly:

“I have often been accused of acting and thinking like a child. Perhaps this explains why I love Hammer's book of sermons and stories for children. They are as wise and imaginative as children. Any minister knows the joy of the children's moment in worship; sometimes we also know how difficult it is to come up with something so wise and direct, children get the point without explaining it. Randy offers us a feast not only of stories, but also of suggested objects to use in their telling. Ministers of many faith traditions are in his debt.”
—Rev. Dr. John C. Morgan, minister of the UU Congregation of the Wyoming Valley in Kingston, Pa., and author of Awakening the Soul

Everyone a Butterfly is an invaluable resource for anyone who appreciates quality religious education for young people. Randy Hammer has assembled in these pages stories appropriate for use in Sunday morning worship, as well as at bedtime on any given evening. The significance of these stories is their foundation in solid children's psychology as well as liberal religious values of child-centered education. Never preaching down to the child, Hammer's writing uses all the senses to guide listeners of any age to wonder and appreciation for the sanctity of life and mystery of creation. We all hold the potential to be authentic images of the divinity in which we are created. No message is more important for a child to learn about herself or himself.  No message is more important to be reiterated for adults. Hammer does both eloquently in the stories and suggested exercises in Everyone a Butterfly.”
—The Rev. John W. Tolley, Ph.D., Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services, Associate Professor of Arts in Ministry, Meadville Lombard Theological School

“Hammer offers the worship leader a collection of brilliant children's stories.  When read aloud they are truly engaging. Hammer also has fleshed out each story with an illustrative, visual object, and a way of presenting it. For children, this is what makes each story a teaching moment.”
—Bob Thayer, author of Offerings: Remarks While Passing the Plate

“Randy Hammer writes this book out of experience and out of a genuine desire to make the time with children in worship both special and authentic. Before becoming immersed in the 40 children's sermons. hopefully readers will spend some time reading and considering what the writer believes to be helpful in a children's sermon. Pastors with responsibility for children's sermons will find this a helpful resource for their libraries.”
—Claudette H. Pickle, Executive Director, Board of Christian Education, Cumberland Presbyterian Church

“Starting from our first principle—the inherent worth and dignity of every person—and drawing on our living traditions of Jewish and Christian teachings, the words and deeds of prophetic men and women, and scientific reason, Hammer has crafted forty delightful sermons for children that combine wisdom, humor, and hands-on activities. Everyone a Butterfly provides a unique and valuable resource for every UU minister, teacher, and parent who wishes to share our faith with our children, so that they can share it with theirs.”
—Janeen K. Grohsmeyer, author of A Lamp in Every Corner: Our Unitarian Universalist Storybook

For more information contact skinnerhouse @

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

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