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).
“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.”
K. Grohsmeyer, author of A Lamp in Every Corner: Our Unitarian Universalist
For more information contact skinnerhouse @ uua.org.
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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Publication Date: September 2004
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