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Bearing Fruit

By Fr. Jim Katinas

Objective

To illustrate in a practical manner how people who “abide in God” bear fruit.  Participants will be led to discern for themselves how practically and spiritually speaking, they can bear fruit in their own lives. NOTE: This session offers a great way to help participants understand the practical "tools" for spiritual and personal growth and "pitfalls" that should be avoided.

Materials

  • Easel with large paper pad
  • Large markers
  • John 15:5 (displayed largely) (see supplemental materials below)
  • Story from the life of a saint (see supplemental materials below)

Opening Prayer

Christ our God, the True Light
Who enlightens and sanctifies every person who comes into the world:
Seal us with the Light of Your Countenance
that we may perceive Your Unapproachable Radiance.
Direct the footsteps of our life in the way of Your commandments.
Through the prayers of Your all-pure Mother and of all Your saints.
Amen.

Ice Breaker  (Icon Pictionary)

  • Divide the group up into two groups.  Place easel in front so that everybody can see.  Allow each group to select 2 artists a piece.
  • Select a group to go first and give them their drawing instructions.  (pick icons according to skill level of group).
  • The chosen artist must draw the icon in question for his/her group to guess without saying any words.  There is a 3 minute limit per drawing.  When one artist gives up he may tag another chosen artist from the same team. 
  • The same instructions go for the other team. 
  • After each team has had a few turns, end the game.

Discussion

  • What were some of the clues that helped you guess each icon?
  • Was drawing the icon as easy as it first looked?
  • Do you appreciate your teammates more and more?

Activity

  • Have a participant read the posted verse (John 15:5) and briefly discuss for a couple of minutes. Have the participants summarize its meaning.
    • What is Christ trying to say? 
    • Why can’t you do anything apart from Christ?
    • How is the Father glorified by this passage?
  • Draw a large tree on the presentation pad.
    • What does a tree needs to bear fruit? (i.e.: soil, sunlight, water etc.).
    • What can hinder the growth of the tree? (i.e. the absence of any of the above, disease, pollutants, carelessness on the part of humans, etc.)
  • Diagram the needs and hindrances as the young people state them.
  • Read or have a participant read a brief account of the life of a saint. (see supplemental materials below)
  • After the story is read, draw another large tree on the presentation pad.
    • What sort of fruit does the saint's life produced? and diagram it.
    • What do you suppose enabled that saint to bear fruit?
  • Diagram the fruits and what enabled them to grow as the young people state them.
    • What hindered or may have hindered the saint from bearing fruit?
  • Diagram the hindrances as the young people state them.
  • Now "bring it home." Turn the page and draw a new tree.
    • How can we, as Christians, bear fruit in our lives?
    • What helps and hinders us when doing so?
  • Diagram how we can bear fruit as well as what helps and hinders us as the young people state them.

Wrap-up

Flip back to top page of the presentation pad and summarize each page.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who is present in all places and fills all things, Treasury of good thing and Giver of Life, come and dwell in us.  Cleanse of every stain and save our souls, O, Good One.  For Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, always, now and forever and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

Supplemental Materials

John 15:5    
[4] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
[5] I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
[6] If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
[7] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

[8] By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.

Websites (to find icons for ice breaker as well as lives of saints for activity)

You can adjust the difficulty according to the group.  Feasts are fun as well as individual saints.  You may want to have a printed copy to show each artist.

 

 

 

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