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ROOTS response to Covid-19 pandemic

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Welcome to ROOTS at home for 12 July

Worship at home resources for everyone linked to Matthew 13.1-9,18-23

ROOTS is a partnership of denominations and other Christian organisations and has been publishing lectionary-based worship resources online and in print since 2002.

Go to: Resources for familiesResources for adults 



You are welcome to copy this material for use in your own resources e.g. printed sheets or web pages including audio/video recordings. If you do so, please include this acknowledgement to ROOTS:
© ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.


For families


Stories are a really important part of our lives: they may be how we settle down ready to sleep; how we pass on memories; or the way we share our faith.

Jesus often uses parables – a story with a hidden meaning – to share a key message and this week we think about how and why he might have done this.



Use this prayer as you begin your time of worship together. Nominate a leader or all join in together.

Lord Jesus, as we gather today,
may we have eyes to see
and ears to hear
what you are saying to us.
Make us ready to learn
from your stories.



Share the Bible story using the idea below to help you explore it together.

Bible story

Open the Bible at Matthew 13.1-9,18-23: Jesus tells simple stories, called parables, to help people understand an important message.

Words and pictures

Use this poem, substituting these words for pictures: farmer, seed, birds, thorns (see template). Then tell the story using the pictures.

A farmer went, his seed to sow, he did not know if they would grow.
Some seed fell on stony ground, some the hungry birds soon found.
Some fell among the thorns so tall, they stood no chance to grow at all!
But some seed fell on fertile ground, and soon the crops grew all around.




You may wish to use these additional resources to worship together and/or the activity sheets for children.



Create seed trays to represent the four different environments for the Word:

  1. sand and a piece of old lino as a path;
  2. gravel or stones;
  3. weeds and thistles;
  4. good soil or compost.

Then do one or both of the activities below.


Cartoon strip

Create a visual summary of the parable

You will need: storyboard (template), pencils, crayons/felt tips.

Recap the four different places that seed landed in the parable using the seed trays you have prepared.

Invite everyone to draw four pictures on the storyboard template to retell the story as a cartoon strip.

Those who are able could write captions and/or speech bubbles to retell the story from the seeds’ point of view. You may need to act as a scribe for the captions that younger children suggest.


Where the seed falls

Read Matthew 13.3b-9 using the trays. Read verses 18 to 23 and add the following cards to each tray:

  1. the evil one;
  2. trouble;
  3. cares of the world;
  4. a healthy plant.


Activity and colouring sheets

(Links to the PDFs for these can also be found at the end of the page.)

Activities for families - English


Colouring sheet English


Activities for families - Welsh


Colouring sheet Welsh



For adults

PostScript - Jesus' sower


In conversation with the Scriptures: Already but not yet

Cherryl Hunt explores how we read Scripture, in conversation with John Parr


Live your faith

This week's Live your faith sheet for adults with Bible notes, prayers, a picture and questions for reflection, a live your faith action



A prayer of intercession

God of all seeds and all stories,
we pray for the wisdom to apply the truth of Jesus' parables
to our own lives
and to our life together in this place where we worship you  
and this community where we serve you.
May we see you, may we hear you, may we know you care.

In the world, we pray especially
for places where climate change has brought drought…
for the places where it has brought floods …
for those whose crops have been scorched…
for those whose livelihoods have been washed away.
We pray for the people of Japan –
for those caught in the heavy rains there –
and for the people of Australia
and their wildlife endangered by the forest fires.
We pray too for those in our own country
who face continual upheaval and heartache through repeated flooding.
May we see you, may we hear you, may we know you care.

We pray for those whose life's seeds
are being choked by anxiety, poverty and hardship…
for those who have lost their jobs…
for those unable to feed their families
or to pay their mortgages and rent…
for those living without basic facilities.
We pray for those given hope by the emergency budget
and for those who feel hope-less
and for foodbanks and charities that try to help all who are struggling.
May we see you, may we hear you, may we know you care.

We pray for those unable to thrive because of illness…
and those denied the opportunity
to plant the seeds of their dreams in fertile soil...
for those hospitalised with Covid-19…
for those whose journey to recovery is long , slow and painful…
for those who nurse them…
for those who love them…
for those whose treatment has been put on hold…
We pray for those robbed of the opportunity to go to school,
for children in war zones, those in refugee camps,
those who have to work to find their daily food.
May we see you, may we hear you, may we know you care.

And we pray for those whose seeds are watered by their tears...
those grieving the loss of someone close to them…
those who feel forgotten…
those who are neglected…
those who are victims of injustice, abuse, or cruelty…
May they – and all in any kind of need today – see you, may they hear you,
and may know you care. Amen.

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