For some reason, I always seem to get the urge to do something creative (read: long and drawn out) when I’m busiest at work and church! This week, I had the joy of helping teach children from our church and community about God’s mighty power and love at Everest VBS. I enjoyed every minute of it (truly!), but the late nights and early mornings have really started to wear me down. Plus, as the leader for VBS opening and closing, I’m supposed to be super energetic and motivating! I’ll be happy for a day to “sleep in” tomorrow; of course, sleeping in is relative when small children are afoot.
But back to the something creative…I’ve been wanting to make a teaching tool for the Apostles’ Creed for awhile now, as a way for our children to learn and understand the essentials of the Christian faith as set forth in the creed. At home, we talk about the work of the Trinity (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), but the creed brings it all together in a form easily remembered, shared, and professed by the body of Christ. Since I enjoy making felt books, an Apostles’ Creed Quiet Book was in order!
|I believe||(Hab. 2:4; Rom. 4:5)|
|In God||(Deut. 6:4 1 Cor. 8:6)|
|The Father||(Psalm 89:27; Matthew 7:11)|
|Almighty||(Genesis 7:1; 2 Cor. 6:18)|
|Maker of heaven and earth||(Psalm 33:6; John 5:17)|
|And in Jesus||(Zech 9:9; Matthew 1:21)|
|Christ||(Daniel 9:24; John 3:34)|
|His only||(Zechariah 13:7; John 1:14)|
|Son||(Psalm 2:7; Matthew 16:16)|
|Our Lord||(Jeremiah 23:6; John 20:28)|
|Who was conceived||(Jeremiah 31:22; Luke 1:31)|
|By the Holy Spirit||(Daniel 2:45; Matthew 1:20)|
|Born||(Isaiah 9:6; John 1:14)|
|Of the Virgin Mary||(Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:43)|
|Suffered||(Isaiah 50:6; Luke 23:25)|
|Under Pontius Pilate||(Psalm 2:2; Luke 18:32)|
|Was crucified||(Psalm 22:17; John 3:14)|
|Died||(Daniel 9:26; Rom. 5:8)|
|And was buried||(Isaiah 53:9; John 12:24)|
|Descended into hell||(Psalm 16:10; Ephesians 4:9)|
|And on the third day||(Hosea 6:2; Matthew 26:32; Acts 10:40-41)|
|He rose again from the dead||(Isaiah 63:1; 2 Timothy 2:8)|
|Ascended into heaven||(Psalm 68:19; Col. 2:15)|
|And sits at the right hand of the God the Father Almighty||(Psalm 110:1; Mark 16:19)|
|From thence he will come||(Isaiah 66:15; Acts 1:11)|
|To judge||(Wisdom 6:6; Acts 17:31)|
|The living and the dead||(Daniel 12:2; 1 Cor. 15:51)|
|I believe in the Holy Spirit||(Zechariah 12:10; John 15:26)|
|The holy||(Psalm 45:14; Ephesians 5:26)|
|Christian Church||(Psalm 22:26; Matthew 16:18)|
|The communion of saints||(Exodus 19:5; Ephesians 4:3)|
|The forgiveness of sins||(Psalm 32:1; Acts 10:43)|
|The resurrection of the body||(Isaiah 66:14; John 5:28)|
|And the life everlasting||(Psalm 16:11; 1 Peter 1:4)|
|Amen!||(Psalm 72:19; 2 Cor. 1:20)|
I did a couple things differently in making this book than I did in My Church Book. First, I’ve been having some trouble with the grommets on the pages in previous books coming loose from wear. Since I didn’t immediately have a good, inexpensive grommet solution, and since the Apostles’ Creed is one flowing statement of belief, I decided to make the pages fan-fold out from the cover. Second, I made the pages significantly smaller so the book would fit more easily into a church bag or even a purse. Lastly, I made the cover out of a heavy-weight cotton fabric instead of felt, and use thin quilt batting to make it sturdy and strong. I’m really happy with the overall result, and I think I’ll try some more fan-fold-style books in the future!
There are 14 pages total, 7 on each side of the fan fold. For the cover, I figured out how long of a rectangle I would need to fully wrap around the folded pages. I sewed it out of heavy-weight cotton fabric and thin quilt batting, turned it inside out, and top-stitched around the perimeter. I sewed the first page of the book to the cover, leaving a flap on the front and a long flap to wrap around the back and snap onto the front. I also top-stitched a few vertical seams to finish off the flap and spine. Finally, I added a title to the spine using my sewing machine’s monogram feature.
Here’s a peek at the book’s pages:
Each person of the Trinity is represented by a circle with a symbol on it (e.g. a hand for the God the Father) that snaps onto a traced-out circle. I love these star buttons I happened upon in some hand-me-downs from the estate of a friend’s great-aunt. You can twist them a little from side to side to make them “twinkle.”
God the Son, Jesus Christ, is represented by a cross. The next page has the baby Jesus attached to a ribbon and tucked in Mary’s arms. We take him out of her arms and place him over the fiery dove to show that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
The crown of thorns with a drop of blood reminds us of Jesus’ suffering before Pontius Pilate and leading up to his crucifixion. Then, the kids can wrap Jesus in his burial cloth (a white satin ribbon) and place him in the tomb. The black page represents the utter darkness of hell, where Jesus went and proclaimed His victory over sin, death, and the devil.
Pulling back the boulder reveals the light of the tomb, where only Jesus’ burial cloth remains (the folded ribbon tucks into the side of the tomb). To make Jesus ascend into heaven, you pull on the top of the cloud, which is attached to Jesus via a white ribbon. The top of the cloud is sewn all the way up to the ribbon so that Jesus can’t be pulled through easily (and lost!). The gavel represents Jesus as our final judge. We need not fear His judgement, because he has made our hearts clean and righteous through His blood.
Here again, the Holy Spirit is represented by a dove. The church page is one of my favorites. I used a silky tie-dyed ribbon for the stained-glass windows and sewed a little button for the church bell. Inside the church is the body of believers, diverse, yet united through faith in the One True God.
Jesus forgives and heals our hearts broken from sin. Because Jesus conquered death and rose victorious, we too will rise (death to life represented by the butterfly’s transformation) and be taken to our eternal home in heaven. The final page gives a glimpse of heaven, which will be filled with God’s light. The Trinity is also represented here by three gold/yellow circles.
Remember the circles from the pages representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? They can be snapped off their pages and snapped together on the back cover to represent the three Persons of the Trinity, distinct, yet united as one God. My kids were so excited about this feature of the book! I think symbols and metaphors make great teaching tools, so I wanted to weave as much symbolism as I could into the book.
These same symbols can be found all over our church in the stained-glass windows, on the pulpit and lectern, and in the artwork. When I used to teach confirmation, we learned about several symbols of the faith and then did a scavenger hunt around the church to find all of them. Many of the youth would tell me they had never before noticed them or thought about why they were there. These ancient symbols not only beautify God’s house, they bring a richness to our Christian heritage and unite the Church past, present, and future.
Finally, here are a couple pictures of my daughter exploring the finished quiet book. She loves it so much! Her older brother likes it a lot, too–in fact, they’ve been fighting over who gets to look at it. There’s something ironic about a faith book being the source of division…yet another reminder of our weak flesh and our need for a Savior to rescue us from sin!
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! ~Romans 7:25