Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lesson - Dorcas, The Benevolent Seamstress

VERSES:  Acts 9:36-43

MEMORY VERSE:  Acts 9:36  "...this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   1 Corinthians.  Write "1 Corinthians" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class to encourage the students to memorize one more New Testament book.

PRAYER:  Pray that we have a kind heart like Dorcas and have compassion for those in need.

SPECIAL SONG:  Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see below); Bible map showing Lydda and Joppa.

  • In the town of Joppa, there was a woman who did many good works and kind deeds for the poor people. Her name was Tabitha, but some also called her Dorcas.  Dorcas was a believer in Jesus and was included in the disciples who lived in Joppa. One day, Dorcas got very sick and died. Her friends got her ready for her funeral and laid her in an upper room. 
  • But the disciples heard that Peter was in a nearby town called Lydda and, because Lydda was close to the town of Joppa, they sent two men to Peter and asked if he would hurry and come to Joppa with them.
  • Peter got up right then and went with the two men. When they arrived in Joppa, they took him to the upper room where Dorcas was laying. Inside the room there were many poor widows who were grieved that she had died and they stood by Peter. They were crying and showing him all the coats and pieces of clothing that Dorcas had made for them while she was alive. Dorcas was definitely a kindhearted and compassionate woman who did many good things for others.
  • Peter sent everyone out of the room, knelt down, and prayed. Then, he turned to the woman and said, "Tabitha, arise!" Do you know what Dorcas did? She opened up her eyes, and when she saw that it was Peter, she sat up! She wasn't dead anymore!
  • Peter gave her his hand and lifted her up. When he had called all the disciples and the widows, he showed how Dorcas had come to life again! Everyone knew that Peter had performed a miracle by raising Dorcas from the dead. The wonderful news of how Dorcas was alive again spread though the whole city! Because of this miracle, many people believed in the Lord.
"Older Student:" Tips:
  • We all need to be like Dorcas. Can people say that we are full of good works? Are we always doing good things to our family, friends, neighbors and classmates? Would people be sad if we weren't here anymore? We need to always do good deeds for our neighbors. Read Ephesians 4:31, 32. Are we kind to others? Are we tenderhearted? Do we forgive others when they are unkind to us? We should be just like this good woman named Dorcas.
ACTIVITY:  Dorcas, Full of Good Works
Materials needed:  One 5" x 8" envelope, five 4" x 9" pieces of scrapbook or decorated paper, a total of six 4" x 5" brown, tan, and light brown construction paper, 1" x 7" scrap of brown construction paper, scraps of blue and yellow paper, glue, crayons, scissors, marker.

  • Note: Below, I have included a "Person Stencil" and a "Clothing Stencil." If desired, make copies of these stencils for students to trace shapes on to colored paper; otherwise, have students make their own people and clothing.
  • Note: If the widows coats are not glued down, then the student may trade coats among the widows. If this is too awkward, glue all coats to people. 
  1. Hand out "Person Stencil" and trace six people on to six pieces of brown, tan, and light brown paper. Only six people are needed.
  2. Cut out six people.
  3. On four of these people draw happy faces on one side and unhappy face on the other side. These are the widows.
  4. On one of the people shapes, draw a happy face on one side and a person with "x"s for eyes. This is Dorcas.
  5. On the last person shape, draw a face with his mouth open. This is Peter.
  6. Hand out "Clothing Stencil" and pretty paper. These are the widows coats.
  7. Folding, the pretty paper in half, place Clothing Stencil with the word "FOLD" on the folded paper. We are making a coat that will go over the head of each widow.
  8. Trace five folded coats. One for each of the four widows and one for Dorcas.
  9. Trace one more coat out of the blue paper, but it does not need to be folded since it is Peter's robe.
  10. Cut all coats and one robe out with scissors, observing the "FOLDED" edges.
  11. Place coats on all four widows and Dorcas.
  12. Glue Peter's robe on Peter.
  13. Write "Dorcas" on Dorcas and "Peter" on Peter.
  14. Hand out long brown strip of paper. This is Dorcas' bed.
  15. Cut 1/2" off of the long brown strip. Cut small piece of brown paper in half again. These are the bed's legs.
  16. Glue legs on bottom of bed.
  17. Hand out yellow scrap of paper.
  18. Write "Tabitha, arise." on yellow paper.
  19. Hand out envelope.
  20. Write "Dorcas, Full of Good Works" and "Acts 9:36-43" on front of envelope.
  21. Let each student have a minute to tell the story of Dorcas, using their cut-outs. Remember the widows must leave the room before Peter raises Dorcas to life.
  22. Before the end of class, all pieces are placed in envelope. 
  23. Take home!