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Seasons by Step series God's Family Tree Lent & Holy Week Catechesis

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Lent & Holy Week Catechesis
Seasons by Step series
God's Family Tree

A week-by-week thematic approach to teaching the Story of Salvation during Lent


Use this creative approach to bring your Lent and Holy Week catechesis alive for children and their families, including an optional Easter pageant.  This resource communicates the message of Lent and Easter by using the varied trees found in the Old Testament and the New Testament as a focal point for telling the stories of God's people as they struggle to find faith and hope for life.

Beginning with the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" and the arrival of sin through Adam and Eve, the series traces the sequence of God's plan for our redemption to "Calvary's Tree" and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each week the story unfolds as a different tree is featured and a new symbol makes the Biblical characters and lessons memorable and meaningful. Through their participation, people of all ages will experience the message of salvation and trace God's action in human history directly to their own branch of the "family tree."

Themes and Scripture passages for Ash Wednesday, the six weeks of Lent, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday include:

  • Ash Wednesday - Choices - Genesis 3:16
  • First Sunday - Covenant - Genesis 6:14
  • Second Sunday - Commandments - Exodus 25:10
  • Third Sunday - Connection - Isaiah 11:1
  • Fourth Sunday - Challenge - Amos 7:14
  • Fifth Sunday - Compassion - Luke 2
  • Palm Sunday - Contrasts - John 12:13
  • Holy Thursday - Contentment - Matthew 26:30
  • Good Friday - Convictions - Matthew 27:29
  • Easter Sunday - Celebration - Matthew 28:5-6

The content for these sessions includes:

  • Worship (including Children's message)
  • Nurture (at-home family learning, activities, and prayer)
  • Education (creative classroom activities and Easter Pageant)
  • Enhancements (reproducible designs for banners, posters, etc.)

Why choose God's Family Tree?

  • Why? God's Family Tree is a week-by-week thematic approach to teaching the story of salvation during Lent and Easter.
  • Biblical • Bible narratives trace the story of salvation from Creation through Resurrection. Each week features a different tree and a new symbol that helps make the biblical characters and lessons meaningful. 
  • Comprehensive • Segments are available for Ash Wednesday, the six Sundays of Lent, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.
  • Creative • Beginning with the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" and the arrival of sin through Adam and Eve, the series traces the sequence of God's plan for redemption to "Calvary's Tree" and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 
  • Complete • The content for these sessions includes:
    • Worship (children's messages, service materials)
    • Nurture (at-home family lessons and prayers)
    • Education (creative activities)
    • Enhancements (patterns for banners, posters, displays)
  • Thorough • The chart, with the headings Day, Theme, Scripture, Tree, Symbol, and People with the plan for Lent and Easter in place is a goldmine!
  • Flexible • Adaptable to in-person or at-home use
  • Nature-oriented • Fun to use with natural elements
  • Extendable • Includes a fun pageant, "Re-tracing Our Roots: God's Story of Salvation" which could be used during the season of Easter with children, youth, and adults taking part—live or through photos—inside or outside.
  • Easy • Besides the download of the entire book, the publisher is providing each week's materials as a separate link for easy of planning, sending, using.
  • Reasonable • This reproducible e-resource is sold with a lifetime license for use within a congregation/parish or school. You are allowed to make unlimited copies for use within your own community. You may also email them to members of your team or participants in your program. Materials may not be posted to any website without explicit permission from the publisher.

Product Preview

This is a downloadable, reproducible product sold with a lifetime parish or school license. Please read the full license terms below.

Product License

This reproducible eResource is sold with a lifetime license for use within a parish, school, or diocesan office. You are allowed to make unlimited copies for use within your own community. You may also email these to members of your team or participants in your program. If you serve more than one parish or school, each should purchase its own license. You may not post our eResources to any web site without explicit permission to do so. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for cooperating with our honor system regarding our product licenses.

Format: eResource
Product code: LR116
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
Length: 114 pages
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources
Written by Anna L. Liechty and Phyllis Vos Wezeman


ANNA LIECHTY taught English to high school students and served as adjunct faculty for Indiana University South Bend for many years. Anna also worked as a mentor trainer and teacher coach with adult learners for the Indiana Department of Education. She won numerous educational classroom grants, including the Eli Lilly Teacher Creativity grant.

As a life-long church educator, Anna worked with all age levels, directing Sunday morning and youth programming, consulting with congregations about their educational ministry, and writing a wide variety of religious education materials. She served as Vice President of Active Learning Associates and co-authored four Lilly Worship Renewal grants.

Anna’s undergraduate degree is from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and her Master’s degree from Indiana University South Bend. She was certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in Adolescent and Young Adult English Language Arts.

In retirement, Anna continues to pursue a variety of writing projects, receiving an Individual Artist Grant in Literature from the Indiana Arts Commission. Now living in Florida, Anna enjoys traveling with her husband Page Foster, a retired pastor, and counting the days between visits with six children, twelve grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

View all resources by Anna L. Liechty

As a religious educator, PHYLLIS VOS WEZEMAN has served as Director of Christian Nurture at a downtown congregation in South Bend, Indiana; Executive Director of the Parish Resource Center of Michiana; and Program Coordinator for ecumenical as well as interfaith organizations in Indiana and Michigan.

In academics, Phyllis has been Adjunct Faculty in the Education Department at Indiana University South Bend and in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. She is an "Honorary Professor" of the Saint Petersburg (Russia) State University of Pedagogical Art where she has taught methods courses for extended periods on several occasions. She has also been guest lecturer at the Shanghai Teachers College in China.

As founder of the not-for-profit Malawi Matters, Inc., she develops and directs HIV & AIDS Education programs with thousands of volunteers in 200 villages and more than 1,500 schools in Malawi, Africa including “Creative Methods of HIV & AIDS Education,” “Culture & HIV-AIDS,” and “Equipping Women/ Empowering Girls.”

Author or co-author of over 2,000 articles and books, she has written for over 80 publishers.

Phyllis served as President of Active Learning Associates, Inc.; a consultant or board member to numerous local and national organizations such as the American Bible Society, Church World Service, LOGOS, and the Peace Child Foundation; leader of a six- week youth exchange program to Russia and Ukraine; and Project Director for four Lilley Worship Renewal grants. She is the recipient of three “Distinguished Alumni Awards," the Aggiornamento Award from the Catholic Library Association, and the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE).

Wezeman holds undergraduate degrees in Business, Communications, and General Studies from various institutions and an MS in Education from Indiana University South Bend.

Phyllis and her husband Ken (who met when they were in second and third grade in elementary school) have three children and their spouses, Stephanie (Jeff), David, and Paul (Deha); five grandchildren, Quin, Ayle, Lief, Ashley, and Jacob; and two great-grandsons, Maddox and Troy.

View all resources by Phyllis Vos Wezeman