The Day When God Made the Church
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Paraclete Press / 2015 / Paperback
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The Day When God Made the Church

Paraclete Press / 2015 / Paperback

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CBD Stock No: WW615646


Product Description

Encourage your children to learn about and join in on the celebrations for the Pentecost with The Day When God Made the Church by Rebekah McLeod Hutto, and illustrated by Stephanie Haig. Filled with a simple text and paired with vivid illustrations, this book offers young children a simple explanation of what the Pentecost is and why and how do we celebrate it.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 48
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 11.00 X 8.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1612615643
ISBN-13: 9781612615646
Ages: 4-8

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Publisher's Description

Children love birthday parties. This is a book – a first if its kind – to help kids understand and celebrate the birthday of the Church. The Day When God Made the Church is the story of Pentecost and how the Holy Spirit shaped, and continues to shape, who we are as God’s Church. Children will learn the story of Pentecost: the sights, sounds, and events of that miraculous day described in the Book of Acts. They will also discover who the Holy Spirit is and how God calls each of us to follow Jesus. At the end, parents, educators, ministers will discover fresh ways to celebrate Pentecost with children in their own churches and families. Pentecost Sunday is May 15!

Author Bio

Rebekah McLeod Hutto is a Presbyterian U.S.A. minister currently serving in New York City at Brick Presbyterian Church.  She and her husband, B.J., who is also an ordained minister, are originally from the South, both growing up in loving and supportive churches. Living in the city, they are raising their children to love the diversity and culture of New York City. As a child Rebekah was surrounded by stories, thanks to her mother, and one day hoped to write engaging stories for children.

Editorial Reviews

A great addition to your Pentecost shelves: This book is a wonderful telling of the story of Pentecost: the sights, the sounds and the people that began the community of the Church. We recommend placing this book on the bottom shelf of your Pentecost shelves.
—The Rev. Cheryl V. Minor, Ph.D.
Co-Rector, All Saints' Church, Belmont, MA
Director of the Center for the Theology of Childhood
The Godly Play Foundation

"Readers and listeners of all ages will discover much to stimulate their understanding of Pentecost through this theologically grounded book. Its engaging qualities and vivid images rhythmically connects children to the movement of The Holy Spirit, and the birth of the Church. Rebekah seamlessly helps children understand this sometimes difficult celebration in the liturgical year." —Melanie C. Gordon, Director of Ministry with Children, Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church


"This is a delightful and powerful telling of the birth of the church. Your child will love this book. The Day When God Made Church invites the parent, teacher, and child to engage in conversation about God, love, and the church. This is the book we have been waiting for…."
—The Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones award winning author of God Created and Jesus, the Word

Good children’s storybooks about Pentecost are few and far between. So when a new one appears it is worth sharing. "The Day When God Made Church: A Child’s First Book about Pentecost," by Rebekah McLeod Hutto, is a good addition to a church’s resources for children’s classes and libraries. Though it is rather long (5 minutes to read aloud), it could also be read in worship. Read it just before or after reading the biblical text to add color and detail to the story. If you are lucky enough to have a small number of children, read it with them seated around you so they can follow the wonderful illustrations. Savor the TALL words in the text and pause to reflect on the details in the pictures.

If you observe Ascension of the Lord on the Sunday before Pentecost, read only the first three pages about WAITING just before the benediction of that service and invite worshipers back the following week for the story and party that come next.

I mention this book now so that you have time to order it as you plan for Pentecost on May 15.—Carolyn C. Brown, author of Forbid Them Not, and Gateways to Heaven, worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com


The Day When God Made Church immediately draws readers of all ages into the Acts 2 story of Pentecost. Haig’s illustrations give deep meaning to Hutto’s child-like words that tell how the disciples wait…wait…WAIT in the Upper Room. At first, the reader sees men, women, children, and animals portrayed plainly in solid colors. The first inkling of the Holy Spirit comes visually with a bright blue spark, and the patterned orange flame of an ancient lamp. One turn of the page makes the reader gasp in awe at the Holy Spirit’s presence: joyful patterns of bright colors fill the pages, swirling around the people, dog, cow, and dove!

The story continues as colors visually represent the Holy Spirit’s wind and fire, warming the disciples’ hearts. Blue swirls turn into drops of rain filled with words from a host of different languages, eliciting sounds like drumbeats and whispers. Young readers will love to interact with these pages as their imaginations, curiosity, and enthusiasm are engaged by a sense of wonder.

The story draws readers into the disciples’ questions: Who is the Holy Spirit? …  What is happening? … Why do we feel so different? … Why do we hear so many languages?

These questions beautifully set the scene for remembering Jesus, as well as for Peter’s definition of the church: We are a family that shares, eats, and worships together. The story ends with a jubilant "Alleluia!" and a visual invitation to the Lord’s table, evoking the famous Holy Trinity icon.—Alexis Kruza, Building Faith


The story of Pentecost is so familiar that a summary is not necessary.  This, however, is a first person narrative which invites us to be participants.  This is a more comprehensive telling of Acts 2 than is usual for children.  It includes Joel’s prophesy, (without identifying it), Peter’s sermon, a reference to baptism, and the shared life of the new community as well as the gift of the Spirit and varied languages.  Some of the story is omitted but the essential outline of Pentecost is here, enriched by metaphors and highlighted by feelings. The story is told in simple, direct sentences with print variation and color contributing to the excitement.  But without pictures or print, it’s easy to hear this story as an aural experience.  The art adds details about this being an intergenerational group and animals are present. The author makes a number of suggestions about how to celebrate Pentecost on the concluding page. Pentecost is relatively free from the cultural takeover of Christmas and Easter.

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