Pockets editor Lynn W. Gilliam provides several ideas for sharing Thanksgiving with children and families in a recent blog post for Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church.
What’s not to love about Thanksgiving? For most of us, the day brings time off from work, an abundance of delicious food, and an opportunity to gather with family and friends to share our heartfelt gratitude toward our Creator.
Some churches may have worship services on Thanksgiving Day; others may offer services earlier in the week or be part of a community-wide service of thanksgiving. In addition to these corporate acts of worship, worship in the home can be an important part of helping the whole family experience a deep sense of gratitude to God.
Explore the Psalms of Thanksgiving with Children
Select several psalms of Thanksgiving, such as Psalms 100, 105:1-6, 113:1-4, 117, and 148, to read together to children from the Common English Bible or one of the simple translations recommended from Ministry with Children. Talk about ways the psalmist mentions people expressing thankfulness (praising, shouting, singing, remembering God’s mighty acts, etc.). Talk about some of these and other ways we express thankfulness to God (dancing, praying quietly, creating works of art…). Wonder together with children, and follow up with an activity.
A wonderful Family Thanksgiving Worship Service is available from Pockets Magazine.
“Spiritual vitality in our churches stems from our openness to God’s transforming presence, not in anxious striving. Tending the soul of the congregation starts with attending to God’s presence in our lives as leaders, then bringing the same prayerful openness into the meetings and ministries of the church. Our work is to help the people to pay attention to, listen to, learn from, and live in the Spirit.” Read more.