Faith can be described as our grateful response to God’s grace in our lives.
Collaborating Across Ministries
In conjunction with the fall stewardship campaign, Children’s Ministries created a simple lesson and art project on the topic of gratitude for the first day of Sunday school, though this project would be appropriate for any time of year. Individual works were combined into a larger group piece that was unveiled at the launch of the stewardship campaign titled, “All of Me, All of Us.”
Stewardship is Rooted in Gratitude and Generosity
This lesson was designed to be quick, meaningful, and grounded in gratitude for God’s ongoing love, presence, and care. Faith can be described as our grateful response to God’s grace in our lives. Each Sunday we practice faith rooted in gratitude as we: learn and grow in Sunday school, worship and praise God in chapel, love and care for our neighbor and others, and offer our gifts of time and treasure to God.
Faith can be described as our grateful response to God’s grace in our lives. Each Sunday we practice faith rooted in gratitude as we: learn and grow in Sunday school, worship and praise God in chapel, love and care for our neighbor and others, and offer our gifts of time and treasure to God.
Each class read Matthew 22: 34-40, the Greatest Commandment, and discussed the ways we love God. Then we reflected upon the gifts that God gives us, not only the extras we enjoy (toys, games and material possessions), but the gifts that make our lives possible (air, water, food, shelter, and the science which governs the processes of the universe) and the gifts that make life rich and meaningful (friends and family, creativity and rest, work and service that impacts others). Expressing gratitude by saying “thank you” to God is one way to love God.
Each child was given a paper circle, oil pastels or sharpies, and asked to draw something for which they are thankful. High school leaders helped children cover their circle with a watercolor wash. By offering two different sized circles and different drawing materials based on age, we ended up with a variety of richly colored images.
Communal Art Project
Adults cut out the circles and mounted them on spray-painted cardboard pizza rounds. The circles were assembled in a random pattern using hot glue. Styrofoam scraps were added to the back of a few circles, adding more depth to the finished piece. Each individual circle, representing a child, was added to the larger cloud of circles, representing the community’s gratitude as the foundation of our stewardship theme, “All of Me, All of Us”.
The art project was displayed in the fellowship area using removable sticky wall hooks alongside a written description of the project. Adults enjoyed viewing the numerous things children are grateful for- from pizza and chocolate to family and the earth. We hope that the piece inspires gratitude for all who were able to create and see it during the stewardship campaign.
Christine V. Hides is a the Director of Christian Education at Kenilworth Union Church, and author of the blog, Bless Each One. As a commissioned deacon in the United Methodist Church,she is called to develop faith formation resources that nurture imagination and participation in God’s vision of peace and justice.