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Thursday, April 3, 2014

MAKING EASTER MEMORABLE FOR KIDS IN OR OUT OF CHURCH

You say that you want practical ideas to make memories of Easter stick with kids, whether in or out of church that day? Let me share ideas others have shared with me that will do just that. 

Rev. Hal Pease (retired) of Presbyterian, Md., pointed me to a website filled with home-based activities for every day of Holy Week. I encourage you to click on the link for “children’s ministry.com.” For example: On Tuesday of Holy Week, the website recommends that every member of the family begin to observe acts of mercy done by one person for another. The site shows how to create a memory bank of merciful acts using bread and thorns. Save the memories for recall on Easter Sunday, in memory of Jesus’ mercy toward us. Thanks, Hal, for this lead.

Thanks to Evergreen United Methodist Church

Now, quickly to a worship concept from Evergreen United Methodist Church. The parishioners there have planned a fun public Easter worship celebration in a public park on Easter Sunday. They'll incorporate an egg hunt. You'll see wonderful photos from last year's Easter worship event at the link above. I can definitely envision passersby seeing the event and joining in. Evergreen is meeting out of doors. It's a natural way for them to build and enlarge community (as it was for Wesley.) 

Those of us who have warm sanctuaries might make Easter even more memorable, especially for kids, by following Evergreen out of doors. This reminds me of the Easter sunrise services of my youth, but an afternoon gathering like Evergreen's is probably more accessible for the exhausted moms and dads who need a morning of rest. Thank you, Rev. Meredith Brown and Evergreen UMC for leading us out of the box.

Finally, an idea from my childhood. Annually, as long as they were able, mom and dad hosted family members and other guests at Easter dinners in their home. To make it special, Mom would distribute verses of Easter-related Scripture and poetry, one slip of paper to each person. When seated but before the dining began, Mom would ask each diner to read his or her verse. Then Dad offered a meal blessing. I recall many memorable, even unforgettable experiences like this in Growing Green Two Ways! Perspectives from growing up mid-century in the Pacific Northwest. And there are many such memories. 

I hope the practical ideas I've shared will help you in making your Easter celebration memorable for the young.

Do you have practical ideas for creating a memorable Easter with and for kids? Please share your ideas in a comment. And a blessed Holy Week and Easter to you and yours.

PS:  Click on"1 Comment" button below for the exemplary Holy Week celebrations at Indian Fields UMC.

1 comment:

Darrell Reeck said...

Rev. John Preston Grimsley

At Indian Field United Methodist, we are having our children have a Palm Sunday Parade and wave Palms. Afterwards they will sing and Rev.Grimsley will have a children's sermon. Then they are off to children's church for Palm Sunday activities. On that afternoon we are having an Easter celebration with songs, crafts, refreshments, egg hunt and pictures with the Easter Bunny. On Wednesday we are having a family Easter Celebration with stations on the events of Holy Week. The activities will include information about the event, crafts, refreshments, songs. We will have refreshments afterwards. We are joining Harleyville UMC on Thursday night for a Maundy Thursday Service. On Good Friday we have a Crucifixion Drama on three crosses on the front lawn of our church. Afterwards we are having a Tenebrae Service. On Easter Sunday we share a Sunrise Service with Duncan Chapel UMC. This year we will host with the service on the front lawn of our church with Rev. Bob Lee leading the service. Afterwards we have breakfast. At 10:00 we are having a Children's Easter Celebration in our fellowship hall with a breakfast snack and activities. The children will sing in our service again before heading off to children's church. If you would like to see some of the activities we are doing with the children, go to Pinterest - LaSandra S. Grimsley and look at the Easter and Easter - Sunday School boards.