FAMILY FAITH AT HOME 11/19/17

by Lori Robinson

Categories: Children's Ministry

The week of November 19th – During the month of November, your family is invited to focus on the virtue of gratitude and reflect on how you can appreciate the ways in which others have helped you. Find a time this week to gather as a family, say a prayer, listen to or read a prompt, respond as a family to what you have heard and then act on the suggestion for the week.

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November Virtue            Gratitude: letting others know you see how they’ve helped you.

What is a virtue?             A virtue is something that God does in us to change the world around us.

GATHER                               together in prayer

LISTEN                                  through scripture; readings; stories; music; videos

RESPOND                            to what you have heard

ACT                                          in service to what God is calling you to

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 GATHER

Gather together as a family and pray this prayer of thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Prayer

Our God you have created a wondrous place in which to live.

With childlike eyes we see the beauty and grandeur

of mountain and forest, of river and seashore.

We marvel at the infinite variety of species that form the jigsaw of life

birds and beasts, flowers and trees.

We give thanks for the variety of cultures that weave the tapestry of humanity

east and west, north and south.

We give thanks that in the midst of all this you have a place for us

and we give thanks for the variety of our own lives

things we have done and things we have learnt,

for those we love and those who care for us.

We give thanks for the variety of ways in which people serve us

with advice and learning, with skills and training,

with concern and understanding, with trust and sharing.

We give thanks for all we have received

and that we are also given the opportunity to serve others.

Grant us the vision of who we are and what we can offer others in your name.   Amen.

(Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand) http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-ministers/worship-resources/special-services/stewardship/prayers-of-thanksgiving

LISTEN

Have one person in your family read Psalm 100:1-5. This Bible passage can be found online at Bible Gateway via this link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+100%3A1-5&version=NRSV 

Watch this YouTube video called “An Experiment in Gratitude”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg

RESPOND

In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget to show gratitude. In the psalm you read, we’re reminded to give thanks for God’s enduring love.  God is always there for us and one way God supports us is through the people who help us. There are people – grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, teachers, bosses, co-workers, classmates – that really make a difference in our lives. Who are some of the people who’ve really made a difference in your life?  As a family, talks about the people who have influenced your lives in significant ways and why they’re important to you.

ACT

This week have each family member contact (call, e-mail, text, send a note, etc.) a person who has been influential in their life. Let the person know why they are important and thank them for being a part of your life.

Optional activity – Once everyone has done this task, talk about it as a family. Was it hard or easy to reach out to the person?  How did you feel about sharing your gratitude and saying thank you?  Where there any surprises that you didn’t anticipate?    

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Food for Thought – Quotes about gratitude

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.   Marcel Proust

To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His Love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.  Thomas Merton

The compassionate life is a grateful life, and actions born out of gratefulness are not compulsive but free, not somber, but joyful, not fanatical but liberating. When gratitude is the source of our actions, our giving becomes receiving and those to whom we minister become our ministers.   Unknown