As a family with young kids, we constantly strive to instill thankfulness, throughout the year but specifically around Thanksgiving.
The good news for you, and my family, is that I married a brilliant lady, a teacher by trade and fun person by lifestyle. Years ago she found the book, “Thanksgiving, A Time to Remember”, and set up a lesson plan around it. Each night of Thanksgiving week, we read a section, followed by acting it out. The lesson finishes on Thanksgiving, with a final reading and an activity centered on thankfulness, or gratitude.
This great book teaches about the history of the settlers, their faith, and their rocky start with the native people. It is even arranged for different age groups, so you can read/teach older kids or younger or both. The book ends with a Thanksgiving feast, food of all kinds and types; breads, vegetables, meat and desserts!
The gratitude activity is actually based on remembering the year before; the faith to succeed and the scarcity of resources.
Food was so scarce the year before, that in order to make it through the cold winter, settlers were each rationed a few kernels of corn daily. Daily. In remembrance of that tough winter, each of the settlers takes 5 kernels of corn and shares what they are grateful for.
We mimic this activity in our family.
Wherever we are and whoever we are with, we each get five kernels and a fancy sheet of paper. Everyone then writes down and shares five things that they are thankful for. We share our gratitude for what God had done for us and our love for each other. There is also the random mention of Star Wars or Pokémon, but Jesus is well represented. A cup is passed around; as you share your items, you put in your kernels one at a time.
In a time of celebration, our family is reminded that the pies, the food, the football and the naps are not the most important part of this holiday. Rather, these things are an intentional celebration of those things we are thankful for throughout the year.
Your family may have its own traditions that focus on gratitude and thankfulness. Or maybe you don’t and it’s time to start one. Either way, make time to be intentional with your family, and create opportunities to share what is important, what this season is about. This is a great lesson to start the holiday season. They may blow you off at the beginning, but they will see the benefits. May you and yours be gratefully blessed this Thanksgiving season!
Paul (aka Mr. Brouse to kids at MCC) is MCC's Children's Ministry leader, husband to Mindy Brouse and the father of 7.
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MCC Elders and Connectors are hosting a Starting Point Lunch on January 13th after 2nd service. The luncheon is a great way to learn more about MCC, ask questions and meet new people! We encourage anyone who is considering making MCC their church home to attend and get connected! Contact Elizabeth to RSVP today.
For any ladies interested in prophetic literature or wanting to begin a Bible Study in the New Year, MCC is starting a new Bible Study in January! What is the heart behind the roar of the Lion from Zion? In this 16-week study through the book of Amos, beginning January 7th and meeting Monday mornings at 10 a.m., you will learn about a loving God who prepares His people to live forever. We hope you will consider joining us for this fantastic study! Child care is provided. Please contact Elizabeth Allan to learn more.
If you have ever felt like you don't fit in, that you aren't good enough, that everyone else has it together while you struggle to even show up, then we invite you to join us. We want you to learn that we have a God who lifts the pain of worthlessness and rejection! Starting Thursday, January 17th, Sara Ghormley and Elizabeth Allan will lead discussions as we prayerfully work through Ed Welch's book, "Shame Interrupted". We begin at 6:30 and end at 8, and will meet for 16 weeks. Cost is $16 per person, but scholarships are available. Please contact Elizabeth and let her know so she can order a book for you.
Would you like to learn how to respond to conflict Biblically? Pastor Frank Malizzo, Elizabeth Allan and Spencer Brown are hosting a Peacemaking as Evangelism Workshop at MCC on January 25th-26th. The class will highlight Biblical tools that can be used for work, in the community, in the home and as a tool for evangelism. “Conflict presents unique opportunities to serve other people, we can demonstrate the love of Christ and give witness to the gospel even to people who are attacking us.” Ken Sande. Contact Elizabeth to learn more.