In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught. — Baba Dioum, conservationist
Children understand themselves as "stewards"—that is, people with ability and responsibility to contribute to the care of people and places they love, such as family, friends, their school, the congregation, and the earth we share. Activities encourage participants to see themselves as generous people, with time, talent, and possibly financial resources (treasure) they can share to help take care of the congregation. The ritual for this session is the offertory, and the story is a wisdom tale from Islam about generosity.
In advance, ask children and their families to bring a new or gently used book or toy to donate to the congregation.
Activity 4, The Ritual of Offertory, can be expanded into a multigenerational worship experience. Read Alternate Activity 1, Leadership in Action — Collecting the Offertory and Alternate Activity 2, Leadership in Action — Sharing the Plate. Consider how you might weave one, or both, into Activity 4.
This session will:
- Show that stewardship can be a sign of our faith
- Identify multiple ways to be a steward of family, friends, and the congregation
- Affirm that being generous makes us feel good
- Demonstrate that the congregation has financial needs.
- Practice stewardship of the congregation
- Experience the good feelings being generous can bring, through a joyous song
- Understand the ritual of offertory.
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