Activity 1: The Wonder Box
Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Wonder Box (See Session 1 for instructions.)
- Copy of congregational directory
- Optional: Other items, including pictures of members, that represent your faith community
- A few pennies
Preparation for Activity
- Obtain a copy of your congregational directory, pictures of people participating in a church event, and/or other item(s) to indicate to the children that the session will focus on their faith community and the people in it.
- Place congregational items and pennies in the Wonder Box.
Description of Activity
With the children still in a circle around the chalice, show the Wonder Box. Invite them to guess what gift could be in this big, beautifully wrapped box. Take some guesses. Then pass the box around for children to open and find the pennies and items representing the congregation inside. The pennies represent money and the congregational item(s) represent the faith community. Ask the children:
What do you think money has to do with our congregation?
Affirm responses. See if the children can find their names or pictures in the directory. Ask if they know the minister, religious educator and other staff are paid. What else is needed to help the congregation function? Guide the children to talk about how the congregation operates. What does it take to maintain the church building? Who buys the paper, markers and other things they see in their meeting room? Tell them:
The members of our congregation are the stewards. We are all responsible for taking care of our church and that can mean giving some money or some time.
If pictures of congregants engaged in congregation activities are available, discuss the importance of volunteering as a way to nurture and sustain the faith community.
Tell the children they will learn two ways to be stewards of their congregation. The first, involves stewardship with money (donating to the penny jar) and the second involves stewardship with time and talents (making gifts for adults and/or children who are visitors or prospective new members).