Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Blank greeting cards with plain fronts (see Preparation)
- Envelopes for cards
- Art supplies for decorating the cards, such as construction paper, scissors, markers, glue, small letter stencils, glitter, and pictures cut from magazines
- Tables (see Preparation)
- Newspaper, plastic tablecloths, or other means of covering the tables
- Optional: Newsprint, easel, and markers
Preparation for Activity
- Obtain plain white or cream-colored greeting cards, blank on the front and inside. You can purchase them at most craft or office supply stores, or you can make your own by cutting letter-size card stock in half and folding each half into a card. Be sure the cards will fit into the envelopes. Provide enough cards and envelopes for each participant to have at least one of each, plus some extras.
- Arrange the room - or arrange for a room - so that participants can work at tables. Cover the tables with newspapers or plastic tablecloths.
- Gather the art supplies. Depending upon the level of comfort of your "artists," you might cut out letters, shapes, and pictures that participants can choose from rather than having to make their own.
- You may wish to make a sample card ahead of time.
Description of Activity
Point out that generally, we feel much more gratitude than we express. In an almost entirely volunteer organization like a congregation, many members share their gifts on a regular basis.
In the last few weeks, was there a person in the congregation who showed generosity or a random act of kindness? Think of people who have gone out of their way to be helpful in some way, whether to you personally, to someone you know, or to the congregation in general.
You may wish to invite the group to brainstorm together to identify generous people. For example, they might name specific people who served as ushers in the worship service, made coffee, or taught children's classes. List the names on newsprint, if desired.
Invite participants to each make a thank-you card for one of the people who showed generosity. To ensure that all participants don't choose the same person from the list, you can solicit volunteers for writing to each person. Distribute art materials and encourage participants to decorate the cards as they wish. Let them know that they have just fifteen minutes to create a card.
When participants have finished decorating their cards, ask them to write a brief thank-you note inside the card identifying the kindness they are grateful for. They may sign the card or remain anonymous, as they wish.
Ask participants to put their card in an envelope and address it. They may mail the cards, give them to the intended receivers the next time they see them, or give them to the leaders to deliver.
Including All Participants
If you have relatively new members in your group who are unable to think of someone in the congregation, let them know that they may make a card for someone outside of the congregation. Adapt the art materials and decorating methods as needed to suit each participant's physical abilities.