Activity 4: The Ritual of Offertory
Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Items used by the congregation for offertory collection, such as baskets or pledge envelopes
- Optional: Leader Resource 2, Letter to Parents
Preparation for Activity
- If you are unfamiliar with the offertory ritual at the congregation, learn the words, music, and actions that are used so you can describe the ritual to the group.
- Review Alternate Activity 1, Leadership in Action - Collecting the Offertory and Alternate Activity 2, Leadership in Action - Sharing the Plate. If you plan to do one or both of these alternate activities, make arrangements with worship leaders before this session, and use this activity to introduce the children in the plan you have made.
Description of Activity
The ritual of offertory is explained.
Ask if anyone has ever seen people sharing money during a worship service, at your congregation or someplace else. If children do not, explain how offertory is collected in your congregation. Use any visual aids you have collected. Does the congregation always say the same words, either before or after? Is music played or a hymn sung? What happens after the collection?
Point out that offertory is a ritual for giving "treasure" to the congregation. Ask:
Offertory is not the only way to give, but it must be an important way, since we have a ritual for it. Why is it important to collect money for the congregation? How is giving money-or time, or talent-a sign of our faith?
If you will facilitate Alternate Activity 1, Leadership in Action - Collecting the Offertory and/or Alternate Activity 2, Leadership in Action -- Sharing the Plate, tell the group about the plan you have made and (optional) distribute the letter to parents you have prepared.
If the group will not do either alternate activity, invite the children to notice the offertory ritual next time they attend a worship service.