By The Reverend Christine V. Hides

Did you know that there are some presents so big that nobody notices them? They are so huge that they are hard to see. They are so hard to see that the only way to know that they are there is to go clear back to the beginning or maybe a little before the beginning…
Godly Play, Creation Story.

So began yesterday’s story of creation for the preschool—first grade classes. During the discussion the children identified the importance of gifts that are alive like pets, families, and trees. During the wondering time I pointed to the seven pictures, one for each day of creation, and asked if there were any that we did not need. Could we take away plants and trees? No! They make air to breathe. Could we take away light? No! Nothing would grow. The children were adamant that these gifts from God are necessary for life.

Taking time to explore these often unnoticed gifts with children fills me with a deep sense of gratitude and joy. Gratitude and joy well up when we sit by the lake, or take in a mountain view, or walk through the quiet woods. Gratitude and joy fill our hearts when our toddlers cuddle in close and when our college students text us, “ILY.” Gratitude for the gifts we receive from God is the source of our generosity.

Gratitude and Generosity are the faith superpowers we will explore on Superhero Sunday, September 29. Children are invited to dress as their hero. One girl asked if she could dress as her mom. “Yes!” is my answer. Dress as someone who inspires you with the good they do in the world.

Above is a sneak preview of the artwork begun on Homecoming Sunday. The big reveal will be this Sunday, September 29. One hundred and twenty circles are decorated with images of what the children are grateful for. May their recognition of God’s great gifts fill our hearts, open our eyes, and inspire our generosity in this stewardship season.

Activity: Joy and Gratitude with the Family

Brene Brown talks about the research behind the relationship between joy and gratitude and how tangible practices have brought joy to her family life in this 3-minute video.

Have a family discussion about how you say thank you to God with gifts of service, finances, and material goods. Looking for a family volunteer opportunity? Find one using the Kenilworth Union Church searchable volunteer database.