SummerofServiceOur church theme this year of DISCIPLESHIP encourages our families to faithfully participate in worship, be involved in fellowship opportunities, and grow in our faith intergenerationally. Each summer our youth and adults are headed out on multiple local and international mission trips.  Our children share in the journey by praying over and sending out each mission trip member with a bandanna which we then see in the multiple photos that follow. The children decorate lunch bags for the MUST Ministries Summer Lunch Program and fill lunch bags on our Super Summer Lunch Prep Sunday in June.  But what about the day-to-day opportunities of being a blessing and serving in our own neighborhoods?

It’s hard enough for Moms and Dads to keep up with the hustle and bustle of swim practice, VBS, and road trips. Yet, we wanted to turn the focus of our little people from themselves to others. SO, we put together a bag of goodies to take the supply gathering stress away and offer ways kids can serve this summer without packing, without shots (required for some international mission trips), and without a ton of $$ as they go about their summer.

SummerOfServiceBagsA swift look on pinterest under ‘random acts of kindness’ and a few blogs put me on a path of creativity. I gathered goodies from the 2nd floor supply room, ordered a small handbook of service projects online, and made up a list of children’s books focusing on kindness and we are set.

The pdf with the starter ideas is here:  Summer of Service Bags

I gathered lists and printables from several places including 100 Random Acts of Kindness for KidsRandom Acts of Kindness notesRandom Acts of Kindness tags, and Light ’em Up.

The Saints Book Club list for June and July I resourced from here. We added to the list The 100 Dresses by Eleanor Estes, A Little Rees Specht Cultivates Kindness by Richard E. Specht, Jr., and Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.  All the books should be found at the local library and focus on kindness. There is a bonus: read Wonder by R.J. Palacio (the one with the added ‘Julian’ chapter.) Eight books for June and the other eight books for July. At our Saints Book Club gatherings this summer, we will include a service component.

Some new things will be offered at the beginning of July.  For now, this will get the creative juices flowing of our kids as they adopt a summer where it’s less about me and more about we. We’ll post stories and photos in the summer newsletters as our families serve together this summer.

How will your families serve together this summer?

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10