What about for Year A?
I’m thinking of focusing on the discipline of Almsgiving. The lectionary for each of this year’s Sundays lends itself to donating things people need.
March 2: Transfiguration Sunday: The Lenten discipline of Almsgiving needs to be introduced here so that all understand to be bringing something each Sunday. Of course, the church newsletter, website, and bulletin will help people be prepared for the upcoming Sunday and the whole season. If using One Great Hour of Sharing, pass out instructions and materials. There are various Lenten calendars…Do you have a favorite? lectionary focus: Matthew 17:1-9–Wouldn’t it be nice to stay here? Jesus calls us to help others.
March 9: 1st Lent–lectionary focus: Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus tempted in the Wilderness…bring canned good,because I don’t think bread would store well at a shelter? But check your local organizations; loaves of fresh crusty premium bread might be welcome.
March 16: 2nd Lent–lectionary focus: John 3:1-17. Either focus on Nicodemus going out into the night to meet Jesus or that God sent His son into the world. We bring socks to give to the needy so that they may also go out into the world comfortably.
March 23: 3rd Lent–lectionary focus: John 4:5-42. Jesus and the Woman at the well…bring bottled water. I would love to find a way to support the people in Charleston, West Virginia, or in drought-stricken California. Any ideas? Of course, there are many mission organizations (such as Living Waters of the World) that provide wells and water filtration around the world.
March 30: 4th Lent–lectionary focus: John 9:1-41. Jesus gives sight to the blind man. Bring eyeglasses. Lions Clubs collect old glasses to give to those in need, but I think various shelters would need low-level reading glasses. Check your local organizations.
April 6: 5th Lent–lectionary focus: John 11:1-45. What to do with Lazarus? This story is always a struggle for me with children (and adults) as they think literally and want grandma to come back. Do you have any ideas, suggestions, thoughts on how to relate this for children and connect to almsgiving? Maybe some organization that is helping to bring back life to an area? Maybe support to a particular 3rd world country? Haiti? Arbor Day Foundation? Some way to plant trees locally? Write letters to missionaries? Draw pictures of support for missionaries?
April 13: Palm Sunday–lectionary focus: ? Stumped again. If doing OGHS or other almsgiving, collect the money this Sunday? But what about the money for Holy Week? But shaking the boxes of money along with Hosanna songs would be a great percussive. If not OGHS or other program, what about focusing on the donkey that Jesus rode, and give money or dog/cat food to local animal shelters? Any other ideas?
April 20: Easter–lectionary focus: John 20:1-18. Bring cut flowers…create bouquets around the sanctuary…or cover a cross with blooms…then deliver the arrangements to your church family shut ins.
I’m picturing that each Sunday as the children come down to the chancel steps, they will bring the particular items. These will be placed in a basket that will stay down front throughout that service as a visual reminder of the offering. (I think the items should be given to their respective organizations each week…but could we possibly keep them all and donate them after Easter?) Of course, people get busy and even the best of us forget…so I suggest having extras of the items to hand to families without so that the children will have something to bring down front and place in the basket.
These are my thoughts so far…what suggestions do you have?