Camping Out (Lenten Series: Almsgiving)

Transfiguration of the Lord
Lent 2014
Year A

During this Lent, we offer a series focussing on the Lenten Discipline of Almsgiving. Beginning with an introduction to almsgiving on Transfiguration Sunday, we will connect each Sunday’s lectionary to a different area of need. Children will bring an appropriate item of support and also be told what to bring the next week. This is still a work in progress, so PLEASE offer suggestions!

Here is a quick outline…for a more detailed outline, click here.

March 2: Transfiguration
Introduction to Almsgiving
March 9: 1st Lent
Fresh Bread or Canned Goods
March 16: 2nd Lent
March 23: 3rd Lent
Money for Water Wells
Water for South Sudan: See Linda Sue Park’s Newbery Award winning book A Long Walk to Water (2010); appropriate for grades 5-12
Living Waters for the World
(Avoid collecting bottled water due to the problems of the bottles ending up in landfills…)
March 30: 4th Lent
old eyeglasses and new reading glasses
See your local Shelters or the Lions Clubs
April 6: 5th Lent
??? Still trying to figure out the focus
April 13: Palm Sunday
??? Still trying to figure out the focus
April 20: Easter
Cut flowers

And now for the Sermon…

mountaintopfor Sunday, March 2, 2014
Transfiguration Sunday
Year A
lectionary focus: Matthew 17:1-9
almsgiving: Next week, we will collect fresh bread and take to the Women’s Shelter that day.

Today’s Bible story is one of my favorites. Jesus and His friends go camping. They climb high up in the mountains and everything is wonderful. Peter says, “It is good for us to be here.” And he wants to build houses and stay there. I understand Peter’s feelings. When I am happy and with my friends and everything is wonderful, I just want to stay in that place, too. We are called to love God and enjoy Him forever…and to share that joy. Sharing that joy takes some work. And so in today’s Bible story, Jesus and His friends come back down the mountain.

This week, we start the Season of Lent. During Lent, we prepare ourselves for the mystery and joy of Easter by working on the disciplines of our faith. This year we are focussing on the Lenten Discipline of Almsgiving. Everybody say Almsgiving. Almsgiving is when we give people the things they need to live. Did you hear I said NEED to live? We all need food; we all need water; we need clothing; and we need shelter. And some people don’t have these things. There are people around the world and around the block without these basic things. Each Sunday during Lent, we will talk about a different need. We will also preview the next Sunday’s topic so you will know what thing to bring to church as your almsgiving.

Next Sunday, we will hear a Bible story about bread. I want you to think about bread this week. I want you to notice when you eat bread. I want you to count how many times you see or eat or smell or make or think about bread this week. And next Sunday, I want you to bring a loaf of bread to church. It can be your favorite loaf of bread from the store, or it can be a loaf of bread you and your dad make; it can be whole wheat or white or a long baguette. I am sure you will encounter bread a very high number of times this week. A week can be long; so on Thursday, we will send an email to remind you to get your loaf of bread for next Sunday.

Jesus and His friends did lots of work to help people. We also can work to help others. During this Season of Lent, let us answer God’s call to share His joy by meeting the needs of others.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
During this Season of Lent,
help us
to think about the needs of others.
Help us
to work for the needs of others.

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

3 responses to “Camping Out (Lenten Series: Almsgiving)

  1. What did you end up using for the last two weeks?

    • Hello Katherine!
      It does seem that I didn’t edit this to specify how we finished out the series! Here’s the complete list with links to the sermons for each:
      1st Lent we collected bread
      2nd Lent we collected socks
      3rd Lent we collected money for Living Waters of the World
      4th Lent we collected used eyeglasses for the Lions Club
      5th Lent we collected dog/cat food and treats for the Humane Society
      Palm Sunday we collected toiletries for the Women’s Shelter
      Easter we collected flowers and delivered them to our shut-ins (The sanctuary was stunningly beautiful!!)

      I hope this helps!! Thank you for contacting me!

  2. Thank you!! I love this idea!

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