umcgiving

Sept. 6—Christian Education Sunday (Annual Conference Determines Date and Offering)

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.

A Moment for Mission

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” —Matthew 18:20, NRSV

Unsure about resuming Sunday school classes after the COVID-19 lockdown? Here are 10 tips for continuing Christian education when in-person classes aren’t safe or practical.

Conduct children’s worship via Facebook Live or Instagram Live and invite families to join you. Email discussion guides to reinforce the message. 

Encourage Sunday school classes to meet via Zoom. It’s a great alternative to meeting in person. 

Videotape yourself reading a Bible story and text it to families. Post on Facebook and create watch parties.

Download the Marco Polo app to share scriptural passages, read Bible stories and receive prayer requests. 

Email a printable Bible story coloring page for families to post on social media, tagging the church. 

Suggest that children learn a Bible passage, the Lord’s Prayer or the Ten Commandments to share later with the congregation.

Offer Drive-Thru Sunday School, which still promotes social distancing. Children’s leaders prepare bags on a table outside the church for families to pick up at a specific time.

Challenge families to take a walk and talk about the beauty of God’s creation. Plan an at-home scavenger hunt where children find things that relate to a Bible story.

Encourage families to make Bible story videos and text them to you to share. 

Invite children to write thank-you cards to first responders, pastors, schoolteachers and at-risk members.

No matter how you celebrate Christian Education Sunday this year, your observance can be exciting!

—Adapted from “Coronavirus: 12 Practical Tips for a Productive Kids Ministry” by Jenni Carter, Georgia Baptist Mission Board. Used by permission.

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, where two or three are gathered in your name, you are present. Remind us that no matter where we study your word and pray, you are there. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost— Our God and our Deliverer, as you protected the Israelites in their times of trials, brought them out of Egypt and led them through the wilderness, so you have guided and protected us in our time of trials, anxiety, and uncertainty. In our bringing of our offering today, we remember that in the first Passover, it was the act of an offering that identified households your people, protected by you. We give these gifts in thanksgiving for your care for us, in hope for your continued presence, and as a sign of our desire to follow. In our Savior’s name, we pray. Amen. (Exodus 12:1-14 )

From United Methodist Men: Almighty and everlasting God: We repent for our sins and proclaim Your son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior. We are united in the spirit of eternal gratitude and thankfulness for His suffering and we are engaged in a ceaseless celebration of His resurrection. We embrace Your power, manifesting it in all we say and do, generously sharing Your love and healing with every life that we touch. Keep us forever faithful, forgiving, and obedient demonstrating our fear and reverence of You in this fellowship. Protect us and guide us, Oh Lord. Heal us and redeem us and those we love. We praise You; we glorify You and we lean into Your word in the name Jesus who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit - now and forevermore. Amen. – Louis Johnson, North Georgia

Newsletter Nugget
When I was a young Sunday school student, I learned Psalm 23. Many decades later, its words of assurance still speak to me.

What are your favorite Sunday school memories? Gathering with caring friends? Learning about God’s love? Discovering how to be in mission?

Christian Education Sunday, observed on a date determined by each United Methodist annual conference, calls the church as the people of God to be open to growth and learning as disciples of Jesus Christ. An offering may be received for Christian education within the conference. Discipleship Ministries coordinates the observance.

In a world vastly changed by COVID-19, Christian education is bound to look different. It may be dominated, at least for a while, by remote learning and meeting opportunities. But Jesus’ words in Matthew assure us that no matter where we gather to study God’s word, we are not alone. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”