September 11 - Grandparents Day/World Service Fund (Discipleship Ministries)

Photo credit: GettyImages.
Photo credit: GettyImages.

A Moment for Mission

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” —Psalm 51:10, NRSV

On National Grandparents Day, we honor the grandparents who nurtured us. Asked to recall favorite memories, several now-grown grandchildren reflected on how their grandparents influenced their lives.

“My grandmother would take each granddaughter downtown on the bus and treat us to an ice-cream soda after letting us pick out fabric to sew us a summer dress.”

“A bunch of us—and my grandpa—would go see the White Sox in the middle of the summer, sit in the bleachers, and someone would always get a sunburn, but it was really fun.”

“Every time Grandpa saw a ‘Stop Ahead’ sign, he would say, ‘I don’t see any heads to stop.’”

“Cooking with both of my grandmothers—sweet, smart women who were generous with love and time.”

“When my sister and I stayed with Gramma, we woke up to a metal TV tray next to our beds with a child’s tea set on it. We dressed up, mimicking her British accent and sipping water from our teacups.”

“As she went to work, my grandmother left 5 or 10 cents on the counter for the six of us to share.”

“My grandma’s sugar cookies were the best. Today, my granddaughters and I wear aprons, just like Grandma and I did.”

“My grandmother had a beautiful garden, and I loved taking care of it with her.”

Today is a perfect time to thank your grandparents and strive to inspire others as they did you.

It’s also a good opportunity for your church family to honor them by participating in the #IGiveUMC for grandparents campaign.  Inspire your members to donate to your local church in honor/memory of their grandparents and the faith they passed on to their family using the #IGiveUMC tools to help at: ResourceUMC.org/IGiveUMC

Children’s Message

Prop: Photo of child/ren with grandparent/s (Look for nontraditional images.)

Have you heard of Grandparents Day? It is celebrated on Sept. 11, which is today. Why are grandparents important to you? I’ll bet you have lots of answers.

What do you like to do with your grandparents? We can do many things together. Grandparents can read to us, take us to the park or the zoo or teach us how to bake. Those are just a few ways we can spend time with our grandparents. Can you think of others?

How can we show our grandparents we love them? We can give them hugs, draw pictures for them and simply spend time with them.

What do grandparents teach you? Grandparents are special people who can teach us new things and share God’s love with us.

Let’s say a prayer together: Dear God, thank you for grandparents. Help us to show we care for them every day with kind words, a hug or a pretty picture we drew. We know they are special people in our lives. Amen.

Offertory Prayer

Loving God, thank you for the grandparents who shaped us and taught us so much about navigating life. Help us to nurture the children and youth we encounter. We love you. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Finding the Lost — God of relentless love, the Gospel reminds us of the joy you feel when one of your children chooses the path of repentance and redemption. We picture the celebration in your heart when that choice is made. We also know how prone we are to wander off that path as we pursue those things that satisfy ourselves only. Receive the gifts we offer this day as a sign of our striving to get back on the path that leads us to you. We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, the light on our path! Amen. (Luke 15:1-10)

Newsletter Nugget

Marylee Foster, a member of Hillcrest United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee, recalls one of her most cherished moments as a grandmother.

“My youngest grandson had recently gotten tubes in his ears,” she said. “We were outside, a plane flew over, and he remarked about it. He had never heard that!”

The best part of grandparenting, Foster added, “is sharing time with the grandchild—alone. Enjoying each other. Looking at stuff through their eyes and ears.”

Sue Conder agrees. “You love your grandchildren instantly, as if you gave birth to them yourself. You can love on them, play with them … and then send them home!” she laughed.

Pearl Hann has a simple definition for grandparenting: “Feeling as though you are investing in the development of a beautiful person.”

Today is National Grandparents Day. Traditionally observed in the United States on the first Sunday after Labor Day, this celebration began in 1979.

It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and honor the people who help shape us.