Summers are a lazy and relaxed time. School is out for children and their regular activities are on hold. For most parishes, their regular programming is on hiatus. This gives volunteers a needed rest and allows for a renewing for the coming program year.
Unfortunately, for most parishes, this means a slowing down in attendance. It does not have to be. Adding some summer programs can add excitement and have children waking up on Sunday morning begging to go to church. Last year, I added some special Sundays that really created a buzz. This year I repeated two and switched one, to keep the excitement level up.
One of the programs was simple and so much fun. We used the feast day of St. Paul, to have a Superhero Sunday. We encouraged everyone to dress as a superhero. It was so cute to see even the babies dressed in costume. The adults, also, got into the theme. During Children’s Chapel, I told the story of St. Paul and talked about having the super powers of faith, hope, and love. I discussed how we can have those super powers, too. Each child received aSuper Hero Certificate. After the service, we played Super Hero games and had snacks. We used Silly String to play Spiderman tag. I made a hero obstacle course. We played Kryptonite keep away, too. Everyone loved it and the children were excited to wear their costumes to church. Some children even made up their own super hero and costume.
Another program was a water event. We encouraged people to dress in Hawaiian clothing. During Children’s Chapel, I told water stories from the Bible (Noah, Jonah, Moses, Jesus Baptism, Jesus Calms the Storm, and Woman at the Well). After the service, we played water games (children got drenched), so people were encouraged to bring swimsuits and towels. I used a water limbo game to be the animals (had to make a sound no one else made to get into ark). I used a slip-and-slide to slide through the Red Sea from Exodus. We used water balloons for the Baptism and storm stories and ended with a water relay race for the woman at the well. We had popsicles for snack.
The final program was an intergenerational event after the service. I will discuss it in another blog.
Summer is a chance to experiment, welcome newcomers, and have fun, while sharing God’s love. The liturgical season is green, green for growing. We can continue to grow in our faith, even when we are taking a rest.
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