Veterans Day, Thanksgiving & Christmas Tips
By Gail Marsh
Veterans Day (Friday, November 11)
- Check out Ministry Matters for a pastor’s prayer and a responsive prayer to use during your Veterans Day celebration (the article is from 2012, so don’t let it throw you when you read that “this year, the eleventh itself is a Sunday”). Plan to give CTA’s Celebrating Those in Faithful Service key chains to the veterans in attendance.
- Consider showing a Christian Veterans Day video during Sunday services on November 13. Hyper Pixels Media has a variety of choices - just pick the film that best fits your church.
Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 24)
- During the month of November, invite churchgoers to use your Facebook page to note specific blessings from God. For added fun, encourage everyone to post a photo, too.
- Let staff members know you are thankful for them. On self-stick notes, write specific ways in which God blesses you through your co-workers. Secretly post the notes on computer screens, chairs, or office doors throughout the month.
- Honor your volunteers with CTA’s Overflowing with Thanks products this month. Think especially about those faithful workers that we often take for granted like ushers, greeters, and coffee or snack providers. Also remember those who serve behind the scenes like sound and video techs, altar guild members, and custodians. Your volunteers are sure to be encouraged for further service to the Lord!
- Gather wrapping paper, ribbons, and tape. Then head for the mall on the day after Thanksgiving to offer free gift wrapping for shoppers. Be sure to give each shopper a flyer detailing your church’s upcoming Christmas celebrations and activities.
- Gather the children at your church and present a fun skit based on the story of the first Thanksgiving. As an adult or older child reads the text, children may act out the scene. Consider including the skit in your Thanksgiving church service this year.
Christmas (Sunday, December 25)
- Don’t stress about your children’s Christmas service - CTA offers FREE downloadable Christmas services. Consider purchasing small Christmas gifts for your performers - the Starry, Starry Night 4-piece value pack for young performers and the Starry, Starry Night activity book for older children.
- If your church family has a limited number of children, consider presenting “The ABC’s of Christmas.” This service requires very little advanced preparation. Volunteers can make handheld posters - one for each letter in the alphabet - and let one child at a time carry the letter poster across the stage. A pastor or other adult can read the script aloud.
- Christmas can be a very lonely time for shut-ins and people who are hospitalized. Give them some Christmastime encouragement with a Christmas card “shower.” Post the address or email information for each homebound or hospitalized person and enlist congregational members to send cards or Christmas greetings during the month of December. Or, consider purchasing boxes of assorted Christmas cards. Pre-address the envelopes. Let worshippers choose an envelope after weekly services and instruct them to write a personal note before putting it in the mail.
- Surprise a missionary family with CTA’s O Holy Night gift set. The gift tote included in this set is large enough for you to include additional gifts - for the family’s children, for example. Be sure to mail the assembled gift bag well in advance so that it will reach your special family by Christmas.
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