Summer 2020 –
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Sunday Service at 10 a.m. – Participate Online
Faith in Action is held on the 4th Sunday of each month. It is a day when the children and youth work together to perform a gracious act of community service. You can see some of their past projects below.
This week in Sunday School, we are learning that faith, hope, and love are important, but love is the greatest act of faith we can do. Our monthly Faith in Action service projects are helpful experiences for living into love as an act of faith and service to others. Mother Teresa said, “Faith in action is love, and love in action is service.” I couldn’t agree more!
June is Pride month. From a faith perspective, the celebration of Pride is about claiming ourselves, each and every child, as beloved children of God. It’s important for our children to know without a doubt that they are born beloved and no matter who they are, where they come from, or what identity they grow into and claim, this belovedness can never be taken away.
As people of faith in the church, we are witnessing a critical moment, the collective growing awareness of the sin of racism that exists in our nation. It is vital for us to listen, to study, to pray and reflect, and to respond with words and action. This month we are giving your family a “choose your own challenge” with a list below to Live Out Love in action together as a family.
Please reach out if you have any questions. We’d love to hear what you choose and how it goes!
[From the CFM Newsletter Vol. 23]
Live Out Love
- Read a Book!
- Choose a book that will help your family to have age-appropriate conversations about racism, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding. Book lists and resources can be found here and also at our Santa Monica Public Library.
- Choose a book that will help your family have discussions about gender and LGBTQ+ discrimination, inclusivity, and it relates to the movements we are seeing today. Book lists and resources can be found at our Santa Monica Public Library.
***SUGGESTIONS FOR TEENS:
- Choose a book that will help your family have conversations about racism, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding. Book lists and resources for youth can be found here or through the Los Angeles Public Library’s databases.
- Choose a book that will help your family have discussions about gender and LGBTQ+ discrimination, inclusivity, and how it relates to the movements we are seeing today. Book lists and resources for youth can be found at our Santa Monica Public Library.
- Check out Google -On the final day of Pride Month, Google payed tribute to a key figure in the LGBTQ+ rights movement with their Daily Doodle.
- Help children begin to understand how to be an ally – Watch the book reading of Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All and ask your child what they would do if they saw characters in the book being made fun of, or called names, or bullied. At the end, you can have your child write out a sentence or draw a picture about how they can be an ally.
- As a family, explore artwork and poetry created by Black men and women that celebrates African American history and culture. PBS for Parents has a great resource list on this topic.
- Continue the chalk art efforts on your sidewalk that show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Take a family picture next to your artwork and post it to social media or share with your family and community.
- As a family, make a donation to a black-owned organization you would like to support or purchase (a book, dinner, etc) from a black-owned business in your community. Then talk as a family about why spending your money in this way is important to you.
- Read this resource guide, Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice, then set an intention for your family by choosing from the list of tips.
- Black Lives Matter Video – As a family, create signs and then record a video of your family. Post to social media and be sure to tag the church @santamonicaumc or use the hashtag #blacklivesmatter and #seewhatlovecando.
- Prayer Walk – Walk around the Santa Monica area and look at the remaining murals that celebrate and advocate for inclusivity, justice, solidarity, and peace. Have an age-appropriate conversation with your children about what they notice in each mural and why these messages are important to reaffirm.
Thank You Healthcare Workers
The First UMC Children’s Ministry invited families to take part in a Faith in Action service project that would reach out to a need we are seeing in our community during the Coronavirus and Safer-at-Home living. Families were asked to craft a poster or card to say thank you to the health care workers on the front lines. Their artwork was captured in video and picture and compiled into a “Thank You Video.” This project gave children the opportunity to express their gratitude and it gives all of us a way to lift up the everyday people who are our heroes during this time. We hope this video message lifts your spirits and shows how much we appreciate the amazing ways healthcare workers serve the community during this time. We invite you to share our video with others who would benefit from it.
The children put their faith into action by making Christmas-themed care kits for those experiencing homelessness. Each kit included hygiene products, candy, and a homemade Christmas card. The kits were given to people through Martha’s Kitchen, a program through The Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills that provides a home cooked meal for over a hundred people every week.
The children created “kindness placemats” for homebound members to remind them of our love and care for them. Our Congregation Care Associate Anne Premer took the placemats to the members as she visited with them throughout the month.
Blessing of the Animals
The Faith in Action kids cut out their hand-prints to create their own unique hanging birds for The Blessing of the Animals exhibit, Big & Small: Take Flight. The kids also made peanut butter and seed plates to put out in their backyards to feed the birds.
School Supplies for Upward Bound House
Every year First UMC collects backpacks and school supplies for Upward Bound House’s Family Place. Thanks to generous donations, we were able to supply Upward Bound House with 60 backpacks packed with all the essentials to start the school year off right. This year we made 30 backpacks for children and 30 backpacks for adults heading back to school to finish/start their degree. These backpacks will ensure that the Upward Bound House residents are ready to hit the books feeling prepared and confident. Thank you to all who donated!
Valentine’s Day Cards for Homebound Members
The children decorated cards with loving messages to spread God’s love to our homebound congregation members that will be hand delivered by Anne Premer, our Congregation Care Associate. The children also made piggy banks to help raise money for Pennies for Haiti. All the profits will go towards buying Goats for a village in Haiti during the upcoming service trip.
Stockings for the Homeless
Jamie Jones (wearing Santa hat) leads Sunday School’s Faith in Action with the help of Dot (far left) and Emily (far right) Plukas. The group assembled stockings stuffed with hygiene supplies for the homeless that were distributed later that morning by Jamie and her mom, Sandra Jones.
The Kindness Rock
Intended to spread love and kindness, kids painted rocks and included a positive message or affirmation. They were then placed where people can easily see them (like a front yard, porch, public park, school garden), and even pick up and give it to someone who needs a little love.
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