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Peer Groups

    Re: Chapel ideas
    Encouraging students to respond/long

    On 11/07/10, a4my wrote:
    > Well, I thought I'd be smart and sign up for my chapel early
    > instead of at the end of the year. I thought Thanksgiving
    > would be easy but it's hard to find something simple. I have
    > fourth graders. I thought about each student taking a letter
    > in Thanksgiving and talk about what what they are thankful
    > for. Any good ideas out there??? thanks

    Thanksgiving, to me, is a response to what God has done for
    us. I believe that we honor God by responding to His gifts to
    us and what He has done and continues to do for us, by doing
    for others...random acts of kindness without any expectation
    of thanks being given to us.

    I don't know exactly what you mean by "simple." I know kids
    leading chapel is preferable to the teacher doing a lecture
    style.

    I am not well versed in computers, but could you put together
    a simple power point of pictures of people doing things
    around church and school and have kids read appropriate
    scripture readings and have songs interspersed?

    I am thinking, for example, of starting with a picture of
    Jesus and a scripture reading like "God so loved the
    world...."

    Our preschoolers-Grade 2 kids sing a song "For My Family, For
    My Family, God gave me a Mother...." Then repeat for each
    family member when kids from the congregation suggest family
    members...sometimes even pets. The lines go "For my family,
    for my family, God gave me a Mother. For my family, for my
    family, Thank you, thank you, God." Just keep repeating the
    key phrase and substitute family member names as suggested by
    the children. Hmmm...don't know where to access the tune for
    that...but may be able to do a search using Quote marks with
    the lines.

    For power point, then show pics of Pastor, school secretary,
    food collection box if you have one, some teachers at work,
    some students such as kids reading together...bigger kids
    with younger kids, the lunch ladies, etc. Take some pics at
    home...staged of kids setting the table, taking out garbage,
    interacting with a grandparent (sitting on a lap in a rocking
    chair...talking to the senior), raking leaves...anything
    showing some sort of service happening or kindness being
    shown.

    Once I used a VBS song "I want to walk in the footsteps of
    Jesus." Some similar song may be done to make the connection
    to help others "....Love one another as I have loved you."
    "They Will Know We are Christians By Our Love."

    You could write and have kids lead a simple responsive litany
    with the kids in the congregation. For example: if you don't
    know the tune to "Thank you, thank you, God," Just Write
    words like:

    Reader: For all you have done for us, Dear Lord...
    Congregation: Thank you, Thank you, God.
    Reader: For health and strength and daily bread...
    Congregation: Thank you, Thank you, God.
    Reader: For families and friends...
    Congregation: Thank you, Thank you, God.

    etc.

    Not a powerpoint person...Hold up pics you can find or have
    kids draw them and label them and hold them as you do each
    part of the litany.

    You could do a food drive in conjunction...each child brings
    one can good and puts it in a box at the front of the church
    as he/she arrives...these go to local food pantry.

    I've also had classes prep. thankful notes to classmates
    prior to chapel. I take the class roster and #1 student
    writes #2 student a positive thing he/she likes about that
    person and 2 writes for 3, 3 writes for 4 and at the end the
    last class person writes for #1. These are shared during
    class, then put in a box and can be given like an offering of
    thanks for our friends during chapel. (It helps students to
    see each other in a new light and that they are appreciated
    as a gift from God.) Thanks for the gift of
    friends/classmates.

    Close with Lord's Prayer and some song of Thanks.

    Long winded here, but maybe just one idea is worth
    pursuing....