Easter is the holiest and most important holiday in the Christian year, but there are still special days to celebrate after Easter. Along with holidays of the church year which include Ascension Sunday, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday, the secular holidays of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can also be recognized in Sunday school and other Christian Education settings.
Mother’s Day is celebrated this year on May 14th. If your children attend part or all of the worship service, work with your worship planners to include the kids in some way. The Re:think Worship website has some ideas for this in the article “Creative Mother’s Day Ideas for Church.” For the classroom, you can plan a lesson based on God and mothers. The article “29 Mother’s Day Ideas for Your Children’s Ministry” includes complete lesson plans for preschool, elementary, and preteen children, as well as suggestions for crafts and games. Be sensitive to the situations of adults and children who may find Mother’s Day to be a painful time. The United Methodist Communications website has an article titled “Honor Moms on Mother’s Day without Hurting Others” and the Children’s Ministry website offers advice in “Mother’s Day and Kids Who Have Lost Their Mom.”
Not all churches celebrate Ascension Sunday, but you might want to consider teaching your children about this important event which is mentioned in the Book of Acts, especially if you are focusing on the early Church at this time of year. Ascension Day this year is Thursday, May 25th, and Ascension Sunday is May 28th. The Building Faith website offers “6 Resources for Teaching the Ascension” and you can find additional crafts, coloring pages, and other activities on Pinterest by searching for Jesus’ Ascension Children’s Activities.
Pentecost is a fun and joyful holiday and one that seems made for children. PRC – Practical Resources for Churches recently offered a webinar called “Celebrating Pentecost with Children,” which shared lots of ideas which can be used in worship, Sunday school, and in intergenerational settings. You can click here to register and view this free webinar. The Ministry Matters website in an article titled “Make a Big Deal about Pentecost!” offers Pentecost activities for children and adults. The Day When God Made Church is a beautifully written and illustrated book for children which tells the story of the first Pentecost and also includes ways for churches and families to celebrate this special day.
Another somewhat neglected special day is Trinity Sunday, which falls on June 4th this year. The Trinity is not easy for kids to understand, and the adults in your congregation may also struggle with the concept of the Trinity. This excerpt from The Prayer Guide to Christian Education offers scripture passages, a short explanation, and some discussion questions. The Sermons4Kids website offers not just children’s sermons but also group activities as well as coloring and activity sheets. They have a number of resources on the Trinity.
Father’s Day falls on June 18th this year. The DLTK website offers Father’s Day resources for younger kids including an explanation of the day, coloring pages, crafts, puzzles, recipes, and music. The article “21 Father’s Day Ideas for Your Children’s Ministry” on the Children’s Ministry website includes complete lesson plans as well as craft and gift ideas. As with Mother’s Day celebrations, be sensitive to those in your congregation who may struggle with Father’s Day. The Interpreter website offers an article entitled “Father’s and Mother’s Day Get Complicated” which you may find helpful.