Set-up a “tree” in the sanctuary. Have leaves of different colors that you can hook to the branches of the tree. Bring a pledge card and time and talent sheet. Start at where the tree is. A commitment/stewardship tree based on Psalm 1:3. “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper”
Hi everyone! I’m so glad you are here today. Thank you for doing something different today and sitting with me by this tree. So let’s talk about the tree. Is it small or big? Is it tall or short? What is it missing? Leaves! Right! It’s missing leaves. Now I know it is fall outside and trees out there are loosing their leaves. But I think this tree could use some pretty leaves, don’t you? YES! So let’s each put a special leaf on the tree but first…I want us to write something on them first because today is a special day at church.
Today is a day when many people here will drop in the offering plate later in the service an envelope that is filled with a green pledge card and a time and talent sheet that is filled out. This pledge card is green, like the leaf of a green and growing tree. The time and talent sheet is filled with different ways to volunteer to help people, help the church, and make a difference all over the world. Each year, we’re asked to fill this out and turn them into the church. They both represent a promise that we make to God of the ways we’ll support what God is doing in the world. God gives us financial gifts so, if we can, we give that money to the church. God made each of us as special and unique; we all have different things we can do that others can’t. So we make a pledge to use our gifts to help the church and the world. This pledge and this time and talent sheet is one way we respond to all the blessings and love God gives us.
But even if we can’t fill out a pledge card or a time and talent sheet, even if we think we’re too young to help out, too busy, or too old, we all have something we can offer to God and to others. We can all make a promise that we will share God’s love by doing one thing. And so these leaves that we have will be leaves of promises that we will hang and cover this tree. So let’s start: what’s one thing you can pledge to God to help love others as much as God loves you? Help at church. Clean my room, Help my brother. Donate a toy to a friend. Listen to someone who needs help. Be kind.
These are all great! And let’s hang them on the tree. Hang them on the tree. Now, I need one more thing for you to do. This tree needs more leaves – and everyone else is going to put them on. So let’s pass out a leaf to everyone – no matter their age. They can spend time thinking about what they can give to God, and then they’ll write it down and before they leave church today, they’ll hang them on this tree. And then, at the end of the worship today, we’ll have a tree covered in promises because God makes a big promise to each of us: no matter what and no matter where we go, God will never stop loving us.
Thank you for being here and I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 24th Sunday After Pentecost, 11/19/2017.