The Magic of Finances at Canvass Time

Something magical happens in our building on Sunday mornings. Where else could you witness one group of young children outside exploring the frozen tundra as they learn about the Arctic explorer and ethnologist, Vilhjalmur Stefansson (who was at one time a student for the Unitarian ministry)? Or find another group of slightly older children learning about the Unitarian inventor, Lewis Latimer by making marshmallow blowers out of pvc pipes and joints? Head on to the next room and you might witness one of our ministers talking with the children about the roles and tasks of a minister (even answering the question “are you a real person?”). In the next room you might be tempted to join in the making of duct tape crafts as the students discuss the flexibility and sturdiness of our faith. And just when you think it can’t get any better than this, head to coffee hour where the 4th/5th grade class is helping to sell the fair trade products as a way of learning about homelessness, economics and the need for good practices all ‘round. All this and more on any given Sunday morning – it truly is a magical place.

One of the challenges of running such a wonderfully magical place is finding ways to help our children understand how the magic happens. They see their teachers each week and have a sense of the love and effort the teachers put into preparing each class. But our children are removed from the finances of congregational life. The children are dismissed for classes before the offering is taken each week, which means that they miss out on this tangible reminder that it takes the resources of all of us to keep the congregation running.

During the monthly children’s chapel services we do collect an offering, explaining the significance of doing so. But this is a once a month event and most of the children don’t remember to bring any money with them (hint – the next Children’s Chapel will be on 15 March). Our annual stewardship time is a great opportunity to help our children and youth understand the mysteries of finances and money, particularly around our congregation.

Inviting our children into the conversations of Stewardship will help them to more deeply value what they are experiencing in the congregation. I encourage you to take time this month to talk with your children and youth about your canvass pledge to the congregation. Share with them what you value most about the congregation and ask them what they value most. Explain how you come to the financial amount you choose to give and invite them to give a portion of their income to the congregation. Help your children/youth understand the magic of finances in our congregation.

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Published in: on 5 March 2009 at 22.15  Leave a Comment  

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