In 2015 we are honouring and thanking Fathers, Father Figures, and Mentors. They play such an important role in our lives and particularly the lives of our children.
We are also thanking those who work in the field of Finance, especially people working in Finance departments of Not-for-Profit Organisations and Charities. Bookkeepers, Accountants, Bank Staff, Treasurers of Sporting and Social groups, and people working in Financial Support areas and Debt Counselling.
As always we encourage you to look for different ways to express thankfulness in the way you celebrate this Day, and in the way you live. You could live out a thankful heart by offering a random act of kindness to someone less fortunate than yourself.
NOW IS THE TIME FOR CHURCHES TO BEGIN THEIR PLANNING FOR THIS YEAR
Here are some things that congregations can do to engage with their community.
* Undertake coordinated acts of kindness to those with special needs in your community.
* Hold a breakfast or morning tea to thank those people in your community who are nominated to be thanked and honoured in this year’s celebrations (see the list in previous article).
* Send cards and distribute ribbons to those people you want to say thank you to who have enriched your life or that of your community during the past year.
On the Saturday night join with other Churches in your area for a night of worship and celebration as part of Australia Worships to say thank you to God for all His blessings to us as a nation, and to honour especially invited guests from the community.
On Thanksgiving Sunday 31st May turn your services into thanksgiving services focusing on the goodness of God and incorporating some of the following ideas into your planning.
* Invite to your regular Church services those from the community whom you wish to specifically thank for their contribution to the community, treating them as special guests.
* Present such people in the service with a formal certificate of appreciation and thanks on behalf of the Church, or give them a small keepsake to remind them of the occasion.
* Invite representatives from the special invitees to give a 5 minute summary of what their work entails and how the Church can serve them better and then pray for them and those whom they represent.
* Follow the service with a morning tea where invited guests can be hosted and thanked in a more informal setting and mingle with the congregation.
* Say thank you to God by taking up a special love offering with proceeds going to special projects for the needs within your community. If possible make the presentation of funds to the recipients at the service.
* Invite those being thanked to visit Children’s Church classes to talk about their job and the role they play in the smooth running of their community and to be thanked by the young people for what they do.
* Turn Thanksgiving Sunday into “Back to Church Sunday” by having congregational members invite unchurched friends and neighbours plus community figures to a special service followed by a morning tea.
* Decorate the Church with “Thanking God” “Thanking Each Other” balloons to give it a celebratory feel for visitors.
PROMO DVD, CHURCH, AND SCHOOL PARTICIPATION INFORMATION ARE NOW AVAILABLE
Churches and Schools that have not previously been involved with the National Day of Thanksgiving will find our participation information material and promo DVD helpful in understanding how they can become involved and the resources that are available to assist them in celebrating the day in their community.
To order a promo DVD and/or a Church and/or School participation information PDF simply go to our website at www.thanksgiving.org.au/ and complete and send the order form to us.
All the above resources are provided to you free of charge, and postage paid. We are providing Schools with their own information as a way of encouraging them to understand how they can use the day in promoting thanksgiving to their students, but also, by undertaking acts of kindness in the community, showcase their values to the community at large. Whether you are a Principal, Teacher, Chaplain, or a Parent wanting to encourage your child’s school to become involved, we encourage you to order the School Participation Information to be electronically transmitted to you.