This resource is part of a series of interactive, intergenerational ideas for engaging people in faith practices through worship and/or midweek gatherings, brought to you by Worship Ministries and Faith Formation Ministries as part of the Faith Practices Project.
The faith practice of remembering centers our attention on what God has done in our lives, deepening our assurance that God is with us here and now, and expanding our hope and anticipation for what God will yet do.
Below you’ll find a variety of intergenerational ideas on this faith practice. Choose from and then use the ideas to shape a summer series, plan a midweek gathering, weave into an all-ages small group study or house church gathering, and more.
There are so many ideas here that you probably won’t need them all. To help make choosing easier, we’ve organized them into three categories:
- Gather activities provide an introduction to the practice through reflection and connection.
- Grow experiences offer an opportunity to explore the practice in community in a way that can be repeated at home.
- Go resources encourage and equip participants to live out the practice.
For a list of other scripture passages and songs you might also include during your gathering, see the list in Build-Your-Own Worship Service (or Series) on Remembering.
Memory baskets. Read the picture book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox. Tell each other about an object that you’d include in your memory basket.
Show and tell. Invite several differently aged people to show and tell about an object that reminds them of a way in which God has been faithful or taken care of them.
Crossing the Jordan. Introduce the story of God’s people crossing the Jordan with a brief description of who the people were, why this crossing was so significant, and the special instructions God gave them. Read Joshua 4 together. What did God want the people to remember? Wonder why God wanted the people to use stones instead of just their memories. Do you use any objects to remember important things at church? At home?
Rain and rainbows. Pair a reading of Psalm 30 and the picture book Rain before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls. (Or watch a video version of the book together.) When have you experienced “rain” and “rainbow” moments? What were the hard parts? How were you reminded of God’s love? Give people time to write words or to draw pictures as they reflect. Share stories with each other in pairs or trios.
Create timelines. Draw a long line on a piece of paper. On one end, print your birth date. On the opposite end print today’s date. In between add three to five significant events in your life. Add more as time allows. (Young children can use drawings in place of words or work with an adult.) Pick one or two of the events you’ve listed and ponder the ways in which you experienced (or perhaps see in hindsight) God’s faithfulness. Share with another person.
Highs and lows, roses and thorns. Experience together one of these simple, meaningful templates for remembering and being attentive to God’s presence in your life.
- Follow the Share, Read, Talk, Pray, Bless format of Faith 5. (To learn about this tool and to order inexpensive bookmarks for participants to use during your gathering and at home, visit faithink.com.)
- Reflect on your week together by naming the “roses” (wonderful things), “thorns” (hard things), and “buds” (things you’re looking forward to). Where did you see God in each of those things? Pray about them together.
Field trip. Does your city or region have a historical museum or a memorial site? Does it offer a historical walk to remember people who have experienced injustice? Perhaps your local library offers a display in which something is remembered. A cemetery is also a place filled with stories. Consider how you might incorporate a field trip of remembering into your experiences with this faith practice.
Send people home with faith practice resources they can use to continue the practices they’ve experienced during your time together. Some ideas:
- Faith 5 bookmarks, available at faithink.com, one per household.
- Although Lacy Finn Bargo’s video Examen for Families is geared to families with children, her explanation of the practice is helpful for all ages. You’ll find it at renovare.org/messages/examen-for-families.
- 5 Ways to Practice Remembering as a Family—a free, printable resource for households with children
- Faith Practices: Holy Habits That Help Us Love God and Our Neighbor, Listen to the Spirit, and Become More Like Jesus—one booklet per person or household