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Many Sunday schools take a break during the summer months. If yours is one of them, how do you say goodbye to your class as you send them off to enjoy the sunshine?

On Sunday I had a fun, but unceremonious last week with the first-grade kids I’ve been subbing for over the last couple months. My heart sank a little knowing that I may not bump into some of these kids again for quite a while. Now I wonder what I might have said or done to acknowledge the time we’d spent exploring the Bible together and growing in faith. If you’re coming to your last week of Sunday school, consider setting aside time do something special. Here are a few ideas:

Remember When

Kids love to hear stories about themselves! Spend the last few minutes of your time together playing remember when. Share a story or two about the fun stories you’ve told (like the time when the kids acted out Jonah being spit out of the fish’s mouth — complete with sound effects), and the things you’ve appreciated (like the way each child prayed for one another and for you). Invite the group to share stories too. If possible, include something affirming about each child to express how special they are in God’s eyes and yours.

Go in Peace

Consider sending each child out with a blessing. Choose words of your own, or a Biblical benediction like, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever!” (2 Peter 3:18 NIV), or “May the LORD bless you and take good care of you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD look on you with favor and give you his peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26 NIrV). If you have younger children talk with them about what a blessing is and what the words mean. You may want to memorize your blessing so that you can put your hands on each child’s shoulders and smile at them as you speak the words. Or, you could print copies for each child and have everyone take turns blessing someone else in your group. Your group may even like to come up with their own blessing to share with you and each other!

Singing So Long

If there is a special song that your group has enjoyed singing this season, sing it together one last time. Or, consider using a song of blessing to end your season — My Friends May You Grow in Grace may be familiar to your kids from congregational singing and it’s easy to sing a cappella. We Love You, Lord is one of my favorites. You can find that song on the Y3, Q3 CD if you’re using the Kid Connection curriculum.

Is there a special way you say so long to your kids for the summer? Share your ideas here for others to try!

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